So You Got a KitchenAid For Christmas – Now What To Do With It?

If you are lucky enough to have been gifted with (or have purchased yourself) your first KitchenAid Stand Mixer, you’re probably really excited to use it, but you may not know quite where to start. Never fear, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to using the KitchenAid mixer, explain what each of the attachments are for and we also highlight some of the accessory options you can pick up in the future for even more fun in the kitchen.

What Do Those Speeds Mean Anyway?

KitchenAid Mixer

Seeing 10 speeds on a machine can seem a bit daunting, but the unnumbered/in-between speeds are for fine tuning, so the ones you really need to pay attention to are as follows:

Stir Speed:

You should always start with your mixer on this speed and amp up from there. Whenever you are adding flour to the mixture this speed should be used, otherwise you will be engulfed in a cloud of flour. This is also a good speed to use if the directions tell you to “stir until combined”.

Speed 2: Slow Mixing

What should be slow mixed? Heavy batters like cheesecakes and mashing things like bananas or potatoes. If you’re baking biscuits or any type of baking that involves cutting in fat, use this speed. Thin pancakes and crepes should be mixed with this speed so the batter doesn’t spill everywhere!

Speed 4: Mixing and Beating

If you are whipping up a batch of cookies or other medium-heavy batters, this is the setting for you. Use this speed to add sugar to light mixtures, like egg whites. If you are using a cake mix and the instructions call for medium speed – this is it.

Speed 6: Beating and Creaming

When making a batter that has you cream a fat into sugar, this is the speed that should be used. If you are making a batter and it says to whip it, use speed 6. This speed should also be used to finish up batters that tell you to mix them well.

Speed 8: Fast Beating and Whipping

This is the speed to use when you need to whip up egg whites or make fluffy whipped cream.

Speed 9: Fast Whipping

The top speed is used for the same things as speed 8, but it gets the job done a little faster. Because the ingredients are whipped at such a high speed, you should only use this speed when whipping small amounts; otherwise your mixture will go flying!

What Do the Attachments That Come With My KitchenAid Do?

The typical attachments that come with your stand mixer when you buy it are the flat edge beater, the wire whip and the dough hook. Because these are common many recipes explicitly state which attachment you should use. If your recipe doesn’t state which one to use, here are some tips on how to decide which one to use:

Flat Edge Beater

Flat Edge Beater

This beater is basically your (almost) all-purpose tool. For most of your baking and mixing needs, this beater fits the bill. Use this for your normal to heavy mixtures, like cookies, brownies, cakes and more. If the recipe tells you to beat, mix, cream or mash then this is the attachment you should use. This Peanut Butter cookie recipe uses the flat edge beater. This attachment can be used on all speeds.

Wire Whip

Wire Whip

The whip attachment for the stand mixer is for mixtures that need to have their volume increased by adding air to it. The whip is used to whip cream and whip egg whites among other things. It’s a safe bet that if the recipe calls for something to be whipped, the wire whip should be used. While heavy icing and frostings like butter cream are made with the beater, lighter style icings like this Boiled Icing use the wire whip. This attachment should be used with faster speeds like 8 and 9.

Dough Hook

Dough Hook

Not surprisingly this hook-like shaped attachment is used for making heavier dough like bread. The dough hook helps out with the kneading process when making yeasted dough. It helps save time, because a dough hook can made dough smooth and elastic in a fraction of the time it would take to produce the same results kneading by hand. Emile Lagassee has a great rustic Italian bread recipe. Speed 2 is the typical speed when using a dough hook.

What Attachments and Accessories Should I Get?

Besides the attachments that come with the KitchenAid mixer, there are a bunch of attachments and accessories that you can purchase depending on what you want the machine to do. If you are a lover of Italian foods, there are a number of pasta maker attachments, and sausage stuffing aids for meat lovers etc. Check out the list and see which ones strike your fancy.

Pasta Roller

Pasta Roller

If you are a lover of fresh pasta and want to try your hand at making your own, then this is the attachment for you. The roller cuts out long strands of pasta like spaghetti and linguine. It takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it you will never go back to buying pasta at the grocery store. This recipe walks you through making a basic, yet delicious homemade pasta.Use speed 10 with this attachment.

Pasta Extruder

Pasta Extruder

If you’re in love with your pasta roller attachment but are wanting some homemade pasta with smaller shapes that more texture to hold onto thick and chunky pasta sauces, consider getting a pasta extruder attachment. This attachment pushes out pasta dough into small shapes like fusilli and macaroni. These pasta shapes pair perfectly with a thick meat sauce like this Bolognese from a master of Italian food, Mario Batali. Use speed 10 with this attachment.

Ravioli Maker

Ravioli Maker

The great thing about making your own ravioli is that you get to control what goes in it! The KitchenAid ravioli maker helps you churn out identical ravioli pockets so the tops and bottoms of your ravioli match up and the pinching tool helps keep the filling inside of the ravioli instead of in the pasta water! The Huffington Post has a great slide show of delicious ravioli fillings!

Food Grinder

Food Grinder

The food grinder is a handy attachment that lets you grind up meat, cheeses, vegetables and nuts, and you have the option of grinding them coarse or fine depending on what you need. If you’ve never made your own burgers you don’t know what you’re missing, they taste great and they don’t contain and fillers. Honest Cooking has a great recipe for homemade burgers. Use speed 4 with this attachment.

Sausage Stuffer

Sausage Stuffer

There is a renewed love for charcuterie lately and the sausage stuffer add-on works with the food grinder attachment so that you can produce both small sausages and large links in your very own kitchen. Your entire family will go crazy for these Thai Chicken Sausages from the Australian KitchenAid website. Use speed 4 with this attachment.

Vegetable Strainer

Vegetable Purées and Strainer

This is a handy add-on that attaches to the food grinder to allow you to puree and strain all kinds of fruits and vegetables. This add-on is great for parents who want to make their own baby food, and for people who want their jams and jellies seed free. If you’re making fresh spaghetti with the pasta attachment, why not use the strainer to make a yummy pomodoro sauce? Use speed 4 with this attachment.

Slicer and Shredder

Slicer and Shredder

This is a cone shaped shredder that comes with four blades, two that slice and two that shred. With this attachment you can slice and shred firm cheeses, vegetables and fruits. Using this attachment you can make a chopped salad in minutes, and have shredded cheese for your pizza in no time flat. The slicing function makes quick work of this delicious Brussels Sprout hash yes, we did use delicious and Brussels Sprouts in the same sentence – trust us!). Use speed 4 with this attachment.

Juicer

Citrus Juicer

Having freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast every morning is possible with the citrus juicer attachment. With the citrus juicer, you can mix and match your citruses to make the perfect beverage for yourself, try mixing some Clementine juice with blood oranges it’s lovely! Key lime pie is amazing, but key limes are tiny and take forever to juice by hand, but you can quickly make this pie with the help of the juicer. Use speed 6 with this attachment.

Grain Mill

Grain Mill

Not getting enough fiber in your life? The grain mill attachment is there to help. This grain mill is used to grind down your favorite grains like wheat, oats, corn and rice. With this attachment you can choose how coarse you want your grains to be, from a cracked style for hearty breads to an extra fine grain perfectly for adding a bit of texture to smoothies. With this grain mill you make your own flour to create the freshest tasting no-knead bread. Use speed 6 with this attachment.

Ice Cream Maker

Ice-Cream Maker

The KitchenAid stand mixer can not only aid you in baking a cake, but with this attachment, you can make the ice-cream to go along side the cake. The trick to using this attachment is to freeze the bowl really well, over 24 hours, before hooking it up to the mixer to churn the ice-cream. We have compiled a list with dozens of tons of ice-cream and frozen treat recipes,so take a look and pick out one that sounds good to you to try, we highly recommend the red velvet ice-cream. Use the first speed with this attachment.

Now that you’re more familiar with all of the things your KitchenAid mixer can do, you’ll be making all kinds of delicious goodies in no time! Happy cooking!

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