If you think that a stand mixer is a useless tool that can only do one thing yet take up too much countertop space, then you are mistaken.
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In fact, you are probably luckier than most for having one.
Stand mixers can take on many roles, and this article will show you the things you can do with a stand mixer, and how you can maximize its purpose.
What Is a Stand Mixer?
A stand mixer is a kind of electronic kitchen device that utilizes a mechanism to rotate a set of beaters.
Specifically, it mounts a motor that causes the rotary movement in a frame or a stand, which holds the weight of the device.
It is bigger than a handheld mixer and usually comes with different attachments that you can use depending on the task you want to do.
Compared to other mixers, a stand mixer is built with more powerful motors.
It comes with a bowl that is specially designed for it and is secured in place while the mixer is being used and operated.
Stand mixers usually come with different whisks used for various purposes:
- Wire whisk that is used for egg whites and whipping cream
- Dough hook for kneading
- Flat beater for mixing batters
Different Types of Stand Mixers
Stand mixers typically come in two types. It can either be a spiral mixer or a planetary mixer.
Spiral Stand Mixers
Spiral mixers have a spiral-shaped agitator that stays in place while the bowl revolves. It is primarily used for mixing dough easily and quickly.
Spiral mixers work on the dough with less friction, hence making sure that the dough rises properly.
Planetary Stand Mixers
On the other hand, the planetary mixers are used for several purposes, such as to whip, blend, mix, and more.
It comes with a bowl that stays still and an agitator that moves rapidly around the bowl to work on the content.
Since planetary mixers are more functional than spiral mixers, they are widely used around the world.
Things You Can Do with a Stand Mixer, and How to Do Them
You are reading this probably because you, yourself, are in possession of a stand mixer and you want to maximize its purpose. Or, you are probably planning to buy one, and you want to get the most out of your money.
So, here are the things you can do with a stand mixer, and how to use them.
We begin with the stand mixer’s primary purpose: whipping. A stand mixer is excellent for doing whipping jobs out of egg whites, cream, and the likes.
You probably think that the whipping job can be done by hand, but there are times that whipping is better done with a stand mixer.
Whipped Cream and Frosting
Its daunting power can do a lot more variety of whipped cream such as French buttercream and Swiss meringue.
The big and open balloon whisk, when combined with the powerful motor of the stand mixer, yields voluminous whipped cream and meringue. A whisk with narrow lines of conventional hand mixers can’t do it as efficiently.
The large whisk is also great for frosting — Swiss meringue, Italian buttercreams, American meringue, French meringue, and more.
The cream cheese buttercream calls for quick mixing, though it requires help from the paddle.
It is also noteworthy that egg whites are not only for meringues. A stand mixer can beat the eggs, which play a significant role in making soufflé.
The stand mixer traps the air inside the egg whites, which result in an airy lift in the soufflé.
Angel Food Cake
An angel food cake seems challenging to make. With the help of a stand mixer, however, the entire preparation process becomes straightforward.
The secret to making a delicious angel food cake is dependent on the device, particularly on mixing the ingredients together with consistency.
Shredded Chicken Breast
Planning to make chicken soup or delicious chicken buns?
Well, you first need to shred the chicken meat before doing anything else. This task can be difficult especially when you have a limited time to prepare. Surprisingly, a stand mixer can do the job.
How to shred chicken breast with a stand mixer?
Put the boiled chicken in the bowl while it is still warm. Flip the switch of the stand mixer. Use any of the attachment, but the paddle can perform the work best. Turn on the power and let the stand mixer do the job.
It is also great for making shredded beef or pulled pork. Be creative!
Mashed Potatoes in Shape
You probably have been using a hand mixer for whipping mashed potato. But, did you notice that every time you do it, it results in a gummy texture of mashed potato?
Well, the paddle attachment of the stand mixer can do the job better.
How to whip mashed potatoes with a stand mixer?
First, you need to boil the potatoes until they are very soft. Drain the water and put them inside the bowl of the stand mixer. Add butter and whip it until it melts with the warmth of the potatoes.
Then, turn the stand mixer on. You can gradually add warm heavy cream, sour cream, or any cream of your choice. Season it with salt and pepper as desired.
Bread or Pizza Dough
Stand mixers always come with a dough hook.
It means that it can knead dough used for bread and pizza. We all know that kneading is a difficult task, but thanks to stand mixers we won’t have to do it by hand ever again.
For this task, attach the dough hook instead of the paddle attachment. Put all the ingredients in the stand mixer bowl, turn on the mixer, and let it knead the dough.
For better results, mix the dry ingredients first. Then, slowly add the liquid ingredients in a steady stream until they are thoroughly combined.
Let the stand mixer knead dough approximately for 10 minutes. Surprise! You now have your dough. Goodbye sore wrists!
Sausage or Ground Beef
Who would have thought that you can make your own home-made sausage or ground beef with a stand mixer?
This is probably one of the secrets of professional chefs. Use the grinder attachment to do it, and start with an almost frozen meat to avoid the blend from getting too warm.
How to make ground beef with a stand mixer?
First, cut the meat into long, thin strips. Put it in the freezer for 30 minutes to one hour. The meat should be cold, but not frozen. Then, put it inside the bowl and turn on the mixer with the grinder attached.
To make sausage, season the meat first before you mix it with the stand mixer. Place all the meat strips one at a time.
Place the bowl under the grinder attachment so that it can get in contact with the meat. Turn on the stand mixer, and grind until the meat is thoroughly crushed.
Fresh, Homemade Pasta
Stand mixers usually don’t come with a pasta roller and cutter attachments, although it is worth it to invest in them.
A lot of professional chefs make their own pasta from scratch, and you can do it too. The stand mixer can completely transform into a pasta maker with just a small change in the attachment.
Creating fresh pasta begins with kneading the dough. So, the dough hook is also necessary for the process.
You can also knead the dough by hand. Then, let the dough stand for at least one hour. Cut the dough into four pieces.
After preparing the dough, fasten the pasta roller and turn on the stand mixer. Run one piece of the dough through the attachment.
Begin with the thickest setting and continue until it stretches to your desired thinness. You can acquire the pasta thinness usually on the second to the last setting.
Lastly, hook the pasta cutter. Run the thin sheets of dough through to cut it into a pasta shape. Now, you have just made your own homemade pasta!
Another attachment that you can invest in for the stand mixer is the ice cream maker. It might cost you some bucks, but it will definitely save you a lot rather than buying a separate ice cream maker.
How is it done?
Prepare the cream custard and cool it down to room temperature. Attach the ice cream maker attachment. Fasten the bowl into the mixer. The bowl should be frozen overnight.
After that, turn the stand mixer on and pour the ice cream custard slowly. Let the mixer run for 10 to 15 minutes, or until you hear a click sound.
Relocate the ice cream into a container. Freeze it for one hour. Enjoy your homemade ice cream!
Guacamole for a Big Group
Are you having a sleepover, a get-together with your friends? Well, you don’t want to waste time mashing 20 avocados for guacamole, right?
Thanks to the stand mixer, it will make the job much easier and faster.
How to make guacamole using a stand mixer?
Prepare the bowl of the stand mixer. Put the jalapeno, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, salt, and pepper in the bowl.
Turn the device on until the mixture becomes chunky. Then, add the avocado and lime juice. Turn on the device until the mixture is creamy. Serve immediately.
How to Choose a Good Stand Mixer
Are you now convinced to buy your own stand mixer for your kitchen?
Choosing a high-quality stand mixer is a significant investment. It can last for years even though you use it for different purposes such as kneading, mixing, blending, grinding meat, and more.
Don’t forget to consider the following guidelines when buying a stand mixer.
Determine your Budget
Stand mixers in the market usually cost at least $500, and additional attachments can cost around $150.
The stand mixers are more expensive comparing to a hand mixer. With stand mixers, though, you will be able to do a lot more tasks.
Check the Wattage
It is also smart to consider the wattage of the stand mixer.
It is apparent that the higher the wattage, the more powerful it is for doing the kneading and mixing tasks. However, it is not always the case.
There are stand mixers that utilize more wattage, and the power output could be less indicated.
This is the reason why many manufacturers emphasize more on the capacity of the stand mixer rather than the wattage.
Look at the Features
Good quality stand mixers come with practical features.
One important feature is the overload protection, which prevents it from getting overloaded so the machine will not be forced with too heavy work.
A locking tilt head is also a good consideration because it allows you to move the head while doing your tasks.
Some stand mixer models are equipped with a convenient timer so you can work on the mixing or kneading tasks more accurately.
A splash guard prevents accidental spills outside the bowl to reduce cleaning tasks afterward.
Stand mixers usually come with 10 to 12 speeds and three attachments: the whisk, beater, and dough hook.
Remember that the more features, the more convenient the stand mixer is. It is also important to consider that the stand mixer can be more expensive with more features.
Stand mixers are usually bigger in size than hand mixers. This is probably one of the things that you should consider.
There is a wide range of stand mixer sizes in stores. You should also understand that the price goes up as the model of stand mixer gets bigger.
If you bake or cook for a large group of people, then you should invest in a large stand mixer, and in a big kitchen too.
However, if you are only cooking for your small family, then a small to medium size stand mixer is a good consideration.
Stand mixers usually come with three basic attachments: the dough hook, wire whip, and flat beater.
You can invest in more kinds of attachments so you can do more tasks with your stand mixer. You just have to be creative and resourceful when deciding which types of attachment can best do the job.
You can also buy a pouring shield so you can easily add more ingredients while you are mixing the rest of the ingredients without making a mess.
A stand mixer might not be your kind of kitchen appliance, but only because you don’t know how to maximize it!
Now that you have all the list of potential functions of a stand mixer, there are a lot more reasons to buy one.
Surely, the things listed here are not the only tasks that a stand mixer can take on.
The rest is up to you to discover. All you need to do is embrace your creativity and not be afraid to think outside of the box!