A KitchenAid stand mixer (affiliate link) is not only a useful kitchen tool, but it is an incredibly versatile multi-use tool that will help you do far more than just bake better. When it comes to stability and performance, we truly believe that there is no competition to KitchenAid stand mixers at this time. Here are 10 very good reasons why you need a KitchenAid stand mixer!
NOTE: We own several models of KitchenAid stand mixers, for use in PIATTO™ studio kitchens in different locations. When in Europe, we use the KitchenAid Heavy Duty. In the United States, we have used both the KitchenAid Artisan and ‘Pro’ Series Stand Mixers. If you watch our video recipes, you’ll notice we don’t always show the stand mixer. That’s simply because many of our viewers (especially in Italy) do not own stand mixers. For this reason, we sometimes show how to make foods ‘by hand’ that we use our stand mixers to make on a daily basis. But make no mistake: the KitchenAid stand mixers are beloved and essential tools in our kitchens!
#1 Grinding Your Own Meat
The powerful motor on these stand mixers (especially the Pro versions) will help you automate otherwise strenuous and annoying tasks. There is a nifty hole on the KitchenAid stand mixers that can accommodate a wide range of attachments. The attachments are then powered by the stand mixer motor.
One such attachment is the KitchenAid Food Grinder attachment (affiliate link). We use this attachment primarily to grind meat at home, for recipes like this authentic Italian meat tortellini recipe. By grinding meat (pork, pancetta, beef) at home, you have more control over the quality of the meat that goes into your ground meat. Also, you have the opportunity to sear it or season it before grinding it for extra flavor. We have family members that are grossed out by commercial ground meat and simply won’t eat these ingredients unless we’ve ground them at home. You can also use this attachment to make sausage or hamburger mixes—perfect for grilling season!
#2 Big Batch Baking: Bread, Cookies and Pizza
We make a lot of homemade bread and pizza! While we certainly can make these doughs by hand, it’s far easier to rely on the powerful stand mixer dough hook to knead dough for 10-15 minutes. There’s just no sense in making one batch of bread or pizza when you can make more in the same amount of time and feed a crowd—or freeze the baked bread for later.
Similarly, if you plan to make big batches of cookies or layered cakes, a stand mixer is an indispensable tool.
Here are a few recipes that we use our KitchenAid stand mixer for:
There are some recipes that we used to avoid when we had only a hand mixer at our disposal—namely recipes that required temperature control and whisking at the same time— like Italian meringue. If you would otherwise spend 10 minutes holding a whisk or hand mixer, that’s 10 minutes you can be spending assembling the other ingredients when you have a KitchenAid stand mixer. That means much more efficient multi-tasking in the kitchen!
We love this advantage of the KitchenAid stand mixer when making Italian dessert recipes that require making both the cake and the filling. When making a Zuppa Inglese, for instance, we let the stand mixer whip the eggs for our sponge cakes while we prepare the custards required for the filling.
#4 Whipping Eggs
… Which brings us to one of the absolute biggest advantages to buying a stand mixer: whipping eggs. Whipping eggs properly requires patience and time. It is almost unbearable with a hand whisk and still a cumbersome task with a hand mixer.
Many traditional cake recipes require whipping eggs: whole, yolks or just the whites! We love the large capacity bowl in the Pro KitchenAid stand mixer series (affiliate link) because it is the perfect size for whipping egg whites for recipes like this Easy Angel Food Cake! The whipped egg whites literally fill a large capacity bowl, so without it we’d be forced to whip our egg whites in batches. Boo!
#5 Making Meringue
With a KitchenAid stand mixer, the World of Meringue is yours! Whether making meringue cookies, pavlova or an Italian or a Swiss Meringue for a Baked Alaska, these stand mixers are your best friend.
#6 Making Pasta
Like bread and pizza dough, pasta dough does require kneading. This isn’t always practical for those with arthritis or other physical challenges to knead pasta by hand. Kneading by hand is also not efficient for making large quantities of pasta.
It’s easy to use a KitchenAid stand mixer (affiliate link) to make and knead pasta dough. However, you’ll want to check out our article on How to Make Fresh Egg Pasta Dough for tips on using a stand mixer to do this job. In short, you’ll want to add 3/4 of the flour called for in the recipe and add more as needed to make the dough elastic but not sticky. Switch from the paddle attachment to the dough hook to knead and be sure to use the speed recommended in the manufacturer’s instructions.
#7 Cutting and Stretching Pasta
Not only can you make fresh pasta with a stand mixer, but you can also use the affordable KitchenAid Pasta Roller (Set of 3 – affiliate link) to stretch and cut the pasta. Again, this attachment makes use of the powerful stand mixer motor to motorize the pasta roller. This tool is far superior to the hand crank models because 1) it is motorized (no hand cranking) and 2) it is ergonomic. The pasta comes out vertically from the machine, rather than horizontally.
When stretching large batches of pasta dough for fresh tagliatelle, lasagna noodles, ravioli or even tortellini recipes, there’s no better tool than this attachment. And of course, you aren’t limited to stretching Italian pasta dough with these tools. You can also stretch pasta for wontons and more. Here are some recipes that we use our pasta roller attachments for:
#8 Save Time (and Money)
Initially, the stand mixer itself (minus attachments) will set you back $300- $600 depending on the model you choose. However, over the course of a year or two, you will absolutely recoup that money because three of the foods you would otherwise have to buy are far cheaper to make at home—namely: pasta, pizza dough and bread! Since the stand mixer allows you to make large batches of these foods, you can freeze for later.
Fresh pasta, pizza and bread is far tastier (and usually healthier) than store-bought alternatives. Here are some recipes we use our stand mixer to make big batches of and freeze for later:
#9 One Kitchen Tool To Rule Them All (with Attachments)
A stand mixer by itself is probably the most useful multi-function tool you can add to your kitchen. With attachments? It’s unbeatable!
So, which KitchenAid Stand Mixer should you buy? All models to our knowledge permit the use of attachments. However, for many other reasons, we highly recommend buying a ‘Commercial’ or Pro Series KitchenAid stand mixer (affiliate link) rather than a model like the Artisan (affiliate link). Why?
The Artisan models lock into the base of the stand mixer. This results in instability (shaking) any time the stand mixer has to tackle stiffer doughs or larger quantities. In our experience, this model (the models in general with bowl attachment at the base) do not handle stiffer doughs well —including pizza, bread, pasta, or dough enriched with egg or butter. The motor is not as powerful. Further, the small bowl capacity makes the stand mixer less versatile.
In contrast, the ‘Commercial’ and Pro Series KitchenAid stand mixers (affiliate link) are highly stable. They do not shake even when tackling large quantities of stiff dough. The bowl locks by ‘lifting’ to the head and the accessory that you are using— be it a whisk, paddle, or dough hook. These models are heavier, the accessories are more durable (especially the whisk) and the bowl is large capacity.
The only reason in our view to buy the Artisan (affiliate link) models instead is if you do not plan to use your stand mixer to make or knead stiffer doughs—and you don’t plan to make big batches. Small batch whipping is the only thing that this model sometimes does better. If we want to whip a small amount of heavy cream, we reach for this model or whip by hand. Or, we double the amount of cream (make more than we need) to be sure there is enough liquid in our ‘Commercial’ or Pro Series stand mixer to whip efficiently.
#10 Family Bonding!
From children to differently abled adults to seniors, a stand mixer lets everyone help in the kitchen! It’s a beautiful way to create memories, making delicious food together.
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