Stand mixers can do a lot more than just mix ingredients for dishes and baked goods. They are versatile small appliances for the kitchen that can kick your cooking and baking up a notch. In some cases, these involve optional attachments and accessories. In others, you can use the accessories that come with the mixer to do things you never even realized you could do.
So, what exactly can you do with a stand mixer beyond the usual? Here’s a look at some of the more unique functions.
1. Work with various attachments
With KitchenAid stand mixers, in particular, one of the top brands in this space, you can buy various attachments that connect to the front of the machine using the versatile Attachment Hub. These range from a spiralizer to grater, meat grinder, pasta cutter, and more. There’s even an optional bowl you can use to make homemade ice cream and an attachment for shaved ice. We’ll run through these various attachments in an article next week: stay tuned to learn more about some of the most exciting KitchenAid attachments.
2. Make meringue
Meringue is one of those dessert toppings that’s tricky to make, but with a stand mixer, you can perfect the technique. It involves whipping egg whites along with cream of tartar and sugar until you get the perfect, firm peak. Doing this by hand can be cumbersome and requires some serious arm strength and endurance. With a stand mixer and its whipping attachment, however, you can get the process done quickly, checking the consistency every so often to ensure you don’t under- or over-beat. Meringue is a popular topping for puddings and pies (think delectable lemon meringue) and with a good stand mixer, you can whip up something that looks like it’s from a professional bakery.
3. Knead dough
Many stand mixers come with a dough hook or work with an optional one so you can make homemade bread, pizza crust, donuts, and more without having to tire yourself out with manual kneading. Pop in the ingredients, attach the dough hook, and let it go. Typically, you can knead using a stand mixer in a fraction of the time it would take by hand. You’ll know the dough is ready when it no longer sticks to the sides and forms a comforting little ball. I like to use a stand mixer and dough hook for the bulk of the process, then do a little hand kneading at the end. You’ll get evenly mixed dough with little effort. This is great for not only saving time and energy, but also for those who suffer from ailments like sore wrists and joints and find manual kneading too difficult.
4. Mash potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a staple side dish but mashing by hand can be a tiring process. Most stand mixer owners don’t realize that you can actually mash, or at least whip, potatoes in a stand mixer. Use the whip accessory, put the machine on high, and whip away. Make sure not to whip too long to avoid gummy, over-starchy potatoes. But with just the right amount of whipping, you’ll get a fluffy side dish you can top with grated cheese, chives, or parsley to serve.
5. Shred chicken
Another lesser- known benefit of stand mixers is their ability to shred proteins, like chicken. Once cooked, add de-boned and skinless chicken, like breasts or thighs, or even pulled pork, to the mixer while it’s still warm. Use the flat beater accessory and mix at a low speed. You’ll find the chicken nicely shredded after just a few minutes. This is perfect for tacos or enchiladas, stews, chilli, loaded nachos, and more.
6. Make soft-serve ice cream
You’ll get the best results when using an optional accessory, like the KitchenAid ice cream maker bowl. But with a basic stand mixer, you can also try your hand at homemade soft serve ice cream. It requires special ingredients like dry ice, which you may be able to find at a local grocery store. Simply blend this with milk, cream, salt, and other flavouring, chill, mix with the flat beater to churn the mix into ice cream, and serve.
7. Scrambled eggs
Whether it’s for breakfast or to add to a quiche or turn into an omelette, you can use a stand mixer and the whisk attachment to get perfectly and evenly mixed and fluffy eggs. Mix on low or medium, add cream if desired (some prefer crème fraiche) along with a bit of salt, and mix. Stir in the rest of your toppings, like chopped vegetables or cubed protein, then cook or add to a recipe as desired.
8. Whip aquafaba
Are you vegan, on a diet that excludes eggs, or have an allergy to them? A stand mixer can help you whip up aquafaba, the liquid found in canned chickpeas, into a usable substitute for eggs. This requires mixing for a good amount of time, so using a stand mixer can make the process effortless. Even if you do eat eggs, this allows you to make good use of the liquid you might otherwise toss down the drain. Once it reaches a consistency similar to meringue, which will take about 10 minutes, you can use the aquafaba as a replacement for eggs in recipes for both sweet and savoury dishes.
9. Emulsify salad dressing
The best small appliance to use for emulsifying salad dressing is a food processor. But if you don’t have one or you just want to whip up a quick batch and your stand mixer is at the ready, you can use it to handle this task. Add the ingredients minus the oil, then run the mixer on low with the whisk attachment. Slowly pour in the oil as its running, and you’ll have a perfectly emulsified dressing without the oil and acid separating.
10. Homemade tortillas
You now know you can use the dough hook to knead everything from bread to pizza crust. But what about homemade tortillas to go with the shredded chicken or other protein you just made as well? You can make the dough for these in a stand mixer without even requiring the dough hook. Use the standard flat beater and add corn flour (masa) along with a few tablespoons of water at a time. Do this as it mixes until you get a sticky dough consistency. Then use a tortilla press or, if you don’t have one, simply use your hands and/or rolling pin to flatten them out on a floured surface and fry them up in a cast iron pan. You can further bake in the oven and cut and bake longer to turn them into crispy homemade chips. You may even want to toss these into an air fryer.
Now that you know all the exciting things stand mixers can do beyond the usual, take the leap and look at all the great stand mixers Best Buy has to offer at Best Buy Online.