I have owned a KitchenAid stand mixer for years and absolute love using the small appliance for everything from mixing batter for homemade cakes, cookies, and muffins to kneading dough for bread and pizza crust. It whips cream, too! There are so many things you probably didn’t even know a stand mixer could do.
Just when I thought I couldn’t love it any more, the machine really dazzled me when I invested in the pasta cutter and roller set and started to make my own homemade pasta. How does the KitchenAid stand mixer do that?
One of the advantages with KitchenAid mixers that you don’t get with others is the convenient Attachment Hub at the front of the machine. Open the flap and screw in a variety of attachments to transform the machine into one that can do so much more than mix, whip, and knead.
I’m, of course, partial to the pasta cutter and roller set, which I have used numerous times to make homemade fettuccine, spaghetti, and even pasta sheets for filled ravioli or lasagne. If I had my way, however, I’d have a full set-up with so much more.
Indeed, KitchenAid offers tons of stand mixer attachments. Some have been around for a while, like the spiralizer for vegetables and the meat grinder for meats and other hard ingredients, like cheese. But exciting new options are being added all the time. Here are a few of my favourites, how they work, and for what you could use them.
Pasta cutter and roller
As noted, the KitchenAid Pasta Roller & Cutter stand mixer attachment is one I own and have been using for years. It comes with three pieces: one for rolling the dough at various thicknesses, a cutter for spaghetti, and one for fettucine. Unlike manual rollers, simply attach the device and adjust the dial to the right thickness: start wide and roll through multiple times, getting thinner each time. To roll, turn the machine on to low and guide the dough through the top, grabbing it as it runs through the bottom.
While it’s a lot of work to make a significant amount of pasta (say, enough to feed a family of four), it’s worth it in the end. With a dusting of flour and a pasta rack to hang the noodles (or go the traditional route with a broomstick across two chairs), and the pasta will cook in boiling water in under two minutes. It’s as fresh as you can get.
Store-bought sausage is a nice indulgence, but buying in store means getting something with a bunch of additives and fillers; not to mention the price of meat is on the rise. Instead, grab a big slab of meat for a deal and use this KitchenAid food grinder attachment to make your own. Connect to the hub, roughly chop the raw meat, then run it through the chute. You can even add fresh herbs, spices, and garlic to the meat to grind it all together.
From pasta Bolognese to spaghetti with meatballs, use high-quality beef to even make homemade hamburgers and taco filling, too. The grinder can also be used for hard cheeses and vegetables, or even stale bread for breadcrumbs, making it even more versatile than the name suggests.
Make pizza crust in the mixer itself using the dough hook then add the meat grinder to grind some mozzarella for topping. Note: if you plan to make sausages, consider the sausage stuffer attachment which makes that process blazingly simple once you have grinded the meat.
Ice cream maker
Homemade ice cream? Yes, please! Unlike the other attachments, the ice cream maker doesn’t use the Attachment Hub but rather comes in the form of a specific bowl that connects to the machine, just like the standard stainless-steel one does. Keep the bowl in the freezer and pull it out when you have a hankering for a sweet, icy treat. Add ingredients, whether you want cream-based on without, mix for 30 minutes, and voila! Fresh ice cream for everyone in the family to indulge.
Keep in mind that you have to prep ahead of time to ensure the bowl is sufficiently frozen or have a freezer large enough to keep it there 24/7 when not in use. If you have a chest freezer or second freezer in the home, this attachment will be worth the investment.
One of the newer KitchenAid Hub attachments you might not yet know about is the ice shave attachment, which will bring you right back to your childhood and those shaved ice treats you begged your parents for at the local fair or amusement park. Connect, add water, juice, chocolate milk, or any other liquid and a minute later, it will come out the other end of the one-pint attachment shaved for enjoying with a spoon or eating in a bowl like ice cream (before it melts, of course!) For lactose-intolerant folks, it’s a great way to enjoy a sweet treat without the cream. You can shave plain ice then add flavour to it, or even fresh fruit.
I recently invested in a KitchenAid food processor, but for those with limited space or who want a simpler, cleaner set-up, there’s a food processor attachment for the mixer. It works much like any other standard food processor accept it attaches to the Hub to gain power from the machine so you don’t have to plug in a separate unit.
It comes with accessory discs for dicing, slicing, shredding, and julienning ingredients for all types of recipes. Use the food processor to grate cheese for pasta, chop onions and garlic for recipes, grate carrots for a cake, and all those other tasks that would otherwise take a lot of time and manual work to get done.
As you might have guessed, I’m a sucker for a big plate of piping hot pasta, and next on my wish list in addition to the pasta roller and cutter set is the Pasta Press stand mixer attachment. With this one, you can make macaroni, bucatini, spaghetti, fusilli, and rigatoni, all without any tricky work by hand. Just connect one of the six included pasta plates to the main attachment unit, turn the mixer on, add the dough, and watch the noodles magically appear. There’s even a built-in wire cutter for getting noodles exactly the size you want them to be.
If you have kids at home who love picking which pasta they’ll have for lunch or dinner, they’ll have fun helping you with the process.
A KitchenAid stand mixer is much more than just a mixer
This merely scratches the surface in terms of the KitchenAid stand mixer attachments you can choose from to expand the usefulness of the small kitchen appliance.