Have Kitchenaid, need ideas
October 25, 2018 6:16 AM   Subscribe

I am stoked to have received a Kitchenaid stand mixer. Please give me your favorite recipes and uses, and must-buy attachments! I love cooking and have intermediate to advanced skills, but am a busy working professional. Therefore, I am looking for all recipes, great and small. I am probably buying the sausage-stuffing attachment as it's cheap and sounds fun.

We do not have any dietary restrictions. Our general diet focuses on lean meat, with occasional non-lean meat, veggies (love roasted veggies), lowish carb, reasonable calorie intake, occasional throwing all the rules out the window. I have been dieting and losing weight and would like to continue to do so, but have been successful by eating well during the week and having a cheat day on the weekend, plus exercise. With the holidays coming up I would love to be making pies, cakes, cookies, macaroons, etc. for holiday gatherings.

For everyday recipes
- We prefer healthier, low-cal/low-carb eating.
- Recipes that take ~1/2 hour and are simpler are best for weeknights.
- Prep the night before for something that can be cooked the next day also works!

For baking
- Anything goes!
- I have a decent supply of accessories and skills.
- Would especially love cookie recipes that can only be done with a stand mixer.

For the occasional gourmet, chefy, complicated meal
- Anything goes!

- I am planning on buying the sausage-stuffing attachment, so sausage recipes and stuffing advice would be appreciated!
- I would love to make my own pasta, but cannot justify the pasta attachments yet.
- I have a good blender and spiralizer already.
posted by DoubleLune to Food & Drink (27 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The mixer is super good at shredding cooked chicken.
Take your favorite pancake recipe - separate the eggs, beat the whites until foamy, add the sugar, beat until stiff peaks form, then fold into pancake batter.
Definitely get the ice cream maker attachment.
posted by lindseyg at 6:28 AM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The glass bowl is great, and their scraping beater works better than the third-party ones I have ordered in the past
posted by nicwolff at 6:29 AM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: We have the ice cream maker attachment and the pasta attachment. So, uh, not low-cal or low-carb. I only use either one a few times a year but when I do use them? Worth it.

The most weekly use our mixer gets is the making of pizza dough. We do that every Sunday. I like to use the paddle to make a sponge, let the gluten develop, then switch to the dough hook for kneading. It's nice because I can clean the kitchen while the dough is being kneaded and I don't have to get my hands all doughy at any point.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:30 AM on October 25, 2018

lindseyj is absolutely right: Freshly grilled chicken breasts. Paddle. Medium-High speed. Result? Shredded chicken in less than a minute. It's Pure Freakin' Magic.
posted by Wild_Eep at 6:36 AM on October 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: YES KNEADING the dough hook is a gift from the gods, bread would never be made in this house if I didn't have a Kitchenaid. If you got the little cookbook with the mixer, the french bread recipe is pretty dependable. The Kitchenaid Australia site and the UK site have a good section with recipes given in metric weights; the USA site gives volume measurements in cups etc.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 6:54 AM on October 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I've got both the pasta rollers (amazing) and the pasta extruder (don't bother). I don't use the rollers that often - making fresh pasta is one of these "do a fairly large batch" kind of projects, and in a 8' x 8' kitchen, it's a lot of mess - but they're amazing tools for that. The extruder is a cool idea, and a basically useless gadget.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 6:54 AM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

The dough hook is really amazing for making enriched bread doughs like challah and brioche - you can mix the dough except for the butter, then add the butter (which makes the dough fall apart) but then it magically comes back together through the genius of the dough hook.

And brioche dough can be the base for AMAZING pastries like cinnamon buns. This Julia Child recipe for brioche is great and uses the "let it fall apart in the mixer and come back together" method.
posted by mskyle at 7:15 AM on October 25, 2018

The pouring shield isn't specifically for any recipe, but it does help keep your counters clean!
posted by gladly at 7:18 AM on October 25, 2018

Best answer: As I understand it, homemade marshmallows can really only be done with a stand mixer. I don't have one so I've never tried to make them. But I've sure eaten them, and they're something else.
posted by mosst at 7:24 AM on October 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Marshmallows! They’re wonderfully soft and velvety and flavorful compared to store-bought marshmallows. I’ve had good success with this candy cane marshmallow recipe. I have swapped out the peppermint for other extracts and liquors and even swapped out the water for fresh fruit juice. Instead of using cooking spray, I recommend lining the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper. Use kitchen shears to cut into squares and keep all marshmallow surfaces coated in a 1:1 mixture of cornstarch and powdered sugar so they won’t stick together. Marshmallows are one of my holiday gifts. People are always surprised that you can make your own — but marshmallows require a stand mixer running on high for 10+ minutes!

The only attachment I’ve used with any regularity is the ice cream maker. If you’re looking for recipes, a good place start is David Lebovitz’s website and his ice cream and sorbet recipes. Your local library probably has his book The Perfect Scoop if you want more!
posted by bones to dark emeralds at 7:32 AM on October 25, 2018 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Before a few weeks ago I had never made a cake, and I've now made this recipe twice this month. Stand mixer is necessary. The Swiss meringue buttercream might as well be alchemy.

Pork rilletes are the easiest thing in the world but seem extremely fancy.

SE has a rundown.
posted by supercres at 7:36 AM on October 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

Sourdough! It's what finally made me actually use my Kitchenaid. God bless that dough hook. Here's the awesome starter hack I used.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 7:41 AM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Forgot to add:
Homemade sourdough bread is amazing, of course
…but sourdough waffles? TO. DIE. FOR.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 7:42 AM on October 25, 2018

Divinity, which is an old-fashioned candy, is almost impossible to make without a stand mixer. There are many recipes online. You need to beat it forever, way longer than any sane person would beat anything. It won’t form correctly until it starts looking matte rather than glossy. Test by dropping on to wax paper to see if it holds its shape. It took me years to learn to make it, and it turned out I just wasn’t beating it long enough.
posted by FencingGal at 7:44 AM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also, I used the grinder to make a sandwich/cracker spread my mom used to make from leftover roast beef. There’s no real recipe. You just grind the beef and some sweet pickles, then add mayonnaise until it’s spreadable. You could make a million variations of this. My mom’s name for it was meat scramble. I have no idea where she got the idea or the name.
posted by FencingGal at 7:51 AM on October 25, 2018

I have the attachment for straining fruits & vegetables it sort of works with the grinder/sausage set. It is amazing for making pasta sauces. without having to peel & core tomatoes. I use it only once a year for a week or so as I can & freeze sauce & I love it, it makes the job so much easier. Oven roast tomatoes cut them up a bit if they're big, run through strainer BAM sauce & not just any sauce the best sauce you've ever had.

Also if you've got a strong enough machine get a dough hook. Makes making pasta so much easier too make the dough in the machine, then run it through a hand crank machine as I can't justify their cost for the pasta maker either.

Get a flex edge beater saves on all the scraping down.
posted by wwax at 8:09 AM on October 25, 2018

Best answer: In case you're not aware, the sausage attachment requires the grinder to work, so it's not exactly a "cheap" investment. I also don't particularly care for it, as it (again) requires the auger in the grinder and it tends to gum up the stuffing mixture. The grinder itself, however, is perfectly fine for up to 5-ish pounds of meat.

To use the grinder properly, you want everything cold. I put the whole thing in the freezer for several hours before I intend to use it. Dice up your meat in to around 1 to 1.5 inch cubes, put those on a tray, and stick that in a freezer until the pieces are crispy on the outside but not fully frozen. Work quickly in to a bowl set in to another bowl filled with ice in order to keep everything cold. I can get through five pounds of meat in about 15 minutes.

If you do end up with the sausage attachment, don't grind straight in to the casings! You really need to grind once in to the bowl, remove the blades, and then install the sausage tube and stuff the sausages by running the meat through again. This is why I feel like the sausage tube isn't a great choice - stand-alone sausage stuffers don't use an auger and mangle the meat to a very minimal extent. It's also a lot harder to force the mix down the tube with the plunger, because it tends to just splooge over the top of the plunger.

Ruhlman's book "Charcuterie" is a great introduction to making sausage and has some very approachable recipes for a variety of sausage types.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:12 AM on October 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Heads up, the meat grinder is perfectly serviceable, the sausage stuffing function is not that great (not quite the right kind or enough pressure). It gets frustrating to the point of making it not fun.. But for just unstuffed sausage or burgers or falaffel (!) it really works great.

If you’re into noodles or pasta at all, the pasta rollers are good quality and knock it the fuck out. They’re expensive, but worth it. We make noodles a couple times a month, and theyve held up great.
posted by furnace.heart at 8:18 AM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Italian meringue buttercream can only be done with a stand mixer. It's wonderful stuff.

I make challah regularly in my kitchenaid. Now I will be honest, I haven't quite figured out the recipe size to make the dough not climb up the hook, which is infuriating. Someday I will figure it out. But even with the infuriating climbing, it's worth doing. (It will however sabotage the hell out of a low carb diet; ask me how I know.)

Definitely, definitely use it for shredding chicken for chicken salad. Best low carb use of the thing. So miraculous.

There are some good low carb, almond flour based cake recipes on twosleevers.com. These tend to require prolonged mechanical beating to fluff the eggs up. Can't do it without a mixer!
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:08 AM on October 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

Seconding Italian buttercream. You will never again use that powdered sugar and butter concoction for frosting.
posted by she's not there at 9:48 AM on October 25, 2018

Thirding Italian meringue buttercream (I prefer it to the Swiss version mentioned above). It definitely requires a stand mixer, but it is amazing and you will never go back to that powdered sugar buttercream stuff again.
posted by thejanna at 10:35 AM on October 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Nthing advice that the grinder itself is +10 but the sausage-stuffer thing is a PITA. Used it once for a novelty and never touched it again.

But definitely DO get the grinder because you can make the BEST hamburgers with all sorts of combinations ... lamb/beef, bison/beef, etc. One time I made hamburgers out of pure, ground-up filet mignon just to try it. (Didn't actually work very well, I think not enough fat, but that's a whole 'nother story. I took heat for days about "all that money wasted"...)
posted by mccxxiii at 1:36 PM on October 25, 2018

Best answer: This is an anti-tip I guess. When making cookies, use the mixer to cream ingredients and eggs etc but when you get to the step of mixing in the flour mixture then chips or nuts, turn off the mixer and do that by hand. I knew a lady who often judged baked goods at her state fair and she said the mixer toughens the batter and that she could taste the difference every time. Enjoy your new appliance!
posted by RichardHenryYarbo at 1:54 PM on October 25, 2018

Best answer: Two things I use mine for are bread and pasta. You do not need the pasta maker attachment to make pasta--you can roll it out (takes a long time but sort of fun once) and cut it or run it through a hand-crank press dingus (pretty fast and pretty cheap). But it is **so** **much** **easier** to knead with the dough hook than to do it by hand.

I am pumped to try the chicken shredding thing. Does it work with pork shoulder too?
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 6:05 PM on October 25, 2018

Response by poster: Thanks all!!! Info on the grinder/stuffer was particularly helpful. I'm going to make the pasta roller set my #1 because fresh pasta.

Also, who knew there were 4 types of buttercream???? I am getting right on this Italian meringue buttercream train. And waffles. And bread. SO many carbs.....
posted by DoubleLune at 5:56 AM on October 26, 2018

People have talked about how great the dough hook is, and I concur. Kneading basic dough really isn't difficult by hand, so what does the Kitchenaid contribute other than time savings?

1) As someone above said, enriched doughs like brioche or challah are MUCH easier to make in a stand mixer. As always with these doughs, make and mostly knead your standard dough and THEN add the enrichment. The gluten does not develop as well with all the slippy slidey butter in there.

2) At the opposite end from enriched doughs are wet doughs. Most casual home cooks make their sour dough too stiff, for instance, because it's hard to work with a wet dough. There are other breads where the ratio of water to flour is quite high. The dough hook works great with these sticky doughs.

3) Bagels. Proper bagels require extra gluten in the dough in order to achieve the proper consistency and chewiness. The addition of gluten can make the dough pretty stiff, and it's a tiring hand knead. The dough hook handles it without a problem, though.
posted by OmieWise at 8:31 AM on October 30, 2018

3) Bagels....The addition of gluten can make the dough pretty stiff, and it's a tiring hand knead. The dough hook handles it without a problem, though.

A word of warning from someone who does (for real, authentic old school NY-style, high-quality) bagels frequently. This is not true, sadly, with the regular consumer Kitchenaid stand mixers- the dough is way too stiff for them, and the mixer *very* quickly overheats and quits, or straight-up breaks. I have a pro Kitchenaid model with the highest wattage available and I can incorporate all the flour in it- which is a huge plus, I couldn't with the regular model- but it still starts to overheat and smell funny when I try to get it to knead for as long as it really needs, so I always end up finishing the knead by hand.
posted by charmedimsure at 11:22 AM on October 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

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