Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer Accessories--reliable?
I know almost everyone who has one loves his/her KA stand mixer, but how do the accessories stack up? I'm most curious about the slicer, grinder, and citrus juicer.
It's hard to tell from the limited description on-line: in people's experiences, can the stand mixer satisfactorily take the place of a food processor?
My Cuisinart blender/processor combo just died (yes, I'm very angry and currently doing battle with their customer service dept.), and I'm considering getting a stand mixer and accessories instead of buying another combo machine.
All comments from current accessory owners greatly appreciated!
The Hobart-made K5A mixer I bought in the late '70s is still going strong. A good friend bought the same machine at about the same time, and hers is still working great. They are great machines, and neither of us would think of replacing them. The attachments have not been so great for me. The meat grinder/sausage stuffer never performed very well, and the plastic housing cracked after not too many miles. I replaced that with an Oster grinder/stuffer that works much better and is all metal, so no cracks. I also got the slicer/shredder when I got the KA mixer. It is all metal, so is much more durable than the grinder, but after I got my Cuisinart food processor, I never used the KA slicer/shredder attachment again. I do think that the splash shield is worth getting, and I definitely recommend getting a second work bowl. I have no experience with the grain mill or the pasta attachments.
My KA is from 1975. My accessories have held up well, perhaps because they're metal, and not plastic. I think the citrus juicer is awkward, and I rarely use it. The meat grinder works well, as does the slicer/shredder. I even have the ice cream maker which has been used exactly once. (Won the whole set on a game show - the only item I don't have is the grain mill). That said, a food processor is much better, and easier to use, for slicing vegetables uniformly, and pureeing, and chopping nuts, and hard cheeses.........the list goes on and on. Bottom line is I don't think the KA attachments are a good alternative to a food processor, although they're nice to have for that once in a while use.
I too have a K5 KA stand mixer from the early 80's. Because I've always had a Cuisinart, the only KA attachments I ever got were the meat grinder/sausage stuffer and the pasta extruders. The meat grinder/sausage stuffer worked fine the few times they were actually used (I got them because at one point my husband was keen on making sausage, but alas, his attention flagged after just a few forays), but the pasta attachments were a definite bust. I admit that I only tried using them a couple of times, but the results were consistently pretty bad and I lost patience, especially since I found it much easier to just mix the dough in my Cuisinart and then use a hand machine for cutting.
I have the accessories (slicer/grinder/juicer/pasta extruder, etc., yada--it came in a 5 pack combo...) and quite frankly I don't use any of them at all. One reason why is that I am short (5'3" on a very good hair day), and when the mixer is on the counter, and the attachment thingie is there (goes on top of the machine), it's really hard for me to see into it to see what is going on and how I should put the food in.
I have a separate blender, and a separate food processor, and a stick blender/mini food processor combo, all with which I am very happy.
If I were to do it all over again, I would not buy the KA attachments, but instead get an extra bowl.
re: Anne in SF
I use the meat grinder. I'm 5'4" and have no problem with it and it has been handy. The food processor does not grind meat the way the grinder can. I too have a Cuisinart food processor, a Krups mini, a Krups coffee grinder I use for seeds and spices, a stab mixer, hand mixer, and a Waring 2 speed Bar Blendor. All do things diffretly and I do use them all for different things. I did by the pasta extruder for the KA and maybe used it once. I may take that to the E-Bay consignment store, I don't eat pasta any more. I hve a juicer attachment for my Cuisinart but I don't really drink much juice any more either. It is handy though when you have to juice a lot of lemons or limes so I'll hang on to that