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Nov 1, 2005 03:41 PM

New Kitchen Aid Mixer! Food ideas, not sweets

  • v

In my small apartment I've been totally functional with a whisk for egg whites and a faithful & entirely reliable immersion blender for soups. Now I've rec'd a new jumbo mixer as a gift.

Besides cakes, what else can I possibly use this for?
Should I trade it in for a bread-machine?

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  1. Although I personally use my hands, with the dough hook attachment I would use the mixer to make bread dough as well... but I never really saw the value in a bread machine.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Curtis

      definitely use the stand mixer to knead bread. i find the bread made in a bread machine lacks... ummm... i don't know how to say it other than it's wimpy =) the stand mixer does a much better job of developing the gluten.

      i like to use the method where you mix in part of the flour with the liquid and mix it with the stand mixer until it gets "snappy". then you can add the rest and knead it.

      i've never used them myself, but i hear there are all kinds of attachments you can get that can help you make pasta and other things.

      1. re: Curtis

        I find the dough hook quite useful for making pizza dough. I can't remember if I've ever used it for other breads or not.

        I use optional attachments for non-sweets, the grater for making carrot salad, the meat grinder for the obvious task. But if you really don't make cookies, cakes, etc. I can't see having one around. For God's sake, don't make "whipped" potatoes in it (glue).

        1. re: Curtis

          I am mixing up meatloaf with the dough hook at this moment.

          1. re: Curtis

            I have a very elderly K5B, from about 1952, on which I use the grinder attachment from a 1932 mini version they made for just two years, plus a few almost-new attachments as well. That's a wonderful thing about KitchenAids - old stuff, new stuff, it all fits together and it all works. Wish my Mac were like that!

            I mostly use the grinder, being a sausage-lover, and once in a while the whisk or the paddle...but I love just having it around. Nice machine.

          2. Boy, looking at the box, this baby takes up a lot of space.

            I forgot to mention I already own a japanese mandolin, and a hand-crank pasta roller-- are the similar functions on the Kitchen Aid accessories superior?

            Thank you all for your tips. The dough hook idea especially sounds like a good tool. Saves me kneading with my feet. Oops, that technique is for wine.

            Are there any mousse-y or salty food groups that require a mixer? (I mean, before feet...)

            2 Replies
            1. re: vicki_vale

              Delicate feet are also useful on human backs (g).

              And KA attachments aren't particularly better than other gadgets. But they aren't single purpose gadgets.

              But I must say that I use the Pasta Extruder and once owned a hand-crank. With H.C. I needed three hands. With the cranking taken care of, I only needed the two I have. I know that generations of Italian grandmothers got by with manual mode. And if I had one to show me how, I could too, but it helps.

              I also like the meat grinder (there is a combined meat grinder and pasta extruder attachment kit). I tend to buy whole fowl (chicken, turkey) and grind up the dark meat. If you have the time to do a bit of butchering, you can get a whole chicken for the price of two boneless breasts. So then you have dark meat for grinding and carcass for stock.

              But the KA does take up a lot of room and is heavy. And it is a workhorse, but not a gourmet (skilled, refined) tool.

              Oh, I meant to add that the sexiest cooking thing I've seen is the KA cream butter. But that's me and your reactions will differ.

              1. re: SteveT

                The best helper for a pasta roller is definitely a C-clamp. I got one of those with my Atlas model.

            2. My husband has spent the last four evenings using the grinder attachment on our Kitchen-Aid to make venison sausage. By my estimation we now have enough of it to send to all Chowhounders, but that's a separate issue.

              Anyway, when you need a Kitchen-Aid, nothing else will work. You might not use it often but you will use it, whether for kneading bread dough, mixing things, grinding or whatever.

              And whatever else you do, don't get a bread machine. As my husband says, that only does one thing, and that one thing is not done well.

              3 Replies
              1. re: jillp

                No, no, no... that IS the issue. When is he sending out our sausage? ;)

                Seriously, for the op, get the grinder - it makes short work out of any meat grinding, and the consistency is much nicer than commercial stuff. I mentioned in a meatloaf thread a while back that I make a great loaf using 50/50 pork and beef. It's so easy to get a beef sirloin shell and some pork country style ribs, slice them into long pieces and run them throught the grinder - about 10 minutes and there's enough for 2 really nice, delicious loaves (add egg, breading, and seasoning).

                1. re: applehome

                  It's a great way for me to use up meat, since I only cook for two and good meat at decent prices doesn't come in tiny portions.

                  I use big pieces for whatever I'm cooking, and save the small pieces to be ground up for sides. It allows me the flexibility to do something like a steak for dinner and two stuffed tomatoes on the side. I just trim a little off each steak and grind the meat. Or I buy a value pack of pork chops, eat some, and grind the rest when I'm sick of chops (bones go into soup).

                  It also saves me from having to eat pre-ground poultry. I find, in my area at least, that people don't buy much ground turkey or chicken. The result is that it's really expensive, nonexistent, or looks decidedly off at the market.

                  I know, it's not necessary and it is precious. But it's fun and allows me to scale down recipes I want to try.

                2. re: jillp

                  Could you describe the venison sausage a bit more? I used my KA last week to grind venison (works about 3000 times better than the old-fashioned meat grinder we had previously).

                  Generally, I use the ground venison in meat loaf with some ground lamb added for fat and flavor. My husband likes it shaped into patties and cooked w/ gravy like salisbury steak, but that's a little too freakin' home-y for me ;-)

                3. KA has a new ice cream freezer that works on the mixer. It makes 2 qts, so they say. No one mentioned it on the recent ice cream threads. I've been waiting to hear how it performs. Anyone??