Kitchen Aid Meat Grinder also Past aExtruder?
I was contemplating buying myself a toy: a Kitchen Aid Meat Grinder Attachment. When I am looking in the online catalogs there is a Meat Grinder Attachment PLUS a Pasta Extruder. The grinder alone is sixty bucks. The duo attachment is 99. Anybody have any comments on either? I could get into making past aas well as sausages.
Thanx for any info.
My sister gifted herself several KA attachments... pasta roller thingie, pasta extruder, grinder, some kind strainer/seive thing (maybe for things like tomato sauce?), & a slicer shredder thing.
She LOVES the pasta roller. Gifted ME the rest of the stuff. Said grinder worked just fine, she just didn't use it enough to be worth finding space for it in kitchen. Said try the rest... keep or donate to Good Will.
Grinder is a keeper for me. Doesn't get used often, but worth finding a spot for it in kitchen.
Slicer/shredder and seive thingies seem to be missing a "part"?? Don't really need them since found a Cuisinart food processor with 8-10 different slicing/shredding/grating blades at a thrift shop for $8.
Really TRIED to use the extruder with ZERO satisfaction!?! Made a nice dough, let it rest/chill, and started feeding it into attachment... grinder with extruder part attached. As pasta started coming out (any shape) it quickly went from individual pieces to one inseparable blob. Figured my dough was a little too wet, so worked in more flour... did that 2-3 times with no luck.
We both have a standard KA... NOT a super high-end model.
I've got an extruder that I've never used, nor do I now have any intention of doing so. There's an Italian deli a few blocks away where I can get any of my favorite extruded pastas, including loooooong tubes of macaroni, plus enough of the other stuff to keep my Atlas machine in the cupboard too, at least until Mrs. O's entreaties for some homemade ravioli become too much to resist. It's not that I mind the work that cooking often requires, so long as it's necessary to achieve the desired result, but making your own pasta has become a bit like making your own tea bags … really, why? Egg noodles, dumplings - and, okay, ravioli, maybe - some of these are worth making because the handmade ones have a character that packaged versions lack. However, I've never made a pasta as good as a lot of the packaged Italian ones, nor am I a big fan of most fresh pasta anyway, egg noodles and ravioli (plus other stuffed varieties) excepted.
I got the meat grinder pasta maker combo a few years ago at BB&Beyond and finally tried the pasta maker for the first time a month or two ago. The first attempt was a disaster with the noodles sticking together. So I read some reviews and someone said to make the dough real dry. My second attempt I made the dough dry, and even dipped the balls of dough into flour before putting them down the extruder. This made the noodles really brittle and they broke way too easily. So again, FAIL. I then slept on it and was trying to think of a way to make the thing work. For my 3rd attempt, I used a small strainer to sift flour onto the noodles as they extruded out and finally SUCCESS! So here is my process once I have the extruder filled with dough: 1) With my right hand, I hold the strainer with flour over top of where the noodles extrude. 2) With my left hand, I turn on the machine and grab the noodles. They kinda pinch together and stick at this end, but that is OK. 3) As the noodles come out, I loosely hold them out PARALLEL to the floor, while sifting flour over top of them with my right hand. I kinda gently bounce the noodles a little bit as they come out so the flour disperses evenly. 4) Once the noodles are at the length I want, I stop the machine and cut them. 5) I quickly, but gently scoop up the end I just cut with my left hand. 6) I lay out the noodles on wax paper, and gently separate the noodles with my fingertips. They are not completely separated, but that is OK. 7) I cut the pinched end(s) off, and separate a little more where needed.
I know my explanation is kinda poor, but I tried to explain the best I could. Also, the last two times I made noodles, I just did them by hand in a bowl because I didn't feel like cleaning the mixer. I use the egg recipe in the manual, and I make sure it is nice and smooth and soft. The noodles still do not stick, as long as I use my method. I also learned to place a sheet of wax paper under where the noodles come out to catch my sifted flour and reuse it. I start with a half cup for sifting, and so far it is always enough.
Different sources use different weight equivalents for flour. The Kitchenaid pasta recipes are on the light side: 4 oz. per cup. I get the best results following the recipes that come with the press and weighing my flour.
Before I found that they were using 4 oz. cups, I had to adjust the pasta dough quite a bit.
I would only use the dedicated pasta press (KPEXTA) to extrude pasta. Having the pasta extrude vertically means a lot less work to keep the strands separate.
With the right recipe measurements, you shouldn't have to go to any extremes to dust the pasta with flour. Cut it before it coils up on the counter (or dust it as it coils), toss very quickly and briefly in a bit of flour you have waiting on the counter (I use a plastic cutting mat under the press). You don't always need to dust, depends on your recipe and the room humidity.
If you're making long noodles, hang them on a pasta dryer. I use the 'grandmother' type drying rack - a broom handle, cleaned and lying across a couple chair backs. For short shapes, just separate them on a plastic cutting board or other surface.
I lived in Rome three years and attended all kinds of cooking classes. Making pasta is my passion so here is my recipe for making reliable, predictable pasta.
With dough, as with all things flour, measurement is more important than eye-balling quantities.
For each serving I use 100 grams of flour and one large egg. Let the eggs sit outside the fridge until they get to room temperature (warm liquids mix better than cold liquids). Normally I tend to make 400 to 500 grams at a time.
You can use your Kitchen Aid mixer to make the dough although I use the "fountain method" on the tabletop too.
Beat the eggs and place in the KA mixing bowl with a little salt. Use the dough hook attachment and slowly add the flour while the hook is mixing. Mix at slow speed. I use a plastic spatula to scrape and push down the flour that sticks to the sides of the mixing bowl while the hook is turning. Careful!
At times you will wonder if it is too dry or if it will ever turn into a proper dough ball. Be patient. Let it mix while attentively pushing down the chunks of dough and encouraging them to mix. Five to ten minutes of mixing isn't unusual. If you should get impatient, you can always remove it all and knead by hand on a counter top while discarding some of the loose chunks and particles.
It takes a little practice so don't become discouraged. The number one mistake novices make is trying to extrude pasta that is too wet.
From experience I have learned that the dough in the beginning of the mixing process should always seem like it is going to be too dry - but keep at it. If you use the 100 grams of flour to 1 warm large egg ratio, you can't go wrong.
There are many ways to cut or extrude noodles and the KA pasta "extruder" attachment is a joke (a bad one). However, the pasta roller and cutter attachments work very well. There is no shortcut for making good pasta. But you can make home made pasta in under an hour and once you learn the basics, and practice the basics, you will be amazed how easy it is.
Here are some of my pasta sheets for duck ravioli.
If you want some more tips on pasta or Italian cooking feel free to contact me.
I make pasta with my KA and it comes out great. I have the Artisan. Even though the roller/cutter was more expensive, I rejected the extruder plates after reading reviews on Amazon -- you might want to check those out. BTW the fetuccine cutter works better than the spaghetti cutter, but I use the roller more than the cutters, for stuffed pasta and lasagna noodles.
I bought the meat grinder, but have not used it yet.
I love the meat grinder, but I would probably invest in a dedicated pasta attachment rather than use it for pasta too. If it works the way I think it does, the dough will be pushed through the holes in the metal disk, and I think that could be a little clumsy versus the regular pasta attachment.
The grinder is a good, not great, KA toy. However, the pasta extruder is a joke that's no better than cheapie plastic models that don't work. If pasta is what you want, get an old school Italian-made hand-cranked roller/cutter model. I've never seen a home appliance pasta extruder than worked.
I think I bought the meat grinder, fruit pureer and veggie slicer/grater for about $100. I think the pasta thingy was additional. The pasta thingy is only some extruder discs that fit on the meat grinder. I've not tried them because I already have a pasta extruder. In order to make pasta, you need a very dry crumbly mix and lots of torque. I am not sure the KA's are up to supplying the necessary torque for the extened time needed to produce a batch of pasta. We use the fruit puree to make sauces, ice creams and sorbets. I rarely use the veggie attachment since I have a 14 cup FP with all the cutting disks.
The meat grinder gets a fair amount of use in our house. We grind our own meats, for burgers meatloafs, meatballs and homemade sausage. I would assume the meat grinder includes the sausage horns and plate for stuffing sausage. We bought casings at the local sausage company so we can make our own.
I've used the grinder attachment on a KA commercial stand mixer, it plods along and does an okay job. The mixer gets warm pretty quick and grinding large amounts of meat (5 – 10 pounds) takes a couple of runs, as does stuffing the same size batches of sausage.
I just got this hand grinder http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/592334 The company claims it can grind 2 -3 pounds per minute, plan on making sausage this week.
That's high for the grinder attachment. Bed Bath and Beyond sells it for $49.95 last time I checked. Which mixer do you own ? The grinder requires all the power that you can muster from your mixer. If you have a lower wattage unit like a 325 or 400 watt unit, while the grinder will work on your mixer, there have been instances of a shortened life on the lessor mixers. All the pasta extruder is, is a tube with interchangeable plates that allow you to run dough through the grinder and push it through the plates as pasta. Again it works the machine hard. I love my grinder and use it often but I have a 600 watt machine and it does tax it to a small amount.