If you're contemplating a flurry of baking, say for whipping up a variety of homemade goodies for the holidays, your bowl mixer (also known as a stand mixer) is fantastic for saving time and muscle fatigue. While you've got one batch of ingredients in the mixer, you can be busy measuring out the components for your next recipe. But if you haven't taken your mixer beyond cake batter and bread dough yet, you're missing out on a whole world of culinary possibilities. With a few accessories, your bowl mixer can save you time, money and space by doing the work of other kitchen tools.
Read on to see what accessories we've found to be must-have additions to our stand mixers.
Even if baking is your passion, and your only plan for using your bowl mixer is whipping up cake batter or cookie and bread dough, you still need one accessory beyond the standard beater, dough hook and whip. Adding a pouring shield to your mixer will make life much tidier. It's not for pouring out; it's for pouring in.
The pour shield clips onto your mixer bowl, covering most of the bowl but leaving room for the beaters to work. There's a spout that lets you add ingredients as the beater spins, like for those recipes that tell you to gradually add flour. The shield catches the flour clouds and batter splatters that fly up under the spinning beaters and keeps them inside the bowl. From a cleanup and labor-saving standpoint, a pour shield is the essential accessory.
Put the powerful stand mixer motor to many other uses with the accessories on the following pages.
If you want to cut your food bill, add a food grinder to your stand mixer. With this accessory, you can break down large cuts of meat, like a whole turkey breast, and make freshly ground beef, chicken, pork -- even game meat -- for fraction of the grocery store price. Then use the leftover meat bones to make a savory stock that's great for soups.
Meat isn't all it grinds: You can put bread, nuts and cheese through it, choosing whether you want a coarse or fine texture.
Adding to the must-have factor of the food grinder is the fact that several other attachments work with this one, including a sausage stuffer and food strainer.
Have you ever tried making perfectly uniform slices of fruits and veggies for party platters? The stand mixer's slicer accessory performs this tedious job in a fraction of the time, giving you uniform results without risking your fingers on sharp blades. Just load your food from the top, and the spinning slicer does all the work.
Switch out the slicer cylinder for the shredder, and you can zip through cabbage, carrots, coconut, nuts and hard cheese for freshly grated slaws, recipe ingredients and toppings.
Love pasta? Check out the next page.
Carb lovers, rejoice! With pasta accessories, you can make fresh pasta from angel hair to lasagna. A variety of cutting blades let you form several sizes of strand pasta and a few tube pastas, like macaroni and rigatoni.
Some pasta accessory designs extrude noodles from a dough ball; others work from sheets of dough that you can roll nice and flat with the pasta roller accessory. There's even a ravioli maker, which feeds two sheets of dough through the press, pausing to let you add your own custom blend of stuffing, and then sends out perforated sheets of the fresh dough pillows. It's as much fun to make as it is to eat.
Speaking of fun, see the next page for our last essential mixer accessory.
Ice Cream Maker
Why is the ice cream maker on our must-have accessory list? Because after you mix up the birthday cake batter, you can slide the insulated ice cream bowl onto your stand mixer and start freezing your favorite flavor. There's no need to hunt down, lug out and clean up that bulky old ice cream maker.
A great companion to the ice cream freezer bowl is the Water Jacket. The Water Jacket fits under the bowl on the stand with lots of space around the sides. Fill it with ice to keep your ice cream freezer bowl extra-cold or to keep whipped cream from softening or pie crust dough from getting warm. You could also fill it with hot water to keep potatoes warm while the mixer mashes them (if you haven't used a mixer for mashing potatoes, it works great).
Accessories greatly expand the usefulness of your bowl mixer. The accessories we listed are our favorite, but there are many more to choose from to get even more mileage out of your stand mixer.
HowStuffWorks gets cooking with the Instant Pot, the next generation of the pressure cooker.
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- Cancel Nations Stamp Company. "Celebrate the Century." (Sept. 17, 2011) http://www.cancelnations.com/cnations/library/celebrate_the_century/
- KitchenAid. "The KitchenAid Stand Mixer: Ninety Years of Quality." KitchenAid Best Loved Recipes. (Sept. 17, 2011) http://www.kitchenaid.com/assets/pdfs/press/1342500_KAtimeline.pdf
- Virtual Stamp Club. "Celebrate the Century -- 1930's." (Sept. 17, 2011) http://www.virtualstampclub.com/century4.html
- Williamson, Samuel H. "Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount, 1774 to Present. Measuring Worth. 2011. (Sept. 17, 2011). http://www.measuringworth.com/uscompare/result.php?use%5B%5D=DOLLAR&use%5B%5D=GDPDEFLATION&use%5B%5D=VCB&use%5B%5D=UNSKILLED&use%5B%5D=MANCOMP&use%5B%5D=NOMGDPCP&use%5B%5D=NOMINALGDP&year_source=1919&amount=189.00&year_result=2011