THE COOK’S TOUR
KitchenAid mixers. They are a MUST for every home chef developing a kitchen that trades off pricey boxed, for better basics, because it helps you put your A game into every dish that you create.
What does a mixer do? It mixes. It purées. It aerates. It kneads.
STAND MIXERS THAT STAND ALONE
The reason that you buy a KitchenAid is the motor. Powerful, with subtle control, you get a lot of control of the creativity of integrating foodstuffs. You also get it for a long, long long time. My old lift mixer, bought in 1985, proudly still makes mashed potatoes, kneads bread, and whips up meringues. I have a tilt mixer as well, with the glass bowl option that helps me work best with liquids.
You get two basic choices: Tilt mixer, or the lift stand. You get a few sizes, but the tilt caps at 5 qt., and the tilt goes up to about 6 qt. I would recommend the tilt, at the 5qt. size. It’s the best middle ground of size to convenience and capabilities.
There are metal work bowls, and a glass work bowl with a spout. If you can buy one, go with the metal, which handles regular beatings from a dough hook with the same ease as its beater. I bought the spout edition to augment my heavy duty mixer.
There are a range of attachments that, among other things, grind meat, make pasta, and slice vegetables. You can even use discontinued attachments, largely, because Kitchenaid has been making these mixers the same way for decades.
TILT AWAY FROM THE LIFT
Tilt or lift? If you have low ceiling counters, where the lift will fit, but the tilt will get caught under your shelving, go lift. Lifts go to a higher capacity, 6 qt., or even 8 qt.
Unless you have a need to do large, near commercial, volumes, the tilt is the best built. It has the best footprint, and it is much easier to get the attachments off, without a lot of mess and fuss.
Many home chefs will use the paddle, or the whisk, but neglect the dough hook. It’s a great way to knead everything from cinnamon rolls, and croissant, to loaves of bread. Bread seems very time consuming, but, if you learn how to make simple loaves, you’ll discover that you can bring amazing foods to your families that are more nutritious, and authentic. So keep the dough hook as part of your mixer arsenal!
A tougher, more efficient metal blade with a built-in scraper is a better way to go! It makes the machine more efficient, which makes it cooler, which is also an energy saver. Up to 50%!
If you buy one piece of equipment for your kitchen, this is it. In past years, these mixers sold for $500+. These days, places like Amazon have cut that price in half. The only “deal” that you can score on these is normally during a Black Friday, or an Amazon Fall or Summer sales event. I give it a solid five-diamond ChoiceStuff™ award for being the most steady, solid workhorse in your kitchen.