Find out what attachments or accessories you can expect to get with a stand mixer, what they do, and which are worth having.
With everyone spending more time at home and in the kitchen these past few months, baking has soared in popularity. But if you’ve grown tired of making bread and cookies, and you have a stand mixer with attachments, there are some nifty add-ons you can try to create more interesting fare.
Stand mixer that has loads of extras, such as a food processing attachment or a blender, could be tempting as you’re getting three kitchen gadgets for the price of one. But if it does a less than brilliant job with these extras, or can’t make a decent cake, you’ll be left disappointed.
Once you’ve decided which attachments you want, make sure you check our independent stand mixer reviews before buying to find a model that suits your needs.
Most stand mixers will come with three standard attachments:
- Flat beater or mixer blade The most common attachment. This attachment is for combining any mixture that has a normal to heavy consistency. Use for cakes, biscuits, pastry, icing and even mashed potato
- Dough hook Suitable for kneading all kinds of dough and heavier pastries.
- Balloon whisk A large metal balloon whisk. Best for whisking egg whites, whipping, creaming ingredients or for light cake mixtures and batters. The large whisk incorporates much more air into the mix, but shouldn’t be used for heavy mixtures, as it could get damaged.
Full metal attachments are likely to last longer, and dishwasher-safe versions will make your life easier (cleaning a balloon whisk by hand can be fiddly). Better attachments have a small lip where the attachment slots into the mixer, to make it easier grip when removing without getting covered in cake mix.
Food processing mixer attachments
Additional accessories that are only available with certain models, or for an extra cost, include a range of food processing attachments that can expand the skill set of your mixer:
- Mini chopper For chopping nuts, herbs and spices.
- Slicer/grater Like a mini food processor attachment. Will slice and grate food.
- Citrus press For pressing fresh juice.
- Slow juicer Some mixers have a slow juicing attachment, so you can juice harder veg and fruit. Grinder or mill Grinds spices, pepper or dried fruit. Some mills can grind coffee, too, but check the instructions first.
- Meat mincer This accessory means you can mince your own meat and fish to make burgers, fishcakes, patés, terrines or meatballs. On some models, there’s a choice of a medium or coarse mincing screen, and an additional pipe attachment for making sausages.
- Pasta maker for making a variety of pasta shapes and spaghetti.
- Spiralizer KitchenAid makes a spiralizer attachment for their Artisan mixer.
- Biscuit cutter Some models let you churn out shaped biscuits.
- Ice-cream maker This is usually a freezable bowl which you can use with the main mixing tool to make your own ice-cream.
What to look for More established mixer brands such as Acekool, and KitchenAid have a wider range of attachments available to buy separately. If you aren’t sure what you want, it’s worth looking at mixers that have the option of buying extra accessories further down the line.
Whatever attachments you decide on, make sure you buy the best mixer. The most important thing is that it won’t let you down where it matters – with core baking jobs. Find out which mixers made it to the to of our tough tests, beating rival models to become Best Buy mixers.
It’s proven durability and classic look has made stand mixer a favorite amongst serious cooks, but do you know what our favorite thing is about it? THE ATTACHMENTS. With the help of these clever add-ons you can roll out and cut fresh pasta, mix up your own ice cream and even make your own burger grind. No need to buy a food processor – there’s an attachment for that!