Stand mixers frequently appear on holiday wishlists and gift registries, not just because they look great on your countertop (well, not only because they look great on your countertop). These appliances can assist you with numerous kitchen tasks and recipe steps.
It is common knowledge that stand mixers are ideal for making batter and dough, but their applications extend far beyond baking. So we asked professional chefs and culinary experts to share their lesser-known stand mixer applications. They provided ten suggestions, all of which will help you maximize the effectiveness of this expensive tool.
1.Shred chicken for nachos, enchiladas, and other dishes.
Yes, you can shred chicken with your hands and a couple of forks. However, according to chef and recipe developer Jessica Randhawa of The Forked Spoon, “shredding chicken by hand can be very time-consuming, especially if you are working with freshly cooked chicken and do not wish to burn yourself.”
She prefers to use a stand mixer with a flat beater/paddle attachment. “Shredding hot and freshly poached chicken breast, baked chicken, or even store-bought rotisserie chicken is a breeze with a stand mixer. Once the chicken has been shredded in a mixer, it can be repurposed into your preferred soup recipe or game-day chicken dip.”
2. Create some soft-serve ice cream.
It is a common misconception that specialized equipment is required to make homemade ice cream. However, Brew Smartly blogger Walton Holcomb informs us that he uses a stand mixer to produce soft-serve ice cream. “In the summer, I used my stand mixer less frequently because baking in my small apartment did not appeal to me. Then I discovered a recipe for simple soft serve made in a stand mixer, and I finally had an excuse!”
This soft-serve recipe requires dry ice, which can be obtained from supermarkets or online. It can be dangerous if not handled correctly, so this is not a recipe for young children (though they will likely enjoy eating it once it’s cooked).
3. Make homemade sausage.
Executive chef Devin Kreller of Wood in Chicago, Illinois, asserts that you can use a stand mixer to emulsify meats and fats for homemade sausages, even though making sausage by hand may be intimidating to home cooks without butchering experience. According to Kreller, a stand mixer is necessary when preparing emulsified sausages such as mortadella and bratwurst.
Bruce Moffett, chef/owner of Moffett Restaurant Group in Charlotte, North Carolina, explains that he also uses a stand mixer to emulsify sausage “When using a stand mixer to emulsify sausage, you must freeze the meat for thirty minutes. Remove the meat from the freezer and dice it into 1-inch cubes. Using the food pusher, grind them at medium speed with your mixer. After the meat has been ground, add your preferred liquid and spices to the mixing bowl and paddle for two minutes on high speed.”
4. Make a bunch of freshly whipped cream in a hurry.
When making fresh whipped cream, most home cooks use hand mixers. However, if you desire optimal results with minimal effort — particularly when whipping a substantial amount of cream — your stand mixer is the instrument to use.
“Without a standing mixer, whipping cream can seem like a hassle or a particular occasion activity, despite being delicious, luxurious, and incredibly easy to prepare. I am opposed to that. After all, it only takes a couple of minutes and a standing mixer to enjoy fresh whipped cream with sweet berries and feel like you’re living the high life. I’ve been relying heavily on this snack recently. “Lisa Chernick, a cookbook author and kitchen organization expert states: You must use the whisk attachment to create whipped cream.
5. Scramble enough eggs to feed a family.
Try this tip from executive chef Kyle St. John of The Ranch at Laguna Beach in Laguna Beach, California, for quick preparation of a breakfast that can feed an entire family. “Unexpectedly, I also use my stand mixer to whisk eggs. When preparing scrambled eggs, omelets, or even a quiche for a large group of friends or family, whip many eggs on low to medium speed using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer. This will save time and ensure that the eggs are thoroughly combined. Add a little cream to your eggs while they’re being whisked to make them extra light and airy; my favorite trick is to finish cooking scrambled eggs with cream fraiche folded in for added richness.”
6. Turn aquafaba into a vegan-friendly alternative to eggs.
Aquafaba, also known as the liquid in a can of chickpeas, is an incredibly versatile vegan cooking ingredient. Food blogger and author Judy DeLorenzo of a Life Well Planted uses a stand mixer to prepare her aquafaba for cooking. “Aquafaba can be whipped to a magical, meringue-like consistency utilizing a stand mixer. Aquafaba is used as an egg substitute and in preparing sweet and savory dishes. However, it takes 10 minutes to whip it into a stiff meringue, so it is prudent to use a stand mixer for this task, “She elucidates.
7. Obtain the ideal texture for salad dressing.
It may not seem challenging to whisk a salad dressing by hand, but if you want to avoid oil and acid separation, you’ll need a faster and more consistent blending speed than you can achieve with your arm alone.
Risa Magid Boyer, a chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author recommends using a stand mixer for salad dressing. “You can make a well-emulsified salad dressing with a stand mixer! If you don’t have a blender or keep your mixer on the counter, it’s easier to whip up salad dressing if you use a mixer. Whisking quickly and slowly pouring in oil can be difficult to perform [by hand] without the bowl escaping.”
8. Replace store-bought tortillas with homemade alternatives.
Chef and kitchen equipment blogger Brian Casey of Knifegeeky admits that he wasn’t initially convinced of the necessity of a stand mixer in his home kitchen because he’s not a big baker. Still, he considers his mixer an indispensable tool for his favorite dinner tradition: taco night.
Casey uses the mixer to shred meat, prepare guacamole, and make homemade tortillas. “They require only corn masa and water. To prevent your hands from becoming sticky, place the masa in a stand mixer and add a few tablespoons of water until it has the consistency of Play-Doh. There is no need for a dough hook; the paddle attachment will suffice. Use a tortilla press or your hands to flatten the tortillas, and if you want to make them extra special, add herbs and spices to the dough “, He claims.
9. Milling your grain will elevate home baking to the next level.
Many individuals have recently been motivated to hone their baking abilities, learning to bake everything from cakes and cookies to sourdough loaves and croissants. If you have a stand mixer and are looking for a new baking-related challenge, consider milling your artisanal flour.
“If you make your flour, the quality and flavor of the recipes you’ve been using for years will significantly improve. You receive fresh flour that contains all the grain’s nutrients to enhance the overall flavor of the meal. Attach the grain mill attachment [to your stand mixer], select a setting (from coarse to fine), and mill the amount specified in the recipes. “Chris Riley, recipe developer and co-founder of The Daring Kitchen, provides advice.
10. Mix epoxy resin for woodworking projects.
Sean Andrade, chef, sommelier, and CEO of AWG Private Chefs, tells us that his favorite unconventional way to use a stand mixer does not result in edible food, despite having a solid connection to the kitchen. If you frequently use epoxy resin to coat your woodworking projects and you are an avid woodworker like Andrade, then you should mix your epoxy resin in a stand mixer. “I have indeed completed the task. I acquired a paddle attachment and bowl of dubious quality for use in my artistic endeavors. I use these specific items to mix epoxy volumes when making resin-coated charcuterie cutting boards, etc. [The stand mixer] keeps the resin fluid, preventing it from setting while I work on the project, “says Andrade.
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