KitchenAid Stand Mixer: From a Kitchen Work Horse to THE Holy Grail

*The heavens open up with angels singing*  In other words, we’re discussing the KitchenAid stand mixer.  It is my Holy Grail kitchen appliance! Now, I could shout from the rooftops all day about how amazing this one appliance is, but people tend to turn to me for advice because I will give it to them straight, and the lawyer in me needs proof and facts for just about everything, even making the right investment in a small kitchen appliance.  I want YOU to get the most out of this one appliance that is pretty expensive but lasts a lifetime.  This thing can do anything and everything!

First up, price shop around, people!  This can be said for almost every purchase you make in life, certainly more expensive, “big-ticket” item purchases you’ll make.  The KitchenAid website itself seemed to be the most expensive.  Brick and Mortar chains like Kohl’s and Macy’s tend to offer deals that you need to look out for with the possibility of combining with Kohl’s cash or Macy’s reward coupons (see stores for details).  QVC is a great go-to for many items for the ability to use “Easy Pay” which is essentially monthly payments toward the item, like layaway, except you receive the item immediately after purchasing it in your shopping cart and there’s no interest gathering.

My mixer.  Isn’t it a beaut?  It’s “Aqua Sky” and matches our other KitchenAid accessories and my Frenchie apron.   It MAY or MAY not even match my front door.  IMG_20161224_09050946916683814_10102483124251122_8543809888438650035_n

The mixer was a Christmas gift from my amazing boyfriend, and he knows how to shop around as well.   Where did he get it?  Amazon.  In fact, my awesome mother agreed and went on to get me two birthday presents in February.  She shopped around and found Amazon to be the cheapest as well.  Of course, there’s always free shipping if you’re an Amazon prime member.  She was able to get me the ice cream attachment and ravioli attachment for ALMOST the price of getting ONE accessory.  IMG_20170204_104043023_HDR In addition, he purchased a separate warranty if you’re worried about the issue of warranty not purchasing directly from the manufacturer.

Mine came with the stainless bowl, so let me help you right off the bat before you start off on the wrong foot.  There are multiple forums dedicated to the issue of a grey or silver substance coming off of the bowl and into your food the very first time you start making something – especially if what you’re making is white.  KitchenAid tells us that it’s harmless and is part of the “mechanical polishing process…used in stainless steel bowls to make them shiny.”  They offer up a product that may help, but we used the food-safe alternatives of a baking soda paste or a lemon + salt scrub.  We did both using a nylon bristle scrub brush, tried one then would wipe it with a paper towel and was still getting the residue.  Then we moved onto scrubbing it rather VIGOROUSLY with the lemon + salt combo.  We were STILL getting residue on a white paper towel.  We just kept going with more and more batches of the lemon + salt combo until eventually we didn’t see grey or silver anymore.  Lastly, we tested the bowl by using flour + water to see what color the flour would turn – voila – no grey or silver residue!

So, that is my one complaint with the mixer since it appears to have a problem right out of the box and many others with that problem from years ago, which means they haven’t fixed the issue.  Aside from that though, I actually have no other qualms after using it and multiple attachments for 3 months.  You may find yourself wanting the glass bowl and avoid the stainless altogether.

We then felt the need to adjust the flat beater using the “dime” test.  This will help with your clearance between the beater and the bowl.  Not only will this help with the grey residue from the stainless steel bowl but will also help the white coating stay on your flat beater. For the video on the “dime” test, click here.

To keep your KitchenAid mixer looking brand new forever and give it that “Holy Grail” vibe, I wipe it down after every use with a damp kitchen towel.  You’ll find that some parts and accessories are hand wash only while others are top rack dishwasher safe.  To err on the side of caution, I hand wash everything and immediately dry after use so no metal parts can get rusty. In fact, I now have such a huge collection that I honestly can’t remember which is dishwasher safe without pulling out the manuals for each accessory and attachment, so I just handwash regardless.

Because I have a stainless steel bowl instead of a glass bowl, I hand dry with a soft kitchen towel, so it doesn’t dry leaving water spots, as this is out on display 100% of the time.  Don’t be lazy.  It’s part of that “Holy Grail” look.  Brushes come with a lot of the dough attachments so wait for your dough to dry on the attachment and brush it off – it will come off in flakes instead of wet sticky batter.  A special tool comes with the juicer attachment that makes juices, tomato sauce, and jams, in order to clean the little mesh screens where your pulp and seeds will collect and gather.

PhotoGrid_1489363178824Tips & Tricks to go from a work horse to the “Holy Grail”:

  1.  The splashguard (pictured above) is great for flour that kicks up at you, but some people just drape a wet towel over the bowl (a shower cap to keep dust out when not in use).   Don’t use anything if you haven’t applied powder after your foundation that day. Nah, it doesn’t kick up that bad.
  2. The mixer itself is very heavy and hard to slide toward you to use and then slide back when not in use.  Add a kitchen towel to slide under it or a cutting board!
    • What I haven’t seen and would like to try myself, is a plant stand on casters!  If you have enough cabinet clearance, I would suggest obtaining a flat plant stand on casters to roll it where you need it on the counter top.
  3. Finagle the extra cord length you may have with any cord gathering accessory you’d normally buy for your earbuds or other electronics.
  4. NOT JUST FOR BAKING: Use the flat batter to shred chicken or pork instead of using forks by hand or even to “mash” potatoes or hard-boiled eggs into egg salad.
  5. NOT JUST FOR BAKING: Use the dough hook for a softer-textured meatloaf.
  6. To organize, I keep an entire cabinet for just my accessories and attachments in the same cabinet next to the mixer so it’s all within easy reach.  My brushes for cleaning and manuals are all housed there as well.
  7. Use command hooks to free up space and hook up the paddle, whisk, and dough hook.
  8. For ice cream, keep the ice cream bowl in a freezer before using, at least overnight.Screenshot_20170312-160558
  9. For the pasta attachment, start out slow in speed flattening out the dough each time, moving up one speed at a time slowly.  If you have an eggy recipe, constantly flour your dough and attachment each time you run it through so it doesn’t stick.IMG_20161229_185904660
  10. For the juicer, start out with small pieces of fruit to juice then gradually add more.
    •  There’s a pitcher with measurements on the side where your juice goes to collect during the process, pop the lid on it to take to your fridge to serve from, saving less dirty dishes. IMG_20170218_120247449

Stay tuned for individual recipes and tips for that individual attachment.  The most exciting thing coming up for the canning season is simplifying the process of taking the skin off and removing pulp from tomatoes (for canned tomatoes & sauces) in the summer with the juicer attachment.  Leave a comment with your tips, tricks, and hacks below for how to turn this one appliance from a work horse into the Holy Grail.

If you’re looking for something to make her puuuuur, try the Artisan Black Tie Limited Edition mixer.  There’s only 500 to be sold.  You can’t go wrong.  ME-OW.

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