How To: 4 Reasons Why Your Stand Mixer Is More Versatile Than You Ever Imagined

4 Reasons Why Your Stand Mixer Is More Versatile Than You Ever Imagined

A lot of people like to trash stand mixers for being overpriced and rarely used kitchen appliances. As an avid bread baker I certainly don't agree with that assessment, but I understand where people are coming from. A good Kitchen Aid stand mixer costs a few hundred dollars, and if you only occasionally bake, you probably don't use it much, and therefore aren't getting your money's worth.

But what most people don't know is that stand mixers are one of the most versatile appliances in the kitchen. You can use them for a lot more than mixing dough, whipping cream, and beating eggs. The more you play with the diversity of your stand mixer, the more you'll enjoy it for the amazing tool that it is (and the better value it will be). Here are my favorite lesser-known uses for your stand mixer.

1. Shredded Meat

I didn't believe this when I first read it, but it's true: you can shred meat in your stand mixer, and it's the easiest thing imaginable. Just take your meat (it has to be tender and juicy—I prefer boiled chicken), and throw it in your mixer with all of your seasonings and flavorings.

Use the wire whip on medium-high speed, and within 15 seconds you'll have perfectly shredded meat and clean hands!

2. Utilize Your Attachments

The best way to get variety out of your stand mixer is to collect a few attachments for it. Whatever kitchen task you need done, chances are there's a stand mixer add-on for it. You can get a meat grinder, a sausage maker, a ravioli maker, an ice cream churner, and my favorite, a pasta maker.

Utilizing attachments not only increases the diversity of your stand mixer, but also saves you kitchen space. It's always more efficient to have one tool that does many things, than many tools that do one thing.

3. Make Marshmallows

Need I say more? Is there anything cooler than the idea of making your own marshmallows? And trust me: comparing a homemade marshmallow to the store-bought variety is like comparing a Ferrari to an old Datsun. They're that good.

Image by Sheri Chen/Flickr

And while you can make them by hand, it will take you about an hour and you won't feel your arm for days. Even an electric beater will take forever. But a stand mixer with a wire whip will get the marshmallows made in no time (and then you'll eat them in no time).

4. Mash Potatoes

Using your stand mixer for mashed potatoes is not only easy, but a great excuse to get rid of an unnecessary kitchen tool. A potato masher is big and clunky, and only serves one purpose; and since your stand mixer can serve that same purpose, you can go ahead and save space by getting rid of the masher.

Just throw some boiled potatoes in your mixer with all the other mashed potato ingredients, whip it up, and you'll have perfect potatoes in no time. Plus, the mixer makes the potatoes extra fluffy.

These are my favorite uses for my stand mixer, but I'm constantly finding new ways to use utilize the most diverse tool in my kitchen. Do you have any brilliant stand mixer uses?

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Photos by Brady Klopfer/Food Hacks (unless otherwise specified)

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