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I recently added a KitchenAid to my kitchen on Valentine's day, so that's the source of my question.

I know plenty of things can be done by hand or with a stand mixer. But recipes don't always mention when it's an option. So what general manual techniques should I try using the stand mixer for instead? And if I do, are there any adjustments I'll commonly have to make, or can I just throw things in and let it go?

For instance, when making pie crust I used to just dice a stick of cold butter and slice that into 8 oz of flour adding water a drizzle at a time until I got the consistency I wanted, then I would roll that up into a ball. But it can also be done with the stand mixer. I was making pie crust for chicken pot pies, and halfway through I said... hey, that's why I got a KitchenAid. I just tossed the whole unfinished mess into the mixing bowl and let the flat beater do it's job at speed 1. It seemed to work just fine and I rolled out perfect crusts. But the recipe in the instruction book was different from my normal crust (more ingredients).

  • Enjoy the mixer, they're fabulous for a lot of things. I'm not sure this question is really answerable (though perhaps someone will come up with a good way to answer it in this format) - it seems a bit too broad to me (as you could have a LOT of adjustments, depending on what you cook/bake/etc.). If I were you i'd limit the question by mentioning a few kinds of things you specifically bake/cook and are interested in knowing how a mixer affects. – Joe M Feb 17 '15 at 19:49
  • It's a shame that since this site went live, there's been the push for every question having only one answer ... this seems like it could be an opportunity to make a really useful resource for people new to stand mixers. – Joe Feb 17 '15 at 19:53
  • Skip the stand mixer when making a pie crust, you'll have better results with a food processor. Don't let the tool determine your course of action, rather use the right tool for the job...a stand mixer is great for breads, cookies, cakes, meringues, whipping cream...powering attachments...not so good at pie crust...too easy to over mix. – moscafj Feb 17 '15 at 20:22
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    @Joe I think it's possible to answer this question generally, like you did, but getting into specifics could fill an entire cookbook. Having that "cookbook" spread over a bunch of different overlapping answers, none of them complete and definitive, would be a terrible resource. – Ross Ridge Feb 17 '15 at 20:30
  • @moscafj well as it turns out we also got a cuisineart on the same day. We really like to cook. I secretly bought the kitchenaide artisan as a gift "to us". She also secretly bought the cuisineart "to us". When we started talking about it, I started getting worried we bought two of the same appliance. As it turned out it was obviously not the case, but we have some toys to play with. I also ordered pasta roller and cutters at the same time. I made fresh spaghetti last night. Fun and delicious. – Escoce Feb 18 '15 at 18:41
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I use mine for anything that needs to be kept fairly cool, but doesn't necessarily need to be "cut" the way the blade of a food processor does. Anything that requires mixing meat, in particular. Burgers, meatloaf, etc. retain a better texture when the meat isn't warmed by your hands. Aside from those, we mix ground meat for jerky and meatballs in the mixer.

Hope this helps. Enjoy your mixer!

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For the most part, you don't need to adjust your recipe.**

For breads that you typically have to knead for a very long time, however, I sometimes need to add a bit more flour. I assume this is to compensate for the lack of bench flour getting worked in while kneading. I also have to watch it fairly closely, as I've had too many times when the dough starts climbing out of the bowl as it's kneading.

** although, I've never tried pie crusts; I typically use a food processor for that, so it really 'cuts in' the butter.

  • the foodprocessor to cut sounds like a good idea. When I make crusts by hand I usually get impatient and just start smooshing it all together. The crust still come out great, but they aren't really cut together until ready. :) The cuisine art is a great idea I'l have to try. – Escoce Feb 18 '15 at 18:43

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