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9 Helpful Ways to Put Your Stand Mixer to Work Regularly

Consider yourself lucky if you own a new KitchenAid stand mixer (or a refurbished model). I used to think this giant kitchen tool just took up a massive amount of space on the kitchen counter and a hand mixer or food processor could do the job just as well. Then, I got one and I was completely amazed. There are so many stand mixer recipes that go way beyond just mixing up a batch of chocolate chip cookies or a chocolate cake recipe. You won't believe the number of things to make with a KitchenAid mixer.

Using your stand mixer will make your favorite recipes so much easier. Here are just a few ideas to get you started using your new stand mixerBut don't stop with our suggestions - now that you have one, play around with some creative ways to make your favorite foods and find some new stand mixer recipes!

Here are nine ways to use your stand mixer in all your best recipes (and how to find some new ones).

1. Easily shred chicken breasts.

This way to use a stand mixer for my weeknight standby recipe really blew my mind the first time I read about it. I've spent my entire chef's career hand-shredding chicken - why wasn't I using the KitchenAid with the paddle attachment? All you need to do is flip the switch and the mixer does all the work for you.

Place your cooked chicken in the bowl of the KitchenAid while they're still warm. You can use any of the attachments, but I think the paddle attachment works best. Turn the mixer on and let the gadget shred away! This trick should work with pulled pork or shredded beef, too.

2. Make pizza or bread dough.

Bread dough being mixed in a heavy duty mixer.

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I love spending hours kneading homemade bread...but I'm a trained chef, and cooking is all I do! Using the KitchenAid stand mixer completely demystifies the process and makes it really easy for home cooks. Each mixer comes with a dough hook attachment that clips in instead of the paddle attachment, and this will knead for you. After you combine your ingredients in the bowl, you just let the stand mixer do all the kneading work for you. No more sore wrists!

For best results, place the dry ingredients in the bowl first and turn the machine on to mix them together. Then, drizzle in the wet ingredients in a slow, steady stream until they are fully incorporated. Let the dough continue to mix for the prescribed amount of time (usually 10 minutes) and voila - instant bread or pizza dough!

3. Whip your mashed potatoes into shape.

Mashed potatoes are one of the simplest recipes, but using a stand mixer will make it even easier. I used to overwhip my potatoes all the time using a hand mixer. The beaters on hand mixers overwork the starches in the potatoes, which leads to gummy mashed potatoes. The paddle attachment of the KitchenAid mixer applies the perfect amount of pressure, and you get to control the whipping speed, too.

To make a Kitchenaid mixer recipe with potatoes, boil your potatoes like normal before draining them and placing them in the bowl of the stand mixer. Add your butter and give it a good whip to melt the butter and let the fat bond with the starch molecules. Then, with the machine running, slowly drizzle in your warmed heavy cream. Or, if you prefer, add sour cream instead. Season it up with salt and pepper and it's ready to serve!

4. Whip cream or churn butter.

If you've ever whipped cream by hand, you know what an ordeal that is. I also hate whipping cream using a hand mixer because the liquid sloshes around outside the bowl and makes a mess out of my kitchen. No thanks! Using the whisk attachment of the KitchenAid, it's super easy to make whipped cream or go even further and make butter. If you have a glass bowl, it's really cool to watch the process in action.

Pour cold, heavy whipping cream into the bowl of the stand mixer. Use the whisk attachment and turn the mixer on high. Whip the cream until stiff peaks appear and a spoon can stand up in the whipped cream. To make butter, keep going until you hear the cream release its buttermilk. It'll go perfectly with your homemade banana bread.

5. Whip those egg whites.

Whipping egg whites in professional kitchen mixer in a restaurant

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Similar to whipped cream, making meringue is definitely an arm workout. No longer! Using the whisk attachment, the stand mixer makes it easier than ever to whip up your egg whites for any recipe. You can use them for making meringue cookies or cakes, or you can use those frothy egg whites to mix into batters to make the fluffiest cakes and waffles.

Place your egg whites in the bowl of the stand mixer with the whisk attachment secured. Turn the machine on to medium-high speed and whisk until soft peaks appear. Then, fold in your sugar (if using) and increase the speed. Continue whisking until stiff peaks.

6. Make your own ground beef or sausage.

If you're wondering what a professional chef thinks about the grinder attachment, I have to say: I love it. I've made so much sausage using this thing! Although the sausage stuffer attachment isn't really professional-grade, the food grinder works perfectly. Just make sure your meat is almost frozen before getting started to prevent the mixture from getting too warm.

Cut your meat into long, thin strips and place them in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour. You don't want them frozen, but they shouldn't be warm, either. Attach the grinder and turn on the mixer. If you're making sausage, add the seasonings to the meat before running them through the mixer. Add the meat strips to the grinder one at a time, positioning the bowl underneath the grinder to catch the meat.

Once you've ground your own meat, you can make meatballs, Italian sausage, meatloaf, or really whatever your favorite recipe is. Using a stand mixer to get things started will make your whole cooking process so much easier.

7. Make your own fresh pasta.

It's totally worth the $125 to splurge for the 3-piece pasta roller and cutter attachments. I know a lot of professional chefs (myself included) that make pasta this way at home. You'll see it on TV cooking competitions, too! The KitchenAid completely transforms into a functional pasta maker with a few simple pasta attachments, making any pasta recipe easier with the use of a stand mixer.

Make your pasta dough (either using the dough hook or kneading by hand). After it has rested for at least an hour, cut the dough into four pieces. Attach the pasta roller and turn the machine on. Run the dough through, starting at the thickest setting (1) and continuing until it reaches the desired thinness (usually, the second to last setting). Then, attach the cutter and run the sheet through to cut it.

8. Churn your own ice cream.

Now that you have a stand mixer, you don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on an ice cream maker. The KitchenAid can easily be transformed into an ice cream maker when you buy the ice cream maker attachment. I have one of these for my stand mixer, and it works for any recipe that makes high-quality ice cream.

Freeze the bowl overnight. Make your ice cream custard and allow it to cool to room temperature. Set the bowl into the mixer and attach the mixing pieces. Turn on the machine and slowly pour in the ice cream custard. Allow the mixer to run until you hear a clicking noise - this usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the ice cream to a container and freeze for 1 hour before eating.

9. Make your own frosting.

Sure, you can buy pre-made frosting to go with your favorite cupcake recipe, but making your own is so much better. Play with flavors and the amount of sugar, plus you can switch from buttercream to cream cheese frosting to a fluffy peanut butter frosting to an orange-cranberry glaze for your famous cinnamon rolls or doughnuts so easily. You can also use your stand mixer to make homemade marshmallows with this easy recipe.

KitchenAid KSM3311XAQ Artisan Mini Series Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

READ MORE: When To Use The Paddle Attachment on Your KitchenAid

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This article was originally published on June 23, 2018.