I always tell people getting started in a kitchen to get an artisan stand mixer. Why? It will make baking easier, faster, and more enjoyable. And it’ll last you a long time too! That being said, there are certain ingredients that work better when using an artisan stand mixer and others that don’t. So here’s my list of things that work better with and without one:
-Base doughs such as pie crust or pizza dough: Artisan stand mixers usually whip the ingredients together more smoothly than hand mixing.
-Meringue for macaroons or lemon meringue pie: Whisking egg whites by hand can be tedious and tough on your wrist. An artisan stand mixer makes the process easier and quicker.
-Creaming butter and sugar for cookies: It’s much easier to cream butter with a paddle attachment than it is to do so with a spatula. Also, the texture will be much smoother as well.
-Whipping cream or egg whites by hand: An artisan stand mixer will whip them together more quickly and completely than you can by hand. Just make sure it’s not going too fast! It will cause your ingredients to heat up too quickly, which can cause the eggs to curdle.
-Preparing flax seeds to make homemade bread because it’s also much faster with a stand mixer.
-Defrosting frozen fruits or vegetables.
And here are the things that don’t work well with artisans:
-Whipping creams, meringues and egg whites by hand: They’ll have a tendency to go over toward the grainy side, which in turn makes them harder to incorporate into your mixture. And if you use too much air, the mixture won’t combine properly with other ingredients.
-Making whipped cream: The process will be extremely difficult and messy. You’ll have to hold back the bowl and the whip to let it spin up and then whip it by hand.
-Making meringues: Again, you’ll have to hold back the bowl and the whip. And who really wants to be holding onto a bowl while whipping egg whites??
-Using an electric hand mixer: This will take many minutes longer than using a stand mixer.
The hand mixer just doesn’t have enough power or capacity to do a good job in these situations.
-Preparing cookie dough for scooping: It can be difficult to mix ingredients together with an electric hand mixer, especially those with melted chocolate or butter.
-Preparing cookie dough for baking: With an electric hand mixer, you’ll find that it’s much more difficult to incorporate the melted fats and chocolate into your cookie dough. The electric hand mixer just doesn’t have enough power and capacity to do the job with these ingredients.
-Making farina: This has the same problem as cookie dough, i.e., you’ll find it harder to incorporate melted fats and chocolate into your recipe.
-Freezing fruits or vegetables for smoothies later: Artisan stand mixers tend to heat up frozen fruits during mixing. And if they thaw during mixing, they won’t be able to maintain their shape in a blender.
You know when you’re baking a cake and it says “switch to a paddle attachment and mix on low”? Well, that’s because the paddle is closer to the bottom of the bowl. So it can grab ingredients off of the sides, bottom, or corners more easily than if you had been using the whisk.
When making dough, for example, this is an essential tool for getting all of your flour incorporated without forming a massive flour cloud in your kitchen. Same goes for mixing soups or icing sugar with butter. And, of course, it makes you look like a pro in the kitchen.
Things That Work Better With An Artisan Stand Mix:
Dough. Seriously, who doesn’t need help making dough? Cookies? Pancakes? Bread?
Cake batter. Let’s face it – having the tool that’s designed for your task makes it easier to do. It glides through the bowl, taking ingredients with remarkable ease and getting everything incorporated evenly.
Moreish food snacks like pretzels, toast or popcorn. You have to keep the buttery, cheesy goodness moving while you eat it. And evenly. And somewhat quickly. It’s next to impossible with a hand mixer.
Onion rings and fried food in general. Getting your food into the right shape and onto both sides of the Breading without spilling a drop is extremely difficult – especially if you’re not using an Artisan Stand Mixer.
Ice cream and frozen dessert. If you’re making icecreams past the soft serve stage and have a hand-held mixer, prepare to find the churning paddle in a jumble of ice cream.
Pasta. Because most hand-held mixers are designed for light duty, it is impossible to handle flours that weigh in at more than 10% of your body weight.
This includes wheat and other gluten based flours like corn meal (like those used in the making of tortilla chips). Tortilla dough. You can use a traditional hand-led mixer for this, but it’s very difficult to do well because you’re on your own if you want to roll out your tortillas with any degree of control.
Mixing frosting with colors. If you’re making a multi-colored frosting and want it to be just so, this is the tool to use. Cake pops and soufflé. Seriously, do you know how hard it is to get the batter in and around the cake pop sticks? It’s very difficult indeed! Cheese balls or cheese crackers.
The Artisan Stand Mixer really comes into its own for this task because not only does it chop nuts more evenly, but you can add extra ingredients without getting them all over your kitchen counter as well. Peanut butter cookies or other flour based sandwich cookies . Because you want to evenly distribute the ingredients, it’s tricky with a hand mixer.
Homemade sticky toffee – because you want it to be even and perfect, just like they make at your local high street store. Making ganache and making caramel, both of which require you to use a lot of eggs in the mixture. These are all things that cannot be accomplished as well with a hand mixer alone.
You can read more about why I believe Artisan Stand Mixers should be mandatory for professional bakers here . But if you’re still not convinced, here are my top 5 reasons for purchasing an Artisan Star Mixer.
1. You will never again be the one who has to stir all the batter to ensure that it’s evenly mixed.
Think back to your favourite cake mix and how you had to stir it all together with a spoon. It’s a nightmare if you’ve got a gluten free recipe because all of your ingredients separate and run around everywhere, refusing to be evenly combined.
Fully 20% of the time I spent mixing cake batter was making sure that the dry ingredients were properly incorporated (and if you’re gluten-free, that increases significantly). If only you could mix the cake batter in minutes instead of hours! That’s what using an Artisan Stand Mixer does for you – it saves you time and energy.
2. The Artisan Stand Mixer is a precision tool designed to make anything that you give it . . . better.
Your family will never eat you out of house and home again if you can keep all the goodies in their mouths and not on the floor, your face or the dog. Which brings me to my next point – there’s no way that you can use a hand-held mixer for everything that the stand mixer does. It’s impossible – the Artisan Stand Mixer is just much more versatile.
3. You really can do so much with an Artisan Stand mixer!
It gives you pastry dough that’s even, beautifully textured and as easy as pie to roll out (or cut into shapes). It makes perfect biscuits every time. You can whip up the best cookies, cakes, breads and more in record time.
4. An Artisan Stand Mixer is the smartest kitchen toy you’ll ever buy
One of the things that I have learnt from writing my blog is that people love to read about cooking, baking and kitchen gear. There’s nothing better than a good tool or gadget review. When you read my articles, you know that I’m only going to tell you about stuff that works well – I would never recommend something if it wasn’t worth your money. And if you want to know about the stuff that does work, a Stand Mixer is always top of the list.
5. Your kitchen will be a happier place
Now that you’ve bought your new toy and are using it regularly, everyone will be using it because they know how good it is. And they’ll all want one. As a result, you’ll be making the extra effort to keep the kitchen clean, organized and well stocked with the things that you need.
If your usual cooking team consists of an impatient spouse and 2 kids-you will be surprised at how much more effort there is involved with this type of kitchen. But when you have an Artisan Stand Mixer in place, life will be a whole lot easier in the kitchen and as a result, so will your family!
What all can a stand mixer be used for?
A stand mixer is a kitchen tool that can be used for a variety of things. These are all the things I use my stand mixer, KitchenAid, for:
Unlike a hand mixer, the stand mixer works to do what it should – mix. By mixing ingredients together, you can be sure that everything is properly combined which makes all the difference in your recipes. With a hand mixer, you have to stop and mix by hand at times and if you forget, your recipe will not turn out well.
In cake recipes, the stand mixer is often used to make the batter. If you have ever used a hand mixer to make cake batter, then you know how hard it is to get it to mix evenly. With the stand mixer, you can be sure that your cake will turn out just right every time. But that’s not all a stand mixer can do – with proper attachments that are available for them, you can use your mixer for making frosting for your cakes as well! They also work great for mixing cookie dough as well as kneading pizza dough.
Baking bread is also a great thing to do in a stand mixer because it makes the kneading part very easy. Mixing up dough and batter can be difficult when you are making something like sticky toffee. The stand mixer gets the job done with ease!
Eggs are a common ingredient in baking. If you are making cakes or cookies, you will need eggs and lots of them. You can use your stand mixer to beat up the eggs quickly and easily. When I made my chocolate chip cookies, my stand mixer was used to get the eggs thoroughly beaten so that they were creamy and not chunky.
Is KitchenAid discontinuing the Artisan Series?
No, not at all. I know that you are worried that KitchenAid is getting rid of their Artisan Series of mixers. The main reason behind this concern is that they are being discontinued and, in some markets, replaced by cheaper models. In all honesty, I can understand why you might be worried about this – after all, you don’t want to buy a new mixer when your current one is still going strong!
What is the difference between artisan and classic mixer?
The difference between an artisan series mixer and the more classic models is that the former comes with multiple attachments that make life in the kitchen a lot easier. They can do more things than just mix – they have armatures which hold ingredients in place, whisks, balloon beaters which are used to beat air into your mixture as you mix and even dough hooks which are useful for kneading pizza dough. The most popular attachment is the stand mixer. The classic ones are less likely to have attachments like these. They are also made in smaller sizes than the Artisan Series.
What’s in a name – why is it called a stand mixer?
When you think about it, it’s not that strange that this type of mixer should be called a stand mixer. These models are built to be used while they are kept on the counter or table. With all of the different functions that these mixers have, they’re hard to hold while using all at once! Having a stand allows them to take on any number of kitchen tasks without taking up too much room – which is always nice when working in a small kitchen! Most models also come with casters so that you can easily move them around as well.
What can you mix in a stand mixer?
Everything! Seriously, the possibilities are endless when it comes to mixing. The great thing about this kind of mixer is that it can do much more than just mix. The Artisan Stand Mixer was designed to be a general tool in the kitchen and can be used for any number of things.
What attachments should you buy?
At first, you may think that you will only need one attachment – a dough hook – since that is what they are made for mostly. However, I have found that people usually end up buying more attachments because they find so many uses for them across the kitchen.
I hope my article on the Artisan Series of KitchenAid Mixers has given you the information that you need to make an informed choice about which one is right for you. The chances are that there’s a good chance that you will be very happy with your new purchase and will use it regularly, which translates into more happy people in your household.