Learn how to choose the right beater for your Kitchen Aid Mixer. No more frustration or confusion about which beater is best for which project! Sign up below for a free printable cheat sheet on how to choose the right beater!
My parents received five mixers as wedding gifts. They kept them all. They tucked them away in the kitchen and whenever one would wear out, Mom would break out another.
Well, the last one finally bit the dust, after 40+ years of marriage. Mom, after having purchased one for both my sister and me, decided that a Kitchen Aid stand mixer was in her future and so we all chipped in to get her one for Christmas last year.
She loved it. Except for one tiny detail. Which beater was she supposed to use? Her other 5 mixers only had one kind of beater and now there were 3!
She used the flat beater when she was supposed to use the whip and couldn’t figure out why her angel food cake was flat. She used the whip when the flat beater would have made buttercream much easier. And then she was frustrated and didn’t want to use her beautiful new mixer at all!
Turns out, she’s not alone. Choosing the right attachment is part of the baking process but it can be frustrating and confusing when you’re not sure.
When do I use the flat/paddle beater?
I like to think of the paddle attachment as sort of the catch all beater. This is the beater you use for cookies, cakes, even meatloaf and sometimes mashed potatoes (depends on how many lumps you like).
This beater mixes the ingredients by smashing them against the side of the bowl. It mixes without adding too much air into the recipe. If your recipe calls for you to “cream” ingredients together, use the paddle attachment. If no attachment is indicated in the recipe, use the paddle attachment.
I use this beater so much, that I got the Flex edge paddle attachment in addition to the regular paddle attachment, so I don’t have to scrape down the bowl as much. It’s especially useful when creaming together butter and sugar.
Recipes that use the paddle attachment:
- Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt
- Mayonnaise Cake with German Chocolate Frosting
- Peanut Butter Cookies
When do I use the whisk beater?
The whisk beater is used for any recipe where you need to incorporate air into the batter. Pretty much anytime you would use a hand whisk, you would want to use a whisk attachment. This includes whipped cream, angel food cake, and some frosting recipes.
You shouldn’t use the whisk attachment for heavy batters or doughs because the wires could get bent or damaged. You also risk incorporating too much air into the recipe.
Recipes that use the whisk attachment:
When do I use the dough hook?
The dough hook is used to knead yeasted bread doughs. It is pretty much exclusively used for this purpose. If you have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, the dough hook could be shaped like a “C” or it could be shaped like a spiral. The mixer model type will determine the shape of your dough hook. They are not interchangeable.
The dough hook comes in especially handy if you’re making a yeasted dough that requires a lot of kneading. Some recipes require 10 minutes or so of kneading and the dough hook really saves your hands from aching.
Recipes that use the dough hook attachment:
Let’s talk about the dishwasher:
The white coated beaters (like mine above) are dishwasher safe. The non coated aluminum ones are not. The dishwasher will wear and discolor your beaters not intended for the dishwasher.
Wash your non-coated beaters with warm soapy water and be sad they aren’t dishwasher safe.
Let’s talk about chipping:
I have the white coated beaters and my dough hook after 10 years of use was chipping really badly. Kinda grossed me out. Chipping is caused when your beater is banging the bottom of your bowl when it isn’t supposed to. Raising your beater will help eliminate this problem.
Sign up below if you’d like me to send you a free cheat sheet on how to choose the right mixer beater-no more frustration! (I like to print off cheat cheats and put them in the front of my recipe binder, in case I have questions while I’m in the middle of a recipe project).
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