In a commercial kitchen, a stand mixer is a true utility player. It kneads. It stirs. It whips. And it beats. Best of all, it operates hands free, allowing kitchen staff to turn their attention to other tasks.
Yet not every restaurant has one, because chefs and managers wonder if it’s worth investing the money and the kitchen space. That’s why we made the 8 quart/8 liter CPM800 stand mixer. It’s compact, so it saves counter space. It’s affordable and seriously durable, so you know it’ll be a worthwhile investment. And it can do more than you ever dreamed.
5 Creative Ways to Use a Stand Mixer
- Making brioche. You already know that a commercial stand mixer is indispensable for kneading traditional yeast breads. When you’re making a sticky, tricky dough that’s enriched with eggs and butter, the stand mixer is a superstar. Brioche dough requires lengthy kneading to develop the gluten, which is traditionally done with the “slap and fold” method. A heavy-duty stand mixer is a much easier (and neater) alternative.
- Shredding boneless chicken or other cooked meats. Shredding chicken by hand for nachos, barbecue or other menu items is a tedious and messy task. Chefs have discovered that a stand mixer can do the job in just one minute! Use the beater attachment, and add the chicken to the bowl after cooking, when it’s still warm. (This does not work, obviously, if the meat has bones or skin.)
- Mixing pie crust. For some bakers, it’s heresy to use a stand mixer to combine the fat and flour in a pie crust. “Some say a mixer toughens crust. Others say it doesn’t flatten the fat in just the right way,” writes baker PJ Hamel for King Arthur Flour. “Well, I’m going to tell you a little secret: I’ve been using my stand mixer to make pie crust for years.” She recommends beating the butter/flour mixture on a low setting until the mixture is “unevenly crumbly,” then adding ice-cold water.
- Flavoring butter. Serving flavored, house-made butter is one of those little things that’s guaranteed to surprise and delight guests. A stand mixer makes quick work of incorporating ingredients into softened butter: honey, sugar, fruit preserves, spices, dill, basil, chives, roasted garlic… A stand mixer can even make butter from scratch by beating heavy cream.
- Beating cake batter. “The Great British Baking Show” gave the world a sudden craving for sponge cake, and that’s what a heavy duty stand mixer was made for. The classic Victoria sponge is leavened by whipped egg yolks and egg whites, and only a stand mixer has the stamina to beat them for long enough. Once you’ve mastered Mary Berry’s recipe, try serving Japanese sponge cake or even a gluten-free version.
Head to Head: Which Machine Does it Best?
As you can see, a stand mixer is incredibly versatile — but it’s not the best tool for every job. Sometimes, you need more specialized equipment.
Whipped cream: While a stand mixer can whip cream (with the whisk attachment), the best and fastest way to make whipped cream for small batch applications is the AirWhip Frothing Jar, an essential accessory for high-performance blenders like the Quantum® and Eclipse™. Its specialized cone agitator maximizes aeration to whip cream or froth cold foam in seconds.
Egg whites: If you’re frothing them to top a drink (like a pisco sour), then the AirWhip is your best bet. Stiff, drier egg whites (for a meringue, say) can be made in a stand mixer.
Guacamole: Ooh, tough one. For traditional-style guacamole with luscious lumps of avocado, a stand mixer is probably best. For a smoother, pourable mixture (taco-shop guacamole, or guacamole taquero), run your tomatillos, garlic, onions, chiles, lime and avocado through a culinary blender.
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