Your KitchenAid mixer will come with at least 3 standard beaters (accessories), depending on which model you choose. You can decide which part to attach to the beater shaft here:
Paddle (also called the flat beater)
This is your main tool; it's the multi-purpose beater that should be used for heavy mixtures such as:
- mashed potatoes
- cooked meat to shred
All KitchenAid flat beaters are dishwasher-safe.
The wire whisk is mainly used for incorporating air into:
- egg whites
- whipping cream
- angel food cake
Which whisks are dishwasher safe? The standard wire whisk (5K452WW) has stainless steel wires and a hub made of burnished aluminum. Because the hub is aluminum, this wire whisk is not dishwasher safe and repeated washing in a dishwasher may result in it becoming pitted and giving off a grayish residue.
The wire whisk (5KSM5THWWSS) for tilt-head mixers and the professional 11-wire whisk (5K7EW) are made entirely of stainless steel, and can therefore be cleaned in the dishwasher.
The dough hook is used for kneading yeast dough such as:
- bread dough
- pizza dough
- pasta dough
- coffee cakes
There are two styles of dough hook:
- 'C' dough hook
This is the original style of KitchenAid dough hook that gets its name from its "C" shape. It kneads the dough by pushing it off the side of the bowl. All tilt-head mixer models and some bowl-lift mixer models come with the "C" dough hook.
- PowerKnead spiral dough hook
This style of dough hook is shaped somewhat like a corkscrew. It kneads the dough by pushing it off the bottom of the bowl. The spiral dough hook is found on certain larger capacity bowl-lift mixers from KitchenAid. Warning: The spiral dough hook should only be used on mixers that come with it, because it was specially designed for specific models. Using it on a mixer that it was not designed for could cause damage to the mixer, even though it may appear to fit.
All KitchenAid dough hooks are dishwasher-safe.
Flex edge beater
The flex-edge beater is a coated, dishwasher-safe metal beater with a flexible edge. It provides faster and more thorough incorporation of ingredients and minimises the need to scrape the bowl. It also makes an excellent tool to wipe the bowl clean when pouring finished batters.
How will I know when to use a flex edge beater over a flat beater (paddle) in my recipes?
The easiest way to decide which beater to use is to read the recipe, and see if the directions read "stop and scrape the mixing bowl". If that's the case, then the recipe is a perfect candidate for the flex edge beater.
The flex edge beater does the best job on:
- Foods that tend to stick and /or collect to the sides of the mixing bowl, like cream cheese, butter, nut butters, and honey.
- Making creations that would be described as "creamy" or silky.
The paddle (flat beater) works best on:
- Foods that have texture.
- Making mashed potatoes that are smooth but not gummy.
- Quiche, vegetable casseroles, and many quick breads.
- For cutting stable fat-like lard, shortening, or butter into the flour. The fat encapsulated by the flour needs to retain its structure to produce the flaky texture that is so desired in items like pie crusts, biscuits, scones, and shortbread.
Whichever beater accessories your mixer comes with, you can purchase others if you need to reply or would like to upgrade them. Browse mixer parts here