KitchenAid Stand Mixer on countertop

Small Appliances

How to use a Stand Mixer in 9 Easy Steps

Homeowners love KitchenAid® stand mixers for a reason. The versatility of these appliances means they can be used for a wide range of baking and cooking tasks. In any kitchen, a stand mixer can become the center of activity, helping passionate cooks, bakers, dabblers, and experienced chefs alike.

To achieve the best results with your electric stand mixer, it is important to understand how to use it.

Learn how to use a stand mixer so you can get the most out of your new kitchen appliance and uncover all of its potential in the process. We will explore stand mixer uses, mixing tips, accessories, and more.

STEP 1: SET YOUR STAND MIXER ON A FLAT SURFACE

Stand mixers should be placed on a flat, hard surface like a counter top. Keeping your ingredients stable will help them blend more consistently.

Mixers can be stored on shelves or in cupboards when not in use. If you’re short on counter space, consider a mini stand mixer that is lighter and more compact than other stand mixer models. When you need to store it away, it is easier to move around since it occupies less counter space. Alternatively, many owners prefer to keep their stand mixer on their counter at all times so that it's ready to use whenever they feel inspired. With so many colors, styles, and bowls to choose from, it is possible to design a stand mixer that not only complements your countertop, but adds style as well.

KitchenAid stand mixer with cupcake mix

STEP 2: SELECT AND ATTACH THE RIGHT ACCESSORY

Prepare the recipe with the right accessory. KitchenAid® stand mixers come with a variety of mixing accessories to perform your preferred task: stirring, mixing, beating, whipping or kneading.

You’ll choose one of three accessories:

Flat Beater
This is your main accessory for most mixing, stirring, and blending jobs. You can use the beater when making any kind of batter, such as cake batter, brownie batter, donut batter, or waffle batter, or when you are making cookies or mashing potatoes. Additionally, this is your go-to recipe for making pastry, biscuits, scones, or pie crust with a stand mixer. Other uses include shredding chicken, mashing and mixing guacamole ingredients, and many other savory preparations. For added scraping ability, the Flex Edge Beater features a flexible side that reduces the need to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

KitchenAid stand mixer flat beater accessory

Dough Hook
Use your C-shaped or spiral dough hook to knead doughs. When making bread, pizza dough, pasta and pretzels, this accessory is the right tool for you.

KitchenAid stand mixer spiral dough hook

Whip
Compared with hand whisking, the whip accessory provides more strength (and quicker results). It incorporates air into your ingredients for recipes requiring aeration. The whip can be used to make whipped cream, meringue, souffles, and omelets.

KitchenAid stand mixer whip

KitchenAid® stands mixers come with a bowl, a flat beater, a whip, and a dough hook. For even more possibilities, you can buy additional accessories and bowls. Or, shop the above accessories in different materials to suit your preference. Shop all KitchenAid® stand mixer accessories to find accessories compatible with your stand mixer.

Once you've selected the correct accessory, you can easily attach it to your stand mixer. Each attachment fits under your mixer's head, whether it's a tilt-head mixer or a bowl-lift mixer. A tilt-head stand mixer's head can be unlocked by sliding the lever and twisted backward to attach an accessory. If you have a bowl-lift model, you will reach underneath.

TO ATTACH YOUR BEATER, WHIP, OR DOUGH HOOK:

  1. Turn speed control to OFF and unplug the mixer.
  2. Locate the beater shaft under your stand mixer’s head. Line up the pin on the shaft with the notch on the accessory and slide it over the shaft and up as far as possible.
  3. Ensure that the accessory is secure by turning it counterclockwise.

STEP 3: SECURE YOUR MIXING BOWL

Whether you use a bowl-lift or tilt-head stand mixer will determine how you secure the bowl. Whatever bowl you use, whether glass, stainless steel, or ceramic, the technique is the same.

TILT-HEAD STAND MIXERS
KitchenAid® tilt-head stand mixers have a head that raises and lowers to make placing or taking out the bowl simple. For this type of stand mixer, the bowl is clamped onto a metal plate on the bottom of the mixer.

Blue KitchenAid stand mixer

To attach bowl:

  1. Align your KitchenAid® mixing bowl of choice (including stainless steel, glass, and ceramic bowl styles) with the bowl-clamping plate.
  2. Once you have it in place, gently push downward and twist clockwise from above. Test by pulling upward slightly or attempting to wiggle it. In a properly positioned bowl, no movement should occur. If you get any play, repeat steps to ensure it is firmly in place.

BOWL-LIFT STAND MIXERS
With KitchenAid® bowl-lift mixers, specially designed mixing bowls snap onto the mixer's support arms to provide stability and support for large batches of food. The ingredients are brought to the beater by raising or lowering the bowl.

Red KitchenAid bowl-lift stand mixer

To attach bowl:

  1. Turn speed control to OFF and unplug the Stand Mixer.
  2. Put the bowl-lift handle in the DOWN position.
  3. Position bowl supports over locating pins.
  4. Press down on the back of the bowl until you hear the pin snap into the spring latch. You should get an audible “snap” if done correctly.

To raise bowl:

  1. Rotate bowl-lift handle upwards slowly to the desired position.
  2. Bowl must be securely in the locked position before mixing.

To lower bowl:

  1. Rotate handle back and down.

NOTE: Do not raise the bowl or lower the head just yet. It’s time to add your ingredients to the bowl.

STEP 4: ADD YOUR INITIAL INGREDIENTS

A tilted back stand mixer head, or a lower mixer bowl, makes adding ingredients simpler. You will have plenty of space to work in this position and be able to measure ingredients accurately.

When adding dry ingredients, the Sifter+Scale Attachment accurately measures, thoroughly sifts and automatically adds ingredients directly to your mixer bowl in just one step—no need to lower the bowl or tilt the head back. If you want to achieve consistent and fluffy results, this attachment will be a great choice.

KitchenAid stand mixer with sifter+scale attachment
PRO TIP

Make sure you add your ingredients in the right order-with many recipes; this step is crucial to success. It may be necessary to add some ingredients after the mixing process has begun, depending on the recipe. If that’s the case, stir gradually to avoid messes and ensure that the mixture is blended evenly.

STEP 5: TURN YOUR MIXER ON AND SELECT THE CORRECT SPEED

KitchenAid® stand mixers offer 10 different speeds to help you achieve the best results for your recipe. The combination of the right accessory with the right speed enables you to create everything from homemade whipped cream to expertly kneaded breads.

  1. Lower the head of your tilt-head stand mixer and slide the locking lever to the locked position or raise the bowl of your bowl-lift mixer to the up position, using its lever.
  2. NOTE: The motorhead should always be kept in the LOCK position when using the stand mixer. Begin by sliding your stand mixer’s speed lever to the first position, which “turns it on.”
  3. Slowly adjust the speed lever until you reach the correct speed for your task, depending on your recipe.
KitchenAid stand mixer with ceramic bowl
PRO TIP

Choosing the right speed for each task is important. A faster speed does not mean your dish will be ready sooner. In fact, each speed on your KitchenAid® stand mixer helps achieve a particular result depending on the recipe and contents.

WHAT’S THE BEST STAND MIXER SPEED?

  • Slower speeds (1-2) are designed for gentle stirring and mixing. The slowest speed is appropriate for adding ingredients such as flour and milk, and the second speed is appropriate for making thin, splashy batters or preparing mashed potatoes. This is also the speed for kneading dough with your hook.
  • Medium speeds (4-5) are useful when mixing batter until it’s smooth or ensuring all dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed in. Use these when the recipe calls for mixing or beating.
  • Medium-high speeds (6-7) are used when the recipe calls for beating or creaming. Cake and other batters are typically finished at this speed once you have begun at a slower speed.
  • High speeds (8-10) allow for an abundance of air to be incorporated. Ideally, this would be used to whip eggs or cream, or to create a fluffier mixture such as boiled frosting. Whip accessories are most effective at these speeds.

STEP 6: MONITOR THE MIXING PROCESS

A KitchenAid® stand mixer should always be watched by an adult while it’s running. While stand mixers are hand-free, you should keep a close eye on it to ensure that it is mixing at the proper consistency.

PRO TIP

Ensure not to over-whip or over-mix! Overmixing your cake batter will result in a dense and flat cake because there are too many gluten strands in the batter created by a stand mixer.

NOTE: Do not scrape the bowl while the stand mixer is operating. Turn your stand mixer off before scraping. To reduce the need to scrape, use a Flex Edge Beater. These are designed with a flexible edge, allowing them to thoroughly scrape ingredients into the bowl as they mix.

STEP 7: REMOVE THE MIXTURE, BOWL, AND ACCESSORY

Once you have completed your task, it is time to transfer your mixture to the next step of the recipe or to enjoy the food you just prepared.

To Remove Bowl on a Tilt-Head Mixer:

  1. Turn the speed control to OFF and unplug the stand mixer.
  2. Slide the lever to the unlock position and tilt the head of the mixer back.
  3. Remove the flat beater, wire whip or dough hook by pushing up, turning clockwise and pulling downward.
  4. Turn the bowl counterclockwise until you feel it detach from the bowl-clamp plate.

To Remove Bowl on a Bowl-Lift Mixer:

  1. Be sure the speed control is OFF and the stand mixer is unplugged.
  2. Rotate the bowl-lift handle to the down position.
  3. Remove the flat beater, wire whip or dough hook by pushing up, turning clockwise and pulling downward.
  4. Grasp the bowl handle and lift straight up and off the locating pins.

STEP 8: CLEAN YOUR STAND MIXER

Afterwards, you can start cleaning the stand mixer. There are multiple dishwasher-safe bowls and accessories available to make this process simple.

  1. Before you begin cleaning, unplug your stand mixer.
  2. The coated flat beater, dough hook, and mixing bowl may be washed in an automatic dishwasher or you can wash in hot, sudsy water. All wire whips should be hand washed and dried immediately. Dishwashers should not be used for these items.
  3. Wipe down your stand mixer with a warm, damp cloth. Never use household cleaners or commercial cleaners. Wipe the mixer head, shaft, and base. Do not immerse in water or get water into gears, ventilation ports or openings of any kind.
  4. Be sure to completely dry your stand mixer, bowl, attachments, and accessories before storing them.

STEP 9: PROPERLY STORE YOUR STAND MIXER

Keep your KitchenAid® stand mixer on the countertop to showcase your style in your favorite color. Use our customization tool to personalize your mixer with your favorite color, bowl design, and a free engraving to add a countertop statement that’s all you. On top of that, your stand mixer is always readily accessible when you need it. Almost any kitchen's cabinets can fit under these units, since they only take up about a foot in counter space.

In the event that you lack counter space, store your stand mixer in a tall cabinet or pantry. If you have a KitchenAid® stand mixer, you should understand that it is a durable, heavy-duty appliance that weights between 20 and 30 pounds depending on the model. Ensure that the shelf is sturdy enough to hold its weight.

NOTE: Do not store your accessories on the beater shaft. For easy and convenient storage, keep them in the mixing bowl.

KitchenAid stand mixer on countertop

BONUS: SELECT AN ATTACHMENT TO USE YOUR STAND MIXER AS A VERSATILE APPLIANCE

KitchenAid offers over 10 stand mixer attachments to help you explore new recipes, techniques, and inspirations. Attachments allow you to use your mixer in a variety of other ways:

Stand Mixer Uses

KitchenAid stand mixer with spiralizer accessory

Mixing, beating, whipping or kneading don't require a stand mixer attachment. Nonetheless, attachments allow your stand mixer to become one of your most versatile kitchen countertop appliances. With attachments, you can take your baking and cooking skills to new heights, learn new techniques, and discover new favorites.

HOW TO USE AN ATTACHMENT WITH YOUR STAND MIXER

If you are using an attachment with your KitchenAid® stand mixer, omit step #2 above about selecting and inserting an accessory. Instead, follow these steps to install your chosen attachment. Regardless of the size, type or model of the stand mixer, the steps are the same.

Though each of the power hub attachments is a little different, they all connect to your KitchenAid® stand mixer the same way.

  1. Take the metal cover on the front of the mixer head off or flip it up so that you can easily reach the KitchenAid® power hub. Unscrew the thumb screw on the right side of the power hub.
  2. Place the attachment shaft into the power hub, ensuring that it fits correctly into the square hub socket. Ensure that the attachment fits properly by rotating it if necessary. When in the correct position, the pin on the attachment fits into the notch on the hub rim.
  3. To secure the attachment into the stand mixer, tighten the thumb screw by rotating clockwise until it is completely secure.
  4. Attach the bowl or container of your choice, as needed.
  5. Refer to your attachment's instructions to determine the recommended mixer speed. This can vary from the slowest stir speed for the ice cream attachment up to speed 10 for the grain mill. Pay attention to your product guide for best results.

Ice Cream Makers and Precision Heat Mixing Bowls are specially designed bowl attachments that fit under a stand mixer, replacing your usual bowl with the attachment bowl.

KitchenAid stand mixer with attachment

KitchenAid® attachments are a great gift idea. Buying someone their first stand mixer? 
Consider including an attachment to make it easier for them. If you have a stand mixer that someone already loves, teach them how to use it in new ways. 
Attach a gift to your wish list that opens up a world of possibilities for your friend or family member.

 

EVERYDAY TASKS AND NEW TECHNIQUES
We've shown you how to use your KitchenAid® stand mixer; now let's discover what else it can do. The accessories that come standard with a stand mixer can also be used to knead dough or make cheesecakes, though that's just the start.

Make risotto with spiralized sweet potatoes, manicotti with zucchini sheets, and green tea macarons for dessert. You'll soon have mastered all kinds of recipes using your stand mixer. What will you make with your KitchenAid® stand mixer?