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One of my first big kitchen-related presents ever was a stand mixer. It was back when I was a college freshman and my mom found a brand-new KitchenAid Classic on Craigslist and got it for me. I loved that mixer so much — and even insisted on bringing it with me when I interned in New York City every summer for four years (in a different sublet apartment each summer).
Last year, I actually broke my stand mixer (it was my fault — and I’ll spare you the details of the story!). So I invested in a new KitchenAid. And because I was feeling so lousy about breaking my old mixer, I decided to get my new model a little something-something: an attachment for rolling and cutting fresh pasta. Because I love pasta … and I knew I’d have even more fun with my mixer if I could use it to make my favorite food.
Reader, let me just tell you, I love this attachment so, so much (more on this below!). Which got me thinking: What’s the deal with KitchenAid’s other attachments? How well do they work? I got my hands on some of the most popular options and put them to the test. Here’s what I learned.
Note: A KitchenAid representative told me that while they couldn’t provide exact figures on their most popular attachments, these are the ones fans love “based on consumer engagement.”
1. KitchenAid Pasta Roller & Cutter Attachment
Like I said before, I love this attachment. I used to have a manual pasta machine that I had to secure to my countertop — or else it would wobble when I turned its crank. This pasta attachment (which is secured into the hub of the stand mixer) takes a ton of the work out of making fresh pasta. It comes with a roller (for thinly rolling out sheets of pasta dough) and two cutters: one for fettuccine and the other for spaghetti. It’s easy, fun, and efficient and I love that you can feed a sheet of dough through the roller with one hand and catch it with the other, which isn’t nearly as easy to do with a manual attachment. I’ve used it with great success on gluten-free pasta dough, too. For making your own pasta at home, this is absolutely worth the investment.
2. KitchenAid Food Grinder Attachment
If you want to grind your own meat for meatballs, burgers, meatloaf, and sausages, this is the tool for you. It includes fine-grinding, medium-grinding, and coarse-grinding plates, as well as two sausage-stuffer tubes and a sausage-stuffer plate. I used it to grind chicken thighs, following these instructions for cubing and freezing the meat prior to grinding. It works incredibly well — and so quickly! And the resulting meat is evenly ground and perfect for meatballs. While the attachment does have parts that are hand-wash only, the food pusher, cleaning brush, and sausage parts can be cleaned in the top-rack of the dishwasher. I like the stainless steel version — because you can chill it, which helps keep the meat from gumming up at the grinder head. However, it’s also available in a plastic model that’s half the price.
3. KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment
I was really excited about this one and used it to make chocolate ice cream as soon as I could. Like a lot of other at-home ice cream makers, the attachment’s freeze bowl needs to be frozen for a long time before churning (15 to 24 hours is a safe bet — if you shake the bowl and hear ANY slushing around, keep it in the freezer longer). Unlike other KitchenAid attachments that go into the hub of the mixer, this one goes at the bottom and works with the mixer’s beater shaft. I did find the paddle design a tad difficult and finicky to attach to the stand mixer, but these instructions and the manual really helped. The ice cream it makes, though? Delicious and creamy and perfectly churned in about 30 minutes.
4. KitchenAid Spiralizer Attachment
I use this to spiralize zucchini and summer squash and am impressed by the long, twirling strands of zoodles (zucchini noodles!) it makes. It comes with spiralizing, slicing, coring, and peeling blades and can handle a whole bunch of fruit and veggies — like apples, beets, and sweet potatoes. The blades are labeled, but it did take some trial and error to find the correct blades that produced the shapes and spirals I wanted. And America’s Test Kitchen noted it wasn’t able to handle butternut squash in their testing (although I do think it would work well with a smaller — say, honeynut — squash). That said, it worked very well and if you’re looking to invest in a spiralizer, this is still a good, rather hands-free option.
Do you have a favorite KitchenAid attachment? Tell us about it in the comments.