Let’s discuss what is a paddle attachment on a mixer and how many attachments a mixer can have. It’s also called flat beater due to its flat shape.
It’s usually made of plastic but it can also be made of stainless steel. Obviously, the stainless steel one will last a lifetime.
The paddle attachment is one of the 3 classic attachments for a stand mixer.
The other two attachments are dough hook and whisk.
No matter how affordable your stand mixer is, it will come with these 3 classic attachments without a doubt.
If you want to know more about them, read my post on what is a stand mixer used for.
Moreover, a hand mixer can also have different attachments that include its own version of a paddle attachment. These attachments are: 2 beaters, wire whisk, and 2 dough hooks. So, the difference is that there are 2 smaller beaters. Plus, they look totally different from the paddle attachment on a stand mixer.
What Is a Paddle Attachment on a Mixer Used For?
It is used for making:
- cookie dough, pie dough
- cake mix
- cream butter and sugar
- mashed potatoes
In order to completely answer the question what is a paddle attachment, you should know this:
If the recipes specifies that you need to mix, beat, cream or combine your ingredients using an electric mixer, that’s when you always use the paddle attachment.
It mixes ingredients without whipping too much air into them.
When making desserts, you can assume that you’re going to use this one 90% of the time.
Regarding the other two stand mixer attachments:
- the dough hook is obviously used for kneading dough, especially for breads
- and the wire whip (whisk) is used for whipping air into ingredient, for making whip cream, whipped egg whites
How to Use the Paddle Attachment/Flat Beater
The first thing you have to do is to read the user manual that comes with your stand mixer. In there, you will find which speeds work for which attachment.
The Hamilton Stand Mixer 7 Speeds, which is one of the most affordable stand mixers, actually has the speeds inscribed on the top.
For this particular model: mixing is done on speed 4, creaming on speed 5, beating on speed 6, and stirring on speed 1. These are the main operations that the paddle attachment is used for.
Regardless of which model you’re using, you should start on speed 1.
From then on, gradually increase the speed until you reach the needed speed for what you’re doing.
Beat just for the time recommended by the recipe or as stated on the package directions.
If you’re mixing large amount of liquid ingredients, use a lower speed to avoid splashing. You can increase the speed once the mixture has thickened.
If you’re using thin batters, you should use medium speeds and stop to frequently to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
One last thing: add the ingredients as close to the sides of the bowl as possible, not directly into the moving flat beater or the other two attachments.
For cookie dough: have the ingredients at room temperature, add ingredients one at a time, add flour one cup at a time, and increase the speed setting if the mixer starts to struggle.
What Can I Use Instead of Paddle Attachment?
There are quite a few paddle attachment substitutes. Unfortunately, some of them rely on your strength. Which means that it will take longer to mix, beat, cream or combine your ingredients.
The truth is that a flat beater is pretty hard to replace. By answering the question what is a paddle attachment on a mixer, we have also revealed just how helpful it is for making desserts.
1. Hand mixer
If you have a hand mixer and you don’t want to spend money on a stand mixer that includes this attachment, then just use the hand mixer.
The hand mixer comes with 2 beaters, those are the ones you can use as a paddle attachment substitute. They’re just as good at doing anything that a stand mixer can.
2. Whisk (wire whip)
The whisk is among the 3 attachments that a stand mixer comes with.
If you’re missing the flat beater, you can use the whisk.
It can be used to whisk eggs and meringue. You can also use it for mixing cake batter and some even use it for making cookie dough.
It’s quite versatile.
Just make sure that the ingredients are at room temperature.
3. Beat by hand
This mostly addresses those who are in shape. Or those who have made desserts by hand for a large part of their lives.
It is time consuming and more tiring that working out.
You can use wooden spoons or silicone spoons.
Moreover, you can use a balloon whisk to replace a paddle attachment. It’s used for whipping up light ingredients, whipping sauce, cream, and egg whites.
Extra Attachments for Stand Mixers
As I said, when we answer the question what is a paddle attachment on a mixer, we discover that it’s one of the three attachments that come with any stand mixer model.
But there are others that you can buy separately.
KitchenAid is not only the most recognized manufacturer but it’s also the one that has the most extra attachments for its stand mixers, usually manufactured by other companies.
This is also the manufacturer that sells paddle attachment replacements. I am not aware of other manufacturers offering the same.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer Attachments
I’ve selected just a few of the more impressive ones but there are a lot of extra attachments that you can buy. Just make sure that they match your model.
1. Kitchfree Fruit/Vegetable Strainer
First of all, this fruit/vegetable strainer attachment works for all models. That’s great.
What’s even more impressive is that it includes a lot more than a fruits and vegetable strainer attachment.
It also comes with a good grinder attachment and sausage stuffer tubes.
So, it’s a very complex attachment, high quality, well worth the price.
The strainer is for cooking puree and strain fruits & vegetables for jams, sauces, baby food.
If you want to make your own tomato sauce, this is absolutely the perfect stand mixer attachment for KitchenAid models.
The grinder can ground meat for sausages and burgers. There are 4 size grind plates for grinding beef, chicken, pork, vegetables, fruits, etc.
You just need to cut your products into small pieces to fit right in the feeder and you’re good to go. It will be very fast.
There are also 2 different sizes of sausage stuffer tubes. It can be an interesting experience, making your own sausages.
Where to Buy?
2. Antree Pasta Maker
It seems unbelievable to me that you can actually get a pasta maker and attach it to any of the KitchenAid stand mixers.
It works for all models.
You can make 3 kinds of pasta.
There’s the pasta sheet roller, which rolls 5.5-inch sheets of pasta with 8 different thickness options.
The other 2 are a spaghetti cutter and a fettuccine cutter.
You also save on space, since this attachment is smaller than your usual pasta maker.
Regarding the price, it’s more expensive than a really good pasta maker by just a few dollars but it can be worth it if you’re a big lover of pasta that wants to make everything in house.
Where to Buy?
3. KitchenAid Pasta Press
Above, we had a pasta maker.
This time we have 6 interchangeable pasta plates that can make: spaghetti, bucatini, rigatoni, fusilli, large or small macaroni.
Basically, you make the dough, attach the pasta press, put the plate for the shape you want and that’s it.
It also includes a built-in wire cutter for complete control over the length of the past.
What I don’t like is the price. It’s more than twice more expensive than the above pasta maker.
Where to Buy?
4. KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker
The good news is that it’s not too expensive. There are cheaper ice cream makers but this attachment for making ice cream has a pretty decent price.
It makes up to 2 quarts of ice cream, gelato or sorbet in 20-30 minutes.
It is powered by the stand mixer. You’ll have to pour in batter and dasher and the you can freeze the bowl.
It’s very easy to operate and it will make you want to experiment daily with new recipes.
Where to Buy?
Cuisinart is actually the second manufacturer that has some very interesting extra attachments for its stand mixer. Its most famous model is the Cuisinart SM-50 but not all attachments are made for this exact model, you need to check that out.
However, since their attachments only work on certain models, I find it too complicated to even start searching for the right ones.
They have one of the best stand mixers for bread and desserts and everything else. But they aren’t impressive on the extra attachments front.
I thought that it would be a nice idea to introduce these extra attachments as well, besides answering the question what is a paddle attachment on a mixer, so that you can see how expansive the world of stand mixers can be.