Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

A sad moment in my professional career was when I broke my KitchenAid stand mixer testing one of the brand’s attachments. (For those who are curious, it was the pasta press—you can read more about what happened below.) Of course, my stand mixer was about 20 years old and so far out of warranty it was a definitive “no” when I called the company to ask about a replacement. 

This anecdote serves two purposes: 

While KitchenAid stand mixers are undeniably expensive, they’re the kind of countertop centerpiece that lasts for a really, truly long time.Despite being made for their stand mixers, not all KitchenAid attachments are worth their salt.

Throughout this site’s many years of reviewing gear, we’ve tested KitchenAid attachments alongside standalone versions of whatever they are (for example, meat grinders and ice cream makers). While these attachments are usually more compact than buying XYZ standalone gadgets, that doesn’t mean all that much if they don’t work well. Below, you’ll find our three favorite KitchenAid attachments, as well as ones we don’t recommend buying.

The Best KitchenAid Attachments, at a Glance

The Best Meat Grinder: KitchenAid Metal Food Grinder AttachmentThe Best Pasta Maker: KitchenAid Stand Mixer Attachment Pasta Roller & CutterThe Best Shaved Ice Maker: KitchenAid Stand Mixer Shave Ice Attachment

The Best KitchenAid Attachments

What we liked: For making burgers, meatballs, and sausage, a meat grinder is helpful to have on hand. After all, freshly ground meat offers vastly better flavor and texture than the (when was it ground?) pre-ground stuff. When we tested eight meat grinders, we used each to grind beef chuck, pork butt, and mirepoix. The KitchenAid grinder proved particularly advantageous here (especially compared to hand-cranked models), as the stand mixer’s power did all of the hard processing work. 

As we said in our review, this KitchenAid attachment produced “textbook ground beef and pork” in our tests. We also appreciated its large tray, which held a substantial amount of meat. Its all-metal construction meant it could be pre-chilled, too (we recommend both chilling the meat and grinder pre-grinding, as this will yield the best texture).

What we didn’t like: Once affixed to the stand mixer, the whole setup is really tall since the meat grinder juts upward. We found this height meant sausage-making was more difficult too, explaining that “the elevated height makes it difficult to manage feeding uncased sausage into the hopper with one hand while controlling the casing process at the other end.” For those curious about the plastic version of this attachment, we much preferred the all-metal option for its studier parts and the aforementioned ability to be pre-chilled.

Also great: If you’re looking for a standalone, electric meat grinder, this model from Weston excelled in our tests.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Key Specs

Materials: SteelComes with: Removable food tray, fine grinding plate, medium grinding plate, coarse grinding plate, cleaning brush, food pusher, sausage stuffer tubes, sausage stuffer plateCompatible with: All KitchenAid stand mixersPrice at time of publish: $100Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

What we liked: This attachment is a longtime Serious Eats test kitchen favorite (I’ve owned mine for the past five years and have been immensely happy with it). The roller’s eight settings are easy to toggle between and thanks to the stand mixer doing all of the cranking work for you, you can feed the pasta sheet in with one hand and catch it with the other. The set comes with two cutters: one “spaghetti” and one “fettuccine”—though the spaghetti isn’t tubular and more like thinner fettuccine. All three pieces are easy to affix to and swap out of the stand mixer’s hub and the stainless construction is simple to clean, mostly requiring you to just dust off excess flour.

What we didn’t like: Well, it’s expensive. You could argue the KitchenAid meat grinder is well-priced in its respective category, but the pasta roller and cutter are a splurge.

Also great: For a manual, hand-cranked pasta maker, you can’t do better than the Marcato Atlas 150, which is less than $100.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Key Specs

Materials: Stainless steelComes with: One roller, two cuttersCompatible with: All KitchenAid stand mixersPrice at time of publish: $199Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

What we liked: For Halo Halo, cocktails, or a bed of ice for shucked oysters to rest on, the best way to describe shaved ice is FUN. It’s plushy! It’s pillowy! It’s definitely not a snow cone! To find the best shaved ice makers, we tested eight of them. The KitchenAid attachment includes four cylindrical molds, which you can freeze most any liquid in and then pop into the hopper and shave. We preferred the shaved ice from the fine blade for eating and the coarse blade for things like cocktails and drinks (it even makes a standard ol’ soda better).

What we didn’t like: The attachment only comes with four molds, so a shaved ice party won’t be happening unless you purchase more.

Also great: For a standalone shaved ice maker, we were happy with the results of the Hawaiian HomePro S777 Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Maker.

Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore

Key Specs

Materials: PlasticComes with: Ice shaver, 4 ice mold cups with lids, two bladesCompatible with: All KitchenAid stand mixersPrice at time of publish: $95Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore

KitchenAid Attachments We Don’t Recommend

KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment: The square paddle on this model resulted in a whole host of issues, including ice cream that was both over-churned and under-churned (the paddle pushed the ice cream around the bowl instead of folding it).KitchenAid Gourmet Pasta Press Attachment: Following the manufacturers’ instructions for operating this attachment at max speed while extruding pasta quite literally caused my stand mixer to short circuit. It was also finicky to use, requiring the dough texture to be just right to extrude properly. The numerous parts were frustrating to clean, too.KitchenAid Spiralizer: I bought this attachment, used it once, and then put it in my cabinet for it to languish for eternity (dramatic!). It worked all right, but not as well as manual models that cost far, far less.

FAQs

How do you put a KitchenAid attachment onto a stand mixer?

To use a KitchenAid attachment, flip up the hub’s cover, loosen the black knob/screw, then insert the attachment into the stand mixer’s hub and tighten the screw. To turn the attachment on, use the stand mixer’s controls.

Are KitchenAid stand mixer attachments dishwasher-safe?

This depends on the attachment. For example, our favorite KitchenAid meat grinder attachment features some dishwasher-safe parts (like the food pusher) and others that must be hand-washed (such as the grinding plates). We always suggest double-checking the manufacturer’s care instructions.

Do KitchenAid stand mixer attachments fit all models?

The KitchenAid stand mixer attachments that affix to the hub of the stand mixer are compatible with all models. The ice cream maker, however, only fits some tilt-head and bowl-lift stand mixers. You can read more about that here.

Why We’re the Experts

We independently tested the KitchenAid attachments against popular versions of their standalone counterparts. You can read more about how we tested each product in our reviews of meat grinders, pasta makers, shaved ice machines, and ice cream makers.Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm is the senior commerce editor for Serious Eats. She’s worked for the site for the past two years and has been testing gear professionally for the past five, having come from America’s Test Kitchen. For both work and personal enjoyment, she’s used many, many KitchenAid attachments and has written Serious Eats’ review on KitchenAid stand mixers.We will continue to test KitchenAid attachments, both as part of our reviews and separately. We will update this story with our findings.

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