The stand mixer is widely considered a baker’s tool, thanks to the whip, paddle, and dough hook that come standard in every box. But once you’ve taken the leap and dedicated a section of your counter or cupboard to this sizable multitasker, there’s a whole world to explore. That’s because in addition to kneading dough for 20 minutes and frothing flawless foams, a stand mixer has the potential to be an everyday workhorse, thanks to KitchenAid’s catalog of proprietary attachments. They work with the mixer’s sturdy motor to automate tasks you might otherwise do manually or with a separate machine, such as shredding, grinding, slicing, peeling, coring, and sifting. Some also open the door to culinary hobbies, like making sausage or pasta from scratch, broadening the types and quality of dishes that can come out of your kitchen.
But not all of KitchenAid’s three dozen or so attachments are worth the cupboard space. And with prices ranging from $50 to $200, they’re not always the cheapest way to achieve your goal. After scanning all of the options (and having tried out a couple in the past), we picked five of the most-useful-looking attachments to test and found a few we’d recommend. These attachments equip you with new ways to use a machine you may already own, and they make it easy to fearlessly level up your skill set and conquer new recipes. You can do everything from rolling wonton skins to shredding a mountain of cheese. And with the food grinder attachment, you’ll know exactly which cuts of meat are in your burger. Also, they may actually save you space by allowing you to rely on the same powerful motor for all of these tasks, rather than having to find room to store several heavy appliances.