My KitchenAid stand mixer has to be one of my most used kitchen gadgets – and I’ve got quite a few. One of the first things I noticed after I got my KitchenAid though was that I had to constantly stop and scrape down the sides, which was not really what I was after – isn’t the whole idea of getting a stand mixer so that you don’t have to use your hands?
I couldn’t decide between KitchenAid’s Flex Edge or the BeaterBlade, so the lovely peeps at Kitchenware Direct have sent me both to test and review. One thing is clear – both are infinitely better than the standard paddle attachment that comes with the mixer. I tested all of them with 150g of butter and a batch of gingerbread.
In case, you (like me) didn’t read the instruction manual – it’s worth noting that there’s a little screw located underneath the mixer head that you can turn to raise or lower the mixing bowl, this is so that the beater or whip reaches the absolute bottom of the bowl and you’re not left with that little bit of un-mixed batter.
KitchenAid Coated Flat Beater (also called paddle attachment)
This is the standard beater that comes with the mixer. It’s made of metal and has an enamel coating. It’s solidly made but as you can see, there’s a tendency for butter to collect in the bottom half of the paddle.
There’s also a lot of butter on the sides of the bowl, which is especially a problem for smaller batches of batter. Because the paddle tends to push ingredients around, every so often you have to stop and scrape down the bowl which is a little fidgety as the beater is still locked in place so you have to maneuvre around it. I rarely use mine anymore – it’s really worth investing in one of the other beaters.
It took 25 seconds to cream 150g of butter with the paddle attachment.
KitchenAid Flex Edge Beater ($69.95 from Kitchenware Direct)
This is KitchenAid’s answer to the scrape down the bowl problem. It’s basically their standard coated flat beater, but with a nifty silicone edge that it scrapes the sides of the bowl as it mixes. It claims to reduce your mixing time considerably, which it does – the butter was ready in half the time.
Unfortunately, it does push the ingredients onto the sides of the bowl and doesn’t really scrape it down as well as I would’ve likI ed. I found the mixture did collect on the bottom half of the paddle (though a lot less) and with larger batches of dough, it pushed the dough up and over the top edge of the paddle. The dough wasn’t as well mixed as would’ve liked – there was a tiny knob in the bottom that seemed to have been missed.
It took 12 seconds to cream 150g of butter with the FlexEdge beater. The FlexEdge comes with a one year replacement warranty.
BeaterBlade ($44.95 from Kitchenware Direct)
The BeaterBlade, made by a company called New Metro Design and imported by an Australian company called Fully Baked, is a third party product. Unlike the other two, it’s made of a thick plastic and both outer edges have a flexible silicone edge – this seems to avoid the tiny bit of unmixed batter that gathers at the dimple in the bottom of the bowl. Despite being made of plastic, less butter seems to cling to the paddle making it easier to scrape down at the end of a recipe. Most of the batter stays in the bottom half of the mixing bowl, and the thinner silicone seems to be more effective at scraping the batter off the sides of the bowl. The downside though – the top of my beaterblade cracked when I made the gingerbread. I called the importer who assured me that it was an isolated issue but a quick Google search seems to show otherwise – it’s covered by a 1 year warranty, and a replacement was quickly despatched.
It took 8 seconds to cream 150g of butter with the BeaterBlade. It comes with a one year replacement warranty.
Despite being made of plastic, I much prefer the BeaterBlade. There’s less residual dough on the sides of the mixing bowl and having two flexible silicone edges means that mixing time is slightly quicker than the FlexEdge. Ingredients are more evenly mixed through the batter and the residual batter is easier to scrape off the beater. It’s also cheaper than the FlexEdge. The downside is though, that mine did crack when I made a reasonably soft gingerbread dough – a replacement has been sent and the broken one still does work.
The FlexEdge is much more solid and built to last. I still feel like I need to scrape down the beater and sides – very rarely, but I do have to do it every so often. That said, it is probably almost impossible to break and will last much longer.
If I was going to purchase one, I have to say that I really can’t go past the BeaterBlade though, butter creams faster and more evenly and there’s a much more even mixing of ingredients. The fact that the importer stood by their warranty makes me confident in recommending it, even after my little incident. The BeaterBlade is not really designed for heavy doughs though, so if you’re living in a colder climate (where butter will be more solid at room temperature), or you routinely mix big batches of dough, I’d opt for KitchenAid’s FlexEdge – it’s effective and does the job well.
If you have any questions – I’d love to hear them, feel free to post them below.