A paddle attachment is a flat tool that has the outer shape of a spade with several spokes running through it. The paddle attachment is perfect for any type of mixing when you don’t want to introduce too much air.
If you’re new to the world of mixing then you’re probably trying to work out what all your attachments do and what they look like. This includes the paddle attachment which we’re going to look at here.
It usually comes with a stand mixer but can also come as an attachment for a hand mixer. It can be used for any type of mixing, beating, or creaming including one-bowl mixers when you’re using several different ingredients.
The spade-like tool is the go-to for many bakers and cooks. The paddle beater doesn’t aerate the mixer as much as a whisk. A whisk is better for those times when you need more air into your mixtures such as with types of cream or eggs.
Here we’re going to look at what exactly the paddle attachment is used for, what it looks like, and why you should get one for your mixer. Let’s take a look.
What Does a Paddle Beater Look Like?
As you can see from the pictures, a paddle attachment or beater almost always comes in the same outer shape. This is the traditional spade shape which is wide at the top before gently tapering down into a point.
In the space in the middle are spokes, which often have the same configuration on a standard-size paddle. This is where you’ll have the main spoke from the handle that veers off to the side when it gets to the top third of the paddle.
Branching off this main spoke is another piece of metal that goes to the other side. This shape is great for evenly mixing the contents of your bowl without adding too much air.
For larger bowls, this isn’t enough and you’ll see paddle attachments that have a lot more spokes to deal with the higher quantity in the bowl.
A paddle attachment can have a coating on it or sometimes it comes with a plain metal finish. A paddle attachment with a metal finish lasts longer than a coated one but can often be harder to clean.
You have to be more careful while using a coated paddle attachment as the coating can wear off over time. When the coating starts to break, it’s time to replace the beater.
What Is a Paddle Attachment Used For?
When you combine ingredients using the paddle attachment, the mixture is not aerated as with a whisker. This feature of paddle attachment makes it more versatile than other attachments.
A wide flat shape paddle attachment helps to cover almost all the spaces of the mixing bowl, thereby combining all the smaller ingredients with restricted circular motion.
A batter of cookies and pancakes can be made using this. You can make cake frosting by making a cream using the paddle attachment. It can even go through with dense and hard ingredients which a whisk attachment cannot do.
A paddle attachment comes into the picture when a recipe requires ingredients to be beaten, mixed, or creamed. It is a great tool for mixing heavy ingredients without requiring much liquid in it.
Mixing with a paddle is also great because it does not create a mess as a whisker does.
A paddle attachment can be used for making:
- Frosting on cakes
- Mashed potatoes
- Cookie and pie dough
- Cake mix
Generally, when a recipe requires you to cream, beat, and mix your ingredients, this is when you need to use a paddle attachment.
How to Use the Paddle Attachment?
Regardless of what mixer you are using, start from the lowest speed and gradually increase it until you reach the required speed for your mixture. Follow the instruction as per the recipe and mix according to the recommended time.
Use the lower speed if there is more liquid in the mixture to avoid the mess. Increase the speed when the mixture starts getting thick.
You also don’t want to burn out the motor. Starting it out too quickly may cause straining issues for the mixer and it could overheat.
Stop the mixing frequently and scrape the mixture from the sides of the bowl. If you’re having issues with food being constantly stuck to the side of the bowl, then other types of paddle attachment may be more suitable.
Many modern flat beaters come with a flat piece of silicone on one of its edges. This allows you to scape the foods off the side of the bowl without needing to do it by hand. Many find this to be a great improvement on the traditional paddle.
The exact efficiency of the silicone scraper will depend on the shape of your bowl but it can often save a lot of time and effort.
What Can Be Used If I Don’t Have A Paddle Attachment?
If you have purchased your mixer a long time ago, it might not have come with a paddle attachment. So, what to do if your recipe is asking for one and you don’t have it?
You can do some of the tasks with a whisk attachment that a paddle attachment does. Frosting of cake can be prepared using a whisk instead of a paddle, however, you have to make sure the ingredients are at room temperature.
The whisk wire can get bent or be damaged if it is used to mix hard ingredients. Mixing cold butter with a whisk can dislodge the whisk wire. The paddle attachment is made in a way that it can withstand the resistance of hard ingredients like cold butter.
Cold butter is preferable for frosting as it results in a much lighter and soft product as compared to frosting with butter at room temperature. Hence, using a paddle is more desirable for such a type of mixing.
Another option is to go for the traditional way of mixing, use a wooden or silicone spoon to mix the ingredients.
A whisk attachment can get damaged while mixing hard and dense ingredients.
Combining ingredients with a spoon can be a time-consuming and tiring job but it is better than damaging a tool.
Depending on the type of mixture, you may also be able to use a dough hook.
A dough hook is a perfect tool to attach a mixer for getting that perfect dough for your recipe. Be it cookie dough, or pizza dough, this attachment can do the kneading required for almost every recipe.
Start by setting it to a slower speed so that the ingredients in the dough are properly stirred. This tool saves the time and effort that is needed while kneading the dough by hand.
Cleaning a dough hook is much easier than any other mixer attachment. While it was made for the purposes of making dough, it may also do a good job at mixing other heavy ingredients if you don’t have a paddle.
FAQs On what does a paddle attachment look like
Is a paddle attachment the same as a beater?
They are usually the same. A paddle attachment, flat beater, and paddle beater are all used to describe the same tool. Beaters can come in other shapes on hand mixers.
Which attachment is best for buttercream?
If you want the best attachment for creaming butter then you should use a flat beater. Using a whisk is going to add too much air into the mixture.
Can I use a whisk attachment instead of a paddle attachment?
Yes, a whisk attachment can be used for doing work of a paddle attachment but you risk adding too much air. It’s best to order yourself a beater and do the work by hand until it arrives.