This is Highly Recommend, a column dedicated to what people in the food industry are eating, drinking, and buying right now. Here, Shilpa Uskokovic writes of her love for the BeaterBlade, a stand mixer paddle attachment she can’t live without.
It is no secret that amongst all us food editors in the BA test kitchen, it is I who makes highly specific requests for the most random things. In the little more than a year that I’ve been here, I have badgered our test kitchen coordinator Inés Anguiano for a Japanese goat hair pastry brush (that everyone else immediately loved and promptly adopted), my favorite never-smelly sponges, and tinned tomatoes from one of only three brands (Mutti, Sclafani, and Bianco Di Napoli, in case you’re wondering). But the very first thing I ever asked for? A BeaterBlade, the metal paddle attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer with flexible plastic edges. Nothing can make me go back to standard-issue flat beaters ever again.
I have used a BeaterBlade for so long that I cannot recall a time when I didn’t. As someone who bakes (a lot), I cannot emphasize enough how essential this tool is. The design is simple: It’s a paddle attachment for your mixer with the addition of two soft plastic wings on each arm. A regular paddle flings the butter or cream cheese or whatever you have going in the mixing bowl carelessly to the sides, where it will remain as a thin, stubborn film forever (okay fine, or until you scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl). But the BeaterBlade neatly wipes those ingredients up and returns them to the center all on its own. This means you no longer have to start, stop, and scrape batter build-up quite as frequently. It not only cuts down on overall mixing time significantly, it results in a more uniformly mixed batter. Why is this so important? Because an improperly or unevenly mixed batter with streaks and lumps of fat, sugar, or flour will bake up weird: dense or thin or gritty or holey or wonky.
Sure, there are dozens of other similar—and often cheaper—flex edge beater options, including one from the ubiquitous stand mixer company, but the BeaterBlade bowl scraper outperforms them all.
For starters, its body is made of metal, not plastic, making it ultra sturdy and able to stand up to stiff mixtures. (One time, in the middle of making cookie dough for gingerbread ornaments, my plastic-frame mixer attachment snapped clean in two like a chicken bone.) The BeaterBlade can even cream fridge-cold butter.
Second, this attachment has a sinuous curve to its arms, a sneakily brilliant detail missing in many other models. A brief read of the BeaterBlade’s patent and my own personal experience confirms how ingenious this gentle twist is. It’s a mixer accessory that pushes as it scrapes. It cuts through the batter as it pushes. It’s physics! It’s aerodynamics! It’s, as mentioned before, a thoroughly mixed batter in a shorter amount of time with way less hand-scraping.
BeaterBlade makes attachments that are compatible with both tilt-head stand mixers and bowl-lift stand mixers of various capacities, so make sure you know which model you have at home. If you have a Kitchenaid 4.5-quart tilt-head mixer, you’ll want this guy. For KitchenAid 5-quart bowl lift mixers, choose this one. And for KitchenAid 6, 7, or 8-quart bowls, this is your champion.
The BeaterBlade is so precious to me that I lay it carefully in my drawer at the test kitchen, a crown jewel never mingling with our communal tools, lest it be ravaged by an errant knife or over-eager pair of tongs. It’s nestled neatly in a row of acrylic drawer organizers—my latest request of Inés.