Aug 29, 2023

Testing Ree Drummond's Kitchen Hacks: Mashed Potatoes in a Stand Mixer

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Ree Drummond, "The Pioneer Woman," is known for the simple, budget-friendly yet delicious meals featured on her Food Network show and blog. Recently, while promoting her new ready-to-wear fashion line, Drummond spoke with Insider about what products she relies on to feed her large family.

The exclusive interview revealed that she turns to her stand mixer for much more than just baking.

I decided to put her stand mixer hacks to the test. Here are some unique ways The Pioneer Woman uses her stand mixer and how well they worked when I tried them out.

The Pioneer Woman uses the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer in her kitchen. Thanks to their power and durability, KitchenAid has set the standard in stand mixers. Most of us on the Insider Reviews Home & Kitchen team use KitchenAid mixers in our home kitchens.

For 18 years, I've used a similar KitchenAid model to what Drummond uses. My 7-Quart Pro Line mixer is featured in the photos throughout this article. It has a slightly larger bowl than the Professional 600's 6-quart capacity, but both have powerful motors that can handle kneading bread and other heavy-duty tasks.

For more, check out our guide to the best KitchenAid stand mixers.

"I love a stand mixer for making mashed potatoes because you can cook the potatoes, and then just quickly drain them and put them in the mixer," said Drummond.

To test this, I followed the "Delicious, Creamy Mashed Potatoes" recipe on The Pioneer Woman blog, but I took two liberties. First, I didn't peel the potatoes because I like to save time and add nutrients. Secondly, the recipe calls for hand-mashing the potatoes. Instead, I relied on Drummond's stand mixer instructions:

"I just turn it on the lowest speed with the paddle attachment, and it really takes care of the mashing for me," she said. "So, I can let that go while I'm getting other things ready, and then just add the cream and butter and everything else there."

I found it worked great. In under a minute, the potatoes had a paste-like texture. I added the butter, half-and-half, cream cheese, and seasoning with the mixer running. The ingredients mixed together evenly, aside from a stray bit of cream cheese, taken care of by stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides. Clean-up was also a snap, making this a viable option for my future potato mashing, especially during the holidays when I'm scrambling to prepare several dishes at once.

"The other great thing about a stand mixer is you can shred chicken with it," said Drummond. "If you need to have a big batch of shredded chicken for enchiladas or even chicken salad, if you're making something like that, using the stand mixer, first of all, it saves your arm muscles, then second of all, it saves time, because you can get other things ready while it's shredding. So I love kind of dual purpose things where I can get something going and go take care of something else."

To test this, I followed The Pioneer Woman's "Pressure Cooker Shredded Chicken and 3 Easy Meals" recipe using the Instant Pot Duo Crisp. Once the chicken was done cooking, I followed Drummond's instructions: "Put it in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment and turn it on, and it shreds it. And it's just magical," she said.

I put the chicken and all of the accumulated juices in the mixer and ran it on its lowest setting. In 30 seconds, it had a uniform consistency. I didn't find any large chunks. I wish I had this hack when hand-shredding 22 batches of pulled pork while testing for our Instant Pots guide. This trick would also work for shredding beef.

Overall, I found these stand mixer tips to be incredibly simple and helpful. I generally hate dirtying unnecessary appliances when preparing a meal, but in this instance, the savings in time and effort were worth it, especially since clean-up was a breeze. Thanks to The Pioneer Woman, my KitchenAid will see more action, even when I'm not baking.

You can learn more kitchen hacks from the Food Network star in her cookbook:

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You can learn more kitchen hacks from the Food Network star in her cookbook: