Depending on your individual requirements, accessories for your catering business - or even just home use - can range from a few odd bits and pieces to a whole variety of different hooks, attachments, mixers, stands, beaters, fryers, utensils and other necessary kitchen essentials.
The list is almost endless when it comes to the assortment of additions that can be added to enhance a kitchen space. This means that all the individual requirements of your kitchen can be met by utilising one kitchen accessory for many purposes, or even a dozen accessories for a dozen purposes!
Kneading dough by hand can be a tricky and time-exhausting business. Not only this, but hand-kneading dough can be messy, sticky and also often result in food that has failed to rise.
Typically, dough hooks are available in either a hook or corkscrew shape, which means that they can look like broken or obscure pieces of equipment. However, they are brilliantly designed for their purpose, which is to easily and efficiently mix and/or knead a variety of dough without the mess, frustration and physical exhaustion of kneading dough by hand.
Normally attached to a stand mixer, dough hooks are essential items for mixing various types of dough - from bread dough, sweet dough and pasta dough to the more exotic and creative croissant dough, kourou dough and phyllo dough.
Dough hooks take out the messy part of hand-kneading dough, as they contain the mixture to a deep bowl and leave little necessity of hand contact. All of this helps to make dough hooks crucial to the kneading process for almost any kind of dough.
Able to be easily wiped clean after mixing and kneading nearly any type of dough, these hooks are also durable pieces of equipment. They can be used in a dishwasher rather than washed by hand, but this does depend on the material from which your chosen dough hook is made.
Although dough hooks are available in other materials such as aluminium, stainless steel is often a favourite material to comprise dough hooks. This is because stainless steel is a durable and long-lasting material known for its corrosion resistant layer. This makes it the perfect material for a wide variety of kitchen accessories, not just dough hooks.
As stainless steel is a low carbon steel containing chromium, stainless steel dough hooks are not easily scratched, scuffed or marked, even with the most vigorous of kneading or dishwashing.
Available in a cut-out, shovel-like shape, flat beaters can also be attached to a stand mixer, much like their dough hook counterparts.
The flat beater is a very common kitchen accessory because of its diverse assortment of uses. Combining almost any mixture from heavy to normal consistency, the flat beater can be used for pastry, icing, cakes, biscuits, mashed potato, thicker sauces and even some batters!
Again, as they remove the physical exhaustion of mixing food products by hand, flat beaters provide efficient ways of ensuring all kinds of mixtures are fully combined. Producing aerated and light mixtures, flat beaters are essential kitchen accessories which ensure consistently fluffy and beautifully blended food items.
Although flat beaters are a little more difficult to clean after use than dough hooks as a result of their unusual - but perfectly designed - shape, they can be cleaned fairly easily in a dishwasher depending on the material they are made from.
The speed of this particular attachment can be altered; however, this is dependent on the brand of stand mixer which the flat beater is attached to. This can range from very slow to very fast; again, this depends on what the intended use of the flat beater is.
Available in stainless steel as a result of its durability and corrosion resistance as stated above, flat beaters are also available in a nylon-coated aluminium version, too. The nylon-coated flat beater is especially effective as a result of its anti-stick properties, which make the attachment easier to clean even with its unique shape.
Unlike dough hooks and flat beaters, a deep fat fryer is not an attachment for a stand mixer. A deep fat fryer is an independent piece of equipment and was once a commercial-only kitchen accessory, but has increasingly become a household item as well.
Deep fat fryers are mainly used for frying various food products, including chips, fish and doughnuts, but can also be used for almost any other food item you wish to be deep fat fried! Often using a mesh stainless steel basket which slowly captures the fried food product and drains the majority of the excess oil from the product, deep fat fryers can be used for cooking many food items in very little time.
Like the above dough hooks and flat beaters, deep fat fryers are commonly made from stainless steel due to not only this material's durability but also its ability to withstand very high temperatures without bursting, buckling or bubbling. Although it is dependent on factors including the strength, thickness and oxidisation levels, some types of stainless steel can withstand temperatures from ambient to even 1,100 degrees Celsius.
Nonetheless, there are some health and safety issues with deep fat fryers as a result of the high temperature that the oil can reach. Malfunctioning or even misused deep fat fryers pose a fire risk, as applying water to oil fires can often exacerbate the fire.
Although oil fires are potentially dangerous, special fire extinguishers or alkaline chemicals can be purchased in order to smother oil fires.
Additionally, many domestic deep fat fryers have preventative safety mechanisms built into their systems in order to prevent dangerous oil fires. For example, many deep fat fryers have a safety cut-out system which turns off the fryers if overheating is detected. There are also built-in reset buttons which can reset the safety system again once the deep fat fryer has cooled down.
There are many other types of kitchen accessories available to use. Still, how many, what kind and which attachments to purchase are all questions where the answers depend on your individual catering needs.