KA Juicer Attachment
01/01/13 -18:45 Filed in: Gear | Prep Tool | Accessories
This blog entry is slightly off topic, in that it is not about grilling or smoking, but it is food related and it is my blog… My topic is making fresh squeezed orange juice using the Kitchen Aid Citrus Juicer Stand Mixer Attachment. Using this mixer attachment is quite quick and easy to make fresh squeezed orange juice. My first attempt produce some wonderful tasting fresh orange juice that was head and shoulders above what passes for orange juice in New England in the depth of winter.
Background: I bought what Kitchen Aid calls their “Breakfast Kit” which bundles 4 different stand mixer attachments: Their Food Grinder, Citrus Juicer, Sausage Stuffer Tubes & Food Tray. Now I really only wanted the Food Grinder and Citrus Juicer, but the price for this bundle was actually LESS than if I bought the two accessories I wanted individually. So why not get the kit? I paid less for the kit and got some extra goodies to boot. My original plans for the juicer was to make some homemade lemonade and limeade, but I never got around to trying it this past summer. The funny thing is orange juice couldn’t be easier. Unlike lemonade or limeade which has other ingredients, orange juice involves juicing the oranges and you are done. I was planning on making a big batch of the Meatlovers Breakfast Bowl I described in my last blog entry: TWO EGG BREAKFAST on the weekend. I wanted it to be a special meal and so I was planning on making some homemade BUTTERMILK BISCUITS and I started thinking some fresh squeezed orange juice would be nice. Part of my motivation was some just awful orange juice I had this week at a local restaurant.
What Do I Need?: First and foremost a Kitchenaid stand mixer. Second this Citrus Juicer attachment. Then you’ll need something to catch the juice in, I used a 4 cup measuring cup. Lastly I used as strainer to run the juice through one let time to get out and seeds of pulp that may have missed the juicer’s strainer. Then you’ll need some oranges. When I went to the super market I was looking at navel oranges and jumbo navel oranges. I was happy to see that the oranges were sold in bags that were quite a bit cheaper than buying the same oranges individually. What I didn’t know is if there were any differences in flavor between the regular & jumbo sized navel oranges. For example I didn’t know if one might be sweeter than the other. To my surprise the Produce Manager told me they actually had oranges for juicing. I will admit when I first saw them I was quite skeptical. The navel oranges were a wonderful deep orange color, the juicing oranges had a mottled looking appearance, primarily yellow in color with blotches of orange. They were also a bit smaller than the regular navel oranges. On the plus side, these oranges were softer when I squeezed them which I figured was more conducive to juicing. But honestly it was the trust I had in the Produce Manager that won me over. I’ve gotten to know him in the last 3 years and he is a griller too. I’ve shown him pictures of things I’ve made with his produce and he knows I am serious about the quality of my food. Also he said if I didn’t like them I could return them for a full refund for all the oranges, even the bag I would have used as a test. Speaking of tests, I planned on making a couple glasses the day before just to make sure I’d know what I was doing when I made the nice for real.
Some Assembly Required: The assembly is rather easy and I will let the pictures tell the story with some minor help from some minimal captions down below.
The 4 parts are laid out on the counter. (top left) The cover for the accessory attachment shaft has been removed by turning the thumb screw to the right of the shaft. (top right). The back piece goes on first and It is secured by tightening the thumbscrew. Then the metal shaft is inserted until it mates with the accessory shaft on the mixer (bottom left). The strainer is inserted next and then the reamer gets inserted onto the metal shaft . There are some alignment tabs on the shaft that align with slots on the reamer. (bottom right)
Juicing: Juicing the oranges is actually the easiest part of the whole operation. You place a container under the lip of the backer piece which has a spout-like shape at its bottom. You cut the orange(s) in half and start up the mixer and set it to speed 6. Then you take an orange half in your fingers and press it up against the spinning reamer. It is just that easy - well almost. The first two orange halves I tried eded up having some issues. First some seeds dropped into my collection cup because the strainer really should be deeper. You hold the orange against the reamer until it is juiced. There is often some pulp left around the outer edge near the top where the orange was cut, and this was removed by wiggling the orange on the reamer. What I found solved the problem of some seeds and pulp missing the strainer when you first started reaming a new orange was to tilt the orange. Instead of bringing the orange up to the reamer straight on, I tilted the bottom of the orange so it made contact with the reamer first. The tilted face of the orange served to direct the stream of juice and pulp and seeds towards the strainer. Problem solved. The only other thing I ran into was after a while the strainer fills up and must be cleaned out to dispose of the excess pulp. Before doing this I let the strainer sit there and drain itself of any remaining juice. Once you have the amount of juice you want I ran the collected juice through a strainer to remove any pulp or seed that may have snuck their way in.
Results: The juice was wonderful, a wonderful combination of sweet & tart. It is so easy to make I can tell I will be doing this a lot. I can’t wait to try my hand at lemonade and limeade.
Cleanup: Cleanup is a breeze. Three of the four parts are made out of plastic and are dishwasher safe. The reason they were made of plastic was citrus fruit is acidic and could potentially react with metal. Though you can use the dishwasher they seem to clean up quite easily by hand washing as well. The shaft is the only metal part, and it needs to be hand washed. The reality is this shaft is pretty much covered by the other parts and shouldn’t really get much on it to begin with.
So if you already have a Kitchenade stand mixer this Citrus Juicer attachment is an inexpensive add that will get you making great orange juice in no time. The best orange juice I ever had was in a little diner in Florida. There was a sign on the table saying “The juice you are enjoying with your breakfast was picked in the orange grove across the street this morning.” Living here in New England that was probably a once in a lifetime event. But this juice was the next best thing.
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