Why Hand Blenders Are Perfect For Your Kitchen
"One of the best kitchen tools to have in your kitchen, especially when you are making soups and purees!" -RG
What Is A Hand Blender?
A Hand Blender is one of my favorite trusty kitchen tools. Sometimes called an immersion blender, this versatile appliance can blend, whisk, emulsify, and puree soups and sauces. It’s different from a regular-sized counter blender because it directly blends smaller amounts of food in the bowl.
Making smoothies or large batches of soup can be done quickly, with little elbow grease needed. And for emulsifying salad dressing, it's a snap!
Using a hand blender is easy and mess-free. For example, I no longer have to transfer the contents of a soup or sauce to a food processor—often making a mess in the process— now I bring the hand blender right to the pot and plug it in.
The clean-up process is a lot easier because you don’t have to rinse off a separate bowl. An added benefit is that most hand blenders these days detach at the base, allowing you to toss the appliance right into the dishwasher.
I recently replaced my old Braun model with a Cuisinart Smart Stick with additional whisking and blending attachments. The smart stick has a powerful stainless steel blade and a comfortable handle that makes it easy to control the appliance in the bowl.
What To Look For
Here are some essential features to look for when considering purchasing your hand blender:
Power - If you puree many soups and vegetables, you want a hand blender that won’t die on you after a few heavy-duty uses. You might have to puree a gallon of soup or puree the vegetables in a Dutch Oven pot roast recipe to make a sauce, and you want a hand blender that is up for the task.
You can find a hand blender that is around 200-220 watts. However, if you’re looking for something primarily to make smoothies or frozen drinks, I suggest you shoot for a counter blender instead with at least 500 watts and an ice-crushing blade. Otherwise, you might overextend a hand blender’s capability.
Cord or No Cord?
When I purchased my first hand blender, cordless ones weren’t available yet. Cordless models are a great idea and much more convenient, but you lose a little power when the appliance isn’t plugged into the wall.
If you choose a cordless model, remember that the hand blender might be a little heavier in your grip because of the battery pack's extra weight. The downside of using a blender with a cord is that although you get the most power, the cord can sometimes get in the way as you work. So, it’s up to you which one you prefer.
But I suggest a hand blender with a cord to maximize your voltage power.
The hand blender should feel good in your grip and not too heavy. The cord should extend away from the appliance to avoid getting in your way. The price for a hand blender is generally around $30, depending on how fancy the stick is.
Some models come with many extra attachments you may or may not need. For example, if you own a food processor, there may be no need for a chopping blade or chopper/grinder attachment. And let's face it; a hand blender chopping blade will not do the work of a standard food processor.
An advantage of a hand blender is clean up. You can wash it under warm water right in the sink (unplugged, of course), and some of the new models have dishwasher-safe detachable shafts.
Warning: Although hand blenders are relatively compact appliances that look like harmless kitchen toys, these things have sharp blades and a good amount of power. Please ensure the blender is unplugged if you go anywhere near the blade to unclog or clean it.
Hand blenders are incredibly user-friendly, but keep these things away from kids!
Who Makes Hand Blenders?
When they first came out, Braun was the only one making them, but now that they are so popular and essential in every kitchen, other familiar names are also producing them, including KitchenAid - Cuisinart - Viking - Braun - Breville - L'Equip
onlinesources: Small Kitchen Appliances
There are many sources for purchasing quality small kitchen appliances, including blenders, toasters, and mixers. I suggest you check out your local department stores and kitchen supply shops, but if you're looking for a wide selection of products and prices, you may want to check out Amazon.com, where I buy many of my favorite cookware pieces.