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 to work with. Sometimes called an immersion blender, this versatile appliance can be used to blend, whisk, emulsify, and puree soups and sauces. It’s different from a regular sized counter blender because it blends smaller amounts of food directly in the bowl.
Making smoothies or large batches of soup can be done in a short amount of time, with little elbow grease needed on your part. And for emulsifying salad dressing, it's a snap!
Using a hand blender is easy and mess-free. No longer do I have to transfer the contents of a soup or sauce to a food processor—often making a mess in the process— now I simply bring the hand blender right to the pot and plug it in.
The clean-up process is a heck of 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 that came with some additional whisking and blending attachments. The smart stick has a powerful stainless steel blade and a comfort handle that makes it easy to control the appliance in the bowl.
It comes highly recommended on Amazon, and I think it’s a great buy.
What To Look For
Here are some important features to look for when considering purchasing your own hand blender:
Power - If you puree a lot of 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.
Find a hand blender that is around 200-220 watts. 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 do loose 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 extra weight of the battery pack. 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 are working. So, it’s up to you which one you prefer.
But I suggest a hand blender with a cord so you can 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 so it doesn't get in your way. The price for a hand blender is generally around $30, depending on how fancy the stick is.
Some models come with lots of extra attachments that you may or may not need. If you already 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 is not going to 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 detachable shafts that are dishwasher safe.
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. If you’re going anywhere near the blade to unclog or clean it, make sure the blender is unplugged.
Hand blenders are extremely 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 lots of sources for purchasing quality small kitchen appliances including blenders, toaster 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 pieces of cookware.