A Guide to Buying a Hand Blender
There’s no doubt that a blender is a versatile tool in your kitchen. It can assist you in preparing soups, milkshakes, smoothies, sauces, purees, and much more. And, most importantly, it can help you prepare a large volume of food quickly. Although a countertop blender offers all of these features, a hand blender can be just as versatile.
While a countertop blender usually features a stronger motor that can handle hard foods with ease, a hand blender has other attractive features that can tip the scale in its favor. For example, you can disassemble the parts of a hand blender and put it in a drawer when it’s not in use. That saves valuable countertop space. Also, a hand blender can let you dice up ingredients inside the very same pot that you’re using to cook, even while the contents are hot! And hand blenders are typically easier to clean than a countertop blender.
We’ll look at some of the options among hand blenders and see what they’re capable of doing. We’ll see that you can also purchase hand blenders with various attachments for chopping hard foods, or for whipping delicate egg whites into a froth. There are also hand blenders that have special features in their construction that are worth considering. Get ready to add a handy new tool to your kitchen!
Types of Hand Blenders
Examining the options among the Best Reviews Guide list of the best hand blenders, we see that there are two main types:
Corded: These require that you work next to an electrical outlet. But, many models have an electrical cord as much as 6 feet long, so that’s not much of a limitation. Also, an electrical cord assures you that you always have power, since you don’t have to charge up the unit. A good example is the Breville Control Grip Immersion Blender (Model No. BSB510XL). As you can see, it can come with a measuring cup, a chopping bowl, and a whisking attachment.
Breville Control Grip Immersion Blender
Cordless: There are also cordless hand blenders, which give you greater mobility in the kitchen. An example is the KitchenAid Cordless Variable Speed Hand Blender. It fully recharges in around 2 hours and charges up enough in 20 minutes for a quick job, such as preparing a smoothie. However, you can’t use the blender while it’s being recharged.
KitchenAid Cordless Variable Speed Hand Blender
What reviewers say
Here’s what customers say about their choice of hand blender:
Convenient for blending hot foods: For preparing soup using a countertop blender, many recipes call for first cooking the ingredients, and then blending them in a blender. But it’s not very convenient to transfer hot soup to a blender cup, blend it, and then pour it back into a pot. A hand blender allows you to blend hot soup while it’s still in the pot. (Just make sure that you blend at a slow speed, to avoid splashing the soup.)
Guard to not scratch the pot: If you choose to blend food while it’s in a pot, some blenders will scratch the surface of the pot. (This is especially a problem with pots that have a non-stick coating.) Look for blenders that have a guard on the mixing wand, to maintain a distance between the blades and the pot.
Blenders that don’t create a vacuum: The construction of some blending wands is designed to reduce suction between the wand and the bottom of the container or pot in which you blend the ingredients. This suction prevents food from getting chopped and pureed properly by the blender blades. The Braun MultiQuick 5 Immersion Hand Blender is specially constructed to avoid this suction problem. It also prevents splashing the ingredients around during blending.
Here are some features of the best hand blenders, which may help you decide on one model over another:
Attachments and accessories: The most common accessories that come with hand blenders are a chopper attachment and a whisk attachment. The chopper attachment is recommended for harder foods, such as nuts, onions, hard cheeses, and chocolate pieces. The whisk attachment is for whipping egg whites or preparing cream, as well as emulsifying vinaigrettes or preparing mayonnaise.
Cleaning: An immersion blender is typically easier to clean than a countertop blender. This is because food residue tends to get stuck at the bottom of the countertop blender’s cup, underneath the blades. In many hand blenders, the wand detaches from the motor for easy cleaning. The accessories (chopper cup and measuring cup) are usually dishwasher-safe.
Variable speeds: There are three major mechanisms in hand blenders to allow you to change speeds.
By pressure: Some blenders, such as the KitchenAid Cordless Variable Speed Hand Blender, vary the speed according to how hard you press the speed button. When you start the blender, you press gently on the speed button, to blend gently. As the food gets to a more liquid consistency, you press harder on the speed button, to increase the speed. Customers say that this mechanism is a bit tricky to master.
Toggling through the speeds: Another option is employed by the Vitamix Immersion Blender. You press the power button to turn the blender on, and another button for the speed. Each press of the speed button increases the speed, letting you cycle from Speed 1 to Speed 5. When you release the power button, the blender turns off.
Dialing the speed: There are also hand blenders that have a dial in the handle. You dial the speed that you want to use. The Cuisinart Smart Stick Variable Speed Hand Blender uses this mechanism.
Cuisinart Smart Stick Variable Speed Hand Blender
We studied a few of the hand blenders in the Best Reviews Guide list. They can provide results comparable to some of the best countertop blenders. An immersion blender takes up less space in your kitchen and also ensures less cleanup. Look over the options in the Best Reviews Guide list of the best hand blenders, and select one today!