10 Best Immersion Blenders | March 2017
- good option for pureeing and juicing
- money-back guarantee offered
- it's a bit on the heavy side
- comes in a wide variety of colors
- beaker and shaft are dishwasher safe
- safety button is a bit of a pain
- compact and versatile design
- 400 watts of power
- it's pretty expensive
- has a non-scratch base
- storage lid is included
- extra-long 6-foot power cord
- low and high speed settings
- handbuilt in switzerland
- ideal for extra-large and deep pots
- beaker and whisk attachment
- powerbell system minimizes splashes
- powerful german-engineered motor
- removable stainless steel shaft
- up to 18000 revolutions per minute
- rubberized comfort grip
An immersion blender is a handheld kitchen appliance used for mixing and blending ingredients. Also known as a hand blender, it is primarily used for smoothies, baking, and soups. The blender purees and emulsifies liquids, however, it can be used on solid ingredients as well. The immersion moniker tips the consumer off that the blender is designed to be immersed in the dish being cooked, as opposed to a stand mixer or blender which mixes the ingredients in a designated bowl. The biggest advantage to this is the ability to blend the ingredients in the vessel of your choice; no special or large mixing bowls are required to operate a hand blender. The mobility of the handheld device is also an advantage over countertop appliances.
A common misconception is that an immersion blender is interchangeable with a worktop blender, food processor, or stand mixer. It is none of those, and it has earned real estate on the kitchen countertop in its own right. The stand mixer can only blend or mix the ingredients, whereas a hand blender is capable of chopping the ingredients as well.
In order to do so, an immersion blender is equipped with a shaft that houses an electric motor. At the end of the shaft is a wand with a blade grinder attached; similar to a coffee blade grinder. This is known as a blade mill. The sharp edges of the blade rotate at a rapid rate, like a propeller, to chop ingredients and emulsify liquids. The blade is usually constructed of stainless steel and may be detachable for easy cleaning. A shield placed above the blade prevents injuries and ingredients from splashing out of the bowl.
The Bells and Whistles
If you deem an immersion blender an essential item to your kitchen repertoire, you shouldn't pick up the first old blender you see. First, take a realistic look at your kitchen habits and the amount of baking and cooking you routinely take part in. Most complaints about immersion blenders are not about their overall quality, but rather that they are underused and collect dust in the kitchen.
The immersion blender is designed to be handheld, however, you should be wary of that claim. The sheer weight of the unit can be a factor. Considering that it is handheld, holding a heavy blender can cause fatigue, making it cumbersome to hold for an extended period of time. If you perform a heavy volume of mixing, perhaps a stand mixer or blender might be more appropriate for your kitchen.
The weight of the blender is primarily attributed to the size of the motor. The motor is equipped to blend the ingredients smoothly. The larger the motor, the more it will be adept at handling thick batters and hard materials.
While not serving a particular function, many consumers will factor in the appearance of the blender. The mise en place of your kitchen might call for a black blender, even though the silver model will be of higher quality. Do not be swayed by flashy models with unique colors that might distract you from flaws in the appliance's performance.
The accessories of the models are often worth the additional cost. The primary function of the blender is to cut, however, the additional attachments make the appliance more versatile. Some blenders include an extra storage vessel, additional whisks or accessories, and even options as far as handles are concerned. Also, some models boast cordless operation, making them more convenient and safer when moving around the kitchen. In those instances, such blenders are equipped with charging stations with more limited battery life when used cordlessly.
A History of the Immersion Blender
Since humanity has existed, we have needed subsistence to survive. Food must be prepared to kill bacteria and ensure that meals are both balanced and palatable. If we leap forward a couple of millennia, we will see that little has changed; food is still prepared and mixed in the modern age of kitchen culinary endeavors. The primary action in preparing food is mixing the ingredients.
The precursor to the immersion blender was the stand mixer, introduced in the United States over one hundred years ago. While efficient and durable, the design was limited to an anchored machine and its mobility was limited.
The immersion blender was invented by Roger Perrinjaquet in Switzerland in 1950. He cleverly labeled his invention the bamix, which is a portmanteau of the French words bat et mixe (beat and mix). After a decade of obscurity, the blender gained popularity in the rest of Europe in the 1960's. It wasn't until the 1980's that the hand blending craze reached the United States, where it revolutionized blending.
With this new appliance, consumers got wise to the uses of the blender. New parents discovered that they could puree homemade baby food at a cheaper cost. Sauces, soups, and marinades of the highest quality were now being mixed by kitchen DIYers.
Today, immersion blenders are in the canon of luxury kitchen appliances. For the average consumer, they are not a necessity, however, they are designed to make life easier.