An Immersion Blender, occasionally also called a stick blender or hand blender, is a handy little kitchen appliance which has a blade on the bottom that can be submerged or ‘Immersed’ into a liquid or other ingredients for quick and easy blending. The best immersion blender is a small hand held kitchen appliance, usually cordless, used to blend or purée food in the container in which it is being prepared.
The immersion blender was conceived in Switzerland in 1950 by a guy called Roger Perrinjaquet, who patented the idea in 1950. Originally the immersion blender was called the “bamix”, a combination of the French phrase “batere et mixe” (beats and mixes). The top of the blender has an electric motor which powers a rotating cutting blade at the end of the extended blending shaft. The blades can look like that of a larger blender or food processor but they are generally laid flat.
Best Immersion Blender Uses.
Other uses for immersion blenders include puréeing smoothies, soups and emulsifying sauces. Need to make mayonnaise? No problem, make your own with just a small list of ingredients you almost certainly already have in your kitchen cupboard. Chili con carne too dense? Just plunge your immersion blender straight into the pot and thin it down in seconds.
You can do virtually anything with a handheld immersion blender that you can do with a traditional blender or food processor, but quicker and with less mess to clean up. You can also do much more that you probably wouldn’t even consider doing with a traditional blender due the portability and small size. We also have a selection of delicious immersion blender recipes that you can try at home on our site.
Best Immersion Blender Features.
Immersion Blenders can be categorised into two groups : Detachable-shaft blenders and Fixed-shaft models. Detachable-shaft Immersion Blenders are linked through a coupler, which is the part that links the motor to the shaft. While this can be a useful feature for cleaning, the main purpose is to offer flexibility with different removable accessories. As a result, this normally decreases power output as more connections and moving parts makes it problematic to deliver the full rated power.
A Fixed-shaft Immersion Blender is direct drive, and ought to deliver 100% of their full power rating. In this instance, less is more. These are more likely to be a heavy duty blender or commercial unit or occasionally even the budget Immersion Blenders. If you don’t need or want to regularly switch accessories, a fixed-shaft Immersion Blender is the best choice and generally the most efficient when it comes down to power output.
The main factor is that power output is not the only defining aspect for best Immersion Blender performance; nor is blade speed. So while detachable-shaft and fixed-shaft Immersion can have equal power rating, they may not be one and the same in everyday use. Many Immersion Blender models have detachable or exchangeable chopping blades. This can be very handy if the immersion blender is going to be used frequently. Blunt blades can produce extra friction on the motor as it has to produce more energy to perform the same job, which in turn can shorten the lifespan of the immersion blender. With that being said, if you are going to be utilising your Immersion Blender to blend solid ingredients like ice, frozen fruit or meat you may want to choose one of these models.
Best Immersion Blender Accessories
For a detachable-shaft immersion blender, the accessories can include kitchen essentials like whisks or chopping attachments, which can make the immersion blender perform more like a standard food processor. The whisk attachments are great for lighter ingredients such as eggs, cream or mixing dry ingredients with moist ones for cake mixes etc. Although not quite as potent as a dedicated hand mixer or food processor they are excellent for minor or faster kitchen chores.
Obviously, not all immersion blender brands accessories are produced to the same standard and you will notice that the more expensive models will come equipped with far better quality attachments. As always, you get what you pay for, and sometimes it pays to spend a little more to get a superior kitchen appliance.
Additionally, the best immersion blender will come complete with it’s own beaker or smoothie cup to make mixing and cleaning a piece of cake. Once more, the quality of these differ extensively and only the top brands come with accessories made to a high standard that will last you a long time. Sometimes you will see some models like the Kitchenaid Immersion Blender that include a wide range of useful attachments.
Why Is An Immersion Blender Unique?
An immersion blender is unique because you don’t need you to put all of your ingredients into a special container like a standard food processor. You can use any container you like, as long as the immersion blender head will fit inside. Smoothie cups, jam jars or mugs work just fine or just submerge the appliance directly into your saucepan or electric wok. Where an immersion blender becomes really useful is when you need to mix hot ingredients. Not all food processors or blenders can handle hot ingredients and certainly not cheaper models that are made with substandard materials or flimsy plastic.
Furthermore, if you’ve ever tried to move hot food from the hob to a standard blender or food processor container you will appreciate the difficulty of this. It can also be dangerous and quite messy if you are not careful. If you intend to cook many hot dishes that require mixing or blending such as soups, an immersion blender should be high on your list of recommended kitchen appliance purchases. Immersion Blenders are also distinctive in that they need very little room to store due to their slim profile, and there are many of these appliances that are very attractive to look at so having them on display in your kitchen is not a bad thing.
Immersion Blender Maintenance And Cleaning.
The cleaning of an immersion blender is a fairly quick and simple process due to their design, and is certainly a lot easier in contrast to some of the conventional blenders or food processors. It is normally just a case of simply unscrewing or removing the blender head, then placing in the dishwasher or washing with the crockery in the sink. If you have a large family who enjoy different kinds of smoothies or juices, an immersion blender will save you a large amount of time. Just wash off the blender head and mix up another smoothie.
How Much Does An Immersion Blender Cost?
An immersion blender is very affordable when compared with a traditional blender and based on your needs in the kitchen, you can certainly find one within your budget. As we said before, when buying kitchen appliances it pays to choose the best quality item you can afford. We have broken down the quality and price ranges into brackets below to give you an idea of what you can expect for your money.
Budget Immersion Blenders Under $50.00.
Typically for a home chef on a modest budget or for a household that has only occasional use for an cordless immersion blender and will be using it cautiously for easier to blend ingredients. These blenders won’t be the most powerful but will be adequate for their intended use and will be fine for making soups and smoothies. Budget Immersion Blenders under $50.00 are almost always made in china with inexpensive materials and lower quality accessories.
The cutting blades will typically be of of lower quality and generally will not be able to cope with crushing ice or blend bigger chopped ingredients such as vegetables as well. The immersion blender itself possibly will be smaller in size and most likely won’t come equipped with any included accessories or a detachable blending shaft.
If you choose a big name brand of blender, it’s completely possible to get the best immersion blender for under $50.00 that will last for a long time and serve you well. You unquestionably want to be certain you read a few blender reviews and do your due diligence before buying a budget immersion blender though. It is generally very simple to learn which manufacturers and which models are likely to break down within a few months and which ones will last you for many years and provide you with a useful kitchen appliance. If you are a prolific cook and will be using the blender regularly, it is probably better to choose a higher quality model at a slightly higher price.
Immersion Blenders Between $50 & $100
Now we are moving into chef territory. A blender in this price range is for the home chef who enjoys making smoothies and soups. These blenders will normally come with accessories and other features not found on a budget immersion blender. These blenders will usually come with a decent warranty and last for many years. These models are usually manufactured by top name brands and are generally more stylish. Immersion blenders in the $50.00 to $100.00 price range include most domestic blenders found in modern kitchens and households. This makes it a little complex when choosing the best immersion blender as most models fit into this price bracket.
Many of the blenders in this price range are manufactured in China, but to a higher standard and some are even put together in America or Europe. The chopping blades on these models are typically of a higher quality and the power will be higher and more direct. Some of these models will have interchangeable blades but even the ones that don’t should last for years if looked after properly as they are in general well-constructed.
Immersion Blenders in this price range ought to perform quite well for crushing ice for use in smoothies or other cold drinks. In fact, most frozen items should be no problem. If you are buying or looking for the best immersion blender for the first time, we would highly recommend purchasing a blender in this price range as they offer the best value for money. It’s not unusual to hear tales of people owning a Kitchenaid Immersion Blender for over 20 years and its still working like new.
Also in this price range you will find blenders with high quality accessories and features that are not available with cheaper appliances. If you are going to be using your immersion blender for a large selection of delicious recipes, it’s wise to choose one in this price range.
Immersion Blenders Over $100
Now we are closing in on what we can safely call the best immersion blender. Blenders in this price bracket are for experienced or aspiring chefs who will use their immersion blender regularly for various cooking related tasks. They will come with interchangeable blades as the expected usage frequency will be considerably higher. They can be used for virtually any recipes and heavy duty tasks such as crushing ice, making omelets, milk shakes, soups and whipping cream. These high end immersion blenders have greater power for making delicious immersion blender recipes and can be found in most restaurants.
Immersion blenders in this price range are frequently used in professional locales or high volume kitchens. You will find many models in this bracket with endorsed by professional chefs or Television celebrities and famous people. The materials and construction are usually made in Europe or America and are generally built to a much higher standard with a better finish and internal motor. Additionally, you will normally find these blenders to have removable cutting blades. This means the appliance will last a lot longer. An Immersion blender that lasts 20 years is no use if it has blunt cutting blades.
You will also find the longer guarantees and extended warranties in this price range and better customer support. This is good news as it means the manufacturers stand by the quality of their products and gives you peace of mind when purchasing a new appliance. There is also less competition at this price point which makes choosing a lot easier and less complicated to find the best immersion blender.
With immersion blenders, and many other household appliances the old adage of “you get what you pay for” applies. Build quality and warranty are important but make sure blender you choose has all the necessary attachments you need. Another thing to consider is the style and color to ensure it blends in with your current kitchen décor, appliances and fittings.