Kitchen appliances seem to be getting bigger and bigger by the year! I know I can’t be alone in the struggle to find enough counter space for my food processor, smoothie maker, juicer, stand mixer, coffee grinder and that’s just a short summary!
I love how easy cooking can be with all the kitchen aids available these days but sometimes it seems more hassle than help getting them out the cupboard and afterward the washing up seems to go n for days!
There is a time and a place for all my beloved gadgets but when I’m in a mad rush and need to get things done then I always reach for my hand blender.
Hand blenders can be used for so many things. From blending to whisking and chopping to grinding there’s very little you can’t do with a stick blender these days. Lightweight and versatile they make a great travel companion and take up barely any room in the kitchen.
What Is A Hand Blender?
A hand blender (also known as an immersion blender or stick blender) is a type of food processor that can be hand held when used. The fast-spinning blades are fixed on the end of a mixing stick type machine that can be introduced to any vessel of food. Hand blenders come in various shapes and sizes and have a huge range of features that makes them at home in any kitchen.
As much as I love my countertop kitchen appliances, my hand blender certainly gives them a run for their money! They’re so useful, versatile and lightweight and there are not many recipes out there that I wouldn’t consider enlisting the help of my handheld blender.
A Word Of Caution…
Before we go into detail about how great hand blenders can be I must first caution you with some safety talk. Hand blenders, if held the wrong way, can send pureed food flying across the room. At best this makes for some nasty cleanup and at worst it can end up giving you some serious burns. Always take care when using a hand blender and if possible, use a pot cover as well.
What makes it a good choice?
The hand mixer is the smallest and lightest of my kitchen tools. It can easily fit in the back of the cupboard or even in the cutlery drawer. Mine weighs less than 3 pounds so is really easy to use no matter how strong you are!
I love the fact that it is dishwasher safe and again, doesn’t take up much space at all in amongst the dirty dishes. It’s a great gadget to take with you if you love smoothies at work or on the road as it’s so portable.
All hand held blenders vary with the different attachments they come with.
Some brands are simply, tough stainless steel blades for pureeing foods. Others come with detachable blender arms so you can attach anything from a whisk attachment to a masher.
Another great addition is some companies provide specially designed beakers or jugs to allow ease of use.
Finally, some stick blenders double as mini choppers and food processors as the motor attaches to a mixing bowl with the relevant features.
Blend in the Pot
One thing I love about the immersion blender is that I can puree hot soup in the pan without transferring it into a jug. This not only saves on washing up but it prevents the soup from losing too much heat when it’s being blended.
The fact the blades can be introduced to just about any container means you’re not limited when it comes to the volume of food that can be blended.
Perfect for large batches of tomato sauce.
Again, this feature doesn’t apply to all brands but I absolutely love the cordless hand blenders (like the Cuisinart 3 in 1 cordless hand blender).
I use mine every day and it’s definitely the best traveled of all my kitchen gadgets. It just means you don’t need to worry about finding a plug when you’re ready to make a delicious smoothie, milkshake, or quickly producing some whipped cream.
What Are Hand Blenders Used For?
A lot of stick blenders come with a food processor chamber that attaches to the motor. The Braun Multiquick 9 comes with a mini-chopper, grinder, whisk, and beaker specifically designed to make smoothies. If you’re looking to save space in the kitchen then a hand blender that doubles as a food processor may be just the ticket!
It kind of goes without saying, a hand blender is great for blending! The Bamix classic is a simple yet versatile little blender has a really unique blade that not only blends but chops, whisks, and liquidize veggies without any fuss. I love to use it to make pesto!
Whether you need frozen fruit turned into a smoothie or chickpeas chopped into a thick creamy hummus, hand blenders have got your back.
A whisk attachment (like the Hamilton Beach hand blender has) is great for baking. Rather than ending up with a sore wrist by struggling for ages to get fluffy peaks in that heavy cream, why not use the blender and have the whole lot done quickly and effortlessly.
A lot of people claim that you can use the hand blender to mash potato. Personally I find the potato ends up a bit too blended and liquified rather than fluffy peaks. If you’re looking to make baby food or trying to puree soup then that’s the only time I could recommend taking the hand blender to a potato.
If homemade mayo is right up your street then a hand blender can help you out. It can be really difficult to mix the vinegar and fats that give you that silky mayonnaise texture. The powerful Kitchenaid hand blender comes with loads of different blade attachments and makes the perfect partner if you love mayo or a vinaigrette salad dressing.
I guess this is quite similar to blending but stick blenders make a great puree out of anything. Avocado can quickly turn to guacamole or use it to avoid chunky batter when making waffles or pancakes.
My Favorite Hand Blender
In my humble opinion, the best hand blender out there is the Braun Hand Immersion Blender. With a whisk, chopper, juicer, and food processor attachments there’s very little it can’t do! The jug it comes with is shatterproof and hasn’t failed me yet. It’s really powerful at 700w and is made of stainless steel so fine to go in hot soup. The product comes with a 2-year warranty as well so if you don’t like it for any reason then it’s simple enough to send back. Thanks, Braun!
My Least Favorite Hand Blender
The unfortunate loser where it comes to hand blenders has to be the Breville 2 in 1 hand blender set. It’s made of plastic (although the blades are steel) which means it’s very prone to wear and tear. The plastic beaker that came with it broke after just a few uses and the machine itself isn’t very powerful at only 500 watts. That being said, my friend swears by her Breville so I guess its each to their own!
Hand blenders are small yet multi-functional and can double as food-processors, mini-choppers, herb grinders, whisks, and much more. They can save space in a smaller kitchen and make the perfect travel companion. I love my hand blender when I just need a small job carried out quickly and want to save on the clean up afterward.