How to Feel Like a Pro When Learning to Use Your New Immersion Blender
Keep your kitchen splatter-free and discover secret uses for this amazing appliance.
The immersion blender is one of those pieces of kitchen kit that has made its way from the pro kitchen to the home kitchen fairly seamlessly. From pureeing soups and sauces right in the pot, to making a quick salad dressing or homemade aioli, not having to bust out the big blender is a game changer for many cooks.
The more you use an immersion blender, the more you will find yourself reaching for it as one of your go-to pieces of equipment. If you have recently received an immersion blender, or have purchased one for yourself, here are 6 top tricks for getting the most out of it (and 3 great models to buy, if you're looking to upgrade or give one as a gift!).
1. Make sure you use the right size vessel
The vessel you are blending in makes a big difference when you want to get the most out of your immersion blender. If the level of the items you are blending is too shallow, your blender will not be able to deal with it very effectively, and you will get a less perfect result. You want your ingredients to be at least an inch deeper than the blade, so for small batches of things like salad dressing, it is better to go with a taller and narrower container for blending versus a wider bowl.
2. Make sure your blade is fully submerged at all times
Be sure the blade is fully submerged before you start blending, or you will likely find yourself well-spattered by whatever you are trying to blend! You want to keep the blade under the surface of whatever you are blending for the whole time you are using the unit.
3. Always start at a slow speed
Whether your unit has a range of speeds or just high and low, always start blending at the lowest speed and increase as you go. This allows larger pieces to break down easier before you amp up the power for full puree.
4. Know when to move the immersion blender and when to hold it still
When making things like whipped cream, whipped egg whites, or homemade mayonnaise—anything that you need to take beyond just liquifying—you'll want to bring in air to boost your volume. The secret to this is to move your immersion blender around in every direction, including up and down, in your liquid (but stay submerged!). If you are not trying to add air to your mix, you can keep the position of your immersion blender fairly static and more towards the bottom of your vessel, only moving as needed to fully blend ingredients.
5. Use it to reduce food waste and limit cleanup
Have a tiny bit of mustard or jam or honey in the bottom of a jar? Add vinegar and oil and seasonings and whip up a salad dressing right in the original jar, pop the lid back on and you have no-waste and storage all in one. Need to crush whole canned tomatoes? Pop the lid off, pour off a little bit of the juice, and blend right in the can. Instant hummus? Drain your can or jar of chickpeas and refill halfway with tahini, add a squeeze of lemon and a splash of water, and blend in the can or jar. Season to taste and garnish with olive oil, then recycle the vessel and save yourself cleanup.
6. Wash it by hand
Many immersion blenders are technically dishwasher safe, but much like your good knives, your machine will last much longer if you wash the parts by hand. This prevents both dulling and dinging from the blade coming into contact with other items in your dishwasher and protects any plastic parts from degrading from the intense heat of your dishwasher.
3 great immersion blenders to buy now
Still shopping? Choose the right machine!
Immersion blenders come in a wide range of price points, and it can be confusing to choose the right one. For starters, ask yourself some key questions.
Do you already have a good quality standard blender? Do you only use it occasionally? If so, you will only need this one for convenience, and not necessarily power or the kind of durability that withstands constant use. So, you'll do fine with a lower price-point option like the KitchenAid, which has the added benefit of being cordless for total flexibility.
Buy it: KitchenAid Cordless Hand Blender ($79.99), amazon.com
Do you want some extra accessories like mini chopper attachments or a whisk option? Bump up to a slightly more expensive unit like the Cuisinart, which adds in these bonus pieces to help make the unit even more of a powerhouse.
Buy it: Cuisinart Smart Stick Two-Speed Hand Blender ($94.99), amazon.com
Are you a serious cook looking for an investment piece, or wanting to gift something to your favorite cook as a splurge? Go for power and durability with the Bamix. This European import from Switzerland brings all the tech precision of a country famous for watches right to your kitchen. This is the version many pro chefs have at home, and it is known for having the most extensive range of accessories, including specialty blades that can be swapped in for things like chopping meats or grinding spices.
Buy it: The Expert Bamix Professional Immersion Hand Blender ($269.90), amazon.com