Save time and energy with this handy immersion blender that makes daily recipes like sauces and smoothies effortless tasks when you are in a hurry. Your standard blender and food processor will be jealous.
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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Immersion blender. (Photo by Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post)
Credit: Getty Images/Dixie D. Vereen

If you are in search of a multi-use, compact, easy-to-clean gadget that will make your life in the kitchen way easier on a daily basis, look no further than an immersion blender. This portable handheld blender with a single rotary blade (also known as a hand blender or stick blender) expedites the process of beating, emulsifying, puréeing, or whipping ingredients together.

Rather than manually whisking for minutes on end, you can accomplish the same results much quicker. Have you ever tried to make from-scratch whipped cream without pulling out a mixer? It takes more willpower, muscle power, and dedication than you might think.Forget finicky, tough-to-clean food processors and all of their attachments that always find a way to go missing. The bottom attachment of the blender seamlessly pops off for a simple, easy cleaning experience. As far as price, you can pay anywhere between $30-60 on average.

In short, the core benefit of owning an immersion blender is that it makes prepping base, multipurpose recipes for the week seamlessly simple, and keeps you from dragging out (and later, cleaning up) your bulkier kitchen appliances to get the job done. Here are 8 of my favorite ways to put the immersion blender to work:

1. Tomato Sauce

Once your tomatoes have simmered to a soft consistency, use the immersion blender to break down the tomatoes into a thick sauce. Toss in a handful of freshly chopped basil, add your meatballs, or use the smooth sauce for a huge pan of lasagna. Freeze the leftovers, and pull it out on a busy weeknight when dinner needs to be on the table with little complication.

Spaghetti with Sausage and Simple Tomato Sauce
Credit: Romulo Yanes; Styling: Mary-Ellen Weinrib

2. Whipped Cream

Top off your morning parfait or evening dessert with a fresh dollop of whipped cream. The blade incorporates the air more effectively if you use a tall container (usually the blenders come with beakers) to blend in. If you have powdered sugar on hand, fold in a scoop for a little sweetness and a tiny splash of vanilla extract for depth.

Maren Caruso Photography, Inc
| Credit: Maren Caruso/Getty Images

Maren Caruso Photography, Inc Maren Caruso/Getty Images

3. Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise sauce can be tricky to make. You run the risk of breaking the sauce or unintentionally cooking the eggs. Don't be intimidated—you can do this. The best method is to beat the eggs, lemon juice, and water with the immersion blender and slowly add in melted butter into the egg mixture. The slow pouring action allows the butter to emulsify with the eggs, without scrambling them, for a smooth and creamy sauce. Once you master this simple trick, you can make restaurant-worthy eggs benedict at home with ease.

Eggs Benedict
Credit: Iain Bagwell Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

4. Soup

Roasted squash or cauliflower turns into smooth, rich soups effortlessly with a whirl of the immersion blender. Pour in warm broth/stock or water to control the thickness of your soup. I always like to roast garlic cloves and onions slices along with my main veggies and blend everything together at once.

5. Pesto

Leave your clunky food processor on the shelf, and whip out your immersion blender to make pesto sauce in no time. Spread it on a sandwich, toss it with pasta, spoon over chicken quarters, or use it on pizza. Feel free to swap the pine nuts (they're pricey) with pecans, walnuts, almonds, pisctachios, or whatever nut you have on hand.


6. Milkshakes and Smoothies

Start your day with a produce-packed smoothie or treat yourself after dinner to a decadent shake, both of which can be conveniently whipped up with an immersion blender. Note, using the immersion blender for these beverages is best when you only need to make one milkshake or smoothie for yourself (especially during busy mornings when you are rushing out the door).

7. Mayo

Skip the shelf-stable mayo impersonators at the store, and opt to make the real deal at home instead. Mayo is an emulsification of egg yolks and oil, however these ingredients do not bind together easily, so an immersion blender is extremely helpful. You can do this by hand... but it's well worth it to give your biceps a break, and let the blender do all the work. As the eggs beat, slowly drizzling the oil in is key. The mayo will soon start to take shape, and the closer you are to making a smoked turkey club sandwich.

8. Vinaigrettes

Who needs store bought dressings and vinaigrettes when you can make your favorites within minutes at home for half the cost? Blend a combination of olive oil, honey, and vinegar (balsamic, red wine, and rice wine all work just the same) or olive oil, honey, and lemon juice with a pinch of salt and you've got the base of your own vinaigrette, ready for further customization with herbs and seasonings.