There are couple of things you need to ask yourself before buying an immersion blender. What is the best immersion blender for you? What will you use it for? What makes the best immersion blender the best?
Immersion blender is also called a hand or a stick blender. It can blend very large amounts, like a pot full of soup or smaller amounts of food than a regular counter top blender. A great immersion blender is therefore a very handy kitchen tool.
What Makes the Best Immersion Blender the Best?
Immersion blenders can save you lots of tears chopping onions. They can also save you a good amount of time and space in your kitchen cabinet.
Immersion blenders are really good for blending and pureeing large amount of liquidy stuff – like blending pumpkin or any veggie pot into a smooth, creamy soup.
The good thing about it is you can do it straight in the pot, unlike normal blenders, where you have to pour soup in a separate, blender container. This way you have less washing to do and larger amounts to blend.
It is also good with small batches, like baby food, different sauces, chopping veggies (onion, garlic, nuts, etc.)
However, they have issues and critical features you should know about before buying one. Many immersion blenders struggle to blend tougher veggies, like cauliflower.
Some are really challenging to wash and you can cut yourself pretty badly. And all of them should be used 1 minute at the time, top. Also, they are not as powerful as blenders.
Let’s talk about the important stuff – which features matters when buying the best immersion blender and which one I find the very best.
Suction, Blades and Vortex
The only important question when getting an immersion blender is how well it blends.
Every immersion blender should be able to blend, whip and emulsify relatively well.
Good immersion blender is convenient when you only need to whip a bit of cream or a dip and don’t want to pull out your stump big stand mixer.
Great immersion blender can save you some serious money on other kitchen appliances. You can use it in most food preparations.
Immersion blender with wider, shallower cups and
more exposed blades is the one you are after.
An immersion blender needs to create suction towards its blades. This way the ingredients are sucked to the blades and then blended. This comes down to how exposed the blades are, the shape of a cup and how much suction, vortex it can create.
Blades that sit deeper in a cup and are guarded by the cup will not do much blending. And whatever it may attempt to blend will get tangled around and between and all over the blades. You will have hard time blending and hard time washing.
Immersion blender with wider, shallower cups and more exposed blades is the one you are after. This type will quickly draw ingredients into a powerful vortex and through the blades. It will blend well, quickly and washing will be little more than a quick rinse.
The downside of exposed blades is safety. In this design, blade are exposed and you can cut yourself easier than with a blades sitting deep within a cup. So, please, keep that in mind.
With or Without Attachments?
That depends on what you want to use it for.
If you will use it for pureeing soups and baby food, maybe a soft fruit smoothie..well, actually, I only have a bare bones immersion blender (without attachments) and it’s a beauty. If you’re not super picky and pedantic, I reckon you’ll be OK without attachments. You’ll still be able to blend, whip and emulsify.
However, if you want something you can use in most food preparation scenarios, you may want to consider getting attachments as well. Attachments usually include blades, whisks, froth, and chopper blender. With attachments an immersion blender can replace at least 3 other kitchen appliances – mixer, coffee grinder, small blender, etc.
Plastic or Stainless Steel?
Go for a stainless steel. It’s sturdier, more enduring and it doesn’t start to smell or take on color.
I started with a white plastic immersion blender and after couple of curry pots, my pretty white blender became yellow and smelled of onions I often chop.
How Easy It is To Clean?
Different blade design make some models simpler to clean than others.
The best one need little more than a quick rinse to remove thick purées from the underside of the blade.
The rule is the same as for creating vortex:
more exposed blades with wider cup are the easiest to clean.
The worst will leave behind a tangle of vegetable fibers around dangerous, sharp blades you cannot reach well enough to clean it.
The rule is the same as for creating vortex: more exposed blades with wider cup are the easiest to clean.
How Powerful Should It Be?
Depends on what you want to use it for, some people are happy with basic immersion blender while other need more heavy-duty motor.
For the basics like blending and making puree, a 100 – 150 Watt motor should do.
For some heavier duty tasks, like crushing ice, a 500 Watt and above should be the power you’re looking for.
A powerful immersion blender can make smoothies to some extent but doesn’t have the power to blend thicker, less liquidy fruit or veggies.
If you’re looking for an immersion blender to make smoothies you will probably find it a bit disappointing over its performance.
Immersion blender just doesn’t have enough roar to replace a regular, counter-top blender.
More power often translates to how fast it is going to blend, which brings us to another, very important issue – overheating.
How Fast Does It Overheat?
One of the biggest issues with immersion blenders is overheating.
Most immersion blenders will overheat in a little over 1 minute of non-stop blending. In fact, instructions say to keep it under 1 minute to avoid this issue. What is more, the attachments also accumulate high heat that can cause burns.
So far, I came across one model that can efficiently disperse heat and gives you enough time to finish food prepping.
What is the Best Immersion Blender?
There are actually 2 immersion blenders to recommend – one is full on the best and the other one is budget friendly.
The first one, and an absolute winner is All-Clad Stainless Steel Immersion Blender.
You can read more about it, here.
I believe this is the one immersion blender that does not overheat before the job is done. It is powerful and blends fastest, does not struggle with blending, it creates great vortex that many other immersion blenders don’t have.
It doesn’t come with attachments but you can but them separately. It’s stainless steel and built to last.
All-Clad works much better than some expensive high-end, fancy immersion blender brands.
The second is Hamilton Beach 2-Speed Immersion Blender.
Cheap as chips, this is a surprisingly good immersion blender. It blends well – actually better than some much more expensive immersion blenders. It comes with a whisk and a chopper.
If you’re looking for an immersion blender that will be your right hand, your pick is All-Clad immersion blender. It is powerful enough to be used in most food preparation tasks, quick, reliable and is the best when it comes to not overheating to fast.
But if you’re not to fussy and just need an occasional blending, then go for Hamilton model.
I hope you found the information that is useful to you. If you have any questions, want to share your experience or just chat on this topic, write a comment below. I’d love to hear your point of view!
Till next time,