In a world filled with gadgets and tools that only serve one purpose, consumers need to be cautious or end up with a house filled with useless stuff. No room in your home gets more attention from the gadget creators than the kitchen — there are endless products out there that are marketed with promises to save you time and money. How do you know which ones are worth it and which ones are just going to end up in a drawer somewhere? For example, you may find yourself in a position to ask, “Do I need an immersion blender?” Well, we’re here to help you answer that question.
Immersion blenders are multitasking wizards. They can make your homemade soups creamier and your whipped cream fluffier in just a few seconds. Blending hot sauces and soups is much safer with an immersion blender since you don’t have to transfer the hot liquids to and from the blender.
And speaking of blenders, why would you want to lug out that heavy blender base and go through all of the hassles of cleaning the blender parts when you’re finished when you can just use your stick blender? Immersion blenders are usually pretty easy to clean (just warm soapy water on most parts), and some of the parts may even be dishwasher-safe, depending on the model. Additionally, if you currently keep your blender (or food processor) on your counter, the immersion blender allows you to free up that counter space. The other major plus that immersion blenders have is that they are affordable — you can get models starting under $20, and even the name brands ring in around $60.
Though immersion blenders may be lighter, take up less space, and are easier to clean than a countertop blender, they are not nearly as powerful as your average blender. Some wand blenders boast that they are strong enough to crush ice, but we’ve found that traditional blenders are better at the job. If it can’t crush ice, it probably won’t chop raw carrots or frozen fruits very well either, so if you love a good smoothie or puree made of foods you blend yourself, you might be out of luck. Another downside to immersion blenders is that they typically have only one or two speed settings. You shouldn’t need more than that for most uses, but don’t expect the traditional blender’s wide array of options.
How to choose an immersion blender
If you’ve decided that you can’t live without an immersion blender any longer, we’re here to help you decide which one is right for you. It may seem simple, but choosing the proper immersion blender for your specific needs will make you happier with your purchase — it may even save you some money.
Power and speed
As mentioned, most immersion blenders don’t have a ton of power or speed. But, if you’re going to be pureeing sauces and making mayonnaise, you don’t have to worry too much about power. If you’re a smoothie lover and will be chopping frozen fruit, look for a stick blender with around 200 to 250 watts. The higher-watt immersion blenders will also be great for chunkier items and can probably even handle pesto.
Cord versus cordless
Though it would be ideal if everything were cordless, sometimes circumstances don’t allow for it. If your kitchen has too few outlets, you’re going to want the cordless model. Having to break out an extension cord or unplug other appliances every time you want to use the blender will make you want to use it less. Cordless wand blenders tend to be less powerful than corded versions, so buyers beware. But, if you’re always making a lot of frosting, the cordless model should be just fine.
If you don’t have a blender or food processor, you may want to get an immersion blender that comes with accessories that allow you to slice and whisk. Of course, wand blenders that come with more accessories usually cost more money, but if you’re out to replace other kitchen gadgets and small appliances, it could be worth it. If you’re content chopping veggies with your food processor and crushing ice with your blender, go with a stick blender without the extras. It will be simple to use and store.
Do you need an immersion blender? The choice is yours now that you have all of the information. If you’re someone who can’t resist the kitchen gadgets, the choice is obvious. If you’re in desperate need of a multitasking space-saver, the answer is also yes. Either way, you will likely make great use of your purchase. In fact, we’re not sure there is a reason that you shouldn’t get an immersion blender.
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