If you’re reading this article, you probably know what an immersion blender is and what it does. If you don’t, however, let’s give a basic definition first. An immersion blender can be defined as a kitchen tool that is used for blending sauces, soups and other liquids in the kitchen. It is also called a stick or hand blender. It is basically a stick that has blender blades at the end and differs slightly from a regular blender.
With a regular blender, you pour your liquid into the blender and then turn it on. With an immersion one, on the other hand, the blender itself is inserted into the container with the liquid, such as a pot of soup, and then turned on.
The immersion blender comes in handy if you have a large amount of liquid to work with. With a regular blender you might need to blend things in batches, but with an immersion blender you can blend the liquid in its original container. A good immersion blender will be strong enough to process all kinds of liquids and foods, including cooked potatoes, meats and vegetables.
An immersion blender is an amazing kitchen companion. If you know how to use it properly and get the best performance from it, it becomes even more amazing and useful. How do you do that? By following these general tips:
Assemble the Blender Correctly
Before you start using it, you will need to assemble it if you bought it unassembled. Depending on the model, the process might vary. Most immersion blenders have a spring-loaded catch. The catch clicks whenever the components are fitted into place.
Others may have screw-on attachments which makes the assembly process different from one blender to the other. Follow the manufacturer’s user manual for each model religiously to avoid malfunctioning and accidents.
Wash Well After Use
Wash the blender as soon as possible after every use. The blade has several hidden hard-to-reach spots. If you leave it for a long time without washing it, it can become very hard to clean. It needs to be cleaned thoroughly as soon as you finish blending something. You should run the metal piece of the blender under very hot water while gently scrubbing it with a soapy sponge.
Work with Larger Quantities of Food and Liquid
Always try to blend your foods and liquids in larger quantities. An immersion blender will always work best if there is a larger amount of blendable stuff to work on. You should try to avoid small quantities as well as shallow dishes. Immersion blenders work best when you have a large enough quantity to submerge the head of the immersion blender.
However, if you want to make small batches of something, you can still use it if you do not have an alternative. The good thing is, most hand blenders come with a plastic beaker which you can always use for blending small amounts.
Move the Blender Around
Move it around whenever you are working with it and depending on the volume. For better results, move the blender up and down as you blend. This makes the blender more effective as it picks up everything and results in an evenly blended product. For example, if I am blending a large quantity of soup in a pot, I ensure I move the stick blender in a slow stirring motion. This way, I am certain not to miss any big pieces and end up with a smooth product.
Blend at Cooler Temperatures
Allow your hot dishes to cool down first before you start blending. Are you making soups and other hot blended dishes at high temperatures? Before you think of blending, remove the cooking pot from the heat and allow it to cool for between 10 and 20 minutes before you start blending anything.
The reason behind this is not that the heat will affect the blender, but that it is safer to work with cooler liquids. Whenever you are using a hand blender, liquids may occasionally spatter in any direction. Getting hit by a single drop of hot liquid is never a fun encounter. To ensure you are safe therefore, ensure you let the foods you want to work on cool down and start the blending afterward.
Choosing a Blender
Whether you want to blend, roughly chop or puree, an immersion blender is your number one bet. It is a one-stop-shop for everyone who desires to do things the easy, cheap and effective way. Whether you call it an immersion blender, wand blender, hand blender or stick blender, it’s a useful helper and a very versatile tool in your kitchen.
It’s a small companion, small enough to hold with one hand and big enough to work on large pots. Immersion blenders come in a variety of models. There are cordless and corded ones. If you are the kind that has an issue with coordination and the cord keeps getting in your way, then the cordless option is better.
Cordless blenders are rechargeable, and you can always leave the charger plugged in and snap them together whenever you are ready to use it. With a corded blender, you will need to have it connected to the power supply all the time.
For safety, ensure that it is positioned in a way that you are not coming into contact with the cable and that the cord is not knocking things around. If you don’t have one already, it’s time to get a sturdy, cheap hand blender for all your blending needs. You will have a savior that you can run to every time the need arises.