As if life wasn’t already complicated enough with so many different kitchen appliances available! You’ve just found out that there are different styles of blenders you should be considering, not just the popular countertop and platform ones.
There are a variety of handheld or immersion style blenders, too. These are commonly referred to as stick blenders because of their unique shape and design. You might be asking, what is a stick blender? So, let’s review in more detail the key differentiating features and benefits of a stick blender.
A stick blender may go by different names depending on the individual manufacturer, and you might see it described as one of three different things: stick, handheld, or immersive. In all three instances, the device goes physically into the food to be blended.
They are incredibly versatile, convenient, and being smaller and more compact in design, much easier to store away when not in use. But are they as useful as countertop blenders? Well, that depends on what you will primarily be using your blender for, but indeed, a stick blender is an incredibly helpful piece of kitchen gadgetry.
The main noticeable feature is their immersion design. That means that you can blend foods together on top of your stove for example, rather than having to transfer your pre-blended ingredients from a unit across to your pan. This makes them especially useful when it comes to blending hot foods to create sauces and soups, saving you time and also the mess of having multiple bowls to clear up afterward.
The handheld stick style blender is used for a whole host of practical cooking applications where a large countertop blender either wouldn’t be as efficient or as convenient. You can quickly smooth out lumps in your gravy and blend liquid batters and sauces; they are just fantastic for smoothing and processing small portions of baby food. A stick blender, then, is a real go-to tool for the best sauces and gravies imaginable.
Because of their small, handheld design, you can very effectively blend much smaller portions of food more economically and conveniently than when powering up your big blender. They are perfect for blending up any leftovers to serve up for your baby’s next meal, again saving you time, money, and lots of unwanted cleaning up.
While there may not be quite so many features and benefits to consider, and therefore the variety of handhelds is much smaller than that of the larger blenders, you can get models that are handily cordless. Some models are fitted with extra sharp blades which make them a practical alternative for blending up ice to make your smoothies. The power is going to be much lower compared to a counter blender, so you might have trouble with some of the tougher fruits and vegetables.
However, generally speaking they are indeed an efficient and convenient choice. You may also find that a stick blender comes with a range of complementary accessories, such as chopper components, making them an even wiser budget investment. Many stick blenders available do come with this kind of useful dual functionality as standard, making them a very practical and cost-effective recommendation.
Overall, while certainly a convenient and popular choice, the stick blender is not a replacement for a regular counter blender or food processor. However, if you know that you won’t be blending up smoothies and soups on a daily basis, and you think you will only occasionally need to blend sauces and gravies, then a stick blender does make an excellent choice. They are fun, easy, and convenient to use. They’re great for creating fresh, delicious salsas and dips, as well as pureeing food.
So, a stick blender is small, easy to store, quick, and convenient to use. They have far less moving parts so probably require minimal assembly, and they are easy to clean up after use. Most of them will have the ability not just to blend, but also to chop and puree. In some instances, there might also be attachments for whisking, whipping, and even mashing your vegetables.
Creating the perfect fluffy, lump-free mashed potato is an art that only the swiftest of hand have perfected! A stick blender can help take the pain out of the process and leave you with delicious, smooth sauces and purees. A stick blender, then, is a fabulous choice for those smaller jobs where it just doesn’t make sense to bring out your big, bulky equipment.
Basic handheld blenders will probably just come with a simple press and hold control button, so there’s unlikely to be multiple settings to manage. They are typically constructed from plastic, too, with just the one main chopping blade, which is why you can pick one up relatively inexpensively. The more expensive models might feature additional speed settings as well as something called a soft start function which helps to keep the ingredients from spraying everywhere when you are just getting started.
No one wants their kitchen splattered with the ingredients of their pan because they’ve been overzealous with the handheld! With these higher-end models, you could also have extra useful accessories included like a blending beaker.
Consider the speed controls and check that the power button is easy to press and reliable. As you might be holding it for some time, it’s also a good idea to invest in one that has ergonomic handles and soft touch style controls which will make it more comfortable for you to operate. Finally, if you do want to use your stick blender for a more diverse range of uses, go for one that comes with its own bowls and beakers for more convenient, self-contained blending and chopping.