Which immersion blenders are best?
Blenders are incredibly useful tools, good for making a wide range of foods from smoothies to mayonnaise and more. There are some things that traditional countertop blenders aren’t great at, though. Enter the immersion blender. Also known as a hand or stick blender, this handheld appliance can blend more efficiently, because it’s able to work with smaller amounts of ingredients than countertop models. Many hand blenders include attachments like whisks, food processor bowls and ice crushers as well.
The Vitamix Immersion Blender is a top immersion blender from an industry leader in blenders for both home and commercial use.
What to know before you buy an immersion blender
Immersion blender power
Whether it’s a countertop or hand blender, your appliance relies on a powerful vortex for effective results. The power of the motor, the available speed settings and the shape of the blade and bell can all affect the vortex. Generally speaking, choosing a proven brand will get you on the right path to pureed goodness.
Stainless steel vs. plastic immersion blender
If your hand blender is made of plastic, it could be susceptible to damage if dropped or placed too close to a heat source. Always ensure the exterior is made of something you can easily grip and hold onto in order to prevent kitchen accidents.
Plug-in immersion blenders
Unlike countertop blenders where you take the food to them, hand blenders require you to move around the kitchen to your food. If your power outlet isn’t right next to the stove, it can make things considerably less convenient. Look for a model with a cord that’s at least 5 feet long.
What to look for in a quality immersion blender
The ability to remove the shaft makes a huge difference in how easy a stick blender is to clean. If you opt for a very inexpensive model, you might run into some stability issues when assembled, but as long as the gear doesn’t strip, it shouldn’t affect the blender’s performance much. It’s important to note that if the shaft’s collar is made of plastic, you should exercise extra caution, because cracking or chipping the collar can damage the integrity of the tool and cause early failure.
Commercial immersion blenders often have fully variable speed controls, but these aren’t included on many home-use models. The simplest consumer hand blenders have just two speeds, while premium models can have over a dozen.
You’ll probably end up using your stick blender in your own pots and pans quite a bit, but a lot of models come with matching bowls or beakers. These are especially useful as they’re the perfect size for creating an efficient vortex. Some models also offer supremely useful attachments, such as food processors or ice crushers.
How much you can expect to spend on an immersion blender
The least expensive stick blenders are around $30. For high-end units built to last for years, you can spend up to about $150.
Immersion blender FAQ
Should I get a commercial hand blender?
A. Most home cooks don’t need a professional immersion blender. The best examples of this type come from Waring, such as their handheld Quik Stik and its light duty relative which are good choices if you plan to use your hand blender very frequently, but while they’re powerful, reliable and have relatively long duty cycles, they’re pretty hard to clean and don’t come with attachments. If you’re outfitting a restaurant or catering company, the Waring Commercial WSB40 or the 700W heavy duty upgraded model are worth considering, but you probably wouldn’t ever want to use one in a standard home kitchen.
Can hand blender shafts go in the dishwasher?
A. No. For the most part, any cooking tool that attaches to a powered base or has any kind of bearings or seals should be washed by hand. Some models may claim that their shafts are dishwasher-safe, but not all dishwashers will be able to get all food particles out of the deepest crevices. To keep your immersion blender in peak condition and ensure food safety, it’s always best to wash the whole unit by hand.
What’s the best immersion blender to buy?
Top immersion blender
What you need to know: This top-performing model is as durable and easy to clean as they come, perfect for demanding home chefs.
What you’ll love: The motor of this immersion blender is on a par with the best, and its design allows it to form a powerful vortex. It has five speed settings and a guard on the lower edge to keep it from scratching pots and pans. It’s also easy to take apart and when assembled, feels like a seriously solid piece of equipment.
What you should consider: It doesn’t come with any accessories, and it’s a bit heavier than most.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Sur la Table
Top immersion blender for the money
What you need to know: A straightforward, reasonably priced option, this can pulverize just about anything you throw at it and is built to last for years.
What you’ll love: The normal operating speed can deal with most foods, and there’s a turbo button for getting through tougher ingredients. Its novel bell shape encourages plenty of circulation so no chunks are left in the bottom, and it comes with a blending beaker and a whisk.
What you should consider: This model doesn’t offer precise speed control.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Breville BSB530XL All In One Processing Station
What you need to know: This is a full-featured food processing package with a thoughtful design and premium construction.
What you’ll love: Its ergonomic handle makes it comfortable for heavy use, and it’s durable enough to last for quite a while with proper care. It comes in one of the most complete packages on the market, has an ice-crusher blade, a disc for fine shredding, another disc for quick slicing and 15 speed settings.
What you should consider: This is a more expensive option than others.
Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Chris Thomas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.