Types of Immersion Blenders
Multi-Use Immersion Blenders
These highly versatile hand blenders include a variety of attachments and accessories that may replace other small food-prep appliances in your kitchen. They usually include whisks and chopper attachments, making them a good choice not only for immersion blending, but also chopping nuts and cutting vegetables into smaller pieces. You'll need to pay a bit more if you want enough power to make nut butters or have the silkiest of purees, but even the less expensive models in this category have a wide range of uses.
Basic Immersion Blenders
This is the hand blender you want for your basic kitchen tasks such as blending soup or mashed potatoes, scrambling eggs, or making smaller quantities of purees. They're very straightforward -- just a stick blender and a c container -- but experts say it's great to have one around for the convenience factor.
Cordless Immersion Blenders
Many folks who like to cook outside their kitchen, either because they're involved in cooking demonstrations or because they like to step up their cooking game when camping, picnicking or in a boat or RV, prefer cordless hand blenders. However, keep in mind that, in general, cordless blenders will not be quite as powerful as a corded blender, and they are limited in run time by their battery. You also pay for that cordless convenience as they're more expensive than corded versions. Still, plenty of users say they can't imagine being tethered to a cord once they cut it.
blenders are "handy" in any kitchen
Immersion blenders -- also known as hand or stick
blenders -- can save you a lot of time, hassle and cleanup in the kitchen.
Shaped like a wand, with a control button on one end and a guarded blade on the
other, a hand blender can quickly mix smoothies and milkshakes, or puree soups
and vegetables right in the pot. No more wrestling hot soup into a full-size
blender or food processor, or washing a big countertop appliance and all of its
parts every time you want to whip up a few scrambled eggs or one serving of
homemade baby food. Serious cooks also say that immersion blenders excel at
making emulsions, such as homemade mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce. They're
also a great choice for creating salad dressings, dips, pesto and hummus, and for
The best immersion blenders are easy to use and
clean. If it's corded, the cord should be long enough so you can reach around
the kitchen. Any included blending bowls or utensils should be dishwasher-safe
on the top rack at the very least. Some stick blenders have a detachable,
dishwasher-safe blending shaft. That's a top priority for some, who say it's a
pain to have to wash a hand blender when the shaft does not detach -- others
just run it under hot water or "blend" it in a soapy water-filled
sink or bowl.
A note on
Accidents involving immersion blenders are not
common, but they can be gruesome and they get a lot of press. Most happen when
the cook tries to clear stuck ingredients from the inside of the blending hood
when it's still plugged in and the power is accidentally triggered.
First of all, hand blenders are NOT intended to be
used for heavy-duty ingredients like cookie dough or blending stringy veggies
like celery. Second, if you do get food stuck in an immersion blender, always
unplug it before attempting to clear it out -- and use a rubber spatula, not
your fingers -- the blade is sharp! Be especially careful if you have a blenders
without a detachable blade; they are more difficult to clean and that can
result in more accidents.
Last, but not least, make sure you're using the
right tool for the job. Large quantities of liquids require a full-sized blender,
not a stick blender, for optimal mixing performance. Mixing dough or dealing
with larger quantities of ingredients for emulsions or salsa, or pulverizing
tough veggies requires a good mixer or food processor. If you're
a serious juicer and you love vegetable smoothies, you need to see our report
on juicers -- no machine handles kale and spinach as well as those
Finding The Best Immersion Blenders
"Immersion Blenders "
"Immersion Blender Ratings"
"The Best Immersion Blender"
We found some good professional tests for immersion
blenders, including ConsumerReports.org, Cook's Illustrated, Techlicious.com and
TheSweethome.com. All had thorough roundups of hand blenders that compared and
contrasted a number of models, and included both testing and research.
After evaluating those professional
recommendations, we also examined hundreds of owner reviews at sites such as
Amazon.com, BedBathandBeyond.com and Williams-Sonoma.com to see how all of
these hand blenders perform and endure in the real world. As a result of all
this research, we've named our picks for the best in immersion blenders so you
can find the one that works in your kitchen.
The best hand
While some people just need a basic immersion blender for
pureeing soups or mashing potatoes in a pan, others would like to use their
stick blenders for other tasks, such as chopping vegetables and nuts or making
nut butters. For those folks, the best multi-use hand blender is the (Est. $100). It tops professional tests and expert reviews, and is also
beloved by owners who shower it with praise in their reviews. This Breville is
extremely versatile, reviewers say, with 15 speeds, a 25-ounce chopping bowl
(with lid), 42-ounce blender jug and a whisk attachment.
Expert testers agree that the Breville BSB510XL is the most
powerful blender they've used, making short work of even tough, leafy
vegetables. It's the overall pick at TheSweethome.com where testers say, "the
Breville excelled at tougher tasks that the other immersion blenders just
couldn't handle." They also like its versatility and the generous size of
its 42-ounce blending jar. At ConsumerReports.org, it earns Excellent ratings for
both purees and yogurt blends, making it the top pick there -- and the only
Recommended hand blender. Owners say it's also powerful enough to crush ice and
frozen fruit for frozen drinks. The whisk attachment works well for beating
eggs and whipping cream, and the chopper bowl makes short work of vegetables,
mincing them evenly and quickly.
The Breville is easy to use and clean, too, say reviewers.
It has an ergonomically designed trigger grip, so, rather than just using a
finger, you actually squeeze the trigger with your whole hand. That, users say,
makes the BSB510XL less tiresome to use than other immersion blenders, although
testers at one professional kitchen say the large diameter of the handle made
it tiring after a while. They also note that the 15-speed control dial requires
two hands. Along those same lines, a few reviewers say that detaching the wand
is a bit finicky as you have to use two hands to pinch a pair of buttons.
This Breville hand blender has an anti-suction design to
keep it from suctioning to the bottom of a pot, thus scratching your cookware
and making the job more difficult, and, at TheSweethome.com, it was the only
blender that did not do so. Techlicious.com praises the Breville's 8-inch wand,
which reaches into even the deepest pots. The only real complaint we saw is
that this hand blender is big and bulky so, it won't fit in some containers and
takes up a bit of real estate on a counter. Cleanup is easy. Just detach the
blade and toss everything except the motor housing and chopping-bowl lid in the
Braun is back!
Much to the chagrin of Braun's many devoted fans, the
company stopped making small appliances for the U.S. market a few years back,
but now they're back and the Braun MQ series of hand blenders are already
garnering a bunch of positive buzz. In the multi-use blender category they
offer the (Est. $150) and the (Est. $100). The MQ777 includes a 20-ounce
beaker, a whisk, a 6-cup food processor, and a masher. The MQ725 includes a
beaker, whisk and 1.5-cup chopper.
While neither of these specific Braun immersion blenders are
included in professional testing, (the step-down Braun MQ505 is tested in one
professional roundup; we detail that below) both get very high ratings from
owners. They're reported as powerful and versatile, and users love the unique,
one-handed "Smart Speed" technology that enables you to control the
speed simply by pressing or letting up on the handle. The wand is detachable
and all parts are dishwasher safe, although some only on the top rack.
immersion blender can perform as well as pricier models
You don't have to pay upwards of $100 for a versatile, powerful stick
blender. The (Est. $50) gets nearly as good reviews as the
Breville BSB510XL. In fact, it's a close second to
the Breville in professional tests; experts say it just doesn't have quite the
power of the BSB510XL. However, if you don't need to make nut butters or snow
cones, this is a great value for what is included. In addition to the blending
wand, you get a 3-cup BPA-free blending cup, a whisk attachment and a
2.5-cup chopper bowl.
In testing at one professional test kitchen, the KitchenAid KHB2351 is
Recommended for its performance in making pesto, smoothies, soup, hummus,
whipped cream and mayonnaise. At Techlicious.com, the KHB2351's performance is
nearly as good as the Breville BSB510XL's, although tester Jon Chase found that
the claimed 8-inch wand was more like 6 inches when you took the connector into
account. Still, he says, "the KitchenAid performs well, with a powerful
enough motor to handle everything from fibrous veggies to ice with aplomb."
The included bowls for chopping and mixing are smaller than the Breville's and
he found the speed adjustment button a bit slippery to use easily.
The KitchenAid KHB2351 also gets a few complaints from owners regarding ease
of use, with some saying it's tedious to have to hold down the power button to
blend. Still most have no problems and say this is a very sturdy, durable hand
blender -- it's also backed by KitchenAid's excellent customer service.
It's a few dollars more, but if you're fan of Braun fan, as many are,
you may want to take a look at the (Est. $60), the
entry-level model in the new MQ line. It's the top pick at one professional
test kitchen, unseating last year's winner, the KitchenAid KHB2351. In testing
there, it earned perfect scores across the board for comfort, handling splatter
and durability. The testers dinged it a bit for leaving bits of kale in a
smoothie, but, honestly, there are better tools for smoothies, like a countertop
blender. And, testers there also added that the smoothie was "perfectly
The reason the Braun MQ505 is not our top pick is simply because it's so
new there hasn't been a lot of testing, and there are fewer owner reviews as
well. However what's available is very good, well above average in fact. Users
say it's very powerful and makes beautiful smoothies and purees and is easy to
clean. A few say it's not powerful enough, and we spotted some complaints about
how large the diameter is -- making it difficult to hold for those with smaller
hands. It also has only two speeds, but most reviewers say that's plenty. The
MQ505 includes a whisk and a 20-ounce blending container.
If you're a Cuisinart fan and you're looking for an equally
well-liked multi-use hand blender, check out the (Est. $50). It's the upgraded version of the (Est. $35) (featured
below in the section on basic immersion blenders). Unlike the basic unit, the
CSB-79 comes with chopper and whisk attachments. Users say the chopper's
abilities are limited, but it's handy for cutting up small amounts of herbs or
garlic, and the whisk excels at beating eggs for waffles and cakes. Overall,
the stick blender itself earns good marks among reviewers; its two speeds prove
perfectly adequate for pureeing vegetables for soups. They also say the buttons
are easy to press, and that the unit can be operated with one hand. The product
is also easy to clean -- a button releases the blender shaft, which is
dishwasher safe along with the whisk head and chopper/grinder bowl. Users say
they love the CSB-79's sleek stainless steel finish.
hand blender means plenty of soup for you!
There's a reason that immersion blenders are also commonly known as
stick blenders. The original immersion blenders were just that: Blenders on a
stick. They were created for restaurants for ease in blending soup, sauces and
gravies without having to remove them from a pan, while enabling a silkier,
more consistent blend than hand whisking. Eventually, home cooks began adopting
the technology, and it evolved from the simple S-blade on a stick to whisk
attachments and chopper blades that could be swapped out for different tasks,
as well as a vast variety of containers.
If you love to have lots of cool attachments and accessories and you
think you'll use them, by all means, see our discussion above of the best
multi-use immersion blenders. If not, consider the (Est. $35).
It's a stick blender with a detachable blade and it comes with one 16-ounce
capacity jar. It has two speeds, low and high.
But don't let that simplicity fool you. The Cuisinart CSB-75 is one of
the top-rated immersion blenders in every professional test we saw. In
addition, thousands of user reviewers say this is the only hand blender you
need. It's also easy to use and clean -- the blade is detachable so you can
just toss it in the dishwasher.
In professional tests The Cuisinart Smart Stick excels at pureeing soups
and blending smoothies. This is the blender for you if you make a lot of soup,
mashed potatoes, or other items that need to be blended or whisked while hot.
However, it's also super popular with people who make their own baby food and
mayonnaise. But be warned, it's not for heavy-duty tasks. This is not the best
choice if you want to make nut butters or smoothies that incorporate tough,
leafy vegetables like kale. The CSB-75 gets very good reviews for durability as
well, and most reviewers say there's no competition when it comes to value for
price. Oh, and it comes in a variety of colors. You don't need a storage unit
for this stick blender because it's pretty enough to sit out on the counter,
but if you do choose to store it, it won't take up much space.
Otherwise, we found very few blenders that were suitable for inclusion
in this category simply because most basic hand blenders get dismal reviews for
performance and durability. The only exception is the (Est. $100). It's much pricier than the Cuisinart Smart Stick, but
it's also more powerful, say reviewers, able to handle jobs that are too heavy
for most basic hand blenders.
Matthew Lightner, head chef at Atera in New York City, is so impressed
with the power and versatility of the All-Clad K2750DGT that he says this is
the stick blender he wants for his kitchens. He is not the only professional
chef that recommends it either; we read a number of reviews from chefs who use
this All-Clad blender in their kitchens and highly recommend it for the home
cook as well. Many user reviewers say it's comparable to professional-grade
immersion blenders, making quick work of purees and blending soups to a silky
texture in a minute or less. The nine-inch wand is longer than most, which
Lightner says is great for getting to the bottom of larger pots. It has
variable speeds that are controlled with a dial, and a turbo setting for a burst
of extra power.
The All-Clad Immersion Blender is reported as extremely easy to use and
clean. The blending shaft is detachable and dishwasher safe. It does not
include any accessories at all -- not even a blending jug, but it does have a
Another well-reviewed, basic hand blender is the (Est. $90). Its
niftiest feature is a headlight that allows you to monitor the consistency of
your food as you're blending.
Testers at TheSweethome.com found that this OXO hand blender
doesn't offer as smooth a blend as other stick blenders, especially when it
comes to pureeing tough, fibrous ingredients like ginger. But it makes quick
work of fruits, and users say its nylon wand head and silicone-coated wand arm,
which protect pots against scratching, are an absolute must-have. The immersion
wand detaches from the motor for cleanup, but the wand is not dishwasher safe.
Users note that the headlight serves a valuable safety function: it's a helpful
reminder that the unit is still plugged in. A number of reviewers say that the
product feels structurally solid and durable.