A hand blender can cost a thousand rubles, or maybe a hundred thousand. How not to be mistaken in choosing this kitchen assistant and buy the blender that suits your tasks – in this article.
Pay no attention to power
Do-it-yourself hand blenders are generally less powerful than stand-alone blenders. However, this does not mean that they are unproductive, and power is not important when choosing. First of all, the selection parameters depend on what exactly you plan to do with this blender. If you are looking for the simplest, most compact device for preparing fruit and vegetable purees and do not intend to work with hard and sticky foods, then a low-power device up to 800 watts will do. It is suitable for working with soft, fresh fruits and vegetables, it will be able to whip up a cocktail, simple soup, sauce.
If you cannot determine in advance what you will cook and are looking for a versatile appliance, then power and rotation speed should be given priority. To grind frozen foods, puree sinewy or boiled meat, knead dough, you need a blender with a capacity of 800 , and even better from 1000-1200 watts .
A low-powered blender can skid, fatigue, and overheat when handling hard or difficult foods. There is a high risk of burning the device or significantly accelerating its wear and tear if you often use a low-power blender to cook meat pate from boiled liver or try to mousse frozen berries with it.
It should be noted that the characteristics of the device indicate the maximum, not the nominal power of the device. For example, Bamix professional blenders have a power rating of mostly around 200 watts with a spinning speed of 12,000-17,000 rpm. And with such indicators, they are quite productive and cope with any tasks.
Therefore, before believing the stated figures, pay attention to the real power of the work, and also read reviews and see reviews on the selected device.
Get too cheap for a permanent job
Budget blenders are good in their own way and certainly have a place to be where no particular hopes are pinned on them. However, if you are a kitchen guru or are professionally engaged in pastry, and a blender is one of your most important tools, then you definitely should not save on it.
Firstly, we can safely count on the fact that more reliable materials are used in professional kitchen equipment: a hardy and resourceful engine, metal joints instead of plastic ones, and so on.
Secondly, even with not the most outrageous power indicators, professional equipment will show good results and will be able to cope with any of your ideas: mix thick dough, grind frozen mixtures, not overheat on a large number of products. And, finally, quite often devices of the highest price segment or narrow specialization are equipped with various knives and additional attachments, which will help to diversify the process of preparing dishes or desserts. Moreover, most of the accessories can be purchased separately.
Do not know about additional attachments for the immersion part
We are used to the hand blender being just one set of knives that does everything. Sometimes a whisk can be attached to the leg of the blender. However, for a long time there have been different attachments and even different knives for hand blenders.
So, one of the most useful attachments in everyday life is for mashed potatoes. If you try to make mashed potatoes with ordinary hand blender knives, instead of a fluffy and tender dish, you will get an unpleasant, slimy paste. The mash attachment is similar to a manual potato grinder, only it does everything several times faster and more efficiently, and the result will turn out as it should.
There are separate whisk attachments – not to be confused with the whisk! It is a flat metal disc with additional “claws” that effectively whips cream, sauces, meringues, light doughs, smoothies and much more.
Similar to a whipping attachment – a mixing attachment. It has special holes that saturate the product with air, helping to make the consistency of the product uniform. It is useful for mousses, omelets, mayonnaise, pancake dough and various sauces.
Finally, multifunctional attachments are the same cutting knives that are designed for chopping meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and other products that require chopping first and then mixing.
Take only an immersion leg instead of a whole set
An immersion blender is such a universal name for devices, which has long meant not only a leg with knives, but also a whole set of various devices. Choppers, mini-harvesters, graters, shredders, even spice grinders can all be part of the hand blender system. In this case, the blender leg itself is used as a working part, which is connected to the chopper bowls and is responsible for the main work.
Choosing an immersion blender, you can get both a multifunctional device, and vice versa – a highly specialized device, which consists only of a leg with knives and, at most, an additional whisk. Moreover, the difference in price will not always be so obvious. What you need more is up to you. However, if you want to save both the budget and space in the kitchen, then instead of buying all the devices separately, you can take only a hand-held blender in a rich set and solve many problems at once with this purchase.
Do not pay attention to materials of construction
The body and immersion part of the blender can be made of metal or plastic. And these materials can be combined in different ways.
The body material remains at the mercy of the user’s personal taste. Some people prefer to hold plastic in their hand, because it is lighter and has a positive effect on the final weight of the blender, which you still have to always hold with one hand. Others will prefer solid metal with rubberized inserts because it is more durable, does not fade, does not absorb dirt. It cannot be said that plastic is definitely worse than metal. Now you can even find expensive models, whose body is made entirely of high-quality plastic, and they are also able to serve you for many years.
But the immersion part must definitely be made of metal. It is desirable that all internal connections, attachments of nozzles are also made of stainless steel. In budget models, sometimes you can find not only a plastic leg, but even plastic attachments for pureing or whipping. At the same time, it is the submerged part that accounts for the main operating load. It withstands physical pressure, scratches on food, washes constantly, and so on. So if you want to use the blender for a long time, look for models with a metal immersion part.
Take a blender instead of a mixer
As we wrote above, there are specialized nozzles for whipping in the form of flat discs – they are suitable for meringues, and for cream, and for other mixtures that require whipping, not stirring. But such attachments are not available for all devices, but the whisk is supplied to almost all submersible blenders.
In the quest for maximum efficiency, you may place too much hope in this whisk. Meanwhile, it is usually made of lightweight and flexible wire and is designed for mixing liquids. If you start whisking something out of habit in a bowl, the mixture will start splashing in different directions. The whisk is too light, springy and runs at high speed. However, they can whip eggs or cream, but this should only be done in a complete glass or other high and narrow container, which will protect the mixture from splashing. Such whisks will not cope with thick dough and viscous mixtures.
In addition, hand blenders are rarely designed to run continuously for 10-15 minutes. At the same time, some recipes imply long and continuous whipping of products at low speeds.
A whisk in a blender is a good help in the kitchen, but it cannot replace a full-fledged mixer, especially a planetary mixer, in many pastry recipes. Therefore, if you are seriously fond of baking, it is better to buy an independent mixer, and not rely on the capabilities of a blender.
Do not check power control and pulse mode
While some blenders work with a single on / off button, others can have a dozen different speeds. It’s up to you to decide which is better, but for universal use it is better to choose devices with at least several speeds. Then you can adjust the speed depending on the amount and consistency of the food. For example, the same cream is whipped at low speeds, otherwise it can turn into butter too quickly. And in order to grind frozen berries in puree, higher power is required. For a delicate pancake dough that does not like excess oxygen, again, you need a low speed, and some mousses and sauces need to be whipped at high speeds. With the ability to adjust the speed of work, the device will adapt to your recipe, not you.
The pulse mode is important for working with solid products: ice picks, frozen fruits and vegetables, too viscous and thick mixtures. In this mode, the blender operates at high power for short sessions. This scheme allows you to protect the device from overload and, as a result, from overheating.