An immersion blender can cost a thousand rubles, or maybe a hundred thousand. How not to make a mistake in choosing this kitchen helper and buy the blender that suits your needs – in this article.
Pay no attention to power
Stand-alone immersion blenders are mostly less powerful than stationary ones. However, this does not mean that they are unproductive, and power is not important when choosing. First of all, the selection options depend on what exactly you plan to do with this blender. If you’re looking for the simplest, most compact fruit and vegetable purée maker and don’t intend to work with hard and sticky foods, then the low-power 800W purée maker is the way to go. It is suitable for working with soft, fresh fruits and vegetables, it will be able to whip up a cocktail, simple soup-puree, sauce.
If you cannot determine in advance what you will cook and are looking for a universal device, then power and rotation speed should be given priority. For chopping frozen foods, mashing stringy or boiled meat, kneading dough, you need a blender with a power of 800 or more, and even better from 1000-1200 watts .
A low power blender can skid, tire and overheat when handling hard and difficult foods. There is a high risk of burning the device or significantly speeding up its wear life if you often cook meat pates from boiled liver with a low-power blender before or try to turn frozen berries into mousse.
It is worth noting that the characteristics of the device indicate the maximum, and not the rated power of the device. For example, professional Bamix blenders have a power of mostly around 200 watts with a rotation speed of 12000-17000 rpm. And with such indicators, they are quite productive and cope with any tasks.
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Therefore, before believing the declared figures, pay attention to the real power of work, as well as read reviews and watch reviews on the selected device.
Take too cheap for permanent work
Budget blenders are good in their own way and certainly have a place to be where there are no special hopes for them. However, if you are a kitchen guru or professionally engaged in confectionery, and a blender is one of your most important tools, then you definitely should not save on it.
Firstly, you can safely count on the fact that more reliable materials are used in professional kitchen appliances: a hardy and resourceful engine, metal connections instead of plastic ones, and so on.
Secondly, even with not the most exorbitant 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, and not overheat on a large number of products. And, finally, often devices of the highest price segment or narrow specialization are equipped with various knives and additional nozzles that will help to greatly diversify the process of preparing dishes or desserts. Most of the accessories can be purchased separately.
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Do not know about additional nozzles for the submersible part
We are used to the fact that an immersion blender is just one set of knives that is responsible for everything. Sometimes a whisk can be attached to the blender leg. However, for a long time there have been different nozzles and even different knives for immersion blenders.
So, one of the most useful nozzles in everyday life is for mashed potatoes. If you try to make mashed potatoes with regular immersion blender blades, instead of a fluffy and tender dish, you get an unpleasant, slimy paste. The masher attachment is similar to a manual potato masher, only it does everything much faster and more efficiently, and the result will turn out just right.
There are separate whisk attachments – not to be confused with a whisk! This is a flat metal disc with additional “claws” that effectively whips cream, sauces, meringues, light batters, smoothies and more.
Similar to the whisk attachment is the mixing attachment. It has special holes that saturate the product with air, helping to make the consistency of the product homogeneous. It is useful for mousses, omelettes, 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 only then mixing.
Take only a submersible leg instead of a whole set
An immersion blender is such a universal name for devices, which have long meant not only a leg with knives, but also a whole set of various devices. Choppers, mini-combiners, graters, shredders, even spice grinders can all be included in the immersion 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.
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Choosing an immersion blender, you can get both a multifunctional device, and vice versa – a highly specialized device that 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 budget and space in the kitchen, then instead of buying all the devices separately, you can take only a submersible blender in a rich configuration and solve many tasks at once with this purchase.
Pay no 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 case material remains at the mercy of the personal taste of the user. It is more pleasant for someone to hold plastic in their hand, because it is lighter and has a positive effect on the final weight of the blender, which still has to be always held with one hand. Others will prefer solid metal with rubberized inserts because it is more durable, does not fade, and does not absorb dirt. To say that plastic is definitely worse than metal is impossible. Now you can find even expensive models, whose body is made entirely of high-quality plastic, and they are also able to serve you for many years.
But the submersible part must definitely be made of metal. It is desirable that all internal connections, nozzle attachments are also made of stainless steel. In budget models, you can sometimes find not only a plastic leg, but even plastic nozzles for pureeing or whipping. However, it is the submersible part that accounts for the main operational load. It withstands physical pressure, scratches on food, constantly washes and so on. So if you want to use the blender for a long time, look for models with a metal immersion part.
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Take a blender instead of a mixer
As we wrote above, there are specialized whipping nozzles in the form of flat discs – they are suitable for meringue, and for cream, and for other mixtures that require whipping, not stirring. But such attachments are far from being available for all devices, but the whisk is supplied with almost all submersible blenders.
In the pursuit of maximum efficiency, you may place too high hopes on this whisk. Meanwhile, it is usually made of light and flexible wire and is designed for mixing liquids. If you start whipping something out of habit in a bowl, then the mixture will begin to splatter in different directions. The whisk is too light, springy and works at high speed. However, they can beat eggs or cream, but this should be done only in a complete glass or other high and narrow container that will protect the mixture from splashing. Such whisks will not cope with thick dough and viscous mixtures.
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In addition, immersion blenders are rarely designed to run continuously for 10-15 minutes. At the same time, some recipes involve 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 one, in many confectionery recipes. Therefore, if you are seriously fond of baking, it is still better to purchase an independent mixer, and not rely on the capabilities of a blender.
Do not check power regulation and pulse mode
While some blenders operate with a single on/off button, others may have a dozen different speeds. Which is better is up to you, but for universal use it is better to choose devices with at least several speeds. Then you can adjust the speed depending on the quantity and consistency of the products. 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 into puree, you will need higher power. For a delicate pancake dough that does not like excess oxygen, again, a low speed is needed, 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.
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The pulse mode is important for working with solid products: crushed ice, frozen fruits and vegetables, too viscous and thick mixtures. In this mode, the blender runs at high power for short sessions. This circuit allows you to protect the device from overload and, as a result, from overheating.