Immersion who-za-whatsa? If you’ve never seen one, you’d probably stop and ask yourself, what the heck is that? Followed up by, so, what’s the point? Well, you see, the immersion blender is a bit of a newcomer when it comes to popular kitchen gadgets and I’d say it’s well worth the investment if you’re an avid home cooker. Okay, maybe it’s not that new, it’s been patented since the 50’s and used within commercial kitchens since at least the 60’s. That said, I feel like it’s popularity has only come into it’s peak within the last 15 years or so. So, I’ve established it’s useful but…how? Well, read this handy little info-tastic guide here and you’ll know when and how to use it!
Immersion Blender Defined
So, an immersion blender, or stick blender is basically a motor, with a stick, and a blade at the end that spins. It’s like an upside-down blender without a container to hold whatever you are blending. So what would the container be you ask? Well just about anything! That’s the beauty of an immersion blender, it can be inserted into just about any bowl, pot, or any other pan that’s big enough to not fly whatever is inside all over. Most of them look a little like this:
They come in lots of shapes and sizes. The power of the motor, length, and accessories are some factors to consider when purchasing. Most of these bad boys have at least two speed or power settings but it can very. Commercial ones can be pretty powerful but they are meant to handle a lot more use. Those are just some of the features to keep in mind when purchasing. I went with a pretty simple model, powerful but quiet and two speed settings. It has never let me down.
How to Use
They all operate in essentially the same way. You usually have the motor and the blade stick that detached from it with a twist and lock. Twist that on to connect before you plug it in. Once that’s done and it’s plugged in you are ready to blend. Make sure that what you are blending is in large enough pot that it won’t prevent splashing AND that whatever is being blended will cover the ‘head’ of the blender by at least 2 inches or so. Ensuring this will prevent splashing. Start at the lowest setting if available to test if it will splash much or not. Also, if your blender has a metal head, it may scratch non-stick pans.
When you are actually blending make sure to center the blender and hold straight up. As you blend you will want to begin ‘pumping’ the blender up and down gently. This will allow chunks of stuff to move in under the blender and get smashed to bits! If you have a particularly large clump of stuff you can position the blender on top of it. Make sure it’s off if you are getting the head of the blender out of the liquid. Then turn it on, and gently pressing down until the large object is pulverized. Once your stuff is fully blended you are good to go! That’s pretty much the gist of it!
Now, at first that may not seem like such a huge advantage but if you ever find yourself needing to blend something hot, like a pureed soup, you will be glad you don’t have to pour hot soup all over. This is especially useful if you consider how some pre-pureed soups can have chunks that sploosh and splash when poured, potentially leaving you in the splash zone.
Another huge benefit is how this little tool has saved more than a few dinners. If you ever have flour or other fine powder that you got over zealous with and now it isn’t sitting in lumps within your otherwise liquid soon-to-be-ruined dish, immersion blender to the rescue! It’s great at breaking up little lumps of flour, powdered sugar or what have you to fully incorporate.
Lastly, It’s a heck of a lot easier to clean. With regular blenders you have the containers, and blades that can be difficult to clean easily. Immersion blenders usually have where the stick simply twists off and can easily be washed. It’s not nearly so bulky with so make nooks and crannies to clean.
It’s a pretty great little tool, but I’ll say it first, it’s not always perfect. The first issue you can run into is that if your pot is a little to small or you have not enough liquid in it, it can cause splashing. Also, with using it you kind of pump the immersion blender to make sure all the chunks get chewed up, this can potentially cause splashing.
Another related issue is that it can be somewhat difficult to get everything fully blended. It’s far from difficult but a stray bit here and there may miss the blender. Just make sure to give your dish a stir to ensure that every little bit is blended.
Overall, I think this gadget is a worthwhile addition to your kitchen, especially if you are into making a lot of different soups. There is tons of other uses for it as well, and if you have a small apartment like us, than you’ll find this guy is a lot more friendly on space than a bi ol’ blender.
Hope this guide helped you learn a thing or two about immersion blenders (or introduces something totally new to you). Either way, hope you pass this article around to anyone you think needs it, thanks for reading!