The hand blender is a very versatile and easy-to-use kitchen appliance that you cannot afford to make do without. If you have work in the kitchen long enough, you will understand the importance of having a blender.
As my chef friend puts it “No kitchen is ever complete without a blender.” and this is so as it is commonly used to emulsify mixtures, mix and crush ice, and mix ingredients or puree food together. In recent years, hand blenders are getting more popular in the home than conventional blenders.
Background of Hand Blender
The hand blender was first invented in the ’50s in Switzerland. In the beginning, they were commonly used in restaurant kitchens although only the larger versions are in use.
However, in the last thirty years, its uses have spread to home kitchens. This has lead to an increase in a wide variety of hand blenders by different manufacturers. Some of the more popular brands are Bamix, Braun, Cuisinart, and Kitchenaid.
The hand blender is also widely known as the “stick” blender, “wand” blender, or “hand mixer” as it some sort of resembles a thick stick for some of the models. It is also known as the hand “immersion” blender or sometimes Mini Hand Immersion Blenders due to the design and look of this kitchen appliance.
While a typical blender normally consists of a housing, motor, blades, and food container for mixing purposes, the hand blender has a mixing head with rotating blades that can be used to immerse in a bowl or container instead.
Nowadays, many hand blenders models come with food processor attachments in addition to the immersion blades. You can now use it to chop, cut or slice small amounts of dry food such as herbs and nuts.
The idea behind the design of this blender is to bring the blender to the food instead of the food to the blender. The benefits are very simple.
Cleaning the Hand Blender
Have you ever tried cleaning up a conventional blender after using it? If you have and find it a hassle to do so, the hand blender will save you much time and hassle in cleaning up. Simply clean the stick after use and you are done with all the cleaning.
Isn’t it wonderful? To put it simply, the hand blender is simple to use and easy to clean up after use. Nowadays, most models come with detachable blade attachments which can be removed for cleaning and are dishwasher safe.
The hand blender is also a better option for those of you who occasionally need to mix volumes that are simply too large to mix into the bowl or container of a stationary blender or hot stuff that are simply too hot to put into the food container of a typical stationary blender.
Some models come in single or multiple speeds. Single-speed models are those who prefer to keep things simple while the multiple-speed models are for those who want more and better control of the mixing process.
Cord or Cordless
Also, some hand blenders are fully cordless and you can pretty much use them without getting yourself entangled with wires. The trade-off is that these battery-operated hand blenders tend to be higher priced in the first place.
These cordless hand blenders run on batteries and they are also known as “portable hand blenders”, “battery operated hand mixers” or “battery-operated hand blenders”.
The batteries are normally rechargeable and this can help to bring down the running cost over time. However, given the convenience of using one, the higher price tag is well worth it.
Check before Buying a Hand Blender
There are certain things that you need to take note of when buying a hand blender. Firstly, look for one that can run quietly and sound easier on your ears. You will appreciate what a quiet model can do to your sanity.
Secondly, the model should feel solid and comfortable to hold. One good way is to test drive the particular model that you are interested in at the store first. Also, get a model with a stainless steel shaft and blade.
Last but not least, remember to scout around for the best prices first. It pays to do a bit of research before investing your money in one.