If you thought an immersion blender was only good for blending hot soup, think again. Over weeks of thorough research and testing as part of my immersion blenders review (our winner is the Braun MultiQuick 5 Hand Blender), I’ve become an expert at not only using and cleaning these nifty gadgets but also getting the most out of them.
I Just Got an Immersion Blender. Now What?
Here are some best practices, safety tips, and recipe suggestions for blending up delicious delicacies that go beyond the confines of a Dutch oven.
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Immersion Blending Best Practices
Here are some things I learned about using, storing, and cleaning my immersion blender.
- Find the right container. An immersion blender’s blade guard always needs to be fully submerged when blending, otherwise the blade can splatter food. To prevent backsplash, make sure you’re blending in a narrow enough pot or container to provide some depth. Restaurant chefs use immersion blenders with cambros or deli containers, and many people blend directly in large cans of whole tomatoes or other veggies for a quick puree (just be sure to pour off some liquid first to avoid splatter!). Many models—including our winner—also come with plastic blending jars that are perfect for recipes beyond soup.
- It's all about the angles. If the container or pot you’re blending in isn’t deep enough, angle it so the food flows to one side. This gives the blender enough room to work, and ensures you don't end up wearing your meal. And it’s not just the container that should be tilted. Because food needs to be able to flow freely into the blade guard, the best way to ensure this is to angle the immersion blender slightly (instead of holding it straight up and down). This way, the ingredients can circulate, without the blade guard creating suction on the bottom of the pot or container.
- Rinse the blending shaft as soon as you’re done. Although many immersion blenders’ shafts are dishwasher safe—such as our winner’s—it’s still helpful to rinse them as soon as you’re finished blending. Otherwise, food can dry and harden on the blades and become a pain to clean, even in the dishwasher.
- Cord control is your best friend. A surprising number of models we tested didn’t come with any cord wrap or cord organization method. If yours doesn’t either, find yourself a sturdy rubber band to corral the cord and make storage that much easier.
The Best Immersion BlendersFrom velvety purees to silky smoothies, a good immersion blender can handle it all. We put several to the test and found the best.
Safety Tips for Using Your Immersion Blender
Remember: Those blades are sharp! Here’s what you need to know about using your immersion blender safely.
- Never touch the blade while the blending shaft is attached. If your immersion blender is fully assembled, you could accidentally turn it on while you’re trying to clean or de-gunk the blade and nick your fingers (or worse!). The best way to avoid danger is to detach the blending shaft from the handle and unplug the unit before touching the blade.
- Always point the blade away from you. This might seem obvious, but it’s important to keep the blade pointed downward and away from you at all times. You’d be surprised at how easy this key tip is to forget when you’re working quickly.
- Don’t get the handle wet. The handle houses the motor, and you shouldn’t get it wet. Never submerge it in water. This can damage the motor and could cause electrical injury. If it needs to be cleaned, wiping it down with a damp cloth is okay.
Favorite Recipes for Your Immersion Blender (Beyond Soup!)
A good immersion blender and a sturdy blending jar or container can replace a regular blender in many recipes, such as these favorites.
- Smoothies and Frozen Cocktails. Blend up a frosty breakfast Kale-Pineapple Smoothie (a testing favorite) or a delicious Frozen Strawberry Margarita to unwind on a weekend.
- Salad Dressings and Mayonnaise. Immersion blenders are great for emulsifying. Try this Fried Shallot Oil Mayonnaise or a Fresh Basil Vinaigrette.
- Marinades and Sauces. Try out this Grilled Flank Steak with Garlic-Chile Marinade. You can also make great Basil Pesto.
Have More Questions About Immersion Blenders?
Head over to my in-depth review of immersion blenders for tips on what to look for when shopping for this handy tool, and so much more.