What do I do with this thing?
July 23, 2006 5:23 PM   Subscribe

I received a Braun hand mixer as a gift. What are some good ways to use it?

Here's the mixer. I'm a pretty good cook, but I have yet to find a need for this device. Any suggestions on recipes, or specific tasks this thing is good for? It bugs me that I have this apparently useful tool, and haven't used it yet. Thanks!
posted by ObscureReferenceMan to Food & Drink (30 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
My partner uses it to make fruit shakes every morning. I believe her recipe is frozen fruit, yoghurt, protein powder, flax seeds, some maple syrup. I wake up every morning to the sound of that thing tearing through frozen pineapple chunks.
posted by neustile at 5:27 PM on July 23, 2006


Yep, daily smoothies are a snap. I've also done squash soup without all the hassle of transferring things in batches. Just stick it right in the pan and go.
posted by moira at 5:30 PM on July 23, 2006


Well, I guess castration is out of the question...


It works wonderfully to scramble up eggs. Milk + eggs, + mixer = crazy fluffy, perfect eggs. If you don't burn them, etc.
posted by disillusioned at 5:36 PM on July 23, 2006


It's especially good for pureeing chunky sauces in the pan.
posted by smackfu at 5:37 PM on July 23, 2006


i have one and i love it. i use it to make smoothies, puree bean soups (that need pureeing), chop garlic and onions (in the chopper), etc. Basically everywhere that it might make sense to pull out the food processor if the portions were larger.
posted by casconed at 5:40 PM on July 23, 2006


Yes, smoothies are the only thing I've ever seen people use these for (except gazpacho).

My recipe for the smoothie was something like:
A banana
A few cups of *really* cold milk.
A packet of Carnation Instant Breakfast and some protein powder
Any other fruit you have, particularly berries- strawberries, raspberries.

30 seconds or so and you're good to go.
posted by jeremias at 5:42 PM on July 23, 2006


How easy is this thing to clean? Looks like something I just might want!
posted by twiggy at 5:52 PM on July 23, 2006


They are very easy to clean.

I use mine to make hummus, and also whenever I need to blend something but am too lazy to drag out the food processor.
posted by elisabeth r at 5:53 PM on July 23, 2006


My mother used to use one of these all the time to make fresh salad dressing.

I seem to recall that they also worked well for chocolate mousse.

And yes, they are very easy to clean.
posted by sueinnyc at 5:56 PM on July 23, 2006


Excellent for making tomato sauces from plum tomatoes.
posted by fire&wings at 6:09 PM on July 23, 2006


This is probably my favorite handblender-utilizing recipe:
http://www.recipezaar.com/15012
Everyone I make it for raves about it and nobody believes that the creamy texture comes from bread.

Pretty much any soup or sauce you make will come out more smoothly with a little handblending. It also decreases preptime: you can chop things really roughly (much faster than mincing), toss them in the pot, and then use the handblender to smooth out the chunks. I do this with garlic, onions, herbs... whatever I don't feel like cutting by hand into itsy-bitsy pieces.

Oh, and it's awesome for making any cream sauce that starts with a roux. With a hand blender, it takes me less time to make cheese sauce from scratch than it does to prepare macaroni and cheese from a box. Just melt butter in a pan, stir in flour to form a paste, cook for a few minutes, then use the hand blender to stir in the cream and cheese for a sauce that's far more velvety than you could ever achieve by whisking.

Braun just launched a new campaign for the handblender that has tons of recipes:
http://www.braun.com/na/tylerflorence/tylerflorence.html

Once you get the hang of using it (make sure to fully immerse the head, or you'll splatter hot liquid all over yourself and your kitchen!) you'll find a million things to stick your handblender in.
posted by chickletworks at 6:11 PM on July 23, 2006


One word: guacamole.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 6:13 PM on July 23, 2006


Soapmaking! Seriously. I bought mine specifically for that purpose.
posted by candyland at 6:18 PM on July 23, 2006


I just used mine to win an argument.

See, my then-girlfriend wanted to throw it away because she thought I had too many silly kitchen toys. She has recently discovered it and uses it all the time, so during another episode where she wanted to throw away my vacuum sealer, I brought up the handblender, and she had to concede the point. Ha!
posted by Mr. Gunn at 6:41 PM on July 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


Ditto using it to puree soups...potato-leek, mushroom, gazpacho...yum. My brother uses it to make his protein-fruit shakes post-work-out.

As for washing, I find a good rinse will usually suffice depending on what you've used it for.
posted by phoenixc at 6:50 PM on July 23, 2006


Oh, I also use the chopper to prep carrots whenever I bake carrot cake. It sure beats shredding them by hand!

And because my mother cooks with garlic just about every day, she uses the chopper to chop garlic in advance and stores it in the fridge for whenever she needs it.

As you can see, it's a very versatile and handy tool to have around the kitchen, since everyone in my family has some use for it.
posted by phoenixc at 7:00 PM on July 23, 2006


My mother has one, and one of her common uses is to smoosh and semi-liquefy strawberries for strawberry shortcake, her favorite dessert.
posted by Malor at 7:08 PM on July 23, 2006


I pretty much only use it to make vichyssoise but I haven't made that in more than two years.....
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:28 PM on July 23, 2006


my fave: caffinated variation on the yogurt+fruit smoothy!

make a batch of espresso, toss it into an old ice-cube tray and stash in the freezer. in the morning when you're mixing up a banana-strawberry-blueberry-yogurt smoothy, toss in 3 or 4 espresso cubes for a little extra 'punch'. the espresso also has the advantage of tasting chocolate-y in juxtaposition to the fruit flavors.

dig it.

posted by garfy3 at 7:31 PM on July 23, 2006


I mix my pancake batter with it. Gets rid of any pockets of powder that are always there if you do it by hand.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:38 PM on July 23, 2006


I use it as a juicer. (Of course, if you hate pulp, this won't be an option for you.)

I also use it to made several Indian sauces, as well as pastes (Ginger paste, garlic paste, Madras curry, etc.).
posted by Meep! Eek! at 7:51 PM on July 23, 2006


Puree soups.
Mix sauces in the pan.
Make gravy in the pan.
Whip potatoes (with the mixer, not the blender).
Mix or puree anything else you're cooking without taking it out of the pan.
Make smoothies.
Make milkshakes.
Chop nuts.
Chop fresh herbs.
Chop garlic.
Make pesto.
Make chile paste, garlic paste, herb paste, etc.
Make nut paste.
Cut together strudel topping.
Make cookies (always the highest and best use of any kitchen tool).
Whip cream.
Make cakes. Then make buttercream frosting for your cake.
posted by jaed at 8:10 PM on July 23, 2006


(Now that I look at it again, forget about the cookies. I didn't look closely enough at the link and thought this was the model I have, which is basically a mixer with tailfins.)
posted by jaed at 8:16 PM on July 23, 2006


Alton Brown suggests cutting a small wedge out of a frisbee and using it as a splatter shield with this type of mixer when pureeing soups and sauces.
posted by concrete at 9:17 PM on July 23, 2006


Instead of mashed potatos: Steam caulilower and when it's almost done, throw on some fresh spinach or kale and let it steam a little longer. Use the Braun stick to blend it very well and then add some salt or masala or butter. It's a very nice green but would be good without the spinach too. It has a satisfying potato-ish taste and texture and lends itself to many different herbs and spices.
posted by lois1950 at 10:06 PM on July 23, 2006


It's the best thing for mixing frozen OJ.
posted by Mitheral at 1:41 AM on July 24, 2006


I use one of these for making pesto quite a bit. I just throw basil, pine nuts, grated parmesan in a stockpot, throw on a load of olive oil and just start mushing it up with the blender.
posted by primer_dimer at 5:11 AM on July 24, 2006


Wow! Some great suggestions. Most chopping (garlic, onions, etc.) I do by hand fairly quickly. But I do like the idea of making smoothies. And tomato sauce. Well, I'll be cooking something this weekend. Thanks, all!
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 7:37 AM on July 24, 2006


Lots of great suggestions here. Generally I just use it anytime I would use a blender or food processor but don't feel like pulling out the big appliance. Also, keep in mind that you can use it in almost any container in your kitchen. Pots and pans have been mentioned, but it will work in just about anything, e.g.:
-Large strainer/chinois (great when pureed soups/sauces aren't as well pureed as you thought and the strainer is getting clogged)
-measuring cups (scrambling eggs, quickly emulsifying salad dressings/sauces)
-pitchers
-tupperware/storage containers
-half-full container food came in (half a carton of melty ice cream becomes foam, half a tub of plain yogurt + fruit + milk becomes smoothie, half a can of whole tomatoes becomes tomato puree, etc.)
posted by rorycberger at 3:24 PM on July 24, 2006


I mix my pancake batter with it. Gets rid of any pockets of powder that are always there if you do it by hand.

BTW, you're supposed to leave the lumps in.
posted by smackfu at 3:47 PM on July 24, 2006


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