Please recommend an hand blender
November 9, 2016 1:38 PM   Subscribe

I'm in the market for an immersion blender, aka hand blender. Your recommendations are welcome. Tell me about the appliance's price, features (necessary and unnecessary), ease of use and cleaning, accessories (necessary and unnecessary), durability, and anything else you can think of. Thanks to you in advance.
posted by partner to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The Sweethome is my go-to for recommendations of this sort, because they're good about explaining their evaluation criteria. They had a post comparing blenders, food processors, and mixers, as well as a separate review discussing just immersion blenders.
posted by yeahlikethat at 1:49 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have the Breville control grip one. It is about $100, and it is great. It is easy to clean and doesn't suction to the bottom of the pan. It comes with some extra bits that seem unnecessary (but I totally used the pitcher as an intermediate vessel to blend up tomato orange soup last weekend). The whisk is fine - I wouldn't try to make meringue or anything but it whips cream or egg yolks just fine.

The only thing that didn't really work was blending a broth with escarole in it, where it made small shredded confetti rather than purée. But that particular mature CSA-box escarole was pretty fibrous so it was more or less a fool's errand anyway.
posted by janell at 1:50 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've had a Bamix for 20 years and it's superb. Expensive, but the fact it's still going strong after such a long time speaks volumes for the quality.
posted by essexjan at 1:51 PM on November 9, 2016

There's this little piece on the inside that is always made of plastic when it could be made of metal, and this piece always wears out. I'll google, but there are only one or two brands that make immersion blenders with the metal part...

OK, so I think it's this Bamix?

The part I am talking about is the "coupler." Here is a funny blog about the problem and fixing it.

Just google "immersion blender metal coupler" and see if there are any worthwhile new brands on the market. Or buy a cheap one and consider it disposable. I know the Bamix is spend and I'm not 100% it's the one with the metal coupler, but I think so. Hope this helps.
posted by jbenben at 2:02 PM on November 9, 2016

We've had a KitchenAid for more than a decade. Lots of power and tough as nails. Our older model only has one speed. It does a mean puree for soups and makes hollandaise equally well. A slower speed for work in larger pots, like with soups would be nice.

Being able to remove the stick part of the blender from the motor to clean easily was a big reason we selected this model, and I have no regrets about that. The stick and blade part is fully metal and goes in the dishwasher.

We don't use anything but the stick attachment and the beaker---a tall and thin container is really important for blending sauces and the like. For chopping or making slaw, our food processor works much better.
posted by bonehead at 2:02 PM on November 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have the Breville mentioned in the Sweethome article and am pretty happy with it, though it hasn't seen heavy use.
posted by praemunire at 2:08 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

We have a Hamilton Beach model (no longer sold) that's been going strong for 15 years of occasional use. One speed, everything can go in the dishwasher. It does suction to the bottom of the pan. I think it was $40 with a whisk that we don't use and a mini-chop that we use occasionally for salad dressing or similar that would be too small for a blender. In fact, I use the stick blender for everything except ice-containing drinks.
posted by wnissen at 2:56 PM on November 9, 2016

Sweethome steered me to the Breville and I love it (have had two cheaper ones and the difference is really apparent).
posted by Cosine at 3:16 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think I have the cuisinart smart stick with chopper and whisk. I never use the whisk, but the blender and chopper have both gotten good use. I've had it for 7-8 years and I think it cost about $20-$30 (probably was on sale, looking at the prices now). I'm noticing some mold or something inside the barrel now, nowhere that touches food but I think it got left with water inside it at some point. Totally good for ordinary use.
posted by Lady Li at 3:47 PM on November 9, 2016

I've had a Braun for more than 15 years. Model is no longer made but it has served me well for the weekly cauldrons of soup. For bigger stuff a Robot Coupe MP Turbo is a great choice.
posted by bz at 4:41 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

We had a cuisinart. Bent the blade part within a couple years, was able to get a replacement, paid $20 for that, broke the replacement blade, too, within a year.

Now we have an Aldi one. It's not that powerful.

So I don't recommend either of those.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 5:07 PM on November 9, 2016

I've had my Cuisinart Stick for at least 8 years and it's great. The business end detaches from the motor on this one, too, and it's a wonderful feature. It was $35 or so.
posted by Dolley at 5:38 PM on November 9, 2016

I have a Bamix and I use it every day (well.. I use it most days I cook, honestly, but that's NOT every day.) for all kinds of things and I love the crap out of it and sing its praises to anyone who ever is fool enough to ask me about kitchen accessories (which is a thing I love.)

I have this kit, which I paid $300 for in canadian dollars about.. 7 years ago now. It's spendy, but I don't own a blender or a food processor anymore because it does enough of both their jobs.

I use every bit of it, except I don't use the meat mincing blade because I literally have no idea why anyone would want to mince their meat?

but, the little mini food processor attachment is great, I use it to chop nuts for salad, make almond butter, I make super fast pesto in it a lot. The whipping attachment is THE fastest way to make whipped cream and you can make mayonnaise in like 3 seconds, which actually emulsifies and you can keep in the fridge. Also great for hollandaise sauce and dressings, it's nice to get the fat to emulsify, and the sauces don't "break". My favourite thing about the bamix is that it fits perfectly into a 500mL wide mouth mason jar, and I have a million of those so you can just mix stuff right in them and then store it.

The other attachments are regular blending stuff I'm sure you're familiar with. the machine has a lot of torque which I like, but just two speeds, which are just buttons. cleaning is just.. water and some dish soap in a container and blend it for a second and then rinse it off. The blades just pull on and off. I use the medium blending blade for like.. 60% of things I do, so I just leave that on mostly.

I was convinced to buy it because I was watching the ridiculous demonstration of it at the Stampede, where I was not being convinced, because it was all very "as seen on tv" feeling... but a little old lady was standing beside me, and she said "you know, I bought one of these in 1970, and I used it every day until it broke in 1993, and they gave me a new one which I use every day. I like to make peanut butter."

I wonder if she was a paid shill, but man, I do like the blender a lot, I might say that to some young lady when I'm old.
posted by euphoria066 at 5:39 PM on November 9, 2016 [4 favorites]

I had a Cuisinart with the mini chopper attachment, but the blade guard at the bottom cracked and *someone* ground up the chopper blade in the garbage disposal. I bought a KitchenAid as a replacement and it's still going strong, but dang, I miss that mini chopper gadget.
posted by sarajane at 5:31 AM on November 10, 2016

I am not impressed with my Cuisinart immersion blender. It doesn't have a lot of power, in that it doesn't blend much, but it sure nails it when it comes to splattering food all over. I almost never use it.
posted by Capri at 11:27 AM on November 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

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