The best immersion blenders (also known as handheld or stick blenders) offer a quick, convenient way to puree food. Users can puree soup, make whipping cream, mix baby formula, or make their own condiments. This gadget can also act as a milk frother, egg whisk, and some are powerful enough for crushing ice. They are easy to clean, compact, and store neatly in a drawer.
Immersion blenders are a good investment for small batches of food. They allow users to create a puree directly in a stockpot instead of ladling cooked ingredients into your blender a batch at a time and eliminate the need to pour each additional batch into yet another bowl before combining ingredients and reheating them.
They create less work, are less complicated to use, and have less clean-up involved afterward.
That said, immersion blenders are not for heavier cooking tasks. Also, if you are looking for a silky texture to your food, use a blender instead. A blender will do a better job at creating fine textures in dense foods. It eliminates waste from being left behind and the user needing to strain the material.
As a rule of thumb, for small pureed batches, use an immersion mixer. Food processors work best for dicing, shredding, and chopping due to their different disks and blades. To make a smoothie or create silkier purees, use a full-sized blender.
Things to Consider
If you have an old immersion blender, you may want to consider upgrading it. Many of the old blenders came in a single piece with blades on the bottom for chopping. Depending on the age, some designs were very difficult to clean, while others melded together after a while so that users couldn’t even take them apart for cleaning.
We recommend that users upgrade from an older immersion blender if the current model is no longer making smooth textures, if you require more attachments, or if it’s cumbersome to use and hold.
Newer models have the blades at the bottom and a whisk or mini-chopper, making them ideal for whipped cream or other food items. In searching for your next blender, consider the following criteria.
The wattage on a hand blender can begin at 100 watts, but this won’t be enough to do a great job when it comes to pureeing, and it will quickly burn out. Higher-end wands reach 800 watts plus.
If you do a great deal of pureeing and chopping, you will need a blender with a higher wattage. It will be more durable and will do a better job. For simpler tasks, you can get away with a lower wattage.
Purees Food Smoothly and Quickly
While it seems obvious, this is the most important feature of the blender. If your immersion blender isn’t fully pureeing your food or leaving it a bit chunky, you may want to consider replacing it. It simply isn’t working as well as it should.
A good blender allows you to puree food to a fine texture in a short amount of time. The motor must have enough torque to generate a vortex for food to circulate in the mixing tool. It needs to pass through the spinning blade several times to puree food properly.
A great deal of movement is good. The most effective vortex will generate a smooth puree. An immersion blender that leaves your food chunky or stringy is not a quality product.
Blending Wand Should be Removable
Blenders with detachable wands are easier to clean and users will refrain from getting the Blenders with detachable wands are easier to clean, and users will refrain from getting the motor wet. If there is splatter on the upper half of the mixer, you can simply wipe it clean with a slightly damp cloth.
A removable blending wand also permits you to use different attachments like a whisk or food chopper. Additionally, some can go in the dishwasher for a better clean. Commercial-grade models experience heavy use and generally don’t have removable wands. Since there are fewer parts that can break, this increases durability.
That said, most experts have noted that immersion blenders that have removable wands aren’t any less durable than the more expensive ones. It’s still a good idea to get a removable one for the added convenience and a better clean.
Comfortable and Ergonomic Grip
You operate immersion blenders with one hand, and the best models are comfortable to hold and use. The controls need to be easily adjustable or convenient to press. The handle needs to fit comfortably in your hand to prevent fatigue.
Note that many immersion blenders that are not commercial-grade shouldn’t be used for longer than one minute; otherwise, they will overheat.
Minimal Splatter Should be Produced/Should be Safe
Models on the cheaper side contain openings in their cage surrounding the blade. They will create a splatter while blending and can be somewhat dangerous if you are pureeing hot soups. They end up creating a mess not only on the device but also on counters, walls, cabinets, and clothing.
Made From Stainless Steel
For a more durable model, select one with stainless steel. They will last longer and are more heat resistant. Plastic tends to warp when placed in hot soup or a hot pot.
For an immersion blender that lasts, always choose one composed of stainless steel.
A blade guard covers the blades and is a safety feature. It usually looks like a dome-shaped covering. Ones with large vents are best for circulating food for a smoother texture and quicker puree times. Food is also easier to clean because the food found under the blades is easily accessible.
Some blenders have taller wands that are useful for large/deep pots. In this case, the length is important since you want it to reach the very bottom of the pot. It not only allows your food to mix properly but may prevent ingredients from burning on the bottom of the pot. Additionally, it will save your hands from touching hot ingredients.
Shafts that only go the middle of your pot aren’t as effective, and if the blender is too tall, it can be trickier to maneuver. Also, when inserting your wand into the pot, make sure that the blades will not ruin the pot or the coating. Check before buying that you can use it for your specific pot material.
Most blenders come equipped with a whisk and food chopper. Most experts refer to these as “gravy” as they are nice to have but not necessary. The main objective of an immersion blender is to puree or blend food.
However, the chopper attachment is great for generating breadcrumbs or making ravioli filling, quick vinaigrette, or condiments. It is not ideal for chopping items like tomatoes or onions as it will pulverize more than chop food items.
The whisk attachment can be used when making a quick whipped cream and provides fluffier results over using a hand-held mixer or by just using the blending wand.
When choosing an immersion blender, look for one with several speeds. It can be useful to have one that begins slow and can progressively go faster to eliminate splatter. Keep this feature in mind, but note that it is not necessary as most people only need low and high speeds.
Cordless blenders are additionally nice, but they may not be as powerful.
The Features May Not Be the Only Thing to Consider
Think about the amount of food you plan to make as it will affect the size you need when buying a handheld wand. Smaller personal wands are ideal for individual servings. They have a faster chopping method and are easier to make single servings in. However, for larger households, this blender is too slow and cumbersome.
The serving size tends to be in the name of various models. Always note the size and whether you need an extra-large capacity for your food goals.
Consider the technology that it incorporates. Some blenders provide consistent results and allow for the perfect meal each time. Furthermore, some wands remember your preferences and provide the exact blend according to what you have programmed in. The ultimate decision resides in what advanced features you need or whether you require something simple, and this will determine how much you will spend on this device.
Immersion blenders should be only used for small jobs like dips, creating condiments, pesto, eggs, etc. They can create milkshakes, smoothies, blend baby food/formula, and create frozen drinks in minutes. Yet as versatile as they are, they are also limited.
As mentioned, they cannot run for long periods without overheating, and you cannot use them for hard foods. Hard foods will damage the blades. Also, fibrous foods will not attain a silky texture. If you try to blend fibrous foods with a handheld wand, they will end up stringy or not smooth.
Best Blender for Indian Cooking
For Indian cooking, you will need a stick blender to do two things: puree/blend foods and spices well, and one that is durable. Pureed and blended spices and foods are staples in Indian cuisine and are required for most, if not all, Indian recipes. Indian food requires a blender that is durable enough to withstand constant use.
A blender for Indian cooking should be commercial grade for increased durability, so you can use it for longer than a minute without overheating. The blades must also be sharp enough to create fine powders and smooth textures.
1. Best Overall: Breville BSB510XL
Every expert chef highly recommends this stick blender, and it is easy to see why. Equipped with a 280-watt motor, it contains 15 different speed option settings. Design-wise, the Breville control grip and bell-shaped base reduce suction while in use, providing superior control while blending.
It is easy to control and use. The design eliminates splatters, and it will not scratch the pot while in use. It contains an ergonomic grip that allows for greater control while preventing hand fatigue. Furthermore, it has a trigger designed for easy use.
- Is equipped with a chopping bowl, whisk, and extra-large container for storage, measuring, and blending.
- Creates smooth purees and leaves zero waste
- 8” depth for tall pots
- Comprised of stainless steel
- Food may get inside the blender
- Motor burns out quickly
2. Tied for First: Braun MultiQuick MQ8035
This wand blender is extremely easy to use as it offers SmartSpeed technology. There are no defined speed settings. All the user needs to do is follow their intuition to get the best results. Users can push the button gently for coarse results or push down harder for finer textures.
This product works because of the design. The flexible shaft moves the blade up and down, providing a more active chopping surface and a solid piece that delivers smoother results. Plus, with 25% less suction than other brands, splatter is eliminated, and you get better control while in use.
The extra blade lets you puree larger pieces of food, and it handles hard ingredients with ease, and you can easily switch out attachments. Users can whisk, mash, puree, and blend using this tool.
- 3-year warranty
- 500 watts of power
- Dishwasher safe
- Push function may make it more difficult to use
- Container is too small
3. Premium Product: Vitamix Immersion Blender
With an 18-inch depth, the Vitamix is the best long arm mixer and designed for deep pots. With a 625-watt motor, it has five different speeds. It comes with an LED display along with scratch-resistant blade guards to protect your pots.
Vitamix is known for its reputation for making quality, durable products. It handles large volumes of food with ease and produces a precise puree. This blender is faster, and the design allows you to puree in narrower containers.
- Ergonomic design and made from stainless steel
- Twist-lock assembly
- Bell guard eliminates suction and allows food to easily flow through blades
- Five-foot cord and easy to clean
- Outside is stainless steel, but the interior is plastic so it may break
- Doesn’t blend protein powders well and is a little heavier
4. In Second Place: KIOS 4-in1 Multifunctional Immersion Hand Blender
The KIOS hand blender comes equipped with an 800-watt motor that perfectly blends all ingredients. It has 12 different blending presents accompanied by a pulse to break down food intermittently. It takes up less space and is compact.
You can use this blender in tall pots or containers. It is dishwasher safe (top rack) and has a two-year guarantee.
- Comes with a whisk, chopper, a 600 ml beaker, and has a five-foot power cord
- Pieces easily detach
- Contains a stainless-steel blade
- BPA free
- Item is a little heavier than average
- Splatters a bit
5. Most Durable: All-Clad Cordless Rechargeable Immersion Blender
This powerful blender 600-watt motor with five different speeds. It is durable stainless steel, which will last for a long time and withstand daily usage.
It has an ergonomic design making it exceptionally easy to use. This hand-held blender is one of the most powerful available on the market.
This blender does an exceptional job pureeing any food, but you can also use it to create nut butter and is strong enough to crush ice. It has an integrated safety feature that automatically locks if you don’t press the trigger after 30 seconds.
It allows users to reach difficult to reach places. However, it is not recommended to use it in cast iron pots or pans that are non-stick.
- Cordless for portability
- Comes in two colors: silver and black
- Detachable shaft
- Plastic parts inside of the head may break
- May be difficult to clean
6. Best Budget: Mueller Austria Multi-Purpose Hand Blender
While most other blenders on the more affordable side tend to have a wattage of 200, this blender contains a 500-watt motor, making it more powerful, more durable, and a better deal for the money.
It comes with eight different speeds and a copper motor which allows people to use it continuously and for longer durations.
- Comes with a milk frother and whisk
- Delivers consistent results
- Ergonomic grip eliminates hand fatigue
- Compact design
- Easy to clean
- Finger needs to be continually held on the trigger
- Bottom of attachment is sharp and may damage pots
Maintenance and Precautionary Advice
Handheld blenders are not known for being the safest, so they need to be used wisely. The New York Times published a piece in 2013 outlining how easy it was to get hurt while using this device. When operating it, users need to exercise caution as it is possible to get hurt and cut themselves.
Users need to be careful where the blade points as only the case will protect you from the blades. Avoid putting your hand anywhere near its path, and it should be unplugged when not in use.
It is also best to have one with safety features to prevent yourself from harm; however, you will need to disarm them for use. While it makes blending safer, it is more cumbersome as you may have to continually disarm them.
Yet, the blades do not pose the greatest danger when operating the device. The most common occurrence in generating harm to oneself lies in the splatter.
If you use this device for hot foods/soups, you will need one specifically designed (usually bell-shaped) to eliminate suction, eliminating being burned by hot splatter. Additionally, many people purchase a blender with variable speeds so that they can work their way up in pureeing to get rid of the potential for splatter.
Experts recommend users go with a lower speed in smaller pots.
Handheld wands tend to have a shorter run time. Many companies strongly recommend using them for no longer than one minute in duration and then allowing the blender to rest between one to three minutes before use. For heavier mixtures, run it for only 15 seconds with one-minute rest intervals.
If they run longer, users risk burning out the motor and breaking the device. Also, if it doesn’t break, it will become hot to the touch. It can also overheat when used for heavier applications it isn’t designed to handle.
These blenders are easy to wash, just wipe clean the motor base by using a damp cloth and a bit of mild soap. Running it in warm soapy water will loosen sticky or thick ingredients that may become lodged in the blade encasing. Some detachable wands are dishwasher safe.
Taking Proper Care of the Blender
The most important thing with all appliances is to keep them running and clean. All you need is a cloth, dish soap, cotton swabs, vinegar, and hot water to do a thorough clean of a handheld wand.
- Unplug the device and remove all attachments.
- Wipe each attachment using the cloth/sponge, soap, and water. You can put some in the dishwasher for a better clean.
- Removing baked-on food on the attachment requires you to immerse it in hot water, vinegar, and dish soap. Run your blender in the bowl for 30 seconds to allow food to break away.
- Cleaning the handle involves wiping it down with a damp sponge plus soap/vinegar. Be mindful not to allow water to accumulate in the housing; otherwise, it may not work.
- If food gets on the controller buttons, a cotton swab is gentle enough to remove it and allows you to get into all the crevices.
- Refrain from using this device to do small food quantities. It should be completely submerged into the bowl.
- Make pesto and salad using a hand blender over a food processor. It is simpler to use because ingredients won’t stick to the bowl.
Will this replace my regular blender?
No, each appliance has its own purpose. A regular blender is for larger volumes of food. It eliminates splatter, is safer to use, and will make a silkier puree. You can also use it for thicker food volumes.
You can only use a handheld wand for short intervals and with more liquid-like textures. It may not puree all textures very well, but they are great for mixing hot soups or liquids and tend to get into crevices better.
Are there differences between a hand mixer and a hand blender?
Hand mixers are portable and contain two beaters. They are best for combining ingredients. Hand blenders, comparatively, have blades that puree, chop, and blend ingredients.
When using a handheld blender for Indian food, you need a stainless-steel, commercial-grade model. Those who cook Indian food regularly will need this type because of the additional mixing and pureeing involved in this cuisine.
Since you use this device a lot, you will need one with stainless-steel material and one that does not have a great deal of plastic. Stainless steel material lasts longer, does a better job pureeing food, and the blades won’t dull as easily as other models. It is simply designed to last.
Commercial-grade products will allow you to blend ingredients and foods easily. Again, this product will have better quality and provide superior results. To create fine powders necessary for this cooking style or mix ingredients, you will need a powerful motor, which involves finding something with a high wattage.
In selecting the best immersion blender, you need to consider the depth of the pot it is used in, the density/texture of the ingredients, and the amount of food being prepared. To maintain safety, select a dome-shaped device with larger vents to decrease suction and eliminate splatter- especially if you are using it for hot ingredients.
Always exercise caution when using this product as accidents can quickly occur, and never leave it unattended.