If you want to speed up your food production, you know how to use a hand blender. Hand blenders, or as they are known as immersion blenders, mini blenders, stick blenders, or wand blenders, are the go-to for anyone looking to blend liquid soups, smoothies or other juices.
Unlike traditional blenders with a blender hub and jugs, a hand blender only features a wand and blades.
Hand Blender Uses
The blades are attached to the bottom part of the wand. Other features of this appliance include a motor and controls placed strategically on the wand. Immersion blenders are commonly used to blend:
- Curries and soups
- Homemade ice-cream
- Salad dressing
- Whipped cream
- Minced meat
- Apple Butter
Most stick blenders come with extra attachments that can be used on other foods and recipes. This makes this appliance a multipurpose appliance.
If you are thinking of getting yourself an immersion blender or if you already have purchased one, then this piece is for you. This article will look at how to use a hand blender. We will go through guides on using an immersion blender for different foods.
Before we jump into the workings of an immersion blender, we need to answer a couple of questions. But instead of outlining them, we are taking a simple approach on a block answer.
Many people still question whether buying an immersion blender is worth it; the answer to this is yes. Compared to traditional blenders and food processors, immersion blenders are versatile, fast, easy to clean, and relatively cheaper than traditional blenders.
With an immersion or hand blender, you don’t have to worry about cleaning up, which involves taking apart parts to clean.
These appliances are straightforward, and once you are done using them, all you have to clean is the wand blade and the container having blended content. You can rinse your hand blender as you go, and then once you are finished cooking, you can clean it with soap and water.
The speed on these blenders allows for a fast and efficient cooking process.
How A Hand Blender Works
An immersion blender has a small chopping blade that is placed at the bottom of the wand. This blade is placed under a partially covered wide bottom opening on the wand. The wide opening is what prevents spatter from the blade when the stick blender is in action.
Hand blenders can be used in any container, from Tupperware to bowls and even saucepans. Handheld blenders are quick and can be used in hot and cold foods. To properly blend your food or soup, you need to move the hand blender around to catch the unblended contents.
Before we get started on the guide on using a hand blender, there are a couple of things we need to look at.
Depth of the Bowl
The height of your bowl or holding container determines how much of a mess you have to clean up. Shallow bowls and containers are the best if you want to paint your walls and ceiling with food.
Deep bowls that are not overfilled allow the spatter to be contained within.
Diameter of the Container
The wider the diameter of your container, the higher your chances of spattering. Smaller diameter containers also reduce the distance you have to go around the container.
The best angle to hold your blender is where the blade goes near the bottom of your container but does not touch it. If you hold the hand blender too high, a pull is created, which causes a spatter. For a perfect angle, you should tilt the shaft slightly.
Unlike a traditional blender or food processor, wand blenders do not come with a lid. This means you cannot be guaranteed a spatter-free blending session.
To avoid spatter, you can use a simple DIY lid made from a paper plate. Using a paper plate as a lid is quite simple. All you have to do is create a small hole to fit the hand blender through and place it at the opening of your container.
Speed and Control
Hand blenders are fast and can easily create a mess. So, when using an immersion blender, make sure that it is immersed before turning it on.
You want to start slow, then amp up the speed as you go. This allows you to have uniformity in your blending.
The Right-Hand Rule
When using a hand blender, you want to follow a right to left motion when blending your food. If you start from left to right, you need to turn off the hand blender before changing your blending motion.
If you change your motion mid-blending, you will have a mess on your hands.
You should also take an up and down motion when blending. This should, however, be done with care. If you bring the hand blender too high, you will inevitably create a pull that will cause a spatter.
The Size of the Blending Container
Before you even think of blending your food, the first thing you should consider is the size of the container you are going to use.
For a clean and easy blending session, you need a deep container with a relatively smaller diameter. This will save you the hustle of having to clean food spatter.
When using an immersion blender, the ideal containers are food processor containers, chopping bowls, or any strong bowl.
The size of the blade on an immersion blender is not big enough to create a jug size vortex. You need to help your stick blender create a steady streaming vortex. It would be best if you moved the hand blender in a circular motion to do this.
This movement should be slow and steady to avoid huge vortexes resulting in food spatter.
How to Use a Hand Blender
Now that we have dotted all our Is and crossed our Ts let us jump into actually using an immersion blender. Using these steps, you can easily and effectively use a hand blender without messing.
- Make sure that your blending content is filled halfway in your holding container.
- Before using the hand blender, immerse it into the food content.
- When blending, use a right to left and up and down motion to blend your food.
- Please turn off the hand blender before pulling it out of the food.
Sample Hand Blender Recipes
It is time to make homemade mayonnaise if you are tired of having low-quality store-bought mayonnaise. The biggest advantage of homemade mayo is the endless possibilities of flavours and textures.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make mayonnaise.
Step 1: Ingredients
Most mayonnaise recipes call for oil and eggs. However, you can choose to spice things up as much as possible.
For example, you can use egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, mustard, and salt to make simple mayo at home.
In a bowl, add your ingredients. Next, place the immersion blender making sure it is in contact with the egg yolk. Pulse it a couple of times to break the yolk and mix it with the other ingredients.
Step 2: The Oil
With all the ingredients infused with the egg yolk, adding olive oil or extra virgin olive oil is now time. With the blender still turning, add in the oil slowly, allowing it to blend into the egg yolk mixture.
Do this until the oil emulsifies with the egg mixture. Once you have added enough oil, blend the mixture until you achieve a thick mixture.
To make fluffy pancakes, you need a smooth batter. Here is a simple guide on using an immersion blender to make pancake batter. For this, you want to use a whisk attachment.
Step 1: Your Ingredients
Before blending your ingredients, you need to mix all your ingredients. This includes the dry and wet components as per your recipe.
Step 2: Blending
Place the blender into the mixture and start blending with the mixed ingredients. To avoid over mixing, you should blend in breaks or batches.
Smoothies And Milkshakes
Step 1: Assembly
If you want to know how to make a smoothie with a hand blender, you should be as efficient as possible.
Before you start blending, you need to assemble all your ingredients. You need to follow the recipe using the exact measurements for a particular serving.
Step 2: Placing the Blender
With all the contents of your smoothie or milkshake in the jar, gently place the blender into the jar. Please make sure the blender is at the bottom of the jar, but it is not touching the bottom.
Step 3: The Blending Process
Now that you have steps one and two covers, you can start blending. Blend your milkshake or smoothie until you get the desired consistency.
For best results, you should blend batches if you are making it for a big serving. This prevents you from over blending the mixture. Please turn off the blender once you finish blending, pull it out of the jar, and serve your smoothie or milkshake. Now that you know how to make a smoothie with a hand blender, you can create healthy and delicious drinks at any time.
Other Foods That You Can Make Using an Immersion Blender
Whether using a cordless hand blender or a battery-operated one, you must know how to utilize the hand blender properly. Here are some foods you can prepare using an immersion blender.
Soups are perhaps the most popular food item that can be blended using a hand blender. This is so common that some people believe that hand blenders were intended to be solely used for making soup. They can be used for both hot soup and cold soup.
Sauces, Salad Dressings, Purees, Dips, Salsas, Pesto
These are the second most popular hand-blended food items. This is because immersion blenders use the chopping attachment without creating juices.
Popular purees that can be made using hand blenders include tomato puree, potato puree, cauliflower puree, and other vegetable purees.
When a baby is being weaned, they are first introduced to soft food. This is followed by semi-solid food.
Here is where immersion blenders come in handy. If you want to feed your baby semi-solid food, then a hand blender is the way to go.
Ice-Cream, Smoothies, Whipped Cream, Milkshakes, and Granites
These are food items that do not require over mixing. Hence why they are popular items to feature in immersion blender recipes. Latte drinks are also popular immersion blender food items.
The different blender attachments that come with immersion blenders give you a wide range of possibilities, including fancy dishes like pommes anna and potato boulangère. You can also make simple dishes like chips, crisps, cheese sauce, pasta sauce, and other hot blended dishes.
Immersion Blender Tips
Hand blenders are fun and easy to use. With these tips, they can be easier to use and last longer.
Unlike traditional blenders, the blades on an immersion blender may have some hard to reach areas. If you let it sit after use, the food may harden, forming gunk which is not fun or easy to clean. Make sure that you clean your blender immediately after using it for easy cleaning.
Use mild dish soap and a soft washing sponge to clean it properly.
Blend Bigger Batches
When it comes to hand blenders, more is better. Hand blenders work best when you are blending a bigger batch of food.
To avoid bending your blender blades avoid using shallow dishes or blending small quantities of food. If you are looking to get the most from your immersion blender, you should use it when fully immersed in food.
Allow Hot Dishes to Cool Before Blending
To avoid burns from hot spatter, you should allow any hot food that you intend to blend to cool down.
It is thought that an approximate time of between 10 minutes and 20 minutes is enough to cool down food to a safe temperature.
Allow Frozen Food to Thaw Before Blending
Blending frozen food or ingredients can cause the blades of the blender to bend or even break. If You have frozen food or frozen fruit, it is best to let it completely thaw before blending it.
If your recipe calls for ice, you should consider using crushed ice instead of solid ice cubes.
Move the Blender Around
A regular blender works best when they are placed in a stationary position. This is, however, not the same case as hand blenders.
For the best results when using a hand blender, move it around. Moving it around allows the blade to come in contact with unblended content. You can incorporate a slow stirring motion.
A Few Things to Remember
Now that you know how an immersion blender works and how to make a smoothie with a hand blender, you are good to go.
But all in all, immersion blenders remain the go-to for anyone looking for a quick and easy-to-use handy appliance. The different attachments that come with an immersion blender allow you to experiment with different blending and chopping techniques.
With all this said and done, you need to remember that hand blenders can also be your worst nightmare if they are not properly used. Spatter from food can lead to injuries and accidents in the kitchen.
They can also lead to added work when cleaning after yourself. So always remember to go through the manufacturer’s instructions before using your hand or immersion blender.