HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


Cusinart Immersion Blender- When to Use Instead of Food Processor or KitchenAid or Blender?

I just received the Cuisinart Immersion Blender (with the whisk and chopper attachments). I'm smitten, but I've now got a kitchen with blender, food processor, KitchenAid, hand-held beaters, and whisks 'aplenty. I'm trying to pare down (or at least move some applicances out of an overcrowded kitchen to somewhere less accessible) and figure out what to use when- any suggestions? What do people find most useful on a daily basis, etc?

Also, the blade on the chopper attachment comes with a sharp and a dull side. The manual is supposed to give suggestions on which to use for different foods, but it doesn't, so again, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Lea

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I use the immersion blender for smaller jobs like making soups or sauces when I want to puree only a portion to thicken it. It can't really handle anything too heavy (mashed potatoes were a big mistake). Generally it's great for smaller jobs.

    1. I've taken dessert to friends' houses for potluck on several occasions, and when I want to top whatever I've brought with fresh whipped cream, I pack both the cream and my IB with the wisk attachment along with the dessert (I rely on my host for sugar/vanilla/brandy).

      1. I don't use my whisk attachment - I don't know if I'm holding it wrong or what, but it splatters more than my handheld mixer with whisk.

        I use the chopper ALL THE TIME. I only use my food processor if I'm making a large batch of something. The chopper is easier to clean and the blade pops out so you can scrape the bowl without having to maneuver around a center column (like in my food processor bowl). I've managed to fit ingredients for a 1-crust pie dough in the chopper so I don't have to drag out the food processor.

        One-person smoothies - use the immersion blender. Anything that's hot in a pot that needs to be smooth is easier with the immersion blender. Lots of milkshakes, ice blended drinks, or cold soupy dishes, I'd use the blender.

        If you're like me, you'll use your immersion blender and attachments more than anything else. Keep your Kitchenaid mixer handy for cookies, cakes, and bread. But I'd think you could move the handheld mixer, blender, and food processor to a "less-used" cabinet space.

          1. I love my immersion blender and I use it for soups, mashed potatoes, whipped cream, etc. I find it really handy and easy to clean.

            1. Generally, I use mine for anything I need to puree while it's still hot.

              I learned the hard way about putting hot soup in a blender. Split pea on the ceiling, you know.

              5 Replies
              1. re: danna

                That's why they come with a cover.

                1. re: MobyRichard

                  If you put hot liquid in a blender, the build up of pressure from the steam will blow the cover off. I actually had my hand on the cover when this event occured - could not hold it on.

                  1. re: danna

                    I also use an immersion blender for soups most of the time, but sometimes if I need to make it very very smooth, I'll use the blender. The trick is to cover the pitcher with a towel. That lets steam escape, but not soup. Most decent blenders have lids with a hole in the center with a plug in it. Remove the plug and cover the hole with a towel. You lose the tiny bit of soup that flies up and gets stuck to the towel, but it's better than trying to hold the lid on with your hand.

                2. re: danna

                  In years of restaurant work I pureed a lot of hot stuff in blenders. The drill is, first, do not fill the thing very full! Half full or less, max. Put the lid on (the whole lid; don't leave the center part of the lid out). Then, as Buckethead points out, cover it with a towel. I like to fold the towel once or twice. Then, bear down on the folded towel with one hand while operating the switch with the other.

                  If you can let the food cool, even a little, first, so much the better.

                3. I'm not generally predisposed to anything that plugs in, but I love my immersion blender, especially for soups, as others have mentioned.

                  I have found it does not work as well for really thick blends, however. In a fit of loyalty, I tried using it for a pea/mint puree for last Easter dinner. Not a good choice. It's far better for more liquid concoctions.

                  I'll never be without one, however - it's so easily stored and easy to clean.

                  1. I use mine to puree soups on the stove..makes it super easy.

                    1. I use mine when I'm making a custard, and have to whiskwhiskwhiskwhisk so the mixture doesn't burn...
                      or on Christmas when I rushed the gravy, and it was lumpy, and when I made a new salad dressing, wanted to use less oil, and was able to perfectly emulsify the dressing...the list goes on and on.

                      1. Spaghetti sauces when you want a consistency somewhere between "chunky-rustic" and food-mill smooth.

                        1. I keep my immersion blender, food processor, KA stand mixer and hand tools on the countertop because I use these very regularly. The blender and hand mixer are shelved or in cupboards because I use them much less often. The blender is better at producing a very smooth puree especially if you have large batches. I use mine to make smooth soups. I use the hand mixer very seldom, to whip cream to accompany dessert or mix eggs for a big batch of scrambled.

                          1. I use it for soups on occasion, but more often than not I end up putting the soup in the blender after using the immersion blender because the result is not as pureed as I'd like - maybe I'm just not patient enough w/ the immersion one. In terms of putting hot liquids in the blender, the key is to do it in small batches if you don't have time to cool the soup ... I fill the blender maybe 1/3 full. Also, my Waring blender has a removable "cap" in the middle of the lid that I think is meant to be removed when processing hot liquids - I don't remove it, but put it askew so that some of the steam can be released. I could certainly live w/o my immersion blender.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: MMRuth

                              Take the cap out and cover the hole with a clean towel, that will allow the steam to escape freely while confining the soup to the blender.

                            2. I use the immersion blender frequently. Especially this time of year I love hearty soups and the IB is just perfect for the job - from half blended to perfectly smooth. I still have some sensational leftover leek, parsnip and apple soup in the fridge.