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handheld blender

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  • bear Jul 28, 2007 11:06 AM
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All the talk about blenders on the board got me thinking about handheld immersion blenders. If you have one, do you use it? Is it worth spending the extra bucks on a better Kitchen Aid model?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I'm new to the boards, but thought I'd just jump right in...Hand helds best for me,because I use it more often than the KitchenAid I also have..Guess it's an individual thing, according to how much you actually will use it, whether it would be a good investment for you.

    1. You might be interested in this article from the LA Times:

      http://www.gastropoda.com/stories/ble...

      After reading it, I rushed out and bought the KA that was tested. I've been very happy with it, though not as ecstatic as the writer. Nothing beats it for pureeing soup in a pot, but small amounts of pesto, etc, can be difficult.

      KA often has phone-order specials on colors and models that aren't selling well, and they have rebates at least twice a year.

      1. I have a handheld (as well as stand & portable blender, what's my problem?) & think it's a KitchenAid - came with chopper attachment, whisk & cup. I got it b/c my other one broke & I have to say - I LOVE it. Haven't read the article posted from the LATimes but I leave this sucker plugged in (to a power strip) & attach as needed. Very handy & the tall cup it comes with is great for mixing, as it doesn't swoosh all over like it did when i used a wider pyrex cup. Also - for all those other blenders I have, if you puree soup - this makes it a breeze!

        So I think it's worth it, though I used a coupon to one of those BB&B stores to get a 10% discount.

        1. I got Lydie Marshall's soup book and fell in love with several of her recipes; the only awkward part was ladling the soup back and forth from the food processor for blending. Now that I have my immersion blender (Kitchen Aid: got it for Christmas), soup is a breeze to make. Definitely worthwhile.

          1. Darn! Too bad you didn't ask yesterday -- I noticed the Kitchen Aid in the Amazon.com Friday sale.

            Anyway, I have one and I love it. I like pureed soups, and it's so much easier than pouring batches of hot soup into a blender or food processor. And it whips cream in no time flat.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Just a note that the Kitchen Aid is on sale again on the Amazon Friday sale (8/3/07) for $59.99.

            2. Aarg! Now I see that I could have gotten KA300 for $59.99 with all the accessories on Amazon on the Friday Sale. Oh, well...I'll just watch the site and see if another good deal comes up. I'll also check BBB and LNT, since I have a couple of 20% coupons. Great tip on Kitchen Aid phone orders. I'll give them a call and see if they have anything since I'm not attached to any particular color.

              It does sound like Kitchen Aid is the way to go. Now I"m wondering if it is worth getting the nut chopper and the whisk?

              Thanks so much for all your helpful suggestions.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bear

                I never use any of the attachments that came with mine, though I do heartily recommend the Kitchenaid due to its variable speeds. The Braun is nice too, but I really like being able to turn the speed up or down.

              2. Braun makes the best mixer/blender according to ConsumerSearch: www.consumersearch.com/www/kitchen/mi... . I purchased one for Mr OCAnn; he loves it!

                1 Reply
                1. re: OCAnn

                  I love my Braun as well (no large blender, I live in a little flat and don't blend large quantities of anything) I make pesto, dips (hummus, bean dips etc) and puréed soups with it.

                2. Mine is a Braun, and about 8 years old. It came with a whisk, a chopping bowl (like a mini food processor) as well as the blender stick. I love it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: manraysky

                    I have a Braun stick blender that I've had for probably more like 20 years. My grandma bought them for all of us in the days when Slim-Fast first appeared and everyone in my family was drinking it. (I got over the Slim-Fast real quick, but the stick blender has come in handy numerous times for small jobs.) I love that it's easy to just rinse it off and put it up when I'm through with it. And I also love that it wasn't all that expensive (20 years ago it was under $20) and seems to be going to last forever.

                  2. Like revsharkie, I have a Braun--but 15 years old. It came with no accessories. Use it all the time for my daughter's carrot soup, among others.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      My Braun's about 15 years old too (I gauge things by kids: I was pregnant with my last when I got it!), and is wonderful for blended in the pot soups.Would not be without it.

                      BUT: if you are making any pureed soup with constituent parts that are fibrous and stringy, please beware. The stringy bits (usually we soup makers want to waste nothing!) will wrap around the mixer-bit of the immersion blender. I thought I had learned, but this spring made a pureed soup with spring peas. Even though they are tender to eat, they still have pesky strings. It takes a l-o-n-g time to disengage any fibrous bits from the blender stem.

                      I am now sieving out the fibers before I blend the lumps.

                    2. I have had one for years (not a KA, but well made) and I have mostly used it on occasions when I need to whip cream to top a dessert I've volunteered to bring to family-style dinners. It packs easily, does a good job and saves me the trouble of asking my host or hostess to loan me something to whip the cream.

                      1. A stick blender is great for mixing dips, making creamy salad dressings, pureeing soup, etc.

                        And it's definitely worth the extra bucks for a good one. I thought it couldn't make much difference, so I bought a cheap Oster hand mixer from Target a few months ago. Within a few uses, I could hear loud metal-against-metal grinding noises. Yesterday, the plastic "flange" around the metal rod melted as I was trying to make salad dressing (I was just chopping diced garlic and cheese).

                        Avoid this piece-of-junk Oster model 2614:
                        http://www.oster.com/ProductCategory....

                        It's time for a new immersion blender for me. I'd get the KitchenAid, but I often make small amounts of things (dressing, pesto, ground nuts). Does the Braun do a better job on a small volume of ingredients? Which of the current models should I get?

                        Anne

                        1. Hi, everyone,

                          Thanks for all the help and insight, especially the notice of sales, Ruth. After some thought, I ended up getting the Braun Impressions 400 watt. I was just about to buy the Kitchen Aid 300 with 200 watts as soon as it went back on sale on the Amazon Friday Sale, but the day before I was in Linens N Things with a 20% coupon, and the Braun was there for $69.99. I ended up paying about $54. It has a couple of nice accessories for chopping and blending small amounts. From what I can tell from the product testing, the Kitchen Aid has similar accessories and is supposed to handle a little better than the Braun. The extra wattage in the Braun doesn't equal better performance.

                          I went with the higher wattage, though, because there were a couple of negative reviews where the Kitchen Aid motor burned out making really thick smoothies, so I was thinking that maybe the extra wattage would put less strain on the motor. Either way, the Kitchen Aid seems to be top-rated and the Braun is right up their, too. It is an impressive-looking product.

                          By the way, the Kitchen Aid 100 and 300 are the same models. The only difference is the accessories, and their seems to be about $40 difference in price, so if you are in the market for a simple, straight-forward hand blender, the 100 may be the way to go.

                          I haven't used it yet, so I'll report back! Thanks again.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: bear

                            Good point. I already have a mini-food processor, a full-sized food processor, and a regular blender, so I don't need all those attachments. My Mom got me the Cuisinart with all the attachments for Xmas, and I returned it, got the cheaper one without the attachments, and used the store credit to buy some other stuff.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                              In true hound spirit!

                            2. re: bear

                              I like the immersion stainless on your Braun (my immersion blender on the Braun Multimix 880 is plastic).

                              In the past 20 years, I've often leaned toward Braun over KA, b/c I like the simplicity of their designs. I haven't been disappointed yet.

                            3. I have the braun with the wisk, mini chopper and some kind of measuring cup thing. I use it religiously.

                              Eggs, salsas, chop roasted jalapenos, garlic, herbs, nuts, parm, soups, apple butter, pumpkin butter, hummus, all that stinking parsley for tabbouli, whatever it need be. Also my Other is a tried and true hater of onions, celery and carrots. I use that to mince them fine and add them to soup, stuffing, stew, whatever needs that combo and they melt down to nothing. He can't even see them! (Sneaky, sneaky me!).
                              I am also not a big fan of eggs in any form, but if I use the imersion on high with heavy cream, a splash of hot sauce and some red sea salt, I have the fluffiest scrambled eggs I could ever want, with none of the pieces of white that never seem to fully get mixed with a fork!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: chelleyd01

                                Thanks for the hints! That's the Braun that I have. I've only used it for a couple of things, but I love it so far.

                              2. I'm surprised to read the recs for the Braun immersion blenders. My experience is that the cheaper ones with the thick plastic stems are unreliable, difficult to use junk, see:
                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/322247
                                Spend a little more on a Bamix and you won't be disappointed. It makes mayonaise easily, just like the product demos!
                                The more expensive Brauns (and Cuisinart?) with s/s shafts might be OK, though.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: DiveFan

                                  I just used my Braun last night to make a paste of onion, garlic, ginger and chili pepper. It worked great. I agree that the less expensive ones might not be up to the task, but my Braun Impressions with a stainless steel shaft and 400 watts is a pretty heftm powerful machine. From what I understand, the similar KitchenAid is also good.

                                  I actually didn't come across the Bamix in my searching before I bought the Braun. Probably would have made my decision even harder! Just googled it, and it gets great reviews.

                                  1. re: bear

                                    That paste sounds like a good test. Try making mint/coriander chutney sometime :-).
                                    Hopefully the 'transmission' in your Braun will hold up over time. The cheap Brauns we had all failed in this area, probably a poorly designed plastic gear mechanism.
                                    Keep us advised!

                                    1. re: DiveFan

                                      I have no idea what's in mine, gear-wise. But I've had it for years and years. It doesn't get daily use, but I've never had any trouble getting it to do what I need it to do.