Immersion Blenders-More than soup?
I was debating on whether to purchase an immersion blender, but I am worried about not getting enough use out of it in my kitchen. I know that it is extremely functional for making soups and sauces without having to transfer to a blender/food processor but I want to know what other things everyone uses them for. I want to make sure I get enough use out of it to justify the purchase and find ways to use it in more than soups/sauces.
Additionally, any recommendations for good immersion blenders under $100 would be greatly appreciated. I am looking at either the: KitchenAid KHB300 Hand Blender or the Cuisinart SmartStick Hand Blender CSB-76.
I use mine for pesto—I find it needs much less oil than when in a blender.
Also, I make smoothies in a pitcher with it—no ice, just frozen berries and juices, yogurt etc...
I have the Cuisinart Smart Stick CSB-77. I've had it since last December, and my original purpose was for hot soups and sauces just as you mention. It greatly increased the number of roasted winter vegetable soups and purees I made last winter and early spring. I couldn't believe how the ease of use of it compared to my previous blender or food processor methods changed how frequently I was making soups.
Then as the weather changed, I turned to using it more heavily for puree-ing tomatoes for a variety of recipes. Pureed cauliflower now has now equal or greater importance with mashed or smashed potatoes as a side choice, something that was not true pre-stick blender. Those are the quick, frequent uses that first come to mind.
It's really interesting how this one small appliance has added so much to my daily cooking repertoire.
I would go with the KitchenAid, if only because it has the mini-processor attachment. I have a Braun that has the mini chopper and I find I use that attachment at least as often as I use the blender. It works even better than my mini food processor for all sorts of things such as mincing garlic and herbs.
Our Braun immersion blender comes with a chopping attachment which we use all the time. Tonight I threw an onion and carrot in there, hit the button for a second and used the mix in pasta sauce. My wife puts chunks of beef in there and minces them up for shepherds pie. I also use it for making milk shakes and smoothies for the kids. Lastly, I also use it for making a great ginger salad dressing that uses onions, ginger, celery, etc. Just throw everything in, hit the button and bam, it's done.