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Immersion Blenders-More than soup?

Hello All,

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.

Thanks!

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  1. Made a celeriac puree the other night with immersion blender. That alone justified having it

    1. 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...

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JoanN

            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.

            1. re: frobe

              Dips such as hummous, red pepper dip etc. I have a Braun and use it all the time. Though I confess I'd reather mince cooked meat for pies, empanadas etc by hand.

          2. in addition to soups & sauces i use one for salad dressings all the time, and for purees as Souvenir mentions

            1 Reply
            1. re: soupkitten

              I have the Cuisinart Quick Prep and I second the rec for salad dressing. 20 seconds and voila - total emulsification! Gorgeous!

            2. Our immersion blender (a Kitchen Aid) is great for smoothees, sauces, soups, crushed ice -- it gets more use now than my Osterizer ever got. Easier to clean, fewer parts to hunt down, less food flying around the kitchen, it's a winner.

              1. Thanks for all the ideas on alternative uses of an immersion blender. I enjoy all those foods and the convenience/time saved by using an immersion blender will be a big plus. I think that I am going to go with the KitchenAid in Onyx, it will match the mixer.

                1 Reply
                1. re: gmk1322

                  I have the Braun variable speed.
                  I also use it for making nut purees and for mincing garlic.
                  I make a cilantro dijon mustard sauce in it and I cut out most of the recommended olive oil and the texture remains good.

                  What makes it so valuable to me is the ease of cleanup.

                  Something this past week wasn't blending the way I expected it to. Then I remember the immersion blender (I've only had it six months) and the problem was solved so easily.

                  I worry my cooking skills are going to get lazy- well, maybe that's a good thing because I can cook more with less angst.
                  I hate taking apart my conventional blender. Cleanup on an immersion blender is so fast and the design is so good that foods don't stick.

                2. Along with salad dressings that have been mentioned is making mayonnaise.

                  1. I've used them to make pea foam as a garnish for risotto. Just boil and shock the peas, place them in some water and position the immersion blender so it will draw in some air while it is working.

                    BTW, the Kitchenaid KBH300 and the KBH100 are the same blender. The 300 just comes with the chopper and whisk attachments. If you don't think you'll use those attachments you can save about 50% by getting the KBH100.