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Jan 27, 2009 12:21 PM

Immersion vs. Stand blender

My fiance and I are looking at acquiring a blender, but have been bombarded by many of the negative reviews. I have read lots of horror stories about the plastic Kitchenaid leaking and the Cuisinart blender not working very efficiently. Does anyone have any positive experience with either of these blenders? At this point I am thinking that buying a immersion blender might be the better option, because in theory it should be able to do the same things as a stand blender if I just place the ingredients in a pitcher. Am I missing some vital aspect of the differences between the two types?

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  1. I have both, and I use them for different purposes. I make a lot of vegetable purees and thick soups, so I use the immersion blender for that; plus, it's very portable and travels well. The standing one can sort of double as a food processor, though the base is a bit small for that. You can blend hot soups in it, too, but you have to be careful, and it becomes messy and kind of slow. The standing one is great for mixed/frozen drinks and smoothies.

    3 Replies
    1. re: marilees

      "but you have to be careful" - heed Marilees advice! With hot soups, if you aren't exceedingly careful you risk blowing off the top of the blender and sending soup everywhere. It happened to me the last time I made mulligatawny soup, resulting in turmeric-colored soup splattering everywhere, including on the upholstered couch on the other side of the half-wall separating my kitchen work counter from the living room!

      1. re: janniecooks

        Try removing the plug from the center of the blender lid and covering the hole with a kitchen towel. This lets the steam escape while keeping the soup in, preventing soupy explosion.

        1. re: Buckethead

          Thanks for the tip - I had not planned on making the soup again for fear of a repeat explosion - I'll try your suggestion next time.

    2. What are you planning on doing with it? A stick blender is much handier for blending soups and tomato sauce and such, because you don't need to move the soup from a hot pot, to a blender, and back again. A stick blender also gives you more control over exactly how chunky or smooth you want your soup (or whatever). However, an immersion blender will never be able to blend things to as smooth a consistency as a stand blender. If you need to make things as smooth as they can possibly be, like milkshakes and smoothies, you'll have to use a stand blender.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Buckethead

        I will probably be using it for primarily for smoothies and shakes and secondarily for soups. It looks like the best option is to find a good stand blender and then to get an immersion blender when we have the money.

        1. re: French Foodie

          If you are going to be using it primarily for smoothies and shakes and secondarily for soups you are much better off getting a good immersion blender. You can make the first two items directly in the glass and cleanup is much easier.

      2. IMO, if you're going to get a blender, go for the Vita-Mix, which could probably turn rocks into gravel. We've had ours for about 8 years, and have been completely happy. I also received a Bamix stick blender for Christmas, and I find that it has replaced both the blender and the food processor for smaller tasks.

        1. Depends on what you are making. I found the immersion blender works very well on small quantities of soup and to make mayonnaise. But for smoothies, ice crushing and larger quantities a stand blender is definitely the better option but I would get get one with a glass pitcher. I have a 15 to 25 year old Osterizer that my mother used and she cooked a lot and it still works very well, just make sure to check that the base is tight before you turn it on. The immersion blender is a heck of a lot easier to clean and takes up less space in the dishwasher as well.

          1. French Foodie, they are different tools for different tasks. For the tasks that most people use an immersion blender for, we have an old fashioned hand-crank egg beater. Quality hand-crank egg beaters have all but disappeared from the world today (there are some cheapies that break down too easily), but we are glad we have ours.

            For our tasks that truly require a blender and not an egg beater, an immersion blender would be inadequate. For instance, we make Dutch babies (German pancake/souffl├ęs), and that requires whipping four eggs at very high speed, which, in turn, demands that the container be topped with a lid. If the container were open enough at the top to allow an immersion blender to be inserted, we would have egg all over the counter. We also save our bread ends (we buy artisan bread) and every couple of weeks we convert the crusts to panko (bread crumbs) in the stand blender. We could not do that with an immersion blender. It is a snap to throw a glass of milk and a whole banana into a stand blender and make a smoothie; try that with an immersion blender, and you are likely to have little pieces of banana all over the counter.

            After years of satisfaction with a 1972-vintage Osterizer stand blender, when it got to tired to work any more, we retired it and replaced it with a Bosch MMB2000 a couple of years ago. The Bosch MMB2000 is no longer in production, but some new units can still be found through outlet stores and discounters, at truly bargain prices; if you find one, grab it. Apart from the noise levels, it is the perfect blender (please stop the Vita-Mix fans from shouting!), powerful enough that you probably could mix concrete in it, with the world's easiest yet versatile control (a single, variable-speed knob), and its disassemblable glass pitcher is easy to clean.