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Jun 24, 2010 11:16 AM

Novice with a hand blender. Help!

I've just bought my first handblender (Braun mr 550) with whisk and chopper attachments. My first question is what would I use the stick blender for vs what would I use the chopper? Does it matter? Such a rookie!

Any other suggestions welcome as to what I should make. I also just got a Le Creuset French Oven so can't wait to make something with both appliances!

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  1. I use my Braun hand-blender for immersion blending (soup purees, blended smoothies or cocktails). The whisk attachment is good for eggs, cake mixes or whipping cream. I'm not sure that mine has a chopper attachment, so I can't help with that.

    One word of advice when blending/pureeing liquids: never bring the blade or whisk near the surface of the liquid or you could coat yourself and your kitchen with whatever you're blending/pureeing.

    2 Replies
    1. re: 1sweetpea

      Thank you 1sweetpea! Good advice. I am curious about the chopper... i.e. is there something I can't or shouldn't do with the stick blender. I'll await more experts :)

      1. re: frelma

        I absolutely love my hand blender and use it for all sorts of tasks, from pureeing soup to whipping small batches of cream. However, I would caution you about using the chopper to make fresh breadcrumbs, especially if using tougher bread such as baguettes. I burned out two hand blenders (yes, I'm a slow learner!) by putting too much bread in the little cup attachment. If I have a large amount to turn into crumbs, I use my full sized food processor instead.

        I hope you enjoy your blender - they're very versatile!

    2. Flavored butter, Salad dressings, Mayonnaise! The hand blender is a whiz at making mayo. Also, now that it's summer, I take all manner of leftover vegetables and puree them for cold soups; add some buttermilk and it's lunch time. 1sweetpea is absolutely correct about not covering yourself and the kitchen by bringing the stick blender too close to the top of what you're blending. I make refried beans as well as fruit-based smoothies quite often with this tool. My guess is that once you begin to use it, you'll find lots of new applications. One of the neatest parts is that you save on the washing up - blend right in the cookpot or glass or whatever and GO. There's no secondary bowl to clean.

      1. Are there examples in the manual that came with the blender?

        Generally I use the immersion blender when the ingredients are already partly liquid, and I want a puree - e.g. cooked vegetables that I want to make into a cream soup, or cold soup ingredients.

        I use the chopper when starting with dry ingredients, such as when making pesto, or cracker crumbs. In a pesto initially the only liquid is the oil.

        And as others have cautioned, don't use either with very hard items such as ice or hard bread crusts. The chopper is a scaled down version of a food processor. The immersion blender is more like a milk shake mixer or an 'inside-out' blender.

        1 Reply
        1. re: paulj

          that makes sense paulj thank you! i initiated the chopper attachment by making margaritas :)

        2. The beauty of the immersion blender is its ability to blend hot liquids and vegetables in the pot you are cooking in. As previously pointed out getting too close to the surface can send hot liquids flying. If you have a favorite pot fill it with water in the amount that you would use for a favorite recipe. Put the blender in and see what kind of work room you have. You may find that using a narrower pot that increases the depth of the liquid works better or increase the proportions of the recipe if the work room is not sufficient.

          The other day I made potato and leek soup and while I was using the immersion blender the earthquake in Canada hit (I'm in upstate NY). I didn't hear or feel a thing. Immersion blender vs. earthquake, immersion blender won.

          2 Replies
          1. re: SanityRemoved

            when we had one of our three quakes here in SD last week, i was running the disposal in the kitchen sink and for a moment i thought something had gotten stuck in the drain :)

            i love the convenience of using the immersion blender directly in the pot - i think that's where mine gets the most use.

            1. re: SanityRemoved

              haha thats funny. I actually did feel that earthquake in Toronto! And potato leek soup is high on my list of why i bought my hand blender. thanks for the info!