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First Immersion Blender. What to do?

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I got an immersion blender for supper. I've looked through here and see that it's great for soup and for making mayonnaise. I plan on using it for both.

Any other things I might be missing that are must tries?

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  1. Make a braise w/ a lot of vegetables, mostly root vegetables, Remove the meat when done and puree the sauce and vegetables for a nice healthy thick sauce.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chowser

      Yes thicken soups, stews or braises. You know about soups but use it to make variations in texture. You can go full smooth or anywhere in between.

      1. re: chowser

        I always do that for the sauce when I make brisket. No other thickeners necessary, and it's MUCH tastier than the pan drippings alone.

      2. Just a general tip: Whenever a recipe calls for using the food processor or the blender but you know that the amount of ingredients is just not enough or worth hauling out the heavy machinery for, I use my immersion blender. For example: I think it is a waste to take my food processor out (and clean it!) when making a pesto. I just toss all my ingredients in a tall, narrow plastic container and I have pesto without having to clean out the food processor and then haul it back to the closet where it lives. All I have to clean up is the immersion blender...I store the pesto in the cup in which I made it.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ttoommyy

          Yes - it's a great cheat vs. the heavy equipment. We use ours for smoothies. Put frozen fruit, yogurt, a dash a of cinnamon in a plastic cup and let 'er rip. I also use mine for small batches of babyfood, but that may not be relevant for you.

          1. re: jboeke

            Sometimes there are just not enough ingredients for the food processor blender to get the job done and they get stuck under the blades. That's where an immersion blender really comes in handy.

            1. re: jboeke

              I have a fruit/yogurt smoothies every morning. I leave my immersion blender on the counter as a result. Love it for soups too.

            2. re: ttoommyy

              The big commercial yogurt containers work well for this - tall, narrow, hold a relatively good amount of food.

            3. I agree with the others - use it when food processor or blender cleaning just isn't worth it. I also use mine to make salad dressings, adding a little thickness to soups or sauces by doing a pulse or two, to turn my marinara sauce into pizza sauce I just smooth it out with the immersion blender...I can count on using it once or twice a week for the most part.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mels

                You know for salad dressings I use a jar. Add ingredients in proper order and shake. Works like a charm for most dressings. If I'm looking for a super smooth cheese based dressing or milk based and creamy dressing then I might use the IB.

                1. re: scubadoo97

                  I agree with you on the jar idea! However, one benefit of the IB to do vinaigrette dressing is that it emulsifies the dressing, thus no separation. I combine the two ideas and use my IB in the jar! :D

              2. By popular demand, I've made Bourbon Slush again for New Year's Eve. I usually don't remember to stir it as often as I should while freezing it, and even if I do, stirring with a spoon mixes it well but still leaves some chunky ice crystals. The other day while stirring, I realized there was a better way. I got out the "boat motor" and used that. Perfect! It's looking more like bourbon sorbet now, nice and smooth! Not my normal use for this appliance, but just remember to keep an open mind ;-)

                3 Replies
                1. re: Cheez62

                  Whoa, there Cheez.....Let's hear about bourbon slush!

                  1. re: BiscuitBoy

                    What Biscuit Boy said! Bourbon slush? Bourbon sorbet? Do tell!

                    1. re: Krislady

                      Hehe, sorry to leave you hanging, I hadn't checked back to this thread. I wish I could offer some fantastic story or old family recipe, but it's reall just a common drink recipe, though a popular one among family and friends. The recipe can be found many places with just a Google search, most of them being about the same. Here is a link to the recipe I commonly use:
                      http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink1549....
                      With a good freezer it comes out pretty frozen, I usually dish it up with an ice cream scoop. You'll see that they recommend blending it or otherwise mixing it to "thaw" it a bit. I prefer to put some in a glass and then add a small amount of 7up/Sprite, whatever, and stir. It makes it a bit liquid (but still slushy), and adds some "sparkle". Enjoy, and please come back here to post so I know if you liked it!

                2. I love mine for hummus and tomato sauce. I also use it to make smoothies using frozen bananas, and it works great.

                  1. Mine came with a little whisk attachment that is great for whipping small amounts of cream or eggs, anything that needs to be fluffy. I also use it for making mango lassi and other smoothie type drinks. Way easier than hauling out the blender.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Isolda

                      Yes, mine came with the little whisk attachment too. I think my wife will like that attachment.

                    2. Guacomole or other dips.

                      1. Usually I make applesauce with apples that are quartered but not cored or peeled, and put it through a food mill. But this fall I had apples that were on the watery side so to get the most flavor out of them, I cored and chopped them, then used the immersion blender until I couldn't see any bits of peel. The texture was baby-food like, rather than the grainier texture from the food mill. Of course you could also use the IB for sauce from peeled/cored fruit.

                        And remember that all you need to do to clean the IB is to whir it in a mug of soapy water, then rinse in a mug of water or under the faucet.

                        1. you've gotten great suggestions for using it, so I will lay my "must try" on you. You must try to remember to never, ever ever turn it on before immersing. : )
                          Spoken as one who knows. Yes, there was wine involved (in the mistake, not the recipe I proceeded to paint the kitchen with.) My husband came in and said in total wonderment, "I don't think I've ever seen anything like it before."

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: mamachef

                            That is a great tip mamachef! lol What were you about to mix? It would help with the visual. ;)

                            Sounds as bad as the time I dropped a half-full box of grits from a cabinet over the microwave (above the stove). Needless to say there were grits everywhere, including my hair and other places I'm too shy to divulge. We got most of it cleaned up but luckily the kitchen was being gutted soon after this happened or I bet we'd still be finding grits in all the cracks and crevices of our old kitchen.

                            1. re: ttoommyy

                              Gazpacho. Does that help ya some? : )
                              Ooooh, grits grits grits everywhere.........sounds so.........gritty!

                              1. re: mamachef

                                Gazpacho, oh my! Yes, that helps! lol :)

                            2. re: mamachef

                              We all know that regular blenders need to be started slowly, with the lid held down, to avoid eruptions but an interesting tip from Ming Tsai is to turn the empty blender on to the desired speed, then slowly pour in the liquid you want to puree. It won't jump up that way.

                              And yes, never turn on the immersion blender until it's submerged, but the harder thing to avoid is lifting it out while it is still running. You're likely to forget at least once before you learn.

                              1. re: greygarious

                                All highly important advice to heed, to avoid hot (or cold) splashing and spraying messes.

                                1. re: bushwickgirl

                                  I got rid of my first one because of this problem. Just got a new one for Christmas and will be giving it another try with this in mind.

                              2. re: mamachef

                                This reminds me of our mishap with a regular blender whose base hadn't been completely tightened. We refer to this years later as The Great Margarita Incident. The visuals weren't all that striking; it was the audio portion that was so funny. The adjacent telephone received and made calls just fine afterwards but the ring tone was distinctly slurred: "riiiiiinnnnnnnggggggnnnnnnggggg"

                                1. re: mandycat

                                  Must have been a Ma Bell phone! Hard to kill them, still have one in the bedroom.

                                  My worst mishap with my regular blender involved Margaritas too, my bottom wasn't screwed on either but as I poured all the tequila I had into the container, it all ran out onto the counter and onto the floor. Oh how I cried!

                              3. My immersion blender comes with a container for chopping. It does garlic like a breeze.

                                1. There have been a couple of soup suggestions, but I'd like to expand on that idea. My husband (the chef in our home) makes soup out of a number of foods with an immersion blender , but finds it most useful with certain leftovers. For instance, if we have leftover roasted parsnips, sauteed mushrooms, baked sweet potatoes (almost any vegetable), the next day he will purée them, add some seasoning and/or stock (cream?), and VOILA: velouté for 2. Easy to do and a nice change from the previous meal.

                                  1. most of the majors have been covered. i'll just add that it's super-handy for making a quick salsa, and for pureeing custard-based pie fillings.

                                    1. I've been using it to make fruit smoothies in the morning.

                                      The real blender is just too big to haul out for a single smoothie, and the mini one I picked up has started balking at frozen food. The stick blender (with a little patience at 5:30) is perfect.

                                      1. I'm really surprised I haven't seen it mentioned but I mix my scrambled eggs with one. Well, actually anytime I need to mix eggs (not just for scrambled eggs). Anytime I bread something like pork chops or for french toast, or or or. In fact, that is the primary way I use an immersion blender 2 -3 times a week. You can make them (eggs) frothy but I don't. I just like to get it mixed well so that it is all one uniform color and consistency.

                                        Now that Santa brought me a cordless one, it is even easier.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Hank Hanover

                                          I would never think of using the immersion blender to mix up eggs unless I were dealing with a very large volume. For that, I just grab a smallish whisk, which is more than adequate for the task and less complicated -- no need to assemble the blender, and takes up far less room in the dishwaser than the blender head.

                                          1. re: masha

                                            To me it's six of one, half dozen of another (pun intended). Although I do not personally use my immersion blender for eggs, I see no reason why not to. I don't normally put the immersion head in the dishwasher; just run it under hot water and use a soapy sponge. Basically what I would do with a wire whisk.

                                            1. re: masha

                                              I just tend not to use electric appliances of any sort to do a job that can be done with equal ease and time as manually. It would be like pulling my car out of the garage to go to the curb to get the newspaper; just not worth the effort and a waste of fossil fuel, even if a trivial amount.

                                              1. re: masha

                                                Non electric method, Yes I feel the same way, although I have been trying to come up with excuses to purchase an immersion blender, making creamier soups being one of them. I have a big blender but have used it only a few times since I bought it. Too big, most things just land up as a blob in the bottom & way too hard to clean. Now I think an immersion blender would solve all my problems.

                                          2. I use it to puree canned tomatoes when I am making my spaghetti sauce. I just open the can, and puree them right in the can. A quick rinse of the machine when I am done, and no having to wash the blender. It is a real simplifier.

                                            13 Replies
                                            1. re: roxlet

                                              I am so sick of washing the various pieces of the blender, I hope I can figure out how to use this machine without making a mess this time!

                                              1. re: coll

                                                Why would you need to wash pieces of an immersion blender? Buzz it in a mug or empty can with soapy water, rinse the same way or under the tap. Just remember to do it promptly, so the food doesn't dry one, and you won't need to touch the moving parts.

                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                  One thing that needs to be repeated over and over like a mantra is

                                                  1. "I WILL NOT TURN ON THE BLENDER BEFORE I PUT IT INTO WHATEVER IT IS I'M BLENDING"

                                                  2. "i will NEVER lift it up while it's whirring, so that the soup or whatever splatters all over the pan and myself."

                                                  1. re: oakjoan

                                                    Those are two things, though absolutely correct, LOL.

                                                  2. re: greygarious

                                                    No I'm talking about my Waring blender, that has like 10 parts including rubber gaskets and all that. The immersion blender came with a cup which will probably be used mainly for cleaning purposes.

                                                      1. re: magiesmom

                                                        I know that's what they said it was for, I've made smoothies but don't go crazy for them unless they involve rum ;-)

                                                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                            Thank goodness someone agreed with me!

                                                2. re: roxlet

                                                  Puree the tomatoes right in the can -- why haven't I thought of that before??? GREAT idea!

                                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                                    That is a brilliant tip from roxlet, I agree.

                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                      Right along the lines of the brilliant Laurie Colwin: "I would never, ever let anybody catch me doing this, but I do it all the time." (referring to cutting tomatoes up in the can.)

                                                  2. re: roxlet

                                                    Gee, that goes right into my "Why in the heck didnt I think of that?" file. Thanks! Great tip!

                                                  3. +1 on makinig hummus. Making hummus at home is now so easy because of the immersion blender. I find myself making hummus almost 100% at home now. I cook the chickpeas etc in a large pressure cooker, and when the pc is open I just blend away with the immersion. A breeze!

                                                    it's also made making soup much easier, only remember to add any ingredients you DON"T want to puree after doing the blending :)

                                                    I love my immersion blender, only wish I had waited a couple of months and gotten the kind that has a whisk attachment too. I will get that kind when I update this gadget, but it is going to be a long while, because my blender is quite new.

                                                    12 Replies
                                                    1. re: Rasam

                                                      Rasam: I think I got my immersion blender at COSTCO for something like $20 for the blender and a bunch of attachments, including a small container for food processing-type chores. I've now had it for at least 4 years without a hitch...well, if you don't count the times I sprayed myself with hot soup.

                                                      1. re: oakjoan

                                                        Thanks Oakjoan, yhat sounds great.
                                                        My immersion came with the small container you describe, but no other attachments. Shortly after I bought it last year, the prices came way down >:( but my machine is new and in great shape so it will be a while.
                                                        Plus I have to find someone who is a Costco member - I've never been a member myself.

                                                        1. re: Rasam

                                                          I bought mine at Target, 24 bucks with whisk and several other things.

                                                          1. re: magiesmom

                                                            Ooowww. Now I feel even worse about my "big" purchase from last year. :)

                                                            1. re: Rasam

                                                              I just got one from Amazon for $29.99, but it is 200 watts rather than the 350 watts of the $99 model (both Cuisinart). Whether I need all that power or not, time will tell.

                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                Mine is 200 watts and I have never been unable to do something I wanted to do, including pureeing soups which are very chunky. I can't imagine what you'd need the extra wattage for. Probably things would go a little quicker.

                                                                1. re: magiesmom

                                                                  Thanks! I haven't used mine yet and was afraid I was just being cheap and would be sorry. But right now the price difference was too attractive to ignore.

                                                      2. re: Rasam

                                                        So what would you do with the whisk attachment? I have have one with a whisk attachment and have yet to use it.

                                                        1. re: Rick

                                                          whipped cream, one or two eggs.

                                                          1. re: Rick

                                                            Yes, whip cream, beat eggs, make frosting, cream butter and sugar, etc.

                                                            1. re: Rasam

                                                              Hmmm, I just pull out my Kitchen aid stand mixer to whip cream or cream butter. I don't get the feeling my little immersion blender would do it anywhere near as fast as my stand mixer.

                                                              1. re: Rick

                                                                For easy whipped cream with soft peaks (think Irish coffee, on top of a crumble, etc.) I use my cocktail shaker. A bartender friend taught me this.

                                                        2. Instant pudding. Add the mix and milk to a container (I use a 4-cup measuring cup) and give it a whirrrrrrrr,

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                                            I make an 'instant' vegan pudding with my blender stick..... avocado, honey, dark cocoa, and coconut milk is my favorite. Sometimes I add some peanut butter and it tastes like a PB cup. I've added bananas, too. You can't taste the avocado at all and it makes it sooooo creamy smooth. Add it all to a mason jar, give it a whirl, cap it, and chill. Delicious.

                                                            1. re: dulce lover

                                                              dl, could you give a more exact reipce of the pudding? That sounds good.

                                                          2. Besides all the other suggestions, I also use it to thicken a pint of whipping cream to top Irish Coffees. Pour the cream in a tall container, add a little fine sugar, a touch of vanilla, and a touch of irish whiskey. Blend until the cream is thick enough to spoon atop the coffee.

                                                            I also make a quick white bean, garlic, lemon, olive oil and parsley white bean side dish as a potato alternative or to use as a chunky dip.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Fiftyishfoodie

                                                              Fiftyish, do you use the regular blade to whip the cream, or a whisk attachment?

                                                              If the regular blade, do you think I could use it to 1) ship egg whties, and 2) cream butter and sugar?

                                                              Thanks

                                                            2. If you have delicious, but chunky, jam/preserves, and you want to make these
                                                              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                              you can use your little blender to whiz the chunks into manageable smoothness.
                                                              I'm using mine today to smooth out some chunky cherry preserves to make these
                                                              http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/12/cre...

                                                              1. Any time you want to smooth something without taking it out of the vessel it's in, an immersion blender is the answer. I used it yesterday when making a milk pudding thickened with rice flour. The rice flour was clumping up in the milk. Five seconds with the immersion blender: problem solved.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: sushigirlie

                                                                  DH did the same this evening with gravy that was lumpy. Just whirred the blender in the gravy while it was still cooking in the roasting pan.

                                                                2. Yay! I just got anew one! A Kitchen Aid KHB 300 (anybody know how many watts that is?). My husband heard me singing it's praises when I got one for my brother.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: magiesmom

                                                                      That's what I'm thinking. I can't even find it on the Kitchenaid website! A nice review...says it's 240 watts.

                                                                      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

                                                                  1. Here's the baby (for home use). After burning and breaking a couple of el cheapo's I went with this. It can also be used as a weapon (you are just limited by cord length)

                                                                    http://www.webstaurantstore.com/warin...

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                                                      Not bad Mr.B. What have you slayed recently?

                                                                      1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                                                        Funny! Calls to mind Clue: yes, it was mrbigshotno.1 in the kitchen with his "big 10 inch!" ;)
                                                                        HA HA HA!
                                                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00zuDU...

                                                                        Fun and games aside, my favorite calzone joint has an even bigger one they use to buzz up sauce. I was watching one day to try to figure out how to make it at home (good luck there, but anyway). I forget how much the guy said it costs. SERIOUS BUSINESS!

                                                                      2. My Braun(?) IB came with a small food processor attachment, which I just used to chop a wedge of green cabbage into a single serving of cole slaw. (Yes, I've having a little taste of summer as the sleet falls outside.)

                                                                        1. Does anyone use it to whip cream, without a whisk attachment? I'd be curious to know if it can do that. At the moment, I do it by hand as I refuse to take out the food processor with whisk for a cup of cream, but the immersion blender stays on the counter and could easily be used for that. Haven't tried yet as I suspected it would not work.

                                                                          1. It's the best tool be had for the making of mayo.

                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7582...

                                                                            1. I use it to blend my ingredients when I make crepes

                                                                              1. An immersion blender is great to use for stinging nettle soup- gives it just the right texture. And they are in season right now!

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: caffey

                                                                                  CAVEAT ON WHIPPED CREAM I don't see it here, but did in another group. Be VERY careful, it's really easy to end up with butter instead of whpped cream. Nuf' said.