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I had no idea immersion blenders were so dangerous!

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Seems that no small amount of stupidity is going around

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  1. Look for the kitchen war injuries thread -- loads of discussion about this very article.

    And a reminder that tools cut whatever is presented to them -- be that nuts or cheese or fingers.

    1. I did the same thing. Luckily I only needed a few stitches though.

      1. I was wondering how far along it woud take before the article got to the lawyers. It is a sharp spinning blade. How can you not know it can hurt you? If you know it has a sensitive switch, why would you not unplug it? I swear humans are out on the edge of a dead end limb of the evolutionary tree.

        Odd, I cut my index finger to the bone and it did not occur to me to sue Henkels.

        4 Replies
        1. re: RC51Mike

          Sad isn't it. Don't climb a ladder, you could fall off....where does it end

          1. re: scubadoo97


            1. re: 4X4

              When I was a lazy teen, I did periodically iron clothing while I was wearing them. Peasant type skirts were in style. Never got burned, however, though I realized at the time it was a possiblity.

              1. re: tcamp

                Just make sure not to use the steam option.

        2. I generally don't use my immersion blender for anything thick/sticky/doughy for that very reason. If I do find that I need to scrape food off the blades, I unplug, disassemble, then use a chop stick or plastic knife to scrape.

          1. That was a wierd article. I've used my IB for many years without managing to injure myself. I found myself wondering, while reading, what exactly this folks did to incur wounds? Push the ON button while cleaning blade? Moving their fingers into the path of the blade? What about battery operated IBs? Are people also managing to self inflict wounds with those?

            Stay tuned for the dire emergencies caused by cheese graters.

            2 Replies
            1. re: tcamp

              When I did it, I was cleaning a big hunk of pear out of the blades. I hadn't unplugged it and accidentally hit the ON button. Clearly not the smartest move in the world.

              1. re: tcamp

                Thanks for speaking up, t. That article definitely flunks the smell test.

              2. I don't even need to read the article to bet that people did not unplug their immersion blender.

                2 Replies
                1. re: dave_c

                  I agree. I can't imagine dealing with blades of any sort while the thing is plugged in. Same with hand mixers

                  1. re: DGresh

                    (or if you can't unplug it, at least don't stick something that bleeds in front of the blades...)

                    Mine's kinda nice that way -- the motor attaches to several different implements -- if something jams, I just disconnect it from the motor.

                2. a pillow would be dangerous in some peoples hands…

                  1. I have the greatest respect for my immersion blender, and plan to keep it that way. But I do find it somewhat amusing (and discouraging at the same time) that human stupidity is still newsworthy. I suspect our species isn't going to change anytime soon.

                    1. I really cannot believe the NYT thought this was an important enough story to make it the lead in their "Dining In" section of the print version of the paper. I saw this before leaving for work yesterday and thought it was going to be a tongue-in-cheek story. I finally got around to reading it online just now and I am astounded. What kind of person sticks their fingers into ANY electrical appliance without first unplugging it? I have no sympathy for anyone who is hurt while doing such a stupid thing.

                      1. I can't find any fault with the NYT editors for publishing a story about the dangers of an appliance which is increasing in use in the home. This is a story of obvious public interest, despite the sneers from those who think that only a stupid person (which excludes themselves, of course) would be injured by one.

                        I do, however, wonder why so many people want one. I can see the value in a commercial kitchen which prepares sauces in large batches, but I wouldn't have any use for such a tool in my small home kitchen. My small Sunbeam Oskar suffices and is far safer, if a little less convenient.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: GH1618

                          "...despite the sneers from those who think that only a stupid person (which excludes themselves, of course) would be injured by one."

                          If this is directed at my comment, I said the action of doing such a thing was stupid; I never used the word "stupid" to describe anyone. Also, if I did have a mishap with an immersion blender and wound up injuring myself, I would most certainly think it was a stupid move on my part.

                          If this story is so relevant, then why not one about blenders? Or toasters? Or electric can openers? People have mishaps with these appliances too.

                          As far as using one at home, I find it a very useful tool, especially during the winter months when making creamed soups. Pouring hot soup into a blender to puree it is a nuisance (and can be dangerous! lol), plus it dirties the blender. And immersion blender does the job right in the soup pot and is simple to clean.

                          1. re: GH1618

                            don't knock it til you try it -- I found one on a huge clearance, thinking that if I didn't like it I wasn't out much -- and it sat on my shelf for a long time....but once I tried it? I was hooked.

                            Does so many putzy little jobs that just aren't worth hauling out the big machinery for -- fast and with easy clean-up.

                            Loved it so much I went out and bought a new and improved model.

                            Soups, mayonnaise, meringue, chopped nuts, breadcrumbs, puree, whipped cream, pumpkin for pies....the list goes on and on.

                            1. re: GH1618

                              I guess there was a wee bit of a sneer implied in my post but honestly, I am capable of great heights of stupidity in the kitchen. In fact, I *have* cleaned fiberous junk off the blade of my IB. Either I unplug it or I somehow manage not to turn it on while fingers are touching blade. Sure, if misused, an IB can hurt you...I just don't see how there is enough content there to write a feature story.

                              I love both my IB and my practically-antique Sunbeam Oskar.

                            2. Several years ago I sliced up my fingers pretty badly using a regular FP. I was grating cabbage for slaw and forgot to use the "pusher," instead using my hand. Once most of the cabbage had pushed through the feeding tube, my finger came in contact with the blade, and the rest is history. I ended up needing a few stitches.

                              It was incredibly stupid and I am not generally a careless person. I was in a hurry and just not thinking. I presume that's what happens to the various people who have sliced up their fingers on the blades of an immersion blender.

                              1. Sort of beside the point, but who uses an immersion blender on "stiff clumps of butter intended for chocolate-chip cookies"?
                                Maybe the mixer was already in use for washing clothes, and the knives for chopping firewood.

                                This article just reduced my respect for the NYT by 50%.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: splatgirl

                                  I lol'd. Really. Because I couldn't figure out why you'd use an IB for cookie dough, either -- much as I love my IB and as many things as I use it for...cookie dough ain't one of them.

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    Absolutely agree. I don't think any type of blender is intended for mixing cookie dough. That's what hand mixers and stand mixers are for.

                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                      of course, this sort of "journalism" will soon produce an article by someone who thought cleaning the paddle attachment off with their bare hands while it's running is a good idea, too. *headdesk*

                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                        And yet it's amazing what some people try to do. That's why appliance manufacturers deem it prudent to cover themselves by putting ridiculous statements in their instruction booklets: "WARNING! DO NOT USE THIS BLENDER IN THE BATHTUB!"

                                        1. re: cheesemaestro

                                          I used to work for a major electric tool manufacturer. The stories from Legal were sometimes amusing, sometimes horrifying...but pretty much always a source of one more ridiculous label.

                                          Every time you see a warning that makes you scratch your head....remember that this has been enough of a problem that they have to actually warn people not to do it.

                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                            My friend works as an ER nurse. She always wins "Betcha can't top this".

                                  2. Not the tool for those stupid enough to put a hand in the garbage disposal--before it stopped running.

                                    It's basically the same mechanism as a disposal, just not in the bottom of the sink.

                                    1. I had a plastic IB break apart on me, but luckily nobody was hurt. I did have to throw out the batch of whatever-it-was I was making. Since then I've only had models that are all metal south of the handle.

                                      1. I like that one of the amputees works as a digital consultant.

                                        1. Can you imagine if kitchen equipment had to pass modern concepts of safety? We'd be allowed nothing sharp and nothing hot in our kitchens. No knives, mandolines, graters. stovetops, ovens, etc. We'd be microwaving prepackaged bags of food prepared in factories where engineering controls (robots, safety guards, etc) protected the workers.

                                          Personally, I think a mandoline is more risky than a stick blender... but lets not tell the NY Times!

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: drongo

                                            More than a couple folks have made like cannibals at Casa Vanilla after a mandolin and I cross paths. Keep calm and shred on.

                                            1. re: drongo

                                              plus, one could argue that a mandoline would have been better suited to the whole "chunks of butter" situation than an IB.

                                              1. re: drongo

                                                I think the difference is that mandolines are considered somewhat advanced cooking equipment, so people who buy and use them are aware of the dangers. Whereas a stick blender is pretty basic and even people who don't do much cooking might own and use one.