Hand blender: Do I need one?
I would like to hear some thoughts as I am thinking to get a hand blender. I currently share a flat with friends. Most of the time I cook for myself in a medium portions, then I freeze for 1 week meal. I find the joy of cooking after being away from family so gradually I added the collection of cookware, despite of the limited space in the flat.
I have already owned a Kenwood mini chopper (from Mom) and a Philips food processor. I use the chopper for onions and FP mainly for grounding meat, making pesto, or cutting. Both do the job well, however I have few considerations which lead me thinking to get a hand blender:
1. I would like to make fruit yogurt or smoothies with plain yogurt blended with fruit. I tried once with the chopper but it's too small. I'm not sure whether it's possible but i thought of blending the fruit directly in the yogurt pot. For smoothies, it's easier to make 1 serving directly in the beaker without washing too much utensils.
2. I want to try cooking soups or making marinara sauce. Of course FP can do the job but it won't be smooth and I don't like the hassle of transferring the food from the pot to FP, and again FP to pot. It will add the utensils to wash and there will be a good amount left on the FP bowl and knife as well.
3. Recently me and friends like to make egg benedict but whipping are challenging task for us. I think hand blender can help to fasten the process.
Although I really fancy the hand blender, I'm trying not to do impulsive buy by justifying that the reason to get a hand blender is valid and it will be a worthy buy.. :)
And if it is, what would be a better choice between Philips, Braun, and Kenwood? If possible I want to get a plastic one because some said the metal can damage the pot.
Your thoughts will be much appreciated!
I have a hand blender that can be used either as a stick blender, a motorised whisk and then the motor can be attached to a mini chopper. I use it when making soups, hummous, smoothies, pesto, curry and spice pastes, iced coffee (although I think mine might be a bit low-end for any kind of routine ice crushing), whipping cream, churning frozen sorbet, yoghurt and coconut cream, frozen berries.
I also have a full-sized food processor that I barely use, because I don't want to have to clean all the attachments. Do I "need" my hand blander? No. But I get plenty of use out of it.
Can't comment on brands - I got mine from a UK homewares store for £10.
I also have something similar and I think it's the most used gadget in the kitchen. I would say however, that getting a fairly heavy duty one (we have a Bamix which is about 8 years old) is worth it. Making gazpacho for instance, is a breeze, roughly chope the veg, whizz with the blender, and that's it. Very easy to wash up, no need to use an extra container.
I have a Cuisinart that's fine, although it doesn't have all the attachments that newer ones do. I use it often enough that I keep it next to the stove. It's espcially good for soups where I really don't want to take the risk of dropping the pot when transferring it to the FP.
The Chow folks reviewed one just a couple of weeks ago and liked it a lot: http://www.chow.com/reviews/28-cuisin...
Thank you for the suggestion, Jon, it looks great. However Cuisinart in Singapore, where I live, is on the higher side for the price, almost twice the price of Philips and Braun. How does it differ from other brand, if I may ask, because it seems other brands are also allowed whisking and chopping.
I concur with JP....I too have a Cusinart unit. Well worth the $50 (I think) it cost. Check out the link. Much easier to use than a food processor, and easier to clean.
For needs , it sounds perfect.
Where are you. Mentioning Philips and Braun suggests Europe, since those brands are not commonly sold in the USA.
Braun used to sell in the USA, but no more. I have a Braun multiquick (or something like that). The motor unit looks like a regular electric mixer, and comes with mixer paddles, and even dough hooks. But I used the immersion blender attachment more. The minichopper is also good.
This is my second Braun, since I stripped the plastic gears of my first one trying to chop something too hard.
But I also have a Cuisinart Smartstick, similar to the one Chow just reviewed, but single speed. I tend to grab it more often for immersion use because its more compact and easier to use. But both are good.
Paul, I live at Singapore. Both brands are quite affordable. Most of my appliances are from Philips, they are affordable but lasting enough for the price. The only Braun product I use is the 4 years old toothbrush which still in prime condition.
What would be the consideration when choosing the hand blender? There are those with wide "anti splash" foot, triblade, etc, but are those what matters the most?
I own one and think it's a handy tool to have around. Depending on what you're blending, it can take longer with a hand blender than in a food processor, but as you point out, with a hand blender you don't need to transfer from the pot and back again. It doesn't take up too much space, either.
I own a Frigidaire. It's not the most powerful thing in the world, but it's solidly built and I imagine it will last me for years. What I own is metal, though, so you may not be interested in it:
Any stick blender worth it's salt will have a guard of some sort that prevents the blades from contacting the pot or bowl or whatever you're using it in. That said, the guard itself is most often made of metal and the blender can exert a downward force. So some care is necessary when using the thing and you don't want the liquid you're blending to be so shallow that you're dragging the guard against the bottom. But as long as you exercise that care you shouldn't have to worry about scratches.
Also, you mention smoothies. As someone referenced upthread, it's a rare stick blender that can handle full-sized ice cubes (I don't know of one). If you plan to make a lot of smoothies with ice, you'll either want a full-on expensive blender or you'll want to get in the habit of pre-crushing your ice.
Thank you for the advise, nokitchen.
I have made up my mind in getting a Philips (not necessarily the Jamie Oliver one), but still considering whether to get metal or plastic. I've read lots of good review of the metal stick version, only few give forewarning that the blender may shake thus create scratches on the pot. But worried that the plastic will stain or melt.
I may not use it to crush ice, though, but maybe frozen fruits. :)