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Sep 17, 2013 07:11 PM

Best Kitchen Electronic To Get?

I currently have a Calphalon Immersion Blender that I got as a gift last year and as much as I like the storage aspect of it I've definitely noticed its limitations.

It doesn't crush ice as quickly as my mom's Oster blender, the food processor cup could be bigger, and there's no whisk attachment.

I was entertaining the idea of getting a "better" immersion blender, or a regular blender with comparable multifunctionality but that doesn't seem to really exist. Am I wrong?

I'm currently going through a baking phase and I was debating between a handheld mixer vs a food processor-is one better than the other for baking in general?

Any suggestions would be welcome.

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  1. Hi, sharon:

    OK, I say for now:

    (a) Keep your Calphalon Immersion Blender;
    (b) Get a stand mixer for your baking and whisking; and
    (c) Pick up a vintage manual ice crusher.

    Then later:
    (d) Buy a great blender. By then, you may realize a FP isn't needed.


    2 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Thanks for the input. I wish I had space for a stand mixer but I don't.

      1. re: sharonj

        Hi, sharon:

        You confused me. You have room for a blender, but not a mixer?

        There are smaller ones if you're envisioning a full-size KitchenAid. Look at this one:


    2. For your needs, perhaps you need a Ninja for crushed ice, and your present immersion blender. But I think for the bulk of normal food prep tasks a food processor is good thing to have in any kitchen.

      1. Baking as in baking pies and cookies? In that case, a good handheld mixer is better than a good food processor. You will able to get by with a lower quality food processor.

        I have been baking goods for a long time, and there is no question that a mixer is much more important than a food processor. Now, a food processor is still nice for chopping up nuts and whatnot, but you don't need a large or a high end food processor. A cheap one will do just fine.

        1. OK, I missed the baking part of your query. My bad. If you want to bake but don't have room for a stand mixer, get a handheld mixer. If you want crushed ice, get a Ninja or a blender. You can use the immersion blender at the stove. If you need to make hummus, chop loads of onion or other veggies, or make tons of bread crumbs, chop or pulverize nuts, then a food processor is your choice. And CK is right. you can find small versions of these at different price points.

          There are some multipurpose appliances out there. But the ones I've seen (at Bed Bath and Beyond) are big and bulky.
          I don't know how well they work.

          1. A hand-held mixer will do the most for your baking at the lowest price and most minimal storage requirements : you can beat egg whites, whip cream, cream butter and sugar, make choux paste (eclairs, gougeres). All of these are a serious workout with a whisk or rotary beater or wooden spoon.

            The main baking uses of a food processor would be making pastry dough or nut meals, but both of those things can be accomplished by hand; they just take a bit longer. If you regularly need fresh breadcrumbs in volume, the fp is the tool of choice. But hummus, chopped liver, pesto etc. are as easily done with your immersion blender.

            I haven't dared try to crush ice with my immersion blender. Stand blenders that do so with real efficiency are pricey, and everything else they can do can be accomplished with the immersion blender, IMO.