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How to Use a Hand Blender

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How to Use a Hand Blender

I recently purchased the Cuisinart Smart Stick® Hand Blender and promised to write a review, but then I remembered…this is the first hand blender I’ve ever owned, so how can I write a review? I can, however, tell you how to use a hand blender effectively and how it really can take the place of a bulky, expensive food processor or blender in some cases.

First, what is a hand blender?

A hand blender (also called an immersion blender) uses one sharp blade to mix, chop, and blend ingredients to form a smooth gravy, soup, sauce, or dip. You can also use a hand blender to add froth to a cappuccino or make a smoothie. Yeah, they’re that useful.

So far I’ve made black bean dip, tzatziki sauce, several batches of hummus (one pictured here), tomato sauce, and enchilada sauce with my hand blender. It only takes a minute or two to get the right consistency. Clean up takes less than a minute. I swear I’m not getting paid to write this.

How an immersion blender works

As the name implies, you submerge the blade and the blade guard into the mixture and press the big grey button to get things moving. You’ll notice a suction pulling the blender down. Don’t immerse motor body housing (the blender is plugged in, after all), and keep the blade below the liquid as not to decorate your outfit and kitchen with sauce.

bottom of hand blender

More tips on preventing that splatter

Chris Perrin, the “Original Food Divo” and author of Blog Well Done, uses his hand blender often. He says: “When using an immersion blender, the most important thing you can do is have a splatter guard–or a nice apron–because immersion blenders have a true gift for throwing liquid around the kitchen.”

Splatter guards come in all shapes and sizes and don’t cost an arm or a leg. In fact, you might be able to find one for less than the Cuisinart Hand Blender.

How much hand blenders cost

You can pick up the Cuisinart for less than $30. But as with most kitchen tools, hand blender prices run the gamut. In fact, there’s a hand blender for every budget (including the virtually limitless budget). Just look at the varieties of hand blenders that showed up in a Google Images search.

types of hand blenders

What can’t a hand blender do

Chris at Blog Well Done says you must only blend small pieces of food, so that the blender can sufficiently break everything up. ”An immersion blender is not a food processor, their blades and horsepower are vastly different,” he said. “[Because of this], blend longer than you think is necessary to make sure that every last bit of what you are blending is nice and smooth.”

Earlier I mentioned that a hand blender can replace some uses of a blender or a food processor, but Chris is right. At only 200 watts of power, I don’t rely on the hand blender to chop ice.

Don’t run the blender for longer than a minute without giving it a rest. Common sense should tell you that if you smell burning you need to turn off and unplug the blender.

Since blenders can do more, why would you want a hand blender at all?

  1. With a hand blender you can see how your mixture is coming together before over blending. Sometimes you don’t want your soup or sauce to be too smooth.
  2. You can whip air into the mixture by holding the blender just below the surface. This means you can give your sauce or dip a fluffier consistency.
  3. The hand mixer is perfect for small scale prep. You wouldn’t use it to mash five pounds of potatoes, but for a quick pasta sauce it works great. And did I mention it’s easy to clean?
  4. I didn’t even get into the attachments available for a hand blender. You can do so much more than what I’ve mentioned here.

Purchase your own by clicking here Cuisinart (affiliate link). Again, I can’t recommend it enough.



cuisinart hand blender

What do you think about hand blenders? Do you recommend them? Why?

8 Responses to “How to Use a Hand Blender”

  1. Chung says:

    Thank you for all that information. I love my immersion blender, but I learned quite a bit from your post. I have the KitchenAid version, and it came with a few attachments – whisk/beater and a chopper, in addition to the regular attachment pictured above. I definitely recommend one for anyone who likes to make soups, sauces and dips. I love butternut squash soup, and before I had the immersion blender, I used to transfer batches of the hot soup into my blender to puree the veggies. This was a PAIN. Now, all I have to do is stick the immersion blender into the same pot. Saves me from having to wash more things! Does the Cuisinart have multiple speeds? That may be the lone difference between the KitchenAid and the Cuisinart. I think I changed the speed setting once, in the two years I’ve owned the blender. Another great thing about these hand blenders is its space efficiency!! Major bonus! Powerful, multipurpose, space efficient gadget – do people really need any more reasons? BTW, how do you like your hummus recipe? I would love to try making my own hummus!

    • saral says:

      No adjustable speeds on mine. Though, I could see that being helpful. None of the hummus I’ve made has been noteworthy. But I’ve got a ton of tahini in the fridge, so I’ll keep trying. If you have a good one, maybe you could share on FB?

  2. Monet says:

    I love using handblenders to make quick afternoon milk shakes. They have also been a life saver when I’m trying to make creamy vegetable soups (potato, split pea, ect…) I really like mine, and I can imagine they are also great for dips!

  3. Larissa says:

    This is very helpful Sara! I love my immersion blender too..I use it every morning to make frozen fruit smoothies and I use the measuring cup that came with the package to ensure the consistency of my mixture(I too have the Cuisinart). I’m looking forward to trying out a butternut squash soup in the fall. Chung, do you have a recipe you could share?

    • Chung says:

      Larissa, I do have a recipe for butternut squash soup, but the problem is that I don’t have the exact amounts. I do a lot of cooking by sight and taste. I tried looking around on the internet for a similar recipe, but I can’t believe how many different versions there are! Unfortunately, mine is a little bit different from all of them. You know what? Once fall hits (it usually hits me earlier than anyone else in NYC because I just can’t wait for it to start), I will make my version and note the amounts. Then, I will post on Facebook for you!

  4. saral says:

    Larissa – Just made my first smoothie yesterday!

    Monet – I’m psyched about the milkshake. I was just complaining about my dire craving for one.

  5. Dana says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I actually have been contemplating getting one of these for a while now!

  6. I Make soups with my hand blender

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