Blender is an indispensable kitchen gadget for recycling (shredding, grating, stirring, whipping, etc…) of products. There are immersion (hand) and stationary blenders. The models differ in capacity, integration, functionality, design and value. So what blender is better to buy: to choose a device with maximum features or basic functions? How to find the best model that will meet your particular needs in the kitchen?
Types of blenders
There are 2 main types of household blenders: immersion (hand) and stationary. Hand blender represents a compact motor unit in a plastic or metal casing, which the user is holding in his hand during operation. All control buttons are on it: usually there are 1-2 buttons for speed controlling. Different nozzles for grinding or beater are connected to the bottom part of this motor block. Needless beating or grinding occurs in a separate container. It often comes with a blender, but the immersion model can handle products in any utensils (bowls, pans and so on).
Stationary blenders are made differently. Motor unit is in the plastic or metal body, and it mounted on the work surface – kitchen table. There is control panel on the block too. Glass or plastic pitcher is fixed on it, and at the bottom there is a knife provided (may be removable) that easy can chop and mix products. Stationary blender jar capacity depends on the model, but in most cases it is 1.2 liters.
Power of the blender
The more powerful the blender the faster it will chop products. Moreover, it will cope with solid meals. So if you want not only to cook soups and smoothies, but also grind nuts, coffee, hard cheeses, ice, get a model with power of no less than 500-600 watts. Also there are models with a power of more than 1,000 watts, which can cope with the solids very quickly. You can find also blenders with power up to 500 W, which are quite suitable for mixing and whipping, preparing light puree, baby food. It also applies to immersion (hand) and stationary blenders.
Modern blender may have 30 speed modes (speed of blade rotation). Different processing speeds are more or less suitable for different types of foods. As mentioned above, the higher the speed the faster the process.
There is a rotary switch on the blenders housing that sets the speed of blade rotation. Most models have also turbo mode in which the blender is running at maximum power with the greatest speed.
Many blenders have pulse mode (sometimes it can be the only one): the user must hold down the appropriate button, otherwise the device turns off. This is done for safety exploitation, to prevent motor overheating. Among stationary blenders there are models where the selected speed is shown on the display. However, the presence of the display is entirely optional.
If you are a inveterate cook and cooking often a lot of dishes, so it is better to buy a blander with maximum speed modes. Many recipes require the precision of proportions and very accurate work a blender. But in most cases 10-12 speeds (and even less) will be enough for grinding, mixing, and whipping.
Moreover, commercially available devices without any numeric values on the body: intensity is regulated by pressing on the power button of the blender (the user must hold down a button that makes blender to work).
Equipment and functionality
These two concepts – equipment and functionality – are very closely linked, if we are talking about blenders. This is especially true for submersible models: manufacturers provide them with a variety of optional attachments and accessories that extend the functionality of the device.
Multifunctional immersion blender is quite able to replace a food processor. The most “packed” in this sense model has all that is possible. Besides the usual nozzle and corolla for whipping in the kit may be included more small and large bowls for grinding products, a nozzle for cutting products into cubes (makes cooking salads and soups more easier), various metal nozzles for grating and shredding. Add hare a nozzle for mashed potatoes and dough. Before buying a blender it is better to determine the main functions you really will use.
As for stationary blenders, there is no such a variety of accessories and options. There are models with a separate knife for chopping ice. Also, for example, Philips model lineup includes stationary blenders, where instead of the main pitcher can be installed a small container-grinder with its separate knife to handle products in small batches. Perhaps the main “trick” of the stationary blenders in the context of additional functionality is their “soup cooking” mode. There are models on sale that are able to grind and mix the products, and then in the same capacity to cook soup from the resulting mass. Such stationary blenders primarily recommended for people, who often cook soups and puree. Other dishes can be cooked in such devices too (such as jam). If there is a “soup” mode, the jug is usually made of stainless steel due to high temperatures during cooking.
Also there are models steam mode cooking. It can be useful, for example, for baby food cooking. These blenders can be found in the Philips product line.
Materials of the jug and immersion part
blender with a metal jug
Buyers often wonder whether to buy an immersion blender with plastic or metal submersible part. Models with plastic submersible part perfectly cope with the grinding and mixing various ingredients. Obvious minuses two: plastic is more brittle (metal is stronger); plastic may be colored in contact with certain products. Wherein the plastic submersible part is lightweight. In addition, these models are usually cheaper, buyers have the opportunity to save their money.
Let’s talk about the jar of the stationary blender. Classics of the genre – glass ewer. But there is a disadvantage – such a pitcher is usually quite heavy. And if we add the weight of the contents… In general, the glass container is useful not for everyone. So do not neglect blenders with plastic jugs. Manufacturers are trying to make them of material that is durable and safe in contact with foods, so if careful handling it will last a long time. By the way, plastic is more resistant to crashes than glass. In addition, the model with plastic jugs are often more cheaper than glass ones.
Material of the body
The body of the blender – submersible or stationary – may be made of plastic or metal (stainless steel, aluminum). Models with a metal body are usually a bit more expensive. Yes, the metal body is stronger, more durable. But if handled carefully with a plastic model, it will last a long time too. However, the metal makes a blender harder – for immersion device it is not very good, as the owner keeps it in his hand during usage.
Before buying hold the immersion blender in your hands to make sure it is convenient. Ergonomic of the body is main criterion of choice. Buy only if you do not feel any discomfort. Immediately you can estimate the quality of materials, fitting body elements to each other, convenience, ease and reliability of mounting nozzles.
If we are talking about stationary device, the material plays a minor role and is important in the context of design only. This “unit” usually stands in one place and it is part of the kitchen interior. Metal increases the cost of the stationary model, but it doesn’t give any obvious operational advantages.
Blender without wires
Among immersion blenders you can find a model with a built-in battery. The main plus – complete freedom of wireless, the device is not tied into an outlet and the wire does not interfere in the process. Of course, such models are more expensive than usual. Another shortcoming – power restrictions. Their power is about 300 watts, and there no models with power of 600-800 watts. However, they are suitable for mundane tasks: chopping and mixing soft products.
What blender is better to choose?
What is better to buy: immersion model or fixed? It all depends on how and what you want to cook, the availability of space in the kitchen (the submersible can be hide in the cupboard , but stationary one is better to stand in one place, somewhere on your kitchen table.
Immersion blender is more suitable for processing solid foods: chocolate, cheese, nuts. It is comfortable to grind different herbs, garlic, onions. For this purpose it is better to buy a model with a mini-chopper in the kit – a classical attachment for grinding. The number of stationary blenders with additional shredders is limited. And it is clearly uncomfortable to grind a small amount of garlic in the large jar.
Hand blenders have better functional variability – you can choose a model with a certain number of different nozzles. if necessary it is possible to purchase additional accessories. As already noted, the immersion blender may be a substitute for nutritious food processor. It is impossible with stationary one. People buy such a model for the cooking a variety of cocktails, smoothies, sauces, batters.