Immersion blenders are great for small jobs like pureeing soup or making baby food. The cleanup is very easy as well – just rinse the end and toss it in the dishwasher. I also appreciate the size, as they’re a lot smaller than the countertop models, making storing and traveling with one very easy.
I was very hesitant to jump on board at first. I mean, I already had a BlendTec and it does a fantastic job. Who needs a smaller, Smurf-sized tool when you have a full sized version?
But then, one day I got to try an immersion – and just like that, I had to have one.
Images of easily blending my favorite soups and making healthy mashed potatoes filled my mind…
These devices are so easy to use and clean that, if you spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen, it really makes a big difference to have one on hand.
Safety is another thing worth considering. When using these tools you have to be very cautious, as the blade and shaft are out in the open, rather than being enclosed. However, I find using it to be very safe.
In fact, I prefer to puree soups with this rather than my countertop version, as I don’t have to worry about the heat forcing the lid off and getting hot soup all over the place – which has happened to me before!
If you’re wondering how well these products work in comparison, I’d say they work just as well as any countertop version, though it really depends on what you’re using it for.
I’ve found that the immersion variety works best for soups, baby foods, sauces and dressings, whereas the countertop variety is best for smoothies, juices, and nut-based recipes.
Things to Consider
Obviously, you want the product to be able to complete the task you bought it for. But in addition to that, one of the things I really desire in kitchen tools is simplicity.
Most of these immersion products are very easy to use, and don’t take a lot of knowledge or previous experience to figure out. However, like most products on the market these days, they can get very elaborate. And with that, actually using it can get more complicated.
If simplicity is something you’re interested in, I would suggest a 2-speed option like the Cuisinart.
Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick 2-Speed
This 2-speed blender actually comes in multiple colors, so you’re not stuck with chrome (although the chrome is rather nice looking).
Like I mentioned above, it offers two speeds, high and low. I usually like to start off on the low speed and see how it does. Then, if I’m ready to speed things up or add more power, I’ll increase it to high.
I really like that all of buttons are located in one spot, and it can easily be used with one hand. The on/off button and the low/high speeds can all be accessed with just one hand. The handle is also very comfortable, and the tool itself isn’t very heavy.
It has a powerful 200-watt motor and a long stick design (6 inches), making it perfect for reaching into large bowls, pots, and jars. The shaft easily detaches, and it can be hand washed or placed in the dishwasher.
This model also comes with a 2-cup mixing beaker that’s both microwave safe and dishwasher safe. This is the one I use, and it is also a bestseller on Amazon.
KitchenAid also makes a 2-speed worth considering.
KitchenAid KHB1231 2-Speed
This KitchenAid Model is very similar to the Cuisinart, and it also features dual speeds. The advantage of this model over the one mentioned above is a the long shaft; it’s 8 inches long, meaning it can reach further down into deeper containers.
It also comes with a 3-cup mixing container that has a lid for storing. It’s dishwasher safe, and the blade easily twists off.
A few users did mention that when blending really hard things like ice, frozen fruit, or peanut butter, they had a fuse blow and were no longer able to use the machine (which is actually indicative of an electrical issue at the user’s house – not an equipment issue). One owner of this model also reported a blade breaking off when trying to make a smoothie.
I think it’s important to read the user manual with these tools, as you may think they can do something they may not actually be designed to do.
For example, you would think these would be great for blending up green smoothies, but they are not. For green smoothies loaded with kale and frozen fruit, you really want to use a standing variety.
Available from Amazon in 10 colors (or more), this one is sure to match any kitchen decor.
If you’re just starting to get into cooking or you’re looking to get a few more pieces of equipment, you might like a tool that is multi-functional.
As time goes by, kitchen appliances become more advanced. And while I love simplicity when it comes to my kitchen tools, I know a lot of people like tools that are multi-functional.
If you fall into the latter category, then I think you’re going to like the models below, as most of them not only blend, but also chop and even whisk.
The options below come with attachments to make a lot of kitchen tasks easier. Think: mini food processors.
Below are some great options for those looking for tools that can do more than just blend.
KitchenAid KHB2351CU 3-Speed
This KitchenAid model not only has 3 different speeds to choose from, but also has a few really useful attachments. It comes with a 2 1/2 cup BPA-free chopper attachment with lid, very similar to a mini food processor.
It also comes with a whisk attachment, a mixing container, and a cloth storage bag. With this tool you’ll be able to blend creamy soups, chop fresh vegetables, and whip up big batches of scrambled eggs.
All of the attachments are fairly easy to set up and use. Users seem to really love the chopper attachment, and that the blender doesn’t splash all over the place – which, as you can imagine, is one of the biggest safety concerns when using these.
This model is a little bit more expensive, but the cost seems reasonable when you consider everything you receive.
The third speed seems to give this thing some serious power. However, a few users said that the first two speeds are very weak, and they always have to use the highest one.
Another thing worth mentioning is that with this model, you have to hold the “On” button down while you operate it. I don’t this is that big of a deal, as you have to hold this tool the entire time you’re using it, but if you have sensitive hands this might not be a good option for you.
KitchenAid KHB2561 5-Speed
The main difference between the 3-speed and this version is the two even higher speeds that are available. But, this model also comes with interchangeable bell blades, requiring no tools to change them.
Personally, if I was deciding between this one and the one above, I’d go with this option.
All of the customer complaints that seemed to take place while blending ice and frozen fruit with the 3-speed have been taken care of with this 5-speed model.
There are three interchangeable blades: the S-blade is perfect for blending, the multi-purpose blade is great for crushing ice, and the beater blade makes the best frothy milk and pancake batters.
It does come at a higher price point, but you can tell that the quality has been improved, and it comes with a 1-year warranty.
Another great feature is that it’s not too loud. A lot of these kitchen gadgets are really noisy, making them inconvenient to use early in the morning or late at night – but this model produces a very low sound.
It also comes with a storage case, which will help you to keep all of the pieces together.
Cuisinart CSB-79 Smart Stick 2-Speed
This is the upgraded Smart Stick from Cuisinart. The main difference are the attachments.
Like I mentioned before, if you’re a fan of simplicity, I would go with the first option on the list.
However, if you don’t have a food processor or are interested in having the latest model, I would suggest this option instead. This model also comes with a whisk for whipping up omelets, pancake batter, cream, or whatever else you want to whip.
The speeds are the same, with low and high options. The blade is also the same, and it easily pops off. It should be gently rinsed and wiped down after each use, right after you use it for best results (since you don’t want your soup or puree drying onto the blade, making it more difficult to clean).
Though some users said they always put the attachments in the dishwasher, I do find that hand washing valuable kitchen tools helps to make them last longer.
Breville BSB510XL Control Grip
If you’re looking for multiple settings, this is going to be the tool for you. It comes with 15 different settings to get the best results, no matter what you’re making!
One thing I really like about this tool is its non-scratch guard, which protects the insides of your pots and pans. This is another thing you need to be cautious about, as it’s easy to scratch up pots with these.
It also comes with a whisk, a mini chopper, and a mixing container with a lid for storing soups – very similar to the other products mentioned in this section.
Users report that this tool works very well for blending things that other models struggle with, like ice and frozen fruit. With that in mind, I think this product is priced very competitively. Breville is a very reputable brand with a lot of great kitchen appliances. That being said, users had nothing but great things to say about their customer service.
Below are a few tips to help you make the most out of your new kitchen tool:
- When blending hot soup in the pot, make sure you get the blade completely submerged before turning it on, and be sure to turn the machine off before removing from the soup.
- When using, simulate a gentle up and down motion for best results.
- Always start off on a low speed or setting, and work your way up to a higher speed.
- To help make your blender last as long as possible, rinse immediately after using and hand wash all parts as necessary, after each use.
- Keep your hand away from the blade when using. Seems like common sense, but there is only a little cage keeping your hand away from the blade, and it can be easy to overlook when you’re still breaking it in.
If you’re looking for a simple tool to help you puree thick soups, and blend salad dressings and tasty chocolate puddings, we suggest going with the Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick 2-Speed Immersion Hand Blender.
It’s the most affordable, and it works great. I use it often, and feel like I cook more than average. Even so, it’s holding up rather nicely.
If you could use a mini food processer and a blender that can really hold its own when making smoothies and blended drinks, I would suggest the KitchenAid KHB2561 5-Speed Hand Blender. With the interchangeable blades, this thing is the kitchen MVP.
No matter which of the tools on the list you decide to go with, I think you’ll be very happy with the end result.
About Sarah Hagstrom
Sarah is a health food advocate and loves to spend her time whipping up something healthy and delicious in the kitchen and then sharing either on Foodal or on her own blog "The Seasonal Diet" (www.theseasonaldiet.com). She lives in Sunny San Diego with her husband, where they enjoy running on the beach and weekend adventures.