Among our favorite kitchen gadgets, there is one that we have received a lot of questions about recently...questions like "do I really need one?" and "will I use it?" This kitchen utensil is...
...the immersion blender!
Maybe you are like someone we spoke to last week who said, "I have had one of those in my cabinet for years, and I never touched it!"
We love our immersion blender and want to give you some insight and inspiration on this gadget that we appreciate so much!
What is it?
An immersion blender allows you to blend or puree ingredients right there in the pot...no pouring or transferring needed!
Have you tried transferring a hot soup or sauce to a blender?
Working in batches, you have to carefully fill the blender to avoid a geyser exploding all over your kitchen, and we can tell you from experience a couple of our attempts were total disasters! So, after several of these oh-so frustrating experiences, we invested in an immersion blender, and we will never move hot soup to a blender again!
It's sometimes called a stick blender, hand blender, wand blender, or even a boat motor (you know, the large commercial-grade immersion blenders you might see on shows like Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives). These blenders were invented in Switzerland in 1950 and used in Europe starting in the 1960’s, but were not marketed for home use in the U.S. until the 1980's.
Why should you own one?
An immersion blender can be an extremely useful addition to your kitchen collection:
- It's lightweight, handheld, small (it doesn't take up a lot of space – it will even fit in a drawer).
- Super-easy to use and clean.
- Immersion blenders range in price, and can be found as low as $25 for a basic model. You can also find them with other attachments such as a whisk, chopper and mini processor.
It just may lead you to kick some of your other small appliances to the curb!
For more than just soups!
Immersion blenders are super versatile and great for sauces, homemade whipped cream, smoothies, homemade applesauce, mashed potatoes, pesto, hummus, creamy vinaigrettes, chopping nuts (trust us, you will want to use the included containers and not try to put the immersion blender on a cutting board to chop nuts!), and it's a convenient tool to make baby food! It will help you be a sneaky chef with the kiddos and can be a great way to “hide” veggies in sauces -- because as we all know, sometimes you have to get creative!
Some useful immersion blender tips:
- Work below the surface! Keep the blender head submerged in the liquid as it does its work…this will keep the contents in the pot and not all over you and your walls!
- Rinse right away! Detach and rinse the blender head right after use. Then, it’s a snap to clean with soap and water (no dried food to scrape off the sharp blades).
- Don't accidentally get trigger happy! Always unplug your immersion blender if you are putting your hands near the blades. We know this seems like common sense, but there are many, many stories of people leaving their blender plugged in and accidentally hitting the button while cleaning the blade -- very dangerous to your digits!
We have several ideas on Eat REAL America to take advantage of this handy tool, which includes soups not only for fall and winter, but summer too! Try the Zucchini Basil Soup...if nothing else convinces you to get an immersion blender, this delicious summer soup just might!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Pudding -- with Homemade Whipped Cream!
Mole Sauce in the Sausage and Black Bean Mole Enchiladas
What is your favorite way to use an immersion blender?
Please share with us!