Whether you're tight on space or you regularly make soups and sauces, a hand blender can be a convenient addition to your collection of kitchen appliances. These compact blenders are so simple to use -- just stick the blending shaft in whatever you wish to puree, and away you go.
It's important to choose a hand blender with enough power to achieve the tasks you want to achieve. It's helpful to have several speeds and a range of attachments, too. Our top hand blender is the KitchenAid Five-Speed Hand Blender, a powerful model from a respected manufacturer.
Considerations when choosing hand blenders
Some hand blenders have just a single speed, whereas some of the top models can have up to 15 speeds. Different blending jobs require different speeds. For instance, short bursts on a slow speed are best if you're looking for a chunky texture, whereas green smoothies need high speeds to break down fibrous leafy greens.
The power of a hand blender is measured in watts. Some inexpensive models can have as little as 100 watts of power behind them, whereas high-end models can pack a punch of more than 1,000 watts. In general, the more powerful a hand blender is, the more heavy-duty tasks it can take on. For instance, a not-so-powerful blender won't be able to do much more than make smoothies from softer fruits and blend up soup. If you want to make perfectly smooth cashew cream or frozen drinks, a more powerful model is a must-have.
Some hand blenders just have a single-blade attachment, whereas others include multiple blades or other attachments, such as whisks or mini choppers. Think about what kinds of attachments you require before buying.
If you like to match all your kitchen appliances to one another, you may be looking for a hand blender in a particular hue. Some brands offer hand blenders in a wide range of colors, whereas others keep it simple with black, white, or silver.
Check the length of the blending shaft on your chosen hand blender before you make your purchase. It shouldn't be so long that it's difficult to use and control, but it should be long enough to reach the bottom of the deepest pan or container you're likely to use it with.
The majority of hand blenders include some kind of blending pitcher or work bowl. However, you can blend food in any container you choose, not just the one that comes with your hand blender.
Hand blender prices
Hand blenders can vary in price between $10 and $150. Basic models are simple without many attachments or accessories, whereas more expensive options have plenty of attachments and tend to be powerful.
Q. How do I clean my hand blender?
A. The majority of hand blenders allow you to remove the shaft, so you can easily wash it by hand in hot soapy water. Some blade shafts are even dishwasher-safe, but always check before you attempt to wash them that way. If your hand blender doesn't have a removable shaft, you can wash it by hand, being careful not to wet the motor casing, or you "blend" a bowl of soap water to remove the dirt, before carefully rinsing the shaft.
Q. Should I choose a plastic or stainless steel hand blender?
A. Although plastic hand blenders are inexpensive, we always prefer models with stainless steel blending shafts. Plastic shafts can melt if you put them in extremely hot soup or other hot foods.
Hand blenders we recommend
Best of the best: KitchenAid Five-Speed Hand Blender
Our take: A high-quality hand blender with plenty of attachments from a brand you can trust.
What we like: Includes a multipurpose blade, S-blade, beater/frother, whisk, and mini-chopper. Five speeds. Rubber grip is comfortable to hold.
What we dislike: On the higher end of the price spectrum.
Best bang for your buck: Cuisinart Two-Speed Hand Blender
Our take: It might not be the most powerful option on the market, but this is a solid and affordable choice for light blending tasks, such as soups and smoothies.
What we like: Easy to clean with dishwasher-safe blending shaft. Ergonomic grip. Includes blending pitcher.
What we dislike: No additional attachments.
Choice 3: Breville Control-Grip Immersion Blender
Our take: This high-end blender costs a bit more but is well worth the money. Includes a whisk, blending beaker, and mini chopper.
What we like: Clever blade design reduces suction for improved control. Easy to grip with comfortable controls. Has a whopping 15 speed settings.
What we dislike: Thicker foods can get stuck under blades.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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