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What is an immersion blender?

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Immersion Blender

An immersion blender is a handheld kitchen appliance that allows you to blend or puree foods in the container that you are preparing them in. For instance, you can puree a soup directly in the pot you’re cooking it it, rather than transferring it in small batches to a food processor or blender to puree. You can use an immersion blender to blend a one-person smoothie or milkshake directly into your cup, as well as to make smooth sauces, well-emulsified dressings and purees. An immersion blender looks like a long, thick stick. The top portion serves as the handle and the controls for the device. The base of the mixer is an attachment with a small blade at the end. This piece either snaps on or screws on (depending on what brand/model of blender you have) and this is the piece that goes into your soup, etc. to do the hard work of pureeing. It is removable to make cleaning up an easy task, and most immersion blender attachments are dishwasher safe. To use it, simply insert the blade end into whatever you’re pureeing and turn the blender on (some have multiple speeds, other models only have one). By simply stirring the blender around, you’ll have a very smooth puree in very little time.

In addition to the blade blender attachment, immersion blenders – also known as stick blenders – can come with other accessories, such as whisk attachments and chopping attachments. A whisk works in largely the same way as a handheld mixer, though it is not as strong as a handheld mixer and is much better suited to whisking eggs, whipped cream or dishes on the stove (such as custards or puddings) than for mixing up a cookie dough batter. The chopping attachment, which includes a small container, makes quick work of chopping small amounts of vegetables for salsas and is definitely a favorite tool for many immersion blender users.

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  • LinC
    August 16, 2012

    Emeril uses these a lot for getting the lumps out of a soup while it’s still in the pot. I love his nickname for the immersion blender — “boat motor.” It does sound like one.

  • Linda
    August 16, 2012

    Love using one in soups and great for jams or butters to really get it smoother if you want. I don’t use mine a lot but it is a great tool when I need it.

  • rosa
    August 17, 2012

    In fact, in Spaing this kind of blender is much more usual than the others one. This is called “blender” and the one you americans usually have, “american blender”.

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