The very first kitchen gadget I ever bought was an immersion blender. In fact, I didn’t actually buy it myself; it was a present from my mother when I first left home. She said to me “Sarah; winter is coming and I want to know you are eating properly. Use this to make lots of vegetable soup!”
They might be a bit “low tech” compared to a food processor or a jug-type blender, but I find I use mine all the time despite owning those other two things. This could be because my mother gave me my first immersion blender, so I have a bit of an emotional attachment to these types to kitchen tool, but it’s also because, a lot of the time, the best tool is the simplest!
Armed with my new immersion blender, and not much else, to be honest, I set off and left the family home and, thanks to my mother, did indeed eat lots of warming, healthy, vegetable soup.
Many years later, I still use an immersion blender for a lot of my kitchen chores. I have a food processor, and I own a professional jug-type blender too (the model I use and why explained here ???), but it’s my immersion blender I usually turn to when I’m in a hurry. It just sits in a kitchen drawer and is ready to use at a moments’ notice. Just plug it in and stick the business end into the pan – simple!
I have owned several immersion blenders since the one my mother gave me, and they have all been faithful kitchen helpers. Some have lasted longer than others but, because they’re cheap, it’s never been a huge problem to replace them when they died. I especially love the fact they are so simple to use; no settings to change, no blades to fit – just plug it in and press the “on” button.
All immersion blenders come with a blade that is ideal for liquidizing and, of course, blending, but some also come supplied with wire balloon whisks. These are especially useful when you need a lighter touch and want to get some air into whatever you are cooking. With the balloon whisk, you can make light and fluffy pancake batter, meringues, and even omelets in seconds. This saves you a whole lot of time and whisking with a fork.
Of course, like my mother told me, you can also use an immersion blender for making soups, and that’s probably when I use my immersion blender the most. I’ve tried making soups in my proper jug-type blender, and even in a food processor, but it’s an operation fraught with danger.
First, you must cook your ingredients to make your soup. Then you have to pour those steaming hot ingredients into your blender and hit the start button – stand back and watch out for flying hot liquid. Then you have to pour the now-blended but rapidly cooling soup back into the pan to warm it up again – what a pain in the butt!
Or, you could just make your soup, my favorite soup recipes here, in the pan and blend it in-situ using your trusty immersion blender. No spills, no mess, no burns – just quick and easy soup.
I don’t just use my immersion blender for soup; I also use it to make smoothies too (all my smoothies recipes here). Most immersion blenders are supplied with plastic, resealable measuring jug which is the perfect size for a smoothie. I toss in some soft fruit, some kefir, some Greek yogurt, water, and some protein powder and then whizz it up with my immersion blender. I then let it settle for a moment and put the lid on so I can take my smoothie with me to work. Washing up is simple too – just rinse the business end of the immersion blender under the hot tap for a few seconds, and it’s clean. Easy!
I use my immersion blender for lots of different recipes, and I’ve shared some of my favorites on this immersion blender recipe page. There you’ll find recipes for pancakes, hummus, ketchup and, of course, soup!
There are lots of different immersion blenders available; some are super cheap and straightforward, while others are more expensive and loaded with as many features as a full-sized food processor. Which one you buy is up to you, but I know choosing the right one can be a daunting task. That’s why I wrote a series of immersion blender reviews on my recent article “My Favorite and Best Immersion Blender” to help you make the right choice.
In my reviews, I considered things like motor size, speed settings, the material from which the blender was made, cost, and whether it included any additional blade attachments, like the balloon whisk I mentioned before. Armed with all that information, you should now have much less trouble finding the right immersion blender for your needs.