Handheld stick blenders are great for quick, easy blending and chopping jobs - such as making soups, dips or puréeing food. Sometimes called immersion blenders, they are small and easy to store, unlike bulkier food processors and jug blenders. They also have fewer parts, so are generally straightforward to use and clean. Most can chop, blend and purée, and some models include whipping, whisking and even potato mashing accessories. In this guide, we explain how to pick the right model for you, and key features to consider before buying.
How much do you need to spend on a hand blender?
You can pick up a basic model for a £30, but premium hand blenders for commercial kitchens can cost well over £400, so what's the difference? Basic hand blenders will have a simple press-and-hold control button, and usually come with just the main chopping blade. They tend to be made of white plastic. More expensive models will have additional speed settings and extra features such as a soft start (to prevent ingredients spraying up everywhere). They will usually be made of premium materials, and are likely to come with extra blades, accessories and spares.
Things to consider when buying a hand blender?
Controls: Check that the power button is easy to press: hand blenders are about as long as an A4 sheet of paper, and some weigh nearly as much as a bag of sugar, so they can be tiring to control if it is hard to get a good grip and reach the controls. Some hand blenders also have ergonomic handles and soft-touch controls to make using the blender more comfortable. Basic models will usually just have one speed. Paying more will get you a range of speeds, which can help to avoid unexpected splashes.
Accessories: Some hand blenders come with bowls and beakers for chopping and blending that fit to the blender, helping to keep ingredients from spraying across your worktops. Some blenders offer a multi function blade for pureeing and chopping. Another useful accessory is a wall mount to keep the blender close to where it will be used.
Materials: Hand blenders with metal shafts are less likely to stain than those with plastic. The blending shaft is the part that gets dirtiest, and if you are blending lots of soup, you might find a metal shaft more convenient.
Cord: The cheapest models may have short and inflexible cords, which could make reaching your dish trickier. There are cordless models around: having no cord in the way while you're blending is handy, but bear in mind they tend to be pricier, heavier and will have a limited run time.
Max run time: This can vary from as little as 10 seconds. That might be fine if you just want to quickly blitz small amounts, but it's worth checking before you buy, so you don't get stuck partway through blending.
Shaft Length: It’s important to be able to reach the bottom of the pot or bowl that you’re blending. If the blade doesn’t reach the bottom of the pot the blender will leave a layer of unprocessed ingredients.
Cleaning: Make sure the unit is easy to clean and without food traps. Many less expensive models will have open shafts allowing food to become trapped. The sealed shafts in top of the range models stop this hygiene hazard and make cleaning easy. Removable shafts work well but are renowned for being fragile and often break or become loose.
Wattage: The higher the wattage the more powerful the blender. If you’re using you hand blender with thick sauces or to chop hard food then higher wattage will reduce the strain on the motor and reduce the risk of breakage.
Mitchell & Cooper’s Range of Stick Blenders
Kisag blenders tick a lot of boxes for the commercial kitchen. The multi-function blade reduces the need to change blade for different activities, the powerful motor easily copes with the hardest ingredients and allows the run time to continue for 15 minutes. Various models offer different shaft lengths and the ergonomic handle on the range makes using them for long periods very comfortable for the user.
The Bamix stick blender offers an economic solution for lighter kitchen work. A top quality brand, built to last at a lower price point.
Check out the range here.