Finding the Best Immersion Blender
For many folks, an immersion blender might seem like just another one-use gadget, but our Test Kitchen can assure you that this small tool is not just a one-trick pony. A good immersion blender can smooth out soups and sauces, but it also can puree, emulsify and even whip (yes, you should be making your own whipped cream). And if you find the right one, it might even come with a few extras to chop and mince. Learn more about how to use an immersion blender.
This being said, it’s hard to know which one on the department store shelf can promise you the best butternut squash soup. That’s why our Test Kitchen experts gathered all the most popular brands and reviewed them. After weeks of using them in our kitchens, we had a good feeling about some brands, but to be absolutely sure, we conducted a few tests to see how the immersion blenders stacked up:
- Pureeing: How smoothly could the blender puree fresh, chopped tomatoes?
- Whipping: How well and how quickly could the blender whip heavy cream?
- Emulsifying: How well did the blender create an emulsified vinaigrette?
- Price: Is the product affordable? Was the performance reflected in the price?
The Best Immersion Blender: Cuisinart Smart Stick Variable Speed Hand Blender
This test was close. Many of the immersion blenders we tested performed well, which meant our Test Kitchen’s decision came down to small features and minuscule differences in performance. That being said, our experts were still unanimous in choosing a winner: Cuisinart’s Smart Stick Variable Speed Hand Blender ($70).
Features We Loved
- Variable speed dial: With Cuisinart’s hand blender, you can incrementally adjust the speed with the dial located on the wand. This is nice if you’re looking to have a bit more control.
- Snap-on feature: Unlike most hand blenders that require you to twist and lock the attachments in place, Cuisinart’s attachments simply snap onto the motorized handle. Our food stylists found this—along with the push-button release—to be a really handy feature.
- Attachments: What our food stylist Josh Rink loved most about Cuisinart’s hand blender was that it was so much more than a blender! This model comes with the standard attachment as well as a whisk and a mini food processor attachment—not to mention a tall and narrow blending vessel. These bonus pieces make this immersion blender even more of a kitchen multitasker.
How It Performed
In the tests, Cuisinart just edged out its competitors with its performance. When it came to pureeing tomatoes, this Cuisinart immersion blender got them nice and smooth, making they were fit for tomato soup in seconds. As for the cream, it was whipped and ready for dessert in 35 seconds flat!
What our Test Kitchen really liked though, was how easily this immersion blender made a tasty dijon vinaigrette. Whisking together salad dressings by hand into that picture-perfect emulsion is hard work. Just a few pulses of the blender and it’s done! It’s just the tool to have if you love topping your favorite salad with a homemade dressing.
Considering its performance and all the added bonuses, like the mini food processor attachment (great for mincing garlic) and whisk, our Test Kitchen thought this gadget was worth the $60 price.
We Also Recommend…
via amazon (2), bedbathandbeyond.com
Out of all of the products we tested, there were three other immersion blenders that nearly hit the mark. If you can’t get your hands on our #1 pick, our Test Kitchen is confident that you’d be happy with these picks, too.
Best for Emulsifying: KitchenAid 2-Speed Hand Blender ($50, left):
This model received praise for its functionality and style. The two-speed immersion blender ran smoothly and quietly, emulsifying vinaigrette with ease. Plus, the blender comes in over a dozen fun colors. However, when it came to swapping out attachments, our test cooks found it tricky to properly lock in the wand’s components.
Best for Whipping: Chefman 300-Watt Hand Blender ($37, middle):
Like the Cuisinart Smart Stick, this immersion blender from Chefman included nifty accessories like a whisk attachment and mini food processor. The blender was a little less powerful than other brands on our list, which means it’s better for jobs like whipping cream or pureeing soft foods.
Best for Pureeing: Braun MQ505 Multiquick Hand Blender ($55, right):
Braun is a favorite brand of Prep Kitchen Manager, Catherine Ward, who has owned the same Braun immersion blender for nearly 20 years! This model quickly pureed the tomatoes for a silky, smooth soup and comes with a whip attachment to make whipped cream with ease.
What to Make with an Immersion Blender
Many folks have immersion blenders tucked away on a shelf but fail to use them often. (How many of us are guilty of using a hand mixer or a blender for everything?) But it’s time to think again. Immersion blenders—with or without the fancy added attachments—are incredibly versatile. Stick blenders are our Test Kitchen staff’s go-to tool for making smooth soups, like this cauliflower chicken cordon bleu soup. But you can make so much more, like gravies, butters and sauces. Check out all of our best recipes to make with an immersion blender.
How to Care for Your Immersion Blender
When it comes to taking care of the Cuisinart immersion blender, it’s pretty simple—all the parts (except the motorized base) are dishwasher safe. But if you really want to go the extra mile to keep your hand blender clean, use a cotton swab dipped in soapy water to clean around those hard-to-reach areas.
How We Test Products
If you’re like us, you want all your favorite recipes to turn out fabulous every single time. That means opting for the best tasting ingredients and the best tools. While picking your favorite brand of chocolate chips or bacon is a task, it’s a delicious one to be relished. Choosing the best gadgets and gear for your kitchen, though, is another story. Unless you buy several stand mixers or food processors and put them through their paces, how can you ever know which will make your recipes turn out their best? That’s where our Test Kitchen comes in. Read about our rigorous testing process, and find more of our favorite brands.