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, mince and more.
This being said, it’s hard to know which one on the department store shelf can promise you the best butternut squash soup for fall. That’s why our Test Kitchen experts gathered all the most popular brands and put them to work to find our Best Loved Brand. (What’s that?) 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 compared side by side:
- Whipping: How well and how quickly could the blender whip heavy cream?
- Pureeing: How smoothly could the blender puree fresh, chopped tomatoes?
- 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 whipped cream, this Cuisinart immersion blender had it whipped and ready for your next dessert in 35 seconds flat! As for the tomatoes, they were nice and smooth. In seconds they were fit for making into tomato soup.
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…
Out of all of the products we tested, there were two other immersion blenders that nearly hit the mark. If you can’t get your hands on our Best Loved Brand, our Test Kitchen is confident that you’d be happy with these picks, too.
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. Hot pink immersion blender, anyone? However, when it came to swapping out attachments, our test cooks found it tricky to properly lock-in the wand’s components.
Chefman 300-Watt Hand Blender ($37, right): 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.
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 and silky soups, like this cauliflower chicken cordon bleu soup. But you can make so much more like gravies, butters and sauces. Once you see how convenient they are to use, you won’t be stashing it on the top shelf again. Get 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 (no matter the brand) use a cotton swab dipped in soapy water to clean around these hard-to-reach areas.
About Best Loved Brands
If you’re like us, you want all your favorite recipes to turn out fabulous every single time you make them. 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. Our culinary experts tried dozens of products our Test Kitchen—testing your recipes—to find out which brands came out on top.