How to Choose an Immersion Blender That’s Right for You

Learn how to choose an immersion blender before you start shopping. This simple immersion blender buying guide will help you find the perfect kitchen tool.

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An immersion blender is an absolute power tool in the kitchen that can help with nearly every dish from apps to desserts. While the kitchen aisle at your big-box store might feel crowded, purchasing the right model is simple when you consider a few factors. Follow these tips and you’ll have a long-lasting, super-versatile hand blender that’s worth every penny.

Why Do I Need an Immersion Blender?

Immersion blenders can make your soups creamier, milkshakes frothier and mayonnaise lighter—all faster than you can toast a slice of bread. In fact, there are endless uses for this kitchen tool. These blenders are handy when you need to puree hot items, like soup or sauces, since you can blend them right in the pot, without transferring piping hot liquids to and from a blender.

Are Hand Blenders and Immersion Blenders the Same Thing?

Yep! This tool is also known as a stick blender or a wand blender. (We love that last moniker because the machine works like magic!)

Immersion Blender vs. Traditional Blender

The first thing to consider is if you’ll be using the immersion blender to replace a countertop blender. Immersion blenders are lighter, easier to clean and take up less room in the kitchen than a classic blender, but many models aren’t as powerful.

Though many immersion blenders market themselves as having the capability to crush ice, we’ve found that traditional blenders like this are best for that task. An immersion blender with a strong motor will be able to cut through frozen fruit, but not rock-hard surfaces like ice cubes.

Cord vs. Cordless

Does your kitchen have plenty of outlets or just that one tucked behind the coffee maker? Immersion blenders come in both corded and cordless versions. Cordless models tend to be less powerful and work best on easily blendable substances like homemade mayonnaise or frosting.

Speed & Power

Most budget-friendly immersion blenders will only have one or two speed settings. You won’t need anything fancier than that for most uses. If you plan to chop raw carrots or frozen fruit—look for a blender that amps up to 200 and 250 watts.

See what celebrity chef named the immersion blender his favorite kitchen multitasker.

Is It Easy to Clean?

Some immersion blenders can be washed in the dishwasher while others require specific washing by hand. If easy cleanup is important for you, go for a dishwasher-safe attachment and save yourself the scrubbing.

How Much Are Immersion Blenders?

That depends on the immersion blender you choose. We love the Cuisinart Smart Stick ($70) which is a higher-end blender packed with features and comes with extra accessories like a whisk, 4-cup beaker and potato masher. In fact, it’s our Test Kitchen’s favorite immersion blender!

If the Cuisinart doesn’t fit your budget, no need to worry. Taste of Home’s Test Kitchen also gave high marks to the KitchenAid 2-Speed Hand Blender ($40) and Chefman 300-Watt Hand Blender ($30).

Are There Any Accessories?

A hand blender is made to do one thing: blend. But many newer models come with attachments that can slice like a food processor or whisk like a hand mixer. Versions with more accessories will cost more, and replace other kitchen gadgets. Blenders that are accessory-free are the most straightforward to use and store.

Now that you know what to look for, picking out a new immersion blender will be a breeze. Once you have your new kitchen tool, blend up one of our favorite recipes that use a stick blender.

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Mandy Naglich
Mandy is a food and beverage writer with bylines at WNYC, Munchies, Mic and October. She's a Certified Cicerone and award-winning homebrewer living, writing and cooking in New York City.