Hand Blender– Everything You Need to Know
A blender would be a great addition to your kitchen if you love making smoothies and shakes at home. While electrical mixer grinders often come with blender jars, which is not very cost-effective if you already have a fully functional mixer grinder at home.
In such cases, you may simply go for a hand blender. Buying a hand blender is also a great decision if you are looking for an affordable solution and you just want something for simple blending applications.
What Is A Hand Blender?
Before we take a more in-depth look and decide whether you should buy a hand blender, let’s see what exactly it is. Hand blenders have been around for a long time, and as the name suggests, they’re handheld tools used to blend juices, soups, sauces, and other liquids.
Originally, it used to be a simple shaft with blender blades at the end. The design was later improvised, with the blades replaced with blunt metal wires.
Earlier, hand blenders were simple manual tools that one just had to submerge in the liquid and twirl around fast. To make the process quicker and more hassle-free, manufacturers eventually came up with more sophisticated hand blenders that didn’t have to be twirled manually.
The best hand blenders include electric hand blenders that don’t require any manual effort at all, besides holding the blender in place. In short, a hand blender is a simple, compact, and cheap appliance that you can use for blending.
Advantages Of Hand Blenders
Low Or No Power Consumption
Using a hand blender is a great way to save on your electric bills. Especially if you blend liquids regularly, a mixer grinder can end up consuming a lot of power in the long run. However, this won’t be a problem with hand blenders.
While a hand mixer suitable for blending and mixing usually consumes at least 500 watts, most electric hand grinders are only around 200W to 250W. If you decide to go for a non-electric hand blender, it won’t add to your energy bills at all.
Compact And Portable
The compact size of a hand blender is yet another reason why you should consider getting one. Designed like small sticks, hand blenders up only a fraction of the space you’d need to store a traditional electric blender.
This, together with the lightweight of hand blenders, also make them highly portable. If you move around a lot or travel often, this proves to be a great perk.
Easy To Clean
Ease of cleaning is a very crucial factor that you need to consider when buying any kitchen appliance. As it is, washing up utensils and other kitchen appliances takes up a lot of time, and you’d want to get a blender that is easy to clean.
This is another area where a hand blender beats those large, electric blenders – you can easily hold the blending blades under a tap to wash them. It takes a minute or less to clean a hand blender. In many electric hand blenders, you take also detach the immersion stick for washing.
A hand blender is a versatile piece of kitchen equipment that can help you with a variety of tasks. Whether you want to make some salad dressing, smoothies, shakes, or mayonnaise, you can use a hand blender for it. Unlike mixer grinder-style blenders, you don’t even have to mix the ingredients in a blending jar. You can use a hand blender to blend liquids in any utensil – just stick in the blades and start blending.
Large, electric blenders may be powerful but also very noisy. In general, mixer grinder-style blenders generate at least 85 decibels of noise, which is quite loud. The whirring sound can be very irritating and disturbing to the user, as well as others at home.
On the other hand, hand blenders barely make any sound at all. These appliances work very silently, especially the non-electric ones. This makes hand blenders more pleasant to work with.
Disadvantages Of Hand Blender
You Can’t Blend Hard Ingredients
Hand blenders are nowhere as powerful as countertop blenders and have a hard time blending or pureeing stiff ingredients. Especially if you are using a simple, non-electric hand blender that needs to be twirled manually, blending thick liquids and hard ingredients can be very difficult and take a lot of effort. For such ingredients, a juicer mixer grinder or a countertop blender is a far better choice.
Increased Chances Of Spillage
Think about the product design of a countertop blender – the blending jar has a tightly sealed lead that prevents liquids from leaking out. No matter how fast the blender runs, the liquids will stay contained within the jar.
However, it doesn’t work the same way for hand blenders. You have to dip the blender into the liquid from above, which means you can’t cover the containing utensil in any way. This way, you risk spilling some of the ingredients if you aren’t careful.
Alongside increased chances of spilling the liquids, poor stability is a problem too. Countertop blenders have heavy bases with feet underneath to keep them in place and prevent them from moving or toppling over.
However, hand blenders don’t offer this benefit. Especially if you are blending in a glass or cup, there’s always a chance that the motion of the blending blades can cause it to topple. You will have to hold the utensil carefully while blending to prevent such accidents.
Let’s face it – you can’t use a hand blender to blend the same amount of food as a countertop blender, at least without overstraining yourself. Countertop blenders usually have large juicing jars with a capacity of 1 to 1.5 liters, which means you can blend a lot, even in a single batch.
Contrarily, the blending capacity of a hand blender is far less, the blades are smaller, and it does not support juicing requirements. You will have to do it in several batches, which can be rather time-consume and strenuous.
Parts Of A Hand Blender
As mentioned earlier, a hand blender is a very simple appliance and has only a few components. Let’s have a look at the different parts of an electric hand blender:
This is the thick part that you’d be holding while you use the hand blender. It contains the batteries, the motor, and other electrical components. The housing shell usually has a couple of buttons on it, to turn the blender on or off and control its speed.
This long shaft extends down from the housing and has blades attached to the other end. Connected to the motor, it simply helps extend the blades into the blending utensil and turn them down. The blending arm may either be exposed or covered by an extension of the housing.
These, of course, are the blades attached to the shaft that help blend the liquids. There are different types of hand blender blades, such as chopping blades, wire beaters, whiskers, and frothing blades. As you might guess from the names, each of them is suited to different purposes. However, do not confuse them with mixer grinder blades which have different purposes.
How Does A Hand Blender Work?
The working principle of a hand blender is quite simple. As the motor runs, it starts rotating the shaft and in turn, the blades. Submerged in the liquid, the blades quickly break down and blend solid ingredients.
With the variation of speed, a hand blender achieves good consistency in the blended food ingredients. Let’s see how you can use it for your kitchen requirements.
How To Use A Hand Blender?
Depending on the type of hand blender you are using, follow the steps below to use it-
- Step 1: Put the ingredients to be blended in a suitable container. Don’t make it too full, as that can cause the liquids to spill over.
- Step 2: Now, insert the blades of the hand blender into the container and hold the blender straight.
- Step 3: If it’s an electric blender, just turn it on at the lowest speed and gradually shift to higher speeds. If it’s a non-electric blender with a spring and lever system, squeeze the lever to rotate the blades. As for the simple immersion blenders with no internal mechanisms, you just have to turn them manually.
- Step 4: Keep running the blender until you have blended the ingredients perfectly.
Here is a video explaining 3 different ways of using a hand blender.
As you can see, a hand blender is an affordable appliance that you might find very helpful for blending, whisking or making smoothies. Even if you already have a countertop blender, you can still buy one of these handheld blenders for small blending tasks. The simplicity, together with the ease of cleaning and portability, makes these hand blenders worth your money.
Though a hand blender is a good choice for making smoothies, it is not ideal for juicing requirements. In that case, using a cold press juicer or a centrifugal juicer would be the best option.