I'm standing here in my kitchen trying to look for appliances that could be downsized and replaced with something smaller. I'm always trying to make my small spaces more efficient. Any potential appliance that can carry out the same function as its larger equivalent will be considered.
My attention turns to the idea of using an immersion blender. My current blender takes up a lot of room in my current setup. I only really use it for making smoothies so its daily use is somewhat limited.
If I was to swap it out with an immersion blender I would hope it could carry out this same function.
So, do immersion blenders work for smoothies?
An immersion blender can be used very effectively for creating smoothies. An immersion blender has many different uses, while it is renown for making soups, the powerful blades of an immersion blender are just as effective for breaking down fruit.
The immersion blender is generally thought to be reasonably priced and can also provide a faster way to create a smoothie with its very hands-on process.
It simply requires a container to blend the fruit inside. A beaker that came with the immersion blender can serve this purpose. If this is not longer in reach, a jar can be used as an alternative here.
Once you have the container sorted putting all the desired fruit into a tall glass and then firing up the immersion blender will begin the process.
Wait until the smoothie reaches the desired fruit thickness and turn it off.
This sounds ideal for my situation. My blender is quite a big industrious unit and it takes up a significant amount of space. If I can replace it with something that I can still make smoothies with but that I can also just tuck away inside some storage, this would be the best scenario.
I found a great video detailing the smoothie making process with an immersion blender.
I wanted to expand this research a little further, read on to find more about immersion blenders.
What is the purpose of a immersion blender?
Okay, so far we know that it is capable of making smoothies for us. And it also it capable of making soups which I also alluded to earlier on. But, what is the actual purpose of an immersion blender?
An immersion blender is a general kitchen tool primarily used for blending soups, condiments and other liquids. What I didn't realize was that it is actually quite the multi-tasker. While pureseeing soups are its bread and butter, it can also be used to make whipped cream, mayonnaise, hummus, vinaigrette's, the list goes on.
In appearance, it looks like a long slim stick like utensil that has blender blades attached to the end of it. It provides most of the utility of a blender but in a handheld form.
As opposed to a traditional blender, the immersion blender is inserted into a container of liquid (fruit pieces, for example) and it is then turned on.
The immersion blender is then swirled throughout the liquid until it has finished being blended. Due to it being a handheld device, its main attributes revolve around its ease of use. It's very accessible because of its light and easy to maneuver. As the name suggests, it is used by immersing it into a large container and turning it on.
It is really a much easier experience than having to drag out a heavy blender with its wide range of attachments. This process seems more time consuming than just using an immersion blender. Personally, I find cleaning a full heavy blender a long arduous task, especially in the morning.
From my research and the videos, I've watched, cleaning an immersion blender seems to be a much more manageable experience.
They just require a quick scrub with soap and water, followed by a rinse and dry. Some of the more expensive models that I found are also machine washable, this could be quite useful when in a hurry.
When you know that there will be multiple batches to blended, this is where an immersion blender shines. Instead of constantly chopping and changing a normal blender's contents multiple times, you can instead just use the one original pot.
This comes in particularly handy for blending soups where there will be multiple layers of ingredients to be blended.
The best Immersion blenders for making smoothies
When trying to create the most delicious smoothie possible it's important to use an immersion blender that you can rely on. Some brands can be quite lackluster with their light handling and sub-optimal grip and build. These two have helped me pulverize many a nutritious smoothly:
- Braun MQ777 Multiquick 7 Hand Blender, Black - (affiliate link) - A reliable sturdy model with the smart speed technology
- BaMix M150 - (affiliate link) - An absolute beast of a unit, with multiple speed buttons and a fantastic build quality
Can you blend ice with an immersion blender?
When trying to blend a smoothie, its quite important to be able to blend ice in order to get that chilled fruit taste. Now we already know that a conventional blender will power through this, without a bother. But how about for an immersion blender, can you blend ice with it ?
Well, according to my research, not all immersion blenders have the required power to blend large chunks of ice. In order to have them in your smoothie it is recommended that the ice is broken up beforehand.
So if you're looking to pulverize whole ice cubes, the blades of an immersion blender don't seem be be big or sturdy enough for a task like this.
After all, they are built with the purpose of being lightweight and portable. Having the ability to crush icecube would probably detract from its appealing ease of use features.
If did try to crush ice with an immersion blender it would probably result in a small portion of crushed ice while running the risk of dulling the blades and overworking the motor. Its quite ineffective to use an immersion blender to blend heavy loads of ice like this but if you are still determined to try than you could consider the following:
- Hit the ice cubs into small pieces in a plastic bag
- Attempt to crush into even smaller chunks with the back of a spoon
- Use immersion blender
Overall, more often than not, an immersion blender isn't made out of the material required for crushing ice. Its motor and blades aren't powerful or sharp enough to crush ice in this way.
Are hand blenders and immersion blenders the same?
When researching about immersion blenders, I outlined how they are handheld and lightweight devices. So when I came across the term hand blenders I was a little bit confused as to whether or not this is something different.
So, are hand blenders and immersion blenders the same thing?
A hand blender and an immersion blender are indeed the same things. They are two different terms used to describe the functions of the same portable blending device.
Both terms try to allude to the fact that the design of this device is handheld. A third term, stick blender, is also used to describe this kind of device.
So, a hand blender, immersion blender or stick blender differ considerably its tradition blender counterparts. These include counter blenders, platform blenders which are the typical blenders that you would see on a countertop.
These traditional blenders are said to not be immersed in their blended contents which is what differentiates them from the portable types
The manufacturer will have preferences as to what they will call their immersion blender. All three aforementioned terms ( stick, hand, and immersion) describe the same type of appliance. Each of them has to be immersed (in food or a container) to blend food without making a mess.
Looking this up provided the clarity needed if I am to buy an immersion blender. If any of these other terms crop up during my research I'll at least know what they relate to.
Can an immersion blender replace a blender?
This is perhaps the most important question for a small apartment owner. Our kitchens tend to not be the most accommodating for big hefty appliances. Swapping out one big appliance for a smaller one is a satisfying achievement.
So, can an immersion blender replace a blender?
An immersion blender can replace a blender depending on what you use it for. If your focus is creativity in the kitchen, an immersion blender can really assist you greatly. It can really transform whole ingredients into a range of sauces, condiments, soups, etc.
In comparison, a countertop blender should be kept when making more heavy-duty concoctions. Things like, blended cocktails
An immersion blender is less effective at heavy duty blending and tends to act more as a device for pureeing. This includes soups, whipping cream, finely chopping vegetables, blending liquid batters, pasta sauces pesto, etc.
Not only does an immersion blender act as a very effective puree-er but it's very effective when trying to save on storage space. For me personally, this is the biggest factor that I'd consider.
Even though I might be losing out on the ability to blend one or two extra recipes - storage is at a premium for me. And the fact that I can still make smoothies is very reassuring.
Overall, an immersion blender is one very handy kitchen tool. It really encapsulates the theme of little home appliances - devices that save time and space for those that don't have either.
And while my old blender has been good to me, space and time that it uses aren't suiting my current lifestyle and living arrangement.
I hope this helps others in a similar predicament.