Also known as an immersion blender, a hand blender is one of the most basic culinary tools used by professional chefs and home-based cooks alike. It can be operated very easily and is used for a variety of tasks such as making milkshakes, beating eggs, making whipped cream, and many others.
If you have bought a blender and are unaware of how to use a hand blender, do not worry. We have got you covered. We have prepared a detailed article that will help you become proficient in using a hand blender in no time.
How Does a Hand Blender Work?
A hand blender is a single compact tool with a motor and a long shaft. A small blade is located at the bottom of the shaft enclosed in a circular housing. The circular housing with the blade is kept inside the bowl of food.
When the motor is turned ON, it rotates the blades and blends the food item. The circular housing prevents the spatter of food up to a certain extent.
How to Use a Hand or Immersion Blender?
The following is a step by step guide on how to get started with your hand blender.
Step 1: Assemble the Parts
Some hand blenders come as a single compact device while others come in two parts – the upper and the lower option. You can join both the parts easily by either screwing or clamping them together.
The specific ways to clamp them together varies from one model to another. You will have to go through the user manual and follow the steps to join them.
Step 2: Connect to a Power Source
The hand blenders can either be operated with batteries or by connecting them to a power source. If it has to be connected to a power outlet, the length of the wired chord should allow you to move it freely while blending.
On the other hand, if the blender is battery operated, it gives you a lot of freedom with your movements. However, ensure that the batteries are fully charged before you begin.
Step 3: Immerse it in the Food Mixture
Immerse the blender in the mixture before turning it on. If you reverse this process, i.e, turn it and then immerse the blender, the food will spatter all over the kitchen. The rotating blades should be completely immersed in the mixture to blend it properly.
However, you should not immerse the shaft too much into the mixture as this will cause damage to the motors.
Step 4: Turn on the Blender
Now, once you have immersed the blender, turn on the blender. Most blenders can be turned on by using a simple button present on its body. Some blenders come with variable speeds. You can rotate the speed control mechanism to adjust the blade speed for a perfect blending.
Step 5: Move the Blender Inside the Bowl
Keep the blender immersed in the mixture until you achieve the desired smoothness and consistency. If you are using a large bowl, you will have to move the blender inside the bowl so that the entire mixture is blended smoothly.
Step 6: Take Breaks in Between
When blending, take frequent breaks. If the mixture is tough, it may take a lot of time to achieve the desired consistency. Keeping the motor running for a longer duration will cause damage to it. Hence, take sufficient breaks to increase the longevity of the motor.
Care and Safety Precautions
Do not use the blender on glass bowls and non-stick pans. When the blades rotate at high speed, it will cause the glass to shatter. In the case of non-stick pans, the coating can come and will mix with the blend.
Once the blending is done, press the power button in the body of the blender to turn it off. In the case of wired hand blenders, turn off the power button, and disconnect the plug from the socket.
The blades and shaft have to be cleaned after every blend. You will have to remove the shaft from the blender to clean it. Take extra precaution while removing the shaft because the blades are very sharp.
Wash the blades and shaft with hot water to remove the ingredients stuck to them. Use a wet cloth to wipe the water.
Once you have washed the blender, leave it to dry before assembling them together.
Tips to Follow When using Hand Blenders
In order to achieve the perfect smoothness and consistency, there are certain things that you need to follow.
- Read the user manual to understand if you need to take any extra precautions or do things in a specific way in maintaining the tool.
- If you are using the chopping attachment in the blender, cut the food into smaller pieces before chopping.
- As stated above, the blades of the blender should be completely immersed in the food for proper blending. Hence, there should be an adequate level of food to immerse the blades. Avoid small quantities of food.
- Never blend hot stuff using the hand blender. Apart from damaging the blades, the spatter of the food will cause serious injuries.
- Wash the blender immediately after every use. It will become harder to clean if the food dries. Once cleaned, wait for the parts to try and then assemble it.
- Store the blender in a place where your children don’t have access to it.
Ways to Use the Hand Blender
A hand blender is a very handy tool that can be used for more than one purpose. Below are some of the uses of hand blenders
Prepare Baby Food
It is ideal for preparing baby food where you have to mash the food and make it easily swallowable for babies. This is a great alternative to potato mashers and other manual techniques.
Make Vegetable Puree
A hand blender is used to make purees out of a variety of cooked vegetables. It can also be used to make chutneys and sauces. Additionally, the blades can handle high temperatures which allows you to puree the food inside the cooking pan itself.
The hand blender makes the process of blending soups very quick and easy. Instead of transferring the soup to a blender jug, you can directly puree the soup in the pan.
It provides a very convenient way to make smoothies and milkshakes. You can blend a mixture of different fruits, yogurt, milk, and other ingredients to make smoothies and milkshakes.
In addition to the above uses, they are also used for whisking eggs, preparing whipped cream, and making dressing for salads.
How to Clean a Hand Blender Properly
Cleaning the hand blender is a very simple task, albeit, an important one. There is a specific way in which you have to clean the hand blender.
- After blending, allow the blender to cool down.
- Fill a bowl with a mixture of lukewarm water and washing liquid.
- Blend the mixture until the food stains are removed from the blade and shaft.
- Disconnect the power chord and clean the hand blender with tap water.
- Use a cloth to wipe off water and dry the blender.
- Then, wipe the upper body part of the hand blender using a moist cloth.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. While a hand mixer can perform some functions of an immersion blender, it can not completely replace the blender. Immersion blender provides better consistency to soups. Furthermore, you need an immersion blender if you want to puree large pieces of vegetables.
You can use vegetable oil to remove stains on the hand blender wand. To remove the foul, you can clean it using a mixture of diluted vinegar and lukewarm water.
Use a cotton bud dipped in alcohol and wipe the buttons to get rid of stubborn stains.
To remove grease on the hand blender, use white vinegar or lemon juice. They also serve as a disinfectant.
Cleaning a hand blender using a dishwasher is not feasible. You need to wait for a full dishwasher load to use the dishwasher. If you are a frequent user of the hand blender, this is not possible. Also, cleaning the hand blender using a dishwasher frequently leads to rust and damage.
A hand blender serves as a multi-purpose kitchen tool for cooking enthusiasts. It has gained huge popularity as it can even be used by the most novice cooks. If used and maintained properly, handle blenders can blend different edible mixtures to achieve the perfect smoothness and consistency.
Do you own a hand blender? Are you proficient in using them? Share your thoughts with us using the comment section below