Having an immersion blender saves a ton of time for both prep work and clean up. Traditionally you'd pull out that big old blender to mix up a pureed soup or smoothie or margarita. Or maybe a stand mixer for the aioli or a big food processor for your pate or pesto sauce. An immersion blender can do ALL of these things and is MUCH faster to clean up as well as setup. I use ours nearly every day.
The easier it is to cook great meals, the better your family will eat. Mastering the use of an immersion blender makes it so much easier to make favorite dishes that it is one tool we literally bring with us on vacation. Nothing says vacation like whipping up some amazing hollandaise and oven fries with a sous vide'd steak in about 15 minutes or that amazing oven pancakethat is quite a pain to make without this tool.
Really -- if you are just starting out cooking, you can get one of the nicer immersion blenders and it will cost less than ONE of the tools it replaces. If you aren't cooking for a service of 12, you can get away with using an immersion blender instead of buying 3-4 other tools. A great investment.
There really is a wide range of price in stick (immersion) blenders. Some of the extra attachments seem a bit over the top and not worth it. However, you’ll probably find a $20 option breaks quickly or is under powered.
Some kits come with all kinds of extras that you may not need depending on what is already in your kitchen. I found that we didn't use the food processor of our inexpensive one very much, but a nicer version is super handy even though we already have a 'fancy' full sized version. If you don't have a larger, nice food processor already, spend the extra to get a good one bundled with your immersion blender
I think everyone should at least get a whisk attachment, there really isn't any other comparable tool.
Things like a 'potato masher' attachment kind of seem silly to me, but some people rave about it. I think I'd still prefer this tool instead and it is easier to clean and there is something about mashing your own potatoes! Maybe for some other veggies?
Most applications don't need a lot of power, but at least get 200watts. 700w might be overkill... even 400w is kind of more than the plastic parts can handle. Being able to vary the speed even just a little is really helpful.
If you're going to use this all the time, it is worth investing in. If you're thinking its a seasonal deal, the basic units are just fine. Betsy and I had the $50 set for years and it worked great. The plastic eventually wore out and the whisk tines got broken, so we've since upgraded.
This is a nice entry level unit. An earlier version was the one we started with. At 200W it is fine for basic tasks, even small soap making. The food chopper works nice for small things, but isn’t a replacement for a food processor. We use it for making pesto, chopping nuts or garlic... it surprisingly even works to make pate'.
The whisk works great and is better for aioli than a stand mixer.
The included cup is surprisingly useful making smoothies.
The first amazon button includes all the attachments and the second only includes the whisk and blender.
Breville - Control Group
This is a more expensive unit, but has some nice features like: more variable speed, better grip and better blending via a unique design. The 280W motor is nice to have for larger jobs.
This includes a basic chopping processing like the Cuisinart. It also includes a whisk and mixing cup.
Breville - All in One
This is a the same motor as the item above, but it includes a legitimate medium sized food processor that seems easier to use than a normal kitchen-aid. If you don’t have a food processor or want a good, but smaller one, this is the unit to get.
This also includes a less than essential potato/veggie masher and the all essential whisk. As you can see in the video below, everything fits together nice for compact storage and easy use. Great for a small kitchen.
What models have worked for you? Do you have any tips for other people reading this?
What recipes that use immersion blenders are favorites in your home?
Let us know in the comments below!