Hand blender FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
The first two obvious questions… just click the link to take you to the articles that answer these.
How powerful should the motor be ?
100 – 800watts is the norm, and the general consensus is that 200 or 300watts minimum is best. However, more wattage doesn’t actually directly mean you have a better blender. What matters most is how the power is delivered. So it’s the technology used in the motor, and how the speeds are used, that give you the best results… the smoothest blending techniques. The Bamix Mono (only on Amazon UK), is a classic example of this with its quiet and efficient 160W motor that reaches speeds of up to 16000rpm!
How many speeds should my blender have?
At least two! You need a slow speed for light things and a fast one for heavier mixtures. A quick blitz button is nice to have too. The more you want to do with your blender, the more speeds you will probably need. Some go mad with over 10 speeds and this does feel like overkill. Personally we like a variable speed dial and a turbo boost button.
Does cordless really mean less power?
Well, yes… it’s always the story that electric tools are more powerful than battery operated ones. However a higher quality cordless stick blender such as the Kitchenaid is better than an awful lot of electric stick blenders! Of all the cordless models it has the longest battery life of any on the market ( 3 hours ) , but thats something you have to pay for too!
How much should I spend on a hand blender?
A basic stick blender and a lot of 3 in 1 sets (stick, jug and chopper or whisk) are even better value than buying a toaster in our opinion. This will be enough to get you blending simple soups, smoothies (without ice), and baby foods. After that it gets interesting. Spend a bit more and we’d say you get the main good quality home blender sets with mashers, choppers etc. You pay the most for the highest quality, style, and more attachments (graters, slicers, ice crushers etc), more power and maybe more efficiency. You will either get more bells and whistles ( if you want these), more power and speed, smarter, more durable and longer lasting models. The tip top of the price range goes of course to powerful purist models in the semi professional / commercial ranges.
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What attachments or accessories do I need?
The basic models usually come without accessories, as, let’s be honest, you are not paying for them. Sometimes you will get a jug with these, but you also can’t usually add accessories to these budget blenders. They just are what they are, simple and cheap. It’s also worth noting that some top of the range pro models come without extras too, but for an entirely different reason. They are so good at what they do that you don’t need many extras! The professional grade models tend to come with one leg and different blades to do most of the jobs. Handy sized beakers and bowls come with these, or can be bought separately. Some have shoots to load the food as you work.
In the middle ground, the home cook hand blenders usually offer extra attachments legs and ends such as a whisk, a chopper / grinder, a slicer/grater, or a mashers.
The essential attachments in our view is the chopper and whisk and jug. The main accessories (as opposed to attachments) are jugs and stands.
Does it matter what material my stick blender is made from?
Yes. Basically you have the choice of plastic or metal. Usually the cheaper the blender, the more it is made of plastic. So its better to have metal shaft, the plastic ones are more likely to eventually crack, chip or stain.
How should I clean my hand blender?
Usually its easy. Click here to see separate blog on how to clean a hand blender.
What is BPA and why is it important that my blender does not contain it?
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that is used mostly to make polycarbonate (PC) plastic. PC is a plastic that is often used in mouldings for food packaging such as drinks bottles.
It has an effect like the hormone estrogen, and this is why companies have stopped using it to make their plastics. There is a lot of controversy over this, and some legislation. You can be sure that as time goes on there will probably be controversy over the alternatives too!
My hand blender is discolouring, how can I get the marks off the plastic parts ?
Carrot, tomato juice and some spices can stain the plastic parts of any blender. If blender manufacturers used the kind of plastic that resists such staining then it would be too brittle to use. Feels like a catch 22! There is a simple solution though. If you rub it with a damp cloth dipped in oil (vegetable), this is usually the best way to remove any unwanted food colouring.
What is the pulse button for on some blenders ?
The pulse mode on hand blenders like the Braun MQ5 variable series is useful to chop delicate and soft food e.g. boiled eggs. The pulse allows for a more delicate cutting of the food ( e.g. with parsley). So it stops the blender from getting to the mashing stage too quickly ( e.g. you want your onions mashed – just chopped !)
For blending or processing, the pulse button can be used when baking and adding sugar or flour to dough so that you mix rather than blend and cream. Same goes for adding something wet ( e.g. whipped eggs or cream) to a solid food so as not to affect the creaminess any more than necessary.
For more general information about hand blenders see our main hand blender page.
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