Some people might think that a blender is not an essential for the kitchen, but many people still use this appliance at least a few times per week. A kitchen blender can really make your food preparation go more quickly and save you precious time in your kitchen. After you begin to use your blender, you will probably find that you reach for it more than you thought you would.
When you start to really think about buying a blender, you need to think about what you will need to do with it. Blenders today have many different features and functions that you will need to consider, which we detail below.
There are many blenders available – from ones with very basic features to those that can deal with hard foods or even cook soup. The most common type is the jar blender, and you can find many types with many features, prices and capacities. The prices will usually vary based upon how strong the motor is, how many functions it has and the design of the blade. If you get a multifunction blender, it will be more expensive.
A hand blender usually has basic pureeing, blending and mixing features. Most of these types are electric, but you can find some that are cordless.
What do you want to do with your new blender. If you are going to have a lot of parties and make drinks, you want to select one with a minimum of 500 watts of power, and a blade that is designed for crushing ice. Blenders that can crush ice are out there in both full size models with a lot of power, or in smaller blenders with less power.
If you are going to do a great deal of grinding and chopping, you will want one with a chopping blade and several processing functions. Otherwise, you should be happy with a standard blender that can handle regular tasks: pureeing, blending, stirring and mixing.
Jar Blender Features
Blenders come in many sizes, so you need to buy one based upon how big your needs are. Jars can be bought either in plastic or glass. More expensive models are glass, and budget models are plastic. A personal blender will usually have a cup that is plastic. As far as the spout design, you will want to choose a curved spout to get the best pouring. If the jar has a flat design, pouring is going to be more messy. You will see some blenders that do not have a spout and you have to do the pouring from a corner. This can be hard to do without drips.
A stainless steel blade will give you more durability and better ice crushing.
Features of Hand Blenders
The hand blender is totally different from a jar blender. You can use one of these to mix, puree and blend right in a bowl or a pot. The blade is smaller so it is easier to blend with smaller amounts of food and liquid. Also, a hand blender is small and compact. You can just put it in a drawer when you are finished with it. These nifty products are great for pureeing foods that are cooked, creaming a soup, or blending a single drink in a glass. You also can find some hand models that will let you crush ice and also do some chopping.
Remember: When it comes to prices, the more functions (not speeds) the blender has, the more you are going to pay. You want to be sure you know what you are using it for, so you do not pay more for your blender than you should.
Lauren Hill is a freelance writer, wife and mother who has little time to spend in the kitchen. She greatly enjoys writing on cooking topics for the average person. She is a contributing author for Hamilton Beach, a kitchen appliance company offering a wide selection of blenders, toasters, slow cookers and breadmakers.
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