I want to buy an immersion blender. What brand do you recommend, and why? Thanks, pickle friends!
I love my trusty Braun.
Definitely the Cuisinart model--about $60. I got everyone in my family one--picked one up recently at Macys. Best find!
I have the KitchenAid - under $50, works fine, and has many attachment options.
I also have a braun and I have loved it for years!! Also- it came with a minichop attachment which is grate for quick chopping veggies in the morning to add to soups and salads I take for lunch (helps me get my 5/day) :) It also came with a whisk attachment. An all around great little appliance.
I think that I have the same Braun that iuzzini has, and I love it. Mine was cheap; I think I bought it at Walmart. I've used mine in hot liquids w/out a problem but I've read reviews where it's been rec that you buy stainless steel if you're going to use it in hot liquids.
I have a cuisinart and love it. Got a friend an Oster which also had a chopping attachment. There was about a 15 dollar difference, but the performance has been the same.
It is a wonderful tool.
I use mine for hot and cold pureed soups; my favorite chocolate frosting (the foolproof one from America's Test Kitchen that calls for a food processor); for smoothies, with chunks of frozen banana and frozen berries; salsa verde and pureeing peppers for other Mexican sauces; and to chop nuts and make oat flour.
I have a Cuisinart SmartStick that I use two or three times a week, more than my food processor or blender. Why I bought it:
It cost about $20 when I bought it several years ago.
It has no attachments because I did not want any. My previous stick blender cost more but didn't have enough power to run its various attachments; the whisk attachment was barely adequate to whip cream to the voluminous heights I like; the stick with the propeller end broke after the second milkshake.
The immersible part is stainless steel, so I don't have to fret over tomato stains, and it's dishwasher safe.
The motor is as exactly powerful as I need it to be. Any additional power would make the motor body top heavy.
The blending tip has a wide base, so if you need to answer the phone or chase a grandchild, it will stand straight in the bowl without tipping.
The power button must be held down to run motor. With my previous model, the speed was adjustable and set-able, as with a mixer. I like the one-handed operation much better.
It will blend as little as 1.5" of liquid without it splattering all over my shirt and the kitchen.
What I don't like about it: The long cord is nice, but it's a pain to wrap around the body for storage.
If I use the stainess stick in a plastic bowl or non-stick pan, I have to be careful not to scratch the sides--who wants chemical particles in their food?
The Cuisinart with attachments is an expensive piece of junk, and I'd never buy another Cuisinart product. The immersion blender is OK, just OK, but the control is clunky, and actually seems to be unsafe. You could quite unwittingly turn the thing on without being aware of it. I have heard Cuisinart's quality in general has tanked in the past few years, and based on this thing, I believe it.
I had a Braun Multi-Mix for many years that I adored. Unfortunately, they are not sold in the US any longer. I don't know about the quality of the Braun stand-alone immersion blenders, but based on the quality of the Multi-Mix, I'd give them a try.
I've given the KitchenAid stick blenders a couple of times as gifts, and have had no one complain about them. I also believe the get good ratings from the groups that rate appliances, better than the Cuisinarts. I'll replace my Cuisinart junk with a KitchenAid when it dies, and I can't wait for it to die.
For a higher test version, I've heard nothing but raves about the Bamix line, but they're pricey and can be hard to find.
Braun. I've had one for 20 years and it beats Cuisinarts which I also own and purchased because it was a good price (duh) and does not get used.
My problem with stick blenders is that power cord that's hanging around close to another burner some place. I did once own a battery powered Cuisinart model but it didn't have enough juice in it to be useful for anything.
I think what is important when it comes to stick blenders:
1. A powerful motor. 200w at least.
2. Detachable stick. keeps from getting the power head wet.
3. A metal stick and blender. For years all that was available was plastic and over time these would crack.
Who cares about attachments (not me)? I throw them out and just use the blender for one thing only.
Good advice ChefDaddy. My adventures with stick blenders have not been happy ones but maybe it's time to reconsider.
Thanks pierino! It's just one of those things for soups and sauces that once you've used one your hooked. At least I was. I stopped using on the cook top though and set the pot in my prep sink to keep the splashing to a min. and off my backsplash.
I have a Braun as well. I have had it for more than 15 years, still going strong, AND I bought it at a garage sale. It is such a wonderful piece of handy equipment.
I have a $30 Braun with a stainless blender end. Bought it in Cairo at least ten years ago and still going strong. If it cost me $30 in Cairo couldn't have been more than $20 in the US...
Another Braun, 200 watts, with attachments. I love the attachments, love the stick too. The attachment which is like a very mini food processor is perfect for small quantities of wet stuff or spice grinding; the whisk will whip cream (nothing heavy though); there's a soda fountain type tall glass (plastic, of course) that's perfect for smoothies... My first one was a worthless Toastmaster which never worked, still in my cupboard on the off chance that it someday reincarnate.
I had a Moulinex for more than 20 years. Loved it and used it right in the pot for soups and sauces. Good not to have to fuss with the blender and the inevitable spill of hot liquid. It was perfect for potato or butternut squash soup. And it made a quick tomato sauce from canned whole tomatoes nice and smooth. It finally died and I splurged on Bamix thinking that the cost per use ratio justifies it. So far I'm liking it a lot. Hoping it lasts even half as long as my trusty old Mouli did.
Mines a Cuisinart in orange. Works beautifully, plenty powerful, easy to clean and store.
You could always go nuts and get one of these:
Thanks, everyone. Looks like it's going to be either the Cuisinart or the Kitchen Aid--I can't find the Braun anywhere--it looks like they only make them in 220 watts. @pierino, I mostly want it for smoothies. And @FantasticMrFox: $700!! You're very funny. @ChefDaddy, thanks for the suggestion of moving the soup pot to the sink. And @RobertaJ, my daughter-in-law has the Cuisinart and did accidentally turn it on and cut her finger badly. This is a great forum--thank you all for your help.
(It might interest you to know that Cooks Illustrated recently tested them and chose a Kalorik with a plastic shaft. It looks pretty junky and the reviews at Amazon are very mixed--it either works great or it falls to pieces with minimal use.)
Here's a funny update: The day after my Cuisinart blender came from Amazon (and before we could even use it), I got a package in the mail from Viking. An immersion blender. No note or anything, but since in November I won the "your best non-pie Thanksgiving dessert" contest, I figure it must be my prize from Viking! My husband says it's awesome--it's 300 watts--50% more than the Cuisinart--and the blade is an interesting curved shape but not nearly as sharp (so I'm much less likely to cut myself while cleaning it--an added bonus). So back went the Cuisinart! Thank you to Amanda, Merrill and all the Food52 elves for such a fun prize!
I should have checked but didn't and posed this same question today. I bought a Bamix on sale from Williams-Sonoma--I had a gift card. I've had bad luck with these in the past, and have been using my blender or food processor. Just received it today, so I'll update both posts when I've done some testing with it.