The time we spend cooking in the kitchen takes a good chunk of our day and we don’t even realise it for the most part. We cut, crush, chop, grind, and a whole lot of things to get all the ingredients in place for the final dish. Thankfully, the advancement in technology has made cooking so much easier. There is a whole universe of kitchen appliances that make our tasks much simpler and effortless.
Go to any kitchen and you will find a whole array of electronic appliances that cut down on the overall effort by a huge margin. There’s the microwave oven, dishwasher, electric cooker, rice cooker, toaster, juicer, coffeemaker, chapatti maker and many other appliances that we use in one form or the other. Some of these items have been in the market for many decades now while some are relatively new.
A relatively new entrant, the hand blender is arguably one of the most underutilised appliances in the Indian kitchen. Ever heard of it? Well, it’s of no surprise considering most Indian households are still very traditional and many still prefer doing a certain type of work manually despite the availability of suitable devices. So, without further ado, we will take a scenic route and narrate the story about the humble and handy Hand Blenders.
What Is A Hand Blender And How Does It Work?
Also known as Immersion Blender, Hand Blenders are multi-purpose machines that can be used to blend, puree and mix. You can mix eggs, dosa/pakoda batters, soups, sauces, shakes and various liquid-based food items so that it gets a super even and creamy texture.
Unlike the regular mixer grinders which are usually heavy and large, these devices can be held by hand and used which makes it a lot more convenient. The motor is housed in the upper section of the blender while its moving parts are in the lower end of the device. For the uninitiated, it’s essentially a stick with blades at the end of it. Sounds like a very convenient device and yet these nifty little things find little presence in Indian households. What gives..!
Unlike the regular blender which has a glass/metal container for the food item, a hand blender does not require a separate container for the food item. All you need to do is immerse the tip with the blades inside the food and mix it as per your preference. These devices come with different speed settings which can be used depending on the food item you are mixing/blending. Hand blenders as such cannot chop or crush hard food items as regular blenders do. It is intended to be used only in liquid-based food items. But nowadays, you get many accessories like potato masher, chopper and whisker, which makes it a much more versatile appliance.
Hand Blender Vs Hand Mixer
First things first, hand blenders and hand mixers are different despite similarities in their names and appearances. They are used in different types of cooking which will get clearer as you read this article.
The table below clearly explains the purpose and general features of both appliances. Going forward, our readers will never have to go through the hassle of mistaking one for the other.
|Hand Blender||Hand Mixer|
|Used to mix liquid-based items like smoothies, sauce, batters etc.||Commonly used for baking. Ideal for whipping cream, mixing cake batter and making dough|
|Generally comes with a single fitting where the blade is fixed||Comes with two beaters which mix the batter effectively|
|The blades are sharp and liquefy any solid food item that comes in contact with it.||The blades are dull and are meant to mix and whisk the batter.|
|Higher power consumption since it is used only to liquefy solid food items.||Used to mix dough and batters- So requires less power as a result.|
|Hand blenders need to be moved around a lot since their blades are small.||The surface area covered by the two beaters is comparatively large. Even so, you may have to move it around a little bit.|
Hand Blender Vs Mixer Grinder
They are essentially the same things but with different capacities in terms of performance. Think of the hand blender as the small and lean cousin of the bigger, stronger and bulkier mixer grinder. The biggest advantage of a hand blender over a mixer grinder is that you can puree and mash hot ingredients using a hand blender, whereas, with a mixer grinder, you have to wait to cool it down. Also, with mixer grinders, you end up having to wash extra jars, while hand blenders can work on the same pot you are cooking the food in.
Mentioned below is the list of differences between these two appliances.
|Hand Blender||Mixer Grinder|
|It can process any food as long as it flows through the blade i.e. smoothies, cream, batter, sauce, etc.||Used to process wet and dry, hard food items.|
|It cannot cut or chop solid food items unless you buy specific attachments for the same.||Its motor can cut, grind, and chop through almost any food item as long as you can fit it into the container.|
|Can blend hot ingredients||Have to wait to cool down hot ingredients before blending.|
|Ideal for wet ingredients.||Suitable for wet and dry ingredients.|
|Cheaper and cost-effective option.||Need to spend a bit if you want a better quality appliance.|
|Lower power consumption.||Needs more power to operate.|
A mixer grinder is a must-have in any Indian kitchen, whereas a hand blender is good to have. They are all about convenience and efficiency.
Related reading: Mixer Grinders Vs Food Processors
Uses Of Hand Blender
Hand blenders come with different blades which help in the preparation of different types of food items. As mentioned earlier, this device is mostly used for making sauce, puree, smoothies, shakes and batters. Here are some of the things it can do which makes it a handy kitchen appliance.
- Making Puree out of vegetables. If you are making a sauce, curry or chutney, hand blenders can help you in mixing the ingredients much faster and efficiently. You can also make salad dressings using the device.
- Preparing baby food. You can mash the food or make a puree to make baby food. All you need to do is use the hand blender to mix the food items as per your liking.
- Prepare batters. If you like instant dosas, pakodas or pancakes, a hand blender is a must in your kitchen. It will mix all the ingredients properly to create a smooth, creamy batter.
- Shakes/Smoothies. If you love freshly made juice, a hand blender is a must for you. Just throw the fruits in a container and run the hand blender over it. Et voila, your juice is ready in a minute!
- Other food items. You can also make chutneys, beat an egg or chop finely cut onion and garlic to your liking.
Hand blenders may not have heavy-duty capability. However, it can be a very handy tool that makes up for its shortcomings with its versatility and ease of use unlike its bigger and powerful counterpart, the mixer grinder.
Pros And Cons Of Hand Blender
Here is a quick list of the benefits and shortcomings of a hand blender. Based on this checklist, readers can decide if they should go for a hand blender or not.
|Lightweight and portable||The motor is not powerful|
|Easy to maintain since its moving parts can be removed easily.||Susceptible to damage|
|It is economical||Chances of spilling|
|It can be used to mix/blend a wide variety of food items.||Cannot blend harder food items|
|It can be used to blend hot soups which cannot be done in a mixer grinder||Can blend only a limited amount of food at a time|
|It comes with different kinds of accessories based on the food items to intent to blend.||Need to be used carefully as moving parts are exposed.|
Bottom line – your needs will determine which devices work best for you. Each appliance has its role to play in different capacities.
There are a few things to consider while you are making the purchase. This will help ensure you get the right device for the task.
- Frequency of use. If you plan to use the appliance frequently, it is better to opt for a more powerful and durable device even if it costs more.
- Type of blending. If you plan to blend softer foods, like soups, sauce, and spreads, any regular hand blender will do the job for you. If it involves crushing or grinding solid food items, it is better to get a hand blender with more power under the hood.
- Accessories. If you are looking to blend different kinds of food items with a variety of ingredients, it is advisable to get a hand blender with multiple attachments. Accessories like whisks, potato masher, chopper etc are available with some models.
Now that our readers are fully equipped with the know-how of a hand blender, we can conclude our article on hand blenders here and now. HAPPY BLENDING!!