Pros:Stainless immersion stick and blade, comfortable handle doesn't slip out of my hand
Cons:Makes great purees but lumps can remain if you're not thorough
The Bottom Line: Works well blending cooked soups, gravies and purees right in the pot (off the heat, of course). Saves time and fewer dishes to wash.
I will freely admit to the world ~ I'm a gadget girl. Some chefs boast that they suffice with a bare minimum of tools for all their cooking tasks. Well, I'm a sucker for all types of single purpose, specialty tools which perform their duty precisely and efficiently. My KitchenAid Handheld Blender is one such tool. I have used immersion blenders for years, but when I received this as a gift a few years ago, I found it functions well with a minimum of fuss, and I decided "it's a keeper"!
Recommend this product?
An immersion blender satisfies a unique purpose in the kitchen ~ it allows you to blend soups, sauces and other mixtures directly in the pot you've cooked them in, rather than removing the food to a countertop blender. In my experience, this is one kitchen tool I'd have a hard time living without, especially because I cook a lot of bean soups for quick weeknight suppers. The KitchenAid KHB100 is an attractive, ergonomically designed tool. Mine is a bright "empire red" color, which means it's easy to find nestled among my other small appliances.
Its "comfort grip" handle seems designed to fit snugly in my small to medium size hands. There's an indented area where my hand wraps around the handle, and my fingers easily cover the rubberized power button. I like the flexible control button because it depresses easily and is responsive to my touch. As soon as you lift your fingers off the button, the motor stops instantly, giving you good control while blending. The blender has never slipped from my hand during use, unlike other handheld appliances.
You can vary the blending speed from 1-9 by rotating the dial at the top of the blender stick. With very hot mixtures you might want to start at a lower speed so the liquids don't splatter up and burn you. I always remove a pot from the heat before blending anything inside, but occasionally I've dealt with some uncomfortable splash-back from recently boiled liquids. I tend to keep my blender on speed 9 because it does the best job of completely liquifying ingredients in soups and sauces. I wouldn't use my KitchenAid handheld blender to puree a leek soup, for example, because it doesn't do as well with fibrous veggies as I'd like. However, it makes divinely smooth and velvety bean soups from simple canned beans, chicken stock and salsa. Occasionally, a few lumps may remain in the pot if you aren't vigilant about moving the blender around.
The stainless steel blending attachment seems designed to hold up to frequent use. The bottom of this 8" long attachment is curved out like a bell and serves to minimize splattering during blending. I have found it shields well, but not perfectly, so always be cautious with hot mixtures. I hold my stick blender at arms' length to minimize any dangerous splashing. The rotating blade is firmly attached to the blender and seems sturdy ~ so far it hasn't bent since I've owned it.
Clean-Up ~ This blender is unique among others I have owned in that you can separate the blending attachment from the plastic handle which houses the motor. Kitchenaid attests to the stick attachment being dishwasher safe, but I must say I usually hand-wash it. The parts easily disassemble and reassemble by pushing the rubberized grips at the handle base. The KitchenAid stick blender has only one part to wash, unlike the container, removable gasket, screw top and blade on a countertop model.
This KitchenAid appliance has a 5' long power cord for those without lots of electrical sockets in their kitchen. Ultimately, the features I love the most about my Kitchenaid Handheld Blender are its simplicity (not a lot of bells and whistles on this appliance) and durability ~ the stainless blending attachment has held up way past the 1 year warranty period.
Dishes I've pureed with the KitchenAid Stick Blender ~ Black Bean Soup, Lentil Soup, Hummous, Date Haroset, Peach Jam, Pureed Veggies, Sauces (like for beef bourguignon), Gravy.
I haven't used the KitchenAid Handheld Blender much for ~ Smoothies. I prefer using the countertop blender for this because it crushes ice and frozen fruit better. A 4-cup container is included for blending drinks, though, if you wish to use it for powdered-type smoothies and protein drinks.
Thanks for Reading ~ Happy Blending :o)
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