Im splitting my time between two houses and needed a blender for home #2. I didnt want to buy another full-size one unless it was much higher quality and I wasnt ready to splurge on that. So I started looking into hand blenders. This Cuisinart one seemed perfect for my needs and Ive been happily using it for the past couple of months. In fact, Im sure its going to almost entirely replace my real blender once Im back home.
Recommend this product?
I ordered this model on sale on Amazon.com for about $30 with free shipping. Rather than your typical covered glass jar blender, this is a corded handheld appliance with one setting (on/off) that you immerse into the included dishwasher and microwave safe, 2-cup-capacity plastic mixing beaker or into any pot or saucepan to blend whatever you wish. Theres a small button on the bottom of the handle to detach the blade shaft, which is dishwasher safe and easy to clean with soap and water. The 200-watt Smart Stick can be used to make smoothies, sauces, soups, pureed vegetables, and dressings. The manual contains a few pages of recipes.
My main use of our blender at home is to make smoothies for my three-year-old. Its the only easy way to get her to eat fruits and vegetables. I thought about buying a juicer and a regular blender but couldnt justify the cost after I read glowing reviews of this product. Other than making smoothies, I also sometimes blend up cauliflower for fake mashed potatoes and very rarely use it to crush ice and make mixed drinks. I also thought this hand blender would make simple work of pureeing some vegetables into a soup.
So far the Smart Stick hand blender has served me well. Ive had it for about two months and have used it a few times every week. The motor sounds strong and its been very handy around the kitchen.
When I make smoothies I just throw things in the blender and hope for the best. Generally, the recipe consists of one cup of yogurt, a half cup to one cup of milk or juice, and whatever fruits I have available, roughly chopped. This hand blender has handled strawberries, avocados, pears, bananas, chilled mango, and more. The included clear beaker has milliliter markings on one side and ounce and cup markings on the opposite side. This makes it super easy to make enough smoothie for me and my daughter to enjoy. Because it only holds two cups worth, I half my usual smoothie recipe and use about a half cup of vanilla yogurt with a half cup of liquid. Since I usually end up making too much leftover smoothie and having it settle into weird clumps that turn off me and my daughter, the amount the beaker holds is just right. I do wish the beaker came with a cover for the times when there is some leftover or for when Im preparing a recipe and need my pureed mix to sit out while I turn to the next step.
The blade shaft detaches fairly easily. The button does require some effort but that seems more like a safety feature than a con. Its fairly easy to wash off the blade. It is covered with a hood, sort of speak, so you do need to get under it with a sponge or brush but its not difficult and the stainless steel material cleans up quickly. I used to dread pulling out our blender because, even when using a dishwasher, it had to be broken down and then I wouldnt have access to it again until after I did our daily load. When washing it by hand, the four blades were a bit intimidating. The double-sided blade here makes it pretty easy to get around and clean. There arent any weird crevices for anything to get stuck in. The hood does make it a little tricky, but not difficult.
Im not sure if this is standard with most hand blenders, but I like that the blade is not exposed. Its deep within the hood of the shaft so youre not going to scratch your counter if you lay this down or mutilate the blade if you knock it onto the floor. It also makes it more difficult for a child (or a clutzy mom) to hurt themselves. It does require that you keep most of the shaft submerged in whatever youre blending but thats not a problem. I havent had any splattering.
Since this hand blender breaks down into two relatively small pieces, it fits easily in my utensil drawer. I love that its so discrete. My regular blender has a glass jug and is very heavy and a pain to pull out from my cabinet. The motor of this hand blender does have some weight to it so it did take a little getting used to, but the brushed chrome handle is pretty comfortable, nothing silicone or rubberized or anything, but comfortable nonetheless.
I did worry that the 200 watts and the two blades wouldnt be powerful enough for me. But so far, its done well with what Ive thrown at it. It did take a little longer to evenly blend some avocado than I thought it would but nothing terribly disappointing. Its also left some pieces when I tried my hand at homemade cream of broccoli soup and a few chunks of strawberry when Ive made smoothies. So its far from perfect, but it does handle most of my jobs well. I havent tried ice cubes and the manual has a note about using already crushed ice cubes for better efficiency so I probably wont tackle that task. Theres no point in killing the motor over ice cubes when my fridge can crush them for me. If I had longer to shop for a hand blender or if I were to buy another one, I probably would look for one with at least a second speed. But, honestly, for my purposes, this inexpensive stainless steel and brushed chrome model works well.
I love this Smart Stick hand blender. Its easy to use, easy to store, easy to clean, and makes a mean smoothie! I wish the beaker had a cover and there was a second speed but for $30, I can shrug those two things off. This hand blender also comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
Amount Paid (US$): 30 approx.