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Which immersion blender to buy?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
My wife wants to buy an immersion blender "Right away". I told her to wait a sec, I'll ask the good people on Chef Talk which one I should be getting. Any recommendations? She wants to make soups, I want to use it to mix sauces.
post #2 of 28
For home I have had two. One that was a gift from WS in the $200 range that I didn't keep very long. The other is a Braun that I paid $20 for at Costco with a coupon. The Braun runs circles around the WS unit and has served me well for about three years.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #3 of 28
A lot really depends on how often you'll be using it, and how thick the medium.

You can spend $2-300 on a boat motor, and it will last two days longer than forever. Or you can spend a tenth of that on consumer models. Problem is, there doesn't seem to be a middle ground.

I've tried all sorts of makes and models at the consumer level, including GE, Braun, another European make whose name escapes me, even a Food Network brand, and several others. Every one of them goes down relatively quickly, or has operating quirks. And they all come with accessories that, IMO, are unnecessary, such as "mixing bowls", and clips for hanging the thing on a wall, etc. At least one of them even has an extra head that supposedly let's you use it as an upside-down operating mini-food processor. What a joke that is!

In my experience, most of them bog down if a thick puree is the goal. You're better off, in those cases, using a stand blender or food processor.

So, my first recommendation is that you and your bride actually handle the various choices in the store before buying. Make sure it's relatively comfortable in your hand, that the operating switches are conveniently located (note the plural use of switch---with modern consumer models you cannot just turn it on. You have to hold both the on/off switch and the speed controller simultaneously). Check the clearance between the blade housing and the height of the blade---most of them actually don't have enough room.

Even after all that, resign yourself to the fact that you'll be replacing it every year or two. But, even so, it's less expensive than an industrial unit.

On the other hand, if you're going to use it quite often, that it might pay to invest in a professional grade unit.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 28
Duckfat, do you have the model of the Braun unit? The Braun I had was the next best thing to useless, and actually broke apart in less than six months.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 28
No model #. It just says "300 watts". It has worked well for me so far. If you are looking for the middle ground KYH you might want to look at the Dynamic mini blender. JB Prince carries them. I have been ordering from Prince for a good 15 years so they are a very reliable company.
Any of the consumer stick blenders are weak compared to the commercial units.

Dynamic Mini Blender
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. OK so I'm not ready to fork out $200+ or even $100+ on something I'll barely be using. Mainly soups (so almost overcooked potatoes, leeks, carrots...) or sauces (for example after braising a pork shoulder in half and half, to emulsify the cream sauce).

I'll take the risk and get one of the cheap $30-$50 units since I'm not going to use this so often.

Anything wrong with Cuisinart or Kitchen Aid?

PS: unfortunately, having a small toddler and two jobs means the luxury of actually going to a store to handle the different models is out of the question: we'll have to make an online "blind" purchase. Using Cheftalk's Amazon link OF COURSE! :thumb:
post #7 of 28
I'm not a big fan of America's Test Kitchen but I just picked up one of their cook books with the past several seasons in it. In the back they have their equipment picks and they suggest the KA stick blender. Take it FWIW as I have zero experience with that product.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Alright, good to hear, that's a nudge toward that model. Thanks!
post #9 of 28
Like a lot of "Made in China or Somewhere Else Even Cheaper," the lower priced stick blenders are all pretty much of a piece. Name brands don't mean as much as they used to in a world of off-shore sub-contracting and off-shore assembly. However, the phrase "you get what you pay for," still has some validity.

So, for under $50 it's kind of a crap-shoot. But considering how often most of us (don't) use a stick blender, the two or three years you get out of it, may be just what the doctor ordered.

At around $100 things open up a little. There are a few domestic style blenders which come with attachments, mini-preps and so on; and a few pro/home machines that are better made but have virtually no features. In the second group the Waring Commercial Quik Stik (under $100, $65 on ebay) and 10" (under $200, $150 on ebay) are stand outs; as is the Bamix.

BDL
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Great! Thanks a lot BDL. That one on eBay is refurbished, but I found a new one for $70 including shipping so I may go for that.
post #11 of 28
have you bought an immersion blender yet? i would suggest that you look at Rainbow Appliance Coupons. you can find every kitchen supply that you need here. plus, you can avail for their coupons and discounts... absolutely cheap!
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
I ordered the Waring! Thanks again BDL.
post #13 of 28
Yo, dude!

BDL
post #14 of 28
Several years ago I bought the Bamix commercial wand blender. 2 speeds and it is awesome. Wouldn't have any other.

doc
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Been using the Waring yesterday to blend a soup. Very quick, powerful, easy to use, easy to clean, looks robust. Thanks BDL! Good advice.
post #16 of 28
Could you tell me the model number on the one you ordered? Any chance it's WSB33?
Sono pazzo della cucina!
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Sono pazzo della cucina!
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post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
That's the one. I bought from this place: Waring Immersion Blender Hand Held Stick Blender WSB33

First time ordering from them. Quick delivery, no problem.
post #18 of 28
Awesome, thanks for the information!
Sono pazzo della cucina!
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Sono pazzo della cucina!
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post #19 of 28
I had the KA and though it appeared to be constructed well the thing broke one day while pureeing some roasted garlic soup. Busted right where the attachment attaches to the shaft. With that said we used to use one at the restaurant all the time before purchasing a Robot Coupe version and it worked fine.

The Cuisinart has a plastic shaft covering the bottom attachment and if I remember correctly it doesn't come apart. This makes it difficult to clean...and more likely to break.

We used to have a Braun at the restaurant...and we must have lucked out too because that thing was virtually indestructible!
post #20 of 28
I have the Cuisinart. Went through 1 already when it busted trying to process a horseradish root with the little food-pro attachment.

It works ok, but next time this one breaks, I'll get a waring I think.
post #21 of 28
Mine comes apart, but there inlies the problem....the coupling gear is pretty shotty plastic...and sheers really easy.
post #22 of 28
My Cuisinart immersion blender died yesterday...the rechargeable battery will no longer hold a charge. It worked pretty well overall, but one thing I disliked was that the "on" button was on the top of the wand, where I had to continuously press it with my thumb. This was awkward and uncomfortable for me.

Does the Waring have the same configuration? I can't tell from the pictures. I don't want another blender with thumb controls.

Otherwise, I think I'll order the Bamix from Williams-Sonoma, unless someone has a better suggestion. I use it mostly for pureeing soups and tomato sauce in a Staub Dutch oven.
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
KCZ, if you click on the link I posted, then click on the image to make it larger, you'll see the switch. It's not at the top, but on the front of the motor unit. It says "Hi - Low" for two possible speeds.
post #24 of 28
http://www.everythingkitchens.com/ma...WSB33.pdf?r=38

This is just a variation on the link French Fries posted. In any case, it's a big picture.

BDL
post #25 of 28
Thanks for the quick reply. I don't know why I couldn't observe that before. :confused: The stores here only carry Cuisinart, KA's, and a Food Network blender. I'm trying to guess by looking at website pictures which models might actually be easy to hold.
post #26 of 28
i've had my KA immersion for like 3 years now. probably break tommorow now, but it's been great. I just try to be aware its not a stainless steel coupling as in a pro model. so i don't stir with it at the beginning of a blend i wait till things are broken up a bit.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #27 of 28
I ended up ordering a Bamix...figured the longer shaft would let me keep the plastic housing out of the pot. Anxiously awaiting its arrival.
post #28 of 28
Mine is a k'Aid.

Ordered the chopper attachment to go with it. It alread came with the beaker and wire whip attachment. ;)
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~Shermie.
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I'm a Supreme fan of Bentley Green & Aaron McCargo Jr.!


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