We own a food processor, a free standing mixer, a hand-held beater, and an upright blender.
I even used to have a an old hand-crank egg beater and I remember turning this beater to make whipped cream at Thanksgiving at my grandma's house. She gave the job to us kids because it took A LOT of hand cranking to get cream whipped to into peaks!
The immersion blender was created by a Swiss inventor, Roger Perrinjaquet, who patented it in 1950. It was first used by professional chefs in Europe and was then discovered by chefs worldwide. A home version arrived in the U.S. in the 1980s.
Chefs could easily blend sauces and soups in the pot, without having to transfer the hot contents to an upright blender. Do we really need another special-use kitchen appliance? YES, if it makes life easier!
You can use it to blend just about anything in a pot or bowl. It’s a multi-tasker that’s good for smaller tasks and easy to transport.
You can buy one for under $30, or chose a deluxe model with wire whisk and chopper attachments. The deluxe models typically have twice the motor power and more speed options.
The immersion blender can also take the place of a food processor, upright blender or handheld beater for many tasks. In alphabetical order, they are:
Custard. Unless you want the upper arm exercise, for anything that needs to be constantly whisked, the IB with whisk attachment is much easier to hold.
Chopping. For smaller tasks that don’t require a large food processor bowl—such as chopped nuts—use the chopping attachment.
Drinks. If you’re just making one portion, there’s no need to use and wash a large blender pitcher. Place the IB in a large glass to make malted milk, milkshakes and smoothies.
Eggs. Beating eggs is easier—less splatter, less to clean—than with the hand mixer.
Gravy. It’s easy to get rid of those lumps!
Purées. If you have a stronger motor, the IB can turn out puréed peas and other veggies—even mashed potatoes.
Soups and Sauces. Instead of laboriously transferring hot soups or sauces to a food processor or a blender, stick the IB right into the pot and whir away.
Whipped Cream. Use the whisk attachment. It’s so easy and spatters less.
IMMERSION BLENDER OPTIONS
While there are numerous products on the market, here are two representing the basic and deluxe models:
Basic: Waring Pro SB10 Professional Immersion Blender, $29.95.
Deluxe: KitchenAid KHB300 Hand Blender with attachments, $87.90.
Did you know ... The first egg beater was patented in 1870, by Turner Williams of Providence, Rhode Island, who improved upon an earlier design. The first electric mixer was invented by Herbert Johnston in 1908. It was sold by the KitchenAid division of the Hobart Manufacturing Company.