Tools I Love: Immersion Stick Blender

This will be the first in a series of posts about the tools I love. I’d like to start with the Braun MQ505 Multiquick Hand Blender. Also referred to as an “immersion blender” or “stick blender”, is is one of the more recent additions to my kitchen toolbox. And one that makes me constantly shout “where have you been all my life?!”

I never really thought much of immersion blenders. They always seemed like one of those tools that wasn’t quite this or that. Not quite a mixer: so small with only one beater? My KitchenAid Stand Mixer laughs at you! Not quite a blender: why would I need that little thing? I already own a Blendtec and a food processor. Surely this would just be another tool that I purchase that only gets used a couple of times before it is pushed to the back of the deep cabinet next to the pannini press. (Yes, I did go to the kitchen to check to see what I had deep back there!) I’m happy to say that’s not the case. It has lots of great uses, many I’m still just discovering.

Because I was wary of its usefulness, I went with a model that has fewer bells and whistles than some. Mine has the blender and whisk attachments plus a tall plastic blending cup. Other models add choppers and other add-ons that you can use the motor handle with. I can’t speak about those since I don’t have them. My BF Trilo and I did look at lots of reviews for various manufacturers and models before we deciding on this model. There is a large number of them available, and lots of great articles comparing models. They are worth reading through if you’re trying to decide which might be best for you.

Small But Mighty Whip

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my big KitchenAid Stand Mixer. If there was one tool you’d have to pry out of my hands, it’s that one. I have had a long-held belief that when fitted with a whisk attachment it makes absolutely best whipped cream. Hands down. So imagine my amazement when I discovered that the stick blender, with it’s wimpy-looking whisk ran rings around it!

Previously my favorite tool for whipped cream

Let me back up a bit. There I was, late in the day, looking to make my simple Blood Orange Jell pic look a bit fancy. After turning it out on a plate, I thought: ‘that would be yummy with some fresh whipped cream’. I knew I had the remains of a carton of heavy cream after making the ganache for my Guinness Chocolate Cake, but there was maybe a half cup of cream leftover. Hardly worth pulling the big, heavy, KitchenAid mixer out from under the workbench. Then I remembered the stick blender. Up until now, I had only used it with the blender attachment (which is an amazing tool in itself) but I hadn’t tried the whisk. I thought to myself, at the very least it might take a while to work up a good froth, but lets give it a go. Gotta be faster than whipping by hand.

More useful than it looks!

Heavy cream in a big bowl, whisk attached to stick blender, here we go. BAM! Done. I mean, it was so friggin’ fast, I was shocked! Gave the bowl a scrape, and a touch more whisk just to make sure it was fully beaten. At that point I was afraid I was going to go right into over-whipping. I mean seriously. It was that fast. I am going to set up a side-by-side mixer vs stick battle one of these days. It will be fun to document that! Until then, I have a new whipped cream tool.

Powerhouse Immersion Blender

The business end of the blender attachment

The original reason that I bought the stick blender was to use it for mashing ingredients directly in the pot of my Instant Pot. I do have a Blendtec blender, but I really hate having to dirty other tools if I don’t have to. I wanted to be able to cook up apples and mash them directly into applesauce (a really fabulous use for the IP). Or cook butternut squash and make it into a creamy soup right in the same pot. This is the tool for doing that, amazingly well.

Mashing apples for applesauce couldn’t be easier

This is one tool that I can’t believe I didn’t have sooner. I would have to say this is a go-to gift idea for anyone setting up their first kitchen. Right behind the Instant Pot, of course! It is great if you have a small kitchen. It’s also great if you are a real foodie. There’s so much you can do with this tool!

I just had to try whipping up some aioli. I have seen this trick on the cooking shows I watch, but wanted to see it for myself. Within seconds the oil, garlic, and eggs emulsify into a super creamy, light and fluffy dressing. I need to use this for my balsamic salad dressing next time!

In just a few seconds you can emulsify oils into creamy dressings
Smoooooth

Lobster Bisque wanted a go … i could have made it more creamy by blitzing before adding the lobster meat. But it worked a charm. There’s a butternut squash waiting in the wings with “soup” written all over it.

Lobster Bisque gets a blitz
A wonderful creamy soup

Have fun! And let me know what fabulous things you whip up with it.

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