A reliable blender is a staple of any kitchen, whether you’re whisking up fruity smoothies, hearty soups or a batch of well-earned daiquiris. The kitchen blender’s raison d’etre is to pulverise your chosen ingredients to a smooth, creamy texture for supping at your leisure. But what kind of blender you choose depends on what kind of ingredients you’ll be whizzing up.
How do kitchen blenders work?
All kitchen blenders follow the fundamental design of a spinning blade which rapidly slices through any food in its path to turn it into liquid. This was the premise of the first ever blender patented by Stephen Poplawski in 1922. Over the last century, models have evolved as blended foodstuffs like hummus and fresh juices have risen in popularity.
What features should I look for in a blender?
Some blenders have multi-pronged blades or specific speed for different dishes while the recent trend for iced coffee has led to a boom in ice-crushing features. Bullet-style models – where the blender’s container doubles as a drinking mug are ideal for on-the-go smoothies – while stick blenders (sometimes called immersion blenders) remain the top picks for chunkier blends such as pesto or guacamole.
Read our guide on how to make your own pesto.
There are a number of combination blenders on the market which offer functions such as coffee grinding and puree options which are useful for buyers with limited kitchen space. Busy lifestyles have also prompted the development of portable blenders which are lightweight and easily recharged via a USB port.
Whether you’re chopping, pureeing, liquifying or pulverising, there’s an ideal blender for you to whip up a storm.
How powerful should a blender be?
Kitchen blenders use a small electric motor and the power is measured in watts, so the higher the wattage, the more powerful the motor. Stick blenders usually start at around 200 watts which is fine for pureeing cooked vegetables or frothing up batter. Countertop blenders tend to start at around 500 watts which is perfect for whizzing up soup and milkshakes. For a completely liquid blend and frozen drink, a wattage of over 700 is recommended.
How do you clean a blender?
The best way to clean your blender is to pour some warm water and a small amount of detergent into the container, replace the lid and then switch it on for 20-30 seconds to loosen any debris. Next remove the container from the motor base, pour the water away and rinse thoroughly. Never put your hand into the blender while it is still connected to the motor base.
For stick blenders, simply immerse in warm soapy water and run for a few seconds, before disconnecting and rinsing. The motor base should never be immersed and can simply be wiped clean. Some components of your blender may be dishwasher safe, but you should always consult your product manual before putting anything in the dishwasher.