What You Need to Know When Buying a New Blender
Besides the majors like a refrigerator and oven, what small appliances are must-haves in your kitchen? For many people, a blender is a countertop staple. If you love to cook, a blender can serve many different purposes like crushing ice, mixing drinks, making purees, and chopping vegetables. It makes it a heck of a lot easier than doing all that by hand, that’s for sure.
If you’re looking to purchase a new blender – maybe you’re remodeling your kitchen, moving into a new home, or replacing that old one that’s no longer living – there are a ton of options to choose from. How do you pick the best? Here are some tips and things to consider when you’re buying a new blender so you can pick the one that’s right for you.
There are two main types of blenders: handheld or immersion blenders, and countertop blenders. The type you choose will depend on your blending needs. Here is a quick look at each:
Handheld or Immersion Blenders are long, thin blending sticks. There are blades at the end, and they work when you hold down the button at the top. Handheld blenders can be used in any container, and they’re very useful for mixing things right in the pot or glass they’re held in. They’re particularly good for mixing drinks like smoothies and powdered drinks. If you primarily need a blender for beverages, the handheld type would be good for you. Because they’re so small, they’re easy to store away in a cabinet or drawer and don’t take up much space in your kitchen.
Countertop Blenders are traditional blenders that can perform a variety of different functions, like mixing, chopping, pureeing, and crushing ice. They come in different sizes, but most blenders can hold somewhere between four and eight cups of ingredients. Some have 16 or more different settings, and some have much fewer. They can have glass, plastic, or stainless steel containers, but glass containers are preferred because they’re sturdier, easier to clean, and easy to see through. Countertop blenders come in many different styles, too, and some are made to be very attractive and to fit in with the overall design and style of your kitchen.
Blender power is measured in watts, and wattage typically ranges from 300 to 1,000 watts. The notion that more watts equals better performance isn’t necessarily true, especially for countertop blenders. Many lower-wattage blenders perform great and cost less. Mid- to high-range wattage on a handheld blender may be more useful.
Blenders also have a variety of features. The more features they have, the more expensive they are. If you want to keep the price down, consider which features you really need and which you can live without. Digital touchpad controls only offer the benefit of being easier to clean over buttons. A detachable blade and wide-mouthed container make it easier to clean, too. Look for a container with clear measurement markings on the side and a pulse setting. Oftentimes one of the best indications of a good blender is simply how well it can crush ice.
Katherine Brown is a kitchen maestro and home improvement fanatic who currently works with Drury Designs. She loves to blog about various projects and give advice to those who don’t know their way around a kitchen and its appliances.