| Blenders come
in all shapes and sizes, standard, handheld, and blender attachments for
stand mixers. Determine what you will use the blender for and then you can
then decide which model is best for you. For instance, if you plan on making
slushies or frozen drinks-go for a blender with the power to crush ice.
If you are planning on making milk shakes and an occasional marinade, a
standard blender will work for you. Immersion or wand-type mixers are great
for blending powder-based drinks and puréeing vegetables on the stove.
Blenders are typically an appliance kept on the counter-so you won't want something that doesn't match your kitchen or style. They come in a variety of colors, styles, and power ranges.
As with most appliances, the more you spend the more features you expect. For a blender that means touch pad controls, special designs or colors, more power, and speed. Specialty models, like the blenders made to look like "old fashioned" shake makers will also cost more than a standard blender.
The three basic types of blenders are counter top, handheld or immersion,
and multifunction blenders. Abt also carries an attachment for Viking
stand mixers that turns your stand mixer into a blender.
Counter top blenders mix, purée, chop, and even crush ice. Standard counter top blenders are made of glass, plastic, or stainless steel. Typically they hold between five and eight cups and have between three and 16 speeds.
Glass containers have a few benefits like being heavier and more stable, easier to clean, and since they are see-through, it's easier to keep tabs on the blending. Plastic models also have the added benefit of being see-through.
Stainless steel blenders may match your kitchen décor but you won't have the ease of use a glass or plastic model would have.
Handheld/Immersion Blenders are wand-like. They look nothing like a standard counter top blender. To use this type of blender, simply insert the blade end into the liquid or solid you want to emulsify and away you go.
This type of blender is great for many tasks in the kitchen, but it won't replace a blender or hand mixer. Use this blender if you are trying to make soups, blend powered drink mixes, and make milk shakes.
Multi-Function Blenders are a hybrid. They combine a food processor
and counter-top blender. This type of machine is ideal in kitchens where
both blending and food processing are regular occurrences. This blender
would also be well-suited in kitchens that are tight on space.
A high wattage doesn't always equal a higher powered blender. The typical wattage range for blenders is between 300 and 500 watts. Pay attention to wattage when looking for a handheld/immersion blender. You should look for the highest wattage immersion blender possible.
Liking the controls on your blender is important. If you aren't happy with the size or shape-it will make using your blender less pleasant. Plus, if the writing is too small, you might not be able to tell what button you are pressing.
Do you need multiple speeds? Some blenders have a limited variety of speed settings and some have up to 16.
The pulse setting can be important also. If you are not sure how long you need to blend, hold down the pulse button, as soon as you let go the blending will cease. This ensures that you will not over blend.
Will you want an attached or detachable blade? Detachable blades make cleaning easier. The detachable and attached blades are essentially equivalent other than that.