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All About Blenders

Want to mix up healthy, refreshing smoothies? How about perfectly creamy sauces and dough? Turn to the mighty blender, one of the most versatile and underrated kitchen tools around.


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When you think of kitchen blenders, you probably think of your standard base-and-bucket model. But, like many kitchen appliances, blenders come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and special functions.

Here are three of our favorites:

Immersion Blenders

Handheld convenience that’s easy to clean … now that’s a splendid blender!
  • What is an Immersion Blender? Unlike traditional blenders, the immersion blender is a simple, wand-shaped device you can submerge in any bowl, pot, or other container.
  • Benefits Have limited kitchen space? This slender, hand-held blender doesn’t take up precious cupboard or countertop real estate. Best of all, it’s easy to maneuver—you’ll never have to transfer hot or messy liquids to a blender or food processor for mixing again
  • Using an Immersion Blender: To blend ingredients, simply “immerse” wand in any open container. Puree stewing veggies into creamy sauces and soups right on the stove! Or mix cold drinks, cocktails, and soups in the summer.

Smoothie Maker

The favorite kitchen sidekick of health fanatics and bartenders alike!
  • What is a Smoothie Maker? As the name suggests, smoothie makers (a.k.a. smoothie blenders), are kitchen appliances specially designed for making smoothies. In terms of look and feel, they’re pretty similar to traditional kitchen blenders. However, they often have a higher wattage, and other design features that make for easy blending and serving.
  • Benefits Smoothie makers often feature special extras like spouts at the bottom of the blending container. Many also have markings along the side of the container for easy, accurate measuring. If you make smoothies regularly, these little extras can help you cut down on preparation, serving, and cleaning time.
  • Using a Smoothie Maker: Each model is different. Make sure you read package directions before you get started.

Pastry Blender

For flaky biscuits and perfect pie crusts, rely on the handy, dandy pastry blender!
  • What is a Pastry Blender? A pastry blender is a handled U-shaped utensil made up of wires or thin metal blades. It’s used to “cut” fat—shortening, butter, or margarine—into small bits and evenly distribute it throughout your dough. When dough is baked, those small bits of fat melt, resulting in flaky, tender crusts and pastries.
  • Benefits: Cutting fat using a fork or spoon can be time-consuming. And using your hands is a big no-no because your body heat melts the bits, preventing them from being spread equally through the mixture. If you’re a big-time pie-maker, consider buying a pastry blender. It will quickly, evenly break down and mix fat into dough nicely.
  • Using a Pastry Blender To cut your dough, simply press the pastry blender into the bowl until shortening, butter, or margarine is consistently broken down into bits and thoroughly mixed into dough.

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