The Absolute Best Immersion Blenders You Can Buy Right Now
One of the first kitchen-related gifts I ever received was an immersion blender. I don’t recall what brand it was, but it had a purple handle, so I loved it to no end. For years, it faithfully made soups, smoothies, and sauces.
A great immersion blender (also called a stick or hand blender) can do a lot of what a standard blender can: blend, purée, and emulsify. And while an immersion blender is not nearly as powerful as a blender-blender (I wouldn’t recommend making nut butters with one, for example), it does have some big benefits. For starters, an immersion blender is more compact than a blender and, therefore, easier to store and clean. It’s also useful when you have a small amount of something. And perhaps most importantly, an immersion blender can be used directly in a pot or pan, like when puréeing soup.
With soup season finally upon us, I wondered: What’s the best immersion blender? To find out, I put the most popular models — including Amazon bestsellers — to the test. Here’s what I learned, starting with a quick rundown of my favorites.
The Best Immersion Blenders
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I’m the Tools Editor at The Kitchn and a professional kitchen equipment tester. I previously worked at America’s Test Kitchen and my reviews on topics like stand mixers, induction burners, toaster ovens, and multicookers have been published in Cook’s Illustrated, Cook’s Country, and on the America’s Test Kitchen website. My work has also been featured on America’s Test Kitchen’s and Cook’s Country’s television programs.
What to Consider When Buying an Immersion Blender
How Well Does It Blend?
If an immersion blender doesn’t blend well, it’s not very useful, is it? To test the blenders’ blending abilities, I puréed carrot soup for 1 minute and 30 seconds before checking its consistency. I also made mayonnaise and blended a green smoothie consisting of fibrous kale, orange juice, and frozen pineapple. For the latter two tests, if the immersion blenders came with their own blending jars, I used those. If not, I employed a tall plastic measuring cup.
The best immersion blenders had multiple power settings and turned out silky-smooth soups (my favorite did so in just 40 seconds), emulsified mayonnaise, and easily blended a cohesive smoothie. The worst models produced soup that had large chunks of carrots and ginger, made mayonnaise that was an oily, separated mess, and produced smoothies with an inconsistent texture and larger bits of unblended kale.
When examining the more powerful immersion blenders and comparing them to the least effective blenders, I looked at their blending blades. While the blenders had a range of blade styles, the best models had longer blades — at least two inches long — that were positioned closer to the end of the attachment. And the most powerful blender had a unique two-blade design, whereas most of the other blenders had just one blade. The worst models, conversely, had shorter, recessed blades that made less contact with food, and were therefore unable to blend as effectively.
The recessed blades had another negative effect: When making mayo and a smoothie in a narrow canister, these blades pulled the ingredients upwards, creating a vortex that basically suctioned the blender to the bottom of the blending cup. This meant I was unable to move the blender up or down without extreme difficulty and, because of that, I couldn’t blend the mayo or smoothie sufficiently.
Some of the immersion blenders also came with whisk attachments (more on this below). To make sure all of these worked, I used each to whip 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream to stiff peaks. All of the immersion blenders in this test did a good job, producing whipped cream that was begging to be dolloped onto pie or a brownie.
How Easy Is It to Use and Clean?
Not all of the immersion blenders were a joy to use. In fact, some were downright frustrating. Let’s start with how easy it was to put on and take off the blender’s attachment. Some required you to push it in to attach and hold one or two buttons at the same time in order to detach it. With others, you just needed to twist the attachment clockwise to secure it and counter clockwise to release it. I much preferred the latter, as it was much less finicky. Some of the button-operated releases were sticky, hard to use, and required some serious finagling. Note: There are immersion blenders that don’t have detachable attachments, which, I suggest, you avoid; these are both harder to clean and store. There are also come cordless models out there, but I didn’t love any of the ones I tested. I love being cord-free, but not at the sacrifice of utility! All of the winners on this Best List had cords, but none of them got in the way.
Another big factor to consider: the controls. Some of the models had buttons that needed to be pressed forcefully down at all times in order for the blender to run. This caused my thumb to fatigue after a minute-plus of blending soup. I much preferred blenders that needed a lighter touch, but also had grippy, ergonomic handles that slightly curved inwards in the center, making them easier to hold. The winning blenders also had intuitive interfaces, making it easy to change their power settings. A couple of other factors that weren’t dealbreakers, but nice-to-haves? A blending cup, and a plastic (not metal) blade guard that made the immersion blender suitable for use with nonstick cookware.
It’s worth mentioning that, with immersion blenders, safety is an issue. Sharp blades! One of the models, by Braun, has a safety button, which you first have to unlock before being able to turn the hand blender on. If this added safety appeals to you, you’re in luck: It’s a fantastic immersion blender.
What Attachments Do You Want (or Need)?
I’ve already mentioned the blending bowl and whisk attachments, which are nice but not must-haves. I can only see a few instances where I’d use the whisk attachment (whipped cream, a particularly viscous sauce, etc.) over a standard balloon whisk. But, some models come with even more attachments, like a masher, a blade specifically for crushing ice, and a chopping bowl that comes with a blade and can be used like a mini food processor.
Whether or not you want these attachments depends on what you think you’ll be using the immersion blender for. If you live in a small space and are looking for more of an all-in-one gadget, I would opt for an immersion blender, like the ones from Breville or Braun, that comes with lots of attachments. This way, you can cut down on the “other stuff” you need in order to stock your kitchen. Although I do still recommend having a regular blender, too.
What We Look for in an Immersion Blender
I judged all of the immersion blenders on the following criteria, on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the worst and 5 being the best):
- Performance: How well did the immersion blender purée, blend, and emulsify?
- Ease of use: How easy was the immersion blender to use?
- Cleanup: How easy was the immersion blender to clean?
Best Overall: Vitamix Immersion Blender
This is, by far, the most powerful immersion blender I have ever tried. It turned out a batch of silky-smooth soup in just 40 seconds, made mayonnaise in literal seconds, and easily blended a fibrous green smoothie. While it has five power settings, I found the fifth to be almost too powerful, but the fourth to be ideal for soups and mayonnaise, and the third great for smoothies. Its attachments easily twist on and off and are a cinch to clean. The wand has an LED interface, an easy-to-use power button, a comfortable handle, and a scratch-resistant blade guard that makes it suitable to use with all sorts of cookware, including nonstick. It’s corded, but the cord is decently long and positioned so that it doesn’t ever get in the way. It doesn’t come with a blender cup and while Vitamix does sell a whisk attachment, it’s sold separately. If you want a fantastic, straightforward immersion blender, the power and precision this offers is pretty unbeatable.
- Accessories: N/A
- Blade length: 2.1 inches
- Performance: 5
- Ease of Use: 5
- Cleanup: 5
Who it’s best for: Anyone who wants an incredibly powerful immersion blender for purées, soups, sauces, smoothies, and more. This immersion blender seriously can’t be beat.
Good to know: I also highly recommend this zippered storage case for the immersion blender, which even has a little carrying handle.
Best Budget: KitchenAid Variable Speed Corded Hand Blender
For the price, this KitchenAid immersion blender packs quite the punch. It comes with a lidded blending cup and a removable pan guard to protect your cookware from the metal blending arm. While it did take longer to blend and only has one blending speed, it still makes good soup, mayonnaise, and smoothies. The blender’s attachment easily twists on and off and is easy to clean. And while I did find its control button required more force to press down, causing my thumb to fatigue a little while puréeing soup, for the price, this immersion blender is a steal.
- Accessories: Blending cup with lid, pan guard
- Blade length: 2 inches
- Performance: 4
- Ease of Use: 4
- Cleanup: 5
Who it’s best for: Anyone who wants a good, no-frills immersion blender.
Good to know: This blender comes in 10 colors.
Best Accessories: Breville the Control Grip
If you want a great immersion blender and great accessories, Breville’s the Control Grip is for you. It comes with a blending jar, whisk, and a chopper that turns the whole thing into a mini food processor. It easily blends soups, mayonnaise, and smoothies and has 15 speeds, although I only found the last two powerful enough for the tasks at hand. I also thought the button to detach the blender’s attachments was a bit finicky and sticky. However, the Control Grip has an ergonomic handle, a scratch-resistant plastic base on its chopper arm, and an easy-to-use power button. It’s also a cinch to clean and I like that its blender jar has a handle, unlike other models.
- Attachments: Whisk, chopping bowl, blending jar
- Blade length: 2 inches
- Performance: 4.5
- Ease of Use: 4.5
- Cleanup: 5
Who it’s best for: Anyone who wants an immersion blender that comes with an assortment of attachments. It’s great for people living in small spaces or looking to stock a kitchen without buying lots of extras.
Good to know: It comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
Best Safety Features: Braun MultiQuick 9 Model 9137XI Hand Blender
With lots of attachments and three speed modes (pulse, low, and high), this versatile immersion blender from Braun has a ton to offer. It’s incredibly powerful — easily tackling soup, mayonnaise, and smoothies — has a comfortable handle, is easy to clean, and comes with a helpful blending cup. To use this blender’s attachments, you press to clip one in and then use a button to detach it. I found the button harder to use than attachments that twist on and off. I also thought its control panel was initially confusing, but got easier after using the blender a couple of times. The best feature on this model: It has a safety lock, which you first have to unlock before being able to turn the blender on. It’s especially great if you have kids or happen to be bit timid in the kitchen and want this added security.
- Accessories: Blender jug, whisk, masher, chopping bowl, ice crush blade
- Blade length: 2 inches
- Performance: 5
- Ease of Use: 4
- Cleanup: 5
Who it’s best for: If you want a fantastic immersion blender with some reassuring safety features.
Good to know: This product has a 3-year limited warranty.
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We will do our homework, going wildly in depth with our testing. But we condense the info into easy, breezy summaries so that you can see what we picked and why, then move on with your life. Because we know you’re busy!
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