Immersion vs countertop blender: which one is better? It really depends on what you want to do with it!
- The most popular type of blender
- Suitable for most kitchen tasks
- Advantages: compactness, you can blend small portions in any container, usually comes with handy accessories
- Disadvantages: you need to hold the blender well in your hands, if not being careful or paying attention, you can end up having a mix all over your kitchen or cutting yourself
Immersion hand blender is the most popular type of blender and is the most often used in the kitchen. It is a real replacement for a food processor, which is usually quite big and requires own space on the kitchen counter. The blender accessories, such as slicing, shredding and grating disks, a whisk, a mashed potato nozzle, and a vacuum pump allow you to make grinded meat and dough, mashed potatoes and smoothies, grind coffee, crush ice and do a bunch of other things. The device is small, can be conveniently stored even in a small kitchen and transported from place to place.
- Suitable for the preparation of smoothies and soups, but can also cope with many other tasks.
- Advantages: does not require your direct involvement. Can blend almost everything you want.
- Disadvantages: takes up more space and only suitable for large portions.
Countertop blender is ideal for smoothies, cocktails and soups lovers. Due to a large volume of mixing jar it is also the best choice for families. Unlike an immersion hand blender, due to its handy design, you cannot accidentally spay mix around the kitchen or cut yourself.
How to choose an Immersion hand blender?
This is the main criterion. The power of the immersion blender can vary from 140 to 2,000 Watts. The more powerful the blender has, the faster it processes food and the less it warms up. With a powerful blender, you can easily chop ice and make minced meat.
Tip: to chop ice and nuts, a 600-800 Watts blender would be sufficient
2. Material of the immersible shaft and parts
First of all, look at the material from which the immersible shaft is made. Metal shaft is more durable, however could add extra weight to a blender. It will allow you to handle even very hot foods and liquids and you should not be afraid of the blender damage in case of accidental fall. Another advantage is that metal does not absorb odors and does not stain (as it can happen for example when blending pumpkins with plastic shaft).
The blender body and other nozzles can also be made of plastic. This does not affect the functionality of the blender, however can reduce significantly its weight. This is especially useful for people with arthritis and other weaknesses, that effect the strength of arms and hands. Check if plastic has rubberized inserts, so that blender does not slip out of hand during operation.
3. Modes and speeds
Immersion hand blender can have from 1 to 30 speeds. The more speeds a blender has, the more accurately you can adjust the speed of rotation of the knife to avoid splashing, to achieve the desired degree of grinding and beat the mass to a certain consistency.
If you want to buy a reliable and simple device, it is better to shop for a blender with 1-2 speed modes. He will cope with most tasks. If flexible speed setting is important for you, choose a device with 5-8 speeds – they are more than enough.
Tip: most of the time you will only use a few speeds, so there is no point in paying more
Hand blenders have two more useful modes. Turbo mode allows you to rotate knives at maximum speed. It can be used, for example, at the end of product processing in order to achieve perfect consistence. Pulse mode does not allow a blender to overheat when processing hard solid products, such as ice. In this mode, the knives rotate faster than usual, but with short breaks. The speed is regulated by how hard you press the button.
Tip: for most of the tasks, three standard nozzles are enough
Usually an immersion hand blender has three main nozzles: cutting blades, a whisk for whipping and a chopper. With cutting blades you can puree products in various containers, with a whisk – beat the whites and knead the dough and in the grinder you can prepare minced meat.
Using the nozzle for mashed potatoes will help you make the perfect puureerd dish. You actually do not mix, but rather grate the potatoes at a low speed. This gives the mashed potatoes a soft and non-sticky structure.
Another useful addition is a vacuum pump. It allows you to pump air out of the bags and plastic containers, so that the ingredients and nutritious preserved longer.
5. Corded or Cordless Blender
Most of the immersion hand blenders have cord up to 1.5 m long. This is a proven and reliable option. If you have a large kitchen and several work surfaces, you might want to have more comfort and go for a cordless blender. A cordless blender is also useful if you do not have electrical outlets in a close vicinity. The disadvantage of a cordless blender is that is has relatively short working time: about 20-30 minutes. However, that should be more than sufficient for a week of regular usage.
How to choose a Countertop blender?
The power of stationary blenders can vary between 250 to 1,500 Watts. If you cook mainly soups and smoothies, 300–500 Watts would be enough for you. A blender with 600 watts is enough for most tasks. If you often need to chop nuts, frozen berries and ice, it is better to choose a blender with a power of 750–900 Watts. For kneading the dough, you will need a blender with a power of at least 1,000 Watts.
Tip: to make smoothies and soups, blender with high power motor is not needed
2. Modes and speeds
Countertop blenders typically have 1 to 20 speeds. The presence of different speed modes is convenient. At low speed blending, you can get relatively large pieces, and at high speed to achieve a fine pureed consistency. However, paying extra for many speeds is useless.
Tip: a countertop blender with 2–4 speeds can handle most of the tasks
Similar to the immersion blender, if you plan to use a blender and grind different products often, you will also need two other modes: turbo and pulse. With the first one, you will get maximum speed, and with the second, avoid overheating of the device.
3. Types of blades and their material
Tip: a curved blade is better in grinding the food
A countertop blender can have one or two knives. The more knives it has, the faster it will grind and blend the ingrediencies. Blades can be straight (right) or curved (left). A straight blade grinds food not as good as a curved blade. We thus advice to chose for a blender with curved blades as they blend and mix ingredients much better. Blades made from stainless steel and titanium are more durable and will last for many years.
4. Jar capacity
The larger the mixing jar, the more products you can chop at a time. When making a choice, you should keep in mind that the usable jar capacity is less than the nominal by about 6-10 oz (200-300 ml).
In a 50-70 oz (1.5–2 L) jar you can prepare the food for the whole family. A 50 oz (1 L) jar is convenient to making baby food.
Tip: choose a bowl with a wide base. It is more convenient to clean
Plastic jar is light, comfortable and cheaper than the glass jar. If you don’t need to grind hot products often, you can go for a blender with a plastic jug.
The glass jar is more wear-resistant, does not scratch and allows you to process hot ingredients. However, such a jar is easy to break and if it breaks you get many small pieces of glass laying all over the floor.
The metal jar does not break, does not scratch and allows you to grind hot ingredients, but it is more expensive. Another disadvantage is the opacity, which makes it difficult to observe the grinding process.
5. Material of the body
The countertop blender body can be made of plastic or metal. A plastic blender is cheaper and lighter, but does not withstand strong shocks. A metal blender is more durable, reliable but more expensive.
Immersion vs Countertop blender Checklist
- In a countertop blender it is more convenient to prepare large volumes, but storage takes up a lot of space and it is usually more difficult to clean.
- The immersion blender is compact and will cope with most kitchen tasks due to handy additional nozzles.
- The more powerful the blender, the more complex tasks it can perform and with more harder ingredients it can work.
- High-speed modes allow you to adjust the speed of rotation of the blades and achieve the perfect mixing.
- The material of the body is not as important as the material of the blades and the nozzles. When choosing an immersion hand blender, pay attention to the blades and when choosing a countertop blender, pay attention to the jar.
Conclusion: in the competition “immersion vs countertop” blender there is no winner. Chose the one that suite you the best.