A blender is one of the most basic tools used in the kitchen, but using a blender requires a moderate amount of skill and a lot of know-how. Blender quality and performance varies from brand to brand. Motor speed, blade length, container shape, and other attributes should all be considered when buying and using a blender.
Selecting the Right Blender
Proper equipment makes using a blender easier. For the best and most consistent results, you want a to use a high quality blender with a powerful motor. Lesser quality blenders are adequate for occasional jobs, but they never seem to satisfy like using a blender that never stalls. A high quality blender will have no problem blending through just about anything they’re challenged with.
Currently there are two brands of blenders that guarantee professional results. Vita-mix, and Blend-tec. Either brand of makes learning the basics of using a blender easy.
Blender containers come in sizes ranging anywhere from 32oz. – 64oz. Smaller containers are easier to store in the kitchen, but sometimes require you to blend in batches if you’re using your blender to entertain a sizable group. If storage isn’t a problem, always go with the biggest container you can find. You can always store your large container next to the base, instead of on top.
Selecting a blender with variable speeds makes blending food successfully much easier. You need the ability to pulse your blender to perform blends that require finesse, like the coarse blending desired when making foods like salsa, bread crumbs, chopped vegetables or cracker crumbs. Some blenders allow you to cycle through various speeds automatically, which can prove very useful. But using a blender without automatic speed control rarely poses a problem.
Using a Blender Skillfully
Using a blender is easy, right?: Throw the ingredients in and turn it on. Using a blender skillfully requires practice. Here are some steps to help you develop the feel for skillfully using a blender:
- Make sure your blender base is resting flat on a dry, non-slip surface.
- Set the container on the base and make sure the connection is secure.
- Put the ingredients into the container and secure the lid. Make sure you add the softest foods first and layer more difficult to blend foods on top. This is even more important when using a lower-quality blender.
- Begin blending on the lowest speed and gradually increase power until you reach your target speed (usually top speed). Add more liquid if you feel the blender is having a hard time blending the mixture, or the mixture is simply too thick.
- Taste early and taste often. You can get a pretty good idea of your recipe is turning out successfully by testing a teaspoonful a few seconds into the blend.
- Always clean the container immediately after use. Either wash out the remaining mixture by hand; or fill the container half-way with water and a drop of dish washing detergent and run the blender for a few seconds. Rinse the remaining soap, dry the container and store.