Blending machines, or as they are more commonly known as – blenders, are one of the most ordinary and most used appliances in our kitchens.
They may be an appliance that usually fits into our background, but they are important in everything we do in the kitchen – cooking, baking, juicing and decorating.
Over the years, there have been many other appliances that have shared the workload of a blending machine – the juicer, the food processor and the mixer.
However, every modern kitchen definitely needs a blending machine, and a good one, depending on your budget. Whether you are an amateur cook or an avid one, you need to know some very important but simple information regarding a blending machine – what features you need in one, what the different types of blenders are in the market,
what can you do with a blender and most importantly, how to take care of your blender so that it lasts longer and runs more smoothly.
What are the different types of blenders in the market?
1. First of all, here’s the General Blender that we all know, the one we can use for different purposes in the kitchen. The design is almost the same with every model: a base that houses the machine and a pitcher that you can remove.
Depending on the brand and the model, you can get more than one pitcher, of different shapes and sizers. You can do almost anything in a general blending machine, from mixing spices to making juice, making dips and sauces to hot soup.
2. Another type is an Immersion Blender or a Handheld Blender. It looks like a small handheld whisk that professional chefs usually use in making soups, sauces and dips.
Immersion blending machines are usually held in our hand to use, to stir up soups or to mash vegetables while cooking. They are especially helpful if you want to blend something that is cooking on the stove.
3. Party Blenders or Cocktail Blenders are a special type of blending machine that can be used as regular blenders, but are more commonly used to make smoothies, juices and dips.
They are smaller and more compact with multiple jugs that resemble personal mugs. These mugs can be directly drunk out at a party or kept in the fridge.
People use these blending machines mostly in parties or to prepare personalized smoothies or health drinks in the morning. The machines are fast and powerful, and the jugs/mugs can also be carried to work.
What can you do with a Blender?
Depending on the type and model of your blending machine, these are the ways you can use your blender:
- Make smoothies of fruits and vegetables
- Make juice
- Make milkshake
- Make pesto/sauce
- Make frozen cocktails
- Make dressing for your salad
- Make salsa
- Make chocolate/nut spread
- Make sour cream
- Make smooth baby food
- Make yogurt
- Make hot soup
- Make thick pudding
- Make peanut butter
- Make sorbet
- Make dips
- Make pizza sauce
- Make almond milk/coconut milk
- Make pancake/waffle batter
- Grind condiments
- Grind dry spice
- Churn butter
- Make batter for bread
- Grind ice cubes
- Make no-churn ice-cream
- Make flour
- Grind coffee beans
- Make body lotion
- Make protein shakes
- Make compost from kitchen scraps
- Make mousse
What features should your Blender have?
You can find numerous blenders in the market in different prices, depending on the brand and the model. It can be confusing to select the right one for your home, but a good blending machine needs to have these features mentioned below:
- Your blender needs to have a powerful machine to operate, otherwise, it will take you too long to get your work done. A good countertop blender at a reasonable price has a 500 watt motor or even up to 2HP motor, and a handheld or Immersion blender comes with a 200watt motor. A more expensive, commercial-grade blender can have up to 1000-watt motor, but they are also very noisy.
- Your blender can come with one, two or more jugs of different sizes and shapes. Usually, each set comes with one big jug, and two or more smaller ones, as well as a separate spice grinder. The more the number of jugs, the more expensive the set.
- Capacity of your blender depends on the number, shape and size of the jugs. If you want to make juices, soups and smoothies with your blender, you need a model that has at least one large jug. For making dips, sauces or grinding spices/condiments, you need smaller jugs. If you get a more elaborate model, you can get an assortment of large and small jugs together.
- Models that has two or more speed levels is quite helpful. You won’t need more than three speed levels to use your blender at home. Besides, some of the more modern models come with a “pulse” function which is useful in making certain sauces and dips with a little lump.
- Some blender models come with a special juicing filter that helps to make juice from fruits and vegetables. This is a cylindrical filter that traps all the fibers and seeds of fruits/vegetables to give you pure juice. However, models that come with a juicing attachment is more expensive than the regular models.
- Maintenance of a blender should be easy. Jugs that are dishwasher safe are easier to clean than the ones that need to be cleaned by hand.
- Blending machines that are compact take less space on your countertop and are easy to store. Too many attachments can actually be a hassle than a convenience, as well.
- Blender jugs can be made of glass, plastic and steel. While the ones made of glass are prone to breakage, the ones made from steel and plastic are safer. Steel jugs have the least chances of getting damaged but they are also heavy and more expensive. If you are looking for an affordable, reliable and safe option, plastic jugs are the better choice.
How to take care of your Blender?
Taking care of your blending machine is not a hard job, but if you are not very thorough in your cleaning, your blender won’t last more than a few months. With proper care, even a budget-friendly blending machine can give you years of use.
The most important rule to follow is to clean the jugs thoroughly after every use. If you are blending something liquid, simply holding the pitcher under running water will get rid of all the excess food.
However, you’ll also need to sponge it down with a soapy sponge to make sure there is no germ or discarded food lingering.
If you want to wash your blender jug in the dishwasher, you’ll need to remove the blades from the pitcher. While you can do this with most blending jugs, in some models, the blades cannot be removed from the pitcher. It is best to clean these jugs by hand.
The lid can be cleaned under running water or in a dishwasher. The different cracks and screws can be cleaned with a wet towel or with a toothbrush.
Cleaning the blades with your hand can be quite dangerous; besides, your hands may not reach all the areas. A bottle brush can help clean all the parts of the blade, even the spaces under the blade.
Even cleaning the blender jug regularly can leave it cloudy over time. A good way to overcome this problem is to clean your blender in the following way:
- Fill 3/4th of your blender jug with lukewarm water.
- Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to it.
- Close the lid.
- Switch on the blender to the highest power.
- Keep it on for 20 to 25 seconds.
- Stop and throw away the water.
- Repeat with only lukewarm water.
- If you want to remove some bad odor coming from the jar, you can repeat the process with a few drops of lemon juice.
The base of the blender that holds the machine cannot be washed immersed under water, but you can clean it with a soft, wet cloth. Any food that falls on the base should be cleaned away immediately before the liquid can get inside the motor. The cracks and crevices can be cleaned with a slightly wet toothbrush.
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A blender is one of the most important appliances we use in the kitchen. This is an appliance that we use almost every day, for one reason or another.
It is true that the more known and expensive brands can run longer than the budget-friendly models, but it all comes down to how we take care of our blending machines.
If we overuse and abuse blenders, they will of course not last very long; however, if we know exactly how to use it and how to take care of it, we can use the same model for years to come.