Immersion Blender not Made in China
Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender Review
I can only take so much mess while I’m cooking in our oh-so postage-stamp sized kitchen. So, much as we love homemade soup, I’ve been known to grind my teeth and bark at the dog while schlepping soup ingredients from the pot on the stove to the blender and then to a bowl while I blend more batches of soup. Usually I end up with quite a bit of the soup on the counter, on the floor and sometimes on the dog.
Well, let me give a shout-out to Roger Perrinjaquet! It seems that about fifty years ago this wise man from Switzerland invented the immersion blender, also known as a hand or stick blender, This, in case like me you didn’t know, is an appliance used to blend ingredients or puree food in the container in which they are being prepared. Once I discovered this little bit of genius existed I set out to find one for myself.
I wanted to find an immersion blender that was durable, easy to use and easy to clean, not too noisy and of course affordable.
Did I find it? Yes! After quite a bit of research I discovered the Cuisinart Smart Stick CSB-76BC hand blender and in my opinion it really rocks (and blends).
First of all, it is super simple to use and so much easier to store than my big old blender. The Cuisinart Smart Stick has a brushed chrome finish which looks sleek and professional and is much easier to clean than plastic versions. The easily detachable stainless steel blending shaft is a snap to clean – just toss it in the dishwasher. The plastic measuring jar that comes with the blender is also dishwasher safe. While I was researching this product I found one reviewer said that “This is the easiest product to clean that I have ever used”. Not that I don’t just LOVE kitchen cleanup, but that really impressed me!
The Cuisinart blender’s 200 watt motor is powerful and smooth running and I like that it runs so quietly! It has good sharp blades, a plus when preparing chunky soups like broccoli. The manual says not to use it on frozen strawberries but one reviewer said she did it anyway and had success. Personally, I’m thinking better safe than sorry, so I’m steering clear of the frozen strawberries.
The dimensions are 2.13’ x 2.60” x 14.00” so it is stable and easy to control while blending. It fits nicely in the hand, is lightweight and isn’t too long or cumbersome. My husband, who has arthritis in his hands, makes smoothies with it and has nothing but praise for how comfortable it is to use.
Something to note: Variable speeds and frills such as a whisk or mini chopper would make this tool a little more versatile, but for my purposes this blender works great.
The best price I found on the Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender was at Amazon where this little bit of kitchen heaven is selling for under $30.00! When I find a product I love I like to share, and at this price point I’m thinking this would make a great holiday gift for some family members.
What is an immersion blender?
An immersion blender is a kitchen appliance known by many names such as stick blender, wand blender, hand blender, or as Emeril Legasse and Alton Brown would say, “Boat Motor”. It can be used for many kitchen tasks such as pureeing soups, emulsifying sauces, making smoothies, whipping cream and blending food for the baby.
Immersion blenders differ from traditional blenders and food processors because the food doesn’t need to be transferred to a special vessel for processing and can usually be blended right on the stove. They are also different from hand mixers which don’t chop the food as it is blended. The immersion blenders are available in corded and cordless versions, whichever you find more convenient.
Why would I want an Immersion blender?
Well, let’s talk about the many benefits of the immersion blender. In 1998 Amanda Hesser of the New York Times wrote an article about immersion blenders entitled, “Test Kitchen; A Whirling Dervish That Dips Right into Your Pot.” In the article she touted the convenience and effectiveness of the blender: “Someone who hates washing dishes must have conceived the idea for the immersion blender. By bringing the blender to the pot rather than transferring the pot’s contents into the blender saves a lot of dishes. No wonder immersion blenders have been a hit over the last ten years – once we discovered that pumpkin soup could be thinned to a silky puree right in the pot there was no going back.” Of course since Ms. Hesser’s article immersion blenders have only improved in power and convenience.
The immersion blender can be immersed in any liquid so that a cream soup can be made in just a couple of minutes without the usual splattering that comes with transferring the soup to a traditional blender.
The blender is wonderfully portable. It can be fastened to a wall, stored on a shelf or in a drawer and it is so lightweight it takes no effort at all to put it to work.
Unlike the traditional blender or food processor, an immersion blender is almost completely silent. The motor is encased in the handle and when it kicks over it turns the stainless steel rod inside the wand, which turns the stainless steel blades. All of the sound generated from the motor is inside the casing and is then distributed into whatever it is that you’re making.
The blender is very easy and simple to clean: Unplug the appliance before cleaning and remove any adapters. Wipe the motor body, adapters, and power cord with a warm sudsy cloth. Then wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Some words of caution: As with any kitchen appliance, common sense is your strongest ally.
- Do not immerse the motor body or any adapters in water.
- Don’t turn on the blender attachment until the tool is submerged in the liquid, as a splatter may occur.
- Make sure the pieces are attached firmly. Most models are equipped with a twist and lock feature so you can be certain that your attachment is in the right place.