Blenders are versatile and considered one of the most popular small appliances found in the average kitchen.
Using a blender takes 5 simple steps. Make sure the blender is clean, lock the pitcher into the blender body, place food ingredients inside the blender, secure the lid to blend, and serve. Blending ingredients is great for making smoothies, purees, pastes, and soups.
If you’re looking for an in-depth overview of how to use a blender and some of its most popular applications, then keep reading, as this article has all the information you need.
Step 1: Make Sure the Blender is Clean
Before using your blender, check to see if the blending pitcher is clean. If the blender needs to be cleaned, it’s important to remove the blade and screw cap from the pitcher as food material often gets stuck in the cracks.
The extractor blades have a rubber gasket (also called an O-ring) that creates an airtight seal between the pitcher and the bottom screw cap. This gasket should be removed during the cleaning process as food material (especially small seeds) can collect underneath and grow bacteria.
If you plan on placing your blender in the dishwasher, it’s best to separate the pitcher from the extractor blades/screw cap.
Step 2: Lock Pitcher Into Blender Body
Once you’ve ensured that your blender is clean, lock the blender pitcher t into the blender body. With most models, the pitcher must be rotated slightly to properly lock in. ou may hear a click when the pitcher has been successfully locked into the body. Certain models will not click but instead will will simply stop rotating.
Step 3: Place Ingredients Inside the Blender Pitcher
The third step involves placing food ingredients into the pitcher. If you plan to blend large amounts of food ingredients, don’t add all food items at once as it could cause the motor to stall or burn out. Instead, begin by adding the hardiest foodstuff first. Adding more food to the blender is easier than removing food.
Step 4: Secure Lid and Blend
When the blender pitcher is full, lock the lid and hit blend.
Blenders vary in the number of settings. If you’re blending a large amount of ice, pick the crusher or ice setting, if available. If you’re blending a large amount of thick material, start slow and increase the speed gradually.
If you plan on adding more ingredients to the blender, make sure you turn the blender off completely before removing the lid. Failure to turn the blender off while blending can result in a significant mess.
Step 5: Serve
Once you’re happy with the thickness and consistency of your blended food,, turn the blender off. At this stage, you’re ready to pour the finished blended product into a container or glass.
For storage, fridges with a bottom shelf with enough height to accommodate an average blender pitcher that is X inches tall . When storing a blender pitcher and its contents in the refrigerator, use the lid to lock in freshness. Moreover, make sure the pitcher is tightly attached to the screw cap to avoid spillage.
The seal between the screw cap and pitcher can loosen during the blending process and failure to re-tighten can result in leakage.
What Should You Know Before Using A Blender?
Blending is a quick and easy way to make healthy drinks. When natural substances like yogurt, oatmeal, raw eggs, or protein powder are added, blenders can be used to make meal replacement beverages.
Although there are several types of blenders, most fall into one of three categories: countertop blenders, single-serve blenders, and commercial blenders.
Countertop blenders are the most popular type of blender and over 28 million units sold in 2020 alone. Some countertop blenders are simple with a single setting while others come with a large variety of settings.
Single serve blenders are like countertop blenders but the pitcher doubles as a to-go cup. Popular brands of single serve (or personal) blenders include the Magic Bullet and NutriBullet. As the name implies, single serve blenders have significantly higher volume capacity.
Commercial blenders look like countertop blenders but are larger and significantly more powerful. These items are typically found in bars and restaurants although many people buy commercial-quality blenders for their home kitchen.
What Are the Stages of Using A Blender?
Using a blender can be broken up into three general phases: Loading, Blending and Cleaning
Loading Stage: The loading stage requires a bit of food prep as any fruits/vegetables you put into the pitcher must be chopped up into smaller bits. Failure to properly chop food can cause the motor to stall or burn out. If adding ice to the blender, add 2-3 pieces at a time to avoid the motor from burning out.
Blending Stage: When sufficiently loaded, the blender can be turned on. If multiple settings are available, choose the one that is most applicable to what it is you’re blending. When blending thick or hardy foodstuff, start slowly. Starting the blender on the most powerful setting can burn out the motor.
Cleaning Stage: When the pitcher is empty, clean it right away. Leaving it to sit can cause the remaining food material to harden on the pitcher walls making it difficult to clean. If you can't clean it right away, at least fill it with water and let the item soak.
Does the Blender Types Affect the Usage Stages?
No, blender types do not affect the usage stages. All blenders, regardless of the type, operate the same. However, some blender types are significantly more powerful than others, meaning more food material can be blended at once.
The only exception to this is hand blenders. Hand blenders, also known as immersion blenders, operate on the same premise but with a slightly modified process.
Instead of loading a pitcher with ingredients that are blended by a set of blades at the base of the blenders, immersion blenders are inserted from the top of the pitcher.
Once immersed in the food material, the user hits a button on the handle and blades at the bottom of a long shaft begin to blend. In simple terms, immersion blenders operate like an automated mixer or whisk.
Is Using a Blender for Fruit Smoothies Better Than a Food Processor?
Yes, using a blender for fruit smoohties is better than a food processor. Especially if you add ice when making a fruit smoothie. Food processors are not designed to crush ice, blenders are a much better option for crushing ice.
Similarly, food processors have blades that are disk-shaped. These blades are more suitable for kneading or processing dry foods. By contrast, blender blades are better suited for processing wet food, especially when milk, yogurt, or any other liquid is added.
Lastly, blender pitchers are taller than food processing bowls. This added height creates a vortex that pulls food material down towards the blades, ensuring a better mix.
When it comes to blenders vs food processors for making smoothies, blenders are the better choice.
Is Using a Blender for Vegetables Better Than Using a Juicer?
Yes, using a blender for vegetables is better than using a juicer if the desired end result is not to produce vegetable juice. Juicers extract liquid from fruits/vegetables leaving the solid material behind. Blenders chop, cut, and blend fruits/vegetables into a smoothie-like paste.
If you want a highly concentrated fruit or vegetable juice, a juicer is the better option. If you want a thick smoothie that includes all parts of the fruit/vegetable – and not just the juice – a blender is the better choice.
Is a Commercial Blender Better Than a Simple Modern Blender?
Yes a commercial blender is better than a simple modern blender. Commercial blenders are superior to standard countertop blenders because their motors are more powerful and they can hold a larger amount of ingredients at once.
Commercial blenders are significantly more expensive. The higher cost might not make financial sense to those people looking to save money blending for 5 people or less.
If you’re operating a bar or restaurant and need to blend for more than 6 people or more, then it might make sense to invest in a commercial blender to help serve customers faster.
How to Use a Blender for Other Purposes Besides Making Smoothies
Smoothies aren’t the only thing you can make with a blender, and as stated earlier, can be used to make purees, soups, sauces, and even pastes.
In short, there are many different uses of a blender.
How to Use a Blender as a Coffee Grinder
If you don’t have access to a coffee grinder, a blender is an excellent alternative. To grind coffee beans using a blender, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Place the desired amount of coffee beans into the blender.
- Step 2: Start grinding at low speed. Once no more whole coffee beans can be seen, increase the speed slightly. How much you blend, and at what speed, will determine how finely the coffee beans are ground. If you want finely ground beans, grind for several minutes at high speed.
- Step 3: Remove coffee grinds from the blender. Once collected, the ground coffee beans can be used for making coffee.
- Step 4: Rinse several times. Once the bulk of the coffee grinds have been rinsed out, separate the pitcher from the screw cap and clean any remaining coffee grinds.
How to Use a Blender as a Chopper
A blender can be used as a chopper. In the kitchen setting, the word chopper is often referred to a mini food processor. Unlike blenders, food processors can chop and break down dry food and can even be used to knead bread.
While blenders can’t be used to process dry food, they can be used to chop foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, even some meats (depending on the wattage).
- Step 1: Place ingredients into the blender and make sure the lid is secured.
- Step 2: Turn the blender on starting on the lowest setting. You may have to stop the blender and use a large utensil to move the food contents around if it gets stuck. Don’t overload the blender, especially if the food material is on the dry side. If it’s permissible, adding a bit of water will help the chopping process.
- Step 3: When the desired consistency is achieved, turn the blender off and empty the contents into a separate bowl. At this point, the blender pitcher should be rinsed out and cleaned immediately.
How to Use a Blender as an Ice Slushy Maker
Making ice slushies with a blender is extremely easy and can be done in a few simple steps.
- Step 1: Put 2 cups of water and 2 cups of ice into the pitcher blender. If you have access to crushed ice, even better.
- Step 3: Add the flavoring item of your choice. This could be fresh fruits and vegetables or even a package of Kool-Aid or another artificial flavor extract.
- Step 3: Blend at medium to high speed until the desired consistency is achieved. If your slushy is too watery and not thick enough more ice can be added. When more ice is added it will need to be blended again.