There are eight types of blenders and finding a unit that best suits your kitchen and lifestyle depends on the features, functionalities, and how you intend to use the blender. The eight types of blenders are hand, stick, countertop, single-serve, stand, digital, heavy-duty, and cake blenders.
Each blender type varies in capacity, power, speed, size, cost, parts, and attachments. Blender types like the hand, stand and cake blenders are better for a specific purpose like baking, while the digital blender can be used for multiple functions like mixing, chopping, blending, liquefying, and crushing ice. A stick blender and a digital blender are portable appliance options for preparing quick smoothies. These types of blenders are suitable for domestic use while others like heavy-duty blenders are intended for commercial and professional use, especially in the foodservice industry.
There is no single blender type that offers all possible functionalities in the market today. This is why it is important to weigh the pros and cons for each type. When shopping for a blender, start with what will work best for your intended kitchen use and lifestyle.
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What different types are available for a blender?
The different types of blenders are hand, stick, countertop, single-serve, stand, digital, heavy-duty, and cake blenders. The following list includes the different blender types available in the market:
- Hand blender
The shape of a hand blender looks like a modern-day eggbeater and is commonly used for baking. This hand blender type is electric and has speed dials and a range of attachments, which makes it perfect for whipping ingredients for desserts and other baked goods.
Hand blenders – also known as hand mixers – are compact and easy to store. They are lighter compared to other kinds of blenders as they do not go with a cutting blade, which works well for users who only intend to beat eggs or whip creams. However, when trying to achieve an extra soft and velvety texture for the batter, the lack of blades also means that raw ingredients need to be sliced to ideal sizes before adding them in.
- Stick blender
A stick blender is a durable blender that includes a small handheld, immersion stick that is placed directly into your ingredients.
The stick blender – also called an immersion blender – features a stick that has a chopping blade at one end and a safety handle at the other. While cooking, you can put the immersion stick deep into the pot so there’s little to no risk of splattering the soup all over the kitchen. However, you need to keep pressing the button on the handle to keep it going, which for longer blending periods can cause finger fatigue.
Most immersion blenders are dishwasher-safe. If you prefer to wash them from the sink, they are still very easy to clean with warm, soapy water.
- Countertop blender
The countertop blender is perfect for serving a large group because it is a larger blender machine with a 2-liter food capacity. The countertop blender has variable speed, which allows for an easier, smoother blend.
While this powerful kitchen blender can mix ice and smoothie ingredients, caution must be taken when pouring in hot liquids. Most countertop blenders are meant for cold or room temperature food ingredients that range between 150 to 190 Fahrenheit.; the steam and pressure build-up from hot food items with a temperature of over 250 Fahrenheit or more can result in an explosion especially for older models.
The countertop blender can be bulky because of its speed, power, and large capacity. Users that have a small kitchen or limited storage space may find its size a liability.
Countertop blenders are easy to clean. Just fill the blender with water and squeeze out a few drops of dishwashing liquid before turning on the blending machine for less than a minute.
- Single-serve blender
A single-serve blender sometimes referred to as a smoothie blender or bullet blender, is a small appliance that blends up to 5 ounces of food ingredients to make a single beverage. Instead of adding all your ingredients to the blender bowl, you add it to a single cup. Then, you place the cup on the blending base and blend everything.
Though they come in various blender sizes, this type has the capacity for a single or double serving of drinks. This small blender also comes at high speed so it can turn frozen fruit, nuts, ice, and leafy green vegetables into a smoothie very quickly.
Depending on the model and quality, some single-serve blenders can blend ingredients more efficiently than others. Some cheaper and older units are unable to produce an evenly, fine liquid. Dripping is also a common issue due to misaligned or incorrectly attached blades.
- Stand blender
A stand blender is a blender that comes with a large bowl. This blender is commonly used for baking because it comes with an attached whisk for bread or dough.
The stand blender is referred to as a cake mixer because it is frequently used for making cake batter; a stand blender can turn into a versatile kitchen blender thanks to multiple attachments that can grind food and cut pasta. Stand blenders are powerful enough to blend the heavy and sticky dough.
However, like the countertop blender, a stand blender can take up too much room in the kitchen because of its large size. It is not easy to clean because the flour and batter can fill up the unit and the only way to clean it is through a damp cloth (which can be tricky to do with sticky dough or syrup stuck in the mixer). Other parts, however, like the mixing bowl and beaters can be tossed into the dishwasher.
- Digital blender
A digital blender is a food processor, blender, and juicer, all in one. It usually comes with multiple settings, allowing control over the cooking method.
A digital blender is simple and easy to use as it comes with an intuitive touch panel. It has multiple functions including mix, chop, blend, liquefy, ice crush and smoothie. It can whip up smoothies, juice, purees and pastes very quickly, thanks to various speeds and pre-set programs that cater to different mixing requirements.
- Heavy-duty blender
A heavy-duty or commercial blender is made with durable metal materials. Commercial blenders are designed to accommodate more ingredients at once.
Mainly characterized by power, a heavy-duty blender best suits professional and commercial settings such as in foodservice. They are designed to be used in a higher frequency than home use and blend bigger ingredients, usually a mix of solid and liquid food items.
Heavy-duty blenders are more expensive than the hand blenders and single serve blenders because of power and capacity.
- Cake blender
A cake blender is a larger size blender compared to stick and hand blenders that makes ingredients like flour and eggs together. It is very similar to a stand mixer, except that the cake blender designed specifically for making cake batter and other related baking functions.
What are the different ways to use a blender?
There are many different ways to use a blender. Depending on the type of the blender, a multi-function blender may be used according to five different settings: mix, stir, puree, chop and liquefy.
Mix allows you to blend in meat like chicken or tuna.
Stir gives an even and smooth texture. It is best for making soft, slushy drinks like smoothies, milkshakes and protein shakes.
Puree blends ingredients into a paste or fine liquid as it gets rid of large chunks of vegetables. This function is perfect for soup and baby food.
Chop is for cutting fruits, vegetables and some meat into smaller pieces. It is best for preparing soup or stew.
Liquefy, as the name suggests, turns anything into liquid and is perfect for squeezing out juices and preparing mixed drinks.
Blenders with variable speed also allow flexibility in how powerful and fast the blending should be. Most types of blenders come in four different speeds: fast, medium, low and pulse/whip.
Fast is the right speed for making a quick-and-easy drink or turning ingredients into an even puree.
Medium speed is for grinding larger, solid ingredients like vegetables. This is perfect if you prefer to maintain a rough texture for the ingredients, or dice nuts into smaller pieces (and not turn it into a powder or soup).
Low is for grinding and turning food items into a soft, velvety paste. This is the right speed for mixing liquid with solid to achieve a fine, even texture.
Pulse/whip is for a very quick blend not lasting more than 30 seconds. This is perfect for ice crushing or breaking down larger ingredients into smaller chunks.
What sizes do the blenders come in?
Blenders vary in shape, size and capacity, which can range from 3 to 14 cups. When shopping for the best blenders, it is important to look into available counter space in the kitchen, how many people to serve, and the intended use. Here are the sizes of the blenders according to each type:
Hand Blender: A hand blender’s dimension is approximately 6.5 x 6.5 x 41.3 centimeters.
Stick Blender: Stick blenders vary in length. Most immersion blenders meant for home use have an 8-inch blending arm, which is just right for shallow pots, standard cooking pots, and small cylindrical containers. For a larger batch of soup, a longer blending arm that spans 12 inches or more will be great for immersing deeper into the large soup pot and staying away from the heat.
Countertop Blender: A countertop blender has a capacity of 64 oz or larger, which usually comes in four to eight cups.
Single-serve Blender: A single-serve blender’s dimension is approximately 29.6 x 18.3 x 38 centimeters.
Stand Blender: A stand blender’s dimension is slightly bigger than a single-serve blender – approximately 39.5 x 20 x 38.5 centimeters. It weighs 8.5 kilograms.
Digital Blender: A digital blender has a capacity of 50.7 oz and has a dimension of 40 x 18 x 13.5 centimeters. It weighs 2.8 kilograms.
Heavy-duty Blender: A heavy-duty blender that can both be used for domestic and commercial purposes normally comes in 21.5 x 22.5 x 48 centimeters and weighs 7.8 kilograms. For heavy commercial use, its dimension is approximately 21.6 x 29.5cx 42 centimeters.
Cake Blender: A cake blender’s dimension is 35.3 x 35.8 x 22.1 centimeters and weighs 10.5 kilograms.
What foods can I put in the blender?
The foods that can be prepared with each blender type are listed below:
- Hand blender: A hand blender is best for softer baking ingredients like cream and egg white, but does not work well for heavy dough as it tends to wear the motor and attachments more easily.
- Stick blender: Because of its chopping blade, a stick blender is best used for making soups, puree, hot liquids, pudding, and any powdered mix drinks like protein shakes. They can sometimes crush ice but they are best for less dense ingredients, like oils or water.
- Countertop blender: the countertop blender is the ideal type to use for ice blocks, which makes it great for preparing cold drinks. The countertop blender is the go-to type for making ice-cold drinks and healthy smoothies.
- Single-serve blender: A single-serve blender is perfect for making healthy smoothies. A bullet blender is also great for preparing pancake mix, waffle batter, baby food, pureed food, and a quick-and-easy omelet. It is also extra safe as the blades are protected within the bullet casing.
- Stand blender: A stand blender is the best type for making bread and dough. Also referred to as a cake mixer because it is commonly used and best for making cake batter, a stand blender is an all-around kitchen tool that can grind food and cut pasta.
- Digital blender: A digital blender is the type to use for whipping up smoothies, juice, purees and pastes.
- Heavy-duty blender: A heavy-duty blender is perfect for mixing and blending bigger chunks of food and preparing a big batch of dips, hummus, smoothies, drinks, and other food preparations that are possible in a standard blender.
- Cake blender: This type of blender is a larger model that makes ingredients like flour and eggs together to make a cake.
To keep using the blenders for a longer period, it is worth knowing the foods that should not be put into them. As a rule of thumb, rock-hard and hot food items run the risk of overheating the machine. If you intend to use a blender to grind or process larger food items, it is important to know when to use a blender vs food processor.
Here are some of the ingredients that should be avoided:
- Extremely hot food items and liquid
- Room temperature leafy greens
- Hard ingredients like rock-solid frozen fruit, tough meat and anything with bones
- Certain foods that are extremely high in fiber
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Tomato sauce
What determines the best blender type?
The best blender type can be determined by what matches your lifestyle and needs. Do you need it regularly or only when you’re in the mood to bake? Are you a home-maker who likes to bake or a restaurant owner who needs to service customers daily?
When shopping around for the best blender type, different factors such as size, power, speed, functions, cost and attachments should be considered.
Size is a major consideration when looking for the best kitchen blender. Do you have a restaurant-sized kitchen with a sizable counter space? Then there is no limitation in how bulky the machine should be. On the other hand, having a small kitchen or limited storage space at home may present an issue.
Do you need a powerful blender that can help you chop and grind for your regular puree needs? Then immersion blenders that are around 100 watts or countertop blenders that exert power at around 500 watts or above are the most suitable. You’ll also need a cutting blade made of stainless steel, durable material for keeping your blender in top shape for years.
If you feel like using a blender solely for your juicing diet or healthy smoothies, then a single-serve blender is enough. However, if you’ll require multiple functions to prepare your baby’s food or satisfy your puree cravings, then look into a digital blender that has pre-programmed functions suitable for a smoothie, ice crushing, spreads, dips, ice crushing, soup, baking and desserts.
Speed is equally important in deciding which type to select. Some models like the heavy-duty and digital blender have variable speeds, usually from 3 to 10. Models that have less than 3 won’t give you enough control and anything more than 10 is superfluous. Make sure that the unit also comes with a pulsing knob and continuous setting so you won’t have to keep holding down the button and endure finger fatigue.
If you’re a home-maker, you won’t need a commercial heavy-duty unit – unless you plan to feed a large family regularly. However, if you are in the foodservice industry and looking to serve customers frequently, then you’ll need a commercial-grade heavy-duty blender. This comes with a heavy price tag and cost is another consideration when picking the right blender – keep reading to find out the average price of a blender.
Are kitchen blenders safe?
Kitchen blenders are generally safe. Especially with recent models, kitchen blenders are equipped with safety features. However, caution must be observed because if not used properly, untoward incidents may occur. For instance, there have been occasions when blenders exploded or caused injury due to the following reasons:
- The lid is not fully closed or attachments are not linked properly
- Too much food or liquid are put inside the container
- Wear and tear in the unit
- Sticking a hand or finger inside the unit while the machine is on
- Cleaning the chopping blades and accidentally cutting a finger
Buying reputable brands, picking the latest models over older ones, and thoughtful use can prevent all the aforementioned incidents.
What is the average price for a blender?
A blender’s average price ranges from $25 to $700 depending on the size, material, type and brand.
The most expensive blenders are usually the larger, professional-grade heavy-duty blenders which can cost $500 and up.
What is the lifespan of different blenders?
The average lifespan of different blenders is 3 to 5 years while the more expensive units with an ultra-powerful motor are designed to last for 10 years.
The lifespan of different blenders is based on the frequency of use, quality and material. The usual damage comes from accessories and attachments, which can normally be replaced. However, when the motor is no longer working, then it’s time to get a replacement.
How does blender type affect food?
Using a blender brings out the nutrition in food. The blending process enables you to absorb more nutrients from blended fruit and vegetables compared to consuming them as a whole. And unlike juicing, a blender food will maintain the fiber of each item.
Generally, blending fruits and vegetables into a smoothie brings out more B vitamins, cancer-fighting nutrients, and healthy gut bacteria that are good for immunity boost, general health and wellness.
What effect does blender type have on taste?
While blended food does not necessarily change the taste, some people find a slight difference in texture. Others also tend to compare blended food with consuming them as a whole, which some say takes some getting used to. Other people find that adding fruits such as bananas, apples and pears are said to make healthy smoothies taste better.
Is it better to use small or large blenders in the kitchen?
Kitchen usability is something to be considered when picking the right blender. It refers to the function and structure of kitchen appliances that make them easier to use. If you have a small kitchen, it’s important to organize appliances alongside other items properly to maximize space.
Size is a major consideration when looking for the best kitchen blender. Do you have a large kitchen with a sizable counter space? Then there is no limitation in how bulky the machine should be. On the other hand, having a small kitchen or limited storage space may present an issue in the type of blender that suits you.
If you’re a home-maker, a small blender like a hand or stick blender for occasional use or a portable one like the single-serve blender will suit your everyday need. However, if you are in the foodservice industry with a larger kitchen and looking to serve customers frequently, then you’ll need a commercial-grade heavy-duty blender.