A tip, Tip Speed.

dcarch7April 19, 2012

Do you use a stick blender?

It occurred to me that I can share this tip with you:

What makes a blender work is the difference between the speed of the blades' tip and what you are trying to blend. The bigger the difference, the better the end result. An expensive counter top blender can achieve over 30,000 RPM.

A hand stick blender cannot go very fast because of portability and low power. Most of them are about 15,000 RPM. A stick blender goes much slower inside a liquid, especially thick liquid, probably less than 8,000 RPM.

You can get much better end results for blending if you try this technique, even with blending a thick liquid:

With the blender turned on, insert the blender in and out of the liquid. When the blender is out of the liquid, it achieves max blade speed immediately. When you plunge the blender at max speed into the liquid, the liquid is at 0 speed, maximum blending occurs. Very quickly, the blade slows down by the liquid, then you lift the blender out of the liquid again. In and out, in and out, keep repeating.


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Dcarch, this would entail my soup/spaghetti sauce; whatever I'm blending........all over the kitchen! I've done it (accidentally).

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 1:55PM
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I rented a stump grinder a while back; that's how you use it. Raise the head out of the material to gain speed & momentum, then you lower it into the material to do its thing.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 1:58PM
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Nope, I'll keep the immersion blender were it belongs....under whatever you are trying to puree or smooth. As Jasdip said your soup, sauce,etc. will be all over your walls. If it takes a little longer to do that is alright. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 3:27PM
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Maybe the trick is to get everything pretty well combined while the blender is immersed, then to start the in and out movements?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 3:36PM
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I don't use my stick blender very often,
But for whatever reason,
When I do use it,
That's how I do it.
I have no idea why I've always done it like that,
I certainly never gave any thought to it.
It just seems to be my automatic action.

Just as always making sure that whatever I am blending
Is in a container that is deep enough
That my whole kitchen doesn't get coated.

It always seemed to work better
But I didn't have the technical knowledge
to explain it and make it a viable tip.

Thanks for sharing!


    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 3:37PM
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DC, but bringing the blade up and out of the liquid, clearing the surface is not advised. In fact, most stick blenders come with instructions which advise keeping the blade below surface. Lifting it out is an accident waiting to happen. Not only will it splash all over, as Jasdip mentioned but it is also a good way to get a burn if you are blending hot liquid.

If you and Rusty haven't had this problem you have been lucky.

I keep the blade angled just under the surface and find the stick blender very efficient. There is a major difference though between stick blenders. I had one that wasn't very good. Just 200 watts. I have a Braun with 400 watts. And I think there are new stick blenders with over 500 watts.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 3:53PM
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Any motor will run faster when it's not doing "work"....everything from a stand mixer to a stick blender to a chain saw to a car running out of gear.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 5:22PM
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Ann - You just made me check my stick blender, a mere ONE hundred watts. Sounds like I'm missing out, but it's still strong enough to splatter the walls!

Rusty - 90% of sharing a tip is knowing that you have a tip to share. I think that, not "technical knowledge," is what you were lacking if you "never gave any thought to it" and it's just the way you've "always done it." I'd go so far as to suggest sometimes it's better to offer a tip "just because it works" rather than give a reason for it, since reasons are more apt to be challenged!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 6:44PM
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I use my immersion blender a lot and have always done the in and out motion. No idea why - it's just what I do. As long as your vessel is deep enough, splashing is not a problem. Probably why it came with a tall, cylindrical vessel.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 7:54PM
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I do take things for granted sometimes. I should have also mentioned that you should use a tall enough vessel if you don't want to re-decorate your kitchen.

Give it a try with plain water, it will take a couple of minutes and you will see that it will not splatter.

Don't squash this idea until you have tried it.

Ann, FOAS, wattage rating in appliances can be complicated and misleading. I am not going to explain that here. For a blender, rotation speed is obviously very important. There is a reason why not too many blenders tell you their RPM, because they don't want you to know and compare. You can have a hundred horse power motor that only rotates at 100 RPM, and that will not be a very good extremely powerful blender.

You will also notice that most immersion blenders do not have ventilation holes like a counter top blender. Where does the heat go? 500 watts is over 1300 BTUs of heat that needs to go some place.

Posted by Lindac "Any motor will run faster when it's not doing "work"....everything from a stand mixer to a stick blender to a chain saw to a car running out of gear."

But in this technique, the motor is working very hard. When you lift the blender out of the liquid, the motor immediately gains speed. The speed is stored "Potential Energy" in the motor's rotor mass, just like a flywheel in a steam engine. The stored (momentum) energy is the key why this "in and out" technique works.

Did someone say "Squash"?

I made a kabocha squash soup, so creamy smooth with a hand blender. :-)


    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 9:26PM
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I don't think I have used the tall vessel that my immersion blender came with ever. I use a hand blender when I need to whip cream, make mayo,etc. I use the immersion blender in stock pots and pans with hot soups and sauces. That way you don't have to transfer hot liquids to the food processor to puree. It's a safety issue. Best to keep it under whatever you are pureeing, at least imo. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 8:08AM
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Thank you, Dcarch, for sharing your tip. I think I've used that method, too, also not knowing why. I just move the blender around, up and down, (Where's evil Jessy? lol) to make sure I puree whatever it is I want to puree. I don't always want to completely puree it. My stick blender was an estate sale buy - a Braun that I think DH paid $4 for. I have no idea how powerful it is, but it does the job.

I love your squash dish. What great plating!


    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 10:16AM
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