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The 4 Very Best Immersion Blenders

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While many people find storing a blender in their kitchen to be worth it, the smaller (and overall less expensive) immersion blender can handle a lot of the same cooking tasks with less fuss. And while they may not be right for, say, big-batch smoothies or crushing nuts into butter (which takes a lot of force), they work totally great for emulsifying soups, marinades, dressings and aïolis and, yes, for making smaller smoothies. In fact, I found that it’s pretty common to own both a blender and an immersion blender — but that the ease of the latter is preferable whenever it can be employed. “I use mine way more than my full-size blender and food processor,” Simply Recipes associate general manager Emma Christensen told me. “It stores in a drawer and you can pull it right out. There’s no transferring. It’s much easier to clean.” No matter which model you’re drawn to — likely from one of the few brands that seem to dominate the market — Cristensen’s points ring true. The immersion blender? “It’s all about convenience.”

Best overall | Best less expensive | Best with multiple blade styles | Best cordless

What we’re looking for

Number of speeds: Some immersion blenders have set speeds, in which case I’ve listed the exact number you can choose from. Others have a variable speed, meaning you control how quickly they’re whirring with a dial or button that moves gradually from low to high.

Extras: Most immersion blenders come with more than one stick and blade. For this, I’ve listed all the additional attachments (whether that’s different styles of blades, whisks, or choppers à la a food processor), as well as any pitchers or cups that will give you a mini blenderlike setup.

Best overall immersion blender

15 speeds | Whisk, chopping bowl with blades, storage jug with lid 

The majority of the experts I spoke to named the Breville Control Grip as their favorite immersion blender. With 15 speeds, it’s the most high-tech of the bunch. “It is on the bigger side,” says food writer and editor Alyse Whitney, “but it’s really powerful.” Matt Rodbard, a food writer, an editor, and a coauthor of the recently released Food IQ, has had his for more than five years. “For me, it’s just really brought a lot of utility when making soups and sauces,” he says. “Plus I love the way it feels in my hand.” Posie Brien, a recipe developer and writer for the food site 600 Acres, has had hers for even longer — more than a decade. “I love it,” she says. “It’s so easy to use and clean. It’s sturdy and substantial and the motor is great. I really think everyone should be using an immersion blender more often. It’s good for eggs — if you blend your scrambled eggs with one, they’ll be so much creamier and better. It’s good for smoothies. It’s good for sauces of any kind, really.” And no matter what you’re doing, the rubberized lip means it won’t scratch the bottom of any pots, pans, or bowls.

Plus there are all the attachments. “You can use the blender function to purée pumpkin or smooth out a custard for a cream pie, then swap it out for the whisk attachment to whip up some cream to top it with,” says Petra Paredez, the owner of Petee’s Pie Company in Brooklyn and the author of Pie for Everyone. “It has a cup attachment that lets you use it as a regular blender, too, so it can replace multiple tools that would otherwise take up a lot of space.”

Best less-expensive immersion blender

Low-to-high variable speed | Whisk, chopper, measuring cup

The Cuisinart Smart Stick, favored by two of the pros I spoke with, has a variable speed dial that takes the handheld machine from low to high. That’s actually one of the features Christensen likes about it. “The controls are really, really easy,” she says of the stick, which she has owned for about five years. “Clearly, it’s built to last.” Chef and author Virginia Willis can certainly attest to that too — she had an older-model Cuisinart immersion blender for 15 years and only recently replaced it with this one. “I find it to be such a great tool,” she says. “Especially when it comes to making soups, it’s so much safer and easier than pouring the liquid into a blender. Plus if you’re making something like refried beans, it’s easy to control going partway blended instead of fully.”

Best immersion blender with multiple blade styles

Five speeds | Whisk, chopper, pitcher, three different bell blades

Though it has fewer speeds than the Breville, this KitchenAid model has always been flexible enough for recipe developer (and soon-to-be cookbook author) Jessie Sheehan. “It’s a tool you might not think you really need, but it’s actually super-helpful,” she says. “I have a salad-dressing phobia — I always want other people to make it for me. But this really helps. I can make mayo or a fruit compote, or I can whip egg whites for baking with the whisk attachment. We have a Vitamix we use when we’re making smoothies en masse, but it’s nice to be able to make smaller portions too.” One of the attachment bell blades that come with the 5-Speed is, in fact, meant to be especially efficient at crushing ice. “It’s easy to use, and the cord has never been a problem because it’s quite long,” Sheehan says. “Plus it’s not crazy expensive.”

Best cordless immersion blender

Low-to-high variable speed | Blending jar with lid

In addition to her Breville, Whitney has this cordless immersion blender, which she got specifically for its portability. “It’s helpful to not have a cord when I’m blending soup in particular,” she says. “You just charge it up like you would anything. And the charge lasts for a really long time — 25 uses, according to the website. I definitely don’t charge it very often.” Instead of a dial, this one has a variable speed button, which Whitney says is very straightforward.

Our experts

• Emma Christensen, associate general manager at Simply Recipes
• Alyse Whitney, food writer and editor
Petra Paredez, owner of Petee’s Pie Company
Matt Rodbard, food writer, editor, and author
Posie Brien, recipe developer and writer
Jessie Sheehan, recipe developer
• Virginia Willis, chef and author

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The 4 Very Best Immersion Blenders