best in class

The 10 Very Best Immersion Blenders

They can handle a lot of the same cooking tasks as regular blenders with less fuss.

The best immersion blender is the Breville Control Grip Immersion Blender.
Photo: Marcus McDonald
The best immersion blender is the Breville Control Grip Immersion Blender.
Photo: Marcus McDonald

In this article

While many people think storing a blender in their kitchen is worth the space it takes up, I find the smaller (and overall less expensive) immersion blender can handle a lot of the same cooking tasks with less fuss. Sure, I keep a large machine on hand for big-batch drinks or crushing nuts into butter, but I actually prefer the several handheld blenders I’ve tested — all of which you’ll find on this list — for emulsifying soups, marinades, dressings, and aiolis. And I’m not alone in that: in addition to my own testing, I talked to 15 expert cooks for this story and learned that many own both a larger standing blender and an immersion blender — mainly because the immersion is often so much easier to pull out, use, and clean. “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 where you can pull it right out. There’s no transferring. It’s much easier to clean.”

The models I’ve tested and rounded up here will all get the job done — so when you’re shopping, you’ll want to think about the smaller differences. These come down to the number of speeds and the extra attachments and also what purpose the immersion blender will serve if you already own a large blender or food processor. No matter which model you’re drawn to — likely from one of the few brands that seem to dominate the market, like Cuisinart and KitchenAid — Cristensen’s points ring true. The immersion blender? “It’s all about convenience,” she says. And if you are interested in shopping for a full-size machine, you can find my guide to that here.

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 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 just 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 immersion blender overall

Speeds: 15 speeds | Extras: Whisk, chopping bowl with blades, storage jar with lid

When I tested the Breville Control Grip, I found it to be very powerful — but the main reason I awarded it best in class is that it allows for subtle changes between 15 speeds (the most of any on this list). That variance came in handy when blending liquids I didn’t want to splatter everywhere, like hot soup and heavy cream; I was able to start low and gradually move up. The distinction also means it’s very easy to control. With variable speed, it can be harder to land exactly where you want to — but this one allows for subtle-but-clear differences when making mixtures like salsas, where you don’t want to overblend, or immersions like aioli (too fast and the mixture would become undesirably thick as you slowly stream in olive oil). I also found the handle to be very comfortable. It’s made of silicone and designed so that you can get your fingers fully around the neck while still operating the buttons.

The majority of the experts I spoke to also said that this Breville model was their favorite. Matt Rodbard, food writer, editor, and cookbook author, has had his for over 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, recipe developer and writer of the food site 600 Acres, has had hers for even longer — over a decade. “I love it,” she says. “It’s so easy to use, and so easy to clean. It’s sturdy and substantial and the motor is great. I really think everyone should be using an immersion blender more. It’s good for eggs — like 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, it shouldn’t damage the bottom of any pots or pans or bowls. “It has a rubberized lip so that it doesn’t scratch,” food writer and editor Alyse Whitney says.

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, owner of and baker at Petee’s Pie Company in Brooklyn and 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 a lot of space.”

Best less expensive immersion blender

Speeds: Low to high variable | Extras: Whisk, chopper, measuring cup

The Cuisinart Smart Stick’s standout feature is an incredibly smooth variable speed dial that takes the machine from low to high. In my own testing, I was able to shift seamlessly between the high and low points. Making subtle adjustments in either direction when necessary isn’t quite as easy as it is with the more expensive Breville above — but it’s certainly doable. I managed to never slip too far in either direction, which is especially important when blending hot soup or whisking something like heavy cream, where increasing speed gradually prevents splatter. Chef and author Virginia Willis, who had an older-model Cuisinart immersion blender for 15 years and replaced it with this one a few years ago, can attest to that, too. “If you’re making something like refried beans, it’s easy to control going part-way blended instead of full,” she says. And Strategist senior editor Simone Kitchens says even the lowest speed was enough to purée vegetables for her baby, either fully or with some texture depending on how long she let the motor run.

The Smart Stick is intuitive to set up: The blending blade, whisk, and chopper bowl lock securely into the motor with a simple twist and unlock at the press of a button. The chopper function works just as well as my beloved mini food processor, also from Cuisinart. Though the bowl fits only two cups instead of three (which means I won’t use it to make foods that take up more space, like pesto), I do find it easier to clean because of fewer nooks and crannies — reason enough to make it my go-to tool for smaller-volume sauces. Christensen, who has owned the blender for six years, and Kitchens both say it’s exceptionally easy to clean with a simple rinse.

Best simple immersion blender

Speeds: Two | Extras: Blending jar

Cookbook author Julia Turshen uses her Braun immersion blender primarily for two tasks: making salad dressing directly inside of a deli container (so she can store it in the fridge without dirtying two bowls) and blending soups, especially when she’s looking to purée just some to thicken the body. She appreciates the simplicity of its two speeds (the only other blender on this list with similarly minimal settings is the Cuisinart model further down), which work perfectly for her needs without giving her too many choices. And she doesn’t “find the cord impacts my usage at all since nothing in my kitchen is terribly far from an outlet,” she says. “Most kitchens can probably say the same.” For three years, this straightforward model has held up great, Turshen says.

Best immersion blender without attachments

Speeds: Five | Extras: None

Vitamix is the gold standard when it comes to full-size blenders — and recipe developer and cookbook author Samah Dada, as well as cook Ethaney Lee, says the brand’s immersion blender is just as powerful. Unlike most on this list, it doesn’t come with extra attachments — an undeniable perk if you’re looking to minimize clutter. Those extra pieces “would just take up space in my kitchen that I could use for other things,” Dada says.

The machine has two buttons: One turns the tool on and off, and the other lets Dada slowly scale up between five increasing speeds; when she’s blitzing, she starts at the lowest setting and then presses the same button to gradually go faster to ensure there’s no splatter. Lee appreciates that ability to scale, too: She says sometimes models with preset speeds “go from zero to 100,” but this one, even on its highest setting, keeps liquid contained. She also says she likes that on the lowest setting she’s able to retain more texture for something like a compote.

Best less-expensive immersion blender without attachments

$50

Speeds: Two | Extras: None

This Cuisinart model is a more affordable and even simpler blender that also comes with no attachments and has only two speeds. In 2017, Strategist contributor Hannah Howard said it “changed her life” — and all these years later, she still feels the same. When originally surveying the immersion-blender landscape, Howard saw that many came with fancy attachments and extraneous features, like bendable arms, and usually went for upward of $100. She wanted something simpler, so she settled on this extremely affordable unit. “What I love most about it is that it just has two speeds,” she writes, noting that she uses the lower one for things like pesto and the higher one for smoothies and purées. “It has 200 watts of horsepower, which is plenty for a hand blender.” And since it weighs about a pound and a half, it maneuvers easily into all sorts of pots, bowls, and jars (and fits in Howard’s “tiny Brooklyn kitchen drawer”).

Best immersion blender with multiple blade styles

Speeds: Five | Extras: Whisk, chopper, pitcher, three different bell blades

This KitchenAid model, though it has fewer speeds than the Breville, has been perfectly flexible for recipe developer and cookbook author Jessie Sheehan. “I’ve always been fond of it,” she says. “It’s a tool you might not think you really need, but it’s actually super helpful. 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 those attachment bell blades that comes with the KitchenAid 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 durable immersion blender

GE Immersion Blender
$49
$49

Speeds: Two | Extras: Whisk and blending jar

The GE Immersion Blender comes recommended by Richard Rea, executive chef at The Butcher’s Daughter, who has been using one at home and in his professional kitchen for several years. In the latter, he says he probably uses it even more than the commercial model they also have on hand, pulling it out for creamy soups, cashew ricotta, hummus, and all types of salsa. “It’s very strong,” he says. “It breaks through nuts — even some big, bulky blenders don’t do that. It has a powerful motor and very sharp blades. And it’s super lightweight and doesn’t make much noise (a little hum, but that’s it).”

Best immersion blender with pan guard

Speeds: Low to high variable | Extras: Blending jar with lid, pan guard

In testing this KitchenAid model, I found it performed well. Like Turshen, I used it for salad dressings (especially bigger-batch ones I intended to keep around for a week or so, since it emulsifies a large amount so quickly) and soup. In the latter case, I was especially appreciative of the pan guard, which fits snugly around the appliance’s sharp metal cage, but still allows the blades to whir freely. When I accidentally touched the bottom of my beloved Dutch oven, it didn’t leave a scrape. I will note that when I blended a sauce with lots of herbs using the highest setting, there were still very tiny pieces speckling the liquid, unlike the fully emulsified, uniformly colored mixture I get when I use the Cuisinart Smart Stick. This didn’t so much affect the texture, however, which still felt overall really smooth. A final note: Though I have the black, KitchenAid sells theirs in nine different colors, if aesthetics are important to you.

Best cordless immersion blender

Speeds: Five | Extras: None

Gaby Dalkin, the cookbook author and blogger behind What’s Gaby Cooking, has tried a lot of different immersion blenders over her 13 years as a recipe developer — and she says this is the best one she’s ever used. The main reason is that it’s cordless once you’ve finished charging it in a dock, which is especially useful for anyone who doesn’t have an outlet right next to their stove (as blending soups is one of the main functions of an immersion blender). It also means there’s nothing getting in the way, ever. Dalkin charges hers once a week and is able to use it several times during the subsequent days before returning it to the dock (though she says it definitely would last even longer for home cooks). And while it might be a stretch to call any immersion blender particularly stylish, this one has a stainless steel body with no visible plastic parts, giving it a sleek look — so much so that it’s one of Dalkin’s most-asked-about products when she does an Instagram live-cooking demonstration, she says.

Best less expensive cordless immersion blender

Speeds: Low to high variable | Extras: Blending jar with lid, pan guard

In addition to her Breville, Whitney has this cordless immersion blender. Although it also comes with a pan guard, its standout feature is that it’s battery operated. “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.

And while you’re on the market for an immersion blender, have you considered…

Our experts

• Posie Brien, recipe developer and writer
• Emma Christensen, associate general manager at Simply Recipes
• Samah Dada, cookbook author
• Gaby Dalkin, cookbook author and blogger at What’s Gaby Cooking
• Simone Kitchens, Strategist senior editor
Ethaney Lee, cook
Hannah Howard, Strategist contributor
• Petra Paredez, owner of Petee’s Pie Company
• Richard Rea, executive chef at The Butcher’s Daughter
• Matt Rodbard, food writer, editor, and cookbook author
• Jessie Sheehan, recipe developer
• Julia Turshen, cookbook author
• Alyse Whitney, food writer and editor
• Virginia Willis, chef and author
• Laura Wright, creator of The First Mess

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The 10 Very Best Immersion Blenders