You can blend soups and sauces directly in the pot.
Immersion blenders are so versatile. Also called a hand blender, the handheld tool has a motor on one end and blades on the other. They can do big jobs like blending smoothies and pureeing soups directly in the pot without having to transfer it to and from a blender, and they can also tackle small jobs like whipping cream and making a dressing.
To find the best immersion blenders, the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab regularly evaluates a variety of top-rated models from well-known brands at a range of prices, looking for models that are easy to assemble and comfortable to hold and operate. We bring them into our kitchens to compare how well they puree butternut squash soup, blend smoothies, crush ice, and whisk eggs. Our favorite ones (which we bought for ourselves and use almost daily!) are powerful enough to blend smoothies and soups effortlessly and quietly with an ergonomic and comfortable grip that won't tire hands. These are our top immersion blender picks, based on a combination of testing and in-home use:
Great for small jobs like making pesto, dips, mayonnaise, whipped cream, scrambled eggs, and so much more, immersion blenders can whip up smoothies, milkshakes, and frozen drinks for one or two people — but that's where they cap out since the motor (and blades) are smaller and cannot run for a very long time without overheating.
Avoid hard foods (nuts and seeds) or very fibrous ones (kale and carrots) because they won’t get silky smooth. Instead, stick to a high-powered blender or food processor. Also, the blade needs to be fully submerged to work - you may have trouble blending very small quantities.
Blade guard: This is the dome-shaped part of the blender that covers the blades. We found that wide blade guards with large vents do a better job of circulating the food around for better and faster blending. They are also easier to clean because food stuck under the blades is more accessible. Just make sure the blade guard will fit easily in your favorite pots and smoothie cups.
Handle and grip: To operate the immersion blender, you’ll have to grip the handle with one hand and press the on, off, or speed buttons with your fingers, so it should feel comfortable to hold and operate. Your hands will fatigue if the handle is too large, the buttons are too small or awkwardly placed, or if the blender feels heavy. Also, the buttons should be easy to press without much force. Ideally your fingers should fall naturally on the buttons when you hold the handle. We found non-slip rubber handles to be softer and easier to grip.
Design: Look for a compact enough model that's easy to store in a kitchen drawer. Though immersion blenders are super easy to clean, we prefer models that have a removable blender attachment and are dishwasher-safe.
Corded vs. cordless: Cords offer constant power, but an electric cord can get tangled, burned, or could knock things over on a busy kitchen counter and stove-top. Cordless models are portable and convenient, but may burn out before you can finish the job.
Additional attachments for chopping, processing, whisking, or frothing may be included. If you already have these appliances, you can save money by buying a model without the extras. One accessory we do love is a sturdy, tall, and narrow blending jar – it reduces splattering and makes the up-and-down motion needed to blend easier. Plus, you can serve or store food directly in it!
Wattage: The immersion blenders we tested had motors between 225 and 600 watts and although wattage is an indicator of power, we found that it’s not a reflection of quality, performance, or comfort.