Handheld blenders tend to be the best option for anyone who blends frequently and has limited space, but I’ve learned the hard way that they are not all created equal. I’ve done a lot of apartment skipping in my day and each place I’ve resided in has had a different, equally terrible, $ 15 handheld blender that was always better at turning my shared kitchen into a disaster zone than really blending anything.
Like that time I figured I’d use it to make a smoothie and instead ended up with a chunky slurry of veggies, fruit, and ice. Or, when I tried to purée soup straight into the pot and the thing stuck to the bottom, scratched the enamel, and spat hot soup right into my face. Even when I moved into my own place and finally had to invest in one myself, the cheap option I settled for still didn’t meet my standards.
It wasn’t until I really decided to commit to finding the best possible option that I discovered this one from Braun, which has increased the amount of time I spend blending things and the quantity of food I’m able to blend. I figure that’s because it has a 400-watt engine, which is twice as powerful as a typical handheld blender, allowing it to purée a large amount of hard veggies with ease. Now, I use it almost every day to whip up a smoothie.
Its scalloped edges also prevent all the unwanted suction, overspill, and backsplash issues I’ve encountered with cheap, flat-edged handheld blenders of the past. Now, I’m able to whip up mayonnaise without worrying that it will fly all over my apartment and leave it smelling like eggs for a week. And my nice non-stick pots and pans don’t get all scratched up when I purée a red pepper paprika sauce directly into them.
On top of that, the whole thing is controlled by a touch-sensitive speed trigger, which speeds up or slows down depending on how hard you press, and it’s powerful enough to rip through ice, which I could’ve never done with one of my former handheld blenders.
What I most appreciate about this tool, though, is that it’s basically three different appliances in one, for a reasonably low price, without taking up an ungodly amount of cabinet space. Its whisk attachment transforms it into a hand mixer to make whipped cream whenever the mood strikes—saving me the arm workout, and sparing me a dirty bowl—and the food processor attachment chops onions like a breeze when I don’t feel like doing it by hand.
It’s also as easy to clean as it is to work with, usually requiring no more than a quick rinse and rub—no giant, dirty standard blenders soaking for days. It’s been a few months now since I made the switch and this thing works so well, I wonder why I ever struggled with the cheaper options in the first place.