As strange as this may sound, I’ve always had this fairy tale idea about hand blenders. The first time I saw one, I was young and working as an au pair in Paris. I watched a savvy British woman make pumpkin soup with what she kept calling her “magic wand.” Years later, I witnessed another impossibly wonderful Dutch woman do the same, but she used her "wand" on squash. I was thoroughly impressed and assumed that the mysterious, yet effective, soup tool was something reserved for only the most knowledgeable of chefs.
Then, earlier this year, demonstrations of the magical device began going viral on TikTok. Cooking influencers showed off how simple it was to whip up smoothies and one-bowl meals. I had to learn why this handheld device had so enthralled the savvy women I knew — and, seemingly, all of TikTok.
For my investigation, I used the Mueller 9-Speed Immersion Hand Blender, which has sent the good people of TikTok raving for its quality and versatility. And after seeing five-star ratings from almost 10,000 reviewers, I knew that I was on the right track to possibly finding my own magic kitchen device.
The multipurpose tool arrived with three interchangeable heads: a blending shaft, a whisk and a milk frother. Since we're in the middle of summer, I wasn’t about to experiment by making a hot stew as my first meal. Instead, I chose to whip up a cold strawberry soup and pesto sauce.
My first test was pureeing the bejesus out of a bowl of strawberries. Some hand blenders come with a beaker to keep the operation contained. The Mueller is missing one and, honestly, it would have been a welcomed addition. Throughout the blending, I kept one eye anxiously glued to the top of the soup, petrified of strawberry guts splattering my kitchen walls. Luckily, for the most part, everything stayed neatly in the glass bowl I used. (Pro tip: turn the engine off before lifting the blender out of your concoction, or your story may end very differently.)
The blender isn't meant to run for any longer than 50 seconds at a time. If you’re mixing “heavy or hard food,” the manufacturer recommends taking a break every 20 to 30 seconds. Because of this rule (and the general size of the machine), it took a bit longer to perfectly puree about two pints of strawberries using this device than it would have in a food processor. But in the end, it easily chopped through the fruit, and I was impressed by how simple it was to use.
Up next was homemade pesto. After tossing all my ingredients into a mason jar, I inserted the hand blender and started the device on a speed of three out of eight. I had to futz with the ingredients until the pine nuts and basil leaves were taken up by the blades. But even then, it wasn’t really working. I hiked the speed up to six, then eight, then quickly back down as the pesto began to splatter out of the jar. After a few minutes of blending, I called it off — even though I was still left with some chunky leaf bits. The Mueller device didn't have the power to make my sauce entirely smooth, but this minor setback didn't affect the taste of the pesto.
Although I was left satisfied with my strawberry soup and pesto, what made me proclaim hand blender loyalty came at the end of the meal. Although it had been a fairly involved prep, the cleanup was over in just a few minutes. I was expecting the hassle that normally comes with washing a normal blender but was pleasantly surprised to realize that I didn’t have to contort my sponge around weird metal corners. No missed spots! No finagling of random rubber parts! I only had to wash the hand blender attachment and the bowls I had used.
Eager to see what else the Mueller could do, I used the milk frother attachment to whip up a cappuccino the following morning. (I do have a milk frother in my cabinet but rarely use it because, you know, it’s just something else to clean.) I poured milk into a mug then put the frother into action. About 30 seconds later, delicate milk bubbles were ready for espresso. In less than a minute, I went from a solid cup of joe to a gourmet-coffee-shop-level treat. And all I needed to clean up at the end was the small attachment.
Simply put: This hand blender makes glamorous cooking much less daunting. And, in my opinion, any cooking tool that cuts back on cleanup time is the perfect addition to any lazy-fancy lifestyle. If you’re a serious chef, an immersion blender won’t replace your countertop blender or food processor. But if you want to whip up small smoothie batches and don’t mind a chunky sauce occasionally, this magic wand might be exactly what your kitchen needs.
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