How To Use a Blender Efficiently : Tips and Tricks
Getting the best blender as your kitchen partner can significantly help you to become a better you in handling daily kitchen task.
Kitchen blender excels in their specialities in producing various of recipes such as smoothie, frozen drinks, soup and even as a food processor.
However, many of us do not use the blender in a right way that will result to leakage, clogging, overheated, chunky smoothie and even injuries.
Therefore, if you are new to kitchen blender and wish to learn more about how to operate with kitchen blender efficiently, here are a few tips and tricks right below.
Use the Lid Correctly
I bet most of us including myself have made a simple mistake by not remembering to secure the lid on pitcher before starting to blend.
It create a huge mess in my kitchen, food wastage and worst of all, I have to start all over again. Although it is the most basic step and hardly we can ever miss it, but if you are in a hurry, the possibility is right there.
Fortunately, some of the modern blenders comes with a safety lock on lid and pitcher on the motor base before you can start running the blender. One of it known as the Ninja Professional BL660.
In addition, most of the countertop blender’s lid has filler cap in the middle that allows you to remove it to fill in some liquid if the blend is too thick. Now you don’t have to remove the whole lid as this will cause some spilling and mess from the lid.
Do not open the lid while the motor is still running if you wanted to shift the chucky ingredient down to the blade. Make sure the blade is in complete stop first.
How to use the Speed Setting correctly?
A tabletop blender usually comes with three, five or more speed setting and they are build for several reasons.
However, few of the personal bullet blender only comes with one speed only. It shouldn’t be any issue or making it disadvantage if your intended purpose is to make smoothie, frozen drinks, crushing ice or protein shakes.
Having a low to high selectable speeds enables you to gain more control out of different ingredient and what kind of result you are looking to achieve.
Not all ingredient you wanted to liquify or puree it to the finest texture, sometimes you might want to produce a right size (fine or coarse) of food for your recipe .
Low Speed: For stir, a good start for chunky ingredients, batters, besides that it will turn ice to snow, (10 - 20 seconds)
Medium Speed: It is intended for chop and mix for making salsa, nuts, veggies, dessert sauce (10 - 20 seconds)
High Speed: For puree and liquify such as making Smoothie, Yogurt, or Protein Shake (20 - 30 seconds)
Ice Crush button: When you need a coarser ice texture for cocktails, slurpies or any frozen drinks (20 - 30 seconds)
Do take note that if you’re making smoothie or liquify chunky ingredients, always start with Pulse to lowest speed and gradually increase to high speed.
Starting to blend from high speed will cause friction that would result to clogging and the motor will get overheated.
Always Use the Pulse function
It is always recommended to Pulse your ingredient for a few round first before you go for high speed setting. It is common for modern blender to have a Pulse button on the control panel. Some blender’s control panel comes with a “P” alphabet button that means pulse as well.
What is the Pulse function for?
You may have stumble upon the Pulse button on the control panel wondering how does it work. Many does not know what is the real purpose behind of it as well.
The pulse feature is actually creating a bursting effect in medium speed to break open and dislodge the produce inside the pitcher with a few spin.
When do you use Pulse?
The pulse button is actually a great feature to have and you gain better control over the ingredients during blending process in several ways:
For chopping only - If you’re intended to chop the vegetables for making salsa but not liquifying it, use the pulse button.
Breaking down frozen and chunky ingredient - The pulse is very helpful to start chopping or breaking it down when the pitcher is filled with chunky ingredient.
It will loosen up the chunky ingredient to remove unnecessary air pocket as well when there is too much gap from top to bottom. Blending with high speed right away can cause cavitation.
When the blender is clogged - pulse it to dislodge and loosen up the chunky produce and back to high speed setting.
Grind herbs and nuts - useful to turn them into particles without totally pulverize it.
What if the pulse button is not available in your blender?
Not to worry, you can still pulse your ingredient even though your blender does not have the function by just turn on and off with medium speed setting. Just push the on/off button multiple times until it break down the chunky ingredients.
Some personal blender such as the NutriBullet Pro does not come with any button, therefore you can let the blade spin couple of rounds and pause for a moment before going full speed blending.
Is it Okay to Blend Hot Liquids?
Yes, only countertop blender can blend with hot ingredients but before that, there are a few precaution steps needs to be taken because bad things could happen if you blend it right away with high speed.
Firstly, you need to know that hot ingredients will produce huge amount of steam and if the lid is tightly locked in place, the lid will get explode off once started and the hot liquid will splash out that might hurt someone else. I bet you wouldn’t want to learn the hard way.
So the steam needs to be vented off all the time.
How do you vent the steam when blending hot liquid?
Most blender’s lid have the center piece known as the filler cap which is removable. Remove it and the steam can easily escape out of it.
How to make sure the liquid will not splash out without filler cap?
Here are a few tips:
- FIll up the hot ingredient not more than half of the pitcher.
- Use the lowest speed setting first, and then slowly increase the speed. Once the slowest speed create a vortex in blender, then it won’t splash.
- If you’re not confident of doing the first step, separate your hot ingredient into two batches and start with slowest speed then gradually increase to fastest.
- Covering the filler cap hole with towel will further secure any single spray coming out from there.
- Always hold your lid manually to prevent it from open while blending.
Note: Personal blender is not recommended for hot liquid or carbonated ingredient blending purpose. You can blend it when it reaches room temperature and heat up again with microwave or oven.
Foods Never to Put in the Blender
It will only resulted to few things: damaging the blender, bad mess, and failed to produce exactly what you want.
1) Boiling liquid - It can be extremely dangerous if the lid blowing off and the boiling liquid can cause serious burn to someone else. Secondly it can wear off the pitcher in long term.
Let it cool for at least five minutes as hot to warm temperature liquid is better for your safety and the blender as well.
2) Mashed Potatoes - Blender and mashed potatoes will never work well together. You will end up getting a gluey and gummy texture due to over aggresive blend. A traditional masher and food mill is your best bet to produce a better fluffy texture mashed potato.
3) Black Pepper - The height of the pitcher will cause the black pepper dust will settle down very slow. Besides that, it will create a tear gas effect and circulate fine particles through air column around your house. A better way to grind the spices is using a mortar and pestle.
4) Dried Fruit - Unless you have a high performance blender, a standard kitchen blender will not end up well with dried fruit as the sticky texture will stick on cutting blades and will not pulverize them effectively.
5) Big Frozen Solid Food - It will risk damaging the blade in long term and even causes the motor clogged and overheating. The right way to do it is use a smaller size of frozen food, in small quantity or leave it for around 5 - 10 minutes first before you start blending.
Can You use a Blender as a Food Processor?
Yes, you can. However, you can only produce small amount of batches due to smaller capacity of the pitcher compare to food processor. Besides that it will take longer time as well.
One disadvantage of blender can’t do but a food food precessors can is making doughs.
How to produce the similar effect like the food processor does?
1) Pulse the ingredient - Generally blenders operates at higher RPM/speed than food processors. If you’re operate your blender in usual way, it will produce smoother than coarser or small pieces you expected.
To imitate similar speed of a food processor, use the Pulse button or lowest speed with on and off button repeatedly for chopping rather than letting it blend continuously.
2) Do not use Liquify and Puree speed setting - Kitchen blenders are best for making smoothie, frozen drinks, crushing ice, and soups while food processors are typically for mix and chop task. So to avoid getting creamy texture as outcome, follow the first step.
3) Add in only small amount of liquid - Less liquid means less soupy it gets when chop and mix with blender.
Clean Your Kitchen Blender Regularly
It is a good idea to wash your blender immediately after each task. Cleaning a modern blender is very easy and fast as it has lesser parts compared to a juicer.
Cleaning away the food residue on blades and around the pitcher will prolong the blade sharpness and efficiency of blending performance.
Disassemble every parts such as cutting blades, pitcher out from the unit base for better cleaning efficiency. Use some water and dish cleaner to clean all the residue by manually or dishwasher.
Although most of the blender’s part except the motor base is dishwasher-safe, always double check again from the manual to make sure you can clean it that way.
Never clean your motor base unit under tap water or in water. Just wipe the surface and motor part with damp cloth is sufficient to keep it clean.
Now you’ve gone through the overall basic tips and tricks guide for common use of the kitchen blender. Safety always comes first when handling hot ingredient with your kitchen appliances.
If you’re unsure how to use your blender correctly, always refer to the manual at the first place. Hopefully I have covered everything you need to know about do’s and don’ts in this topic.
You can now produce a great smoothie, frozen drinks and even soup with no hassle as a reward. If you have just started to operate with a kitchen blender but with zero experience in making smoothie, no worries, you can check out our guide of how to make smoothie like a professional.