Having the right blender in your kitchen arsenal can make all the difference. A good blender can make preparing everything from blended drinks to pureed soups a snap, as long as you know how to use it. Unfortunately, many people do not use their blenders properly or as efficiently as they could. Below you will find a collection of useful tips to help you get the most out of your blender.
Use the Lid Correctly
We have all made the mistake of forgetting to put the lid on the blender before hitting the power button. If you’ve done this before, you know that it can not only make a big mess in your kitchen, but it can set your meal preparation back to square one. Putting the lid firmly on the blender before starting it may seem like a no-brainer, but it is surprisingly easy to forget this step. Not only do you need to put the lid on firmly, but you should know how to use the lid correctly. Many modern blenders have lids that enable you to use extra features. For example, many blender lids have a removable center piece that allows you to add ingredients while the blender is running. This option is great for blending solid ingredients because you may need to add extra liquid during the blending process to ensure a smooth and even blend.
Start at Low Speed and Work Your Way Up
Many people make the mistake of only using their blender on the highest setting. It might seem like choosing the highest power setting will blend your ingredients more quickly, but it could just leave you with an uneven blend. Especially when blending liquids and solids together, you want to start on a low power setting and work your way up. If the blender is having a hard time with solid ingredients, add a little extra liquid before moving up in speed.
Don’t Forget About the Pulse Button
Most people do not even know the real intended function of the pulse button on their blender. You can certainly use the pulse feature to chop ingredients before blending them, but the pulse button was actually designed to help dislodge food that gets stuck in the blade. When using your blender, if it suddenly starts to shudder or make a loud grinding noise, it is probably because something is stuck in the blade. Turn the power off then hit the pulse button a few times to dislodge the stuck ingredients, then go back to blending.
Vent the Steam When Blending Hot Ingredients
Most blenders can be used to blend hot ingredients, but you need to be careful when doing so. For one thing, the hot ingredients could cause the blender to heat up so be careful when touching it after blending hot ingredients. Second, blending hot ingredients will produce steam and that steam needs to be vented. If your blender has a removable filler cap in the middle of the lid, remove it when blending hot ingredients to prevent steam buildup. If you are worried about ingredients coming out the top of the blender, you can cover it loosely with a towel as you blend.
Clean Your Blender Properly After Each Use
Depending what model you have, cleaning your blender can take a bit of time. If you don’t do it properly after each use, however, you will have food build-up on the blade and in the blender housing which could affect future performance. Your best bet is to rinse the blender carafe with hot water immediately after emptying it and to rinse the blade as well. Some blenders are dishwasher-safe which makes the task of cleaning them much easier, but a good rinse before throwing it in the dishwasher is still a good idea to make sure you get rid of all food residue. Don’t make the mistake of leaving the blender sitting on the counter or in the sink for a day or two before cleaning – it will only make your job that much more difficult.
Understanding your blender and all of its extra features can take time but it is a must if you want to get the most out of your blender. Be sure to peruse the instruction manual when you open up your blender for the first time to ensure that you understand all of the safety features as well as the special functions. Keeping the tips listed above in mind will also help you to make the most of your blender.