Jargon Busters: Handheld blenders
Aerating blades: This is an accessory that may be included with some handheld blenders. Aerating blades allow air to be circulated or mixed when using a handheld blender.
Bamix: A Swiss company that is widely known for manufacturing the first handheld blender in 1954.
Beaker: A container often used to blend, stir and mix food. Many handheld blenders include a beaker as an accessory to aid food preparation. Many can also double as a measuring cup.
Emulsify: To mix two or more unblendable liquids that form into an emulsion. Examples in food processing include a vinaigrette (a mixture of oil and vinegar) and mayonnaise (a mixture of oil, vinegar or lemon juice and egg yolk).
Ice-crushing blades: Many handheld blenders include special blades that can crush or blend ice. Not all handheld blenders are built for this task, so don’t use the blender without the correct blades as this may damage it.
Immersion blender: An alternative name for handheld blenders. They may also be called wand blenders or hand blenders.
Pulse: A short burst of speed that enables more control when using a handheld blender. This is usually an additional speed setting to high or low speeds. It’s useful when preparing small amounts of dry food and can help with uniform blending.
Pureeing: Straining a mixture of foods until they are smooth. Some handheld blenders have this as a function, along with chopping, grinding and/or emulsifying options.
Shaft: A key component of a handheld blender that connects the motorised handle to the blades. The shaft may be detachable to allow the attachment of other accessories, or for easier cleaning (for example in a dishwasher).
Wattage: This is the power requirement of an electric appliance. The stated wattage on a handheld blender will give you a good indication of the power of the motor. Wattage on a handheld blender may range from 140 to 600 Watts.
Whisk: An accessory used on some handheld blenders that will smoothly blend ingredients; perfect for beating egg whites or whipping cream for example. This attachment may look like a large whisk or disc-shaped attachment depending on the model.