Handheld blender glossary

Learn the difference between pulse and puree with this handheld blender jargon buster

A Cuisinart handheld blender.

A Cuisinart handheld blender.

If buying a new stick blender seems a bit daunting, read through our glossary of handheld blender terms to get to grips.

Aerating blades: This is an accessory that may be included with some handheld blenders. Aerating blades allow air to be circulated, mixed or dissolved 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 too.

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).

Food preparation: Preparing food items for eating. A handheld mixer is classified as a food preparation aid.

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 the standard blades.

Immersion blender: An alternative name for handheld blenders. These 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).

Whisk: An accessory used on some handheld blenders that will blend ingredients smooth, 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.

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