After spending nearly 30 hours researching immersion blenders, considering 57 models, interviewing two soup-making pros, and then testing some of the blenders over two years (including pureeing gallons of soup, smoothies, salsa, and mayonnaise), we’re confident that you can’t buy a better immersion blender than the Breville Control Grip. It produces smoother textures than any other model we tried. Smart design features, such as a grippy handle, no-suction gasket, and a wider range of speeds, make it far easier to use than the competition.
In addition to making the smoothest textures and being the overall easiest to use, the Breville excelled at tougher tasks that the other immersion blenders just couldn’t handle. Its 42-ounce blending jar was also the only one big enough to fit the ingredients for two smoothies. It’s one of the pricier hand blenders out there, but we think the Breville Control Grip is far less likely to languish in a junk drawer or at the back of a cupboard than other, inconvenient offerings.
If the Breville sells out, we’d opt for the OXO On Illuminating Digital Immersion Blender. This came in second overall. It’s not as good at processing fibrous ingredients, such as ginger, but it makes reasonably smooth textures. The heat-resistant nylon cage that houses the blade and the silicone-coated stainless steel shaft prevent the OXO from scratching delicate cookware. This model doesn’t come with any attachments besides a cup, so we recommend it for the minimalist who doesn’t want to clutter up their kitchen with a lot of accessories.
When it comes to blenders (upright and immersion), we’ve found that you really do get what you pay for. The Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick Immersion Blender makes thicker textures than the Breville, its handle feels much cheaper, and overall it has a flimsier build. But for its price, it’s surprisingly powerful—especially compared with other models in this price category. We think this is a good buy if you plan on using an immersion blender only a couple of times a month, or if you don’t mind using a lower-quality machine. This doesn’t come with any attachments, such as a chopper or whisk, so it’s really only good for pureeing soups, smoothies, or sauces.
Why you should trust us
Over the past two years, Christine Cyr Clisset, who wrote our original guide, has spent close to 200 hours researching and testing, and writing about kitchen gadgets that whirl, cut, and chop, for The Sweethome. That includes guides about food processors and blenders. Before that, she spent a few years skulking (as a cookbook editor) around the test kitchens at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where she once got an in-depth tutorial from Martha’s onetime private chef, Pierre Schaedelin, on how to make the perfect strained French puree (which she’s way too lazy to do herself!). Michael Sullivan, who contributed to our 2016 update, has reviewed can openers and cookbook stands as well as other kitchen gadgets for The Sweethome. He is a graduate of The International Culinary Center, where he also worked as an editor. He previously worked as a recipe tester for the cookbook Meat: Everything You Need to Know.
For this guide, we spoke with Rudy Speckamp, a former restaurateur who has logged countless hours using immersion blenders as an instructor at the Culinary Institute of America, as well as Volker Frick, who worked with immersion blenders for 20 years as the executive chef at the soup manufacturer Kettle Cuisine. To decide which models to bring in, we read reviews in Cook’s Illustrated and Consumer Reports, and looked closely at user ratings on sites such as Amazon and Macy’s.
Who should get this
It’s worth investing in an immersion blender if you make pureed soups.
It’s worth investing in an immersion blender if you make pureed soups. “If you’re pureeing a soup, you could use a blender or a food processor, but an immersion blender just makes it one pot cookery,” the Culinary Institute’s Speckamp told us, since it’s easy to puree soup directly in the stockpot. Immersion blenders also work well for small batches of mayonnaise, smoothies, pesto, or even baby food.
An immersion blender won’t work for heavier tasks or make the smoothest texture. A food processor, with its various blades and disks, works best for most chopping, dicing, or shredding, and a full-size blender makes much smoother purees and smoothies. (If you want more details on the differences between blenders, processors, and mixers, we’ve covered the subject in some depth.)
We recommend upgrading from an old immersion blender only if your current model takes a long time to blend smooth textures or if you want more attachments, such as a mini chopper or whisk.