A countertop blender is a kitchen appliance used to mix, puree, or emulsify food and other substances. It consists of a jar with a metal blade rotating at the bottom, which is powered by an electric motor at the base. It consists of a base with a motor and a food container with built-in blades. A rubber washer is used to seal the shaft so that liquids may not enter the motor. Powerful models have the power to crush ice. Its container is usually made of glass, plastic or stainless steel and can hold 1-2 liters. The glass type is heavier but more stable while the plastic type is prone to scratches and may absorb the smell of blended food. Stainless steel types are more preferred but it limits the visibility of the food while blending. Blenders usually have 3-16 speed settings, however having more settings does not necessarily mean increased utility. The base is where the motor is located for turning the metal blades in the container.
In purchasing your own blender you have to consider the measurement marks in its container (whether it is large and visible), how easy is it to use, the amount of noise it makes when in use, the power needed for the machine to work, how easy it is to clean and an option for quick “pulse” blending. There are a lot of things you can do with this machine which include but are not limited to the following:
- Blend your own ice cream, milk and some sweet sauces to make an awesome milkshake
- You can also mix and crush ice into cocktails like the Zombie, piña colada or frozen margarita
- You can crush ice and other ingredients into non-alcoholic drinks like frappuccinos or smoothies
- You can emulsify mixtures
- You can make smooth purées with semi-solid ingredients, like cooked vegetables and meat
- You can reduce small solids such as seeds and spices into nut butters or powder
- You can blend mixtures of powders, granules, and liquids thoroughly
- It can help you dissolve solids into liquids
With the growing trend of drinking smoothies, Frappucinos and some other frozen drinks the newer models often include sound-reducing enclosures as well as computerized controls. There are also specialized blenders used in making smoothies that are becoming popular, they resemble an ordinary model with the addition of a spigot for quick serving. Other models have a gimballed stirring rod that is mounted on the lid, made to stir mixtures while the machine is still running wherein it has no chance of touching the rotating blades. There is another type of blender that is called an immersion blender or stick blender. This type has no container of its own so instead of having the blade in a container it is located at the bottom of the stick. It requires you to hold down the switch as long as you need it to work. This can be ideal for small and specific tasks but it does not have as many uses as its counterpart.