Posted: Aug 10, 2007
Kitchen Applications: Traditional jar-style blenders are typically used to crush ice and fruit to produce drinks, from daiquiris and margaritas, to smoothies and shakes. Vegetables and meats that require shredding and chopping, such as salsa, or pureeing for soups or sauces can also be prepared in a blender.
Increasingly, immersion or stick blenders are more commonly used for food preparation, to mix, blend, puree, and emulsify food in the container in which they are being prepared.
Types: Blenders have a single blade assembly at the bottom of their mixing containers. Immersion blenders have a removable blade affixed to the shaft, and can be used with any sturdy food container.
A Blixer is a hybrid of a blender and mixer, with the same design as a food processor, but such units run at speeds of up to 3,450 rpm, compared to a maximum speed of 425 to 1,725 rpm for regular food processors. Typical applications include emulsifying or liquefying foods without aerating or foaming the product, leaving them suitable for making soups, sauces and purees.
Unique Features & Latest Technology: Ice dispenser/blender combinations allow ice to be dispensed directly in pre-determined quantities into a blending container. Because of noise concerns, many blenders are now designed for placement in a cut-out section of a counter, several inches below the countertop. Similarly, some units now have optional plastic enclosures that encompass the entire machine, thereby reducing noise. They have also increased the horsepower on some models as high as 20 amps, which is more power than many home hand tools require. Preprogrammed cycles save labor and improve consistency and portion control. Units will not only automatically adjust their speed; they will also turn themselves off after a predetermined time. A timer with an auto shutoff reduces over- and under-blending.
Capacity: Blenders may have glass, stainless-steel or polycarbonate containers in sizes ranging from 32 oz. to 1 gallon. Countertop Blixers typically accommodate between 3 and 6 quarts of product and take up roughly 2-sq.-ft. of space.
Energy Source: Blenders commonly require single phase 120v electricity, but some are available in 220/240-volt models.
Construction: Blenders have a power base that runs the mixing shaft. Depending on the size, these bases are typically constructed of either high-impact plastic or stainless steel. The jars can be made of either heavy-duty polycarbonate or glass.
Maintenance: For traditional blenders, remove the jar and rinse after each use. For immersion blenders, rinse the blades and soiled stick after each use. The sealed motors on both types of blenders usually require no maintenance. Many manufacturers sell replaceable stainless steel blades for their commercial grade blenders.
Manufacturers: ACityDiscount offers a wide range of countertop jar blenders and immersion blenders from some of the leading manufacturers, including Vita-Mix, Blendtec, Maxximum, Waring, Dynamic, Robot Coupe, Ashbury Foodservice, and OMCAN / Food Machinery of Amercia.
Recommended Optional Products: Options include 48oz and 64oz polycarbonate containers, ice blade, and Rinse-o-matic, a container residue rinser.