Pros: Versatile, useful, inexpensive; great chopper; mostly dishwasher-safe
Cons: Have to keep button held down; blades eventually dull; not enough feedback from whisk
Rating: 4 out of 5
First posted 2/18/2005
Immersion (hand-held) blenders are handy things to have around. When you need to puree a soup, putting it through a food processor or traditional blender in batches is a royal pain and can lead to spills and messes. A hand blender allows you to puree it right there in its pan, however, all at once, without having to pour a thing. And some hand blenders come with nifty attachments.
The Braun Multiquick 430 HC consists of a motor housing with cord that twist-locks into a blending attachment. It can also lock into a whisk attachment, or the top portion of a mini-chopper. It includes a two-cup plastic measuring cup as well, sized and shaped so that you can use the blender to blend small amounts of liquids in it.
While you need to wipe off the motor housing by hand, the lock-on attachments are dishwasher-safe. (Our last immersion blender was one-piece and not dishwasher-safe, so this is a real bonus!) Because of the way the blender attachment is shaped, with the plastic housing circling the blade, you don’t have to worry that the blade will get banged around and dulled on the dishwasher rack.
With enough use the blades will eventually dull, of course, and we use ours quite a bit. But until then they work wonders, easily pureeing soups of all kinds. The chopper attachment is surprisingly effective, and I’ve used it to chop small amounts of herbs into confetti in split seconds. It’s also very easy to assemble, use, dis-assemble, and wash in the dishwasher–easier than a mini-prep food processor.
The whisk is a handy attachment, and the multiquick does have enough power to produce whipped cream, although it takes more time than it does with a full-power two-beater hand mixer. However, there isn’t a lot of feedback from the whisk–it has just enough give that it’s hard to tell when it’s pushing up against a bowl, so I’m always a little worried that I’m going to damage it inadvertently.
The one real problem this item has for me is the on-button, however. It isn’t very sensitive; it requires a firm push, it’s easy to accidentally let up on it, and it takes some amount of force to keep it pushed in. I have tendonitis, so this can be pretty hard on my hands if I’m not mixing or chopping a very small amount of materials. It would be nice if it had either a real “on” switch, or a more sensitive button.
On the whole I very much like this immersion blender. The fact that it’s dishwasher-safe and has all of these great attachments is fantastic. The plastic housing doesn’t discolor easily, even when you tend to cook with a lot of spices. It would just be nice if it had some way to easily sharpen the blender blades, and came with a better on-switch.