If you’re a child of YouTube, or at least an avid watcher, it’s likely you’ve come across the now famous viral series Will It Blend? Thanks to these innovative media entrepreneurs, we as a society have been able to watch batteries, iPads, and everything in between dissolve into nothingness when faced with the speed of a whirling stainless-steel blade. Of course, having your blender face off against plastics and metals likely won’t help your appliance’s lifespan, so we certainly don’t recommend it. But there are a few tips and tricks that you can follow to ensure that your blender keeps chopping, mixing, and mashing for years to come.
Blenders come in all shapes and sizes. Will It Blend? used countertop blender models, which don’t necessarily have the speed or performance of their high performance, professional grade cousins, but are perfect for making anything from soups to milkshakes. The latter type of blender will typically have a stronger internal motor, allowing for higher speeds, greater torque, and faster acceleration. In addition, most of us own a handheld or immersion blender, which are incredibly versatile, flexible tools needed for all sorts of kitchen tasks. No matter what type of blender you own, the following ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ will apply to you!
There are, at the very least, five pieces of sage advice that you should follow to keep your blender in tip, top shape! The first of these is simple: hold the lid down with your hand regardless of how tight it fits on top of the container or jar. This is especially important when blending hot ingredients like those in a delicious soup. When steam and heat from the food are added to the continuous vibration of the blender, pressure builds up inside the container, which could result in a blowout and a kitchen painted with soup.
Our second tip is to put liquid ingredients in the blender first, followed by everything else. Liquid at the bottom of your blender’s container will help create a “vortex” that pulls all of the solid ingredients down into the blades. It’s the same principle as whirlpools in the ocean, which see their vortices draw in items floating on the surface. To make the perfect smoothie or other blended food item, you can follow this layering technique, from bottom to top of the container, for optimal performance: liquids; powders; leafy greens; soft ingredients; fresh fruits, nuts, or seeds; and finally, frozen items or ice. With this approach, it’s best to ensure that any solid items or foods are cut into small chunks, rather than opting, say, to throw in a full potato. The smaller the pieces, the easier it is for them to circulate in the blender container, and the faster the blend.
Next, to solve the challenge of cleaning your blender, be sure to pour a bit of dish detergent and warm water into the container and pulse the unit a few times. This trick helps prep your blender for a super easy clean later on by loosening and removing stuck on foods – no one wants to completely disassemble their device every time they use it. Of course, you’ll have to do a thorough clean of all your blender’s nooks and crannies every once in a while, but with this method it doesn’t need to be each time you use it.
Lastly, make sure to let the blender come to a complete stop before switching speeds. By changing from pulse to chop mid blend, you put strain on the motor, wearing it out faster than you might like. It takes an extra second or two to do this, but the result could mean months or years of additional use from your blender.
Now that we have all of the dos highlighted, it’s time to look at what you should not be doing for and with your blender. The first of these is making sure to avoid extended blender operation. It’s important to remember that your blender is a machine, not a superhero. It needs time to rest. Although there is no universally recommended duration, extended periods of continuous use put strain on all the blender’s components, increasingly the likelihood of a breakdown.
Next, and addition to something we’ve already mentioned, please avoid using your blender without it being secured to the base, nor without a firmly attached lid. On the former, the base is the blender’s engine, what makes it run – it connects to the blades through a spinning anchor. If the container isn’t attached to that anchor point, then there is a possibility of it falling off mid blend, causing a mess, damage, or injury. The same goes for a lidless blender. Don’t be that person and decide that spinning a liquid super fast in an open container is a smart idea. Unless you hate the fact that your kitchen is clean, or that there are too few strawberries flying around your household, best make sure that the lid sits comfortably and snugly on top of your blender.
Third, be sure to avoid filling the container or jar of your blender right to the top. If you’ve ever blended something before, you know that the liquid doesn’t stay in the same space. As it begins to spin, and the vortex is formed, your mixture arches upwards, on all sides, toward the lip of the container. This is called expansion. To avoid the blended items spilling over top of the container, be sure to leave at least one-third of the total space filled only with air, with even more being needed for thin liquids.
Finally, never immerse the blender’s base into water to clean it. Would you clean your television by putting the whole thing into a tub full of water? How about a laptop? A blender is an electrical machine with a motor, one that can be sensitive to liquids itself. It’s why the blender base is completely isolated and enclosed from the container. Instead of giving the base a bath, try just wiping down the exterior with a damp cloth, making sure that it’s unplugged first!
Blenders are an important, essential component of any kitchen. When you’re first deciding on a blender, be sure to check out our list of five things you should look for in a new unit. But once that beautiful machine has come home with you, it’s time to switch over to maintenance mode. By following the advice above, you can be sure that your blender will live a long and happy life. No more mornings without smoothies. No more chunky soups. No more gritty sauces. Just perfect mixtures and wonderful blends from this point onward.
What’s your favorite blender recipe? Tell us in the comments below!
Are you in the market for a kitchen blender as you read? Up until November 30 you can have the VAVA Hand Blender for $31.99 with code VAVAEBL3, or the VAVA 1200W Blender for $75.99 with code VAVABL11 !
To connect with us on social media, visit our Facebook page!