THIS IS NOT A PAID ADVERTISEMENT. I simply wish to tell you about my latest kitchen gadget — a Cuisinart “Smart Stick.” I’ve used this immersion blender several times in the past few days, and so far, so good. The details:
Three things I like about the Smart Stick:
1. It’s purple! (It comes in other colors, too.)
2. It lets me puree soup ingredients directly in the cooking pot. Previously, I had to transfer cooked veggies or whatever from the soup pot to the food processor, and then puree them. (I always puree soups which are to be served as the first course for dinner.)
3. It really works!
True Confession: The Smart Stick did not work for me the first time I used it. I’d tried to puree the thoroughly cooked, and thus very soft veggies you see pictured above. But as I moved the stick along the floor of the pot, it simply sprayed, with terrific force, cooking juices all over the place. The juices landed on my hair, my sweatshirt, and all over my stove.
“MERDE!” I shouted, as Lily the Beagle fled the room. “What a piece of junk!”
I wept bitter tears.
I gnashed my teeth.
I looked at the instruction manual.
On page 7, under “Tips and Hints,” I found the following sentence:
“When blending ingredients right in a pot or pan, tilt the pan away from you to create a deeper area for blending to prevent splatter.”
Feeling empowered, I returned to the soup. But this time, I tilted the pot as directed. The machine produced a smooth puree in about one minute.
The Smart Stick is certainly easy to clean. Just press a little gray button…
and the blending segment will instantly detach itself from the motor. You can wash this part in hot, soapy water, as I did, or in the dishwasher (according to the owner’s manual).
Now, because I’m writing my cookbook’s fifth chapter, and because that chapter deals with first-course soups, my nifty new hand-held blender is getting an aggressive workout. I’ve already used it to puree some delicious new brews, plus a few tried and true favorites like Caramelized Butternut Squash Soup (pictured above).
Does your batterie de cuisine include an immersion blender, too? You can let me know by leaving a comment. I’d love to know which brand you have, and whether or not you really-really like it.
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My Electric Kettle
Crème Caramel Renversée
Easy Appetizer: Onion & Asiago Rounds
I have a Hamilton Beach wand. I use it to fix mashed cauliflower (which is much healthier than mashed potatoes).I add a little butter and garlic powder to flavor the cauliflower. I found out about the handy gadget from a friend and had to go buy one for myself! Hope you enjoy yours!
On a different note, I have crocuses blooming outside and daffodils coming up! So wonderful to see signs of spring!!!
I use my Kitchen Aid stick blender a lot! It helps make smooth soups, quick mayo, salad dressings, whipped cream, etc. It comes with a mini-whip in addition to the chop/ blend attachment. And multiple speeds. Very handy indeed.
This sounds like the kitchen tool for me!
I use my immersion blender all the time!! It is such a time saver !! Easy to clean and store. Don’t know how I lived with out it after all these years!
Linda Stone says
Kitchen aid and use it for so many things, love it and can’t remember life before I owned it ;o)
Arden Rembert Brink says
I used to see these on cooking shows and thought they looked interesting, then found one at a yard sale for way-cheap so figured I didn’t have much to lose. (It’s a Cuisinart, too, although older and minus the very nifty “break-away” feature for cleaning!)
The absolute greatest thing about it is that it makes homemade mayonnaise into a quick and easy proposition, so now I can control the [pastured organic] eggs and [healthy] fat goes into that and avoid all the weird additives in commercial mayo. Can’t believe that making mayonnaise is considered hard-to-do — everyone just needs one of these nifty gadgets! And, yes, I puree soups now and then, too. I make a yummy “loaded baked potato” soup. 😉
As always, Kevin, love your posts!
I’ve got a Cuisinart stickblender/mini processor combined. I use them almost every day to make mirepoix, grind garlic/shallots/onions/herbs and the stick blender can’t be equaled for soups. Glad you made the discovery Kevin. Love the website — your recipes are great and the stories are fun.
Yes, we have had a Moulinex stick blender for at least 20 yrs. I hardly use it but my husband uses it to blend the soups he makes just like you did. He loves it.
I love my KitchenAid stick blender, especially for white bean, kale or spinach soup!
Sandy Sebold says
I don’t have one of those handy gadgets but I laughed when I read your post and imagined the mess I would have probably made, using one for the first time! Have a nice day!
Deb Rogers says
I have wanted one for years – ever since I saw Chef Fritz Sonnenschmidt use his on “Cooking Secrets of the CIA”. My husband and I both cook and we adore trying out new kitchen gadgets. From your post and the enthusiastic comments, I think that will be the next thing we buy.
I have a Cuisinart stick blender and love it! I made a wonderful cream of broccoli soup that , like you said, I had to move into the food processor, then back into the pot, etc…ugh! Now the stick blender does it in one step. Love the humor you put into your newsletter!
Thanks for today’s chuckle. And the French lesson – batterie de cuisine, not to mention m***e. 🙂
I don’t have an immersion blender, but it’s on my list of things to get someday.
I had a ready good sick blender with all the attachment and wall mount but didn’t like or use it ( I didn’t read the manual). Fast forward 15 years, now I have 2 one for the kitchen and one for crafting. I wish I had kept the first one, the wall mount was a great space saver. Judy
Karen Chickering says
absolutely one of my favorite kitchen aides, especially in the winter for pureed soups. my plain white Cuisinart smart stick isn’t as pretty as yours….. but ti’s so much safer than transferring boiling hot soup into a blender (after you’ve mastered the technique 😉 and back to the pot. that method always guaranteed blistering splatters for me!
LOVE your description of the “failure”. I had a similar experience with a Kitchenaid stand mixer and a chocolate batter years ago. Nothing was spared; the ceiling, windows, curtains and of course, myself and my husband were all “decorated” with chocolate spatter. It was a disaster then, but a cherished memory now.
Chip Barkel says
I have two. A Breville and a Krups which I bought in Germany.
Love them both. The Krups has a variable speed dial.
Must haves in my kitchen. I use one when on long trips to make shakes in
My hotel room. It came with a plastic 1 litre beaker for that purpose.
Good morning…looks like a great kitchen tool to have…..what I have been looking for is a great frother for coffee…I guess this would be overkill…:)
Carolyn Riccardino says
I, too, have a Cuisinart stick and love, love, love it. I use it to blend my smoothies in the morning…. less mess to clean up.
Hmmmmm. Thought I had one…can’t find it. Perhaps it has not been a successful tool in my kitchen. I usually use blender to purée soups, but will seriously consider Cuisinart immersion blender. Thanks, Kevin.
Evelyn H. says
Love my plain colored cuisinart. Works great when making tomato sauce in summer!
My daughter in law bought me one of these and I made a very delicious butternut soup. She warned me about not going to low in the pan. Now after reading this I would love to make cauliflower and leek and potato soup. I am so glad she educated me regarding this.
I have an old Rival immersion blender. It has 2 speeds, which I like. It only works if you’re pushing the button, so if you lose control, it stops immediately.
I usually just wash it while plugged in, in a tall plastic cup with hot, soapy water. Zippity-do-da, and it’s clean! But I can see how the removable part would be very convenient!
I’ve had mine for years, to where I just got rid of my big, cumbersome blender (a friend needed it more than I did).
When my Rival goes out, I’ll check out one like yours….after all, purple rules!
I had a Hamilton Beach one sitting in my cupboard for YEARS and never used it. My daughter was using one to make baby food all the time, eventually killed it, and asked for a new one for Christmas. After finding out how much she used hers and how much she loved it, I started using mine. What a time saver for both the blending process and cleanup!
I just bought the same immersion blender last week and love it! I have to say my attempt at pea soup ended much like yours before I figured it out. It makes the best smoothies.
Love, love, love all of your posts and have tried many of your recipes. I have the Cuisinart stick blender with the whisk and chop/blend attachment and can’t live without it. I find I don’t have to pull out the heavy food processor very much. I particularly love the see the pictures of your gardens and the improvements made to your house. You bring health and beauty to life!
Gay sullivan says
I love my “stick” blender. I use it to purée some of the beans and or veggies in soups and stews to thicken them up. I made a newbie mistake and lifted it out do the pot while still running…ONCE…that taught me what not to do! Thanks Kevin for keeping me company while I have my morning coffee.
I really love the purple and the detachable part. I have two Cuisinart immersion blenders that do the job — I use one for cooking and one for soap making (to speed up the stirring part of the process…I’m just too lazy to stir and stir and stir and …). Being able to detach the blender end would be a great feature and next time one of my blenders dies, I think the Smart Stick may have to be the replacement (in purple).
Ann George says
I have a Bamix stick blender which is wonderful.
A friend gave me hers that she never used. I use it All The Time. From smoothies and shakes, to soups. How did I live without it. I don’t think I have used my blender 1 time since them. I also bought two others to use for soaps.
Ava lansbery says
Thanks for testing this, I have wondered which one is best. I’ve had several and they all work with reservations. Love that they don’t take up much room in a tiny kitchen.
Love my immersion blender for soups! Can’t believe you never had one before Kevin! You’ll soon wonder how you managed without one. Love your newsletter!
Lori Mancini says
I use mine all the time, it is (like a few other people have said) not detachable, having seen the one you have I think when this one wears out I will be getting one that comes apart which looks much easier to clean and store as it isn’t as long and hard to fit in the drawer.
Annie's Granny says
My Hamilton Beach stick blender died after many, many years of use. My daughter bought me a new Cuisinart , but I have yet to use it. I used mine mainly to puree tomatoes for juice and sauced at canning time. Thanks for the “tipping” tip! I never had a splatter problem with the old one, so the new one may take a bit of practice.
Sylvia Shelnutt says
I have a Cuisinart. Mine is probably 15 years old and came with an attachment that will chop nuts, onions, peppers, etc. in a small closed plastic container. I had the same experience as you with pureeing in the pot and splattering the entire kitchen. The only difference is, I seem to do the spatter act everytime I use mine. Mine does not separate from the motor which I would much prefer. I cut my hand on the very sharp blades trying to remove a nut that was stuck in the blades. Be careful!
I LOVE my immersion blender! I’ve had mine for gosh, at least 8 years, and it’s my favorite sneaky way to serve up an abundance of vegetables in the form of a delicious soup. I tell my husband, “it’s cheddar soup with some broccoli” or “creamy parmesan with a little cauliflower.”
I just bought my son and daughter-in-law one to make their own baby food, and for my daughter, too. I’m glad you love yours now too Kevin, although I enjoy learning French curse words 🙂 Happy Sunday to you, and I can’t wait to buy your cookbook!
I”m not sure which brand I have (and I’m too emmersed in this newsletter to get up and find out) but I use mine frequently. Mostly to puree soups as you do. Hadn’t thought to use it on mashed potatoes or cauliflower. Will try that next!
I have a Cuisinart, a gift from my daughter. I was afraid for a while, just fearing the experience you “enjoyed”. Now I use it often. Perfect for making creamy soups and sauces.
My Braun turbo stick blender is used to the max…….blending soups, lumpy gravy, you name it. The mini food processor is the perfect size for small jobs, and the stainless “malted milk” size container is perfect for smoothies. For some reason, I’ver nerver used the whip for whipping cream……just don’t think about it! It’s one of my favorite tools in the kitchen!
June D says
My Dad had one of these and loved it. Sounds like it would be wonderful to have.
Cindy L says
I use a 10+ year old Braun that still works like a charm. It only takes a couple of times getting splashed with hot soup, then you remember to tilt the pot!
Kris Fox says
I used to have a blender stick atatchment to my Cuisart electric mixer, which, unfortunately, died. Now I just use my regular blender, but I would prefer the elnder stick. It worked well for soup!
Valerie C. says
I’ve been thinking about getting one too….I think I’ll treat myself. I’m off to check out the hot colors 🙂
This is the stick blender hubby gifted me with back in November (mine is red). I don’t know how I ever lived without it! I use it almost every day for something. I especially love it for blending smoothies. I use yogurt, almond milk and frozen strawberries. This blender cuts through the frozen berries like butter. I couldn’t believe it!
Kevin, I had a similar incident with my broccoli soup the other day when I didn’t have the pan tilted quite enough. I was lucky to have the pan facing away from me!
Mermaid Deb says
I have a 7 yr old Braun Turbo that I picked up on closeout. As a chef, I had used them in the kitchen for years but thought that they were too costly for home use. Thank goodness the prices have dropped. I start my day with a protein shake that I add fresh fruit to and mix with my Braun. I make soups as you said, Kevin. Isn’t it divine? I blend up fresh tomatoes for sauces, cream lumpy gravy, make salad dressings, Hollandaise is simple with a blender like this. If you were ever afraid to make Hollandaise, try it now, you will be making Eggs Benedict for breakfast every day 🙂 The blade was so dull from use that I thought that I would have to buy a new one. Well guess what? You can buy replacement sticks with very sharp blades for a little of nothing. I am one happy person.
I have 2 stick blenders, plus a real small one that is battery operated. I have probably used the small one more than any because I can use it on eggs and things that aren’t thick. They are great when you don’t want to get out a large blender and have all that to clean up.
My Cuisinart stick blender came with a mini processor, plexiglass beacon and whip and it’s my go-to utensil for smoothies, soups, gravy and anything else that can be pureed or whipped. For large quantities in the cooking pot, I’ve found that moving the spinning blade up and down (keeping the top of the blade below the top of the ingredients) works really well to make a smooth puree. It worked miracles on the sugar pumpkins I baked and the pumpkin pies were the best I’ve ever made. The more you use it, the more uses you’ll discover and clean-up is so easy!
I have a variable speed Breville, which I love! I’ve made everything from pureed cooked chicken thighs for a very ill kitty to a scrumptious curried butternut squash and potato soup. And smoothies. LOTS of smoothies! It’s a wonderful tool!
Kevin – I laughed out loud at your first – and messy – experience with an immersion blender. You are not alone!!! My much loved SIL told me how wonderful they are and I whined my desire for one so fervently that Santa brought me a Cuisinart Smart Stick for Christmas 3 or so years ago. First try – counters, cabinets, Cocker Spaniel – all pea-soup green! Big yuck. I threw it back into its box and there it stayed until August when farm-fresh veggies started overwhelming my life. I began pureeing EVERYTHING just to fit the harvest into my freezer (a mini). It’s now my “go to” kitchen appliance. LOVE your blog!
I bought one last year from a discount store; $10 off brand. I like it, but it seems cheap, and I wish I had one that was all steel on the bottom section like yours. Mine is plastic. But it is perfect for making mayo, and is easy to use! I love that your’s is purple, and your Le Creuset. My favorite color! I may be using mine more roughly in hopes of needing an upgrade soon! lol
I have one just like yours and LOVE (!) it, too. Thankfully, I’ve never had an unfortunate incident such as you describe.
Beverly, zone 6, eastern PA says
I have a KitchenAid immersion blender. I use it for soups, mostly vegetable varieties thereof. My husband bought it for me after we saw it on a cooking show on TV. I used to bail and place chunky soups into the blender, then pour it all back into the main pot. Very messy with lots of extra items to wash up. Normally I would never have bought this for myself, but having it at my disposable makes me more adventurous in the kitchen.
MEGAN BLACK says
I love my older Braun that i got at the thrift store. I keep finding them for less than $5 there so keep buying them and gifting them to friends who have struggled with blenders, etc. No waste! No mess! No fuss! Easy peasy! And I love how excited my friends are when they had never heard of them. Love goes around and around.
Diane C says
Kevin, I could not believe it when I saw this post! Literally, ten minutes ago, my (very old) immersion blender died while I was making cauliflower/carrot soup for lunch!
Thanks for all the recommendations from everyone! Now I just have to decide on one.
Suzanne K says
I’ve coveted one for many, many years… Just recently started making protein shakes in the morning before my zumba class and decided that I really *needed* one. I shopped around and found a Procter Silex for $15.99 at RIte-Aid. For that price, even if I don’t use it much, I won’t feel bad. But, I’m loving it for the shakes, and have all sorts of ideas for other things (salad dressing…)!
Oh my gosh…I have to have THAT one.
I have a Cuisinart older one that, like others before me have described all the numerous attachment that came with it ( and I do use the chopping attachment for chocolate and nuts).
There is a food talk show out here in LA that I have called in and contributed to over the years.
The immersion blender has been given the name “Motorboat” due to the sound it makes as it plunges up and down in the wakes of soup.
So love my motorboat stick. But I want the purple one to match my fence color.
Susan in S.W.Mass. says
Oooooo I want that. that sounds wrong somehow but it’s true. I hate dragging out the blender or food processor for a small job.
Going to make baguettes now. Thanks again for the most fun and informative blog i see.
My variable speed Cuisinart was purchased at Costco and is superb for making smoothies or protein shakes for breakfast. I also use it for soups, gravies, and my microwave white sauce.
So funny, I just bought my first immersion blender (orange – to match my kitchen) :o) & for it’s first use: leek & potato soup! LOL! I had planned to make this for today & boom, I got your email just as I was putting the leeks on. How cool is that?! Seems we had an esp moment here.
What timing you have! I just received a Smart Stick for my birthday. Yesterday I used it for the first time with my almost-three year old to make him a smoothie. He loves to help in the kitchen and watched intently from a distance as I puréed his drink. The recipe called for ice, but I don’t think this tool can handle that. I used a frozen banana instead of a room temperature banana, worked great!
Loved your story, so glad I read your confession before I ventured on to soups. Now I’m really looking forward to your cookbook. Thanks!
I do not have one. The recipes look quite grand! Thank you!
I love my immersion blender, perfect for soup, I roast any odds and ends from farm share, cook them with onion, garlic, carrot, veggie or chicken broth and whir them up when they are all soft, delicious, and the kids don’t realize all the great nutrition they are getting in their soup!
Never had one, but would love to have one. Love your articles, kevin!
I have a Cuisinart that I love but I write with a cautionary tale. I did end up in the ER getting five stitches after making pesto with my immersion blender. I love love love mine still but approach the stick with reverence and attention to detail!
(It’s also great for making hummus…)
Loretta Dreznes says
Bwahahaha! You crack me up! I had to read your post out loud to those in the room. So funny and dramatic! Love it. I have a Food Network model immersion blender and love it. I make an awesome creamy butternut soup. I’ll have to try yours that I found perusing your recipes. Keep creating magic Kevin. 🙂
I don’t have one yet, but I would love one. I would also live to see a picture of the soup in your hair and all over the stove…great chefs make the most mess!
Oh yes! I love my immersion blender……
I have a Cuisinart as well. Stainless steel and black. I purchased it at a great reduced price since something was missing. It has a nut chopper attachment. I use it daily for my morning smoothie and often to buzz up soups.
Yes, I’ve used it to make pesto and hummus. I pick up ones at thrift stores to use in my pottery studio. I don’t mind plastic in there but much prefer the stainless steel Cuisinart for my kitchen/food.
The ones in my studio get a real workout and when one dies I always have another one to replace it. For anyone wondering .. I use it to blend up small quantities of paperclay, coloured slips and glazes.
In Portuguese, the immersion blender is called “a varina Magica” or “the magical wand”. We’ve had ours for over 20 years so it’s time for a new one and an updated colorful version would be a helpful addition to all of our other kitchen gadgets. As for the shower you got when you first used it, that happened to us when we first tried our’s years ago so don’t feel bad.
I have a cuisinart and couldnt live without it. I believe I bought it at a garage sale, never had one before and thought I’d try it. Has a short electric cord and is a bit awkward at times 🙂
Quick guacamole in a tall plastic cup.
IF ALL ELESE FAILS READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. BUT NOT ALWAYS LAST
I do not yet have an immersion blender, but I make a fantastic cheesy potato mushroom soup that I cook and then mash ingredients by hand with an old-fashioned potato masher, while hot in the pot! An immersion blender would be a better option, and easier! I still like to leave chunks of mushroom and potato and carrots and celery and all the good stuff that goes into the soup….mmmm, now my mouth is watering….warm, crusty bread dipped in this soup is perfection during the cold winter months.
Linda Boyer says
Hi, Kevin. Just chiming in to say I have had my plain old white cuisinart stick blender for more than 20 years and, of course, learned my lesson about being certain the blender section of the immersion blender is truly immersed – otherwise, your taco salad dressing will end up all over the kitchen instead of the salad! Thanks for the chuckle and all your wonderful recipes, Kevin.
Michele Reeves says
I have a Cuisinart and love it! I also use it to whip up coconut butter!
Hi! My Braun is one of my favorite kitchen utensils. Does a nice job and has two speeds — although I think I have only used one of the speeds and also has the breakaway feature, which is a must for clean up. Great addition to a cook’s kitchen AND cannot wait for your cookbook!
Amanda Wiersma says
I have a cuisinart too (red), and I use it for all kinds of things. Makes a killer milkshake, homemade mayo in a wide mouth mason jar, soups, scrambled eggs (when u use mostly whites, they are tricky to scramble enough), and most recently I have discovered that when I want to add flour to thicken, I can just use the hot stock, dump in the flour, and blend it and add it back in and cook a bit. No floury lumps, or adding additional water to slurry with. I also purée my roasted pumpkins to freeze. Tomato/pizza sauce in the summer shows no zucchini or peppers once it has been puréed, apple sauce. I could probably think of 1 or 2 more ways I have used mine, but I love it.
YVONNE MORAM says
why is America so late getting these gadgets (electric kettles and so fourth) i have had one of these puree gadgets you puree in the pan for 30yrs,my husband saw it in an ironmongers,and bought it for me price £2- 50p it also has dough hooks,and two whisks,i have a big Kenwood mixer,but never use it,always the hand held one.by the way it was made behind the iron curtain.
does anyone else have one of these. best wishes to all my American cousins Yvonne
YVONNE MORAM says
AM I THE ONLY ENGLISH ADMIRER?I HAVE SENT A LOT OF MY FRIENDS HERE IN THE UK,BUT NEVER EVER SEE THAT THEY ARE IN MY PART OF THIS PLANET!!! GOOD LUCK YVONNE MORAM
I’ve been so curious about these “magic wands” & now after reading the many comments & after enjoying your delightful commentary off to the shops I will go! In the past, I’ve slopped (oops~ poured) soups into la cuisinart for a quick puree, but this gadget looks to be quite the magic needed in my kitchen. Looking forward to the heavenly blended meals to come and with a dash of color too! Many thanks for consistently bringing a smile~
I had totally forgotten about mine. I often used it in the past but somehow it got tucked away (out of sight, out of mind!!). Will see if I can discover it’s hiding place. I make a lot of soup & it’s messy blending in my Vitamix. Thanks for the super recipes & ideas you post.
jina k says
I have had a Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender Model # CSB-77 for years and couldn’t function in the kitchen without it. I love it so much that I gave one to my sister and one to my daughter this year for Christmas. No one who likes to cook should be without this great tool!!
Thanks for all the great tips and laughs Kevin
I have a Cusinart Smart Stick as well, and it does a knock up job pureeing leek potato soup, pea soup, and anything else I’ve thrown at it. It also makes a very nice whipped cream quickly.
This is one of my favorite kitchen tools. It comes in handy when I’m making tomato soup from fresh garden vegetables. Great addition to anyone’s kitchen!
We use ours every day, usually twice to froth milk, for cappuccinos. Works great!!! I had not considered it for soup, thanks, will try that out!
Kip Morrissette says
I’m ordering one of these stainless steel gadgets. I did read you shouldn’t use it in a non-stick finished pot and if you do, you have to be careful not to touch the pan’s finish. I just might find myself buying a new pot; I see your pot is not non-stick. Well, I see it’s almost time to find another email from you in my Inbox, yippee. Makes better reading than the newspaper! I save all your emails and refer to them often.
Denise McInerney says
I had Beef and Guinness stew at Ireland The Four Provinces restaurant in Falls Church, VA. Tender cubed beef , carrots, celery and onions in an amazing dark brown Guinness sauce, over mashed potatoes. Beef was so tender it was falling apart. Talk about comfort food!
I make a lot of soups and can think of loads of ideas for using the immersion stick. Love your blog, first one I ever started reading and the only one I never miss!