The Key to a Deliciously Creamy Pumpkin Soup is a Stick Blender

The Key to a Deliciously Creamy Pumpkin Soup is a Stick Blender
Contributor: Bree Grant, Isabella Noyes
At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

Autumn has arrived and the cooler weather can only mean one thing – it’s soup season. Other than a delicious family recipe, the key to a good ol’ nostalgia-triggering homemade soup is how well it’s blended. Enter: handheld mixers.

Handheld mixers, which can consist of stick blenders, immersion blenders or hand mixers, are a quick and easy way to ensure your dishes achieve that beautiful consistency it needs, whether you’re about to plate it up or incorporate it into the next step of your recipe.

What’s the difference between these handheld blenders?

stick vs hand vs immersion blenders and mixers
Image: KitchenAid/iStock/NickyLloyd/Braun

With words tossed around such as “stick blender”, “hand mixer” and “immersion blender”, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little confused. While they are all handheld types of blenders, they each achieve different things.

To get to the bottom of it, we asked our friends at KitchenAid to give us a brief explanation. They assure us that stick blenders, immersion blenders and hand mixers are all essentially the same, since you immerse the blades of the blender into your ingredients, rather than pouring the ingredients into a blender jug.

However, the primary difference between a stick blender and a hand mixer is their design and the different types of foods they can create. For instance, KitchenAid explains that stick blenders are used to puree and emulsify ingredients, such as soups, mayonnaise, dips, batters, baby food and more. Meanwhile, a hand mixer uses two beaters to mix ingredients, such as cake mixtures, cookie doughs and small batches of bread dough.

So now that you know what types of handheld mixers are available – how do you select the best one for yourself? KitchenAid says, “Look for one with a comfortable grip that is easy and comfortable to hold. Make sure the cord is a good length, so you can move around the kitchen. A cordless stick blender is ideal and very convenient when wanting to blend a pot of soup right on the stove top. But make sure the blending arm is a good length (at least 15 to 20cm) and can also be removed for ease of cleaning.”

Ahead, we’ve rounded up some of the very best and affordable hand blenders and mixers that are worth adding to your utensil drawer.

The best hand mixers in Australia

KitchenAid Artisan 9 Speed Hand Mixer

Image: KitchenAid

This hand mixer features a whopping nine speeds and five different accessories, making it a baker’s best friend.

Regardless of whether you need to knead dough or whisk some eggs, the KitchenAid Artisan hand mixer will get the job done effortlessly. It even features an electronic mixing sensor, which will automatically adjust its speed according to the level of resistance.

Where to buy: Amazon ($170.99) | eBay ($170.99) | KitchenAid ($199)

Breville The Handy Mix & Store

Stick mixers
Image: Breville

This is one of the hardiest handheld mixers on the scene. Breville’s The Handy Mix & Store is an affordable, everyday mixer that will let you whip those meringues to perfection.

It sports five speed settings, a retractable cord and both dough hooks and beaters. Keep in mind that it’s a pretty speeder mixer, so you’ll need less time cream into butter, which isn’t really a bad thing if you ask us!

Where to buy: Amazon ($69) | Breville ($74.95) | eBay ($69)

Russell Hobbs Desire Hand Mixer

Image: Russell Hobbs

This is perhaps one of the most comfortable hand mixers to run, allowing you to use it easily without your fingers getting tired.

It gives you the most bang for your buck with five mixing speeds and five detachable tools to nail your food prep.

Where to buy: Amazon ($47) | Catch ($47) | eBay ($65.99)

The best stick blenders in Australia

KitchenAid Classic Variable Speed Hand Blender

Image: KitchenAid

This KitchenAid hand mixer was designed to create the perfect puree.

It has an eight-inch removable arm (which makes it super easy for throwing in the dishwasher), a variable speed trigger and even a removable pan guard to protect your pots and pans from being scratched by its stainless steel blades.

Where to buy: Amazon ($123.79)eBay ($99)KitchenAid ($129)

Kenwood Triblade Handheld Blender

Stick mixers
Image: Kenwood

If you’re a fan of Kenwood kitchen appliances, this stick mixer is for you. The tri-blade stick mixer combines 3 elements — angled blades to blend more food in less time, specially designed ribs to reduce suction, and a unique foot shape to stop splashing and keeping your kitchen clean.

It’s easy to use, with a single speed and turbo mode for your processing needs and comes with a metal wand, a plastic masher, a metal balloon whisk, and a 0.75L Beaker with a lid. Plus, this particular immersion blender is currently on sale!

Where to buy: Amazon ($99) | Bing Lee ($99) | Myer ($129)

Salta Stainless Steel Portable Stick Hand Blender

Image: Salta

This simple, stainless steel stick mixer from Salta is easy to use and even easier to store. It’s slim, sleek design means you can find a home for this little mixer in your draw, pantry or cupboard and whip it out as necessary.

It’s got a powerful 800W DC motor, two speed options, a stainless steel blade and a detachable shaft for easy cleaning. It’s perfect for chopping, mincing, pureeing and blending. If you’re not much of a chef, but love a soup in winter, this stick mixer is probably one of the most affordable, user-friendly stick mixers.

Where to buy: Amazon ($35.99) | eBay ($35.99) | Kogan ($35.99)

The best immersion blenders in Australia

Russell Hobbs 3-in-1 Classic Immersion Blender

Stick mixers
Image: Russell Hobbs

If you’re looking for value for money, this classic handheld blender from Russell Hobbs is it. It comes with a beaker, mini chopper and whisk attachment so you can use it in a number of different ways in the kitchen.

With a simple change of attachments, the stick mixer can be used for blending, whisking and chopping. It has two speed settings and a stainless steel detachable blending leg for safe cleaning and storage.

Where to buy: Amazon ($55) | eBay ($71.99) | MyDeal ($54.95)

Breville The Control Grip Stick Blender

Image: Breville

The Breville Control Grip immersion blender features unique anti-suction technology meaning less liquid spills out of your bowl while you blend.

The ergonomic trigger grip gives your hand a natural position making use easier this hand held blender. It also comes with a 1.25 Litre jug and a whisk attachment.

Where to buy: Bing Lee ($119) | Breville ($129.95) | eBay ($126.95)

Sunbeam SM7400 StickMaster Plus

Image: Sunbeam

The Sunbeam immersion blender was designed with horizontal slicing blades and vertical stabbing blades that work together to provide you with the ultimate blending capabilities. You simply attach the motor body to the blending wand with a simple twist and lock motion and you’re good to go.

It also comes with a 1.5L beaker, a whisk and a 750ml chopper, so you can use it for all your cooking needs.

Where to buy: Amazon ($99.95) | Appliances Online ($99) | Myer ($99.95)

Braun New MultiQuick Handheld Blender

Stick mixers
Image: Braun

Blend whole foods in seconds thanks to Braun’s immersion blender. It’s effortless to use, gives you full control and has up to 55% less suction than your regular handheld blender, making food prep a breeze.

It also comes with new smart speed technology that allows you to control the pressure intuitively as you squeeze the handle. Plus, you can enjoy any food preparation thanks to the included accessories — a beaker, a whisk, a food processor and a masher

Where to buy: Amazon ($209) | eBay ($259) | Myer ($259)

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At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


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