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Whether you’re just starting to dabble in the world of kitchen gadgets, or need a quick refresher, here’s our expert guide to using your blender
You’ve worked your way through the list of must-have kitchen kit, listened to the experts’ advice and selected the best blender to meet your needs. Now what? How do you get the best out of a blender anyway? Thankfully, the answer to this is a relatively simple one.
Since their invention in the 1920s, these compact kitchen-counter machines have grown in popularity to the point that, now, almost every kitchen harbours one. Small but powerful, the blender is the ideal piece of kitchenware for all sorts of recipes. From soups and smoothies, to nut butters and milkshakes – this versatile machine can handle it all. And it’s not that technical, either. You want someone to explain, in simple terms, how to use a blender? It’s our pleasure.
How to use a blender: a step-by-step guide
- Power up
As your blender runs on electricity, the obvious first step to using your blender is to get it hooked up to the mains. Simply unravel the cable and plug into the socket in the kitchen that makes the most sense – near the sink (for easy cleaning) or stovetop (for easy transfer of hot liquids), possibly. Ensure both the plug and socket are clean and dry beforehand.
- Lift the lid
Most people store their blenders with the lid on, so before you can get started making any of your favourite blender recipes, you’ll need to remove this. Models vary, so, while some lids click into place, others are locked in using a twisting motion. If you’re not sure which one your blender is, check the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Add your ingredients
Finally getting down to business. After checking your jug is clean, it’s time to get your ingredients in place. Whether it’s fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables for smoothies or soups, or ice cream and cocoa for milkshake, you’ll achieve the best results by chopping any large ingredients into bite-sized chunks before placing in the jug.
- Find the pulse (or blend)
Some blenders will just have an on-and-off function, which is usually either a dial or a push-button, while others may offer options to both blend and pulse. Blending will give you a smooth result more quickly, while pulsing can be a good call if you want to retain a bit of texture – in a chunky soup, for instance. Once you’ve started the blender, assess the contents of the jug; if the machine sounds like it’s beginning to struggle a little, add a little more liquid (such as juice, milk, stock or water) to help it along.
- Pour out the contents
Once you’ve blended your ingredients, to enjoy the spoils of your labour you’ll need to pour the smoothed liquid into your chosen receptacle. If you’re going to enjoy a drink fresh from the blender, this might be glass, while if you’re making soup you might want to pop straight into a saucepan to return to heat or into Tupperware tubs ready for freezing.
- Scrape the scraps
Make the most of your recipe – don’t waste anything if you can help it! After pouring, there will likely be ingredients stuck to the sides of the jug, or under the corners of your blade’s base. Here a mini silicone spatula is your friend – when it comes to scraping out hard-to-reach or stubborn blended ingredients, it’s the best thing for the job.
- Wash your blender
The easiest way to keep your blender clean is to wash it immediately after each use, drying it thoroughly before packing it away.
8: Pack it all away
Once you’re finished with your blender, and it’s clean and dry, you can pack it away. There’s no optimum storage solution – some people prefer to have their blender out on the countertop so it’s within easy reach, while others prefer to keep it hidden away in a cupboard. Whatever works for you. That said, if you do house your blender on the worktop, we’d always recommend unplugging it from the wall and switching off the plug socket, for general safety.
ESSENTIAL TIP: Never blend hot liquids. Occasionally, if the lid is not screwed on or snuggled into the jug properly it can come off. If there are hot liquids in the blender, this can result in painful and potentially dangerous burns.