6 Things You Should Never Blend
From baby food to smoothies to nut butters, a blender can blitz almost anything, but a few restrictions will keep your blender (and you!) healthy and happy.
Here are six things that should never go in this versatile kitchen appliance.
Illustrations by Hello Neighbor Designs
Nothing's more comforting than a bowl of steaming, velvety soup on a cold day — unless it's on the ceiling or, worse, your face. Let your liquid cool down for at least five minutes before transferring it to your blender, and fill the blender no more than halfway. Remove the stopper from the lid to let some heat escape, cover with a clean kitchen towel and start at the lowest setting to steer clear of any dangerous splashes.
It may sound like a smart way to grind a large batch of peppercorns, but unless you want to tear-gas yourself, stick with a good old spice grinder, or use a mortar and pestle. The height of the blender pitcher causes all of that pepper dust to settle more slowly than you'd expect.
The blades in a blender are too aggressive to process cooked potatoes, which become gluey when overworked. A fluffy mash requires a gentler tool — a food mill, potato ricer or potato masher is your best bet.
Anything Frozen Solid
Unless you have a high-powered, commercial-grade blender that's up to the task, avoid using rock-hard ice cubes or frozen fruits in your smoothies, as they'll wear the blade out quickly, and your still-chunky smoothie will probably not be worth the damage. For a smoothie that's still refreshingly cold, thaw your frozen fruit about halfway before using.
It's no fun to run your blender at full speed while the top half of your smoothie just sits there, but sticking a spoon or rubber spatula into your blender can damage the blade, utensil and smoothie all at once. Help your blender along with a blender tamper, and if your blender doesn’t have one, detach the pitcher and give everything a stir before running the motor again.
Even a still blade can cut your hand. There's a better, safer way to clean those pesky corners beneath the blade, and it doesn't involve a sponge. Add a couple of drops of dish soap to your blender, fill it about a third of the way with warm water and blend for 30 seconds to obliterate any leftover gunk without so much as a scrape.