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best immersion blender?

I hope you just got a long reply from me; I hit "reply" and it disappeared...where?

Jan 11, 2013
CCCate in Cookware

My God All of These Knives!

Three: A professional 8" Zwilling/Henckels chef's knife (my husband loves his for chopping); I prefer the smaller, lighter 6 1/2-inch Wusthoff, and several of the much less expensive 5" Calphalons (think Tuesday Morning). These smaller paring knives will become your "go-to" all-purpose tools that take a bit of a beating, so you may have to replace them every few years. That's why you don't want to invest too much in them. And you want a good serrated bread knife that also cuts ripe tomatoes without tearing them. Your investment is in the steel that will take and hold an edge, and in the "feel" -- you really do have to hold them to determine what feels right in YOUR hand. Go to a professional chef's store (in Southern California I use Chef's Toys) and try them out. Steak knives? Maybe. Depends on the blade on your daily silver...and you definitely can get these through a discount source. But you are going to have to shell out some bucks for your basic knives, which YOU WILL WASH AND DRY BY HAND...and an investment in acquiring good chopping skills will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life!

Jan 11, 2013
CCCate in Cookware

Giving up and getting a pressure cooker

I have been using my Presto pressure cooker since 1971. It is a stove-top model. I have heard horror stories about pressure cooker explosions and never could figure out how it happened because while it is true that my pressure cooker cooks under "pressure," that "pressure" is CONSTANTLY being released. When you see the weight slowly jiggling, and hear the the soft hiss of moisture escaping, that is the pressure being released as it should be. When you do NOT see and hear those cues, your pressure cooker has gone dry. Either the heat was too high, or you put in less than the recommended amount of water or you have been cooking too long. Burn, yes, that is what will happen when the cooker goes dry. But how one "explodes" is beyond me UNLESS it is overfilled (beyond the manufacturer's recommended capacity) and the contents plug up the release VALVES. Because there are 2: the jiggling weight allows steam to escape around it, and there is also a backup pressure release valve designed to "blow" if something goes wrong. I wouldn't go off and leave it totally unattended for long periods of time, just in case moisture does burn off more quickly than anticipated...but "blow up"? I just am not sure how that happens....

Aug 01, 2012
CCCate in Cookware

Recommendations: blender and/or food processor?

I feel for you. As I just posted re my new immersion blender, I am still using my old Cuisinart, with those awesome "smallish cup food processor." Actually, I received the basic blender for a wedding present (1971); later, we bought the food processing bowl and the even smaller containers (with screw caps for storage!) at the Orange County Fair, believe it or not. And I don't know what I am going to do when mine goes. I am not absolutely convinced there is a "one product does it all" on the market now, but you might look at the MiTutto 9080/9090 by Miallegro. Despite the fact that it is not right for small batches of pestom, I think it would be very versatile for other uses.

Aug 01, 2012
CCCate in Cookware

Immersion blenders

As some of you may remember, I queried the group about getting an immersion blender. In the end, I bought a MiTutto 9080 (or 9090). I really wanted to use it for small batches of pesto and making mayonnaise: a food processor and/or my blender (Cuisinart, ca 1971) was just too big for small tasks. Well, I experienced the same drawback as others reported: the blades are too high to chop & puree 1 cup of basil leaves. When I went to beat the egg yolks for the mayo (which I normally do for two minutes before beginning to add the spices and then the oil) we read, in bold type: REMEMBER; THE HAND BLENDER SHOULD NOT BE OPERATED FOR MORE THAN ONE MINUTE WITHOUT STOPPING. I am pretty sure I could pulse the yolks effectively following this guideline, but to be on the safe side I went back to my old hand-held mixer, which did the entire job perfectly, as always. For the pesto, I went back to my old Cuisinart and used the small blender container, which also comes with a screw-on lid for storage. Don't know why I never thought of this before, but it worked perfectly! I am confident that the immersion blender will come in handy for other uses in the future, but it is not the solution for making small batches of pesto!

Aug 01, 2012
CCCate in Cookware

Immersion (stick) blenders

Your comment about Costco products is interesting. I would think that any manufacturer who puts their name on a product and sells that product through Costco would not want to risk damaging their brand with a lesser product. I can see them manufacturing a similar product that deletes a few features and selling it under a DIFFERENT name -- but would a major brand really risk damaging their reputation by selling a similar but inferior product to consumers? Especially through a major supplier like CostCo?

Jun 01, 2012
CCCate in Cookware

Immersion (stick) blenders

Well, this is interesting: bearing in mind that one friend said a stainless steel shaft is imperative, I finally ordered the Miallegro 01-07-4538 9080 Mitutto Professional Hand Blender-Stainless Steel model from Amazon. This one is 450 watts. (Another "pro" cook last year cautioned against anything less than 200 watts.) I do not have to worry about scratching non-stick pots and pans, because my larger soup containers all are stainless steel. My first tests will be mayonnaise (easy!), pesto (easy!) and then Cream of Asparagus and Leek Soup. My concerns were that the higher wattage unit would be too powerful for the smaller tasks (salad dressings and sauces) but the lower wattage unit would be underpowered for soups. With the five speeds on this unit (plus "turbo") I think I am safe. But notice that there are NO user reviews yet on this product, so I may be the first. Wish me luck, everyone. (P.S. With shipping time, tt will be about 7 - 10 days before I can really give it a try, so don't expect a quick update.)

May 31, 2012
CCCate in Cookware

Immersion (stick) blenders

All you respondents are fantastic; thanks! Each of you has asked the same questions and gone the same route(s) I have...including the thrift stores! And I wondered which one Cook's Illustrated had picked. The points each respondent raised and the responses are perfect. With all your input, the final criteria will be which feels best in my hand. Thanks, everyone!

May 30, 2012
CCCate in Cookware

Immersion (stick) blenders

Most posts about this topic are a bit old, so I am re-introducing it:

CostCo is offering the Miallegro 9090BMiTutto 550-watt Secure System with anti-sliding finish immersion hand blender for $59.99. I'm in the market for such a blender, and after reading and researching I am inclined to go with this one. Does anyone have any comments, pro or con?

May 28, 2012
CCCate in Cookware

best immersion blender?

CostCo is offering the Miallegro 9090BMiTutto 550-watt Secure System with anti-sliding finish immersion hand blender for $59.99. I'm in the market for such a blender, and after reading and researching I am inclined to go with this one. Does anyone have any comments, pro or con?

May 28, 2012
CCCate in Cookware