Blenders for Home Use
Blenders are a great tool for today’s kitchens. They can be used for a wide array of food preparation activities, from making smoothies to creating soups and vegetable dips.
Choosing a Product
Because of concerns about the product quality and safety of small appliances like blenders, NSF International created NSF Protocol P388: Blenders for Home Use. This protocol ensures that the blender meets strict criteria for design, construction, durability, materials and cleanability. As part of its Home Products Certification Program, NSF also checks labeling and packaging information and validates any marketing claims made by the manufacturer. Products certified under this protocol are eligible to display the NSF Certified for Home Use mark.
In addition to looking for certification, pay attention to the type of container and choose the one best suited to your usage needs:
- Plastic containers do not break easily and can be used with both hot and cold foods and beverages; however, then can become scratched over time.
- Glass containers are heavier and can break more easily if dropped or exposed to varying temperatures, but are less likely to become scratched.
- Stainless steel containers are very durable and are especially great for cold foods, but are not transparent and do not allow seeing the contents while blending.
Because blenders should not be filled more than two-thirds full with ingredients, look for a blender that has a container sized to meet your normal usage needs.
Cleaning a Blender
A recent germ study by NSF International found that blender gaskets were one of the germiest items in home kitchens. To reduce your exposure to germs, check your blender’s owner’s manual for recommended cleaning instructions. If none are present, disassemble the blender completely and hand wash all food contact surfaces (blender container, gasket, lid and mixing blades) in warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly between each use. Don’t wash any blender components in the dishwasher unless specifically marked as being dishwasher safe. Allow all parts to dry before reassembling the blender.
Never immerse the base of a blender directly in water. Instead, use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior after each use.
Use and Maintenance Tips
- Don’t fill the blender container all the way to the top — leave room for ingredients to mix and expand.
- If chopping ice cubes, add at least one cup of liquid to the blender container.
- Place liquid ingredients in the blender container first, followed by other ingredients.
- Never use a blender without the lid. Before starting the motor, place the lid firmly on the blender container and keep one hand on the container lid while the motor is running.
- Allow the blender to come to a full stop before removing the cover or changing speed settings.
- Don’t mix carbonated ingredients in a blender. Rather, blend all ingredients except the carbonated ingredient, pour the blended mix into individual serving containers, and then add the appropriate amount of the carbonated ingredient to each container.