Review: Calphalon 3-in-1 Immersion Blender

Calphalon 3-in-1 Immersion Blender
Calphalon

The Calphalon 3-in-1 Immersion Blender (Model ME2501B) doubles as an electric whisk and mini food chopper.

About the Calphalon 3-in-1 Immersion Blender

This small appliance is aptly named – it really does have 3 separate functions, and I’m guessing you’ll find even  more uses for it in your kitchen. The motorized handheld body has three interchangeable attachments: a standard immersion blender, a wire whisk that spins, and a mini food chopper bowl.

Both the whisk and the blending wand are stainless steel, while the chopper bowl and blending cup are SAN plastic, which is typically BPA-free.

It’s operated with two rubberized buttons: one turns it on, the other offers a “Turbo” high speed for an extra burst of power. There is also a dial at the top of the unit that allows you to adjust the speed, with 5 variable speeds.

The Calphalon Immersion Blender to the Test

Immersion blenders have a tendency to be heavy and awkward to hold and operate. But I immediately noticed that this model was comfortable to hold, it is shaped to fit nicely into your hand, and the top of the body flares out a bit so that it rests easily in the hand. The buttons are well-placed and easy to operate. There is only one button to turn on the motor (I’ve tried immersion blenders in which two buttons need to be pressed together to operate), and it is comfortable to hold down, even for longer periods of time.

The dial, however, is placed at the top of the body, so you really need two hands to work it: one to hold the immersion blender and the other to turn the dial. I found that I didn’t really use the speeds that much, but it’s nice to know that they’re there just in case.

The different attachments are easy to switch out, they twist on and click into place, and another twist in the other direction removes them.

The whisk attachment is in two parts, the metal whisk fits into an adaptor piece. The lid of the food chopper attaches to the motorized body and then rests on the base of the chopper.

One of my favorite parts of this blender, however, is a simple piece of plastic: a pan guard, which clips over the metal bottom of the blending wand, so that the rounded plastic guard protects pans from being scratched, especially nonstick or enamel-coated pots and pans. It’s a simple little feature, and you’ll really appreciate not having to worry about scraping your pans.

This immersion blender ably plowed its way through soups, purees, and smoothies, not straining one bit even when faced with rock-hard frozen fruit. I was impressed with how thoroughly it was able to work through a mixture, and how there was very little splashing and spraying even in a small pan.

The whisk also worked well when used on egg whites or whipping cream, it was far easier to hold than a handheld mixer, less arduous than a hand whisk, and less cumbersome than a stand mixer.

As for the chopper, it’s a great tool when you don’t want to haul out the food processor. It made short work of nuts and an onion, chopping evenly and efficiently (the instruction manual recommends using a lower speed and pulsing the motor for the best results, which worked well for me). The chopper only has a 2-cup capacity, and I found it worked best with a little less than that, but it still is a handy tool for doing small tasks that are too small for a regular food processor.

My only complaint is one that is shared with most immersion blenders, except the ones that are cordless: the cord is awkward and gets in the way. At about 5 feet, it’s long enough so that you can have a bit of mobility (when I made Apple and Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, I needed to use the immersion blender both on my counter and on my stove and it was nice not having to reposition it), but the length also can knock things over on the counter or dip into a dirty bowl.

Pros:

  • Comfortable to hold
  • Versatile, with 3 different attachments
  • Easy to clean (Some parts are dishwasher safe, top rack, though I recommend hand washing)

Cons:

  • Cord gets in the way
  • No storage case for accessories

Details:

  • 250-watt motor
  • Controls include power button, turbo button and 5-speed variable dial
  • Comes with: whisk attachment, blending wand, removable nonstick pan guard, 20-ounce blending cup with measurement markers, chopper bowl, lid and blade
  • Whisk and blending wand are stainless steel
  • Blending cup and chopper bowl are SAN plastic
  • 1-year limited warranty