Q&A with Andy D’Amico, founding chef/partner of 5 Napkin Burger, with locations in New York City and Boston
FE&S: Where are immersion blenders most often used?
AD: This blender type is very common in better, high-end kitchens to mix quickly. For example, we keep this equipment on the prep line for emulsifying sauces to order.
FE&S: When should operators consider immersion versus other types of blenders?
AD: The most important thing to remember with large immersion blenders is that these are key pieces of equipment for anything being produced in batches that doesn’t require too fine of a consistency. If a mixture needs finer blending, operators should consider a traditional blender or food processor instead.
FE&S: How should operators determine the best size unit for an operation?
AD: For bigger batches, we often find ourselves mixing product in 5-gallon pails, such as for vinaigrettes and emulsifying. In this case, a blender with a large stick or shaft is needed. Smaller tasks can get away with smaller or tabletop immersion blenders.
FE&S: What attachments are useful with this equipment?
AD: Some types have a combination of uses and can be operated with blenders, cutters or whisks. We’ve used these attachments to mix toppings, such as aioli, instead of a traditional mixer. Attachments can be changed for dual applications and added flexibility.
FE&S: What should operators look at when choosing an immersion blender?
AD: It’s important to consider the product being mixed as well as its consistency and bulk. This ensures the immersion blender can handle the task better than a traditional blender. We typically choose this type for big batch blending.
FE&S: Should a kitchen have different sizes for various tasks?
AD: Commercial kitchens typically have one small and one big immersion blender. Because this equipment tends to burn out with overuse and misuse, it’s important to appropriately size the unit for the task. The smaller ones have motors that can fail if mixtures are too dense or the volume is too high.