This post is part of our 'This Is Fire' series, where our editors and writers tell you about the products they can't live without in the kitchen.
In the corner of my kitchen, tucked nearly out of sight, hangs one of my most versatile and most used kitchen tools: a Breville immersion blender. I keep the two primary pieces of this stick blender, the blending base that provides power and the straight blending shaft, clipped together within easy reach because I reach for them all the time. Even the long power cord is coiled and twist-tied to just the right length to stretch from a power outlet to a stockpot on the back burner of my stovetop. In my little kitchen, the immersion blender is king.
That’s why when I needed to replace my first-ever immersion blender, I sought out the best immersion blender I could find. My original low-powered unit was adequate for banana-raspberry smoothies and cream of mushroom soup, but gave out after a couple summers of canning and preserving. To replace it, I settled on the Breville Control Grip Immersion Blender.
That was in 2014, and I haven't regretted the decision since.
As I break up tomatoes and tomatillos for salsa, chop peppers and onions for relish, puree plums for fruit leather and cherries for fruit butter, this is the tool that’s in my hand.
Breville Control Grip Immersion Blender
When I tell friends about this kitchen tool, which I do with surprising frequency, I dub it the Cadillac of immersion blenders. It’s powerful enough to turn a homemade frozen sorbet creamy or smooth out a 2-gallon kettle of pasta sauce before canning. Its long blending shaft lets me stick it deep into a stockpot of hot broccoli cheddar soup without worrying about getting splashed or burned when I press the power button. The wide range of speeds lets me whip cream without splattering and make a last-minute smoothie with rock-solid frozen fruit.
Then there are the accessories. With one click, I can detach the blending shaft and pop on a whisk or the lid for a mini chopper. Whiz, whiz, and eggs are beaten to a uniform gold. The chopper lid, bowl, and blade make quick work of a cup of nuts, form a creamy salad dressing in seconds, and evenly distribute dried buds for lavender sugar. The final accessory of the set, a lidded pitcher, is tall and broad enough to puree smoothies for three or daiquiris for a party.
To be honest, I push this tool harder than I should. I once used the blending base and shaft to mix falafel for a dinner for 40, a volume and density that was more suited to a pro-level food processor. This unit is currently my only electric whisk, so I coax it into whipping egg whites for buttercream frosting even though it’s not designed to run so long in one session.
To be honest, I push this tool harder than I should.
Two years ago, I pushed the tool beyond its limit and the blending base stopped working. I contacted Breville, which offered to try to repair it for a nominal fee. When that wasn’t possible, they sent me a new blending base and all the accessories without hesitation. So, bonus points to Breville for fabulous customer service.
Despite that incident, the blender can handle almost any food project, even in preserving season. As I break up tomatoes and tomatillos for salsa, chop peppers and onions for relish, puree plums for fruit leather and cherries for fruit butter, this is the tool that’s in my hand. I love that I can stick it into a bubbling pot and smooth out the contents in one go, without the mess (and potential explosion that always seemed imminent) of transferring batches to an upright blender.
But mostly, I use my Breville immersion blender for everyday meals. I grab it when making smoothies for breakfast, salad dressing for lunch, and soup for dinner. If I’m feeling lazy, I mince garlic with this tool instead of a knife. For a weeknight pasta sauce, I’ll coarsely chop tomatoes, onion, and pepper by hand, but let the immersion blender break up the chunks. It’s in constant use in winter as I turn tomatoes, squash, and potatoes into creamy soups. When I’m done, it’s simple to clean by hand and tuck it back in its corner, ready for the next meal.
What’s Included: Blending shaft, blending base, chopper bowl, jug with storage lid, whisk attachment | Material: Brushed stainless steel, plastic | Dimensions: 16.4 x 7.5 x 6.2 inches | Capacity: 25-ounce chopper bowl, 42-ounce jug | Power: 280 watts | Speed Settings: 15 | Dishwasher Safe: Blending shaft and attachments
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Julie Laing has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years and is the author of the weekly newspaper column and food blog Twice as Tasty. Every kitchen tool and gadget must earn its place in her 500-square-foot home as she bakes, preserves, ferments, grills, and eats well year-round. Julie published her first cookbook, "The Complete Guide to Pickling," in 2020.