What is the advantage of owning a stick blender as opposed to a food processor or normal blender?

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Answered by: Scott, An Expert in the Cooking Equipment - General Category
The short answer is: versatility! It can do almost everything either the food processor or the regular stand blender can do with liquid ingredients. Add incomparable convenience as a close second, and you'll see why a stick blender should be one of the primary pieces of gear in your kitchen armamentarium. Most food processors (and don't get me wrong, I love my Cuisinart) are limited in two ways. The first is the capacity of liquid you can process (due to the hole in the processing bowl for the motor drive shaft that operates the processor blade), and because emptying the bowl is such a hassle. A regular blender doesn't have quite the same capacity limitations as a food processor, but the blades can bind with chunky food, and blending can be incomplete. Add to that the pouring of hot liquid into a smallish opening (perhaps several times), the emptying, and the cleaning, and your stick blender looks very, very attractive. You can take it to as little a two cups or so of crepe batter in a narrow, tall container, or apply it directly to a multi-quart pot of simmering food that you wish to turn into a silky sauce. It's also extremely convenient for breaking up part of your pot of food, say beans, to provide flavor and substance to a sauce, without having to separate a portion out for separate processing. No spillage, no batch processing necessary, and clean up is as easy as running the blender in a cup of soapy water. I count my stick blender as my Swiss Army Knife of blending-handy and always useful.

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