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Blending small quantities


Emily_R
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I was wondering if anyone has advice on what to use for blending / emulsifying small quantities -- particularly salad dressings. There's only two of us in our household, so I don't generally want to make a big vat of dressing. But if I want to do something like puree cilantro into a dressing, it seems like I need to use the blender, which really doesn't work well with less than a cup of ingredients (my FP is an 11 cup, and needs even bigger quantities than that). Does anyone have a tool they would recommend? I have an (old) stick blender, but I don't see how I wouldn't have stuff flying out of the open container if I tried using it...

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Does your stick blender come with its own cup to blend in? Mine does, and it makes a snug fit so I would probably use that if I wanted to puree herbs into a dressing. I make vinaigrette a lot, and for 2 people too, so I just put oil and vinegar into the oxo measuring cups that measure only up to 2 oz and emulsify with a milk frother. It works well for very small amounts (I'm doing a total of 40ml typically), but of course it only emulsifies.

nunc est bibendum...

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Well a Magic Bullet does a good job on small quantities and so does a stick blender which you can use in a mason jar. There shouldn't be any issue with stuff flying around.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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Same problem here. I'm enjoying my new Blendtec but it doesn't like small quantities either. I wonder why they don't offer a mini blending jar as an accessory, I'd buy one.

So I'm still using my stick blender for small quantities. I generally use it with a pyrex measuring cup, they're deep enough so that the mixture doesn't spatter. And extra convenient if you're using it to measure.


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I got a couple of stainless milkshake mixer cups on ebay to use with my immersion blender. I have also seen them show up at thrift stores.

My Delonghi mixer (now available as Cuisinart) has an attachment that's a mini chopper/blender which sits on top the mixer and has a small glass jar enclosing it. This is convenient and the small jars have lids, so you can puree then store in it. It's designed for making baby food but works for any small task.

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I like those little mini food processors, they maybe hold 2 cups. I give them as gifts when people are just starting to cook. I just use a whisk in a bowl for salad dressings but I love the mini processor for pestos, pistous, mayo, etc. It says it has a 4 cup capacity but one or 2 cups are just fine in it. Thhe one I have is the Cuisinart Mini Prep:

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-Mini-Prep-Food-Processor/dp/B003DCPASE/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1303696601&sr=8-16

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I like those little mini food processors, they maybe hold 2 cups. I give them as gifts when people are just starting to cook. I just use a whisk in a bowl for salad dressings but I love the mini processor for pestos, pistous, mayo, etc. It says it has a 4 cup capacity but one or 2 cups are just fine in it. Thhe one I have is the Cuisinart Mini Prep:

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-Mini-Prep-Food-Processor/dp/B003DCPASE/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1303696601&sr=8-16

I use the miniprep much more than the big Cuisinart. Perfect for small batch stuff.

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

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Yep. Everyone else got it. Stick blender in a narrow vessel (and sort of splay your hand and fingers around the shaft of the stick to keep the schmutz from flying too far) or a mini-processor. For a one or two person household, that to me is MUCH more useful than a big Cuisinart. I have a KA Chef's Series 3 cup model, and use it 2 or 3 times a week. The Cuisinart....maybe once a month. For a small volume, the Cuisinart is just too big, and I have the smallest *standard* model available (I think it's a 7 cup). And the blender.......maybe I use that 3 or 4 times a year.

But you'd have to pry the stick blender and the KA mini from my cold, dead hands.

--Roberta--

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Thanks for the replies everyone! I will definitely try the mason jar trick -- we'll see if it works with my old 5-dollars-at-Salvation-Army stick blender... And I've been tempted by those 3 cup food processors, so its good to hear that people find them useful...

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If your blender supports it, it's possible to use a mason jar in a blender.

That is awesome.

I have one of these and they work great for frothing milk and blending small quantities of salad dressing. It's not hugely powerful, but you don't need a lot of power for what you're talking about. Easy to clean, too.

That's exactly what I use. It works well.

nunc est bibendum...

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I also use the shaking method for emulsifying dressings, but what I'm really looking for is something that will blend small quantities -- like pureeing a shallot or fresh herbs or anchovies into a small quantity of sauce. Will be trying the stick blender soon!

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If your blender supports it, it's possible to use a mason jar in a blender.

That is GENIUS! Thanks.

One caveat, do not let the blender run for too long and with nothing that is hot or if there is any defect at all in the glass.

The glass of a Mason jar is not strong enough to resist expansion/contraction with the heat concentrated in the rim and shoulder area.

I have a scar in my left cheek as the result of such a jar that exploded while grinding nuts for a cake topping, using an old Oster blender. I still wore glasses then and had I not, I could have lost an eye.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks to all who suggested a stick blender in a mason jar. Did this tonight to make a little parsley lime sauce for serving with salmon, and it worked really well (and thats even given my really ancient plastic stick blender from the Salvation Army). Was able to puree what when blended amounted to no more than 1/2 a cup, maybe more like a 1/3rd of a cup... And no splatter!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I frequently use a half-pint Mason freezer jar on the blender. The freezer jars are quite a bit stronger than the regular jars. But sometimes I'm doing a little more than will fit into a half-pint, and use a heavy pint. We've got some that are "Ball Perfect" Mason jars, which are quite a bit heavier than a mayonnaise jar or the like. Some things come in plastic jars that have a Mason thread; those are probably safer than the lightweight glass jars, too.

And a FWIW: they sell plastic storage caps that screw onto a standard Mason jar; they're nice for the refrigerator or cupboard storage in canning jars. (Amazon has a better picture of them.)

But I go to the stick blender when doing anything warmer than room temperature.

Dick in Northbrook, IL

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