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Finger injuries from handy immersion blenders are on the rise

Finger injuries from handy immersion blenders are on the rise

The growing popularity of cooking blogs and shows has had an unintended consequence—more kitchen casualties. Knives, food processors and mandolines are common offenders but an immersion blender can deliver the unkindest cut of all, according to The New York Times. If used safely, of course, these handheld gadgets can deliver a silky soup or smoothie, but with blades that spin at up to 18,300 revolutions per minute they can cause injuries that must be surgically repaired.

Cuts from choppers and slicers resulted in 21,699 visits to the emergency room in 2011, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The New York Times reports that blenders sent 7,261 people to the ER that year, up from just 2,424 ten years ago.

With its slim profile and ability to blend in a pot or pan, avoiding the mess of pouring a soup into a blender container, the immersion blender has become a popular kitchen tool. When you’re done you can throw it in a drawer, saving valuable counter real estate. The immersion blenders tested by Consumer Reports range in price from $30 to $180. The Breville Control Grip BSB510XL, $100, was our top scorer and produced excellent results blending a yogurt smoothie and pureeing soup. For half as much, you can buy the Miallegro Professional MiTutto 9090, which we named a CR Best Buy. It was excellent at pureeing and very good at making a smoothie. We also recommend the DeLonghi DHB723, $100, which performed similarly to the MiTutto.

Alton Brown, the Food Network host and author of “Gear for Your Kitchen,” told the Times he was surprised that so many cooks were injured by immersion blenders and guesses that accidents occur while trying to clean the blades. “I always put some soapy water in a measuring cup or small bowl, then just stick the blender in and push the button for a few seconds and rinse,” he told the newspaper. “No muss, no fuss, no blood.”

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