Find the Right Blending Equipment for Your Kitchen
Food prep involves a lot of breaking food down – chopping, puréeing, mixing, and blending are essential in most kitchens, so finding the right equipment to make these things easier can greatly improve timing and workflow in a commercial kitchen. We've put together a guide to help you compare blenders, food processors, and immersion blenders. With a little time and consideration, you can find the best food prep equipment for your commercial kitchen.
The blender was reportedly invented in 1922 by Stephen Poplawski, who used it to make drinks. Waring improved upon the design and made the first commercially available blender, premiering the Miracle Mixer blender at the National Restaurant Show in 1938. Since then, there have been numerous innovations and improvements, leading to a wide selection of blenders available from many brands.
When comparing blenders, it is important to have an idea of what the unit will be used for. Will you be blending ice for drinks at a bar, or soft vegetables and herbs for salsa? This will help determine how much power you need. Thicker, denser foods will require more power than soft or thin foods. While many companies advertise a machine's peak HP, the reality is that the machine will rarely reach that peak output, so an important number to look at is the wattage rating of each unit. The wattage gives you an idea of the consistent level of power that will be put out by each model. RPM correlates to the machine's efficiency, but a machine with high RPM without heavy, high-quality construction can burn out quickly. The size of the batches you will process should also be taken into consideration, as a container that is too small can lead to a slow-down in service and angry customers, while a unit that is too large can make incorporating all ingredients more difficult.
In addition to size and power, you will need to choose which container material will work best for you. If the blender will be visible to customers, you may want glass or plastic, but if it will be in the back of the house, durable stainless steel may be better for your kitchen. Some blenders have special features, such as programmable recipes or overheating protection, to help make them safer or more useful. Use the table below to compare blenders to find the best fit for your kitchen.
|Model||Peak HP||Watts||RPM||Container Size Included||Stainless Container Available?|
|Vita-Mix 36021||3||1800||24,000||48 oz||No|
|Hamilton Beach HBH850||3||880||13,500||64 oz||No|
|Waring MX1500XTS||3.5||1500||45,000||64 oz||Yes|
|Blendtec Connoisseur Blender Package||3.8||37,000||1800||64 oz||No|
While blenders are ideal for breaking down foods that have some liquid in them, the narrow design of the container makes it less practical for dry ingredients. With their wider bowls and assortment of blades and discs, food processors can purée, slice, grate, and grind dry ingredients easily. Food processors have an interesting history, with the first model being invented in Germany in 1946. This original model had an 'all-purpose' motor in the base that could be used for other products, including a vacuum cleaner attachment sold by the same company. In 1960, Robot-Coupe began manufacturing the first commercial food processors as we know them today, and the company is still known for its quality food processors. Throughout the 1970s, new models were developed and sold throughout Europe and the United States, where they soon spread to residential kitchens.
Much like blenders, food processors are rated by horsepower and RPM. Models with higher horsepower can work longer at a stretch and can handle larger volumes of food per batch. RPM measure how fast the blades spin. Higher RPM can mean a more efficient machine, but can also result in less precise cuts when using blade discs for slicing or grating. Food processors may come with multiple blades, discs, and dicing kits, so be sure that the model you purchase has the blades available that you will need. You may also need to choose between processors that work in batches or those that have a continuous-feed setup, but some models allow you to switch between the two.
|Waring FP25C||2.5 Qt.||3 discs, 1 blade||1 HP||1750|
|Waring FP1000||2.5 Qt.||3 discs, 1 blade, 1 dicing assembly||2 HP||1800|
|Robot-Coupe R2N CLR||3 Qt.||2 blades||1 HP||1725|
|Robot-Coupe R2 Dice||3 Qt.||2 discs, 1 blade, 1 dicing kit||2 HP||1725|
|Waring WFP16SCD||4 Qt.||3 discs, 1 blade||2 HP||1780|
|Robot-Coupe R401||4.5 Qt.||1 blade||1.5 HP||1725|
The first immersion blender was invented in Switzerland in 1950, and the appliance is a relative newcomer to American kitchens, as it did not start gaining popularity here until the 1980s. Immersion blenders, sometimes called wand blenders or hand blenders, are stick-shaped pieces of equipment with a handle on one end and spinning blades on the other end. Their design allows them to mix, chop, and purée food in the bowl or pot it is prepared in, making food prep fast and easy while reducing the number of dirty dishes kitchen staff must contend with.
To find the best immersion blender for your kitchen, first look at how much power you will need. Light tasks like whipping will require high RPM, but less horsepower than mixing or chopping dense ingredients will need. Another factor to keep in mind is how long the shaft is, as you want to be able to mix all the way to the bottom of the largest container you will use the blender with. Some models include attachments such as chopper blades or whisks, so be sure the model you chose has all the available attachments you might need.
|Model||Max RPM||HP||Wattage||Interchangeable Shafts||2nd Handle?||Full NSF Approval|
|Robot Coupe MP 350 Turbo VV||10,000||1 HP||660||No||No||No|
|Robot-Coupe CMP 400 VV||10,000||--||380||No||No||No|
|Robot-Coupe MP 450 Turbo VV||10,000||1.1||720||No||No||No|
|Robot-Coupe MP 550 Turbo||12,000||1.2||840||No||No||No|