Years ago, when I learned of the existence of home-kitchen immersion blenders, I got so excited that I bought three of them: one for myself and one each for my mom and my sister. How could you not go wild for a handheld tool that could almost instantly turn a can of Campbell’s Chunky into something smooth and silky?
Immersion blenders have become affordable and pretty indispensable tools in the years since then. They all work roughly the same way. The business end is a spinning blade on a shaft that clips into the top half, a combination of motor and controls, all about the size of an extra-tall can of White Claw. The cord usually emerges above your hand, which seems odd, but you barely notice it. One of the main glories of immersion blenders is that you don’t have to transfer boiling soup from its pot to a full-size jar blender to potentially another pot to blend it. Just plunge the blade into the pot you cooked it in and start blending. It’s great for soups of many stripes and is particularly strong for homemade mayo, hollandaise, and dressings. I love using mine to whip up quick-and-dirty batches of herb sauces like salsa verde.
When you’re done, tuck the blade shaft in the dishwasher, wrap the power cord around the top and slide it into a utensil drawer, then go about your day.
Some immersion blenders—also known as “hand” or “stick” blenders—work better than others, but I’ve always admired their usefulness and value. I married into a basic Braun that was old enough to need duct tape to hold the whisk attachment together and tough enough to keep chugging for years afterward. Testing Braun’s MultiQuick 7 in 2020 demonstrated refinements in power, control, and consistency of the finished product. For example, the bell-shaped dome over the blade, along with your own good sense, keeps splatter to a minimum.
This was the happy history I kept in mind when testing the new cordless immersion blender from All-Clad. The company is best known for its pots and pans, but it turns out it’s also been making other kitchen gear, including immersion blenders. Between that and the cordlessness, a new feature in some kitchen appliances, I was intrigued.
The All-Clad Cordless Rechargeable Stainless Steel Hand Blender comes in silver or black and works just like its corded brethren. The top half, which you hold, has controls to turn it on and off and to adjust speed. For charging, you set it into its matching dome-shaped countertop charging station. It doesn’t take much of a creative mind to think that it looks like a large, shiny dildo nestled in between the KitchenAid and the microwave, something that’s hard to unsee.
Nevertheless, I buzzed through testing quickly and easily. On a visit to Vancouver to see my mother-in-law, I made vichyssoise—potato-leek soup—intentionally leaving the leek chunks larger than I should have to see if that would leave stringy bits all over the place, but the All-Clad powered through, leaving liquid velvet in its wake. Ditto for using it as a finishing touch for Thanksgiving gravy. No lumps here! Among reviewer colleagues at other publications, I’ve seen All-Clad’s immersion blenders, both corded and cordless, get some slack for being a bit unwieldily, and while it’s certainly not as intuitive or comfortable as the ski-grip handle and variable-speed trigger of the MultiQuick 7, this one felt OK considering that it’s cordless. One peculiar thing that will sound a bit contradictory following that was that I couldn’t decide how to grip it. “Away” from me, clamping it between my thumb and forefingers and using the thumb to turn it on and off, or curled into my hand with the power button under my fingers. Neither was particularly comfortable. Oddly, when I asked a rep about this their response was essentially, “Whichever!” which made me wish it had been designed one way or the other.
Over the winter, I leaned into the cooler weather and made butternut squash soup with ginger. Like leeks, that ginger could have posed a problem, but the finished product was a pleasant, warming soup, a hearty blast when the daylight was minimal.