A dispensing blender is one that includes a small dispenser valve (tap), so you can serve a smoothie, milkshake or other blended drink without removing the lid and pouring from the top of the blender. This valve is always positioned on the front, near the bottom of the blender jar or jug. All dispensing blenders are full-size models and have plastic jugs and valves.
Only a few brands offer dispensing blenders so the variety is limited, but this is one feature that the kids really love. While this can be extremely handy and sometimes cleaner when it comes to serving several small drinks or for letting them self-serve, here's what you should keep in mind when choosing one of these blenders.
To use the dispensing feature, it's more practical if you have a full blender jug, as opposed to just one personal serving. If the frozen concoction is very thick with frozen fruit or crushed ice, dispensing can be sluggish, so ensure that the beverages are well blended. And when it comes to clean-up, this spout feature needs to be removed and cleaned completely each time you use it, which adds an extra step. It is quick to do if cleaned immediately after use.
If not attached to the blender when you're done, it's a good practice to always store the small valve or cap with the unit to reduce the risk of misplacing this small part. I'd recommend a dispensing blender that has the alternative cap to close off this valve, so the blender can also be used without it, making it a more versatile and practical kitchen appliance.
A dispensing feature can sometimes add to the ticket price, but there are many affordable brands such as Hamilton Beach® line that offers such a feature on some of their models and they do work well.
This self-serve dispensing feature has no bearing on blender functions and settings. However, though it's not a surety, it often signals the ability of the unit to blend ice for frozen beverages. If that's one of your preferences, you should confirm the ice blending ability before buying, because this kind of operation requires a special blade mechanism and sufficient power.
Review all blender features to ensure you're getting one that best meets your needs. Blenders vary considerably in price from the $20 range to well over $100 and much more for multifunction units. Review settings, ability to blend ice, power, construction, capacity and handling ease before purchasing.
In many homes, a blender is considered an essential food preparation tool, while some enjoy this counter appliance merely for blending frozen beverages. Immersion, hand or stick blenders as they are often called, have also gained popularity, but their design makes them practical for other blending tasks. Blenders are generally durable and can provide the homemaker many years of service, provided they are used as recommended by the manufacturer.
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