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My Stick Blender is Driving Me Crazy!

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KristaY

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I've tried all the tricks to avoid getting air bubbles in my batter and nothing is helping (short of throwing the SB out the window). I have a feeling the "bell" is too large and too concave so I can't get all the air out before I start blending. It also appears to be pulling air into the batter. What I'm using now is a Cuisinart with a stainless steel shaft. I just need to invest in a new one so what are your recommendations?
 

boyago

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Some people drill small holes in the top of the bell so that air will have a route to escape when the blender is submerged.
 

KristaY

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Thanks for the reminder, boyago! I remember reading that somewhere a year or so ago but forgot about it. That's a good place to start since I'm already violently irritated with the thing. Going at it with a drill may help vent some of my aggravation, lol.
 

KristaY

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I would recommend you use a smaller diameter bucket/pot so that the level of the soap batter comes up higher on the stickblender.
I did that too, Susie. I changed from rounded, wide bowls to paint mixing buckets that have straight sides. I try to keep my volume at about 3/4 full so I have room to work the batter. Still getting air. Grrr.....
 

Susie

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How big a batch are you working with?

I have the Hamilton Beach SB with the stainless steel shaft and bell. I love it, but once I put it in and get the air out the first time, I never lift it out again until I am done just to prevent more air. If I do get some air, I just spray alcohol to burst them.
 
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navigator9

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I had a Cuisinart, and had the same problem. I decided I needed a back up, so brought a cheapo from Ocean State Job Lot, to have just in case. I decided to give it a whirl, just to try it out, and guess what.....no little bubbles! So now I use the cheapo, and my Cuisinart is my back up. The Job Lot blender cost $10. I used to try to burp the Cuisinart, stick it into the batter at an angle so air could escape, nothing seemed to work. Not saying that all Cuisinarts have that problem, and I don't know what makes the cheapo work any better. All I know is that it does. And not being as powerful as the Cuisinart, my soap seems to trace a bit slower, which is a good thing, too. Other than trying another SB, I don't know what to suggest. Drilling holes in the bell may work, but sometimes I think air is drawn down through the shaft. It's a frustrating problem, that's for sure.
 

Seawolfe

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I have a stickblender that I am positive sucks air down the shaft and into the batter when its running - perhaps yours is doing the same?
I have a Cuisinart now and it doesnt bubble - but they cant all be the same.
 

shunt2011

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I too use a Cuisinart with no trouble. Mine has a removable shaft and have been using it for years now. I'm sure they are all made differently. What a bummer.
 

kumudini

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Cuisinart user here as well, have no problems with bubbles. Initially though, you really have to go for it, trying to get the bubbles out and after that I try to keep the bell submerged through out the process. I use my spatula to look for trace.
I probably use the same model as Shunt, and I know that the shaft is pretty airtight. I sometimes fill the shaft with water during clean up and not a single drop comes down the blade or the bell.
 

KristaY

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Cuisinart user here as well, have no problems with bubbles. Initially though, you really have to go for it, trying to get the bubbles out and after that I try to keep the bell submerged through out the process. I use my spatula to look for trace.
I probably use the same model as Shunt, and I know that the shaft is pretty airtight. I sometimes fill the shaft with water during clean up and not a single drop comes down the blade or the bell.
That makes me wonder if mine's wearing out a bit. When I clean it I usually just set it into one of my smaller containers so it stays upright but occasionally it falls over into the water. When that happens I have to dry it upside-down (bell side up) to get the water out of the inside of the shaft.

My other problem is my mixing containers. I have 1 qt and 2 1/2 qt paint buckets. If my recipe is a bit too small for the large bucket but too big for the small bucket, I get mad bubbles. I just can't find a container in between those sizes. So I need to make sure all my recipes fit the large one then have individual cavity molds on stand-by.

Since most replies have been those that use Cuisinart, I think I'll try the hole drill to see if that helps. I really think the size of the bell isn't helping as it's so hard to burp the air out.

Thank you everyone for giving me your thoughts!
 

KristaY

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Update on Stick Blender Problem

Right after I first posted about the air problem I made several soap batches that included various types of clay. When I use clays I always add them to the oils before the lye and SB really well to incorporate, then I leave the wand in the oils (without picking it up) and add the lye. I noticed when I did this, I didn't end up with air in my batter. So now my normal practice is to put the SB into the oils (even without additives) and do a few quick bursts. Any trapped air comes out and I just wait for it to rise to the surface and dissipate before adding the lye. I still think the bell on my particular model is a bit too concave but this small step has really helped reduce the amount of air I have to deal with in the batter. Hopefully this little tip will help someone else that suffers the irritating trapped air problem!
 
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