Sometimes your purpose in life is to be a warning to others.
[Paraphrasing a demotivational poster from Despair.com]
Every blender I own comes with a statement like this in the manual:
WARNING, DO NOT BLEND HOT LIQUIDS OR OTHER HOT INGREDIENTS
Starting blend cycles with boiling or very hot liquids may result in burns or cause the lid to blow off (emphasis mine)
[From the BlendTec instruction manual]
I know this. I have known this for years. From my Mexican Hot Chocolate recipe, back in 2010:
If you use a traditional blender, watch out! Hot liquid plus blender equals lid shooting off and hot chocolate spraying all over the place. Why? Hot air expands in volume by about a quarter. When you put hot liquid in a blender, you have room temperature air above it in the blender. Turn the blender on, and that air gets mixed into the hot liquid and heats up. This causes two things to happen: first, the air in the top of the blender, heated by the liquid, increases in size by a quarter. This causes a blast of air pressure, which will shoot the lid off the top of the blender if it can’t escape. Second, the air mixed into the liquid causes the liquid to expand as well, and climb up the sides of the blender. If you have a tight seal on the lid, or too much liquid in the blender…kablooey.
Safe blending tips are: don’t fill the blender more than half full, leave the feed tube cap off the lid to let the expanding gases escape, and hold the lid on tight with a kitchen towel to force the expanding gases out through the hole in the feed tube.
[Mexican Hot Chocolate, DadCooksDinner.com]
Blender Disaster [YouTube.com]
Some day I will follow my own advice.
I am shooting a time lapse video of my Pressure Cooker Short Ribs Tacos recipe, and everything looks good. The meat is done and shredded; all that’s left is blending the sauce. And…I didn’t follow ANY of those directions I list above. My feeble excuse? I’m hungry, and want to eat faster. So, I:
- Use hot liquid
- Use a small blender jar (when I have a much larger one available), so I…
- Fill the blender all the way to the top
- Don’t remove the plug
- Don’t hold down the lid with a towel
I hit the “Sauce” button on my blender. It slowly ramps up to speed, and I relax…too soon. When it kicks into super-blend overdrive, the force of the expanding liquid and air in the blender pops the lid open – even with my hand resting on it – and sprays an arc of partially blended pepper sauce across my kitchen. I fumble for the “Off” button. Then I look around. From my coffee maker, across the dish drain, across the windows…everything within a 6 foot arc is dripping sauce. It is in a narrow band, about one foot wide, and about a 270° arc – I was standing close to the blender, and my body blocked everything behind me. Keeping my hand on top of the lid forced the spray out in a narrow band, at about chest height. Thank goodness, because my good blogging camera was mounted about a foot directly above the blender. If the sauce had fountained straight up, I’d be in the market for a new camera and lens.
I look around, and the mess oozes down the walls for a few seconds. I sigh, then call the kids in from the back yard. After a lot of paper towels and mopping, the kitchen is mostly back to normal. (Everything in the dish drain goes back in the dishwasher…including the dish drain itself). The only casualty is the blender itself – the oozing liquid gets into the control panel, and it has to dry out overnight to get working again. I pour the dregs of the sauce from the blender jar into a Pyrex measuring cup, and use my stick blender to finish blending the sauce.
Once again, let me serve as an example – a negative example. This isn’t the blender’s fault – it was entirely user error. Don’t do what I did: fill a blender with hot liquid and hit the “make it blend!” button. Or, if you do, have lots of paper towels handy…
What do you think?
Questions? Leave them in the comments section below.
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