Simple, healthy, and delicious. Those are three words that perfectly describe hummus, a Middle Eastern bean dip that uses chickpeas as a base and blends them with an array of oils and spices. While not absolutely necessary, Hummus is most easily prepared with a good countertop or immersion blender.
If hummus is your only concern, an immersion blender is recommended. This is because good hummus is relatively dry and thick, and only expensive countertop blenders can work well with those consistencies. Of course, if you need a countertop blender anyway, and want to be able to crush ice and seeds, then it’s worth springing for the more expensive countertop model.
Here we cover both countertop and immersion blenders, with hummus as the main consideration.
Making Hummus With A Countertop Blender
Technically, any blender is capable of making hummus. That said, if you want the right consistency, you’re going to want to shoot for one with high-quality blades and a high-powered motor. This is because properly prepared hummus is quite dry compared to a smoothie, meaning you should be able to blend the chickpeas with little or no added fluid, something that weaker blenders can’t do well.
The blender must also have good fluid dynamics. If it doesn’t pull the ingredients toward the blade, the blade will just spin while the chickpeas sit at the top.
It’s also smart to select an appliance with variable speed settings or the ability to ‘pulse’ its blades; since most blenders aren’t made for chopping up solid or dry food, the ability to exercise fine-tuned control is very useful.
No matter which blender you use, you’ll want to add your thickest ingredients first, so that the blades have a chance to break them down. And take the blending process slow, stopping occasionally to check consistency. If not, you may well wind up with either a goopy, chunky mess or a chickpea smoothie – neither of which is all that appealing.
(Note: While we’ve done our research and have carefully chosen the products mentioned below, this guide includes affiliate links from which we earn a commission if you buy a product from Amazon.)
For Countertop, We Recommend The BlendTec Total Blender
BlendTec’s Total Blender certainly isn’t cheap, but it’s well worth the cost. Its commercial-quality, 1560-watt motor is capable of spinning the blade at up to 29,000 rpm, more than enough to tackle tough foods and ice. This, combined with great fluid dynamics, makes it great for blending dry and relatively dry ingredients, which makes it perfect for hummus. The fluid dynamics mean you don’t need to use the tamper very often if at all, and the container shape is easy to clean.
It’s available in three colors and with two different pitcher types; the tall-and-thin FourSide or the wider WildSide.
On the downside, the blender is very loud, and on some countertops you might need to stabilize it with your hands. Buyers have mixed results with berry seeds: most say it breaks them down well. (There is an upper limit to what is possible with blenders; it’s impossible for them to completely pulverize berry seeds because they are not grinders.) The jar also has a tendency to scratch after extended use, which is cosmetic but certainly not trivial.
$329.08 (as of 1/20/2016)
High-quality blades and powerful motor can blend food to any consistency
Ships with a 7-year manufacturer’s warranty
Beautiful touchpad with several pre-programmed blend cycles, a built-in timer, and auto shutdown
Both jars are dishwasher safe
Seals on the FourSide blending jar tend to wear out with extended use
The controls take time to learn and master
Lacks cord storage
If you’re looking for something much less expensive, the Oster Pro 1200 Blender Plus Smoothie Cup is a good pick, with a 1200 watt motor and a cost of just $69.99 (as of 1/20/2016). The dual-direction blade system also works well on drier ingredients without the need for a tamper. Keep in mind this blender may have excessive vibration issues; the glass container, while sturdy, is heavy; and the motor is still quite loud.
Making Hummus With An Immersion Blender
It takes more time to make hummus with an immersion blender (handheld), and it can get tiring on your arms. However, immersion blenders are easier to clean and store, cost less, and arguably give you finer control over texture.
As for what you should look for, grip comfort is the most important feature. It’s also worthwhile to seek a model with multiple speeds for greater control over the consistency of your hummus. Since immersion blenders of any variety don’t require a lot of fluid to work properly, motor strength doesn’t make a significant difference unless you plan to use your immersion blender to crush ice or chop nuts.
We Recommend: The KitchenAid KHB2352CU
With three speeds and a comfortable, non-slip grip handle, KitchenAid’s KHB2352CU is pretty much perfect for mixing hummus – as well as any other dip, dough, or cream you might want to whip up. Since all attachments and cups are dishwasher-safe, it’s also easy to clean after you’re done blending. The biggest design issue is the length of the cord – compared to other immersion blenders, it feels fairly short and restrictive.
The KHB2352CU ships with an eight inch blending arm, a whisk attachment, a 2-½ cup BPA-free chopper attachment with a locking lid, and a 3-cup BPA-free blending jar.
$49.82 (as of 1/20/2016)
Suited for relatively heavy-duty jobs for an immersion blender
Easy to use
Not cordless and cord is relatively short
Blade stem can be difficult to attach
Motor can detach the blender’s blade during operation if not attached properly