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One instruction in a new barbecue sauce recipe I'm trying out is to take the pot of simmering sauce and run it through a blender or food processor.

I have now learned the hard way that blending hot liquid will cause the lid of the blender to explode off... there is barbecue sauce coating my kitchen, and I have some new burns to treat.

So, what is the proper way to do this? Is there a safe way to use a regular blender like mine, or would I need a different kind of blender?

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Some blenders are damaged when hot liquids are added. Check instruction booklet first. – user14905 Dec 26 '12 at 3:40
up vote 18 down vote accepted

It can be a bit tricky, a couple of tips:

  • Use a lot less liquid in the blender than normal. Do batches if needed.
  • Vent the lid so the steam can escape. A lot of lids have a center piece that can come out. Using less liquid will stop stuff coming out the top.
  • As Ocaasi suggests, you can cover the open lid with a kitchen towel as you start to insure there's no spray.
  • Start the blender slow and then speed it up. This may not work depending on how fast your slowest setting is. But once the vortex gets going, the liquid won't splash. It's only when the blades start that you have that issue. Slower start speed means less splash (a vita-mix can start very slowly and have no splash at all, great for hot liquids but the price tag is a bit high).
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You can get a hand-held blender that you can stick inside the pan you're boiling the sauce in instead of transferring it to another container. I love this tool for soups and sauces such as yours.

Remember though that using a blender or food processor has a more smooth result. I've never had any accidents, but I:

  • never fill the blender more than half
  • always put my hand on the lid before turning it on

Do you have any pictures of the end result? Was it this bad?

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This is my normal solution, but an immersion blender will never get the liquid as smooth as a blender. Just something to keep in mind. – Eric Goodwin Aug 21 '10 at 22:43
@EricGoodwin you're absolutely right about that I'll add a heads up. – iwein Jan 1 '14 at 7:42

i prefer waiting-say for 30-40 minutes and then transfer the cooked food from pot to blender.

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Seems like a perfectly reasonable solution to the problem at hand. – Preston Fitzgerald Dec 30 '13 at 4:06
Same here. I never ever blend scalding hot liquids. I have to see the first recipe yet where I cannot leave it to cool for a while, then reheat it. Note that if you don't have a glass blender the heat may not be too good for it either. – Jan Doggen Apr 22 '15 at 11:32

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