What Is The Difference Between A Milk Frother And An Immersion Blender?

Want to create milk foam but don't know which device to use? Here we explore what is the difference between a milk frother and an immersion blender. Read more.

immersion blenders in retail store - What Is The Difference Between A Milk Frother And An Immersion Blender
Immersion blender creates a foam but not as thick and creamy that a Milk frother creates

If you want to make a great cup of coffee, you need to know how to froth milk. There are a few ways to do this, and two of the easiest are with a milk frother or an immersion blender. But, what's the difference between the two?

A milk frother will heat and aerate the liquid, creating microfoam. However, an immersion blender just aerates the milk, so the foam isn't as thick or creamy. Also, a blender is wider and bulkier, which can make it harder to froth milk. Let's break down these two frothing options further.

What is a Milk Frother?

handheld-milk-frother
A frothing wand gives you flexibility while working

There are actually two types of milk frothers. The first is a frothing wand, which gives you greater flexibility while working. All you have to do is stick the end of the rod into your milk and move it up and down a few times to create the foam.

The second option is a standing milk frother, which looks like a mini kettle. Unlike the wand, you have to pour the milk into this machine to create the foam, then pour it out into your latte, cappuccino, or whichever coffee you're making.

What is an Immersion Blender?

an immersion blender placed in diagonal position at a top of a wooden table
Immersion blenders are made for mixing all kinds of dishes

An immersion blender is like a larger, souped-up version of a frothing wand. Immersion blenders are made for mixing all kinds of dishes, from soups to smoothies. The end of the device has a sharp blade instead of a heated whisk like you would see on a frothing wand.

Immersion blenders also come with multiple speed options so that you can aerate your milk faster or slower.

Key Differences Between a Frother and Blender

To make this comparison more even, let's look at the differences between a frothing wand and an immersion blender.

Size

Frothing wands are smaller and lighter than an immersion blender. They're made to go in smaller cups and mugs, but their size does make them slightly more delicate.

Versatility

A frothing wand and a hand blender allow you to make frothed milk in a separate container. However, an immersion blender works for other purposes, such as making soup. A wand is only used for frothing milk.

Steaming

The best way to create better milk foam is to warm the milk as you aerate it. Immersion blenders don't heat the liquid as they work. A milk frother does, making it easier to create microfoam for latte art.

Power

You have to be plugged in when using an immersion blender. However, most milk frothing wands are battery-operated, giving you much more flexibility.

Which One is Better?

man looking at his lapton screen
Frothing wand is better for milk frothing while immersion blender doesn't

If all you want to do is froth milk, then a frothing wand will deliver superior results. The science of milk frothing shows that hot milk creates better foam than cold milk, so an immersion blender is lacking in that regard.

On the other hand, if you're not trying to make complex latte art or just want thick, creamy milk froth, an immersion blender can work well. Best of all, this device allows you to mix all kinds of dishes beyond an espresso or latte.

The Final Word on What Is the Difference Between a Milk Frother and an Immersion Blender

Overall, when it comes to frothing milk, you can use both devices to achieve decent results. If you want to use a hand blender, you will need to heat your milk first, either in the microwave or on the stove. Both options can create quality foam, but a frothing wand will deliver better results since it heats and aerates the milk.

FAQs About What Is the Difference Between a Milk Frother and an Immersion Blender

Can I froth milk without a frother?

Yes, you can. There are a few ways to froth milk.

First, you can heat the liquid in a microwave, then shake it in a jar until it becomes foamy. Second, you can use a French press with hot milk. Both options can make creamy foam, but it won't be quite as fluffy or stable as microfoam from a frothing wand.

Is a milk steamer the same thing as a milk frother?

No, a steamer is only used to heat the milk, not aerate it. You usually see steamers on an espresso machine, but you can buy these devices separately. If you have a hand blender, you can use a steamer to get warm milk before mixing it.

Which milk is best for frothing?

If you want stable microfoam, you should use low or nonfat milk. Alternatives like almond milk can also work well.

If you want thicker, creamier foam, we recommend whole milk instead. However, the bubbles are less stable, so they won't hold their shape as long.
 

Author

  • Jonathan is an avid coffee drinker, although he's known to knock back a few energy drinks too. He's been a writer for over seven years, which is why caffeine runs through his veins.