Best cheap blender 2015

Best cheap blender 2015 DEFAULT

We love our winning full-size blenders, but “personal blenders” offer promising perks, such as smaller footprints, lower price tags, and lids that allow them to transition neatly from pitchers to travel cups. Curious if these conveniences would justify the purchase of a second blender, we gathered nine models with pitchers sized 24 ounces and smaller, priced between about $15 and nearly $ We evaluated their performance in blending smoothies with hard frozen berries and fibrous kale, whipping up thick chocolate milkshakes, and incorporating fresh herbs into creamy Green Goddess salad dressing. Though these blenders come with as many as 16 pieces of equipment, including superfluous handles and specialty blades, we focused our attention on the pitchers; the blades designed for blending; and the travel lids (with spouts when available), which allow them to seal completely and be flipped open for easy drinking on the go. We rated each machine on its speed and ease of use and evaluated how evenly and completely all of the ingredients were blended together. Finally, we tested the comfort of the drinking lids and the tightness of their seal. Throughout testing, we compared our models to a new copy of one of our favorite full-size blenders.

While two of the models we purchased are designed like traditional blenders—the blade is permanently centered in the bottom of the pitcher, and the pitcher moves directly from the blender base to the countertop—the other seven work differently. To operate them, you screw on a cover fitted with a blade and invert the pitcher onto the blender base so that the blade engages for blending; after blending, you remove the pitcher and flip it back over to remove the cover and screw on a travel lid. None of the models offered variable speeds or settings.

Neither of these designs affected how well the blenders worked, but their performances did vary dramatically. Some consistently whirred hard-frozen and fibrous ingredients into a cohesive blend in less than a minute, while others struggled for several minutes to incorporate chopped herbs into a creamy dressing. Part of that discrepancy came down to the shape and style of the pitchers. Tall, narrow vessels trapped ingredients far from the blades, so they couldn’t incorporate into a smooth, uniform mix—and pausing to shake or stir the contents was fussy. The two U-shaped models were more effective because the pitchers flared gently toward the opening and thus provided more space for the ingredients to circulate. (The only downside to their wider shape: They don’t fit in most standard cup holders.)

Another factor was blade design—specifically the number

Sours: https://www.americastestkitchen.com/equipment_reviews/personal-blenders

After spending 28 hours researching two dozen personal blenders and testing 12 models in our test kitchen, we think the NutriBullet Pro Series offers the best balance of power, simplicity, convenience, and price for most people. We pureed almost 25 pounds of frozen fruit, hearty kale, fibrous ginger, gooey peanut butter, and sticky dates into thick smoothies to come to this conclusion.

The NutriBullet won us over with its blending abilities, ease of use, and price. The powerful motor didn’t strain blending thick mixtures, and it pureed tough kale and frozen fruit into a satisfying drinkable consistency. The blending quality is on par with midrange full-sized blenders without the bulk of a large machine. If you regularly buy a smoothie on your way to the office or class, the NutriBullet Pro will pay for itself within a month.

We like the Tribest PB because it’s durable and offers the smallest footprint of all our picks. Although the Tribest isn't the most powerful machine on paper—it has a weaker motor and the smallest cups of all our picks—it blends really well for most food prep tasks you'd need it for. Compared to the NutriBullet and Breville Boss To Go, smoothies from the Tribest are thinner due to the extra liquid needed to get a consistent blend. But it’s built to last and a solid performer if you don't mind slightly thinner smoothies.

The Breville Boss To Go offers smoother blending, sleeker design, and a better travel lid than our top pick. The Boss To Go blended kale the finest, and berry seeds were the smallest of all our picks. The Breville blends thick mixtures easily without straining. The stainless steel housing and sleeker design will look good on your countertop, and the travel lid has the largest opening of all the blenders we tested for easier drinking.

Why you should trust us

I’ve been cooking professionally for almost 20 years, and I’ve been testing blenders and hand blenders at Wirecutter for three years. For this guide, we brought Matt Shook, founder of Juiceland, into our test kitchen to get his hands-on opinion, and we interviewed superfood chef Julie Morris, who uses both a full-size and personal blender for home and work. We also scoured editorial reviews from sources like America’s Test Kitchen and Consumer Reports and read many customer reviews.

Who should buy a personal blender

A personal blender is a convenience item for the dedicated smoothie lover who’s short on time in the morning. If you want to quickly make a morning smoothie and run out the door without having to wash a blender pitcher and lid, a personal blender is for you.

Even if you’re not drinking smoothies daily, or you’re happy with your full-sized blender, a personal blender can do small batches of sauces and dressings with less cleanup. Think of a personal blender as a complement to your regular blender, the way a mini chopper is to a food processor.

Personal blenders are good for small jobs like smoothies, but their motors aren’t as powerful as the ones found in our picks for full-size blender. This means you’ll need to use more liquid and cut fruit smaller. Personal blenders also aren’t made for crushing large chunks of ice or blending hot liquids. If you want an all-around kitchen workhorse that can puree soups, sauces, and make multiple rounds of frozen margaritas, you should consider getting a full-size blender.

How we picked

all of the personal blender contenders on kitchen counter

A personal blender needs to make relatively smooth purees in about a minute.

The perfect personal blender is powerful, hands-free, and simple to use. We looked for blenders with a small footprint to accommodate small apartments and dorms or people who don’t want a lot of countertop clutter. A sturdy cup with secure travel lid is a major plus, especially for commuters. Finally, we scoured user reviews to get a read on durability and long-term reliability.

Most importantly, a personal blender needs to make relatively smooth purees in about a minute. In our testing, we found more powerful blenders could puree thick mixtures and blend faster. Smaller machines got hot and smelled of burning after making thick smoothies. Smaller blenders needed up to ¾ cup more liquid than the more powerful models to make a continuous vortex, which resulted in thin, watery smoothies.

All the models we brought in to test except for one were hands-free: once the cup was locked into place, you could take your hands off the machine. This is a superior design to cups that need to be held in place, as a minute can seem like a long time when you can’t step away. While you shouldn’t leave the blender running unattended, you can still multitask while making your smoothie.

Two men pointing at a personal blender.

We found personal blenders that had only one speed and powered on by engaging the cup with the base were the easiest to use. High-priced personal blenders offer speed controls and pre-programmed settings, but we appreciate a no-frills user interface. Variable speed dials didn’t improve the user experience. In fact, having to choose a speed or program added an unnecessary step to what should be simple.

Since these are single-serving blenders, we wanted them to be small enough to leave on the counter because you’re more likely to use an appliance if it’s in sight and accessible. If you already have a regular blender and you’re looking for a second appliance to handle smaller jobs with less cleanup, a small footprint is even more important.

Cups that are comfortable to hold with secure travel lids that snap shut are an added bonus for commuters. Two of our picks have lids that seal tight and can be tossed into a backpack or tote. Although the openings in these travel lids are pretty small across the board, our smoothie drinkers in the test kitchen all agreed they would use a straw with extra thick smoothies. All of our picks should fit in most car cup holders.

To get an accurate read on the longevity of these machines, we sifted through the glut of online reviews to find patterns of wear and malfunction. We’re confident that our picks, when used responsibly and within their abilities, will last a long time.

How we tested

Men making a smoothie in top pick personal blender.

To see how these blenders could handle a thick smoothie, we blended frozen bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and juice for the recommended running time of each specific model. If any blender couldn’t make a puree in that amount of time (usually one minute) or the base began to get noticeably hot, it was disqualified.

For round two, we blended curly kale and water, then strained the mixture through a fine sieve. We evaluated the amount of solids and fibers as well as particle size. To see if these blenders could tackle tough fiber, we made a smoothies with ½-inch-thick pieces of ginger and frozen peaches (all the smoothies from this test had noticeable fibers). We also made a hearty shake from dates, banana, peanut butter, ice, and almond milk. Dates are difficult to puree into a smoothie, and we found that each of our picks could handle the task.

The writer makes a date shake

After each smoothie was blended, we attached the travel lid (where applicable) and gave each tumbler a vigorous shake over the sink to check for leaks. We also tried to drink thick smoothies from the opening in the lids.

We took decibel readings while the blenders were full and running since we read some complaints about the motors being too loud. All the blenders ran around the same noise level, between 92 and 98 decibels 5 inches away from the machine. (This is about the noise level of a garbage disposal.) There was only one exception: the Jamba Juice Quiet Blend, which has a large plastic muffler that decreased the noise by 10 decibels. Noise level didn’t account for pitch, though. One of our dismissals was so high-pitched, we winced every time we ran it.

Our pick: NutriBullet Pro

Top pick and to-go container on counter with ingredients.

Out of the models we tested, the NutriBullet Pro has the best balance of power, ease of use, and price. It blended everything we threw at it without straining. The Pro comes with a secure-fitting travel lid, and the large cup has a blending capacity of 24 ounces. With a 5½-inch-diameter footprint, it’ll tuck away neatly on most kitchen counters, and its inch height clears standard upper cabinets. NutriBullet Pro comes with a limited one-year warranty, but a four-year extended warranty is available.

The NutriBullet Pro had no problem blending thick, spoonable smoothies. Our banana-berry smoothie came out lump-free. The kale puree wasn’t the finest blend we saw, but it wasn’t as fibrous as the kale from the Nutri Ninja. The NutriBullet blended dates well, leaving only a few small, pleasantly chewy pearls in the bottom of the cup that didn’t clog the straw. None of the personal blenders did an exceptional job on fresh ginger fiber, but that’s an extremely tough thing to break down. Matt Shook of Juiceland was impressed with the force and smooth results of the NutriBullet.

Thick date shake in container with no top

It blended everything we threw at it without straining.

The travel lid on the NutriBullet screws on tight and a hinged plastic cap snaps over the opening to make it easy for commuters to travel without the risk of spilling all over themselves. We shook the sealed cup over the sink and saw no leakage. We will be testing the effectiveness of the travel lid long-term to see how it fares in a backpack or a tote on hectic commutes.

The “colossal” ounce NutriBullet blending cup has 24 ounces (three cups) of blending capacity, which is plenty of room for a satisfying smoothie. Our runner-up pick, the Tribest PB, only allows for ml, or just over 10 ounces (or 1¼ cups).

The NutriBullet Pro is intuitive and simple to use straight out of the box. There aren’t any dials or buttons to navigate. The motor is engaged when the blending cup is twisted onto the base, and it has one speed. Unlike some other models we tested, the same blade assembly works on all the different cup sizes included (depending on where you get it, there’s a variety of ounce, ounce, and “short” cups), so there’s no guesswork about what goes where.

At around $80, the NutriBullet Pro isn’t cheap, but it’s in the midrange of what you can pay for a personal blender. We tested models four times the price and found they don’t offer much more than speed variation and a die cast metal drive shaft (the part that turns the blade). The drive shaft on the NutriBullet is rubber and plastic. We also looked at blenders as inexpensive as $25, but these offered weak motors and leaky gaskets.

The NutriBullet Pro is intuitive and simple to use straight out of the box.

We think the Pro is worth the price increase over the original NutriBullet watt model. The original NutriBullet strained a bit with thicker mixtures, and it produced smoothies with a couple of small lumps. And surprisingly, in our head-to-head comparison of all the NutriBullet models, the Pro also beat out the larger, more powerful NutriBullet Rx. It’s all about design: The Pro has six long blades, whereas the Rx has only four shorter ones. That said, the NutriBullet Pro won’t blend berry seeds, which is something that an upgrade, full-size blender like the Vitamix can do. But most of the personal blenders we tested left whole seeds intact.

NutriBullet Pro is offered in a couple of different packages. The package offered on Amazon has 13 pieces, which includes two colossal cups; the company’s website offers a seven-piece package with one colossal cup and one ounce tall cup; and Bed Bath & Beyond offers a piece package with two blades. They all cost around the same price, although you have to pay shipping on the NutriBullet website.

Extra cups, lids, handles, and blade assemblies are widely available for purchase through NutriBullet or Amazon. NutriBullet offers a limited one-year warranty that protects against manufacturer defects. The warranty is only honored if the product is bought through an authorized dealer, which includes Amazon. For around $12, you can buy a four-year extended warranty that protects your purchase for a total of five years. Misuse and abuse aren’t covered.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

Even though we like the tight-fitting travel lid, the spout for drinking is very small, measuring 1 inch by ¾ inch. It’s very difficult to drink a thick smoothie without using a straw. But we prefer straws to smoothie sipping, so this doesn’t bother us one bit.

The NutriBullet Pro isn’t the sleekest machine we tested. The branding is splashed all over the front, and if you’re logo averse, this can be troubling. If aesthetics are that important to you, consider getting the Breville Boss To Go.

In , Consumer Reports declared the NutriBullet Pro a “safety hazard” after a piece of the blade broke off due to a stress test where they blended 7 large ice cubes 45 times. Later that year, after an initial investigation, the Consumer Product Safety Commission concluded that there was no reason for a recall. In September of , Consumer Reports restored the NutriBullet Pro to their product rankings, giving it an overall score of “good.” We think a stress test of that magnitude is unrealistic. Personal blenders aren’t meant to crush large cubes of ice over and over again. CNET conducted stress tests on the NutriBullet Pro and found no problems of breakage or malfunction.

Runner-up: Tribest PB

Runner-up pick on counter with ingredients

The Tribest PB is a durable, no-frills personal blender. We like the Tribest for its tiny footprint and minimal clutter. At 16 ounces, the blending cups are smaller than those on both the NutriBullet and Breville blenders, and the travel lid doesn’t have a seal, so you can’t throw it in a bag. The Tribest made thinner smoothies than our top or upgrade picks because more liquid was required to get a consistent puree.

Julie Morris, California-based chef and author of Superfood Soups and Superfood Smoothies, has been using the Tribest personal blender for almost 11 years and is currently on her second one (her first lasted seven years). Julie uses her Tribest for little jobs like dressings and sauces, as well as small pureeing and grinding tasks with fruits and nuts. For her, it’s like how a mini chopper serves a full-size food processor.

the author using the runner-up blender

The Tribest is the smallest blender of our picks with a 4½-inch base and 12¼ inches of height. It also includes the smallest cup of all our picks, which has a maximum blending capacity of 10 ounces (a ounce cup is available to purchase on the Tribest website). This little blender can be easily stashed in a corner or on a shelf, and the two ounce blending cups won’t add too much clutter to your kitchen.

The Tribest is the smallest blender of our picks.

The PB is the most streamlined package available from Tribest. The more expensive PB and PB have the same motor base, but with more attachments. Extra accessories like additional cups, blades, and even a plastic ring that makes the motor base Mason jar compatible are available for purchase through the Tribest website. All Tribest personal blenders come with a one-year warranty.

Upgrade pick: Breville Boss to Go

Upgrade pick blender on counter with container and ingredients

In our tests, the Breville Boss To Go delivered the thickest, silkiest smoothies. It’s super powerful and easy to use out of the box. The Breville is the only one of our top picks that has a metal base and driveshaft. Since the Boss To Go is brand new on the American market—it debuted in the US in —there aren’t a ton of user or editorial reviews at this time. However, we feel confident about this recommendation because of Breville’s reputation for making quality appliances and from our own testing experience. At around $ at the time of writing, it’s a splurge, but if you want sleeker design and velvety smoothies, it’s the one to buy.

The Breville Boss To Go delivered the thickest, silkiest smoothies.

The Breville Boss To Go blended smoothies in the same amount of time as the NutriBullet Pro, but produced smaller berry seeds and the finest kale puree of all our picks. The Boss To Go could handle super thick blends, and the motor never showed any sign of straining. Unlike the NutriBullet, the Breville pureed dates until only tiny brown flecks of skin were detectable.

Like our other the NutriBullet Pro and Tribest, the Breville has hands-free operation, and the single-speed motor engages when the blender cup is twisted onto the base. This straightforward interface gave the Boss To Go a leg up over other high-priced blenders we tested that had variable speed dials.

base of blender and bottom of the blender bucket on upgrade pick

We liked the build quality of the Breville’s blade assembly and driveshaft. The blades spin on a metal plate embedded in the base, and the texture of the matte plastic was easy to grip when screwing and unscrewing the blade assembly from the cup. The driveshaft is die-cast metal, as opposed to the rubber and plastic on the NutriBullet Pro and Tribest PB

Since the Boss To Go is relatively new, we will be using it vigorously in our test kitchen along with our top pick to gauge long-term performance. We will use them as they should be used in a home setting, and we’ll report back in six months.

Care and maintenance + tips for success

Personal blenders are meant for small jobs like single servings of smoothies and small batches of sauces like vinaigrettes. Be reasonable about what you can put in these blenders. They are convenience machines, not kitchen workhorses. Here’s a list of tips for success to ensure a long life from your blender base and accessories:

They are convenience machines, not kitchen workhorses.

  • Respect the fill line on the blending cup. Overfilling leads to seal leakage, which is the number one complaint about personal blenders on Amazon.
  • Don’t blend hot liquids or anything carbonated.
  • If blending ice, cubes should be on the small side. We used bag ice in our tests.
  • Frozen fruit is good to use out of the bag. If using frozen bananas, cut into one-inch sections before blending.
  • Read the instruction manual and corresponding recipe book to get an idea for liquid-to-solid ratios.
  • Most personal blenders have a maximum amount of time they can be run continuously, usually one minute. Be conscious of this to avoid motor burnout.

The competition

The NutriBullet Rx is absurdly large for a personal blender, and despite having a higher wattage than the Pro , it’s actually less effective. That’s because it has just four short blades (compared with the Pro’s longer six), which left marble-sized chunks of frozen banana in our smoothies.

The NutriBullet Balance comes with a built-in scale and connects via Bluetooth to a recipe app on your phone. When you use the smoothie recipes, you’re prompted to add the ingredients one by one to the blending cup, and the scale tells you when you’ve added the correct amount. That’s a useful feature for some people who want to easily track their calorie intake, and the Balance blends on a par with the Pro. But for now the recipe app is limited, and you could do a similar thing just using an inexpensive kitchen scale, so we don’t think the Balance is worth its usual $ price tag for most people.

The Jamba Juice Quiet Blend (made by Hamilton Beach) performs well. The single-serve blending cup is sturdy and comfortable to hold, and the travel lid is one of the best we tested. The cup and blender pitcher have a die-cast metal driveshaft, and the quiet shield reduces the noise by 10 decibels (yes, we tested that too). But we didn’t like the variable speed dial, bulkiness of the whole unit, or lack of power. When you turn on the blender, there’s a lull before the blades get to full speed. When removing the blade assembly, the blade disk can get stuck by vacuum, and releasing it causes some smoothie to spray out. Matt Shook said, “Well, your blouse is ruined right before you’re about to walk out the door!”

The Nutri Ninja, the best personal blender according to America’s Test Kitchen, made noises that were very high-pitched, which made it seem louder than the others in our tests. It also had the poorest performance blending kale, leaving the largest fibrous pieces.

The original watt NutriBullet, America’s Test Kitchen’s runner-up pick, wasn’t as efficient at blending frozen fruit or kale as its watt sibling, our main pick. Spend the extra $20 or so for the Pro.

The Cuisinart CPB is okay, but in our tests it couldn’t blend thick smoothies without the motor getting hot. The cups are small and the travel lids don’t seal.

At a cost of around $ at the time of writing, we thought the powerful and well-built Vitamix S would’ve been a formidable competitor. While the S blended thick ingredients into a super-smooth puree, the strong motor also caused the blender to turn and move across the counter in repeated tests using one small frozen banana, 4 ounces of frozen berries, and and 6 ounces of orange juice. We reached out to Vitamix for comment about this and their chef recommended using the less convenient ounce container with tamper and using pre-sliced frozen items. Vitamix also suggested, “The movement could also have something to do with the surface you are blending on. If it is more of a granite top or a slicker surface, the machine may be more inclined to move.” However, this is still problematic as many people have smooth, granite countertops. We also had a difficult time figuring out the controls. Matt uses Vitamix blenders in his juice shops, and he couldn’t figure out the fussy, complicated interface in which you need to turn the dial and push it in. We disqualified the S after the first round.

The Bella Rocket leaked from the first test and was disqualified before the second round.

Sources

About your guide

Lesley Stockton

Lesley Stockton is a senior staff writer reporting on all things cooking and entertaining for Wirecutter. Her expertise builds on a lifelong career in the culinary world—from a restaurant cook and caterer to a food editor at Martha Stewart. She is perfectly happy to leave all that behind to be a full-time kitchen-gear nerd.

Sours: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-personal-blender/
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The 10 Best Blenders For Your Kitchen

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This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in February of Kitchen blenders can serve a variety of purposes, from mixing juices to crushing ice, whipping up smoothies, and even chopping vegetables and fruits the way a food processor might. Choosing the right blender for you depends on your space, budget, and needs, but the following selections represent the best of the best in these categories, offering both strong performance and significant value. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

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This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in February of Kitchen blenders can serve a variety of purposes, from mixing juices to crushing ice, whipping up smoothies, and even chopping vegetables and fruits the way a food processor might. Choosing the right blender for you depends on your space, budget, and needs, but the following selections represent the best of the best in these categories, offering both strong performance and significant value. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

Editor's Notes

December 11,

With each passing year, innovation provides us with new tools for preparing our meals, and blenders are no exception. As a result of such innovation, our rankings have shifted substantially on this topic.

For instance, while the KitchenAid KSBER is certainly a serviceable blender, its cousin - the Kitchenaid K - incorporates more advanced blending technology while providing a sleeker aesthetic. While more expensive, it justifies its price with its performance. The Oster Designed for Life was similarly swapped for the Oster Blender Pro thanks to the latter’s more user-friendly controls and larger capacity.

In some cases, products gained a slot thanks to distinctive design. The Mueller Austria Ultra-Stick, for example, can provide the power of a full-sized blender but is small enough to stick in a kitchen drawer. The Instant Ace Plus Cooking Blender stands out because it not only works effectively as a standard blender but has a heating function that allows it to actually cook foods like soups and dips.

While the Vitamix continues to demonstrate exceptional performance and value, the Ninja Professional Countertop offers considerable power, as well, and at a fraction of the price, earning it greater recognition than its predecessor.

Many of these options are impressive, but it’s important to note that they’re intended for use around the home. If you’re looking for something for your small business or are likely to find yourself using your blender more frequently than most, it might be worth it to check out a commercial blender instead.

December 06,

You can spend just about as little or as much as you want on a good blender. The Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher and Oster Designed For Life are two of the most affordable options, but, surprisingly, don't make many sacrifices to achieve such a low price. The Ninja Professional BL is only a bit more expensive and performs exceptionally well given its cost. The KitchenAid KSBER is another tiny step up in price, and it's actually quite technologically advanced, though some users report that it may suffer from poor quality control.

If you want something a little stronger, the Breville BBL is a good choice. It's extremely well made, and one piece of evidence toward that fact is a very tight-fitting lid that won't fly off during extended use. The Blendtec Total Blender Classic is made with premium materials to exacting standards, and should stand up to full-time use. Then there's the Ninja 4-in-1 Kitchen System, which is relatively costly, but provides a level of functionality that an everyday blender simply can't match.

We also want to take a second to point out the NutriBullet Magic Bullet, which is a remarkably popular personal blender, and for good reason. It's not ideal for some traditional blending tasks such as making hollandaise sauce, but for small amounts of ingredient preparation or single-serving smoothie making, it's an excellent choice.

Finally, the Vitamix is one of the most successful models from a very well-known company. It's loud -- as in, so loud you might want to wear ear protection -- but it's able to liquefy ingredients with the very best of them. There's a reason it, or one much like it, is a staple in restaurant kitchens. By the way, the Cleanblend borrows quite a few elements from the Vitamix's design, and is nearly as reliable.

If none of these do it for you, we've also looked into a range of blenders from Oster, Waring, and Vitamix, as well as a host of versatile immersion blenders.

Special Honors

BlenderBottle If you're a busy professional, it might be difficult to get from the gym to a kitchen blender for your morning protein shake and back to the office in time for work. That's where the BlenderBottle comes into play. Its sturdy canister contains a spiral metal ball that can deftly combine protein mix with water with just a few shakes. blenderbottle.com

Blending The Personal With The Professional

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should divulge that I not only own one of the blenders on our list, but that I also worked for that company for several years.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should divulge that I not only own one of the blenders on our list, but that I also worked for that company for several years.

I won’t go so far as to say which company it was — for fear of implanting any bias in you readers — but I can confidently say that I am intimately familiar with the ins and outs of the industry, as well as all the capabilities and limitations of the models we’ve selected. As to those capabilities, there are a few things that each and every blender in our list has the potential to do for you.

First and foremost, these machines can save you money. Whether you’re after the healthiest possible smoothie or the smoothest possible daiquiri, taking the little bit of time out of your day to make it yourself in a high-quality blender is a huge cost-saving opportunity. The average ounce smoothie at Jamba Juice costs about $6. You can make the same thing at your house for about $2 or less. Have a smoothie for breakfast each workday, and that’s a savings of a little over $1, each year.

Secondly, a good blender can be great for your health. Any increase in your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables — even if you’re just making bloody Marys — has the potential to provide significant health returns. Many studies have shown that our brains and bodies are wired to crave the foods they most often consume, so sneaking some extra greens into your milkshakes can be the first step toward weaning you off the bad stuff and building up cravings for the healthiest foods out there.

Cravings can also come from the body’s desire for certain nutrients that we’ve come to associate with less-than-healthy foods. With a good blender, you can find ways to incorporate healthier options that can surprisingly indirectly satisfy some of your most devilish cravings.

Finally, there’s the potential to up your game in the kitchen. If you take your culinary skills seriously, then you need a blender that can support a variety of recipes. Many of the models on our list can double as food processors for a multitude of tasks, and some can replace other machines entirely, from ice cream makers to peanut butter grinders and more.

How To Choose The Right Blender For Your Kitchen

Since chains such as Jamba Juice and Smoothie King became popular, more and more people have been making smoothies for themselves in the home. Before the advent of this particular craze, most people used their average household blenders to make the occasional margarita, and not much else. What you plan to do with your blender (beyond the obligatory cocktail preparations), will go a long way towards telling you which model you should buy.

One last thing to consider when evaluating the blenders on our list is the amount of material you plan to make for a given recipe.

If you’ve just had a cheap blender break down on you and all you want to do is replace it with something a little more durable, you probably aren’t too interested in the more expensive models on our list. There’s no shame in opting for something further down in our selection, but there is danger in that move. The danger is that you could miss out on an opportunity to vastly improve your kitchen’s output, both in quality and quantity.

Imagine for a moment that you are open to the idea of spending a little more and getting a high-end blender for yourself (this imagining will also serve any of you who already know you’re in the market for such a device). What would you make with it? We’ve mentioned that some of these machines can make ice cream. A few of them also have the ability to cook soup — from cold to hot — right inside the container.

In this instance, the more you see yourself doing in one of these high-tech blenders, the smarter a purchase it would be. We also spoke above about the potential for savings on simply making your own smoothies. Imagine adding ice creams, soup, nut butters, puddings, salad dressings, and more to that list. The savings would add up very quickly.

One last thing to consider when evaluating the blenders on our list is the amount of material you plan to make for a given recipe. One of the biggest drawbacks to the top performers in the blending industry is that they tend to have a minimum amount that you must make for them to be effective. If you have a large family, this isn’t an issue, but a single person (or a couple with very light appetites) might feel frustrated by the need to always make more than they can consume in a sitting.

A Brief History Of The Blender

The blender as we know it hasn’t changed a lot since its initial design in the early 20th century. It’s gotten stronger and quieter, and the field of manufacturers has grown considerably, but the basic layout of the machine has remained much the same.

His machine featured a simple container with blades at the bottom that spun under the force of an electric motor.

In , a Polish American inventor named Stephen J. Poplawski set out to design an effective drink mixer that he could market to soda shops, where milkshakes had become a mainstay. His machine featured a simple container with blades at the bottom that spun under the force of an electric motor.

Other companies took note of Poplawski’s invention, and endeavored to improve upon it. Waring and Hamilton Beach — two big players in the blender game — developed their machines in the early s. Later that decade, the first Vitamix blender hit the market. Unlike the majority of competitive blenders, which all used glass containers, the Vitamix provided consumers with a container made from stainless steel. The power of this unit far surpassed that of the competition, and the company continues to make some of the most powerful blenders on the market.

In more recent years, interest in smoothies and a movement toward more culinary expertise in the home has led to the development of even more blender designs. Many of these are significantly smaller than the blenders of old, and seek to capitalize on people’s lack of space and time. They tend not to be as powerful, but they can be very convenient.


Lauren Nelson
Last updated on December 15, by Lauren Nelson

Lauren is a writer, voice actress, and podcaster living in Chicago. As a nationally ranked competitive debater and performer at Western Kentucky University, she studied Corporate and Organizational Communication before successfully taking those skills to the world of marketing and public relations for over a decade, building brand stories in finance, real estate, technology, and more. She continues to tell stories today across a variety of professional and creative mediums while trying to keep up with her tweenage daughter and squeezing in the occasional hike.


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Magic Bullet NutriBullet Pro Series Blender-Mixer System with fruit and components side by side and in foreground - on white isolated background

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A blender is one of the most used small appliances in the kitchen. Mine is right there at the top after my Keurig (gotta have my daily 2 cups of coffee) and my crockpot.

Top vew of blender with fruit added in preparation of making a smoothie

Considering the popularity of smoothies and other healthy drinks nowadays, I’m sure this is the case for many of you. Let’s say that you don’t have one, or your old one just died. If you are in the market for a top a rated blender, you may be a bit flummoxed by the sheer number of options available today.

Here’s the deal:

They make personal, upright, and immersion options, and there’s a great deal of variation even among the same type. It can be hard to know what to look for when trying to make a purchase, so I’m here today to try to sort it all out for you.

First, I will go over the pros and cons of the different types of blenders, and then I’ll give you some options to compare to help you make the best choice for you.

Personal Blenders

Soaring in popularity right now are the personal-sized blenders, because it’s so easy to zap some fruit veggies into a healthy smoothie in the single-serving container that doubles as a travel cup.

Most brands come with multiple containers so you don’t have to worry about washing your to-go cup every day since you’ll have at least one more clean and ready for the next morning.

So, if a healthy morning smoothie (or maybe the guilty indulgence of an afternoon milkshake) is the one and only purpose you have, this type of machine is really perfect for you.

Magic Bullet

Magic Bullet Express Deluxe piece blender with accessories on white background

Magic Bullet Express Deluxe piece Mixer & Blender (piece with Bonus Ice Shaver Blade)

It seems that the king of the personal-size brands is the Magic Bullet. This machine is perfect for making smoothies in to-go cups, but it can also chop, mix, blend, whip, and grind small servings. You can get a piece set, which includes 4 different travel mugs as well as a shaved ice attachment, for an affordable price. To me, this is a great buy.   Magic Bullet NutriBullet Pro Series Blender-Mixer System with fruit and components side by side and in foreground - on white isolated background

Magic Bullet NutriBullet Pro Series Blender/Mixer System

Magic Bullet also makes the NutriBullet line which all have more powerful motors ( or watts) than the standard Magic Bullet. That makes this line perfect if you plan on grinding nuts or seeds a good bit, or if chia seeds are a big part of your smoothie routine.

Full-Size, Upright Blenders

If you love smoothies but will also be using a blender for a multitude of other purposes, you’ll need something bigger and more powerful.

A better option:

A conventional upright model is also great for smoothie-making, even better, really, than the personal-sized option because it will have more much more power. Many models now even come with an additional personal-size container as well. Upright machines aren’t just for making tasty drinks, either.

They can be used for pureeing baby food, soups, sauces, and a myriad of other types of food similarly to that of food processors (although food processors can also chop without pureeing). They can even be used to grind up dry ingredients.

Mother and daughter pour a smoothie from a blender; they are behind a kitchen counter that includes oranges, kiwi,bananas and other fruit on its surface

With an upright model, things you may want to consider are if you prefer a glass or plastic pitcher (for plastic make sure to look for a BPA-free one), whether you prefer a round or square pitcher, if the height of the base with the pitcher attached will be an issue for you, if you prefer touch pad, dial, or push button controls, and definitely look for the length of the warranty.

Most brands will offer a year warranty, but you will need to read each product description fully to make sure. Let me point out that, yes, there are plenty of options out there that are less expensive than any I mention here, but I did that for a reason.

When I buy a blender, I want one that will last, and all of these will work for years and years. If, for whatever reason, you run into any issues, all of these have fantastic warranties. Besides that, I am looking for a powerful motor that can handle the toughest of tasks with ease, and anything super inexpensive is not going to cut it.

Vitamix

If you know that you’ll be using your blender pretty much every day, I highly recommend going with one of the top of the line options.

One of the most well-reviewed blenders – the Vitamix series (available in five different colors) – is another great option if you are ready to spend a hefty chunk of change. These are at the higher end in terms of price, though you can pick up reconditioned models for less when they are available.

Among foodies and serious at-home cooks, the Vitamix is one of the most popular brands right now, and for good reason. This machine can puree, crush, and grind up pretty much anything you throw in there.

Vitamix Series Blender available on Amazon

With a motor that’s capable of functioning at a TRUE 2 peak horsepower, you will get one powerful machine that also is made with a high-efficiency cooling fan and a low-friction, ball-bearing motor that is built to last. All Vitamix models also come with a tamper tool to push down ingredients to help process thicker mixtures easily.

You can also purchase a separate dry grains containerthat comes with specially designed blades that are made to pull the dry ingredients down to process them as finely as possible (This is strictly optional, and the regular “wet” jar can process dry grains just fine, but the dry grains can cause pitting on the inside of the container down near the blades, which doesn’t look very nice and can cause odors to become trapped inside the plastic when you process wet ingredients in the same jar as dry ones).

Finally, the Vitamix comes with a ounce, BPA-free pitcher, a recipe book, an instructional DVD, and a 7-year warranty. The only real downside to this product, unless you consider the price tag a downer, is that the base itself is really tall, and with the stock pitcher attached, it will not fit under the upper cabinets if you plan on storing it on the kitchen counter.

However, Vitamix also makes a variety of containers – both wet and dry – in 32 and 48 oz sizes which reduces overall height and allows you to fit your machine just about anywhere. Vitamix ounce carafe on white background

Vitamix 48 oz Container with Wet Blade and Lid

Mike’s Note

I own and use a Vitamix on a daily basis. I’ve NEVER been able to bog the motor down. I’m convince you could grind up a whole hog into sausage if you could fit one in there. I love the fact that it is made in the USA and the fact that the motor is sourced from Sweden rather than from the lowest bidder in China where reuse of electrical wire scavenged from old appliances is rampant.

I love the quality, attention to detail, and CARE that this device is designed around and manufactured with.

The best thing about this blender is:

The fact that clean up is a snap thanks to the sealed blade assemblies – simply add a little water into the container with a drop of dish soap and hit high and dump and rinse. As long as you don’t let the remains of a smoothie sit all day, this is the extent of any clean up (every once in a while some liquids may escape down the sides that you’ll have to hose off).

For my money, this is one of the best blenders you can purchase and would be a near lifetime (at least decades) buy. You can read various customer reviews and you will find many others in agreement.

The only other blender that I would consider for a long term investment would be the Blendtec as I’ve read excellent reviews about them as well. Sorry for the interruption – back to Foodal’s regularly scheduled program on the best blenders on the market with Ashley.

See our full review of the Vitamix now.

Blendtec

The other contender for most popular, top-rated blender is the Blendtec. The Blendtec Designer Series, which comes with the huge ounce “WildSide” jar is comparable in price to the Vitamix , but it has a powerful 3-peak horsepower motor, which is the most powerful motor you will find for a non-commercial machine.

It’s also a little more “techy” in that it has an illuminated digital control panel as opposed to the manual dial on the Vitamix machine. It has several pre-programmed blending modes, such as a smoothie setting, and once you press that option, it displays a countdown showing you how long you’ll have to wait until the smoothie is finished. blendtec designer series blender

Blendtec Designer Series Blender with WildSide Jar

It also has an easy-touch control where you simply slide your finger across the panel to move through the speed settings manually.

The Blendtec is specially engineered to keep itself cool, but in the event that the machine does start to overheat, it is programmed to shut itself off until it cools down.

Additionally, Blendtec understands that certain ingredients blend better at slower speeds, so the machine is built to sense the ingredients, and then it monitors and adjusts its power to deliver just the right speed. These are two great features that the Vitamix just doesn’t have.

Like the Vitamix, though, it also comes with a recipe book and 7-year warranty AND IS MADE IN THE USA, however, the Blendtec should fit under most upper cabinets to sit easily on your kitchen counter. This device is also available in black as well as champagne.

Ninja

Both the Vitamix and the Blendtec are serious investments that cost several hundred dollars. A better option if you’re looking for superb power but aren’t looking to part with that much money is a Ninja. The Ninja Ultima Plus is even more powerful than a Vitamix with horsepower.

What’s neat about the Ninja products is that they have two sets of blades that rotate at different speeds to most effectively crush and puree. They have “high speed cyclonic technology” to best puree foods down to a smooth and creamy state as well as “total crushing technology” to quickly break down ice, whole fruits, and vegetables.

Ninja Ultima Blender Plus (BL)

Finally, the Ninja has 10 speeds as well as a pulse option, and this model comes with a ounce BPA-free plastic pitcher.

What really sets the Ninja Ultima apart, other than it costs half what a Vitamix or Blendtec does, is that it comes with three single serve to-go cups that can screw onto the base, turning the Ninja into a personal-size smoothie maker as well. To get a little more bang for your buck, you can spend just a little more for the Ninja Mega Kitchen System. Ninja Mega Kitchen System Blender on white isolated background with accessories

Ninja Mega Kitchen System (BL)

It still comes with the ounce pitcher and to-go cups, but it includes an 8-cup food processor bowl as well that screws right onto the base. All in one box you get a full-size upright as well as a personal-size blender PLUS a food processor, so you pay one relatively reasonable price to get three machines.

That’s pretty awesome.

The standard Mega Kitchen System is that the motor is only a 2 horsepower (which is still significantly more powerful than most other machines). Read actual customer reviews at Amazon.

Ninja Ultima Kitchen System (BL) Blend 3 hp motor with accessories

Ninja Ultima Kitchen System (BL) with 3 HP motor

However, if you want a little more power, the Mega Kitchen System is also available with a 3 horsepower motorwhich should put it on par with Vitamix and Bendtec – at least on paper.

It too comes with its own food processor attachment making it extremely versatile.

Oster

Now, the next option I want to give you is not one that most would consider a top of the line but more of a middle of the road appliance, and that’s an Oster. I include it here because my mother-in-law has an Oster that she bought in the 80s that still works like a boss.

The 80s, guys! You can’t get more durable than that.

This is not the most powerful blender, but Oster has come a long way, and the Oster Versa Watt Professional Performance Blender is surprisingly similar to a Vitamix but with a price tag closer to that of a Ninja.  It comes with the same kind of tamper to help process thick mixtures and the reviews all claim that it makes smoothies just as well.

Oster Versa watt Professional Performance Blender, Including 64 oz Tall Jar, Recipe Book and 7 Year Warranty, BLSTVB

The Versa is sleeker-looking than a Vitamix but in the stock model offering it too suffers from a very tall pitcher that’s unable to fit under most cabinets.

Oster VERSA watt Professional Performance Blender BLSTVB-RV

Oster VERSA watt Professional Performance Blender with Low Profile Jar + Bonus Cookbooks, BLSTVB-RV

However, it is also available in a ounce pitcher low profile version and  can sit on your kitchen counter under standard dimensioned upper cabinets. The sleeker look of the Versa is more reminiscent of a Blendtec, and like a Blendtec it has three pre-programmed settings- smoothies, soups, and dips/spreads. But like a Vitamix it also has a variable speed dial as well.

In addition, the Versa comes with two cookbooks, Gourmet Cuisine and Fresh and Fit recipes, which includes nutrition and caloric information. The reviews for this blender are also very good.

Like both of its more expensive counterparts, Oster also offers a 7-year warranty on all Versa models – although I suspect warranty procedures with Blendtec and Vitamix may be quicker and simpler as they are both a much smaller companies.

Also, I suspect parts would be available after warranty with the other two companies. The Oster Brand is owned by Sunbeam who is in turned owned by Jarden, an appliance conglomerate.

KitchenAid

The last option I want to give you is the KitchenAid 5-Speed that comes with a ounce BPA-free pitcher. This is the least expensive machine that I’ve found that still does a pretty good job at getting ingredients really smooth. Even so, with the lower price tag you only get a horsepower motor.

With that said, this KitchenAid has really good reviews,and it seems like everyone who has bought one after considering a Vitamix or Blendtec has been really happy with their purchase.

KitchenAid KSBMC 5-Speed Blender with Polycarbonate Jar

Similar to the Blendtec, it has what KitchenAid calls Intelli-Speed motor control which senses the contents and maintains optimal speed to power through all ingredients. It has a “crush ice” mode as well as a pulse mode and digital speed settings.

With a soft-start feature, the blades are able to first pull the ingredients down to puree or crush really well before it automatically increases in speed to the desired setting.

These two factors equal highly efficient blending, so it may be a great option for those of you looking for a well-reviewed and durable machine without breaking the bank. The most exciting thing? It’s available in 13 different color choices.

Immersion Blenders

I’ve gone over both personal-size and upright options, but another type you may want to consider is an immersion blender. If you are really tight on space and just have no room on the counter, this is the perfect choice for you.

Attractive woman with immersion blender inserted into cotnainer behind kitchen coutner with fruts and vegetables scattered about on coutnter. Othe accessories also on counter.

With an immersion machine, the motor is housed in the handle to which a wand with blades on the end is attached. You then place the wand, blades down, into whatever vessel you will be blending in.

This makes it ideal for pureeing soups and sauces in the same pot in which they are made, saving you the trouble of transferring those hot liquids into an upright machine.

By the same token, though, it is something of a hassle to make smoothies and other drinks in a big bowl that you can fit the wand into and then pour the drink into your cup or serving pitcher. Another drawback to this kind of liquidizer is that with the motor being housed in the handle, it is smaller and therefore much less powerful than a full-sized version.

One redeeming factor, though, is that many of these products also come with a small food-chopper bowl to which the handle can be attached, and it turns into a mini sous chef to prep your veggies and fruits with ease.

Cuisinart

There are a few other decent options out there, but Cuisinart has cornered the market on this small appliance. With several different models available, these are the most well-reviewed of any immersion machines.

I have one myself, and I use it quite a bit for pureeing soups, and it’s handy for pureeing baked apples into applesauce as well. Mine came with a food chopper and a whisk attachment. I’ve never used the whisk attachment, but I would imagine it’s great for beating eggs or making whipped cream.

The best part is, Cuisinarts are very affordable (with some variations in price depending on power and available attachments and features), making them a great purchase if you do need to puree hot liquids frequently.

Cuisinart CSBBC Smart Stick 2-Speed Immersion Hand Blender

I prefer the Cuisinart CSB Smart Stick 2-Speed watt Immersion Hand Blender with Attachments pictured above as it comes with some great attachments and has every you need to get started.

Well, I think I’ve given you enough to mull over for one day. There are some really great blenders out there these days, and you really can’t go wrong with any of the choices I’ve given you. It really boils down to how you plan to use your new appliance and how much you are willing to spend. I hope this breakdown helps you out!

About Ashley Martell

Ashley has enjoyed creative writing since she was six years old, when she wrote her first short story. She majored in English literature at the University of Montevallo. After years of professional work, she is now a stay-at-home mom of three, who uses her craft to write about her life and adventures in and out of the kitchen.

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Blender best 2015 cheap

5 Best Blenders For Every Type Of Home Cook

Step into the kitchen of any high-minded chef and you’ll likely hear the high whine of a blender as often as carbon steel slicing through vegetables. The humble kitchen appliance has become the de facto method of whipping up exotic sauces, frozen cappuccinos and other culinary delights with speed and efficiency. Whether you’re mixing a cold ginger soup or a batch of boozy summer cocktails, a capable blender can enhance and expand your range in the kitchen. We scoured the market to find five blenders, ranging in price and pulverizing power, to suit everyone from the morning smoothie maker to the Michelin-star hopeful. 

1. The Budget Best: Hamilton Beach Multi-Blend
Normally blenders at this price point will crumble after a few margarita sessions. But this bare-bones appliance is a competent kitchen companion. It watt engine won’t pulverize almonds or produce a satisfying green juice, but it can handle simple tasks like crushing ice cubes or churning out a consistent pesto. It’s made of lightweight plastic (a standard for this price point), but the ounce pitcher is both durable and large enough to produce a decent batch of boozy drinks. $40; hamiltonbeach.com

2. The Tiny. The Mighty: Nutribullet
Items As Seen On TV are often overhyped, but this compact watt blender is ideal for quickly whipping up small batches of paint-thick smoothies, veggie-packed juices and small ice-laden drinks. It comes with four cups (one ouncer, two ouncers, and one eight-ouncer), each of which you attach to the base and press down to initiate blending. Just don’t expect it to help with dinner prep: There are no dials; rather, the bullet just spins until you stop pressing. The company states that it breaks down fruits and vegetables to increase absorption, but all we can say is the compact mixer is a boon for efficient small-batch drinks. $80; nutribullet.com

3. The Middleweight Champion: Breville Hemisphere Control Blender
The Hemisphere punches well above its price by mixing, pureeing and pulsing almost as well as a professional model. It has a ounce glass pitcher, five speeds and three preprogrammed settings, as well as an LCD timer. Its blades are engineered to yank ingredients down as they spin — a design that, in conjunction with its watt engine, helps create consistent batches of everything from piña coladas to pizza dough to juice. $; breville.com

4. The Semiprofessional Powerhouse: Vitamix S30 Blender
Vitamix blenders are revered for good reason: They’re high-powered workhorses that can tear through anything in their path yet have the finesse to handle softer ingredients. These blenders are often enormous things, but the company’s latest stands only 18 inches tall. It ships with a ounce pitcher and a ounce container, each of which fits onto the watt, speed blender’s blades. The ounce container is clutch for single-serve juices and smoothies. It also comes with its own flip-top lid and is double-walled to keep its contents cold for a few hours. The large container is ideal for at-home blending of soups and bigger batches of just about anything you can dream up. $;vitamix.com

5. The Professional Powerhouse: Blendtec Pro
The Blendtec Pro is a hulking machine capable of making big batches of anything a chef requires. Packing a peak of horsepower — enough to reduce a bone-in rib eye to a bloody puddle — the Blendtec won’t bow down to any substance. A touchscreen control panel lets you select from one of ten speeds or an additional six preprogrammed controls (margarita, bread dough, etc.), and this blender is built to sustain years and years of daily wear. Bonus: The blades spin so fast, the friction can almost heat up soup. $; blendtec.com

More kitchen tools on Food Republic:

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Top 7 Best Blender Under 100 In 2021

People want a $ blender that’s as good as a Vitamix or Blendtec. That doesn’t exist. But after researching dozens of blenders, talking with five experts and testing 16 models over the course of three years, we’ve found that you don’t have to plunk down half a grand for a great blender, but you should if you want the absolute silkiest frozen drinks. Most lower-end blenders, with their smaller motors, just aren’t up to the task, producing grainy textures or burning out with the strain of daily use. In the past, the only blenders that could really liquify kale stems, berry seeds, or ice were expensive high-performance models—Vitamix and Blendtec-level machines—which have much stronger motors.

However, some of the newer, relatively modestly-priced high-performance machines are surprisingly efficient at liquefying food. And we wanted to see how some of these newcomers would compare with the $+ models.

To test, we made green smoothies packed with frozen berries, kale, and ice. We strained the mixtures through a fine-mesh sieve to see how much pulp or berry seeds remained behind. We puréed hot soup, bean dip, turned peanuts into peanut butter, and attempted to make mayonnaise. As a final round, we made piña coladas to see how well the machines blended ice into slush.

Oster Versa

All blender photos by Nick Solares.

Price: Listed at $, but currently $ on Amazon (as of March 14 ).

Usability and Design: The Versa is Oster’s attempt to compete with the likes of Vitamix and Blendtec, and it stacks up surprisingly well for the price. It blended kale stems and leaves for green smoothies with ease, and only left a few berry seeds behind. It made a slightly grainier-textured piña colada than the Blendtec or Cleanblend, but much finer than cheaper blenders we tried.

Versa has a variable speed dial and three presets (for soup, smoothies, and dips), a user-friendly control dial, and a lower profile jar than most of the competition (the blender stands 17 ½ inches tall, total) so it will fit on the counter under many kitchen cabinets.

The Versa didn’t blend raspberry seeds, but otherwise made a very fine smoothie.

We like that the Versa comes with a tamper for bursting air bubbles and moving food around the blade, but the tamper is a little too short and oddly shaped. And like all the high-powered blenders we tested, the Versa gets loud when the motor is turned all the way up. It’s much louder than the Vitamix, but easier on the ears than the high-pitched whine from the Blendtec.

The Verdict: For the price, Versa’s combination of powerful motor, easy-to-use controls, solid seven year warranty, and lower profile jar make this the best overall package for most people. In our tests, it performed about 85 percent as well as the Vitamix (the best overall performing model), but at roughly 40 percent the price. It makes slightly chunkier textures than models from Vitamix, Blendtec, and Cleanblend, but its smoothies and mixed drinks are very drinkable.

Vitamix

Price: Listed at $ on Vitamix’s site.

Usability and Design: For consistent and graceful performance, the Vitamix performed best overall in our tests. Although it did not make the absolute smoothest smoothies—that prize goes to both the Blendtec and Cleanblend—textures were very silky, with just a bit of berry seeds left in the mixture. The Vitamix really shines in cooking tasks, such as blending dips, making mayonnaise, and puréeing soups. Because its low speed is truly low, you can start at a very lazy swirl and slowly increase the speed so that the hot soup is less likely to shoot up toward the lid, risking a volcanic, trip-to-the-burn-unit situation.

The Vitamix smoothie was smoother than that from the Versa, but not as velvet as the Cleanblend’s or Blendtec’s.

The is the most basic model that Vitamix makes, with just a variable speed dial and levers for turning the machine on and off, and for switching from variable speed to high. It doesn’t have any preset speeds, which, after a year of long term testing, we found we wished it had. But the variable speed dial is really easy to use, and it has the best range of speeds we’ve seen. The Vitamix isn’t the most counter-friendly brand; together the base and jar this one stands 20 ½ inches tall. The Tritan jar is hefty-feeling and its rubber lid fits nicely. This model also has the best tamper we’ve tried; it was very effective at bursting air pockets and moving food around the blades when needed.

There have been some user complaints about black flecks—pieces of PTFE, a chemical found in nonstick coatings—breaking off the gasket around the base of the Vitamix’s blade. Vitamix has admitted the problem, and offers jar replacements under warranty. Although PTFE is inert and if ingested should pass through your body, the issue strikes us as a glaring engineering problem, particularly given the price of this blender.

The Verdict: The Vitamix offers the best performance for both cooking and making drinks. It performs every task elegantly, runs the quietest of those we tested, has a great track record, and seven year warranty. It’s also the blender many experts and pro chefs admitted to keeping in their own kitchens. That said, for the price we only think it’s worth getting the if you plan to blend a couple times or more a week. Otherwise, the Oster Versa will satisfy most needs for less than half the price.

Blendtec Designer


Price:Listed at $, but currently $ on Amazon(as of March 14 ).

Usability and Design: Although this was not our favorite blender overall, the Blendtec was by far the best at making mixed drinks and smoothies. It was the only model that successfully produced restaurant-worthy piña coladas and smoothies with virtually no seeds left in our fine-mesh sieve.

The Blendtec was easily the nicest-looking blender we tried, with a sleek black, light-illuminated base. It’s worthy of kitchen counter real estate, and since it only stands at 15 inches tall, it’s easy to keep out. Like most Blendtecs, this model only comes with preset speeds (six of them). We found that its lack of variable speed or a tamper limits its usefulness for tasks beyond blending drinks. It was unclear which button to use for recipes—like mayonnaise—not specifically listed for the particular presets. In our tests, it didn't make peanut butter (a tamper would have helped), and the preset speed for soup was frightening, with hot liquid flying wildly around the jar.

The Blendtec made the finest-textured smoothie of the blenders in our tests, leaving only fragments of berry seeds behind.

The Verdict: For those who regularly make smoothies and mixed drinks—and price is no object—the Blendtec wins for producing supremely smooth textures. But because of its lack of variable speed or a tamper limits its usefulness for tasks beyond blending drinks. It was unclear which button to use for recipes—like mayonnaise—not specifically listed for the particular presets. In our tests, it didn't make peanut butter (a tamper would have helped), and the preset speed for soup was frightening, with hot liquid flying wildly around the jar.

Cleanblend

Price: Listed at $, but currently $ on Cleanblend’s website.

The Cleanblend’s design looks closely modeled after the Vitamix , with a variable speed dial, and two levers to switch from on/off and pulse. The dial is smaller than the variable speed dial on the Versa, and overall we felt that the Cleanblend’s dial and levers make it a little less intuitive to use. It doesn’t have a wide range in speeds. We couldn’t tell much of a difference between the slow and high settings. The motor also seemed to produce a lot of heat, melting ice in mixed drinks.

Its jar feels a little cheap and light compared to the Versa’s (both are Tritan plastic). The handle is raw plastic and not that pleasant to grip. The Cleanblend stands at 19 ½ inches tall.

Usability and Design: A relative newcomer on the high-powered blender scene (the company was only started in ), the Cleanblend has an impressive 3-HP motor and was one of the best in our tests at making really smooth smoothies. There were barely any raspberry seeds in our fine-mesh sieve; the only blender that did better was the Blendtec. The Cleanblend also came in second, behind the Blendtec, in blending piña coladas.

In our smoothie test, the Cleanblend was one of the only blenders to process berry seeds. But heat from the motor seemed to contribute to a slightly watery smoothie.

The Verdict: The Cleanblend processes incredibly fine-textured smoothies and mixed drinks, but it’s not the easiest model to use, doesn’t come with any presets, and runs on the loud side. But if you can find it for $, it’s a good value, particularly for making smoothies and slushy drinks.

Breville Boss


Price:Listed at $, but currently $ on Amazon(as of March 14 ).

Usability and Design: The Boss performed about as well as the Oster Versa and Cleanblend, but it's twice the price. It left whole chunks of almonds in our smoothies, and small chunks of ice in piña coladas.

The Breville Boss didn’t process berry seeds in our smoothie test.

Like most Breville products, the Boss is an attractive product built really nicely. It has the sturdiest jar of any of the blenders we tried and the silver base would look good on a kitchen counter. We like that it has both a variable speed dial and five presets, but its two smoothie presets—for green smoothies and regular smoothies—seem a little redundant. At 18 inches tall, it will fit under most kitchen counters.

The Verdict: Although the Boss’s design is a cut above many of the blenders we tried, its performance wasn’t stellar, particularly for the price. We don't think it performed better than the much cheaper Oster Versa.

Waring Commercial Xtreme

Price: Listed at $, but currently $ on Amazon (as of March 14 ).

Usability and Design: From one of the oldest blender makers around, this model made very silky smoothies, crushed ice well, and was good overall at whipping up other recipes. But ultimately it didn’t perform better than the Oster Versa, Cleanblend, or the Vitamix.

The Waring’s smoothie was one of the best processed in our group of testers.

Perhaps because the Xtreme is from Waring’s commercial line and meant for pro kitchens, it’s not the prettiest blender, and comes with a clunky base. It has a variable speed dial, pulse, and high settings, and no presets. We do like that there’s a metal jar you can purchase for this machine. If chemical leaching is a concern, the Xtreme with the metal jar is probably your best option for a high-performance blender.

The Verdict: It performed well at blending smoothies and mixed drinks, but not better than the less expensive Oster Versa or Cleanblend. If you’re willing to pay this price, we’d go instead for a reconditioned Vitamix But if you want to avoid using plastic, the Waring is the best high-powered blender we’ve found that comes with a metal jar.

Ninja Ultima


Price:Listed at $, but currently $ on Amazon(as of March 14 ).

Usability and Design: One of the most powerful blenders that Ninja offers, we found the Ultima made decent smoothies and crushed ice. But it didn’t perform better overall than the equally-priced Oster Versa and Cleanblend.

Breville Boss, Waring Commercial Xtreme, or the Ninja UltimAlthough the Ninja Ultima blends smooth textures, we found its design cumbersome.

Although the Ninja Ultima blends smooth textures, we found its design cumbersome. The Ultima was our least favorite in testing, largely due to poor design. Its clamp-on lid was tedious to use compared to those that slipped nicely onto the other brands’ jars. And suction cups under the base, used to fasten the blender to the counter, tripped us up every time we wanted to move the blender. This model also has Ninja's signature multi blades, which didn’t perform any better than models with just a blade at the bottom (and cut both of our testers fingers when washing the blades!).

The Verdict: Although Ninja machines get a lot of hype, we think there are better blenders for the money, like the equally-priced Oster Versa and Cleanblend.

Summary: The blender that will suit most people’s needs for cooking and drink prep is the Oster Versa, which liquefies foods efficiently, has an easy-to-use interface, a shorter jar, and comes at a very decent price. If you are willing to spend $ and like to cook, the Vitamix is the best, most graceful blender you can buy. The Blendtec Designer is perfect for those who plan to exclusively make smoothies or mixed drinks, don’t mind the steep price tag, and don’t want to use it for many cooking tasks. The Cleanblend makes smoothies almost as silky as the Blendtec and if you can find it for around $ it’s a good runner up to the Oster Versa for performance and price. For the money you can buy better blenders than the Breville Boss, Waring Commercial Xtreme, or the Ninja Ultima.

This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a list of the best gear for your home. Read the full article at TheSweethome.com.


Eater Video:How to make a margarita

Sours: https://www.eater.com/drinks-reviews//5/7//review-these-are-the-seven-best-high-performance-drink-blenders

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A blender is the only machine in your kitchen that can produce a beverage from chunks of ice and fruit in less than 60 seconds. And no other blender we’ve tested since can reliably produce silky soups, spoon-thick smoothies, and stable emulsifications like the Vitamix Yes, it’s pricey, but we think its powerful motor, nuanced controls, and long-lasting reliability make it worth the investment.

In our tests, from to now, Vitamix blenders have always performed the best overall. The classic Vitamix is the only one we’ve tried that can make creamy peanut butter and puree hearty soup without spewing molten liquid up the sides of the jar. It doesn’t have any preset buttons, but it does offer the widest range of speeds (far wider than on the comparably priced Blendtec Designer ) of any blender we’ve tested. It’s a favorite in many (if not most) professional kitchens and juice bars. We’ve also found the Vitamix to be one of the most reliable and durable blenders we’ve tested, and if the motor burns out within the seven-year warranty period, Vitamix will promptly replace the machine.

The Oster Versa Pro Series Blender is the best of a new breed of more budget-friendly high-powered blenders. Compared with similarly priced blenders, this 1,watt model offers more speed variations and runs more quietly; it’s also one of the few models that come with a tamper for bursting air pockets in thick mixtures. At 17½ inches tall, it will fit better on a counter under a cabinet than most other high-performance blenders. We don’t think this is the absolute best blender out there, and it doesn’t compare to Vitamix blenders in power and longevity (we burned out our Oster after two and a half years), but it does have serious blending skills, a user-friendly design, and a solid, seven-year warranty. If you don’t want to throw down almost half a grand on a powerful blender, the Oster is your best bet.

If you’re not ready to spring for the Vitamix, and you don’t mind trading the Oster’s longer warranty for a little more power, go for the 1,watt Cleanblend Blender. The Cleanblend’s strong motor helps pulverize berry seeds and ice, creating creamier smoothies and piña coladas than even the Vitamix can produce. This model’s jar is made of thick, durable Tritan plastic and has a comfortable, grippy handle. Unlike the Oster blender, the Cleanblend doesn’t have any preset buttons and doesn’t offer much variance between the low and high speeds. In our testing, the Cleanblend’s motor has held up better than the Oster’s and is still going strong after four years of regular use. But Cleanblend covers this blender with only a five-year warranty, in contrast to the seven years of coverage from both Vitamix and Oster. And since Cleanblend has been around only since , we’re still a little uncertain of the company’s staying power and the reliability of its customer service.

Not everyone wants to spend $, let alone over $, on a blender. If you want a blender for whipping up the occasional sauce or smoothie, the KitchenAid K 3 Speed Ice Crushing Blender is the best model available for around $ With a ounce jar and a low profile, the K is the smallest blender we recommend in this guide. It produced coarser textures than any of our other picks did, and its motor isn’t nearly as powerful (so it’s more likely to burn out if overtaxed). Another compromise you make for the price is in the warranty, as unlike our other picks the KitchenAid is covered for only one year. But it’s a good, all-purpose blender that’s small enough to fit on the counter under most kitchen cabinets.

Why you should trust us

As a senior staff writer for Wirecutter, I’ve covered everything from chef’s knives to stand mixers, and I’ve tested every blender worth testing since I also have a breadth of cooking and entertaining knowledge from decades of working in restaurants and magazine test kitchens. This guide builds on the work of Christine Cyr Clisset, now a deputy editor at Wirecutter.

We reached out to Jonathan Cochran, a former blender salesperson who now runs the site Blender Dude, for his take on the best Vitamix and Blendtec models to test (his site has affiliate partnerships with both companies). For our original guide, authored by Seamus Bellamy, we consulted with Lisa McManus, an executive editor in charge of equipment testing at Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines.

Blender vs. food processor: Which one should you get?

Although there’s some overlap in what they can do, blenders and food processors aren’t interchangeable appliances. A countertop blender is a better tool for making purees, quick sauces, and emulsifications (such as mayonnaise and vinaigrette), and it’s the only appliance that can whip berries and fibrous veggies into a silky-smooth texture. Because a blender’s jar is narrow and usually angled at the base, it creates a vortex that helps pass ingredients through the blades more frequently than in a food processor, yielding smoother textures.

With a little effort, you can also puree wet ingredients (such as tomatoes for sauce) in a food processor, but the doughnut-shaped container doesn’t handle liquids as well as a blender’s jar does—it tends to leak. A food processor works fine for thick purees like hummus and is great for sauces with a coarser texture like pesto. But it can’t make a good smoothie and—since you can’t control the speed of the blades—is liable to shoot hot soup everywhere. Instead, a food processor is best for chopping, slicing, and grating. With the right attachment, it can even mix and knead dough. Many people use food processors for mincing vegetables, but this appliance is also your best friend for easily grating cheese, slicing potatoes for a gratin, grinding fresh bread crumbs, or quickly cutting butter into flour to make pie dough.

In short, blenders liquefy, food processors chop and slice. Depending on your needs, you might choose one over the other, or you might want both. We have a guide to the best food processors, too, if you’re interested.

What type of blender should you get?

A countertop blender delivers the silkiest smoothies, daiquiris, soups, and sauces of any style of blender you can buy. It’s more versatile than a personal blender (which is meant mainly for smoothies) because it holds more and can handle hot liquids. It’s also more powerful than an immersion blender, which is great for pureeing soups directly in the pot or making a quick mayo but doesn’t yield the velvety textures you get from a good countertop blender.

That said, a blender’s performance and longevity are usually proportional to its cost. High-end blenders are more powerful and designed to puree the thickest mixtures without burning out, something that inexpensive blenders simply can’t do. If you want a kitchen workhorse—a machine that can tackle everything from hot soups and sauces to thick frozen concoctions—a full-size, high-powered blender is the best choice. How much you should spend on one depends on exactly what you’ll use it for. Below is a breakdown of what each of our picks will do for you.

Get our budget pick, the KitchenAid, if:

  • You use your blender only for the occasional smoothie, frozen drink, or soup.
  • You don’t blend nut butters or other motor-taxing mixtures.
  • A short, limited one-year warranty isn’t a concern.

Get our runner-up, the Oster, or our also-great pick, the Cleanblend, if:

  • You blend no more than a few times a week.
  • You rarely make nut butters.
  • A five- or seven-year warranty is important to you.

Get our top pick, the Vitamix, if:

  • Blending is part of your daily lifestyle.
  • You frequently blend thick, motor-taxing mixtures like nut butters and spoonable smoothies.
  • You want a blender with the widest range of speeds for easily doing everything from blending hot liquids to pulverizing ice cubes.
  • A seven-year warranty is important to you.

Alternatively, if you just want to make a daily smoothie, you might be better off with a NutriBullet (we’ve tested them all).

How we picked

Four blenders on a kitchen counter side by side.

Since , we’ve researched or tested almost every decent household blender available, from budget models starting at $40 to powerful, high-performance models topping out at $ In all this testing, we’ve found the following criteria to be the most important to look for in a blender:

Jar shape and motor strength

A great blender should be able to smoothly process tough items like fibrous kale, frozen berries, and ice without burning out the motor. How efficiently a blender does this depends on a combination of the blade length and position, the shape of the mixing jar, and the motor strength. All three of those elements combine to create a vortex that pulls food down around the blade.

In our testing, we’ve found that tall, tapered jars with a curved bottom develop a more consistent vortex than short, wide ones with a flat bottom. But the better blending that you get from a taller, tapered jar comes with a trade-off: A fully assembled blender might be too tall to fit under low-hanging cabinets. Blenders with wide, short jars are better for countertop storage, but you’re sacrificing performance for that convenience.

A more powerful motor also helps to create a better vortex and blends thick mixtures more easily than a weaker one. But a blender’s power rating isn’t easy information to come by. Most blender companies advertise only “peak horsepower,” a spec that’s misleading if you’re trying to determine a motor’s strength. A motor works at peak horsepower for just a fraction of a second, when you start the blender, in order to overcome inertia. Immediately after, the motor drops to its “rated horsepower,” which is the amount of power it can sustain without burning out. As explained on Cooking For Engineers, you can get a ballpark estimate of a blender’s rated horsepower by dividing its wattage by (because watts equals approximately one unit of electrical horsepower). This equation doesn’t account for efficiency, but it does offer a more realistic approximation of a blender’s power output.

We’ve found that tall, tapered jars with a curved bottom develop a more consistent vortex than short, wide ones with a flat bottom.

Jar material

Most of the blenders we’ve tested come with plastic jars. All of our picks have jars made of BPA-free Tritan plastic, which is very durable. Many of the lower-end blenders we’ve tested don’t advertise which material their jars are made of beyond a “BPA-free” note. But the majority of these jars are probably made of polycarbonate, which is more rigid than Tritan but also very strong. Both materials will crack if heated too high, which is why these jars should not go in the dishwasher.

We understand that some folks prefer metal or glass jars. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a powerful blender with a glass jar, and there’s probably a good reason for this. As April Jones explains in her article on Cooking For Engineers: “Due to the high-speed blades and high horsepower motors, glass isn’t the safest option for professional-grade blenders. If a metal object, such as a spoon or knife, were accidentally left in the blender, a glass pitcher could shatter and potentially cause an injury. Using polycarbonate plastics or copolyester is a much safer option to avoid the hazard of broken glass.” Stainless steel jars are durable but opaque, and we like to monitor the progress of purees and emulsifications without having to remove the lid.

Price

Judging from buyer reviews, the holy grail for many home cooks seems to be a $50 or $ blender that performs like a $ Vitamix or Blendtec. But that isn’t realistic. High-end blenders priced at $ and up—often called high-performance blenders—offer more power, produce much smoother textures, and generally last a lot longer than lower-end, under-$ blenders. High-performance blenders also tackle tasks that you’d never want to try in a cheap blender, such as making peanut butter or milling grains.

That said, there’s nothing wrong with a cheap blender as long as you understand its limitations. Some people want an affordable midrange blender to make the occasional daiquiri or smoothie. So we’ve tested blenders in a wide range of prices with the understanding that, for the most part, you get what you pay for.

Warranty

The most common complaint we’ve found about cheap blenders is that their motors burn out easily and their jars crack or leak. But it’s not impossible for even higher-end blenders to encounter burnout. As Lisa McManus, executive editor in charge of equipment testing at Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines, told our writer Seamus Bellamy in an interview for our guide, “Blenders have a really hard job to do in that little space. The motor is only so big. If you make it do something difficult every day, a lot of them burn out. It’s a lot of stress to put on a little machine.” This is why a long warranty is important, especially if you’re paying a lot for a blender. Vitamix, Oster, and Cleanblend models all come with warranties of five to seven years, and—at least for Vitamix machines—we’ve read plenty of owner reviews saying the blender lasts much longer. You can’t expect that level of performance from dirt-cheap blenders, which is probably why most of them come with only one-year limited warranties.

One of our authors, documenting the testing notes in a notebook.

Speed control

Whether you choose a blender with manual controls or preset functions is largely a personal preference. But we appreciate a powerful blender with a simple interface that includes an on/off switch, a pulse button, and a variable-speed dial. These easy controls allow you to quickly adjust the speed or turn off the machine if things get messy.

Preset programs for making smoothies, mixing soups, or crushing ice can be great if you want to multitask in the kitchen while blending. But we’ve also found that these functions rarely deliver purees as smooth as when we control the speed and time with the manual setting.

Tamper

In our years of testing, we’ve found that a tamper—a small plastic bat that lets you push food down into the blades—separates the great blenders from the good ones. When a blender is really cranking, air pockets tend to form around the blade, and a tamper allows you to burst them without having to stop the machine. The tamper that comes with a blender is designed to safely clear the blades of that particular model, as long as you use it with the lid on. Using a different tamper or another tool that might hit the moving blades is dangerous and could damage the machine. If your blender doesn’t come with a tamper, the only way you should burst air pockets is to turn the machine off, remove the jar from the base, and stir the mixture with a spoon.

One of our writers shown using a blender to make a smoothie.

So why don’t all blenders come with a tamper? Because forcing frozen and thick mixtures into the blades puts a lot of stress on the motor. Performance blenders that include tampers have powerful motors that can handle this stress—they’re designed for it. But cheaper blenders have weaker motors. If they were to include tampers, people would probably push these machines past their limits, ultimately prompting the motor to burn out.

How we tested

A bowl of kale, ready for future smoothies, next to the Cleanblend blender smoothie maker.

We judged each model on how well it performed everyday blending jobs such as making thick frozen smoothies and hot soups. We also wanted to see which blenders could emulsify eggs and oil into mayonnaise and pulverize nuts into a smooth butter. In each blender, we made a thick green smoothie packed with frozen bananas and berries, kale, and coconut water. We looked at each blender’s ability to create a consistent vortex without taxing the motor or needing additional liquid. Afterward, we tasted the smoothies to assess mouthfeel, and then we strained the remainder through a fine-mesh sieve to see how well the blenders had pulverized tough greens and berry seeds.

A blender can be a useful tool for making emulsified sauces such as mayonnaise, hollandaise, vinaigrettes, and Caesar dressing, so we tested each model’s ability to emulsify mayonnaise made with one egg yolk. Making a successful blender mayonnaise (or hollandaise or Caesar) hinges on the blades sitting low enough in the jar that they start whipping the egg yolk before you add a drop of oil.

To see how the motors handled dense purees, we processed raw peanuts into peanut butter. With our finalists, we made rounds of piña coladas to see how well they blended ice into slush.

Additionally, we noted how easy or difficult each blender was to clean, how noisy each model was, whether any of them produced a burning smell while the motor ran, whether the jars were difficult to attach to the bases, and how easy the interfaces were to use.

Our pick: Vitamix

The Vitamix shown on a kitchen counter.

The Vitamix offers the best performance you can get in a home blender. This model has been one of our favorite blenders since , and it’s the classic Vitamix that has remained the standard for pro chefs and blender enthusiasts. It consistently performed at the top of the pack in our tests, and it came recommended to us by multiple experts because it powerfully purees and pulverizes food more reliably, thoroughly, and elegantly than most blenders.

The Vitamix did not make the absolute smoothest smoothies of all the blenders we tested—that prize went to the Blendtec and Cleanblend machines. But when it came to consistent and graceful performance, the Vitamix won every time. This model was the only blender we tested that smoothly blended peanuts and almonds into butter. And whereas other blenders, such as the Blendtec, Cleanblend, and Oster, spit bits of mayo up the sides of the jar and out the lid’s center hole, the Vitamix kept the mixture smoothly and evenly moving around the base of the blade.

We found Vitamix’s variable-speed dial to have the best range among the blenders we tried. Its low is really low, and the blender produces a noticeable shift as you advance through each number. In our tests, this range of speeds made the Vitamix the best blender for hot liquids: You can start blending at a lazy swirl and slowly increase the speed so that the hot liquid is less likely to shoot up toward the lid and risk a volcanic, trip-to-the-burn-unit situation. In comparison, the Cleanblend has a forceful start on the lowest setting, which increases the chances of a painful eruption when you’re blending hot soups. The same goes for the Blendtec Designer , which in our tests was so powerful that the soup setting created a cyclone in a jar.

The Vitamix’s tamper is essential for breaking up air pockets and pushing ingredients down toward the blade while the machine is running. When using models without a tamper, we often needed to stop the blender to burst air pockets or scrape ingredients down the sides of the jar with a spatula. In some cases, we also had to add more water to the smoothie to get all the ingredients to move around the blades without the help of a tamper. For all these reasons, blending in the Vitamix with a tamper took about half the time as it took in the Blendtec with no included tamper. By keeping the ingredients moving, we were able to whip up a smoothie in about 30 seconds.

The speed controls and switches on the Vitamix blender.

The Vitamix’s Tritan-plastic jar feels sturdier than those of the other blenders we recommend, and the grippy handle is comfortable to hold. We also found the tall, narrow, tapered shape of the jar to be ideal for creating a strong vortex that pulled ingredients down toward the blade. That feature helped the Vitamix blend more efficiently than the Oster, with its wider jar, and the result was vastly superior to what we got from the wide, blocky jar of the Blendtec. Like the jars of most other high-powered blenders, the jar of the Vitamix (which has the blade attached) is very easy to clean: After you make a smoothie or something similar, you should find it sufficient to just pour in a bit of hot water, add a couple of drops of dish soap, blend for 30 seconds or so, and then rinse out the jar.

No high-powered blender we tested could be described as quiet, but we found the noise from the Vitamix to be much less offensive than the high-pitched whine of the Blendtec, and it was quieter than the roar of our runner-up, the Oster Versa.

Should its motor overheat, the Vitamix is equipped with an automatic shutoff feature to keep it from burning out. In our experience, the Vitamix should be able to handle a lot before it gets to that point, but if your Vitamix does shut off, it’s best to let the machine rest for an hour before you try to use it again.

One thing that softens the blow of spending more than $ on a Vitamix is the comfort of knowing that it’s backed by a seven-year warranty. We called Vitamix’s customer service and learned that the approximate time between filing a claim and receiving your blender back in working order (or a certified refurb) is six to 10 days. For an additional fee, you can buy a three-year extended warranty for the If you purchase a new Vitamix from the company’s site or from a certified third-party retailer, such as Amazon, you have 30 days from the date of purchase to buy the extended warranty directly from Vitamix for $ After 30 days have passed, you can purchase the extended warranty up until the original one expires for around $

You can save some money on a Vitamix if you opt for a certified-refurbished model. Jonathan Cochran of Blender Dude highly recommends them. “My pick for ‘best bang for the buck’ continues to be the Certified Refurbished (Blendtec) and Certified Reconditioned (Vitamix) models. I have personally inspected hundreds of each, and for all intents and purposes they are indistinguishable from the new models at a significantly reduced price point,” he told us. A certified reconditioned Vitamix comes with a five-year warranty, with the option to extend coverage three more years for an additional $

Long-term test notes

We used the same Vitamix in our test kitchen for five years with nothing but excellent results. It finally did burn out, but only after we put it through strenuous use over the course of many tests for both this guide and others. Still, it easily outlasted the Oster, and it made many more (and better) batches of nut butter and extra-thick smoothies before we pushed it to its limit. Since our Vitamix was still under warranty when it burned out, we contacted customer service, and the representatives promptly replaced it.

I’ve also used a Vitamix at home for years, and it’s still my favorite household blender, period. I long-term tested the runner-up, the Oster, for six months and noticed some glaring differences: The Vitamix can handle more without its motor straining, and the Vitamix’s tamper is much better than the Oster’s, which is really hard to get down in there.

Over the years, other Wirecutter staffers have expressed love for their Vitamix blenders. Former special projects editor Ganda Suthivarakom, who had used hers since without issue, said: “I love that I can make a lot of vegan recipes for cashew creams without having to soak the nuts beforehand.” Senior staff writer Chris Heinonen, who has owned his Vitamix since , guesses that he has “used it more than all my blenders in the past combined.” The only minor complaint we’ve heard is from senior editor Kalee Thompson, who notes: “It’s so tall, it doesn’t fit under the upper shelves over my counters so I’m less inclined to leave it out, and once it’s away, I don’t use it as much.” That said, others have told us how much they appreciate the Vitamix’s large capacity.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

We know that for many people, the biggest issue with the Vitamix is its steep price. At around $ or so, it’s at least twice the price of our runner-up, the Oster Versa Pro Series Blender. In the past, we’ve even made the Oster our top pick because of its comparatively affordable price. But after years of testing the Vitamix and using it in our test kitchen, we think it’s truly worth the investment. It’s more durable and all-around more effective than any other blender we’ve found, and if you plan on using a blender regularly, it will make your life a lot easier. Plus, consider the cost of buying a smoothie rather than making it at home: A morning smoothie can run from about $5 to $13, so in two to four months you will have paid the same amount as for a A Vitamix, by contrast, will last you at least seven years (and it makes a lot more than smoothies).

At more than 20 inches tall, the Vitamix is a big appliance—too big to fit under some kitchen cabinets. But none of the other high-powered blenders we tested were much smaller. Though the Oster is a couple of inches shorter, it also has a beefier base. If size is an issue for you, Vitamix makes other lines of blenders (as mentioned below) that have a shorter profile. But we’ve found that the tall, narrow shape of the ’s blending jar is one of the components that help this machine create such an effective vortex.

Finally, the Vitamix doesn’t come with any presets, just a variable-speed dial. But even though it’s nice to be able to press a button and have your blender run through a smoothie-making program, it’s not really essential. You’ll probably stick close to your blender anyway in order to use the tamper to get things moving, and it’s not hard to adjust the dial if you feel the need to. With the Vitamix it’s also easy to get good results without any presets.

What about other Vitamix models?

The isn’t the only blender in Vitamix’s selection—if you want the blending power of the but strongly prefer presets, or if you need a shorter jar that will fit your space, consider looking into other models. (If you want a good breakdown of the different Vitamix models, Jonathan Cochran of Blender Dude compares them.)

That said, the original remains our favorite because every new blender from Vitamix comes with a squat jar that doesn’t blend small amounts as well as the ’s tall and tapered pitcher. We tested the , for example, and found that the base of its short jar was too wide to develop and maintain a vortex for making, say, a thick smoothie for one or two people. Check out the Competition section for more detailed testing notes on the

We haven’t tested any models from the new Vitamix Ascent Series, but we suspect we’d have the same issue with the shorter, squatter jars. According to owner reviews, the Ascent blenders seem to suffer from some other problems, too, such as a complicated adapter for the personal blending cup and a sensor that shuts off the machine if it detects that the mixture in the jar is too thick. Our favorite feature of the is its ability to blend absurdly thick concoctions!

Runner-up: Oster Versa Pro Series Blender

Our runner-up pick the Oster Versa Pro Series Blender on a kitchen counter.

We don’t think you can beat the value of the Oster Versa Pro Series Blender. It isn’t quite as powerful as the Vitamix , but it is about half the price, and it beat out most of the other blenders in its price range at making silky smoothies, purees, and blended cocktails. It has one of the best combinations of variable and preset speeds we’ve found, and its settings are more intuitive to use than those on other models we’ve tried. It also offers features, such as a tamper and overheating protection, that are usually available only on more expensive blenders. We don’t think the Oster is as durable as the Vitamix (ours burned out after two and a half years). But it does come with a seven-year warranty, and it’s a great option if you’re not ready to spring for the Vitamix.

The Oster passed almost every challenge we threw at it. And although it failed to achieve the absolute smoothest drink textures compared with the Blendtec or the Cleanblend—it left whole raspberry seeds in smoothies and made a slightly grainy piña colada—its smoothies were still much smoother than any of the results from lower-priced blenders. As long as the Oster had about 2 cups of nuts to work with, it made a decent nut butter (albeit one that was slightly crunchier than the batch we made in the Vitamix). And it whipped up a velvety puree. The only thing the Oster really struggled to do was make mayonnaise; we were able to make an emulsification only once out of four tries.

We found the Oster easier to control than other blenders of a similar price, thanks to its wide range of speeds. Though not as varied as those on the Vitamix, the speeds on the Oster are far more diverse than those on the Cleanblend, which, despite its variable-speed dial, seems to have only two settings: high and higher. In comparison, the Oster’s low speed is sane enough that you can start pureeing a batch of soup without having hot liquid shoot up the sides of the jar (a problem with the Cleanblend).

A smoothie made by the Oster being tested for smoothness by running it through a mesh strainer.

The Oster is the only one of our blender picks to have both manual speed controls and preset programs for soup, dip, and smoothies. This makes it more versatile than the more expensive entry-level models from Vitamix and Blendtec, which have only variable or preset speeds, respectively. To get presets with a Vitamix, or a variable-speed “touch slider” with a Blendtec model, you need to spend even more.

The tamper that comes with the Oster is a little too short and oddly shaped. In contrast to the smooth cylindrical tampers of the Vitamix and Cleanblend models, the Oster’s tamper has three flat pieces of plastic that meet in the middle. But the design works sufficiently to burst air bubbles and help move things like peanuts around the blades, so it’s better than no tamper at all.

This Oster model, like other high-performance blenders, is a beefy machine. The base takes up 8 by 9 inches of counter space. But at 17½ inches tall to the top of the lid, the Oster will fit better on a counter under most kitchen cabinets than the Vitamix or the Cleanblend, both of which are more than 19 inches tall.

Also, like all the other high-powered blenders we tested, the Oster gets loud when you turn the motor up all the way—much louder than the Vitamix but not as annoying or high-pitched as the Blendtec. For now, this is just the way it is with high-performance blenders.

Like the Vitamix, the Oster shuts off if the motor is in danger of overheating. If the Oster’s overload protection stops the motor, you should allow it to cool for 45 minutes and press the reset button on the bottom of the base before you run the blender again. This procedure reduces the risk of permanent motor burnout.

The Oster Versa passed almost every challenge we threw at it.

Should it burn out, the Oster comes with a limited seven-year warranty that covers “defects in material and workmanship,” including the motor and the Tritan jar. That policy is about the same as the coverage from Blendtec and Vitamix, which offer eight- and seven-year warranties, respectively, on their models. In our experience, Oster’s customer service is courteous and quickly addresses any issues with a blender while it’s under warranty.

But if you’re thinking that the Oster Versa will deliver the longevity and performance of a Vitamix at a fraction of the cost, think again. The Oster model’s biggest flaw is its durability: We found through personal experience that the Versa can burn out after two to three years of moderate to frequent use (see our long-term test notes for this model below). We’ve seen some reviews on Amazon (as well as comments from our readers) that mention the same problem. But Oster honors its seven-year warranty and is quick to send a replacement (we got ours in about a week). Although it took three attempts for us to get through to customer service by phone during the busy holiday shopping season, we’re assuming that hiccup was due to the unusually high call volume that occurs at that time of year.

The blending jar, lid, and controls on the Oster also feel cheaper compared with what you get on the Vitamix. But given that this blender is typically almost $ less, we’re comfortable with the lower-quality hardware.

Long-term test notes

For three years, we used the Versa twice a week on average to make smoothies and soup, and it never quit on us during that time—although we occasionally detected a faint burning smell from the motor while we were blending thick smoothies. But the motor permanently died when we formally tested the three-year-old Versa again for our update: One minute into our blending the nut butter, the overload protection cut the motor. We should’ve let the motor rest for 45 minutes before restarting, but we let it cool for only 10 minutes before our second attempt—and that’s when the motor burned out completely. However, our blender was still under warranty, and Oster quickly sent a replacement.

Wirecutter’s audience development manager, Erin Price, uses the Oster Versa and so far has no complaints. She told us: “I’ve had the Oster Versa since , and it’s still going strong (though it sat in storage for one of those years). I mostly use it for smoothies, and it handles ice and greens so well.”

Also great: Cleanblend Blender

A Cleanblend Blender on a counter next to smoothie ingredients that are on a cutting board.

If you’re willing to take a chance on a shorter warranty from a newer company, the 1,watt Cleanblend Blender costs about the same as the Oster Versa and produces finer purees. In our tests, it blended silkier smoothies and piña coladas than many blenders that cost more than twice as much. This model comes with a durable Tritan-plastic jar and a tamper for you to help move thick mixtures while it’s blending. The Cleanblend doesn’t have any preset buttons, and its variable speeds aren’t as nuanced as those of the Vitamix, but its interface is simple and intuitive to use. Judging from our long-term testing, the Cleanblend’s motor is durable and able to handle tough jobs like nut butter better than the Oster. It’s also backed by a complete five-year warranty.

The Cleanblend made some of the smoothest smoothies in our tests, performing better than the Oster and even the Vitamix in that regard. When we strained the Cleanblend’s kale and berry smoothie, barely any raspberry seeds remained in our fine-mesh sieve; the only blender that did better was the Blendtec. The Cleanblend also came in second, behind the Blendtec, in blending a silky-smooth piña colada. We’re talking restaurant-worthy blended drinks here.

For blending other things, the Cleanblend has a few limitations. It doesn’t have as wide a range of speeds as the Oster or the Vitamix, and it kicks into high gear even at the 1 setting, which in our soup test sent hot liquid shooting up to the lid. Although the Cleanblend was better at making mayonnaise than the Oster, this model’s motor also seemed to produce a lot of heat; its mayo was noticeably warm. Like our other picks (except the KitchenAid, our budget pick), the Cleanblend comes with a tamper, but the bat is a little short. Although it works fine for most tasks, don’t attempt to make nut butter from fewer than 2 cups of nuts, because the shorter tamper won’t reach the mixture once the nuts are finely ground.

The Cleanblend made some of the smoothest smoothies in our tests.

Over our long-term testing, the Cleanblend’s motor has seemed more durable than the Oster’s, though we’re not sure it’s a match for the motor of the time-tested Vitamix. In our testing, our four-year-old Cleanblend and Vitamix blenders both powered through two rounds of nut butter without quitting. The same test fried our three-year-old Oster. That said, Oster offers a seven-year warranty on the Versa Pro Series Blender, but Cleanblend offers only a five-year total warranty.

For an extra $75, you can extend the warranty on your Cleanblend Blender to a total of 10 years. This is a great value when you consider that the blender, including the decade of coverage, still costs about $ less than a Vitamix. If you’re looking for the all-around great performance of a Vitamix for less than half the cost, you won’t find that here (or anywhere else for that matter), but the Cleanblend is a good value when you compare the numbers.

However, Cleanblend’s customer service is reachable only by email or a form on its website, and that might not inspire confidence in some people. Both Vitamix and Oster have a customer service phone number that connects you to a representative. Even though the Cleanblend seems more durable than the Oster, Cleanblend is such a new company that we’re not yet confident in its blender’s long-term reliability.

The Cleanblend’s base takes up 9½ by 8 inches of counter space, about the same as our other high-performance picks (our budget pick, the KitchenAid, is smaller). And at 19 inches high to the top of the lid, the Cleanblend is taller than the Oster, but it has just slightly more clearance under most kitchen cabinets than the Vitamix (which measures closer to 20 inches). Also, like all of the other high-performance blenders we tested, the Cleanblend is loud. But compared with the Ninja Chef’s thunderous roar and the Blendtec’s high-pitched whine, the Cleanblend’s sound is far easier on the ears.

Long-term test notes

Senior staff writer Michael Sullivan has used an older version of the Cleanblend at home for about four years and says he has never had an issue with it. He pulls it out about six times a month to make smoothies, sauces, soup, or occasionally emulsifications like mayonnaise. He has even crushed ice in it a few times, and he says that so far it has never stalled out.

Sabrina Imbler, a Wirecutter staff writer at the time of our tests, used the Cleanblend in her home for more than a year. She used it three to four times a week and never experienced stalling or burnout. She told us: “[My] only minor complaint is that sometimes the blender rattles a bit on top of the base, which makes me a little wary, but otherwise it’s great. I only use it for smoothies and mixed drinks, never any kind of nuts, but it pulverizes ice pretty quick. It’s also the perfect size for two smoothies. I tend to use the middle range of speeds, as I rarely need the highest, and the lowest is less effective for my needs. And I really like that it’s a dial as opposed to number buttons—easier to [crank] up if my stuff isn’t blending fast.”

Budget pick: KitchenAid K 3 Speed Ice Crushing Blender

A KitchenAid K blender shown filled with a pineapple smoothie on a kitchen counter.

If you blend only the occasional smoothie, daiquiri, or soup, you don’t need an expensive high-powered blender. The KitchenAid K 3 Speed Ice Crushing Blender will serve your needs. Offering a low profile and a ounce blending jar, this blender is the most compact of all our picks. In our tests, the K proved adequate at blending thick smoothies, but not without a couple of stops and starts or our having to add a little more liquid to get a consistent vortex going. It can’t puree tough berry seeds as our top pick can, nor can it produce such velvety-smooth frozen drinks. However, the K has a mighty motor for the price and will handle most simple blending tasks.

The KitchenAid K offers three speeds plus a pulse setting for crushing ice. For frozen drinks and smoothies, the second speed seems to be the sweet spot, as that’s where we encountered the fewest air pockets. As with most blenders at this price, you need to add more liquid to get smoothies and frozen drinks to blend with a continuous vortex; otherwise, you need to stop it a couple of times to break up air pockets. Overall, we were satisfied with the drinks we made in the K The piña colada was a little icy but not offensive, and the smoothie was what we’d expect from a good $ blender: very drinkable, with whole berry seeds and tiny flecks of kale.

When you turn the K on, the blades automatically start slow and ramp up to the set speed, a feature that’s great for safely blending hot liquids like pureed soups. But it’s still important that you take precautions when blending hot foods, such as starting on low speed and securing the lid with a folded dish towel.

We were pleasantly surprised that the K let us make a small batch of mayonnaise from one egg yolk and half a cup of oil. We didn’t think the jar’s wide square base and relatively short blade span would allow us to emulsify such a small volume.

As its name indicates, the KitchenAid K 3 Speed Ice Crushing Blender does crush ice. We’re not talking professional-grade fluffy shaved ice, but it’ll do the trick if you want to make a few snow cones on a hot summer day.

The K is lightweight and compact—perfect for people who want to store their blender in a cabinet. It also has a low profile (15 inches) that allows it to fit easily in the standard clearance between kitchen countertops and upper cabinets (18 inches). But the pitcher is on the small side at 48 ounces, and it lacks the comfy rubber-clad handle on our other picks.

As an alternative to buying this blender as is (base, ounce jar, and lid), you can get it bundled with two personal blending cups for around $50 more. We haven’t tested the personal blending cups yet, but we’ll give them a try soon and report back. KitchenAid also plans to release a version of the K with a glass blending jar, though we prefer plastic blender jars for their durability.

At this writing the K seems to have some stock issues post–Black Friday shopping. We’re told that stock should be replenished some time in January in a broader range of colors. The KitchenAid K comes with a one-year warranty that excludes accidents, drops, misuse, and abuse.

Long-term test notes

Wirecutter staff writer Sarah Bogdan has the K, and she and her roommate use it a few times a month for smoothies. She says that it blends fruits just fine, but she wishes that it got a finer blend with the vegetables she adds like kale and spinach. However, her roommate who sticks to peanut butter, bananas, and protein powder has no issues with it. It’s been a little difficult to clean, but she also realizes that’s true of any full-size blender.

Blender care and maintenance

If you find that your blender is having a difficult time processing ingredients, don’t be afraid to be aggressive (within reason) with the tamper to get the mixture moving around the blades. Also, make sure the blender jar is at least 25% full. Although high speeds will help process smoother mixtures, a lower speed (PDF) may also help ingredients start circulating if they just aren’t moving. When you’re following a recipe, it’s also good to add ingredients in the order listed; blender recipe books tend to be specific with the order (Vitamix, for example, generally lists ice as the last ingredient).

To limit the risk of hot liquids shooting out the top of a blending jar, always start on a low setting and slowly increase the speed (in general, presets do this automatically). Never fill the jar past the hot-liquid fill line. And for good measure, to limit the risk of the lid popping off, place a dish towel over the lid, with your hand firmly holding the lid down, while you blend.

Hand wash the blending jar with warm, soapy water rather than running it through the dishwasher. This will help extend the life of the jar. In our own testing, we found that the best way to clean a blender jar is to use a bottle brush or a scrub brush; processing water and a little soap in the blender jar will help loosen up tough ingredients such as peanut butter, and the brush should do the rest.

The competition

Compared with our top pick, the Vitamix , the Vitamix has the same ounce capacity and speed-control dial, but it lacks the ultra-high-speed switch available on the It has a slightly higher peak horsepower, but any extra power is negated by the shape of the jar. In testing, we found that the ’s relatively squat jar failed to maintain a vortex as well as the ’s narrow, tapered one. Also, for smaller volumes—2 cups or less—the ’s tamper didn’t reach down quite far enough to burst air pockets. We had to add more liquid to thicker mixtures, such as date puree and hummus, because the tamper wasn’t cutting it.

The Vitamix Explorian E, available at Costco, is 99% identical to the A Vitamix customer service representative told us that the two blenders had the same motor base, jar, tamper, and functionality. The main difference between the blenders is that the has a small on/off switch located just below the control panel. On top of that, the E is available only as part of a package with two personal cups and an adapter.

Vitamix added the Explorian Series E variable-speed blender to its lineup in We chose not to test this model because we didn’t think it was a good value. Although it’s typically three-quarters the price of the Vitamix , the cost difference is directly proportional to the E’s smaller blending jar (48 ounces versus 64 ounces) and shorter warranty (five versus seven years). On the E, Vitamix also replaced the switch that flips the machine from variable speed to high power with a pulse switch, thus eliminating the option for one-touch high-power blending. If you have limited storage space in your kitchen, you might like the E for its shorter height (about 17 inches tall, compared with the Vitamix , which is about 20 inches tall). But if you’re going to shell out the cash for a Vitamix blender, we still think spending a little more on the is the best choice.

We bid a somber adieu to two near-identical former budget picks from KitchenAid: the 5-Speed Classic blender (still available refurbished as of May ) and the Diamond 5-Speed blender. The 5-Speed Classic was our budget pick for nearly five years before KitchenAid discontinued it and replaced it with the Diamond 5-Speed in In , the company replaced the Diamond 5-Speed with the K, our current budget pick. Buying the 5-Speed Classic refurbished isn’t a bad option if you want to save a little money, but keep in mind that it only comes with a 6-month warranty.

The KitchenAid K blender is more powerful than the KitchenAid K (our budget pick) but not enough to warrant its $plus price jump. And in our tests the K wasn’t nearly as good at blending fibrous kale as the less expensive Oster and Cleanblend blenders.

The KitchenAid Pro Line Series Blender is expensive, and it’s also the heaviest blender we’ve tested (22 pounds). In our tests it blended silky-smooth textures, though not quite as easily as the Vitamix , but it didn’t do well at emulsification. While its performance intrigued us, after a year of long-term testing this model, we found that it delivered results similar to those of the Vitamix. And the heft and size of this KitchenAid model make it a difficult-to-move space hog.

Will the Blendtec Designer blend? Yes, but not as well as our top picks. Despite Blendtec’s clever (if at times mildly sinister) video marketing campaign of blending everything from rake handles to iPhones, we’ve found its blenders wanting (we also tested the Total model in ). Although in our tests the Designer killed it in making smoothies and blended drinks, its lack of a tamper limits its usefulness. It failed to make peanut butter (a tamper would have helped), and the preset speed for soup was frightening, with hot liquid flying wildly around the jar. We do think this particular model is quite beautiful, with a sleek black, illuminated base. It’s a great blender if you want something that looks slick on your counter and can make amazingly smooth mixed drinks and smoothies. But we think a blender that’s this expensive should perform well at more than just those two tasks. For more on how the Blendtec stacks up against the Vitamix , read our article about testing the two blenders head-to-head.

We tested the Blendtec Total Blender for our review but found that it couldn’t compete with the Vitamix we tested at the time. The lid felt flimsy, and this model’s panel controls seemed cheap.

The Breville Super Q is a performance blender that’s packed with bells and whistles. In our tests, with its squat jar and powerful motor, the Super Q performed a lot like the Blendtec Designer , throwing smoothie up the sides and into the lid. At one point, the Breville shot bits of a smoothie in my face when I opened the cap to add more liquid. The Super Q pulverizes tough foods, but the Vitamix also does that for less money—and with less drama inside the jar. The Super Q also generated a lot of heat when we made peanut butter—so much that we had to stop the test early when we noticed steam coming out of the jar. Although the Super Q blended the silkiest piña coladas and came with lots of extra goodies (a ounce jar, a personal blending jar, preset blending programs, and a vacuum attachment that’s supposed to slow the oxidation of raw foods), we don’t think it’s worth the $plus over the Vitamix’s price, especially since most of those goodies would just clutter your cabinets.

In our tests, the Cuisinart CBT Hurricane struggled to process foods. Blending thick smoothies and peanut butter required adding more liquid, a lot of starting and stopping, and banging the jar on the counter. It did make mayonnaise on the first try, though, unlike the more powerful Cuisinart CBT Hurricane Pro. But without the Turbo button of the Hurricane Pro (more on that below), this model is just another middle-of-the-road blender.

The Cuisinart CBT Hurricane Pro performed similarly to the Cuisinart CBT Hurricane, except it didn’t make mayonnaise as well (we achieved emulsification on the third try only). We did find the Turbo button useful for creating a fine puree. But again, without a tamper to burst air pockets, this blender needed a lot of tending to produce uniform, smooth purees.

The Ninja Chef CT 1,watt blender is the first high-performance model from this company that doesn’t have sets of blades throughout the jar. Instead, the Ninja Chef’s blades sit in the base of the jar, as in normal blenders. This model also performed better than its predecessors. But it was extremely loud, and our top picks—the Vitamix, the Oster, and the Cleanblend—still blended silkier smoothies in our tests.

For the price, the Ninja Master Prep Professional is a decent blender, but we don’t think it compares to any of our other picks. It did a surprisingly good job of making smoothies, mixing bean spread, and blending margaritas, but the design is terrible for making mayonnaise (the motor is top-mounted, so you can’t drizzle anything into the jar). The stacked blades are also dangerously sharp, making them difficult to clean. The Ninja Master Prep Professional comes with three blending jars in various sizes; we thought that it added up to too many parts and that they would just end up cluttering our cupboards. Overall, the machine felt really cheap.

The Ninja Professional Blender didn’t perform well. The green smoothies we made in this blender had a weird, confetti-like texture. And the mayo this model made was especially loose, which meant that it was whipping in too much air. Every time we ran this Ninja blender, we detected a strong, burning-motor smell. The jar was hard to get on the base, and the lid was tricky to clamp on. Also, the base was big, clunky, and cheap feeling.

The Instant Pot Ace 60 Cooking Blender is unique in that it has a heating element in its base, so it can both cook and puree foods (some high-powered blenders also claim to “cook” soup, but they do so only with friction). After performing extensive testing, we found that this seemingly nifty feature was impractical. We made a decent broccoli cheese soup and a smooth butternut squash puree, but we had to blend each one for longer than the programmed setting to get a creamy texture. And we were disappointed to discover that we couldn’t adjust the temperature or sauté in the machine, since the heating element doesn’t start if it doesn’t detect liquid in the jar. As such, the Ace doesn’t produce the same nuanced flavors that you’d get if you started with a little caramelization. The heating element also introduces another possible point of failure into a type of appliance that is already prone to burning out.

The Ace whipped up smooth peanut butter and did a slightly better job of pulverizing ice cubes and tough kale leaves than most of the budget-level blenders we’ve tested. But it’s huge and loud, and its glass jar is heavier and less durable than the Tritan plastic jars of our picks. The jar’s wide base also makes it difficult for the Ace to form a powerful vortex (instead flinging ingredients all over the jar).

The 1,watt Hamilton Beach Professional Blender performed well in our tests. When we used the manual speeds, the blender’s digital readout showed a countdown timer, which was helpful because the instruction manual advised against continuously running the motor for more than two minutes. But the preprogrammed settings didn’t effectively keep the mixture moving when air pockets occurred. In addition, the on/off buttons are angled upward at the top of the base and thus susceptible to food and grime buildup over time.

The Braun PureMix is a small, tamper-less blender, and it didn’t impress us in the least, with a flimsy jug and a lightweight base. The PureMix had a hard time blending our smoothie, and we needed to add so much liquid to the mixture that the texture was way too thin—yuck! We disqualified the Braun after our first test.

The Waring Commercial Xtreme made notably smooth smoothies, and it felt substantial. But ultimately it didn’t perform better than our picks from Vitamix, Oster, or Cleanblend. If we were willing to pay this much for a blender, we’d instead go for a reconditioned Vitamix We do like that Waring has a metal jar that you can purchase for this machine.

Sources

  1. Midpriced Blenders (subscription required), America’s Test Kitchen

  2. Andrew Gebhart, Ry Crist, From smoothies to pesto to almond butter: 13 blenders reviewed, CNET, August 22,

  3. Lisa McManus, executive editor of equipment testing at America’s Test Kitchen, interview

  4. Jonathan Cochran, author of the Blender Dude blog, interview

  5. J. Kenji López-Alt, Vitamix vs. Blendtec vs. Breville: Who Makes the Best High-End Blender?, Serious Eats, December 16,

Sours: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-blender/


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