One of the most useful and versatile small appliance that you could have in your kitchen is a blender. You can do a lot of things with it, from making smoothies, milkshakes, and blending food for different recipes. You can use your blender to make purees and soups, preparing pesto sauce, and crushing ice. If you have a baby at home, you can also use the blender to make baby food.
With the use of a blender, you can also make it easier to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Processing food in a blender varies the taste and texture so you can enjoy food that are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy nutrients.
If you do not have a blender yet, you should not think twice about purchasing one. The only thing that you need to decide on is the kind of blender that you should buy. Of course, there are several things that you need to consider so that you can buy the best one that will suit your needs. But, before anything else, you first need to know the different types of blender that you can find on the market.
Different Types of Blender
This is the most common and most popular type of blender that can be seen in the household. The countertop blender is also the first type of blender that was created and that was in the early 1900s. It is used to mix drinks, make smoothies and milkshakes, purees, baby food, and sauces.
The motors of countertop blenders are within their bases. Depending on the model, bases can be encased in either plastic or metal. On the base, you can also find the buttons or switches which allow you to adjust the speed and pulse settings.
This type of blender also features a large pitcher which can be made of either glass or plastic. The pitcher also comes with a lid to keep the contents from spilling out during blending. At the bottom of the pitcher, you can find the blades which spin and get the job done once you switch it on.
This type of blender looks like a thick wand and is very different from a countertop blender when it comes to its form and appearance. The immersion blender is handy when it comes to blending, whisking, whipping, and even chopping. It can also be maneuvered effortlessly and easy to store.
The power source of the immersion blender is usually located in the handle. Some can be plugged into an outlet while there are some which can run on batteries for more convenience.
A great advantage of an immersion blender is that it can be used for quick preparation of food and for mixing thick liquids. You also do not need to use a lot of containers as you can use it directly on the pot of sauce that you are cooking.
The personal blender is a relatively new category as was made for people who are on the go. It is a miniature version of a countertop blender as it also has its motor inside its base. The major difference is that the pitcher of a personal blender can also double as an on-the-go container, with a well-sealed lid.
The only downside of a personal blender is, the blades are usually not detachable. So, they remain inside the pitcher while you are drinking from it. Fortunately, some manufacturers have found a solution and created upside down pitchers. You just have to place your ingredients inside the pitcher and then screw on the lid. The blades are attached to the lid that you will attach to the base. Once the blending is done, you can remove the bladed lid and replace it with a regular one.
Top 10 Blenders of 2017
Our no. 1 spot this year is the Vitamix Professional Series 750. This is not a compact blender by any means, with its 65-ounce jar which is BPA-free and made of super strong copolymer and a 1,200-watt motor. It stands at about 17.5 inches tall. Vitamix took no shortcuts designing this series. With a durable, flexible design, you’ll be able to produce a complete range of juices, soups, desserts, sauces, butters, and spreads.
This Vitamix comes with five programmed pre-sets for commonly used items as well as variable speed. You will be able to control whether you want a chunky soup or a silken smoothie. This blender is also covered by a seven-year warranty, and to top it all off, the manufacturer includes 300 recipes that can all be produced in under 90 seconds.
This blender is the best bang for your buck without a doubt. At just $84 this Nutri Ninja might be small in comparison to some of the other blenders on our list, but its performance is both convenient and efficient. It comes with two “sip and seal” cups – 18 and 24 ounces – making it easy for you to take your juice or smoothie on the go. This blender weighs in at just under 7 pounds and only 15 inches tall so it won’t clutter up your kitchen counters. Who doesn’t love that?
At 900 watts, you might question if this blender has enough “juice” to get the job done. Since it’s a smaller blender, bear in mind that you’d only be blending up to 24 ounces at a time so this is adequate power for this little guy. One downside to keep in mind is that these smaller blenders do not cope well with fibrous or tough fruits and veggies. This would be a great option for a morning smoothie, but if you need something to chop harder foods, it might not be the right choice for you.
If you’re looking for a basic, every-day blender, this is the choice for you. Solid quality built with various settings and “Intelli-speed,” you won’t have lumpy drinks or sauces with this blender (unless you want them lumpy of course!). One downside to this choice is that it doesn’t come with a tamper to help push ingredients towards the blades. Other than that it’s a pretty solid choice.
This square jar blender holds a whopping 75-ounces, and its unique design claims to be more efficient by the manufacturer. This blender is also BPA-free, made with a copolymer for durability. The motor performs at an impressive three horsepower, delivering 1,560 watts and up to 29,000 rpm.
Despite it’s ability to hold 75 oz., the Blendtec Blender is not as tall as some of the others on our list at 15.5 inches tall. It weighs a light 7 pounds though, and comes in three different colors. The manufacturer provides 200 recipes that can all be made in approximately 90 seconds. Further on the design of this blender, it is made with a stainless steel blade with two prongs. Each prong is forged for extra strength and it is also mounted on ball bearings for smoother performance. The motor brushes are made of carbon that lasts much longer than steel.
This blender comes with six pre-programmed buttons and speed settings to make sure you get your desired blending results. There is also a pulse button and auto shut-off protection as well. This blender (as with most) shouldn’t go in the dishwasher.
Oster claims that the VERSA will produce just about any liquid you can think of: smoothies, spreads, baby foods, butters, and more. The 1,400-watt motor provides plenty of power, and the six-point blades do their job effortlessly. Owners tell us that the Oster is good at taking on difficult items like kale and carrots as well as softer vegetables such as spinach leaves. Some would have preferred it to have a slower speed; they think it’s actually a bit too efficient when you want a coarse blend. Overall, performance-related complaints few and far between.
Although Oster calls its VERSA blender jar “low profile,” the machine’s overall height is still 17.6 inches. Depending on your kitchen cabinets, it might fit comfortably; at 11.8 pounds, most of its bulk is found in its substantial motor. This blender features stainless steel blades and three basic program settings. Oster includes two recipe books with this model, “Gourmet Cuisine” and “Fresh and Fit.” The components aren’t dishwasher safe. Most say that a quick soap-and-water clean-up is easy to do.
If you’re looking to not only get a new blender but also to be able to replace a lot of your small appliances in your home, including a meat grinder, food processor, etc, this Ninja Ultima Blender is right for you. With 1,500-watts and 2.5 horsepower, this is a powerhouse BUT it is loud. It measures 18 inches high at it’s tallest point.
This blender has the capacity to hold 72-ounces and also comes with a removable quad blade that reaches up to the height of the blender. No more digging around trying to get the ingredients to the blades. The Ninja Ultima is very user friendly. It will not start unless the lid is on the pitcher and secured because of its sheer power and number of blades. This is an added safety precaution.
This choice is one of the most affordable blender options on our list. Coming in around $40.00, this is a good option when you’re on a budget. The Hamilton Beach Smoothie Start Blender can blend all your basic foods with ease. Of course, you’re bound to find a better blender that is more expensive, but this will make smoothies for days (Months! Years!) as well as other simple recipes, snacks, sauces, etc.
This multi-tasking blender can double as a food processor offering 750-watts and measuring 16.5 inches tall. At this height (as with some others on our list) this blender might not fit under all kitchen cabinets so if you tend to keep your blender out all the time, keep that in mind when shopping. This blender offers 5 speed settings as well as a pulse button, Ice Crush and Smoothie buttons. There is also an option to set a timer.
The jug is BPA-free and can hold up to 48 ounces. For convenience purposes, this blender offers an on-off switch so you don’t have to worry about unplugging it, as well as loops in both the lid and the power cord making it easier to grip.
One cool setting this blender has is a “Snow” speed. SO you can actually make snowballs, snow cones or whatever your snow-loving heart desires.
With a 450-watt motor and 8 speeds, this blender is a solid choice for everyday meal prep, snacks, smoothies, dips and more! This model also comes with a bonus 3-cup food processor jar on top of the main 6-cup dishwasher safe and scratch resistant glass jar.
This option comes with a 10 year DURALAST All-Metal Drive Limited Warranty so you can count on this being a durable option for your home. It stacks up at 15.75 inches so again, watch for those kitchen cabinets and measure before you buy.
This powerful blender has a 1,800-watt, 2.4 horsepower motor making it easier than ever to blend whatever you need! It features a variable speed dial providing you with effortless blending control. The jar holds up to 64 ounces, is BPA-free, and is shatterproof and dishwasher safe. The blades can rotate at over 140 mph giving you smooth, even blending every time.
This blender also comes with a 5 year limited warranty so you’re sure to get the most out of this quality blender.
Features to Look for in a Blender
Once you have determined the type of blender that you want, you also need to decide on the features that you are looking for. Below are some of the things that you might want to check on a blender before deciding to purchase.
The container of a blender can either be made of plastic or glass. Most blender manufacturers feature plastic containers they are less prone to breaking compared to glass. Plastic is also lightweight, which is a plus factor.
However, one disadvantage of a plastic container is that it can easily absorb odor and stains. To avoid this, you should clean it properly and promptly after each use. You would not want your milkshake to taste or smell like pesto after all.
Also, aside from the material, the container should have easy to read measurements and a wide mouth or opening to facilitate easy loading and cleaning.
When it comes to controls, it is a matter of your personal preference. Most blenders either have touchpad controls, push buttons, dial controls, or a flip switch. Touchpad controls are easier to clean, but can take a few presses before you get it to work, especially if you have been using the blender for a while. Push buttons switch easily, but can allow easy buildup of dirt and grime in the crevices. Dial controls are great too, but you have to turn through all the settings before you reach the maximum. A flip switch is okay, but options can be limited.
The speed in some blenders can vary from 3 to 16. You actually do not need more than three especially if you are only doing simple dishes or drinks.
Some manufacturers claim that higher wattage means better performance, but that is not always the case. When it comes to immersion blenders, higher wattage does seem to deliver more consistent results but not with other types of blenders. Other factors that affect the power of a blender are the design and blade assembly as well as the shape of the container.
When shopping for a blender, it is always recommended to check the warranty of the product. Most of the time, the scope of a product’s warranty is also an indication of how long it can last. Budget blenders tend to only have about a year of warranty while high performance blenders have up to 8 years.
As small as it may be, a blender has become a kitchen staple in many households. It is a great investment as it does not cost too much, but it can definitely do a lot. It is also an ideal gift for someone who started to live independently or a newly wedded couple who is starting to build their own home.