Shall I blend or juice? This is not a trick question! Whether you are a pro in the kitchen or want to create a healthy drink, the problem is still – shall you use a blender to extract juice? In this blog post, I will unravel the differences between juicing and blending, and let you find easy pointers on how to choose the best blender for juicing.
Selecting a blender that can also juice is the perfect solution as you have the best of both options at your fingertips, making you feel like a real MasterChef.
We all know that drinking fresh fruit juice, smoothies, and other exotic blends are great for health and vitality. But, as I did, you may have decided that making these drinks at home sounds like a lot of hard work and effort.
It isn’t! I have discovered that with some perseverance and knowledge, buying the right blender that can also juice is a simple solution, helping you easily create these excellent drinks. As a working Mum with kids and a hubby, I feel super excited sending everyone off to school and work with fresh, healthy, tasty drinks in their lunch totes.
On relaxed weekends as a family, we have fun whipping up exotic tropical island style fruit drinks for friends around the barbecue. I serve them in tall, icy glasses complete with colorful miniature umbrellas!
If you’re here, you may also be looking to learn how to use your blender to juice. Lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place!
In this guide, I’ll go over why you should use a blender for juicing, what to consider to choose the right blender and how to juice your favorite produce using several of the blender market’s top models as well so that you can get the most out of them.
Good luck, and happy juicing!
Juicing vs. Blending – What’s the Difference?
The first (and self-explanatory) question for me was – What is the difference between juicing and blending if any? And, I have discovered that there is a difference.
Very simply – The juicing extracts the liquid from the fruit or vegetable, leaving behind the pulp and fiber. Do you remember those childhood days of using a manual squeezer?
You would twist and squeeze the half orange on the reamer. Then you would tip the juice out of the base container where it had collected. After what seemed like a lot of hard work, you ended up with half a glass of juice and some fatigued arm muscles.
Today’s mechanical juicing machines will either spin or crush the ingredients, separating the juice from the pulp into different compartments. The juice is what you keep, and the pulp usually gets thrown away.
As you cannot do blending easily by hand, you do need the help of a machine. Blenders will chop up your ingredients using multiple blades.
Throw in chunky or whole pieces of fruit or vegetables, turn on, and the machine whizzes away, creating a thick mixture. All the components, including the juice, pulp, and fibers, remain inside. Today this has become the latest health fad – known as a smoothie!
Why Should You Juice?
So, why juice? For starters, it is the perfect way to create healthy, nutritious, and delicious drinks. Take them on-the-run, pack some bottles for the kids to take to school, and enjoy a drink during your office lunch break.
Have you ever looked carefully at the ingredient list on the back of a so-called 100% pure juice drink in the supermarket? You will be astounded at the preservatives, stabilizers, flavor-packs, and colorants that are added. They are certainly a far cry from real fresh fruit juice.
Juicing uses only pure fruit of your choice and gives you loads of essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds. Juicing is fun and creative. It is not difficult to do and adds variety to meals, snack times, school, and office lunches.
Drinking a fresh glass of juice is an instant energy booster. Fresh juice is rich in compounds that boost the immune system, a great way to keep colds and flu at bay when winter approaches.
What Kind of Blenders Can Be Used for Juicing?
When looking for a standard blender that can also juice, you need to ensure that you are buying a high wattage blender with powerful blades.
Low wattage blenders won’t be able to break down the ingredients into a fine enough consistency to pass as a juice. Many blenders can multi-task and offer an array of setting from juicing to blending, chopping, grinding, and more.
Making a Juicer with a Blender: What are the Options?
If you have not yet bought a blender, you may want to consider buying a blender with a juicer attachment. You can also find the option of purchasing a juicer-blender combo.
If you already have a blender, don’t despair, there are ways to use your existing blender to juice. I will discuss each option here for you:
Blender with a juicer attachment
Some blenders come with extra juice extracting attachments. You will need to read the instructions on how to attach the fittings to your specific machine. Essentially, these attachments allow you to blend the pulp of the fruits and veggies into one container and the juice to seep out and extract into another.
High-level kitchen appliances that can both blend and juice are the ultimate choice. Reading the specifications, you will see that they can grind, pulp, liquefy, chop, crush, and more. For the best option of both, choose a machine that is a combo, and states that it can blend and juice.
Using your existing blender
If your blender can only blend (which is what it was designed to do!) you can turn it into a juicer with a bit of innovative thinking. One way is to buy a Universal Juicer Attachment. This attachment is a strainer core that fits into many types of blenders.
Place it into the center of the mixer and fill it with your fruit or veggies. As the blades turn, the pulp is captured inside the strainer, and the juice seeps out through the small holes.
Turn on, blend for a few minutes, stop the machine, pour out the juice, and repeat. You will end up with a near-perfect juice extract separated from the pulp.
You can also create much lighter and smoother juices from the thicker mixture in a blender by adding water during the blending process. This will create a juice-like consistency similar to a juicer.
If you have time (and patience!), you can blend, tip the contents into a strainer and squeeze out the juice. It may be hard work, but you will end up with the juice and not the pulp.
Top 5 Best Blenders for Juicing Reviews
Here are our picks for the top blenders for juicing:
1. Vitamix 5200 Professional-Grade Blender – Best Overall Blender for Juicing to Buy
2. Blendtec Designer 650 Blender – Best Performance Blender for Juicing
3. Ninja® Blender DUO® with Micro-Juice™ Technology – Most Powerful Blender for Juicing
4. NutriBullet Pro Plus – Best Budget Blender for Juicing
5. Nutri Ninja BL48 – Best Single-Serve Blender for Juicing
Juicing with a Vitamix Professional-Grade Blender – Vitamix 5200
This powerful Vitamix machine is among the most popular today. That’s because partly it is handy for all kinds of blending. It is also straightforward to use compared to a run-of-the-mill blender.
To that end, using this blender starts by removing its 64 oz. blending jar from its base. After removing the lid, you can begin to fill this jar with your chosen produce. These fruits and veggies should be pre-cut. However, this model’s blades can handle larger chunks and even whole berries.
While filling this jar, be sure to follow the marked fill lines on the sides. After reaching these lines, stop adding ingredients. Next, place the lid back on the jar and return it to its base.
From there, you can choose to pulse your mixture until they are juice-like. However, your best bet is to utilize this model’s top speed setting to accomplish this task.
This method of use can be used to make smoothies as well. To do that, simply use a lower speed setting based upon your desired consistency.
This blender also has other uses beyond blending and juicing. For example, this model can emulsify ingredients just as well as a food processor can. Also, this model can make hot soups internally without the need for a stove.
To do that, you must first start by adding your base stock to the unit’s jar. Then, carefully add in your other soup ingredients. Fresh cut veggies are perfect for this, as are small meat chunks. Once those are all in, you’ll seal up the jar and return it to its base.
Then, you’ll want to choose one of this blender’s highest speed settings. Once you’ve done that, allow this blender to run for 6-7 minutes. During that time, the friction from the blades in this blender will produce heat. This will cause the soup to mix and heat at the same time. The result is a piping hot soup that is flavorful down to the last spoonful.
Usefulness for Juicing
This is definitely one of the most useful blenders for juicing. For starters, this model’s super sharp blades never leave chunks behind in your juice mixes. At the same time, this model’s large volume allows you to share your juices with ease.
However, I’m most impressed by how quickly you can make a flavorful juice in this blender. In my experience, it usually only takes around 1.5 minutes on one of its highest speed settings. After that, you have a near-perfect juice consistency that is full of flavor. As such, I fully endorse this blender for use as a juicer.
Where to buy: around $450 on Amazon.
Juicing with a Blendtec Designer Series Blender – Blendtec Designer 650
Each model in the Blendtec Designer series is a bit different. All models in this line are fully capable of making healthy drinks, though. To do that, you’ll want to start by roughly chopping up your favorite fruits and veggies.
You won’t need to worry about chunk size too much because of this model’s capacity. This model’s 90 oz. jar and super strong blades allow it to make quick work of even the toughest produce.
Once you’ve added in your ingredients, return the filled jar to its base. Next, you’ll want to secure the lid and select your model’s “standard mode.” On some models, it will be called just that.
But on others, the “smoothie mode” serves as its standard. Either way, select this mode and wait for the process to finish. At that point, you’ll have a great blend with an ideal texture.
This blender can make all of your homemade favorites. Not only can it make them, but it likely includes a pre-programmed mode just for them. For example, say you want to make ice cream in this blender.
To do that, you’d need to add proportioned ingredients according to your chosen recipe. Then, you’d select the “ice cream” button on this unit’s touchscreen control panel. From there, your blender will act as an ice cream blender using its blunt blades. You may need to add more ice over time, but the result is fantastic.
Usefulness for Juicing
Without a doubt, Blendtec Designer blender is among the best for juicing. This is because the models in this line come with a special “Whole Juice” mode. This mode enables the unit to fluctuate its speed and power while in action. This results in a perfect juice texture that doesn’t require any manual input.
To use this mode, all you need to do is fill up this unit’s extra-large jar to the fill line. Then, after replacing the lid and placing it on the base, hit the “Whole Juice” button.
After that, it will take 50 seconds for your blender to juice all of your ingredients properly. Once that finishes, you’ll have a juice blend that rivals what juice bar could produce.
However, not all Blendtec models come with this unique use mode. If your model lacks it, rest assured that you can still make a great juice.
To do that, fill up your unit’s jar as usual. Then, set your unit’s speed to the medium-high range using the touchscreen slider. After that, run your blender for 50-60 seconds until your mix reaches the desired consistency.
Where to buy: around $400 on Amazon.
Juicing with a Powerful Ninja Blender – Ninja® Blender DUO® with Micro-Juice™ Technology
As a general use blender, the Ninja Duo can sure do a lot. Not only can it do a lot, but it can make a lot at once. That’s because this model comes standard with a 64 oz. blending jar.
That jar includes a Total Crushing blade set that can match a pro-grade blender’s blades pound for pound. You’ll never need to doubt this blender’s ability to pound through your toughest ingredients.
Despite all of this power, the Ninja Duo is not hard to use at all. For most blends, you’ll need to start by filling up its jar with your preferred fruits and veggies. The square shape of this jar allows you to pack more in, including leafy greens. Once those ingredients are added, you’ll want to latch down this model’s lid and mount it back onto its base.
From there, you have some options. For most blends, you can start by hitting the “smoothie” button. However, if you want more control, you can select from one of the three-speed buttons.
These buttons will run the blender at a set speed for as long as you want. As such, they could be used for everything from salsa to salad dressings with some practice.
As noted, you can make a lot of special foods using this blender alone. For starters, you can puree anything in this blender, just as you would with a food processor. To do that, add in ingredients that are already well-chopped.
Then, after sealing the lid, you can simply hit the “puree” mode button. The blender will do the rest of the hard work in just over a minute.
Along the same lines, you’ll be able to make flavorful dressings in this blender. To do that, you’ll want to measure out your chosen spices and oils in advance.
Then, you’ll want to add them all at once before replacing the lid. You’ll want to hit the “dressing” button and monitor the blender’s progress. In a short time, your new dressing should be fully salad-ready.
Usefulness for Juicing
This Ninja model takes cues from an at-home juicer to make its juicing capabilities the very best. Specifically, this model comes with a specialized filter basket that can remove pulp directly from your blend.
The Ninja Duo also includes a “juice” mode that accounts for this filter basket during its blending process. Together, these components make the best juice you’ve ever made at home.
To make use of the Ninja Duo’s juicing capabilities, start by inserting the provided filter basket into the blending jar. It should slot directly into place without applying extra force. Next, add in your ingredients up to the max fill line. Be sure to keep ingredients with more pulp towards the bottom to maximize their filtration.
After adding your ingredients, close the filter basket’s lid. Then, be sure also to secure your pitcher’s lid. Both must be securely closed to prevent accidental discharge during the blending process. Once that’s done, place the pitcher on the base and twist it to lock it in place.
From there, you can hit the “juice” function button and watch this blender go to work. Once it is finished, be sure to leave the filter basket in the pitcher. You can then pour your filtered juice right out without needing to get your hands messy.
Where to buy: around $150 on Amazon.
Juicing with a Popular NutriBullet Bullet-Style Blender – NutriBullet Pro Plus
The NutriBullet is yet another popular bullet-style blender that you can use for at-home juicing. You can only make around 24 oz. of juice at a time, though. But even for this small capacity, this unit can make quick work of most soft ingredients. This model’s 1200 watt is more than strong enough to turn your favorite produce to juice in minutes.
For general blending, though, you’ll want to start by cutting up all of your ingredients. This includes any leafy greens, which require a little extra work to be appropriately blended. Add these in layers until you reach the fill line. Don’t forget to leave space for softened ice if you plan on making a smoothie, too!
After you have assembled your ingredients, you should attach one of these model’s blade assembly caps. Be sure to screw it on tightly to prevent leaks during the blending process.
Once that is on, you can invert the whole unit and place it on the Nutribullet base. After giving it a little twist to lock it in, you’ll be ready to press down on the jar and initiate the blending process.
The NutriBullet blender does not offer any exclusive use modes apart from general use blending and juicing. So, if you are looking to make a puree, for example, you’ll need to plan and utilize this blender’s capabilities carefully.
To do that correctly, I recommend filling your jar as usual and making full use of the pulse function on these blenders. They allow you to apply bursts of blending until your puree reaches a perfect consistency.
Usefulness for Juicing
While it may not look like it on the surface, the NutriBullet Pro Plus can be useful for juicing. The key is to start with the right blend of ingredients and provide enough blending time to achieve the desired result.
To be specific, those looking to make juice in this blender should always add about ¼ of a cup of water to their blend before mixing. This will give it enough moisture to reach a very drinkable consistency.
As for the actual blending, it is recommended that you allow this blender to run for a minute or more to break down every ingredient fully. Due to its shape and size, you may need to push some ingredients around inside the jar between passes manually.
Though the resulting blend is not perfect, it’s still far better (and healthier) than anything you would get at the store.
Where to buy: around $90 on Amazon.
Juicing with Nutri Ninja Single Serve Blender with Auto IQ – Nutri Ninja BL48
The Nutri Ninja BL48 line of blenders can be used for a bunch of small scale blending. That’s because these bullet blenders are built with the same capabilities as their larger counterparts. For example, these units are built around a 1,000-watt motor. That’s almost as strong as a full-size blender, which is impressive.
Chances are, you’ll also be impressed with this model’s general operations. To make a smoothie, for example, you need to start by finely chopping up your ingredients.
Then, add them to one of the several blending jars that come with these models. These include an 18 oz., a 24 oz., and 32 oz.jar that can meet your need for differing blend sizes.
Once your jar is filled to the fill line, you can pop on a blending cap with the blades facing into the jar. Then, invert the whole unit and place it onto the unit’s base. You can then select the basic “blend” button to initiate this multi-purpose mode.
After that process finishes, you can remove the jar from the base, invert it, remove its cap, and begin enjoying your blend immediately.
The Nutri Ninja BL48 blenders don’t have many “special modes” to speak of. Instead, they usually feature special enhancement modes that can help you do more with less.
For example, one model (BL 482) in this line includes an “ultra-blend” mode. This mode kicks the unit up to the next level to achieve an ultra-smooth final texture.
Meanwhile, another Ninja model in this line (BL 487) features a mode that accounts explicitly for texture. To be specific, this model includes a “smooth boost” button. In practice, this button varies the unit’s speed slightly while it is in use. This creates a silkier texture that cannot be achieved through manual inputs alone.
Usefulness for Juicing
This line of Ninja blenders is only partially useful for juicing. That’s because only specific models are built with juicing in mind. This includes the BL 487 model, which consists of an “extract” function.
To make full use of it, fill your blending jar as usual and press this mode button. You’ll find that the final result is far more juice-like than the regular smoothie blend.
Meanwhile, other models in this line of blenders can juice to an extent. To do this, you’ll need to start with well-cut ingredients. This will make it easier to juice without requiring as much blending.
Once those ingredients are added, add on the blending lid and mount the unit. You can then use the pulse setting for about 5 seconds before checking the blend’s constancy. Continue doing this until a juice-like mix is made.
Where to buy: around $70 on Amazon.
Things You Should Consider
Like most kitchen appliances, there are a few key factors to think about. I will review them in more detail in the next section. For now, keep in mind.
- Blenders that are suitable for juicing should be able to run at very high speeds. They also should have extra sharp blades. That is what allows them to chop up the ingredients into an excellent, drinkable consistency
- The size of the container that holds the juice or smoothie blend are you a single person or a large family
- How much are you prepared to spend
- What sort of warranty makes you feel comfortable
- Do you want a blender with many features or are you happy with the basics
- Ease of use
- Ease of cleaning
What to Look for Before Buying a Blender for Juicing?
Not all blenders are made equal, and not all blenders are good for juicing. Here are some facts you will need to be aware of before setting off to buy one.
POWER – you need super-strength wattage
Power is measured in wattage. For the best blending machines that can juice, choose a machine that has a wattage of over 1000. If you want something smaller, consider a blender between 650 and 1000. Anything below 650 wattages will probably not cope with harder ingredients and may even end up getting damaged.
VARIABLE SPEEDS are a handy extra feature
Once you get started with the juicing/blending craze, you will undoubtedly want to be more versatile and experiment. Many blenders have automatic settings that adjust to the contents in the machine. However, it certainly sounds exciting to be able to pulse, blend, stir, grind, liquefy, chop, ice crush, grate, self-clean, go high, and go low.
Why miss out on these variable settings? They allow you to create any consistency from excellent delicate drinks, to smooth purées and thick chunky soups.
BLADES must be sturdy and powerful
Blending fruits and veggies into chunky pieces is one thing, but turning them into a juice requires extra strength, powerful blades. The blades have to spin tremendous speeds and be able to reduce a solid into a liquid. Stainless Steel blades are the best choice as they are firm, long-lasting, and durable.
Stainless Steel is a material that will never tarnish or lose its shine. It does not rust and will not retain odors. Checking for the word ‘aircraft-grade’ blades will ensure that you are getting the strongest blades available. If the blender claims to be able to crush ice and nuts, you can also be sure that the blades are super strong.
PITCHER CAPACITY depends on the size of your family
Are you blending in your trendy bachelor pad, or are you blending in a large family kitchen? You will find that the capacity of benders varies quite substantially.
You can get a mini 14oz (0,4 liter) blender that is ideal for a single person on-the-go. Many even have a lid, so you can blend, grab the container, snap on the cover and you have a travel cup to take along.
Larger blenders offer anything from 24oz (0.7 liters) up to 64oz (1.8 liters) capacity. Make sure you choose a pitcher size that suits your requirements. You don’t want to have to blend or juice multiple times to get the quantity you need.
SELF-CLEANING makes your life so much easier
Washing up dirty appliances is no fun. Look for a blender with a self-cleaning setting. All you do is put in a drop of washing-up liquid, add warm water, turn to the self-clean setting and run.
Depending on the type of blender, it can take anything from 10 to 60 seconds. Empty and rinse. This function ensures that your machine is always hygienic, clean, and ready for use, saving you the hassle and time.
BPA-FREE is an added perk
I find that as one becomes more and more health-conscious, choosing BPA-free containers for your food makes sense. Why allow toxic chemicals to leach into your fresh fruit juices after you have taken all the trouble to make something healthy? Look out for blenders that offer BPA-free containers. It is an added perk.
PRICE – decide on your budget first
Cheap may not be good, but expensive doesn’t always live up to its promise. Like most appliances in your kitchen, blenders come in a wide range of price points. You can pay from $20 to over $200 or even more, depending on the brand, functions, and quality of the machine.
Blenders with smaller capacity generally cost less, as one would expect. Don’t pay excessive amounts for a top of the range blenders, when the middle of the range option will probably do just as well.
When shopping, decide on your from-to budget and stick with it. Don’t be tempted to cut corners and purchase a cheapie. Read the online reviews given by genuine users and make a decision based on their experiences. You do want your appliance to last for a good many years, and you certainly don’t want to have to return it after using it once.
WARRANTIES puts your mind at ease
Always buy an appliance that comes with a warranty that will put your mind at ease, knowing that you will get support if something goes wrong. And, you can even get a full replacement if necessary. The more extended the warranty, the more superior the product usually is.
Many manufacturers also offer tech support as it is excellent for those of us who may need help with the initial set-up or who may get confused by the many options and settings when you are ready to start.
What You Should Know About Juice and Smoothies Extracted From Blenders
Here are some of the key points to know about drinks made in a blender. Because you are making a fresh, healthy drink (either by juicing or blending), the pros certainly outweigh the cons. Check out my quick list in point form that gives you the most critical facts.
- A juicer separates the fiber from the fruit or vegetables extracting the juice as a drink
- The juice is a light, excellent consistency
- One con of pure fruit juice is that the sugar content is high. You may want to start with a smaller glass size, allowing your body to get used to the sugar content
- The extract from juicers eliminates fibers. This is ideal for people who want to follow a low-fiber diet
- If you want a healthy diet, you would need to ensure that you are getting enough fiber from the rest of your food
- The nutrients in a juiced drink are absorbed very quickly into the body and offer an instant energy pick-up
- Juicers are great for a refreshing drink, but you should not use it as a meal replacement
- A blender processes whole fruits or vegetables including the pulp and fibers
- Blenders make a thicker drink
- Blending offers more variety, allowing you to create fine to chunky beverages, soups, dips, sauces, shakes, and even waffle batter
- Blenders will also chop up ingredients that you cannot easily juice like avocados, bananas, nuts, grains, and ice
- The nutrients in a blended drink are processed more slowly by the body
- Mixed smoothie-type beverages can be used as meal replacements as they are packed full of healthy ingredients including the fiber
Q. How does a juicer differ from a blender?
A. As you know, a blender is a multi-purpose unit that can crush up or liquefy many different food types. They can even be used to combine foods, such as when you make a fruit drink with milk.
But these devices don’t have any method to filter out the less tasty parts of a fruit or veggie. That’s why you sometimes get seeds and extra pulp in your blender-made juice.
Meanwhile, a purpose-built juicer can extract fruit and veggie juice without nearly as many drawbacks. Almost every model includes a filter system that removes excess pulp. As such, they provide more control over the juice’s consistency and texture.
Most juicers are “gentler” on produce as well. As such, they are less likely to tear up the many valuable nutrients locked in your favorite fruits and veggies.
Q. Can you use a blender to juice?
A. Sure, you can. But blender-made juice simply cannot stack up to juice made with a purpose-built appliance. For example, blender-made juice tends to be thicker when it comes to texture.
This is because it contains all of the fruit and veggie pulp (not to mention any seeds!) Blender-made juices don’t tend to last as long, either. This is likely because they chop up many internal nutrients, leading to quicker spoilage.
Q. Is a juicer better than a blender?
A. Without a doubt, a juicer is better than a blender when it comes to juicing fruits, veggies, and more. This is because a juicer has been built for someone like you that understands the difference between good and bad juice.
That’s why a personal juicer always filters out some amount of pulp. This small action makes a big difference when it comes to overall flavor and texture.
Also, a juicer is far easier to maintain on a day to day basis. That’s because many modern models are built with dishwasher-safe plastics that don’t stain or leak. As a result, a juicer is a far better choice if you want to be able to participate in your new favorite hobby every day.
Conclusion: Which Blender is Best for Juicing?
After becoming somewhat of an expert on juicing and blending, I can say that buying a blender that can also juice is the best choice. It gives the versatility of both options in one machine. This suits me great, as my kitchen is not that big, and having two separate machines will take up unnecessary space.
Using a blender that can juice, I have all the choices. I can decide to make refreshing, fresh fruit juices to sip on a summer day. If I don’t want to cook up a big meal, we can enjoy blended smoothies as meal replacements. On a cold winter’s night, nothing beats a hearty, delicious soup to warm up the family.
Best blenders that can juice come in a range of prices with many different features. Each machine has its unique pros and cons which I will highlight which should help you decide on the one best suited for your needs.
As you can see, you have many options when it comes to juicing with a blender. Each of the top-tier models mentioned above will allow you to make your healthy juice at home without investing a ton into single-use equipment. Using the techniques described above, you can go from a novice to an at-home juicing pro in no time flat.
However, if I were to recommend any single one of these models for their juicing capabilities, I’d choose the Ninja Duo w/Micro-Juice Technology every time.
This model’s removable filter basket is as close to a juicer filtration system as you will ever get with a consumer-grade juicer. As a result, this unit outputs near-perfect juice every time, no matter what ingredients you use.