Do you want to add the perfect blender to your kitchen? Are you unsure of what type of blender you’re looking for? Here’s a guide to the best blenders and how to choose the right one for your needs.
A blender is something we all grew up using. It was used for anything from Mom’s delicious homemade milkshakes to your traditional morning protein shake. But chances are you weren’t using the perfect blender for your needs.
Blenders come in all shapes and sizes, and finding the right appliance is essential to saving time and money.
To figure out which is the best machine for you, you’ll need to decide what it is you want to use it for. Then you can enjoy milkshakes that are way better than mom used to make (if that’s your thing).
What Is a Blender?
A blender is a kitchen appliance that blends ingredients by mixing, pureeing, or emulsifying them.
No two appliances are exactly alike, although they generally come in several categories: countertop, immersion, and personal.
A blender is a staple of most kitchens used to preparing anything from smoothies to sorbets.
Modern blending machines come with a variety of functions that make them a lot more versatile. They also have added features that increase convenience and allow you to use machines hands-free.
A blender is a great way to add fresh fruit and vegetables to your diet in the form of a simple smoothie.
How Does Blender Work?
It works by using spinning blades at the bottom of a jar to blend solid ingredients in a liquid. Typically you start by adding liquid, then solid ingredients such as fruit or ice to the jar.
You can even add powders if you like. You then place the lid on top of the jar and put it on the blending base.
After pushing the start button, the blending blades will create a vortex to whir the ingredients in a circular motion that creates a vacuum at the center of the machine jar and pulls the solid ingredients inward.
It works similarly to a tornado with the fast speed and vortex motion.
Once the ingredients have all been combined and blended, they’ll achieve a smooth consistency, which will result in an evenly blended smoothie.
What’s the Difference Between Blending and Juicing?
The most significant difference between blending and juicing is the separation of the fiber from the juice. Juicers take out the fiber and leave you with only the juice from the produce.
Blenders, on the other hand, blend the whole fruit/vegetable and leave the fiber in the final product.
Juicers usually create a thinner juice, providing you with fast-releasing sugar and nutrition without the fiber to slow down digestion.
Blenders will give you a thicker smoothie that’s typically more filling due to the fiber that remains.
Which one you prefer depends on whether or not you want a filling smoothie or an energy-boosting juice.
What is a blender suitable for?
- Mixing. One of the most straightforward functions of a blender is the mix function that combines ingredients into a smooth and even consistency. It’s perfect for recipes with ingredients like chicken or tuna.
- Pureeing. If you’re looking for something that’s incredibly finely blended, you’ll want to puree it. You will make a finely blended soup that’s free of any chunks.
- Stirring. This function works well for those who like a thicker texture. If you’re looking to make thick and creamy milkshakes, you’ll want to use the stir setting.
- Chopping. The chop setting helps break down ingredients into smaller pieces that can be useful when making chunky soups, salsas, or casseroles.
- Liquefying. If you like your smoothie to go down quickly, you’ll want to liquefy it that will turn it into what is essentially a thick juice. Although it will still retain the fiber, it will be quick and easy to drink.
What Type Of Blender Is Right For You?
- Standard. Conventional countertop blenders are also known as full-size blenders. These are most likely the blenders you grew up using, as they’re the most common. They’re usually pretty straightforward and easy to use.
Most come with a couple of different speed settings that help you adjust based on the desired consistency. Standard countertop blenders are usually pretty big, although many are easy to store when you’re not using them.
They may also come with a couple of different functions, such as mixing, chopping, and pureeing. These blenders can usually handle most ingredients, including ice and frozen fruit.
- High-Performance. High-performance blenders are going to be the most versatile. They can handle both soft and hard ingredients. They also usually come with a variety of features and accessories for performing various food processor functions.
High-performance blenders can be used to make nut butters, knead the dough, grind the coffee, and more. They are typically on the more expensive side, but they can replace multiple appliances. They’re the right choice for those who love to cook and experiment in the kitchen.
- Personal. Small personal blenders are the simplest of blending machines. They’re often small enough to store and take with you on-the-go. Many of them come with to-go lids that allow you to drink straight out of the blending jar. These blenders usually don’t have quite as powerful a motor as conventional blenders.
However, many of them are powerful enough to rival an excellent full-size blender. They’re an excellent choice for anyone who likes to drink their smoothie on the go. They’re also suitable for people who live alone and don’t want to worry about the cleanup. A single-serve bullet blender is going to be one of the least expensive options.
Handheld. An immersion hand blender is going to be the most inexpensive option. These are handheld blenders that are lightweight and easily stored.
You use one by inserting the blender into the bowl or pot and turning it on. It then blends the ingredients around in the container itself.
Using an immersion blender does require a bit more effort than a regular blender.
Immersion blenders are best used for cooking purposes, especially when pureeing soups. They work best with softer ingredients, as they usually have a hard time handling hard or frozen produce.
Immersion blenders are going to be less powerful than other blenders, but they’re super portable.
Factors To Consider Before Buying a Blender
Why do you need a blender?
The list of reasons for needing a blender is endless. Most people already have a blender at home, but chances are it isn’t right for your needs.
Do you have a blender that makes thick and foamy smoothies that aren’t well blended?
You should upgrade to something with a smoother consistency that will give you a much more enjoyable smoothie and increase its shelf life.
Another excellent reason for getting a blender is if you want to perform a bunch of different food processing functions.
A versatile, high-performance blender will be a blender and food processor all in one. If you fancy yourself a chef, you’ll want a blender that’s up to the job.
Anyone who wants to add some nutrition to his or her diet will benefit from a blender. A smoothie is an excellent way of getting fast-releasing nutrition quickly and easily.
You won’t have to worry about eating a bunch of fruits and vegetables first thing in the morning. Just blast it all in the blender and drink it on the go!
If you need a blender to make delicious drinks for the whole family, you’ll want a conventional countertop blender.
If you’re looking to make smoothies for yourself, a personal blender makes much more sense.
And if you only want to use it to help you cook, an immersion blender will serve your needs just fine.
What do you want to blend?
This is one of the most significant factors when choosing a blender. Not all blenders can handle the same ingredients equally well.
Conventional countertop blenders are usually strong enough to handle harder or frozen ingredients, but not always.
Be sure to read reviews of how well the blender can handle different ingredients.
If you’re really into frozen smoothies, you’ll need something with a strong enough motor. Many personal blenders can handle frozen ingredients, but you’ll want to make sure before you buy them.
On the flip side, if the hot soup is your thing, make sure your blender is fit for hot ingredients. Many blenders can’t handle high temperatures.
Where will you store your blender?
If you’re limited on counter space, don’t go for the full-size conventional blender. A personal or portable blender is easy to use and store.
Most immersion blenders are easy to store as well, although some are a bit too tall for easy storage. Keep in mind your available space when choosing your blender.
How much time do you have for blending?
You want to make sure that you choose a blender that doesn’t require too much time to use. Many blenders have weaker motors that require precutting the produce.
They may also need you to feed ingredients in one at a time. The higher quality the blender, the faster and easier it will blend.
The best blenders also have self-cleaning features that will allow you to just put in a little warm water and a drop of soup and press go.
You’ll also benefit from having a dishwasher safe blender that you can toss on the top rack when you’re done.
If you make single-serving smoothies and want to save time on cleanup, a personal blender is a great fit.
What are your value expectations?
It can be tempting to go with the cheapest blender if you’re looking to save money. However, it will only cost you more in the long run when you’re forced to keep replacing it.
Spending a little more on a high-quality blender will ensure it doesn’t break down.
You should also make sure to find one with a lengthy warranty to cover any potential malfunctions.
Top 10 Blender Brands
Vitamix is one of the leading brands of blenders on the market. They’re known for making high-quality, reliable blenders that perform better than any other.
Vitamix machines are usually much more expensive, typically starting at about $350. However, their lengthy warranty helps protect this investment. It will cover any failures in the motor, base, and containers.
You’ll get the stellar performance and lifetime service with a Vitamix, guaranteed.
Blendtec is a premium brand that’s well known for making high-performance blenders. They sell their blenders at specialty retailers, big box stores, and Amazon. Most of their blenders cost between $400 and $700. Blendtec’s closest competitor is Vitamix, as they’re both highly regarded when it comes to product quality.
This company is known for using advanced technology in their blenders.
Ninja is a pretty good brand known for making affordable and convenient blenders. The quality of the blender depends on which one you choose. However, they’re all pretty powerful, and most are very versatile.
Most Ninja appliances are made from plastic, which makes them a lot more affordable. They typically range from $90 to $160. A Ninja usually offers a pretty extended warranty to cover product malfunctions.
NutriBullet leads the way when it comes to portable blenders. They make mini countertop blenders that are incredibly affordable, ranging from $80 to $150.
NutriBullet is one of the most recognized brands in the world, commonly displayed on TV infomercials and big box stores.
They have four current models of bullet blenders, the best of which is the NutriBullet Pro 900.
Breville is a well-known blender brand that was founded in Australia in 1932. Their blenders come in three versions: personal, multipurpose, and immersion blenders. They are a bit on the expensive side, usually costing between $200 and $400.
Breville blenders are usually sold at specialty retailers, big box stores, and online. Their products are generally the best value for money, and they are known for their versatility.
Oster is a market-leading manufacturer of budget products that usually sold at department stores, online retailers, and appliance retailers.Most Oster blenders are priced between $20 and $100. They aren’t specialized in making blenders the same way that Vitamix and Blendtec are.
However, they can still compete with many blenders currently on the market in terms of price and design.
KitchenAid is a pretty famous brand of kitchen appliances that are based in America. Their blenders are most known for their exclusive features, which make them versatile and easy to use.
All of their blenders are eligible for free shipping, and most are available in multiple colors. KitchenAid is most known for its colorful designs. Their blenders usually cost between $60 and $270.
Homgeek is a kitchen appliance brand that designs and manufactures many different food processing equipments.
Their products are known for being fun and practical, and their mission is to make cooking simple.
Their blenders come highly reviewed and are not too expensive, usually costing around $100. Although Homgeek isn’t a leading brand, they still have a lot to offer.
9. Hamilton Beach
Hamilton Beach manufactures a wide variety of appliances, including countertop, personal, and immersion blenders.
Their products are usually available in department stores, appliance stores, and big-box retailers.
Hamilton Beach blenders range from $20 to $200. They use a patented Wave-Action that’s meant to blend ingredients with a super fine consistency.
Hamilton Beach designs most products for use by the average family.
CleanBlend is a middle of the pack option when it comes to their blenders. Their blenders are easy to use and make pretty good smoothies.
However, they are not nearly as high quality as a Vitamix or Blendtec blender. Their blenders usually cost around $180.
CleanBlend is a solid choice, but you may be able to get better value for your money with a different brand.
What Key Features Should You Look for in the Great Blender?
- 300 watts: This is going to be the most basic value you’ll get. For an immersion blender, 300 watts is excellent. It will blend soft ingredients well but will have trouble with tougher produce.
- 500 to 700 watts: This is the best wattage for making smoothies and soups. You’ll get a nice even consistency, although it may run into trouble with frozen ingredients.
- Over 700 watts: Anything over 700 watts should be able to break down all ingredients smoothly and efficiently.
- Design: The blade design will influence how well the ingredients blend. Dull blades are safer to use, and the more blades there are, the better it blends. The angle of the blades will impact the kind of vortex that’s created during the blending process.
- Material: A high motor power is useless without sturdy blades. Stainless steel is ideal because you want to make sure it’s durable and resistant to corrosion.
- Countertop full-size blenders: These will usually be around 40 to 72 oz. that is perfect for families or people who like making multiple batches of smoothies at once.
- Personal blenders: Most personal blenders have a capacity of between 16 and 30 oz. If you like a larger smoothie, you can get away with a 30 oz. personal blender. If you’re looking for something smaller, the smaller cups are easier to clean.
- Immersion blenders: Immersion blenders usually have shafts with a length of 10-12 inches. Higher-grade immersion blenders will have 15-21 inch shafts, but professional chefs typically use these.
- Plastic: Plastic is the most common material for blenders. They’re convenient and lightweight, not to mention durable. However, they are prone to scratching and denting with frozen ingredients. You want to make sure they’re BPA-free.
- Glass: Glass jars are very sturdy and easy to see through. They’re simple to clean and won’t discolor. They also repel food odors, unlike plastic. However, they are more prone to shattering.
- Stainless steel: This is a common material for commercial blenders. They’re the most powerful and durable, but you can’t see through them.
Control Panel Settings
- Blending control: Button control panels are the most convenient because they’re less prone to damage than touch panels. Dial controls are also easy to use.
- Various speeds: You want a blender that offers different speeds so you can achieve the desired texture. A pulse feature also helps you blast any remaining chunks.
- Blending food settings: The options to stir, chop, mix, puree, and liquefy are essential for food processing. Many high-performance blenders will have these and more.
Ice crushing is a common feature of blenders, especially for people who love making cocktails or specialty drinks.
Make sure your blender has a motor power high enough to handle it and blades strong enough to endure ice crushing.
The higher the motor power, the noisier the blender. You want to be able to blend without waking up your whole family in the morning.
Many high-performance blenders will come with noise reduction features to help inhibit the noise.
Lid Quality and Build
Leaking is a huge concern with most blenders, so you need an airtight lid. Lids with removable caps allow you to add ingredients while blending. Some even have to pour spouts to prevent mess when pouting.
If you want to use your blender for more than just making smoothies, you’ll need to choose one with added functions.
Many high-performance blenders can heat soups, grind the coffee, and make frozen sorbets.
The more versatile the blender, the more expensive it will be. However, it can be worth the added price if you make use of it.
Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning time is a huge hassle. Get a blender with a self-cleaning function, or at least one that’s dishwasher safe that will save you time and effort when you’re done making your smoothie.
You don’t want to shell out $300 for a blender only for it to break a month later. Ensure your blender comes with a lengthy warranty to help protect your investment.
How Much Do Blenders Cost?
This depends hugely on what type of blender you’re buying. You can buy a pretty decent personal or immersion blender for under $100.
However, when it comes to full-size countertop blenders, the more you spend, the better.
You’ll want to shell out around $150-300 to make sure you’re getting a high-quality blender that won’t break down.
More expensive blenders are usually better at blending ingredients and will be a lot more durable.
Budget blenders are going to be between $35-$50. They’ll typically have low wattage, and will only be good for softer ingredients.
They won’t have much versatility, but they’ll get the job done. Blenders at this price will usually be much smaller.
Medium priced blenders will cost around $75-150. You can find a decent blender at this price, and many will be powerful enough to crush ice and frozen fruit. But the high-performance blenders will cost $200-$600.
These are going to be the top-tier blenders with added capabilities and speed control. They usually come with a more extended warranty as well.
Tips For Blending
- Know when to spend less. If you want a simple smoothie in the morning, you don’t need to spend $300. An $80 personal blender will do just fine.
- Add ingredients in the right order. Start with the liquid to cover the blades, and then add powders/solid ingredients. You may want to blend the powders with the liquid first to keep it from sticking to the sides.
- Avoid bubbles. You don’t want your blender to get stuck because of an air bubble. Avoid using too much-frozen fruit or ice to keep it from getting locked up.
- Use a tamper. Many blenders come with a tamper that helps you move the ingredients around while blending that prevents it from getting stuck.
- Precut large produce. Don’t expect too much of your blender. Cut large fruits and vegetables at least in half before blending.
- Heat soup. Many high-performance blenders can be used to heat soup with the friction of the blades.
- Aerate wine. You can easily add air to wine by whirling it for 30 seconds.
- Clean it by using it. Add a drop of dish soap and some warm water and let it spin to clean it quickly.
How To Clean Your Blender
One easy way to clean the blender carafe is by adding warm water and a drop of dish soap. Then blend it for about a minute on medium speed.
This will take away any stains or odor. You can also use chopped lemon to remove stains/smells.
A bristly scrub will help you get rid of stains, as will a toothbrush. If your carafe is dirty, soak it overnight in baking soda, vinegar, and soap.
You should always let it air-dry to prevent condensation and bacterial growth.
The base should be cleaned with a soft sponge or warm towel. Always clean the base to prevent it from smelling or getting sticky.
If spills get dry, you can scrub them off with a toothbrush. You also want to make sure to clean the buttons on the panel with a Q-tip dipped in alcohol, vinegar, or soap.
You need to detach the blade to clean it thoroughly that will reduce rust and stains. You can hand wash them with soap and hot water, scrubbing them with a toothbrush if necessary.
Polident tablets can be used to soak the blades and clean them if they’re super dirty.
You should also lubricate blades before you attach them with olive or vegetable oil to maintain their quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the difference between a blender and a mixer?
A. A blender uses blades to cut the ingredients and blend them together. A mixer, on the other hand, uses paddles and whisks to mix ingredients.
Mixers are better used for mixing ingredients when baking. Blenders are typically meant to make smoothies and blend tougher ingredients.
Q. What is the best wattage for a blender?
A. This depends on the type of blender you’re going for. If you want an immersion blender, then the answer is 200-300 watts.
If it’s a personal blender, between 500 and 900 watts will blast through most ingredients.
Full-size countertop blenders should be no less than 700 watts if you don’t want the motor to overheat.
Q. Can you use a blender as a food processor?
A. Many blenders can be used as food processors. High-performance blenders come with many food processor functions that make them super versatile.
You can grind the coffee, extrude pasta, make nut butter, and frozen sorbets with many blenders.
However, they’ll likely be much more expensive than your typical blender.
Q. Can you use a blender instead of a juicer?
A. You can use a blender instead of a juicer if you’re okay with drinking a thicker juice. A blender will keep the fiber from the produce you blend, so you’ll get a thicker drink.
This will be a lot more satiating than a thin juice. If you don’t like pulp, you’ll want to go for a juicer.
That will separate the pulp from the juice and give you a glass of juice with fast-releasing nutrition.
Q. Can an immersion blender replace a full-size countertop blender?
A. In many cases, it can. If you use a blender for cooking and making pureed soups, an immersion blender will work just fine if you like to blend ice and frozen fruit, not so much.
Immersion blenders are not good at combining frozen or hard ingredients. So if you plan on blending a nice frozen smoothie, you’ll need to buy a bigger blender.
Q. What is the “Pulse” function?
A. The pulse function is an incredibly useful feature on most blenders. It allows you to control the speed of the machine without having to run it indefinitely. With a pulse button, you can spin the blades as long as you want, from the span of one second to several seconds.
This allows you to get rid of any remaining chunks at the end of the blending process. It’s also a great way to dissolve powders into liquid if you’re making a protein shake. You can use the pulse feature before adding the frozen fruit to make sure the powder is fully dissolved.
Q. What foods should you not put in your blender?
A. While blenders are incredibly versatile, there are certain things you should never put in your blender. Potatoes don’t mash well in a machine, and egg whites and cream don’t whip well either. Unless the blender has an extraction setting, you shouldn’t try to extract juice from fruits and vegetables. Try investing in a high-quality juicer if you’re looking to make juice.
Don’t use a blender to grind raw meats or blend hard vegetables. Don’t use it for kneading or processing dough unless it’s specifically designed for that function. If an appliance is capable of doing more than crushing ice or making smoothies, the user manual will tell you.
Q. What blender wattage is best for crushing ice?
A. A blender with a wattage of 1000 watts to 1500 watts should be able to crush ice easily. This wattage also allows for your blender to handle any frozen fruit as well.
Conclusion: Which Blender Is Right For You?
There is a wide array of blenders out there of all different shapes and sizes. It can be impossible to know which to choose from, but the decision doesn’t have to be that difficult.
By following our guide to the best blenders, you should be able to choose one that fits your needs.
If you love to cook and want something versatile, go for the Ninja Mega Kitchen System. It will become your most used appliance and best friend in the kitchen.
If you’re concerned about your budget, the Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher is a modest investment that goes a long way.
My personal favorite is the NutriBullet Pro 900. It can rival many full-size blenders and handles most ingredients with ease.
But the most important thing is to choose to go out and buy a blender. Don’t wait to start enjoying this versatile kitchen appliance — buy a blender today!
Drop us a line if you have questions, comments or an enjoyable experience with a any blender that you’d like to share. We’d love to hear from you.