Who Needs Blenders
Blenders can do a lot of work for us. From chopping to mashing and pureeing, a blender can help you perform multiple tasks in seconds rather than preparing everything separately and taking ages to complete each task.
A sous chef may find that it’s a great inconvenience to be without one, though not completely paralyzing. It has become a very handy appliance in the kitchen. Today, blenders are very popular in preparing health drinks and super foods, and have become an essential in the way of living for fitness enthusiasts.
But what kind of blender do you need for your home? How do you choose one? This guide will give you the basic things you need to know about blenders, the different types of blenders and what they’re best for, as well as tips on using them. And hopefully help you in picking the right one for your home.
Best Blenders Buying Guide Comparison Table 2017
|Magic Bullet NutriBullet Pro 900||4.5||$$$||Bullet/ Countertop|
|Hamilton Beach 51101B Personal Blender||4.5||$||Personal Blender|
|Cuisinart CSB-75BC||4.5||$||Hand Blender|
|Ninja Master Prep (QB900B)||4.5||$||Countertop|
|Magic Bullet NutriBullet 12-Piece||4||$$||Bullet/ Countertop|
|Nutri Ninja Pro (BL450)||4.5||$$||Bullet/ Countertop|
|Ninja Professional Blender (BL660)||4||$$$||Countertop|
|Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender||4.5||$$$$||Countertop|
|Cuisinart CSB-79||4.5||$$||Hand Blender|
|Magic Bullet NBR-1201R 12-Piece||4||$$||Personal/ Bullet|
How to Choose the Best Blender
Choosing a blender can be confusing. But it all depends on where you intend to use it the most. Chances are, you will find more uses for your blender as you use it. So it is always good to have something versatile. Before we compare the different types of blenders, here are the important things that you need to consider.
The Ice Test
Smoothie enthusiasts say, (Yes, there are smoothie enthusiasts!) that if a blender passes the ice test, it is pretty much good to go. A good blender must be able to crush ice. Not just cut them down in tiny bits – the mark of a high-quality blender is – ice that is fine and smooth; especially when you want to make shakes and smoothies. Watch out for blenders that break down when crushing ice. Some have reported blades burning after. Read customer reviews and product reviews online to know of potential problems like this from other users.
The performance of a blender depends on its motor. But how much power do you really need? For light duty and occasional use, 350 watts of power may be enough. That is for very very light use. And I do not recommend it. Unless you are on a very tight budget. Why? – an appliance is an investment. You want to be able to use it when you need to, unless it’s really going to be rarely used. For most jobs, and let’s say, regular use, 800 watts of power is sufficient.
For smaller blenders though, like personal blenders, where the power is very much concentrated in the small container, 400 watts may be very good. Check our Ninja Master Prep (QB900B) Review.
You also want to make sure that it has the good horsepower to perform efficiently. For making lots of smoothies and crushing ice – 2-3 horsepower is great. The Vitamix Professional 750 has 2.2 Hp but it is a lot more expensive than other brands.
Having more than one-speed setting gives you more control over the consistency and texture of the food and drinks you blend. Going very fast can help you achieve finer results while slowing down the speed can help you retain some texture – great for mashed potatoes.
The blades are responsible for one thing. You’ve guessed it – cutting! Of course, the sharper the blades, the better. But lately, manufacturers are trying new designs on their blades. The Ninja Master Prep is an example. It uses double blades to create a smooth and fine blend. The shape and number of blades contribute to the consistency of the food while spinning. Dry blades are great for grinding oats, grains, and mixing dough while wet blades are great for blending liquids and crushing ice. Some manufacturers make malfunction blades so you don’t have to keep switching between jobs.
The pitcher/ carafe/ jar/ cup can be either glass of plastic. Most prefer glass. It is classier and easier to clean. However, glass can be heavier and easier to break. Plastics are more practical. Just make sure that they are BPA free.
Here are a few more things that may not seem important but can make a huge difference in the quality of the results and ease of use.
Make sure that the lid of the container or pitcher can be tightly closed to avoid spilling.
It would be a great deal of help if the spouts of your containers are drip free.
The handle should be easy to grip so you don’t strain your hands while blending. This is specially important for hand blenders. The KitchenAid KHB2351CU 3-Speed Hand Blender features a rubberized grip for easier handling.
You want to consider the weight, size, and design of your blender for easy storage. It’s best to have something that is not too bulky so you will have more room to move on the counter.
Most blenders today include parts that are dishwasher safe. This will save you a lot of time in cleaning. The Ninja Master Prep (QB900B) is not only dishwasher safe but can also be placed in the microwave.
It would be nice if the base has an anti-slip rubber to keep your blender securely in place.
Here are Some Interesting Features That You Might Find Useful
this is considered a special speed setting. Pulse lets you activate the blades as you push instead of continually running the blades and is ideal for achieving a certain texture to your mixture.
Some blenders, especially commercial blenders, can heat the food as you blend. The Vitamix Professional 750 is an example. This is great for making hot soups right out of the blender and would be very useful in restaurants.
Butter Nuts/ Peanut Butter
Some blenders can grind nuts to a very fine consistency that can make good peanut butter, butternuts or hazelnut spread.
others feature automatic Cleaning, where you just have to put water in the blender with some mild detergent, and then push a button for the machine to perform automatic rinsing.
Some blenders would not activate the blades unless the lid is securely closed on the container to avoid accidents.
Types of Blenders
Here are The Basic Types of Blenders and What they’re Best For
These are the most common blenders in use. They can do most jobs, blend juices, grind dry food, even crush ice and they are suitable for light to moderate use. They typically have around 40 – 70 oz capacity or 6-10 cups and cost anywhere between $15 – 150.
As the name suggests, these blenders can be operated with one hand. They look like bigger versions of an egg beater; some are plastic and some are stainless steel. They are about 12 inches long and are very lightweight. The motor of the blender is integrated in the handle and the blade is on the tip. Some have a stick design like the Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick 2-Speed Immersion Hand Blender; they can be used to blend and mix right from the bowl or pitcher.
These are great for mixing soups right from the pot; also great for making small servings of mashed potatoes, or a glass of slushy. Some models include attachments to make them more versatile, like the Cuisinart CSB-79 Smart Stick 2-Speed 200-watt Immersion Hand Blender with Attachments. It comes with a chopper attachment where you attach the handle to activate the blade inside the closed chopping bowl. These can cost between $20 – $100.
These are also called single serve blenders. They usually come with one or two personal sized cups, typically with a travel lid that has a spout so you can take them with you on the road. They are very compact. The Hamilton Beach 51101B Personal Blender with Travel Lid, comes with a cord organizer so you can tuck the cord in and bring the whole thing with you. They can be used to make single glasses of smoothies, although they only have about 200 watts of power. They cost around $15 – $70.
Special Types of Blenders
There are more types of blenders especially since manufacturers have been coming up with more versatile models recently. But here are the most popular ones.
These can be considered both as personal blenders and countertop type. The container must be covered with the lid that has the blade and put upside-down on the motor base. To start blending, you have to push the container down with a pulse action. The Magic Bullet NutriBullet came out first and now other brands have come up with their own version, like the Nutri Ninja Pro.
There are blenders that combine all of the above features and sometimes have food processor capabilities. The Ninja Ultima Blender Plus (BL830) is a professional, high-speed countertop blender that also lets you blend in single serve cups.
Definitely, there are other factors that you need to consider in choosing a blender for your home. It depends on your lifestyle and how much serving you need to make, and of course, your personal preferences. Always check the warranty. And as the ultimate advice, always remember that a blender is an investment. If you’re not restrained by a very tight budget, it’s good to spend a little more on a high-quality machine that will last longer than one that will just break after a few months.