Among the many different kitchen appliances, blenders are among the most popular. In fact, more than 90% of households in the United States report having a blender at home. Some might say that a kitchen blender is not important, but there are others that rely heavily on their blender and would be lost without one. Using a blender can help in making food preparation more efficient and save time in the kitchen.
If you do not have a blender yet or thinking of upgrading your current one, buying can be a daunting task. It may sound simple, but with many options available in the market today, it takes some time and consideration to make sure that you are getting the blender that is perfect for your needs. If you haven’t made up your mind yet on what blender to buy, we are here to help you. In this post, we are giving you a guide to choosing the right blender for your needs.
Different Uses of Blenders
When you visit an appliance store or when you search online, there are many different options when it comes to blenders. This is because different types of blenders also offer various functions. Blenders can be intimidating to use for some people, as they come with a variety of blade types, sizes, settings, and more. To help you choose, let us first learn about the different uses of blenders.
The most popular use of blenders is for making smoothies. It is a beverage made by pureeing ingredients using a blender. It has a liquid base, such as milk, yogurt, fruit juice, or ice cream. It has a shake-like consistency and sometimes includes supplemental powders for those who love to work out. Various fruits and other ingredients can be blended together to make smoothies.
One of the most common tasks done by a blender is chopping vegetables. This can be done by two methods, which are wet chopping and dry chopping. Dry chopping is perfect for smaller amounts of vegetables. To do this, you can turn your blender on a low speed and drop the vegetables onto the blade while the motor is running. Wet chopping, on the other hand, is great for a larger amount of vegetables. For instance, if you want to chop a head of cabbage, you can start adding large chunks of it to the blender, followed by enough water to float the chunks off of the blade. You can pulse the blender until you reach your desired texture, then strain the vegetables.
Making Dairy-Free Milk
Today, milk alternatives are becoming popular. However, store-bought brands usually contain additives, such as sugars, emulsifiers, and preservatives. Therefore, if you want a healthier option, you can make dairy-free milk at home by using a high-speed blender. It can whip together water and your preferred nuts into a cream, delicious base for cereal, smoothies, or on its own without straining needed.
For those who are into a gluten-free diet, it is quite challenging and expensive to track down wheat flour alternatives. But did you know that if you own a blender, it can be simple and inexpensive to make your own homemade rice, quinoa, and even classic wheat flour? All you have to do is load up the container with the dry grain of choice and increase the speed slowly, blending to the degree of fineness that you prefer.
If you find kneading dough a tough and daunting task, you can also use the powerful blades that a blender offers to make the job easier. The blender can help the mix aerate and puff up well in the oven. All you have to do is blend up the dry ingredients first before adding the wet and pulse until the ball forms.
A blender is also very helpful for making sauces from fruits and vegetables. The secret to making the most delicious sauces is to use fresh ingredients. Since a lot of foods contain some water, the resulting sauce can be watery. Therefore, adding some cornstarch to thicken it is the key. A blender can help you save time in mixing all of the ingredients that you need to create the sauce.
These are just some of the common uses of blenders, but there are more uses out there that you can discover. In fact, some people use blenders to make cocktails and Frappuccinos. Maybe you can also discover more ways to use a blender when you get one.
Different Types of Blenders
One of the most important things to consider when buying a blender is what type to choose. As we’ve mentioned earlier, there are various types of blenders available in the market today, and they all vary in blades, speeds, and other functions, which can be confusing if you are not sure of what you need. To further help you choose, below are the different types of blenders and what each of them can offer you:
This is the most popular type of blender, and it is probably what comes into most people’s minds when they hear the word blender. It is a countertop appliance that includes a base that contains the motor, a clear pitcher or jar, and a plastic lid. It is the traditional kitchen blender that you can also spot in bars, coffee shops, and smoothie shops. Countertop blenders offer multiple speeds that are made for blending, mixing, chopping, and more.
Most countertop blenders have a larger 64 oz or almost 2-liter capacity. Therefore, they are perfect for making drinks for a party or a family. However, for this type of blender, you must first check carefully before blending hot liquids. It’s because most countertop blenders are made for cool liquids.
It is a great type of blender for making smoothies and other refreshing drinks. But since they are powerful, you can also use them to mix most things. The downside of countertop blenders is that they are pretty bulky. They are also quite noisy, and there’s a risk of damaging the blades and the glass.
Immersion blenders are also referred to as hand blenders or stick blenders. This type of blender allows you to mix ingredients directly in a bowl, pot, or cup. It is compact and easy to store, which is perfect for those who have limited spaces in their kitchens or those who wish to have a blender that they can bring when traveling. Also, immersion blenders do not have a jar with a set capacity, allowing you to blend a little or a lot at once.
One of the best uses of an immersion blender is to blend soups and hot liquids. They are also perfect to be used for quick mixes, such as when blending the powder with liquid. It can be used to create protein shakes and instant pudding. Immersion blenders are also easy to clean, and most of them are dishwasher-safe.
The downside of an immersion blender is that the blade is exposed, and you have to maintain pressure on the button to make the blender go. It is also not as powerful as countertop blenders. While some may crush ice, they are generally best for blending soup and other liquids.
A single-serve blender is also commonly known as a bullet blender. They are personal blenders that have been made popular by the NutriBullet blenders, the Magic Bullet, and the Ninja Range. These blenders come in various sizes but mostly have the capacity to create a single or double-serve drink.
Single-serve blenders are the original smoothie makers, as they are great for chopping frozen fruits, ice, and nuts to make delicious drinks. You can also use them to make a quick omelet or pancake batter. But they can only be used to create very liquid recipes. One of the best things about this type of blender is speed, as it is very quick in turning chunky ingredients into smooth liquid. Also, the blade is securely contained inside the bullet container, and there is no way to touch them, making it safe for everyone to use.
However, not all single-serve blenders are made equal. Some can pulverize chia seeds and raspberry, but most will not. Leaking is also a common issue with personal blenders. This is due to the blade not being attached firmly enough to the container at most times.
This type of blender is probably the most powerful, and it is mostly used by businesses. Commercial blenders are intended to suit a heavy user and are designed to blend more robust ingredients. This is a great choice if you plan to make large batches of dips or make smoothies and ice drinks daily.
Commercial blenders have big motors and a more robust build. But if you intend to use them in a commercial kitchen, checking the warranty is essential. It’s because some are labeled as “commercial” but are really intended for high-use home users instead of high-use commercial users.
Of course, when the motor is more powerful, it also generally comes with a much higher price tag. Also, certain ingredients can be difficult to clean, especially sticky syrups. But most commercial blenders are theoretically self-cleaning if you just add a little water and dishwashing liquid.
A portable blender is a fairly new type introduced in the market and not be confused with personal blenders or single-serve bullet blenders. Portable blenders are made up of a clear glass tube, one end screws into the blade base that contains the motor. The other end screws into the lid. They are lightweight and smaller than the usual hydro flask, making them very portable.
This type of blender is perfect for those who want to make fresh smoothies while traveling. It is great for those who are often at the gym or in the office. You can also use them to make baby food on the go. Portable blenders also run on rechargeable batteries and are charged using a standard USB charger.
Another type of blender is a stand mixer or also known as a cake mixer. In addition to using them for making cake batters, they can also be used to make bread dough and heavy cookie dough easily. There are also options to add blenders, food grinders, or even pasta cutting tools.
Stand mixers are perfect for home bakers. They have powerful motors that can mix up the heavy and sticky dough. However, they are big and bulky and pretty heavy, too. They can also take up a lot of space on your kitchen counter. Stand mixers are also challenging to clean as the actual mixer itself and not just the bowl tens to get covered in flour and batter.
A hand mixer is an electric version of the old-fashioned eggbeater. It offers variable speeds and multiple attachments, making them great for baking and making desserts. Originally, hand mixers are made to whip up fluffy meringue. The best thing about hand mixers is that they are lightweight. They also do not have a cutting blade and you don’t have to hold a button down continuously to make it work.
For bakers, a hand mixer can be an easy-to-store solution compared to a large stand mixer. However, since it does not have cutting blades, you can’t use it to make a super smooth batter.
The Major Manufacturers of Blenders
So far, we’ve learned that blenders can puree vegetables into soup, whir dressings, crush nuts into butter, chop ingredients, and make smoothies. If you have already chosen the type of blender that you need, another thing that you need to consider is the brand. There are many manufacturers of blenders in the market today, and each of them offers different kinds of blenders with various functions for various uses. To further help you choose, below are some of the best brands of blenders that you might want to check out:
When it comes to blenders, Vitamix is among the most trusted brands. The blenders that the brand offers all use high-powered motors and feature well-designed containers. Most of them also have a straightforward interface, making them user-friendly. When you get a Vitamix blender, you get what you pay for, as each model is high-quality and is made to blend tidily, cut through even the toughest ingredients, and last a long time. No wonder a lot of people say that it is one of the best blender brands that they have used.
Below are some examples of Vitamix blenders that might help you decide what to get:
- Vitamix 5200 Professional-Grade Blender: This is a countertop blender that features variable speed control, allowing you to easily adjust speed to achieve different textures. It has a 64-ounce container ideal for blending medium to large batches. Its blades reach speeds fast enough to create friction heat, bringing cold ingredients to steaming hot in just six minutes. The blades can also handle tough ingredients. It also features a self-cleaning function with just a drop of dish soap and warm water.
- Vitamix A3500 Ascent Series Smart Blender: This countertop blender has a 48-ounce container, which is great for smaller to medium-sized blends. It has five program settings, which are used for smoothies, hot soups, dips, frozen desserts, and self-cleaning functions. It also has a touchscreen control, giving it a sleek look and easy-to-clean surface. It also has wireless connectivity, as its motor base can detect the container size and automatically adjust its program settings and maximum blending times accordingly. It features a programmable timer, too, to avoid over or under-processing.
Ninja is also a popular brand that offers mid-priced blenders that have eye-catching designs. Its products are designed in the United States. It offers an extensive line of full-sized and personal blenders that can handle everything from smoothies to sauces and more. Below are some of the best Ninja blenders that might help you in finding the best one for your needs:
- Ninja BL455_30 Nutri Professional Personal Blender: This personal blender has pro extractor blades that break down whole foods, ice, vegetables, and seeds. It features a 1000-watt motor. It includes 12-ounce, 18-ounce, and 24-ounce cups, along with 2 sip and seal lids. The lids fit on Nutri Ninja cups, allowing you to take your food on the go. The cup and blades are also dishwasher-safe and BPA-free.
- Ninja BN801 Professional Plus Kitchen System: If you are searching for a blender that is versatile and can handle various tasks in the kitchen, this is a great choice. This blender has total crushing blades that can give you perfectly crushed ice for your smoothies and frozen drinks. It also comes with a precision processor bowl that provides precise processing for even chopping and smooth purees. It has 5 versatile functions and an auto-IQ technology, making it easy to make drinks and other ingredients.
Oster is a great blender brand, especially when it comes to providing budget blenders that are great for both beginners and professionals. It offers models that range in power from 500 to 1400 watts, ensuring that you can find one that fits your needs. Almost all Oster blenders feature BPA-free plastic pitchers, but some higher-end ones offer glass. There are also some that come with a large range of attachments for versatility.
Below are some of the best Oster blenders that might help you decide what blender to buy:
- Oster 6812-001 Core Blender: This countertop blender has 700 watts of power. It features crush pro 4 blades that use stainless steel and a 4-point design to chop and pulverize with precision. It has a 10-year DURALAST all-metal drive limited warranty for lasting durability. It features 16 speeds from pulse to puree. This blender comes with a 5-cup glass jar that is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. It also has a 2-ounce filler cap that has built-in markings to help you measure and pour ingredients as you blend.
- Oster Speed Fusion Blender: This blender has a 600-watt motor for ice crushing. It also has 7 digital speeds and reversible blade technology to avoid clogging. It comes with a 6-cup dishwasher safe and scratch-resistant glass jar that is thermal shock tested to withstand extreme temperature changes. It comes with an ice-crushing blade that pulverizes ice and other frozen ingredients.
When it comes to hand blenders or immersion blenders, Braun is one of the most trusted brands in the market. It also offers countertop blenders. The brand has sought to set its blenders apart from the competition by incorporating patented technology and efficient engineering. The blenders that the brand offers are somewhat more expensive, but the high cost is made up of its design and innovation. Below are some of the best examples of Braun blenders that might help you choose the best one for your needs:
- Braun MQ5025 Hand Blender: This immersion blender features a one-handed design that lets you adjust 21 different speeds easily. It also has an extra turbo speed to maximize possibilities when pureeing, cutting, and chopping ingredients. It also has ultrahard stainless steel blades and a unique bell-shaped blending shaft to reduce suction and draw food inward for finer and smoother blending. It features splash control technology to avoid splashing and maintain clean blending. With just one click of a button, you can shift its various accessories.
- Braun TriForce Power Blender: This is a countertop blender that features a distinctive jug that is designed to guarantee faster-blended results in less time. It has 3 unique iTextureControl settings, enabling you to choose from smooth, medium, or coarse textures. It also has 6 food programs, 18 different settings, and 10-speed options. It has 1600 watts of premium power to blend to the smoothest of textures.
KitchenAid is among the most popular and high-quality brands when it comes to kitchen appliances, and that includes blenders. It manufactures a wide variety of blenders, and each of them offers various capacities, power levels, and designs. Below are some of the best blenders that KitchenAid offers, which might help you choose the right one for your needs:
- KitchenAid 2-Speed Hand Blender: This hand blender has a removable 8-inch blending arm and a fixed blade that locks into the motor body for easy use. Its stainless steel S-shaped fixed blade can blend ingredients fast, making it great for milkshakes, smoothies, baby food, and soups. It also comes with a 3-cup blending jar with a lid.
- KitchenAid KSB4027PT K400 Countertop Blender: This countertop blender has a unique asymmetric blade that blends at four distinct angles to pull contents into the blade. It creates a strong vortex to power through the toughest ingredients. It also has 3 preset recipe programs, such as ice crush, icy drinks, and smoothies, along with the 5-speed variable speed dial.
Along with Vitamix, Blendtec is another big name when it comes to both commercial and home blenders. It is a popular brand for manufacturing high-powered blenders that can blend almost anything. Whether you routinely make smoothies, margaritas, ice cream, or soups, the best Blendtec blenders have the speed, wattage, and presets you need for your specific blending needs. Its blenders also feature both tech-savvy and classic interfaces, which are all user-friendly.
Below are some examples of the blenders offered by Blendtec to help you choose the right one for your needs:
- Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender: This countertop blender has 10-speed control that can help customize the consistency of your smoothies. It also offers 6 blend cycles, allowing you to make anything from smoothies to sauces to soups. It also offers easy access that enables you to add ingredients without removing the lid. It has clear markings that you can use to measure the ingredients well.
- Blendtec Stealth 885 Commercial Blender: If you do not like noisy blenders, this one is a great choice. It has noise blocking, making it the ultimate quiet commercial blender available. It also has 42 pre-programmed one-touch cycles and pulse to blend anything from smoothies to fresh whole juice and sauces. It features a WildSide+ Jar that is 36-ounce in size and is BPA-free and can blend both wet and dry ingredients.
NutriBullet is popular for its TV infomercials, sleek design, and press-and-twist functionality, making it one of the major blender brands available today. But in addition to its personal blenders, it also offers countertop blenders that are reliable and high-quality. Below are some of the best NutriBullet blenders to help you pick the right one for your needs:
- NutriBullet Personal Blender: This personal blender is a quick and easy solution for making healthy smoothies. You can fill it up with all the whole foods you want, such as berries and nuts, then push, twist, and blend them. It has a 600-watt motor and refined nutrient-extraction blades that blend whole foods into liquid in just a few seconds. It is also easy to clean as its parts are dishwasher safe.
- NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z Blender: This is a countertop blender that offers multiple speeds to blend up any recipe fast and efficiently. It has 3 precision speeds and pulse functions, giving you full control in just one press. It has a 1200-watt motor base, 64-ounce blender pitcher with lid and vented lid cap, and tamper. Its parts are also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
Things to Consider When Buying a Blender
Deciding what type and brand of a blender to get is not the only step to take to be able to find the right blender for your needs. There is a wide variety of features and designs to choose from, whether you visit appliance stores or browse online. Therefore, to hone in on which factors you need to focus on in your own search, it helps to have some idea of what your various options are. When choosing a blender, below are some of the important things that you need to consider:
The most important feature that you need to look into when choosing a blender is power. The main difference between high-performance blenders and conventional ones is the amount of power they have. Most of the time, conventional blenders offer 300 to 500 watts. High-performance blenders, on the other hand, provide up to 1000 watts or more. But a higher wattage won’t always result in improved consistency and texture on its own. You also have to choose one with a good blade and the right design.
While most countertop blenders may look the same, most of them offer various settings. Some may have simple and only three different speeds, while some may provide an array of settings for different uses, such as juicing, pureeing, and ice crushing. A blender that has preset functions that match the primary uses you plan to put it to can be more user-friendly. It is not necessary to choose a blender with a lot of settings, but it can add a lot of convenience to your experience.
When it comes to blender size, there are two considerations that you have to make. One is where the blender will fit, and the other is how much the blender will hold. Many kitchen counters are already filled with different kitchen appliances, along with condiments and dishes. Therefore, before you buy a blender, you have to make sure that it has room on your countertop.
The next consideration is how much the blender can hold. In this part, you have to determine whether you will be blending for many people or only for yourself. If the container for your blender is bigger than what you need, it may take up extra space and may require more cleaning effort. However, if it is too small, you may have to blend it in batches, and it will take longer. If you can’t decide whether you need a big or small blender, you can opt for an immersion blender instead, as it does away with some of these concerns.
The look of a blender may not be important for many, but some are particular when it comes to keeping kitchen appliances on their counter at all times in plain sight. Of course, most of us want something that looks nice. That’s why a lot of blenders today are designed with aesthetics in mind. Some models today come in different colors to help you match your blender to your other kitchen appliances.
Choosing a blender that can last you for years is important. Therefore, consider buying one that has a warranty. A lot of high-performance blenders offer warranties for many years or even lifetime warranties. Researching the brand reputation of the blender manufacturer you want is also essential to make sure that they are known for making quality blenders that last.
Ease of Cleaning
When the blender comes with more pieces, the more challenging and time-consuming it is to clean. A blender with a large container may not fit in the dishwasher, requiring you to wash it by hand every after use. Choosing countertops and high-performance blenders will require you to give more effort to clean them. Single-serve blenders, on the other hand, are smaller, and most of them are dishwasher safe, making the cleaning task easier and faster Looking for a blender that has dishwasher-safe containers and parts is better for easy cleaning.
There are truly lots of choices when it comes to blenders. Choosing the right one for you has a lot to do with what you intend to use it for and how often you plan to use it. Researching and knowing more about your options really help in selecting the best one that will cater to all your requirements and preferences. We hope this post helped you learn more about choosing the right blender for your needs.
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