A blender is one of the kitchen appliances that you would find in nearly every kitchen. Whether regular or occasional, a blender is something you can need any time in the day. Daily meals, breakfast and desserts are made a lot easier with a blender. But if you haven’t gotten a blender yet, your next question may be, what blender must I buy or what are the best blenders or simply how to know which is most suitable for me?
Your answers will depend on how you plan to use the blender. Is it for personal use or some commercial purpose behind buying one? How often do you plan to use a blender and what is the expected capacity?
Just when you think that buying a kitchen blender is an easy task, you will realize that you’ll see a hundred models around; each with different types, speeds, functions, controls, etc.
Before you buy a blender, it is important to understand the types of blenders available in the market. There are two basic types of blender:
Countertop – This type of blender is what most consumers purchase and use. As the name implies, it is usually used on the kitchen counter. It has a stationary motor and a jar. There are many types of countertop blenders according to the material of the jar (glass, polycarbonate plastic and steel), uses (smoothie, cocktail, etc.) as well as motor speeds.
Immersion – Also known as a “stick blender” or a “wand blender,” an immersion blender consists of a shaft with a motor on its end which drives the blades to rotate and act as a chopper, grinder, and emulsifier. Since it doesn’t have a container on its own (although some units come with one), this kitchen gadget can be dipped into any type of container.
Immersion blenders have a few advantages over their countertop counterparts. They are handy to use, can be used and carried anywhere, can be immersed into many types of container, are easy to clean, and don’t take up too much space in the kitchen. They are highly useful and you can even use it for pureeing a pumpkin while it is still inside a hot saucepan to make pumpkin soup.
Immersion blenders are available in both corded and cordless (which are run by batteries) models. The only drawback about them is that they usually are more expensive than most countertop blenders. To ensure that you get the best immersion blender, make sure that it is has a durable body, high motor, and sharp blades. Confirm too, that it doesn’t make too much noise and the food won’t splatter even when the blender is turned on high settings and has an ergonomic design as well.
Breville, Cuisinart, Kitchenaid, and Hamilton Beach are some of the trusted brands that you can rely on when buying an immersion blender.
Your first consideration when buying the right blender is to decide whether you want a countertop blender or an immersion blender. Once you have this clarity, you can further look into the below aspects:
Usually, countertop blenders are larger and heavier than the immersion ones. They tend to take more space therefore placed on the countertop. Immersion blenders are sleek designs so they can be kept inside any kitchen drawer. They take less space and can be used on any jar, jug or container as per the requirement.
One very important aspect to think of is the purpose of use of the blender. Do you have a big family and require large batches of blending that too frequently? Or you are a small family which may require using a blender occasionally. Your use and purpose will further clarify the power, capacity and maintenance you may require.
Power and Wattage
Power and wattage are most important when it comes to the blending of large batches. Blenders with powerful motor tend to be noisier but come with the ability to crush nearly everything. A standard countertop blender used to smoothies and other ice blended/frozen drinks have the power of 500 watts and serves to be sufficient. Immersion blenders are usually low in power which is why they are not capable of blending hard fruits and veggies. If you are looking for a blender that simply does the chopping, mixing and pureeing, you can get one with 300 watts. If you want a blender that can turn nuts into pastes, you better get a 700 watts or more power blender.
The price of blender is dependent on its power, performance and features. A high-performance blender with powerful motor and wattage may cost you between $300-1000$. Blenders that are low in intensity and power can range up to 150$. An immersion blender, on the other hand, may take a range from $30 – $240.
In comparing blender prices, the motor speed is not necessarily what makes a blender cheaper than the other, or more expensive than the other. But it is the features that set a blender’s price apart from its competitors. To help you buy the blender that will be worth your money, first decide which type of blender suits your needs. Then look at its functions and features. Decide which of them will be the most important to you. Blenders come with different features that add convenience if you aim to use the blender regularly. You may also consider buying a unit that comes with accessories like a dispensing spout and/or a tamper, which may save you from buying other kitchen tools.
- Container: A plastic container is light in weight, will not break easily but prone to catch odors. Glass container, on the other hand, is heavy to carry, fragile but definitely stain and odor-free.
- Controls: You will find touchpads as the newest in blenders while some still prefer traditional push buttons. Some blenders also come with dials for speed control.
- Speed Variation: Speed controls vary from 3- 17. However, in the case of speed, less is better and ideal is 3-5 speed setting. It is also useful to have a pulse button in the blender. A pulse button immediately starts/stops blending giving precision and smoothness.
- If you want to spend your money on a good-looking and more stable blender, then you should choose a glass blender jar. But if you do mind the cost, buy the blender with a polycarbonate plastic jar. Or if you want a more durable blender that can also crush harder items like ice as well as fibrous fruits and vegetables, go for the stainless steel one.
Brands like Vitamix and Blendtec offer more functions than the standard blender does. While these blenders don’t come cheap, they are powerful and capable of doing amazing things like cooking a pea soup out of frozen peas, processing foods, and several other functions. With their power and versatility, these blenders can be your all-in-one kitchen wonder that allows you to forego using other appliances. You could consider buying these high-performance blenders as a good investment (plus, these blenders usually have a seven- or eight-year warranty).
Some blenders have cool features, like the Oster Fusion Blender’s special motor which drives the blades to rotate in alternating directions. This feature enhances the flow and blending of food and thus prevents the contents from getting stuck inside the jar. Hamilton Beach has some models which feature the “wave-action” technology which helps the food to continually draw down into the blade which results in a consistently smooth texture — great for making smoothies or soups, salsas, or spreads. Some units have dispensing spouts which make pouring liquified foods and beverages a lot easier, but it can add to your dishwashing chores. Plus, the level of contents inside the jar could be remarkably greater than the level of the dispensing spout. Blendtec has a few models which have state-of-the-art features like an illuminated, touch-screen interface, pre-programmed cycles, and a capacitive touch slider where you can adjust the motor speed even while the blender is running.
If you are looking for a blender worth the money, Vitamix 5200 won’t disappoint you. It has a high-performance powerful motor and Aircraft-Grade Stainless-Steel Blades that can blend, grind, chop and paste nearly everything in your kitchen. It is made of durable parts, self-cleaning ability and available in five different colors.
Mueller takes its position because it comes with a 500-watts powerful motor. It is manufactured with high-quality copper material that keeps is durable and long-lasting. It also features a 9-speed control system, two differently shaped whisk attachments and pushes start/stop button.
If you are looking for power as the standing feature in your blender, all you need is this Cleanblend. Although it has features similar to Vitamix 5200, it has a powerful motor of 1800 watts. With 10-speed knobs and pulse mode that can blend large batches and toughest ingredients easily.
A lot of blender manufacturers claim that their products are better than the others. To make your decision easier, it is suggested that you write down your requirements keeping in the mind the above buying guide. One of the best ways to buy a good blender is through reading online blender reviews by the customer themselves. Attending live blender demos at department stores and malls is also a good idea to see what the blender can do. However, there generally aren’t similar demos being done for you to compare the different available blenders.