A blender is a versatile and indispensable kitchen appliance. It helps you introduce fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. It also makes preparation of other drinks, dishes, and desserts a whole lot easier. You can make smoothies, cakes, soups, baby food, purees, as well as grind coffee and nuts. You can even grind your own flour! The possibilities are endless.
There is a vast range of blender models on the market today. After seeing the options you may wonder things like “where to buy blenders?” or “what are the best brands?” We hope this article will serve as a helpful guide to buy the best blender for your needs.
Motor speed and torque
Many blender makers typically specify the blender’s motor speed in watts, and some in horsepower (1 horsepower is equivalent to 746 watts). Blender models range from 300 watts to as high as 1,500 watts. So it is safe to assume that blenders with higher motor speeds perform better than their lower counterparts, or at least this is something that manufacturers are trying to drum into consumers’ minds.
However, blender reviews by the consumers themselves contradict the manufacturers’ claims. There have been tests conducted on a wide range of blenders and they conclude that a blender’s higher wattage doesn’t necessarily mean better overall performance.
You must remember that a blender’s wattage indicates the power that is consumed by the motor. However, a power generated by the blender motor is what spells a big difference in their performance.
Another important factor to consider is the motor blades’ torque — the force that causes something to spin around the center. The higher the torque of the motor blades have, the less likely they will strain or get stuck when they meet resistance. If a blender can crush tougher items like pineapple chunks, root vegetables, nuts and even ice cubes without straining, then you know that it has a pretty great torque.
Apart from the motor speed and torque, you may also consider buying blenders by looking at the jar. Here are the main three types of blender jars, along with their pros and cons:
- Glass – A lot of consumers prefer glass blender jars because aside from looking pretty, it is also more stable. A glass jar is more resistant to scratches and discoloration, and it is also less likely to absorb the odors of its contents. However, it is more prone to breakage.
- Polycarbonate plastic – Unlike glass, a polycarbonate plastic will not break (in case you knock it over). It is also lightweight, and its level markings are said to be easier to read when measuring ingredients. However, plastic blender jars tend to scratch easily, and are more prone to absorb food odors. They are also harder to clean than either glass or stainless steel.
- Stainless steel – A stainless steel blender jar looks more sleek and modern, and it is also sturdy. However, you can’t see the contents inside, so you have to stop and see if everything’s blended or liquefied. Plus, stainless steel blenders tend to be more expensive, and usually do not have the measurement markings like the glass and plastic blenders do.
Controls and Functions
Choosing a blender depends on your needs and preferences. If you want a basic blender, then the three-speed and pulse/turbo functions will do fine.
But if you want to get the most out of your kitchen experience, you might as well buy a blender with more controls and functions. Some models offer up to seven speeds (or even more) which allows you to do more things such as chop, grind, liquefy, mix, and whip.
Choosing a type of blender will depend upon several factors such as personal preferences, versatility, ease of cleaning and maintenance, and the space it takes up in your kitchen.
Countertop blenders fall into several sub-types:
- Personal blender – The most common of all the countertop blenders. It is not made for one specific purpose (like a smoothie blender), but it can do a lot of things such as liquefy, chop, grind, and more. Plus, it is usually inexpensive and is a welcome addition to any kitchen.
- Smoothie blender – Smoothie blenders usually have taps to pour your smoothie ingredients straight into the jar, even while the blender is running. It also has specific buttons for crushing fruits, vegetables, and ice. Most smoothie blenders come with a stirrer to help mix your smoothies. However, its functions are quite limited compared to a personal blender’s.
- Cocktail blender – Like the smoothie blender, the cocktail blender also has limited functions, but it can perform as efficiently as the personal blender.
- Heavy-duty blender – It has a more powerful motor which makes it able to chop bigger and tougher ingredients. It also comes with more controls and functions which makes preparing food faster and more efficient. But because of its power, durability, and versatility as well as its size, a heavy-duty blender is usually expensive, and not every ordinary household kitchen can afford it. Therefore, it is more suited for commercial use. Many restaurants, cafes, and other food industries utilize the heavy-duty blender.
Unlike countertop blenders, immersion blenders do not have a stationary body and a jar. An immersion blender’s rotating motors, located at the end of the shaft, do the job of mixing, grinding, chopping, and emulsifying ingredients.
Since the immersion blender usually comes with no container of its own (although some units have it), it can be immersed into containers of any shape, size, and material. Have ingredients that are too much, too large, too cold, or too hot to pour into a blender jar? You can pour them into a large plastic bowl and let the immersion blender do the job of blending and liquefying.
Immersion blenders are available in corded and cordless (battery-type) models. They are lightweight, handy, mobile, easy to clean and maintain, and take up less space in your cupboard. However, they tend to be more expensive than most countertop blenders.
Once you know what you want in a blender, it won’t hurt to also look for the best kitchen blender discounts at stores near you or at online stores.