A blender is certainly not a brand new invention, but the device always remained a bit in the shade. That is until healthy smoothies suddenly became a worldwide trend! Since then almost everyone has such a device on the kitchen counter. Or at least considers purchasing one.
In case you misinterpret: it’s definitely a great decision to purchase a blender. After all, smoothies are really healthy and tasty. And juicing is usually not the only thing you can do with a blender. It can also be used for the preparation of:
- Cold (or even hot) soups
- Baby meals
- Iced Coffee
Alle vegan off course 😉
So once you have bought the right one, you will have a lot of fun with it.
In all honesty: it took us a very long time before we actually decided to buy one. The reason is simple: too much choice. There are so many blenders available in all shapes and sizes; with different capacities, different materials and – not entirely unimportant – various price ranges. That makes it very difficult to cut the knot.
The main reason for writing this article was simple: we hope to be able to help you make the right blender choice. Because we have all gone through it ourselves and understand that it can be a real crime.
Bet you get to learn all the necessary tips from this article?
What’s a blender?
As always, we like to start at the beginning. In this case with a word of explanation about what exactly a blender is. Also because it sometimes gets confused with other devices (such as a food processor, kitchen robot, etc.).
The task of a blender is actually quite simple: the device serves to mix and purée all kinds of ingredients. So exactly the same as a hand mixer … but much better, faster, and more practical.
In contrast to a food processor (with which, apart from mashing, you can also cut, grate, knead, etc.), a blender has only one function. But he does that function very well.
Or that should at least be the case 😉
Buying a Blender – all questions you have to ask yourself
As mentioned before, there are a huge number of types of blenders. In theory, each of these devices are suitable for making regular smoothies. It only gets more complicated when you want to be sure of a device that can also handle firmer and/or frozen ingredients. Or one that is also suitable to crush ice, for example.
Also important: sustainability and the cost price. Let’s not ignore that. After all, you want the price-quality ratio to be good and you want to be able to enjoy your blender as long as possible. So before you make a purchase at all, it is wise to ask yourself some important questions. Like these ones:
1. What do you need a blender for?
The first and foremost question! If you want to make a simple fruit and/or vegetable smoothie from time to time…, a ‘basic’ blender will be more than sufficient. If, on the other hand, you want to be able to mix harder ingredients (such as nuts and frozen fruit) as smoothly as possible, you have to deal with some extra factors.
2. Do you need one for daily or sporadic use?
It makes a big difference whether you want a blender that runs its rounds daily or one that you just want to use sporadically. The elements (such as the engine, knives, and actually all other parts) of your blender have obviously a lot more to endure when it’s used on a daily basis. It’s logical that in that case, you have to look for a somewhat more robust – and often more expensive – device.
3. How much money do you want to spend on a blender?
The price of a blender can vary from 25 to 2000 euros. Enough said!. Even if you can effortlessly spend €2000, it’s still no guarantee you obtained your ideal blender. On the other hand, you can’t expect too much from a € 25 blender.
Anyway: keeping a budget in mind (and stick to it) is always a good idea. Not only do you prune in the selection offer, but you are also inclined to look more critically and selectively at the blenders that remain. Online stores often have a ‘price filter’ that can give you a very easy overview.
Types of blenders (and their usefulness)
In spite of all the different types of blenders, regular stores usually call them ‘blenders’ without any further nuance. At most you’ll get to see a card with the brand, the price and – when extremely lucky – some technical specifications. And although you can hardly blame them, because of the enormous ‘overload’ of devices and functions, the average shop assistant often understands just as much of blenders as you do … meaning: nothing ;).
An additional problem is that all these different types of blenders often overlap when it comes to specifications. Sometimes a manufacturer puts a blender on the market that is then labeled as a ‘smoothie blender’. You might think: ‘Okay, with this device I’ll be able to make the best smoothies out there!’ Unfortunately, it says nothing about how well it blends your smoothies. If you know what I mean?
Our advice is to simply ignore all those names and especially pay attention to the technical details (power, materials, …). That’s also the focus of this article.
Nonetheless, there are a number of types of blenders that are well worth mentioning. Simply because, unlike the meaningless ‘smoothie blender’ or ‘standard Blender’ (what the hell does that mean?), They really have a special, extra function. So here they are:
Smoothie to go blender
One that is worth mentioning is the so-called ‘Smoothie to go’ blender. A blender whose blender jar can also serve as a drinking cup. You just mix your smoothie, remove the blender jar, screw the lid on and you are ready to go!
One of the best-known examples of such a type of blender is the Nutribullet; a device that we ourselves also used before. But despite the fact that it worked fine, we would not easily choose such a ‘reversed’ device again.
For some reason, it was often a hell of a job to undo the lid (with the blade) from the mixing bowl after mixing. Even a bodybuilder would have a lot of trouble with it.
In any case: if you just want to make a smoothie every day and want to be able to easily take it with you, a smoothie to go blender is a very good option. But again: check the details before you buy any blender.
A vacuum blender does exactly what the name suggests: removing all traces of air before blending the content of the blender jar. Although this might sound like an idea that has sprung from the overactive brain of a NASA scholar, there is definitely a logic behind it.
In short: by blending the ingredients (vegetables, fruit) without the intervention of air, the vacuum blender prevents them from oxidizing and thereby losing nutritional value (minerals, vitamins, etc.). Smoothies made with a vacuum blender would be healthier, remain fresh for a longer period of time, and be more smoothly mixed in comparison with a regular blender.
Whether that is actually the case? No idea. What we know about vacuum technology is similar to what we know about the sexual reproduction of sea urchins.
Anyway, vacuum blenders truly can count on a lot of positive stories and the device probably really does what the manufacturer claims; making extra tasty smoothies with lots of vitamins. For those who find this an absolute must, a vacuum blender is definitely worth buying.
We only mention this type of blender because it can be operated via a built-in Bluetooth connection. You can download an app on your smartphone containing various programs with recipes – including smoothies, spreads, or dipping sauces – and then simply add the ingredients in the blender jar. You click/hit on the desired program and the device starts blending automatically. You don’t even have to keep an eye on it.
Whether this is useful? Well … only if you find spending 1 or (at most) 2 minutes near your blender a tremendous waste of time. Although we think technology is a good thing, we find this is a bit overdone. But great for the gadget and technology freak of course. Obviously you also pay a little more for such a device.
A plus: thanks to the app you immediately have a whole arsenal of smoothie recipes at home. Including the nutritional values and much more information.
This name should also say it all … but often doesn’t. Logically, you might think of a powerhouse with which you could make smoothies out of reinforced concrete…so to speak. This is – surprise! – not the case, indeed.
Of course, most ‘power blenders’ have indeed more power, and also the quality of the blades is usually excellent. But the ‘power’ word is quickly used as a selling point…which doesn’t always make sense. Nevertheless, a really good power blender (with a minimum power level of 1200 watt) is something to look out for if you want to blend almost anything (except the concrete…don’t try that at home. 😉
The last more or less noticeable blender type is the soup maker. It also differs from other blenders because it has a built-in cooking element which makes it possible to cook/heat the ingredients while being mixed. You can then immediately pour out the hot soup from the double-walled and heat-resistant mixing jug.
The average preparation time for making fresh soup is 20 to 30 minutes. Which, depending on the type of soup you want to make, is actually quite on the long side. Although a soup maker will eventually cost you less work (and less cleaning and dishes). Most soup makers also automatically know when the soup is sufficiently cooked. In addition, you can also use these devices as a regular blender.
Parts of a blender (and how important they are)
This is what it really is all about if you want to make the right blender choice. Especially part 2 of the above title (how important all blender parts are) deserves some extra attention. Okay, every blender has about the same parts but the real difference is in its quality. Here we go!
By far the most important part of a blender is – of course – the engine. Without this it, mixing ingredients would become pretty impossible 😉
As far as this goes, we assume that every blender has a little decent engine to let the blades turn their functional rounds. But of course, there are also big differences in capacity. It is therefore smart to check the power of the engine to make sure that it can handle everything you need/want. The power of blenders can vary from (roughly) 300 to 2000 watts. Needless to mention that it makes quite a difference.
Now, you may wonder how much power you are going to need for your purposes. In general, the following is a good measure:
For smoothies with soft ingredients and for moderate use: at least 500 to 1200 watts
For blending harder ingredients (nuts, frozen fruit, ice, …) and/or daily use: at least 1200 watts. If you want to be really sure, something like 2000 watts or even more is advised.
When you take this into account, you are one step further in making the right choice.
You’re probably not surprised by the fact that your choice of blender also stands or falls with the quality of the blade. In fact, besides the blade itself, the material around it is also quite important. When you use your blender every day, these blades get a lot to endure. So quality is important.
In most cases, blender blades are made of stainless steel. If that is not the case (coz’ that really happens), just walk past the blender and delete it from your list. Unless it is rust-free, moisture and metal is of course NEVER a good combination. But rest assured: this only comes with blenders that are too cheap to be true.
Of course, whether the blades are really good is often hard to see with the naked eye. Although we dare to claim that it can be clear at times. If the housing where the blade is attached to looks like cheap plastic … it must be cheap plastic. Also, be sure to check if the blades are flexible and solid at the same time. Meaning: if you bend them, they must return in their original position afterward.
The blender jar
Even when it comes to the blender jar, you have quite a lot of choice. In most cases, these jars are made of plastic, but you can also buy them in glass or titan. The latter looks suspiciously like glass but is simply stronger and virtually unbreakable.
Which doesn’t mean you have to test this extensively;)
Anyway: it is clear that the material of the blender jar will influence the price. And to a lesser extent the environment of course. For that matter, we prefer glass of course. You probably agree. However, we do not have to ignore that whatever you choose, it will always produce waste. Recycling glass is not always an environmentally friendly activity either.
That being said: back to the jar! Whoever buys a blender suitable to mix warm ingredients (such as with the soup maker and such) will be supplied with a mixing bowl of glass or titan as a standard option.
If you really have to choose between glass or plastic, then you can rely on the following advice:
Extremely clumsy? Don’t buy a glass blender jar
Choose glass in any other case 😉
In comparison with plastic, the quality of your soup, smoothie, etc. will not be compromised either. Glass blender jars will not easily get scratched and hardly absorb any odors, taste, and even colors (!) of the ingredients.
For example: try to make a beetroot smoothie in a plastic jar and you’ll soon find out what we are talking about. 😉
Also great to keep in mind: make sure the blender jar has a size indicator and a spout. You do not have to measure everything first with another measuring cup and the pouring spout causes less mess when pouring out (because that’s what it serves for).
It is also wise to check whether the blender jar is easy to clean. Most blenders have parts that can easily be removed and cleaned. Believe us when we say that this is really a must. Nothing is more annoying (and ultimately dirty) than a blender with parts that are difficult to clean.
Extra advice: never wait too long for cleaning the blender jar after making a smoothie, spread or dipping sauce. The longer leftovers remain in the jar, the harder it will be to get rid of them. Many blenders have a ‘cleaning function’. This means that after making your smoothie you just have to refill the jar with water (and possibly a small amount of detergent) and start the cleaning program. Seconds later, the mixing bowl is (almost) completely clean.
Another important (yet often overlooked) part of the blender jar is the lid. It’s wise to check if it can be properly secured. If it’s only slightly loosely on the mixing cup, it can result in a ceiling full of splashes of fruit and vegetable juices. Unless you particularly like to polish … you better avoid this 😉
In addition, it is also useful when the lid has a measuring cup (middle of the lid) in order to safely add additional ingredients to the mixture while the blender is operating. This is especially useful when you make a dip or a spread and want to give it the desired thinness by adding extra water (or another liquid/seasoning).
Make sure this measuring cup can also be closed safely (meaning click-proof). That’s important for the …
Blenders and safety
Besides a well-functioning, practical blender, you also want a device that is safe. Needless to say that knives are sharp and you have to be careful anyway. Yet safety is also a matter of various other details
For example, we used to have an oversized food processor with a mixing bowl (for kneading dough and such). As soon as we put the thing on the counter and turned it on, it seemed like Godzilla was raging through your kitchen. You had to grip the device with all your strength to prevent it from slipping on the ground. Which ultimately did happen by the way.
At that time, you’re wondering what the manufacturer was thinking :-/
Anyway: one of the most logical, yet often forgotten, things that a blender should have are anti-slip rubber feet or suction cups to keep the device in pace during blending. Our current blender doesn’t simply move at all when you turn it on. It’s super-stable and therefore a lot safer. No unnecessary luxury for a device with that much power.
The other safety issue we have already discussed is about cleaning the device. The easier that is, the more difficult it will be to injure yourself in any way or cause other accidents.
Cheap or expensive blender – is one really better than the other?
So here’s a good question: what do you actually have to pay to be sure of a decent blender? As we told before, the difference in price is just as big as the range of choice … huge!
Of course, It goes without saying that you have to pay a bit more money for a quality blender. You simply can’t expect that there is no significant difference between a blender of € 30 or a € 2000 one.
Does that mean that you have to take out a second mortgage? Certainly not. There are enough blenders that cost capital, while the quality hardly differs in comparison to cheaper models. In that case, you actually pay more for the brand itself than that there is a real added value. Often you can score the same quality for a more reasonable price. I once checked out such a pricey device (€ 1200) and it turned out that the blender jar could not really be snapped onto the motor element. I just couldn’t imagine that it wouldn’t cause any problems while the device is working. In this example, you pay a ridiculous amount of money for something that clearly isn’t properly thought out.
Anyway: whether the desired blender is cheap, expensive, or super-expensive, it is in every situation appropriate to run through all the tips that we mentioned previously.
Time for a quick reminder:
- Consider what your ‘blender-expectations’ are and how often you might going to use the device. In the matter of this, check the power, the components, et cetera.
- Set your price and hold on to it.
- Read the specifications (and any reviews) thoroughly before purchase.
- Make sure your desired blender is easy to clean (meaning: that it has detachable parts) and meets a number of safety standards. Such as anti-slip rubber feet for example.
The question of whether it’s best to buy your blender at a regular store instead of online is rather difficult to answer. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
In the first case, you can see, touch, and inspect a blender in real life, which is definitely a big advantage. On the other hand, the product information at (the better known) online shops is often much more extensive. The fact that they (online shops) often provide much better service and advice is also a bit ironic. The choice is yours 🙂
Our favorite blender?
So, now you’re probably wondering what criteria we used and which blender we eventually choose. When we started our search, we had set our goals on a blender that was…
- suitable for regular but not everyday use but still had good quality parts
- able to ground harder and/or frozen ingredients. So it definitely needed a capacity of (at least) 1200 watt and quality knives.
- within a price range of $ 100 to $ 250. So relatively cheap.
- equipped with a glass blender jar with a measuring cup and size indication.
- easy to clean and safe to use.
These are quite a few criteria, indeed. But it really makes it a lot easier to make your final (and good) choice. By listing these criteria we reduced an assortment of ‘trillions’ of blenders to around 20. Saves a lot of time 😉
And the ultimate winner?
That became the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot. This was definitely the device that met all conditions within our budget (cost: +/- 170 dollars, 120 in the sale) and we certainly didn’t regret buying it.
Sure; there is no such thing as perfection. But when it comes to value for money, this device really does a great job. The downsides do not outweigh the benefits at all.
- large (glass) blender jar of 56 oz (1,75 liters) capacity with size indication and measuring cup. Fits easily and click-fast on the engine part.
- 1400 watts engine and excellent knives. Suitable for both soft and harder/frozen ingredients. Also suitable for crushing ice.
- easy to disassemble/easy to clean.
- super stable thanks to anti-skip rubber feet.
- different speeds that you can adjust manually.
- Also a heating function for soups and sauces
- handy programmed functions (‘smoothie’, ‘crushing ice’, ‘soup’, ‘sauce’) that deliver great results with one push at the button.
- Makes a lot of noise when blending.
- The blender jar is pretty heavy (as far as that is a problem).
As you can see, the benefits hugely dominate the cons. Which makes this blender a very good choice when it comes to great quality for a fair price.
In case your requirements (in terms of fine blending) are a bit higher, and in case you need a blender for really intensive use, you better go for a slightly higher price range.
Hopefully, we were able to help you make your perfect blender choice. Would you like to add another tip or post a comment … please share it with us!