Blenders can puree vegetables for soup, smash nuts for butter, emulsify dressings and sauces, cut components for salsas, and, of course, make smoothies. They’re quite practical, and for many people, they’re just as important as a stove or a microwave. But there are a lot to select from, so in order to limit the vast and confusing area, I polled a group of chefs and home cooks to find out which ones they use in their own kitchens.
First and foremost, Vitamix is the undisputed king of the blender world. Many of the people I spoke with own different versions – it is, without a doubt, the most renowned brand overall, producing items that will last a lifetime. However, if you don’t use a blender on a daily basis, can’t afford to splurge on something so expensive, or live in a small space where huge appliances aren’t allowed, there are plenty of affordable options with glowing reviews to back them up.
The greatest overall countertop blender is the Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender. You’ll be able to get the texture you want with this model’s ten speeds, whether you’re creating dough or a smoothie. A 48-ounce jar is also included with this blender. This is large enough to feed a family without becoming cumbersome, as some professional models can be. It’s also simple to clean. Simply combine soap and warm water, then use the blending function to clean the container in under a minute.
This blender has plenty of juice. In practical terms, this means it is quieter than many blenders, even if it isn’t objectively silent. The only thing that could be better is the fact that it comes in a plastic container. We’d anticipate a glass one that could be washed in the dishwasher for the price. Still, if you’re looking for a powerful blender that can handle almost any task, this one is a good choice.
1. Ten speeds
2. 48-ounce container
3. Easy cleaning
4. Relatively quiet
1. Plastic container
The Ninja Professional Countertop Blender (BL610) is a large blender that is ideal for making large batches of food or drinks. It comes with a large 72-ounce container, which is more than most people will need but is quite beneficial for those who will have to make numerous batches otherwise. This blender has a 1000-watt motor, making it one of the most powerful blenders available. You’ll be able to shred just about anything with that much strength, even fibrous fruits, veggies, and nuts.
Even after you’ve created something with colorful fruits and vegetables, the plastic container is dishwasher-safe, making cleanup a breeze. What we like best about it, though, is that it costs less than a third of what the top choice on our list does, making it the finest value for the money. We’d be pleased to put it first if it had more than three speeds. You won’t be disappointed with this blender if you’re searching for a low-cost blender that performs well.
1. 72-ounce container
2. Very powerful motor
3. Dishwasher-safe 4-container
5. Great price
1. Only three speeds
The Oster Blender | Pro 1200 will entice customers with its mix of high power and low price, but it’s only as good as its weakest link. This device is less expensive than our best-value option and has adequate power. While it isn’t as good at handling nuts and ice as some other models, it will do the job. It has blending modes, so you can make everything from milkshakes to salsa with ease. This blender also boasts an all-metal drive, which eliminates one of the most typical points of failure in low-cost blenders.
Unfortunately, this model has a faulty gasket that can fail within the first year of use. Because the part isn’t available from Oster, the blender will leak if it fails, and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s also one of our list’s loudest models. Although many people will be satisfied with a different option, it nevertheless merits a spot on our list due to its low price.
1. Blending modes
2. Decent power
3. All-metal drive
1. Weak gasket
Blenders can sometimes do some things right while getting a few things wrong, giving users a mixed experience. The CUSINAID Professional Countertop Blender comes with a glass jar, which is preferred by most consumers. It will never stink as plastic ones do, and it is usually easier to clean than its plastic counterparts. Because all of the parts are dishwasher safe, you won’t have to put in any extra effort to clean them after each usage. It also has mixing modes, allowing you to prepare a smoothie or crush the ice with a single button press.
Unfortunately, the motor on this machine is just 500 watts. For the price, that’s a letdown. While you’ll be able to break the ice in some ways, you’ll almost certainly need to add water, and it won’t be as quick as other models. This blender also has a short lifespan, which is unforgivable given its price. This is due in large part to the motor’s lack of power, which puts extra strain on all of the parts. There are cheaper blenders on the market that will last longer, and most people would be delighted with one of them.
1. Glass jar
2. Blending modes
1. Underwhelming motor
2. Poor durability
Given its low price, you could buy the BLACK+DECKER Countertop Blender (BL2010BG) several times before paying the same amount as the other models on our list, but there are a number of reasons why it is ranked last. To its credit, it is incredibly inexpensive, so if you’re looking for a cheap blender, this model can fit the bill. Its 10 speeds also allow you to have some influence over the blending process. However, when you don’t have a lot of power, and this blender only has 350 watts of electricity, that control goes to waste. That’s not enough power to deal with ice or nuts, and it severely restricts your options.
It’s also prone to leaks as if that weren’t awful enough. You don’t want to have to clean your blender any more than is strictly necessary, and this one makes it more difficult. It’s also not particularly durable, which is understandable given its inexpensive price. Despite its low cost, this isn’t a model that most people will enjoy in the long run.
2. Ten speeds
1. Underwhelming motor
3. Poor durability
In the under-$100 price bracket, the 3 Speed Ice Crushing Blender was our top pick. This blender looks and operates better than most blenders in its category thanks to its high-quality design. With a six-cup capacity, its pitcher is on the tiny side, but it can still whirl up a soup or smoothie in one batch. The smoothie had a little texture from the strawberry seeds in our tests, but it was still quite creamy and thick. The broccoli and leek soup had some texture as well, although it was as velvety as you’d expect from a pureed soup. This blender, unlike most others on the market, only has three settings and a pulse setting.
Consider the KitchenAid K400 Variable Speed Blender if you have a bit more money to spend. It offers a larger capacity, more blender settings, and better performance in our tests – all for a lower price than comparable high-powered blenders.
PROS: Under $100
CONS: Small capacity