The best blenders can quickly whip up all kinds of culinary concoctions. You may think of them as primarily tools for smoothies and frozen cocktails but they can also blend everything from soups to muffin batter to pesto to hummus to BBQ sauce. With one of these whiz kids in your kitchen, you can vastly expand your recipe repertoire.
Since it was first introduced in the 1930s, this miracle invention has revolutionized how we prepare food at home. Smooth sauces, creamy bisques, milkshakes, and drinks like margaritas and pina coladas that were once only enjoyed at restaurants are now easily prepared at home.
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Before you invest in a blender, it's a good idea to understand how it differs from a juicer. Whereas any of the best juicers completely separate the fibrous pulp of fruits and veggies from the delicious nectar inside, a blender homogenizes everything: what you put in the jar comes out chopped so finely chopped it's pourable. The good news is you don’t waste anything and you get all of the fiber and nutrients in your produce.
If you like to mix things up in the kitchen (or are just learning how to cook), you're probably in need of a blender. A quality machine will cut down on food-prep time and expand your capabilities. And if your family’s breakfast or snack of choice is a smoothie, you’ll find a good blender is essential. You’ll find, however, there are tons of options to choose from these days at a variety of prices.
What are the best blenders?
Based on our research, the best blender is the Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender. It's super-powerful, delivers extremely smooth results, and has a long warranty. At around $600, it isn't cheap, though. On the other hand if you need a handheld blender to puree apples into sauce or whip spuds into mashed potatoes right in the cooking pot, our top pick is the KitchenAid KHB2561OB 5-Speed Hand Blender. It comes with a slew of attachments to give you lots of versatility.
Some of you may only need a small inexpensive blender to whip up a blended drink. If that’s the case, we suggest the low priced and colorful Hamilton Beach Personal Blender. The Magic Bullet Blender is a more powerful small blender. Like the Ham Beach, the blending cup can double as a travel mug. However in this blender you can also chop veggies for salsa or dips or make small batches of soup.
For a full sized blender at a moderate price with the power to efficiently blend just about anything we recommend the KitchenAid KSB1570ER 5-Speed Blender. The Ninja Professional Plus Kitchen System with Auto-iQ (BN801) is a blender that can double as a food processor. It’s not cheap but you get two appliances in one.
Breville BBL620 Fresh & Furious Blender is sophisticated in design but simple to operate. If you like to add kale to your breakfast cocktail, you’ll love the Green Smoothie button that you can use to turn the tough leaves into smithereens. Can’t afford a Wolf range? Treat yourself to the Wolf Gourmet High-Performance Blender (WGBL100S). It has the same stainless steel heavy duty commercial look and build, and professional performance to match.
Here are the best blenders of 2020
Anyone who is a serious cook, will be familiar with the Vitamix brand. It stands for top of the line blenders that are considered the gold standard in the category. Its Professional Series 750 is immensely popular because it has the power of the original in a lower profile design so it can fit under a cabinet. With this blender in your kitchen you can make soups with a velvety texture, turn chickpeas into hummus and peanuts into butter, and blend frozen fruit into a smooth-textured sorbet. And you’d be hard pressed to find a machine that makes a smoother smoothie.
For cleaning, the blade remains in the jar, eliminating the tasks of taking apart and then reassembling all the components. As you would expect the Vitamix is premium priced but your investment is protected with an exceptionally long seven-year warranty.
The KHB2561OB is a handheld blender that you can use to blend vegetables for soups, pureed side dishes, or gravies right in the pot that they were cooked in. That way you don’t have to transfer hot ingredients into a blender jar in batches and then pour the mixture back into a pot for reheating. As it has an 8-inch long arm, it is able to easily reach into deep pots.
With this blender you get a lot of attachments including blades for crushing ice, pureeing, and frothing as well as a whisk. It also comes with a chopper bowl and a 1 liter pitcher to use for crushing ice or whipping up smoothies. To help corral all the parts, a storage case is provided so you don’t have to go scrounging around in a drawer to find the specific part that you need.
If you’re primarily looking for a blender to whip up a healthy strawberry yogurt smoothie or a protein drink for a morning meal or a decadent milkshake for an after school snack, this small inexpensive machine is all you need. It blends in a 14-ounce blending jar that comes with a travel lid so that after blending, you can grab the mug and go. When you get home, you can pop both pieces in the dishwasher. It’s available in five attractive colors.
With only 175 watts of power and a small capacity jar, this blender isn't meant for gourmet chefs, nor is it pretending to be. It’s designed primarily for gym rats and commuters. You’ll need to look elsewhere if you want to make a big batch of gazpacho, pesto, or frozen desserts.
It chops! It grinds! It whips! It blends! It's the Magic Bullet Blender. Originally sold by infomercial, this small 250-watt blender is a favorite of health and fitness gurus. With it you get blending cups of various sizes along with a flip-top lid for those times when you want to enjoy your protein drink in the car or on the train or perhaps even on a park bench. The Magic Bullet can do more than just make smoothies and shakes. In the tall cup, you can whiz an avocado into guacamole or tomatoes into a quick pasta sauce or make vichyssoise just for yourself.
With only one setting, the Magic Bullet couldn’t be easier to use. The cups are very easy to wash by hand or can be chucked in the dishwasher.
Although it’s less than $100, this countertop blender can handle most blending chores. The unique Soft Start feature pulls food into the blades before the speed ramps up, which makes food prep more efficient. The die-cast metal base is both attractive and sturdy and comes in your choice of silver, white, black or red. You’ll find the BPA-free plastic pitcher is easy to lift and pour from even when it’s loaded up and that it cleans up beautifully. On the electronic control pad, there are five speeds to choose from in addition to "crush ice" and pulse modes. As it’s blending, what the company calls Intelli-Speed Motor Control senses the contents of the jug and helps the blender maintain speed.
There’s not a lot of frills here but this handsome KitchenAid does the basics and does them well. When it comes to using it there’s no learning curve and maybe best of all, it won’t set you back a bundle.
The Ninja brand has been around for some time. This is its newest blender which includes a food processor bowl so that in addition to making smoothies, margaritas, and butternut squash soup, you can chop onions, make a chunky salsa, or knead pizza dough. With a whopping 1,400-watt motor this model is tough enough to power through whole fruits, vegetables, seeds, and stems; it'll turn ice to snow in a matter of seconds.
With this blender you get two travel mugs that you can use instead of the full size jar so that after you blend your breakfast you can just grab the mug and run. On the control panel there are preprogrammed AutoiQ settings for crushing ice, smoothies, chopping, extracting, and making dough. They’re helpful for taking the guesswork out of picking a speed and blending time. Only negative here is that it makes quite a racket when it’s blending.
The blade and bowl system in the Breville BBL620 Fresh & Furious blender work together to draw food from the top to the bottom for efficient blending. In conjunction with a powerful 1,100-watt motor this gives evenly smooth-textured results and eliminates the need to stop and stir the ingredients during blending. You’ll never find a chunk of onion in your soup or a piece of ice in your smoothie. The LCD display counts up on speed settings which is useful if you’re following a recipe that gives a blending time, and counts down on the preprogrammed settings so you know how much time is left.
Its streamlined design will add class to your countertop without hogging up too much space. It has illuminated controls and is extremely intuitive and easy to program. Making a kale-laden smoothie? Just press the Green Smoothie button.
With its professional stainless-steel housing that coordinates with the coveted Wolf range and an array of blending capabilities, it's no wonder this high-performance blender turns heads. Using 2.4 horsepower, its blades spin up to a dizzying 210 mph; the WGBL100S can annihilate even the hardiest fruits and veggies in mere seconds. (And according to some reviews, it's a lot quieter than you would expect.) Apples, carrots, celery, frozen fruit: nothing stands a chance. You can even make hot soup in just a few minutes — right in the blending jar.
There are four preset modes: smoothie, ice crush, puree and soup. The LCD panel provides continuous feedback on blending speed, elapsed time and user settings. At 20 inches in height and nearly 16 pounds in weight, the WGBL100S is larger than some of its competitors, but if you've got the space for it, you won't regret this purchase.
How to choose the best blender for you
When shopping for a new blender, you'll want to take several factors into account, from the type of blender and specific features you need to the size of the blender and the counterspace you have available.
- All-Purpose/Conventional blenders are the most wallet-friendly. While they’ll easily handle milkshakes and smoothies, depending on blade design and wattage, they can leave drinks a little chunky.
- Premium/High-Performance blenders have better-quality parts and give super smooth results. They can turn raw vegetables into soup, ice and cream into frozen desserts, and nuts into butter. Expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $700.
- Personal/Smoothie blenders are perfect for fruit smoothies, milkshakes and powdered drinks. The mixing container doubles as a travel jar, so they're excellent for athletes and commuters alike. They're also smaller (and less expensive) than conventional and premium blenders.
- Immersion/Stick/Handheld blenders are meant to be submerged directly into the food/drink you're preparing: soups, purees, foams, marinades and more. When you’re making gravy or a soup like vichyssoise, you can puree the ingredients right in the pot; you don’t have to transfer the ingredients into the blender jar in batches.
The nest question is how much space you need for the blender. If you've got a small kitchen, the wrong blender could end up costing you valuable countertop real estate. Although immersion blenders can be easily tucked into a drawer, and personal blenders tend to be fairly compact, a high-performance blender is much more unwieldy. Don't buy a large, heavy machine if you don't have the space — it will end up collecting dust in a corner somewhere.
Pro tip: Measure the vertical space between your countertop and cabinets before purchasing a full-size blender; ideally, it should be able to slide under the cabinet when not in use. Eighteen inches of clearance is enough room for most models.
Finally, you'll want to note the specific features offered by the blenders you're considering. Some things to look for are the included accessories, the overall construction of the blender and the speed and power options each blender offers.
Accessories: Some models come with food-processor attachments, coffee grinders and drinkable to-go containers. Pick a blender with accessories that fit your lifestyle.
Plastic or glass containers: Plastic containers are more likely to absorb odors and stain but they're lighter in weight and less likely to break if dropped than than ones made of glass. Whichever style you choose, just make sure it's easy to clean, with clearly marked measurements on the side. If you like to chuck everything in the dishwasher, check to see if it’s dishwasher safe.
Speeds: The more speed settings available, the more user control a blender offers. Premium blenders may also offer preprogrammed options for tasks like smoothies, crushing ice, and pureeing that take the guesswork out of blending.
Power: You’ll see a range from 300 to 1,000 watts of power for most blenders, but 500 watts is enough juice (so to speak) for most blending tasks. Keep in mind that other factors influence the blenders performance, so more wattage doesn’t necessarily translate to better results.
Warranty: One year is good, but five is way better. The more expensive the blender, the more important it is to pick one that's backed by a solid warranty.
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