I didn’t realize there were two types of blenders until someone brought a hand blender to my home party some years ago. I mean, I knew the hand blender existed, but I didn’t place both types of blender together – they look so different!
The countertop blender Is a blender with a jug or container. You put it on the countertop and press buttons to make it blend. This is suitable for large amount blending, things that need a longer period of blending, or things that consists of many ingredients, e.g. chili paste. ($15 – $1000)
The immersion blender Is a stick-like thing with blades also called a hand blender or handheld blender. You hold it in your hand and immerse the blades in the stuff you want to blend. Great for quick blending and bringing it to the pot instead of transferring hot soup to and from the blender. ($15 – $400)
Now that we are done with that titbit about the two types of blenders you, it’s time to look at your expectations of the blender.
Since the quality and price range of blenders are so greatly varied, it’s important to know whether you should go for that $500 high quality blender that will do all the things you want it to do, or that $30 personal blender that will do just fine 🙂
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you want a heavy duty blender like those used in places like Starbucks and Coffee Bean? Or do you want a blender that is used occasionally on the weekends?
- Do you want a blender that can last you from your generation to the 2nd or even 3rd generation? Or do you want a short-term medium size blender for your student days only?
- Do you want to blend big batches of food at any one go? Or are you just blending for yourself?
Best blender with glass jar
For some people, it’s the looks that count, so they prefer a blender with glass jar. Blenders with glass jars really do look better than their plastic jar counterparts, but that’s not all there is to it. There could be other reasons why people prefer a blender with a glass jar.
Glass jars stay attractive and look new for a longer time because they are scratch resistant, unlike plastic or polycarbonate jars which scratch easily and even discolor over time if you blend food like ginger.
Doesn’t Leave an Odor
A glass jar will not retain the odor of the food in it like a plastic jar. If you often blend chili, hot peppers or alcoholic drinks, you won’t want the aftertaste in your next smoothie or baby food.
Many people also hate the idea of blending hot soups or food in a plastic blender jar. Having said that, a blender with big glass jar might not be a good option for the elderly with weak hands because it is heavier.
The best blenders with glass jars
Our Top Picks
Oster 4093 Beehive Blender
This blender has all the looks and the performance too. The 500-watt power is enough to crush almost anything you want it to.
The glass jar is tapered so that the food goes down to the base, making the blend more consistent. It’s easy to use, easy to clean because the jar is dishwasher safe, and gives your kitchen a lovely modern-retro look with its silver beehive shaped base.
For general use and a more affordable price, you may want to consider this Oster glass jar blender.
This 450-watt blender is good enough for most kitchen tasks, and crushes ice cubes for your smoothies without much ado.
The glass jar is even claimed to be thermal shock tested, which means you can immediately blend an ice-cold smoothie with the glass jar right out of the hot dishwasher.
Personally, I would choose the Oster 4093. It has a bigger power, a better performance in making smoothies, and better looks compared to the Oster BCBG08-C which has plastic buttons and a less attractive base.
Blenders with chopper attachment
I have seen several households without a food processor because they make do with a chopper attachment that comes with the blender. If you don’t do a lot of chopping, slicing and dicing, the small chopper attachment will certainly add value to the blender you buy.
It takes care of any small amount of chopping you need to do, such as chopping up the onions, garlic or even peanuts. It’s also nice for making salsa.
If you want to buy a blender with a chopper attachment, remember that the chopper shares the same motor or base with the blender, which means that they have the same power.
The best blenders with chopper attachment
If you are looking for a countertop blender with a chopper attachment, this is a wonderful choice.
The powerful 700-watt blender has a dishwasher safe and heat resistant glass jar, chopper bowl, and easy touch pad controls, making it a breeze to use and clean up. The stainless steel blades work well to blend or chop food ingredients at two speeds or pulse.
What I like about this blender with chopper is that the chopper has enough power to chop up the hard foods, plus it is really cheap in price compared to many other blenders. The chopper attachment practically comes free.
Most blenders with chopper come in the form of a hand blender. The Cuisinart CSB-77 is the most popular and bestselling of its kind. The hand blender works pretty well in blending soups right in the pot, and is compact enough to store away in the kitchen drawer.
The chopper attachment is nice for small jobs like mincing herbs and chopping onions, but it doesn’t take large pieces of food well because the motor is only 200-watt. The whole package also includes a whisk for beating egg whites.
Blenders for coffee shop
A good blender for a coffee shop is without doubt different from the common kitchen blender, seeing that you will be using it many times a day, for every single day the shop is open. In other words, it must be a heavy duty blender. Only a heavy duty blender will sustain the heavy work that you put it through, without grinding to a stop in less than a month.
You will need to use the blender for your coffee shop to make ice blended drinks, so it must have enough power and a good design to crush ice nicely. Ice chips or unblended chunks of ice in the drinks are not a good contribution to your coffee shop’s reputation.
Having both points in mind, what is the best blender for a coffee shop? After scrounging high and low, here are two heavy duty and professional blenders that I think are worth recommending.
The best blenders for coffee shops
My word. this is no ordinary blender. Rather, it’s more like an assistant cook, a bartender, and an assistant baker all rolled into one.
With a 2HP motor and a very sturdy base, you can be sure this baby will stay on the counter blending all you want it to blend. It is so powerful that reviewers have claimed that they throw in whole fruits to make really creamy smoothies (not that I’d want to do that; the skin and the seeds would taste horrible in the mix)
You can actually use this blender to make anything from pesto, smoothies, sorbet, ice cream, and nut butters to heavy bread dough; how’s that?
If you are running a flourishing food and beverage business I highly recommend getting this heavy duty blender, because it will most definitely give you value for the big wad of cash you’re investing in this.
If your coffee shop only needs the blender to make drinks (from frozen fruit drinks to cocktails), maybe you would prefer a more economical heavy duty blender.
The Waring MBB518 is a truly durable professional bar blender that many coffee shops and smoothie businesses use as their workhorse.
The 390-watt power is sufficient for crushing ice, and the beautiful glass jar cleans easily. The jar is just the size for two smoothies, and I think that is good enough for most coffee shops. At less than $100, this can be a good blender for your coffee shop.
Blenders with juicer attachment
Some of us like combination appliances, if only for the sake of saving space in the kitchen. A blender with a juicer attachment, or more likely a juicer with a blender attachment, is a great idea for the health freaks; imagine all the green smoothies and healthy juices you can make with one machine!
For small kitchens, the blender jar or juicer attachment can be stored away in the cabinet or drawer when it’s not in use.
That is more attainable than having to store away a whole blender or juicer.
The one concern is whether one attachment works as well as the other. More often than not, only one of them is amazing, while the other one is just for show. Well, there aren’t many models of blender with juicer attachment out there, here are two of them to compare.
Best blenders with juicer attachment
If you are serious about making healthy drinks, with all kinds of vegetables, fruits and whatnot, this blender with juicer attachment (or the other way around) should be your first consideration.
The Breville name means a lot in the juicer industry, in fact, it makes some of the best juicers.
The gorgeous die-cast machine sports a 51 oz. glass blender jar with 1200-watt motor. The five speeds and ice crush lets you make just about any drink you want (ice blended vegetable?) while the juicer with 1000-watt motor has a big wide chute to fit large pieces of fruits without pre-cutting them.
Jay Kordich JDJB21001
If you think all that is too high end for you, you might like this Jay Kordich combination model. The stainless steel blade and straining basket with a 800-watt motor makes a pretty good juicer build, while the 60 oz. glass blender jar is a good size for an average family.
The one downside I could see is that it has a smaller chute for the juicer, so the fruits would have to be cut into smaller pieces compared to the Breville, but this is a small worry.
The selling point for this blender with juicer attachment could be the fact that it only costs about $100! That’s a wonderful bargain for two appliances in one.
People are getting more and health conscious. Consumers are demanding more do-it-yourself equipments. And the variety of both healthy and industrial products is increasing in the market.
Smoothie blenders are one of those, making it possible for you to blend right in your kitchen doses of nutritious drinks to boost your immune system and improve your overall well being.
You can always buy a cup of cold, rejuvenating smoothie, but there’s nothing like picking your preferred ingredients and blending them in a way that best suits your taste buds, and your imagination.
What to consider when buying a smoothie blender
How many people are you making the smoothie for? Sizes of blenders differ from those that are for household use and those for industrial purpose. Your need to occasionally hold party should be looked at too; for you obviously don’t want to keep blending from a small device. And a small blender can’t attract attention.
It’s advisable to get glass jug because it’s easy to clean internally and stylish externally. Intelligently-designed jugs are actually detachable cups, from which you can drink straight from it, saving you time to look for and clean another glass.
Make sure the lid is tight enough to prevent the contents from spilling out while blending. Some interesting lids have an opening for you to add extra ingredients while blending is going on.
Plastic bases, lacking the weight of metal, tend to be unstable while the blender is on. It rattles while blending and as a consequence, the blade has to be slowed down, resulting in chunky contents. On the contrary, metal bases are sturdy, durable and can handle heavy duties.
For convenience, some blenders have taps at the bottom where you can open, let your smoothie flow into a glass and close it again, instead of removing the lid and detaching the jug.
350 watts is enough to power normal blending. However, if you’re a lazy person and throw uncut fruits or solid ice straight into the blender, 500 watts is required to replace your haste, lest you’ll chew, not drink.
Best smoothie blenders
Besides blending smoothies, it can also chop various nuts and fruit; grind beans; grate soft vegetables; and can crush ice.
The blender is powered by 500 watt motor and has low-speed pulse control that blends more finely and precisely.
To allow better mixing, the glass container is ribbed and tapered and then fitted into Oster’s trademark beehive-designed base, which is coated with classic chrome color and attached with slip-proof rubber feet.
From blending fruits to creating ice-cream; from shredding cheese to kneading dough; from pureeing soups to emulsifying salad, this mean machine does it all and more.
Blade runs powerfully, from the provided range of 11 mph to 240 mph.
Instead of glass which poses serious danger considering the power provided, container is made up of 64 ounce Eastman Tritan copolyster which is easily cleaned, chemically resistant and durably lasting.
Factors to consider when shopping for a blender
Before you take a look at the tips below, try to ascertain what tasks you intend on doing with the blender. So, when you are shopping for a blender, choose one that performs the tasks you have aimed for. Below are a few suggestions:
- The higher the wattage, the quicker and easier the blending would go. The downside is that more powerful blenders which have 1200 watts cost more.
- Try to choose a blender that has various speed and pulse actions. This will aid you in mixing various ingredients at different textures.
- If you are just blending fruits and drinks, you don’t need a very powerful blender. Check out my recommendations for Best Smoothie Blender.
- Speed settings vary from 3 to 16. Most blender reviews state that 3 speeds are more than sufficient.
- On the other hand, a blender below 750 watts is ideal if you want to cut down on your electricity bill since you will be using the blender frequently.
- Bar blender for crushing ice: Waring Pro Professional Bar Blender – 500-watt
- Powerful 1200-watt blender for heavy duty blending: Vitamix 5200
- The majority of the blender’s capacity could vary between 1 and 3 litres. If you have a big family, a bigger blender would be suitable and vice versa.
- Besides that, consider how much food you intend to blend at any one time. Bear in mind that when blending, you can only put up to ¾ of the jar at any one time. This will help you in determining the ideal blender’s capacity that you want.
- Pay attention to the height of the blender so that it can fit in the maximum height of your kitchen’s storage or upper cabinet.
- Small blender for personal use: Tribest Small Personal Blender – 16-ounce
- Mid size blender: Breville BBL600XL – 51-ounce
- Large blender: Blendtec Wildside HP3A – 96-ounce
- The best material would be undoubtedly stainless steel. Preferably, the jars should preferably be made of glass to ensure sturdiness. The downside is that they are expensive, heavy and would require extra care.
- Plastic carafes would absorb the pungent smell of your food and would be a cause of irritation in the long run, so it is still better to get the glass jars.
- Always check the footing of the blender. It has to have a stable and strong base to ensure that it does not topple off the table when the motor is running.
- A blender should be made of a material that will not stain, break or scratch easily.
Functions and Features
- Blenders that come with multiple attachments and features are bound to impress a prospective buyer. However, it is advisable to analyze your need for all the features. After all, it will not be worthwhile if you are paying for features that you will seldom put to use.
- If you need to change attachments as part of your cooking processes regularly, try fitting and taking off the attachments before buying to make sure that the attachments are easily detachable and replaceable. Additionally, check if these attachments have certain sensitive or fragile parts that may get damaged if they are properly attached.
- Some blenders come with an opening at the top fitted with removable lids to facilitate the addition of liquid or food while in the midst of blending. Some buyers love this feature as they consider it useful.
- Nowadays, blenders come with food processor attachments. Depending on your needs, this might address most of your blending and food processor needs.
- Since most kitchen blenders are left on the countertop, it is ideal that the blender should have cord storage spaces with lids to avoid the cord from getting wet.
- Check if it comes equipped with safety locks to stop the machine from accidentally starting. This is important especially if you have small children in the house.
- Longer cords may be quite useful as long as they have ample storage space.
- Remember to check the warranty. Usually, the more expensive a blender is, the longer the warranty will be.
Try the Blender before Buying It
- It is always preferable to check its multiple functions. However, it is not possible; make sure that you can return it if it does not function as promised.
- There are some customers who have experienced blenders which promised to crush ice but only liquefy it.
- If you plan to place your blender on the countertop, it should be good looking (not just in color but also in its shape)
- Blender in wonderful looking chrome finish: Oster Classic Beehive Blender
- Blenders with touch pad controls are easy to keep clean because the surface is flat and smooth. Those with program settings are very easy to use since time and speed are already pre-determined. However, some users find it difficult to read.
- Blenders with push button controls are very easy to use. However, when it comes to maintenance, they are difficult to clean. Keep in mind that the grooves might attract spills on a permanent basis no matter how frequently you clean them.
- Blenders with dials (to move from one speed to another) are easy to operate and clean. However, they do not look as sleek or as trendy as touch pad control panels. The same goes for blenders with switches. The further drawback is that switches limit speed choices since only two positions are possible.
- They depend on the manufacturers as well as the sophistication of the blender. Handheld blenders (Faberware, Toastmaster, Cuisinart and Braun) are within $11and $30.
- Top names like Braun, Hamilton Beach, Oster, Cuisinart, Back to Basics and Black & Decker are roughly in the $35 – $50 price band, which have a capacity between 40 and 56 oz.
- A good tip to remember is that as the price soars higher, blenders become better in terms of quality and motor capacity rather than in terms of carafe capacity.
- As such, some top class blenders can be purchased as long as you are willing to spend above $100.
- However, do keep in mind that this is not necessarily true. There might be discrepancies in manufacturing. Not all high prices will guarantee quality.
- Blenders with non removable blades are harder to clean.
- However, blenders with non removable blades are less likely to leak.
- Removable blades allows for replaceable parts.
Hot and Cold
- The best blenders will not crack when blending hot ingredients immediately after blending cold ingredients.
- Neither will the lid fly off when blending hot ingredients. This is part of the safety precaution that you should look out for.
Look for a Tapered Jar or Pitcher
- Tapered jars funnel food down to the blades, yielding silky soups. The wider the mouth of the pitcher, the easier it is to clean and to pour.
- This makes cleaning easier since it is easy to scrape out the contents.
- Additionally, you may want easy to read measurements on the outside of the carafe. The print should be big and a different colour from the container.
How to maintain a blender
Learning how to choose a blender does not guarantee the lasting quality of your blender. To maximize its life-span, check out these handy hints on how to maintain your blender in tip-top condition.
- Always clean the pitcher after using it. Just press the ‘pulse’ feature after adding a squirt of washing liquid and water that fills half the pitcher. Wait for a few seconds and then switch off. Remember to put on the lid, or else you’ll be taking a kitchen bath
- If you have spare time, try to hand wash the plastic pitcher, the gasket and the blade assembly individually. This will aid in lengthening their life-span.
- A particularly effective way of cleaning under and around the blades is to pour hot, soapy water into the machine.
- Don’t forget to dry the blades! You don’t want it turning rusty.
- Do not interrupt the blending process by sticking a spoon in the blender. If you need to give it a little stir, always wait for the blades to stop first.
- Blending hot food right after a chilled blend and vice versa is a definite NO-NO. Likewise, always exercise extra care while adding hot food into the pitcher since glass pitches can crack.
- Even if you are in a hurry, wait for the motor to stop before lifting the kitchen pitcher off the blender.
- Remember this! Always add liquid while crushing ice. Why? When you crush dry ice, all kinds of damage can be done to not just the blades but also the container!
- A blender is only good if the blades are sharp. Use the tip above. The rationale? Liquids will soften the blow on the blades and this will ensure the longevity of the blades.
- Keep a lookout for the time spent when you run your blender. Give it a rest in between blends. Blend motors are designed for short period of blending. For example, try to let your motor rest for a minute or so when you have blended for at least 2 minutes or more.
- If you have an old blender that is making a last stand, don’t throw it into the dustbin just yet. They are quite useful. For instance, you could put it into a work shop or a garage for dirty mixing jobs. Want a good, solid mix of paint? Use the old blender! It might not work well enough on food for your liking, but it can do wonders on liquids like paint!
Regardless of whether you have bought a cheap or expensive blender, these maintenance tips will maximize the potential of your blender. This is one of the ways to make your money’s worth. Only a bad workman will blame his tools. I hope this helps.