The 6 Best Blenders on the Market Right Now
In my house the blender has become possibly my most essential gadget. What began several years ago as a bid to get healthier in the New Year with fresh morning smoothies, has now become my go-to way of preparing food. Whether that is sauces, dips, puddings, spreads, batters, or even salads.
However, price tags don’t always match up with quality, and if you’re looking to upgrade or buy a blender you want make sure your money is going towards the best.
What is a blender?
This may seem like an easily-answered question, but what most of us call a blender and what retailers call a blender isn’t always the same thing.The basic distinction is between blenders which make cutting, mashing, and squeezing food far easier, and mixers which make whisking, mixing, and kneading easier. Technically both types blend foods together, and sometimes machines can both puree and mix foods, but retailers make this distinction and you’ll need to follow it.
In my blender comparison I’ve looked only at the latest countertop blenders, as I believe they’re the most versatile, but something smaller might better suit your needs.
The different types of blender
In your search for a new blender you’re going to have to choose between three basic types. Firstly, you have the immersion or hand blender. This is a blade on a stick and it’s fantastic for making soups, pestos, chunky salsas, and for blending things in a pan over a stovetop. However, they lack real power and they can be explosively messy.
The second option is the countertop blender or what you might think of as a smoothie-maker. These have usually smaller blades and they can be used to juice, blend and chop a huge variety of runny or liquid foods and drinks.
The third option is the food processor. These are larger countertop units with changeable blades: this means they are able to carry out various functions including chopping, pureeing, and kneading. However, they tend not to be as good with smoothies and liquids.
What to look for in a blender?
If you’re researching blenders that means you don’t just want a basic blender for making smoothies with the chunks still in at the end. These are three main things I’ve taken into account with my blender tests.
Power: A strong blender needs a higher wattage or horsepower to spin larger blades with enough force to chop things up. A high-power blender will be between 1,000 and 1,800 watts and a weaker one may go down to 500. You also need to consider the speed options available — especially if you want to pulse things or make chunky salsas.
Wattage alone, however, won’t give you the whole picture and you’ll need reviews to tell you if a blender can handle crushing things like ice.
Materials: You will usually have a choice of glass, plastic, and sometimes metal blender containers. These materials effect how heavy a blender is, whether you can see inside it, if they absorb smells, and how easy they are to break.
Design and Cleanliness: Most modern blenders are easy and safe to clean, but some make this easier with their detachable designs. You will also want to consider how many ounces your container can hold, whether it comes with different attachments for different types of foods or liquids, and how good the controls are.
The Top 6 Blender Reviews
As part of my blender reviews I’ve tried and tested some of the latest models out there. Here I’ve brought you the seven best and crowned my favorite for 2016 as well the best value blender I found.
We start with one of the best performers in my blender comparison; Cuisinart coming out just ahead for warm soups and clean smoothies. It’s reasonably priced (at $170), it’s compact, it’s on the quiet side, and it’s well made. It’s also very easy to clean with its digital controls and a dishwasher-friendly jar.In fact, if you are here looking for a soup maker this is the best blender to go for and it is also arguably the best for smoothies as well. With a 10-year warranty on the motor (but not the body), the only reason this doesn’t get the top spot on the list is that it doesn’t crush ice very well.
The Oster Versa comes highly recommended as runner-up to both my best value blender and the best blender in this list. It’s a very well presented, sleek, and good quality blender with a 1400 watt motor, easy clean-up, and controls that are both robust and elegant.Overall it came third in my tests for ice, soup, and smoothies and it has a very attractive price point (at $200). The best feature is that all of this comes with a 7-year warranty for the whole blender, meaning you can buy this excellent blender knowing it will last.
The NutriBullet is a favorite of the infomercial channels and is the king of accessories while maintaining a fair price point ($150). It comes with an impressive 1700 watt motor and has three jar sizes which make it clean and convenient (though these are smaller than the standard 60 to 64 ounce jars).What this massive motor power is hiding though, is a limited number of speed settings and a below average performance for crushing ice in my tests. Rest assured though, this is a good blender for smoothies and soups, and it is fun to use. If you want to drink straight out of the jar this is a good choice.
The Dash Chef is going to be a favorite with many as it’s reasonably priced (at around $190) and yet it was one of the best performing blenders. It has a large 64-ounce container, 6 speed settings, and packs an impressive 1400 watts.In my tests it was one of the best for crushing ice, making clean smoothies, and keeping soup hot. It even comes with a digital interface and has a nice retro look. However, the build quality is not as impressive as some of the higher-end blenders and it didn’t match either the Ninja Duo or the Cuisinart for performance. Nevertheless, this is a very good choice and it works as a compromise if you want ice-crushing power and consistently good smoothies.
Best Value Blender: KitchenAid
The KitchenAid wins best value blender not just because it’s the cheapest on the list (at $99), but because it performed better than some of the others in spite of this. The price point comes with a weaker 550 watt motor, but it can still handle some ice or nuts, and it made one of the best smoothies during my blender test.If you want a cheap but good quality blender for smoothies then the KitchenAid is a good place to look. It’s compact and attractive, it’s easy to clean and dishwasher safe, and its 60 ounce jar should serve you well.
Best Blender 2016: Nutri Ninja Duo
Nutri Ninja Duo takes the top spot because when it comes to powerful countertop blenders it has the most to offer at a fantastic price ($160). Its 1500 watt motor and unique blade design means it’s one of the best for crushing ice, but it also delivers very well on the smoothie front. If you want to make drinks the Ninja Duo comes out ahead while matching others for soup and nuts.One of the main features is the interchangeable blades and jars. This gives you a 64 ounce jar as well as smaller personal sizes, and all of these jars are dishwasher friendly. The only downside is that its warranty leaves something to be desired making it less value for money.