Three best countertop blenders
There might be an endless variety of cool kitchen gadgets that would be nice to own, but very few qualify as must-haves. On the short list of must-haves, near the top, would be a countertop blender. Besides shakes and smoothies, you can use a countertop blender to make pesto, soup, peanut butter, pudding, almond milk, pancakes, bread, pizza sauce, and more. A good countertop blender is an essential appliance for a variety of kitchen needs.
As with every tool, how you intend on using it ultimately determines which countertop blender is best for you. Reading through this short guide will introduce you to your options and reveal the most practical features so you can purchase the right countertop blender for your needs.
Considerations when choosing countertop blenders
Three types of blenders
Countertop blenders range from professional-grade, heavy-duty workhorses that can cost anywhere from $300 to $700 down to single-serving blenders that can be had for less than $100. In the middle, from $100 to about $250, you will find durable, multi-purpose blenders that are sufficient for the average family.
Key features to consider
The type of blender controls you prefer is a personal choice. You might want nothing more than a simple on/off switch. Or, you might prefer an appliance with touchpad controls. There are also countertop blenders with dials and push buttons. The choice is yours.
Efficiency and flexibility
Rather than classifying a blender solely by power, think about how efficient and adaptable it is. Can it perform a wide variety of functions, or is it just good for making shakes and smoothies? This is determined by a combination of blade type, watts, capacity, and speed.
A self-cleaning countertop blender can make life in the kitchen a lot easier. Just drop a dollop of detergent in, add some water, and turn it on. The more often you use your blender, the more appreciated a self-cleaning feature will be.
Some blenders are on/off devices while others have a wide variety of settings and programs that allow you to perform complicated tasks with the push of a button. A pulse feature is handy for a quick fine-tuning of your texture, and a dial allows you to adjust the speed to the precise setting you desire.
Before purchasing a blender, make sure it is the appropriate size for your needs. Do you just want something that will help you make quick pre- or post-workout beverages, or do you need a countertop blender that can create a meal for your entire family?
The length of the warranty is the best way to know how much faith the manufacturer has in its own product.
Q. Does a blender destroy nutrients?
A. If you are concerned about preserving the nutrients in your food, blend for shorter periods of time. Some nutrients are heat-sensitive, so the longer you run your blender, the more heat buildup you have -- and the more potential harm you could be doing to the nutrients in your food.
Q. Can you really heat soup using only a blender?
A. Yes. Blenders whirl so fast that the friction created can actually heat the items you are blending. In as little as three minutes, a powerful blender can raise the temperature of soup from about 68°F to 180°F. You can boil water in a blender in about five minutes. This should only be done in a vented blender that is specifically designed to work with hotter temperatures. Steam pressure needs to be continually vented, or it will blow the lid off the blender, spattering scalding hot liquids about the kitchen, your clothing, and your skin.
Countertop blenders we recommend
Best of the best: Vitamix Professional Series 750 Professional-Grade Blender
Our take: A high-powered, high-capacity, professional-grade blender that produces even textures.
What we like: The aircraft-grade blades coupled with the even torque motor and variable speeds make this a consistently performing machine. The speed dial can be adjusted at any point without shutting off the blender, and the unit's self-cleaning feature is greatly appreciated.
What we dislike: This is a true professional-grade blender, so the price tag is on the higher end of the scale.
Best bang for your buck: Blendtec Total Classic Blender
Our take: A reasonably priced, high-powered, professional-grade blender.
What we like: Blendtec's unit can perform with wet or dry ingredients, and it has six preprogrammed walk-away cycles, an automatic shutoff, and 10 speeds, plus a pulse feature to help you get the texture just right. The family-owned company offers an impressive eight-year warranty with this blender.
What we dislike: This countertop blender costs more than your average home-use blender, but it is still markedly less expensive than other professional-grade blenders.
Our take: A powerful personal blender that is ideal for making nutrient-rich single-serving smoothies and shakes.
What we like: This is a BPA-free, 1,200-watt blender that works fast and is easy to use and clean. The package comes with the blender, three different cup sizes, and sip-and-seal lids.
What we dislike: Owners voice occasional durability concerns.
Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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