Ask This When Shopping for Kitchen Blenders

A blender is a very useful appliance that can be used for a wide variety of recipes, and in fact no kitchen is complete without a great blender. Whether it's being used to blend protein powder and fruit into morning shakes, craft a special sauce or dip, make a dessert puree or even just whip up some tasty margaritas or other frozen drinks, a blender is surprisingly versatile and is meant to last for years if not decades. As if that were not enough, many blenders can also be used as food processors and even as juicers, saving consumers a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on pricey additional appliances. Here's what to ask while shopping for a blender.

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What Are the Best Blenders for Juicing?

If you're really into juicing and making smoothies, Vitamix makes some of the best blenders for this purpose (as voted by chefs and fitness professionals for New York Magazine and 2019). Check out the Vitamix Professional Series 750 (normally over $700 but on Amazon for $598.95 and free shipping) and the Vitamix E310 Explorian (normally $350 but at Williams Sonoma for $299.95 and free store pickup or free shipping).

What Are the Best Blenders for Processing Food?

For those who use a lot of recipes that require hard food to be pureed or chopped up, the best blenders are going to be those with a decent amount of width and heavy-duty blade. Among the best are the Cuisinart Elemental 8-cup Food Processing Blender ($99.95 on Williams Sonoma with free shipping, down from $185) and the Ninja Master Prep QB900 (normally over $60 but currently $30.49 at Target).

What Are the Best Compact Blenders?

Many people lack space in their kitchens, but the good news is that the amount of compact blenders designed to fit in tight corners and small cabinet spaces has risen in recent years. Some of the best compact blenders are the Nutribullet Pro 900 (normally $79.99 but currently $75.49 on Amazon), the Nutri Ninja (normally $99.99 but $76 at Home Depot) and the Hamilton Beach Single Serve Blender (normally $30 but currently for half off on Amazon).

What Are the Best General Use Blenders?

If you have an interest in a wide variety of food and drink recipes or simply want to keep your options as open as possible, the best general use blenders are the Vitamix 5200 ($450 directly from Vitamix but as low as $400 from Amazon with free shipping), the Oster Versa Performance 1400W Blender ($199.99 on Oster but $189.99 on Bed, Bath & Beyond with free shipping) and the KitchenAid KSB1570 (normally for $99.99 but as low as $72 from Target and $72.92 from Home Depot, both with free shipping).

What Are the Best Portable Blenders?

For those who don't want the cords, the best battery-operated, portable blenders are the BeckCool Travel Personal Blender ($32.99 on Amazon, down from $50) and the Top OSC Portable Blender ($36.99 on Amazon, down from $70). It should be noted, however, that portable blenders tend to be a lot smaller and may not last as long as larger, cord-powered options.

Should Blenders Come with a Warranty?

Consumers would be wise not to trust any retailer that does not offer a decent warranty with the purchase of a new blender (or any applicance, for that matter). The best blenders have warranties ranging from seven years to 10 years, though it is worth noting that these are non-transferrable and apply to the original purchase only. So if you're buying a blender that is used or refurbished, be forewarned that its maker will not apply a refund if anything goes wrong.

How Should Blenders Be Maintained?

The truth is that blenders should be cleaned thoroughly after every single use, and a simple rinse will not do. They should also be stowed away properly after use and should not be left plugged in (electrical surges can damage them). Always follow the manufacturer instructions, or the warranty will risk being voided.

What Are the Most Popular Blenders?

There is a wide variety of blenders on the market today. Whether you just want to make occasional smoothies or are an accomplished chef who will be using a blender for many recipes throughout your week, there’s a blender that will meet all your needs and more. The most popular blender brands currently are Vitamix, KitchenAid, Cuisinart, Ninja and Oster, although there is growing popularity in newer ones like those from Amazon Basics.

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