Blender Buying Guide
People do buy blenders based on price, capacity, brand, jar type, and many other reasons. It is however imperative to discuss the basic things to look out for in taking a blender buying decision because of its importance in the kitchen. Buying a kitchen blender sounds pretty easy, trust me it takes some consideration to ensure your kitchen appliance purchase meets your needs.
Hence, let’s discuss the basic available types of the blender so as to make a good buying decision.
1. Hand Mixer
These are often called hand mixers and are really just an electric version of the old-fashioned eggbeater. They may have different attachments, but they are a mixer designed for really beating ingredients together.
2. Single-Serve Blender
Also known as bullet blenders, these types of personal blenders have been made popular by the NutriBullet blenders, the Ninja range, and Magic Bullet. They come in varying sizing, but most have the capacity to make a single or double serve drink.
They are quite unique in the way that they work. You fill the ‘bullet-shaped container with your ingredients, screw a chopping blade to the top, then turn the whole thing upside down and insert it into the bullet blender base.
3. Portable Blender
Portable blenders are a new type of blender to hit the market, and not be confused with ‘personal’ blenders which generally refer to the single-serve bullet blenders.
These types of blenders are made up of a clear glass tube, one end screws into the blade base which contains the motor. The other end screws into the lid. The blenders are lightweight and smaller than the average hydro flask, so are actually portable.
4. Countertop Blender
Not to be confused with a food processor, these types of blenders are the one-stop shop for great drinks. The leaders in this market would be Vitamix and Kitchenaid, although excellent marketing from Blendtec and the ‘make it blend’ campaign has raised their profile.
They generally have a larger 64 oz or almost 2-liter capacity, so countertop blenders are a great option if you are going to be making drinks for a family or party. One caution with using these types of blenders is to check carefully before using them to blend hot liquids. Most countertop blenders are designed for cold or cool liquids and have lids that seal well. This is great for keeping flying ice and smoothie ingredients from flying around but causes a huge pressure to build up for steam from hot ingredients, which can cause an explosion.
5. Stand Mixer
Stand mixers are also known as cake mixers because this is really what most people use theirs for. They are like hand blenders or hand mixers, but far more powerful. KitchenAid, Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, Kenwood, and Sunbeam are all competing for top place as the world’s most popular stand mixer.
From our findings below are the key questions to ask if you are planning to get a blender:
How powerful should it be?
People often struggle with this question. Is it possible to buy a blender that’s too powerful? You’re not planning to use it to crush rocks and twigs.
The concern goes the other way. You need a blender with enough power to process what you plan to put in it. Soft fruit smoothies don’t need the power of a high-performance blender. But you wouldn’t want to try chopping up nuts in your personal blender.
Yes, I’m asking you to look into the future and think about what you might someday use your blender to make. Don’t sell yourself short if you can afford to buy a higher-power blender. It offers future versatility.
Here are some power range suggestions:
300 watts: Most basic countertop blenders offer this power rating. You’ll be able to chop all but the hardest of ingredients. Blending shouldn’t be much of a problem.
500 to 700 watts: Now you’re getting into the range of true versatility. A blender with this much power can process soups and take you beyond liquids.
Over 700 watts: Moving past 700 watts allows you to work with dry ingredients. Make your own peanut butter. Process grains into flour. The extra power means you won’t be limited if you want to explore. It also gives you the ability to make large quantities. You will pay more for this extra muscle.
How easy is it to clean?
I love cleaning things, said no one ever.
Most blender manufacturers feature containers and blades that are dishwasher-safe. But not all dishwashers can accommodate the larger capacity blender jars.
Make sure you know the limitations of your dishwasher before you make a blender choice.
Many people prefer to wash their blender jars by hand. Be careful of the blades if you go this route. You don’t want to cut yourself.
Some high-performance blenders can clean themselves. Add liquid dish soap and water, and let it run. A quick rinse and you’re done.
Online reviewers advise paying attention to the ability to remove the blender blades.
Don’t forget the exterior. You’ll clean the container, blades, and lid every time you use it. The rest of the blender will need an occasional wipe-down. Blender bases with smooth exteriors and minimal crevices will be easier to maintain.
How much noise do you mind?
A blade is spinning up to 20,000 RPM or more means they are revolving at speeds of up to 270 miles per hour! You don’t expect them to be whisper-quiet, do you?
The combination of the motor, blades and processed food add up to a certain amount of noise.
Normal conversation happens at a noise level of between 55 and 60 decibels (dB).
Perdue University measured a food blender and other kitchen devices. They determined that at 88dB, the average blender was even louder than garbage disposal. Constant exposure to this level of sound would cause damage to your ears after 8 hours.
More power in a blender means it will be louder. But high-performance blenders also feature quality materials that dampen noise. Look for manufacturers who promote their use of sound absorption features.
All manufacturers should be able to provide you with the operational sound level of their appliances.
What can you afford?
A lot of times, it all comes down to cost. How much can you afford to pay?
The good news is that there’s a blender for every budget. You’ll find them priced from an affordable 5,000 upward.
Power, durability, and quality materials determine the cost. A less expensive blender is often enough if you plan to use it only to make smoothies. More expensive brands offer versatility, along with power. You can knead the dough, grind spices, and make nut butter.
What about the warranty?
You hear it all the time. You get what you pay for. The warranty for your blender gives you assurance and peace of mind.
A warranty is a promise by the manufacturer to protect your purchase. They’ll either replace it or refund your money.
Inexpensive blenders are made with lesser quality materials and low-power motors. They tend to have short warranties. A high-quality blender can feature a warranty offering protection for ten years or more. That’s a strong indication that the manufacturer has confidence in their product.
Read your warranty carefully. Some items, like the motor, may have the most extended protection. Other things may have shorter coverage because they are expected to wear out and be replaced.
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