Top rated Blenders like Vitamix and Blendtec are used by professionals in restaurants because of their blending results, versatility, high performance and long warranties.
Starbucks and Jamba Juice are famous for their smoothies and both companies use Vitamix blenders.
Restaurant-grade blenders will perfectly blend ingredients resulting in a smooth texture but why would you spend $484 on a top blender? I’ve asked myself this question several times!
I’ve already bought 3 blenders, and for the past 14 months I’ve been using a Ninja Professional Blender (BL660), you can find my recommendations for the best blender for Smoothies under $200, until it had a burnout. The warranty was for 1 year, so I had to buy a new one. As a result, I decided to go that extra mile and bought a Vitamix which comes with a 7 year full warranty.
I went from a mid-range ($120) blender to a top model, the Vitamix 1709 ($499, available on amazon.com). And was there any difference?
It was hard to pay all that money for a blender but, after I tried it first time, I was so amazed with the results that I have to say yes, it was.
- The smoothies were amazingly smooth – no more fruit seeds
- Green smoothies had no bitter green bits left
- I can blend hot soups (The Ninja Blender container is not rated for hot liquids)
- Fresh and soft quality sorbet is easy to make
- I can make frozen drinks like margaritas and other icy cocktails with no icy chunks
- Crushing ice is no problem for making fresh smoothies
- It makes perfect texture hummus
The blender I use and my recommendations
I use Vitamix 1709
A strong and powerful motor with 2-peak horse power, this blender goes up to 240 mph. With it I can create professional-quality smoothies, hot soups and frozen desserts quickly and easily.
It comes with a 7-year full warranty. I use my blender several times a day and it has never stopped or let me down. Plus it comes with a thermal protection sensor to avoid any chance of burn out.
The pitcher has a 64 oz. capacity (8 cups) making it big enough for when you have family and friends around.
The Vitamix, at amazon.com, perfectly chops and blends frozen ingredients for all my smoothies. By buying frozen ingredients I save money, have to make fewer shopping trips and there is no need to add ice. It pulverizes seeds which means no more green bits left on my green smoothies or fruit seeds on my fruit smoothies.
Because I don’t need to pre-cut anything, I can add whole ingredients directly into the pitcher so I can make my smoothies much faster. With better, cheaper, and quicker smoothies I am more motivated to try different recipes and I end up drinking more smoothies per day which means I have more fruit and vegetables in my diet.
As a welcome bonus, it’s also very quick and easy to clean. I just have to partially fill the pitcher with hot water, add a drop of dish washer soap and run on high speed for 30 seconds and it’s completely clean. Available on Amazon.com.
Blendtec Total Blender
Before buying my Vitamix I had the chance to try the Blendtec Total Blender, available on amazon.com, at a friends’ house. Both are top models and will deliver very similar results so choosing between this and the Vitamix is down to personal taste. That being said, I’d like to share the differences that I’ve found between this Blendtec model and my Vitamix 1709.
The Blendtec warranty is 3 year motor-base warranty, 1 year for the jar and lifetime for coupling and blade. In contrast, Vitamix gives you a full 7-year warranty which obviously I prefer.
The Blendtec Total Blender has more horsepower. When I was at my friend’s house, who owns this model, we had a smoothie challenge and the results were both very good. Despite the horsepower variance, I didn’t notice any difference between the smoothness of the smoothies.
The Vitamix container is 64 oz. where the Blendtec is only 32 oz. so the Blendtec container is smaller and may be easier to store. In my case I prefer a bigger pitcher, but if you prefer a smaller, more portable blender, the Blendtec may be a better choice.
The Blendtec model has pre-programmed blending cycles going from low to high speed automatically. You only need to hit a button and then you can leave the kitchen to avoid the noise. When you get back it’s done. The Vitamix controls are manual so you have to be there to change time and speed manually so here, the Blendtec wins.
Both blenders come with recipes books but Vitamix has a much better organized and detailed recipe book than Blendtec. The same thing applies to the user manual; the Vitamix one is much more detailed.
Blendtec costs $399, Vitamix 1709 price is $484.
If you want to dry blend, with Vitamix you’ll need to buy an extra dry-container while Blendtec can dry blend in the jar that comes with this model.
Both models are similarly quick and easy to clean. Just add some dish soap and hot water and run at high speed and they’re clean in 30 seconds. Blendtec Total Blender available on amazon.com.
How I found the best blender for smoothies?
I’ve bought several blenders and, every time, I’ve done lots of research. As you’ve seen in my other guides, I always create a must-have feature list to help me pick the winners. Not all blenders cost the same, and the results from one blender to another can vary a lot. If you go for a top blender you’ll get better results, durability and versatility but spending a few hundred dollars for a blender may not be an option for some and might not be the best option for your needs. Whether you need a top-rated, a mid-range or low-end blender, there are some features to look for before you decide which blender to get.
Questions and Answers
- What makes a blender so useful?
Answer: In my opinion, the best way to control your weight and your health is to make as many of your own meals as you can. The thing is, home cooking can be time consuming, and as soon as anything seems more trouble than it is worth, most people give up on it.
I find that I can use a blender for many kitchen chores, and that saves me a lot of time. Saving time makes home cooking much more appealing, and that means I’m more likely to do it, and less likely to grab a convenience meal or takeout when I know I should be eating something healthier.
I use my blender to make smoothies, meal replacement shakes, soups, sauces, dips, and even sorbet and ice cream. It really is a very versatile kitchen tool.
To find out how you can use a blender to help you lose weight check out my article on that very subject!
- Why you need a powerful blender for smoothies?
Answer: Powerful blenders have a few advantages over less powerful but often cheaper models. A powerful blender will produce smoother smoothies, can crush ice and frozen vegetables more easily and without breaking, and they last longer too as the motor is bigger and stronger. I usually buy professional-type blenders because they don’t wear out so quickly, and they produce much better results. If you can, always seek out the most powerful blender you can afford. You’ll LOVE the results if you do!
Not sure how to choose the best blender for you? Check out my buying guide here.
- Can I use my hand blender for smoothies?
Answer: Hand blenders, also known as immersion blenders, are great! Cheaper than most jug-type blenders, easy to use and store, they are a good option if you have a small kitchen or a tight budget. I have an immersion blender which I often use instead of my proper blender. See my favorite immersion blenders here.
You can definitely use an immersion blender to make smoothies, but you’ll need to make sure you use it in a tall glass or jug, and avoid over-filling it or you’ll end up splashing liquid everywhere! On the downside, you won’t be able to use frozen ingredients or ice, as most immersion blenders have quite small motors but, for mostly liquid smoothies, a hand blender will work fine.
- I’m looking for a cheaper blender model, do you have any recommendations?
Answer: Blenders can be very expensive, especially if you buy a professional model. Expensive models often have the best features, but I also understand that many people want a blender but don’t want to spend $400 on one!
Luckily, there are some very good and much cheaper blenders available that are not only good quality, but they can often give the more expensive models a run for their money. They normally have smaller motors, are lighter, and are made from cheaper materials, but they still get the job done.
Check out my article Choosing the best blender for you in which I share details of some great value for money blenders.
- What are the most important features to look for when choosing a kitchen blender?
Answer: Blenders come in a variety of styles, with numerous features, and at a range of prices. The right blender for you very much depends on what you want to use your blender for. For example, if you are only going to make a couple of smoothies per week, you only need a small, lightweight model. However, if you are going to use your blender every day, you’ll need a more substantial model.
Things to look for include:
- Motor size
- Jug material
- Jug size
- Ease of cleaning
Check out how to choose the best blender to find out how to make this difficult decision much easier.
- How do I clean my kitchen blender?
Answer: Cleaning your blender is easy! Just partially fill it with warm water and run it on high for 30 seconds of so. That should remove most of the residual liquid. If you do this straight after you have finished your blending job, you should find that is all you need to do. If it’s a little dirtier, maybe you forgot to clean it right away, add some dishwasher detergent, and leave it to soak for a few minutes. As a last resort, you may need to lightly scrub the inside using a dish brush but, if you clean it right away like I recommend, this should be a rare occurrence.
- What is the difference between a blender and a food processor?
Answer: Blenders blend – that’s pretty much all they do. You can use a blender to blend a lot of things but, generally, they are best for combining liquids and solids. Most have only one blade and that’s what makes them very good at blending, but not much good at anything else. That’s not to say you can’t use a blender for other kitchen jobs, but it’s not always the best tool for things like making pastry.
In contrast, food processors can do more jobs – as well as blending. Most come with a variety of tools and blades so they can do lots of other mixing and chopping jobs. When it comes to versatility, food processors are hard to beat.
Discover the difference and decide which one to use and when in my article When to use a blender, a food processer, or an immersion blender.
- Can I put hot liquids in my blender?
Answer: When I make soups and other hot foods, I prefer to use an immersion blender so that I can do the blending in the saucepan, and avoid having to pour hot liquid into my blender. This is, in my opinion, much safer.
But, if you don’t have an immersion blender, you CAN put hot liquids in a jug-type blender, so long as you have one with a heat proof jug and you are very careful. Also, do not overfill your blender otherwise hot liquid could spray out when you turn it on, burning you in the process.
My preference for blending hot liquids will always be an immersion blender but, if you are careful, using a jug-type blender can work too.