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The Best Blenders for Smoothies, Milkshakes, and MorePublished: 18 Oct 2023Expert Contributions By
Blenders are the unsung heroes of the kitchen. As the tool that can turn any food or drink into a blended smoothie, or a cocktail into a creamy, frozen drink, a blender is ideal for all sorts of recipes. It’s the perfect kitchen appliance for anyone who wants to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet or make delicious homemade dips like salsa and hummus. You can even use these nifty tools to make extra-smooth marinara sauce or grind nuts into flour.
Blenders are especially useful in situations where you need something to eat but are in a hurry and don’t have the time or energy to prep ingredients in advance. Just toss everything into a blender, press one button, and voila, you’ve created a delicious meal or snack. And, if you’re not just in a hurry but quite literally on the go, there is even a wide range of portable blenders that allow you to enjoy your favorite drinks anywhere. But with such a wide array of options on the market, it can be hard to find the right model for your needs. To assist you, we’ve reviewed the highest-rated blenders of 2023 and covered everything you need to know to choose the perfect one. Let’s dive right in!Show contentsComparing the Top Blenders of 2023
- Ninja Blender - Best Overall
- Hamilton Beach Blender - Most Functions
- NutriBullet Blender - Most Compact
- Oster Blender - Best Warranty
- Magic Bullet Blender - Great Value
How To Pick Your Next Blender: A Buyer’s Guide
How To Pick Your Next Blender: A Buyer’s Guide
If you want to unleash your inner chef and say no to ordering takeout again, you should invest in a high-quality blender to speed up your meal prep time. Because finding the right model from the vast range of options available can be a bit difficult, we’ve put together a detailed buyer’s guide to help you choose the perfect blender for your needs.
Considerations for Purchasing a Blender
There are several factors that you should compare and contrast when choosing between different blenders. Here are some of the most important ones to keep in mind:
Before purchasing a blender, you have to consider your needs and decide on the capacity accordingly. The capacity of a blender is measured in fluid ounces and it indicates the volume that your appliance can accommodate in the main pitcher.
So, if you frequently host parties or need to feed a big family, you should go for a large-sized option of 40 ounces or more to save time. This will allow you to blend all your ingredients in one go for a proper batch of drinks, sauce, and more. On the other hand, a blender with a 24-ounce capacity is usually more than enough for a couple of people.
Most people think that size and capacity are the same things, but this isn’t the case. Although the capacity of your blender can directly affect its size, some options with moderate capacity are bulky and take up more counter space than needed. You should evaluate the dimensions of the product you’re thinking about buying to get an idea of how much space it will take up. You can generally find this information on the product page.
To make the most of your space, choose a blender that’s less than 15 inches high because the standard length of the bottom cabinets in your kitchen is 18 inches. This means that a 15-inch blender should easily fit the available space while still being big enough to whip up delicious smoothies, protein shakes, sauces, soups, and more. When it comes to the width of your blender, you should choose a model that will leave enough space on your kitchen’s countertop to arrange utensils and cutlery. If your kitchen doesn’t have much counter space available, it may be a good idea to invest in a blender that’s compact enough to be stored on a shelf or in a cabinet when not in use.
No one wants to stand in front of the sink after cooking just to wash dirty blender attachments. So, you should choose a model that comes with a dishwasher-safe pitcher, cups, and lids because you can simply toss them in to get your blender clean as new in no time. While most blenders from reputable brands are dishwasher-safe, you should refer to the product page or owner’s manual to find out the ideal dishwasher settings.
Marly McMillen, a vegan food blogger and recipe creator, does give a reason why you should consider washing your blender by hand despite the lack of convenience. She says, “it [the blender] will last much longer if you wash it by hand.” Here’s how McMillen likes to wash her blender: “Fill a glass up to about 3/4 full with warm water and a drop or two of dish washing liquid. Dip the blender into the glass and blend for 10 to 20 seconds. Then rinse off the blender with cool water. If your blender is particularly clogged you can repeat that process.”
Keep in mind that the blades of your appliance may not be dishwasher-safe and could get dull rather quickly if you put them in the dishwasher every other day. Removing the blades from a blender is a task in itself, so you should get your hands on a product that has a button to easily dismantle the blade to avoid cutting your hands. You should never invest in a blender that will leave you with nicks and scratches every time you clean it.
You should also take a look at the modes and functions that your chosen blender offers. While most models offer versatile speed control, which is ideal for handling different mixing jobs, other options come with a pulse mode to emulsify anything you put in the pitcher. This mode allows you to use the blender at the fastest speed setting, but you need to keep the button pressed the whole time. When you need to quickly process thicker and bulky ingredients before starting the actual blending, the pulse function comes in very handy. You can also find some models that have different buttons, allowing you to set the speed and blade movement to mix, whip, or blend ingredients for different recipes.
Ease of use
When you’re shortlisting blenders for your kitchen, it’s especially important to consider ease of use. Prioritize models that come with an easy-to-understand interface and dedicated buttons to switch the blender on/off and toggle between different speed settings and modes. The buttons should be conveniently placed, easy to read, big in size, and easy to press.
Ease of assembly
Having a blender that takes up your entire Sunday to get working is merely a waste of money since you won’t ever want to deal with the hassle of setting it up. Make sure to choose one that has a two or three-step assembly process. You can evaluate this by looking through the customer reviews to get a good idea about the time and steps required to put your blender together.
No one wants to buy a blender that makes an incredibly irritating sound each time you switch on the power button. If you’re planning to get a blender for personal use in your kitchen, you should avoid a machine that makes too much noise. When ordering a blender online, you can easily get an idea about how loud it will be by either referring to the product description or going through the customer reviews on the product page.
While most blenders can handle all sorts of tasks in your kitchen, some poor-quality models are only made to prepare smoothies and shakes. If you often make food and drinks at home and want to hone your cooking skills, you should choose a product that can handle tasks from pureeing vegetables for soups to making homemade mayonnaise, butter, milkshakes, and more. A high-quality product should easily bridge the gap between your imagination and a scrumptious, innovative meal.
Another important factor you should consider when shopping for a blender is what accessories it comes with. All blenders should include a pitcher, blender base, and blade attachments, but many come with other tools to improve your experience using the appliance. Common examples include travel cups and lids, a brush to thoroughly clean the blades, a tamper to push ingredients down, and recipe books. Reflecting on these added bonuses alongside the product’s price can help you get a better idea of its value for comparing your options.
Types of Blenders
If you’re still not totally sure which blender is best for you, it might be a good idea to narrow down your options based on type. Deciding which one is most suitable for your cooking needs can help make your shopping more focused — and save you time and money in the long run.
One of the most popular and recognizable options, a countertop blender is great for making all sorts of recipes. It typically has a large capacity, ideal if you have a large family or love to host parties for your friends and loved ones. Most countertop blenders from brands like Vitamix, Nutribullet and Ninja have multiple modes and are designed for cold or room-temperature ingredients. So, if you’re looking for an appliance that’s perfect for whipping up smoothies, milkshakes, and blended cocktails for multiple people, consider a countertop blender.
Single serve blender
Don’t need a big blender for a big family or household? Consider a single serve blender. This type of blending appliance is more compact with a smaller capacity that’s good for making just enough of a drink or meal for one person. Single serve blenders are pretty convenient to use as well; all you have to do is add your ingredients to the “bullet” jar, twist on the blade attachment, then place the whole thing on the blender base. The convenience doesn’t stop there though. Not only can you blend directly in the container, but you can also take your delicious creations to-go in the same cup!
If you’re looking for an even more convenient version of a single serve blender, check out a portable blender. This type of blender is generally lightweight and the same size as a water bottle. It’s a unique model as it runs on a rechargeable battery, allowing you to make the perfect smoothie or protein shake on the go. Most people prefer these travel-friendly blenders for quick use at the office or after a long workout at the gym.
Ever heard of a blender with zero capacity? Immersion blenders are handheld models that can help meet a wide range of cooking needs. In particular, this type of blender is ideal for blending hot and cold mixtures. That makes it perfect for fresh, hot pasta sauce or deliciously smooth soup. An immersion blender is also very lightweight, portable, and quick to assemble, so you can spend more time cooking than setting the appliance up. Since this option is handheld and doesn’t have a built-in capacity, you can stick it right into a pot or container to blend larger volumes of food. It’s also convenient to store in compact drawers and cabinets.
If this sounds like the right type for you, here are some of the best immersion blenders worth checking out.
Planning to do some heavy-duty blending? Whether you’re making large batches of sauces or homemade peanut butter, a commercial blender is a professional-style appliance designed to handle all kinds of ingredients. These models typically have big, extra-powerful motors, large capacity, and a durable design with safety features. The main downsides to a commercial blender are that it will take up a ton of space on your kitchen counter and cost significantly more than conventional options.
What Can You Make With a Blender?
When most people think about what you can prepare with a blender, the obvious answer is a smoothie or milkshake. The exciting news is that you can do so much more with this versatile kitchen appliance. Blenders can come in handy for all sorts of meals throughout the day, from fluffy pancakes at breakfast to condiments for burgers and sandwiches. They’re also a useful tool for adding more fruits, vegetables, and other healthy whole foods to your diet. So, what are some other things you can make and enjoy?
If you’re a soup lover, a powerful, heat-resistant blender is a worthwhile investment. From creamy tomato to broccoli cheddar, there are all sorts of rich, creamy soups you can make with this compact kitchen appliance. Putting hot liquids and ingredients in a blender can be dangerous if you don’t have one made from heat-resistant material. You’ll also want to follow a few safety tips as blending hot liquids can create steam and pressure, possibly blowing the lid off your blender. When making hot soup, avoid filling your blender’s pitcher all the way, secure the lid firmly and hold it in place with a towel. You can also crack the lid a little if you feel light pressure to gradually release some of it.
Whether you’re lactose intolerant or simply prefer almond or oat milk, you can easily make dairy-free milk with your blender. Simply gather your ingredients (usually oats or almonds, water, and vanilla or maple syrup for flavoring), blend them together, and strain. Making your own non-dairy milk at home can even be more cost effective than buying it at the store, especially if you buy your main ingredient in bulk.
Throwing a pool party or summer BBQ for your friends and family? Or maybe you’re just chilling at home on a hot sunny day and feel like a cold beverage would hit the spot. The good news is a blender is the perfect kitchen appliance for making refreshing frozen cocktails. You’ll want to invest in a powerful blender that can break up ice, though we recommend using crushed ice to easily achieve the perfect consistency without straining its motor. For the best drinks, start the blender off with a few pulses then gradually increase the speed. Also, make sure not to blend for too long or you might end up with a frozen cocktail that’s too runny.
Pancakes and waffles
If you love starting your day off with delicious pancakes or waffles, a blender might just become your new best friend in the kitchen. Save yourself some time and energy and blend up all your ingredients instead of whisking them. This will leave you with a smooth waffle or pancake batter that’s griddle-ready in seconds! If your batter does end up looking a bit runny, you can let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken, leaving you time to brew coffee, cut up some fruit, or pack lunch.
Did you just make some waffles or pancakes then realize that you’re out of powdered sugar? Well, don’t fret — this appliance can be used to make mountains of this fluffy sugary goodness, too. Simply blend together some cornstarch and granular sugar based on a recipe’s ratio and you’ll be ready to enjoy a sweet breakfast in no time.
Ran out of mayonnaise or ketchup? No worries, you can use your blender to quickly whip up some fresh condiments from scratch. Blenders are also perfect for making homemade sauces, like pesto, hollandaise, and marinara. This appliance’s versatility is fantastic if you love to cook all sorts of savory dishes at home, from pizza and pasta to burgers and sandwiches. You can even use a blender to whip cream into fresh butter for toast and pancakes.
If you like to always have peanut butter (or other nut butter) on hand, a blender is super useful for making this smooth, creamy stable at home. Simply add peanuts to the pitcher and turn on the blender at a low speed. After a few minutes, the peanuts should be completely crushed; once they start turning creamy, set your blender’s speed to medium. As it achieves a runnier texture, you can add salt or honey for seasoning. Your homemade peanut butter will keep at room temperature for at least two weeks, or much longer if stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
Ice cream or sorbet
Craving a cold, sweet treat? Use a powerful blender to whip up some homemade ice cream. You can try freezing your milk into ice cubes to achieve the desired frozen yet creamy texture. Add in your favorite mix-ins or candy for an extra delicious dessert. For a healthier option, blend up some frozen fruits and fruit juice for a sweet sorbet. If the consistency is too thick, try adding in more liquid to help soften the consistency. Scoop it into a container, freeze it, and enjoy!
Comparing the Top Blenders of 20231– Best Overall
Looking for a blender for every recipe? Get ready to experience the ultimate blending power of the Ninja BL610 Professional Countertop Blender. Boasting a powerful 1,000-watt motor, this model features Total Crushing technology that pulverizes ice and whole fruits and veggies into delicious smoothies and cold drinks in seconds. This blender is equipped with razor-sharp blades to make short work of all kinds of ingredients. It’s even perfect for crushing ice to enjoy sweet snowcones with friends and family during hot weather. And, if you’re just learning how to cook, Ninja blenders like this one are a great choice, as they come with helpful recipe books. This one in particular offers 25 chef-inspired recipes to enhance your cooking experience.
With three different speed settings, you can easily adjust this blender to achieve the desired consistency. You can also toggle the intensity of this amazing product because it comes with four power modes — pulse, high, medium, and low. This option comes with a 72-ounce pitcher featuring measurement markings so you can precisely make many drinks in one go. Thanks to its BPA-free construction, you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals either. The dishwasher-safe pitcher and blades make your cleanup a breeze. Because of its efficient functionality, simple one-touch operation, and rugged construction, this blender stands at the top of our list.2– Most Functions
In search of a powerful blender that can grind and blend anything you want? Check out the Hamilton Beach Power Elite Wave Action Blender. This blender comes equipped with a powerful 700-watt motor and a patented wave-action system that pushes ingredients down to the blade for smooth and thorough blending and mixing. Thanks to this feature, you don’t need to worry about overloading or under-blending your ingredients — just place them in the pitcher and press a button! It includes a durable glass pitcher with a 40-ounce capacity, so you can prepare plenty of blended drinks for your friends and family.
With 12 blending functions, this blender is perfect for all kinds of recipes. Use it to mix up a week’s worth of green smoothies, make spicy salsa in seconds, grind meat for hamburgers, or prepare your own peanut butter. Unlike other blenders, this model comes with a convenient lid featuring a pouring spout that helps minimize messes when serving drinks. Cleaning and maintaining this blender after you’re done using it isn’t a hassle because of its dishwasher-safe design, so you can focus your time and attention on the delicious drink or meal you’ve prepared.3– Most Compact
Don’t have a ton of counter or storage space in your kitchen? Don’t fret. The NutriBullet Personal Blender is the perfect kitchen appliance for your morning smoothies and post-workout protein shakes. Equipped with a 600-watt motor, this small but mighty Nutribullet blender features refined stainless steel extractor blades that use cyclonic action to pulverize your favorite whole fruits and vegetables quickly and efficiently. The 24-ounce jar has an ergonomic design, allowing you to conveniently pour the blended contents into your glass or bowl. Plus, the compact design makes it an ideal choice for small-sized kitchens with limited counter space because you can easily stash it away in the cabinet when not in use.
Even more, this blender’s cup comes with a convenient lid, so you can twist it on and enjoy your delicious concoction on the go. This pick is also bisphenol A (BPA) free, so you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals leaching into your food or drinks while you make them. As the cherry on top, this blender is top-rack dishwasher-safe, making cleanup a breeze! It even comes with a one-year limited warranty, making this option a virtually risk-free purchase.4– Best Warranty
If you’re looking for a super reliable blender that can help you make the perfect smoothie or crush ice, look no further than the Oster Core Blender. Boasting a 700-watt motor with 450 watts of blending power, this blender features 16 premium functions to cover all your cooking needs. You can use it to grind meat, whip cream, and make smoothies. This model also comes with two speed settings, making it easier to achieve the desired consistency of your favorite sauce. Since this blender has stainless steel blades, you won’t have to worry about rust and corrosion over time. Built to last and backed by a 10-year warranty, this product features the unique Legendary Duralast All-Metal Drive which is tested to blend up to 10,000 smoothies.
Unlike other blenders, this one comes equipped with a heavy-duty borosilicate glass jar that holds up to 40 ounces, so you can watch your greens blend into perfection and see every detail of your creation as it’s made. This also makes it dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. The pitcher is conveniently designed with a drip-free spout that minimizes messes while pouring and an ergonomic handle that provides a secure grip when full. With its sleek design and user-friendly interface, this blender will surely become an indispensable part of your kitchen.5– Great Value
If you’re looking for a blender that comes with all the accessories you need to enjoy drinks on the go, the Magic Bullet Blender is the one for you. This compact yet powerful 250-watt blender features premium cross-blades that effortlessly blend ingredients without clogging or overheating. Suitable for a wide range of recipes, you can use it to make smoothies and other blended drinks, grind coffee beans, whip cream, and mix eggs for omelets. For added convenience, this product comes fully equipped with three different cups for storage and portability, including a tall cup, short cup, and party mug. This complete set allows you to enjoy your delicious blended creations anywhere without the hassle of fumbling with different containers or dealing with extra dishes.
Each cup has two lip rings that provide a secure seal and minimize messes, while the stay-fresh resealable lid allows you to store anything from smoothies to ground coffee beans in the refrigerator so that it doesn’t go bad before you finish using it all up! This powerful blender also comes with a 10-second recipe book that walks you through a variety of quick recipes for delicious smoothies, milkshakes, soups, and more!
People Also AskQ: How powerful should my blender be?
A: If you want to know your blender’s power, you can refer to the user manual or product description. The power of a blender is measured in watts — the higher the wattage, the more power the machine draws to spin the blades quicker. If you’re purchasing a blender for personal use, a 700-watt option will be more than enough for your domestic mixing and blending needs. But, if you want to use your appliance to process and blend hard foods like nuts, you might need a higher wattage. Also, keep in mind that a blender’s wattage refers to the raw power and you should always keep an eye out for updated blade technologies. Some blades can efficiently create a vortex in the pitcher with less power to pull different ingredients down into the blades for more powerful emulsification.Q: How much should I spend on a blender?
A: A high-quality blender can set you back anywhere between $30 and $150. If you choose a product from a high-end brand, you may need to pay a higher price because they charge you for brand value. The models that come equipped with more powerful motors, a variety of speed modes, and plenty of functions usually cost more as well. You can also expect to pay a slightly higher price for a blender that comes with additional attachments, like more than one blending jar or recipe book.Q: Should I add water to emulsify the ingredients in my blender?
A: Whether or not you add water to your ingredients depends on the model you have and the consistency you're aiming to achieve. Some commercial-use blenders are powerful enough to blend veggies and fruits without additional water, but you likely need to add water to your personal use appliance. Juice and milk are also good additions for making blended smoothies and iced drinks. Keep in mind that the ratio of solids and liquids should be correct to get the desired consistency. If you add too much water before blending, the mixing may be less efficient because the blades might not come in direct contact with the solid foods. On the other hand, if you add too little water, the mixture will probably be lumpy.Q: How do I use my blender safely?
A: Even though the design of a blender is simple to understand, it can cause injuries if not used properly. When you plug it in the wall outlet, be sure that your hands are dry and the wire isn’t in contact with water, as this can result in a short circuit. Also, it's a good idea to unplug the power cord before taking the contents out. Most importantly, you should never put your hands in a blender while it’s operational. Never put your hands directly into your blender to scoop out the contents sticking to the walls; instead, you should use a spatula to empty and scrape clean the pitcher. Additionally, experts suggest not blending hot ingredients because the pitchers of some blenders could overheat and steam can come out of the appliance, both of which can burn your hands.Q: How often should I replace my blender?
A: Some cheaply made and low-cost models can be useful for two to three years, but high-end options can last for up to 10 years. A good indicator of a blender's reliability and lifespan is if it comes with a warranty. Keep an eye out for specific indicators to know when it’s the right time to replace your blender. The major telltale sign that your blender is going to be dead soon is leakage from the pitcher and a slowing, less efficient motor. It’s also generally a good idea to closely inspect your blender to look for signs of wear and tear, like cracks in the jar.Related Reviews