Equipment Review: Best Midrange Blenders
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We tested 7 midpriced blenders to find the best blender (listed in alphabetical order):
Breville the Hemisphere Control
Cuisinart Hurricane 2.25 Peak HP Blender
Cuisinart Hurricane Pro 3.5 Peak HP Blender
KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender
Nutri Ninja Ninja BlendMAX DUO
Oster Versa Pro Performance Blender with Tamper 1400 Watts
What are the best blenders out there? From burnt-out motors to cracked pitchers and smoothies that aren’t smooth, most midpriced blenders are a bust. Luckily, in our latest blender review, we found one you can count on.
A good blender should be able to do a lot of things well, like pureeing, soups and sauces, crushing ice for cocktails and blending pressure frozen fruit and vegetables into smoothies, not just every now and then but daily. We think there should be a reasonably priced blender that can stand up to the kind of constant heavy duty use that many of us demand. We bought seven blenders, including our previous favorite, by Breville the hemisphere control. They range in price from a hundred to three hundred dollars.
Now, in previous tests, we found that if you go much cheaper than a hundred dollars, the blender may not blend as well, or it might not last as long so, you may end up spending more in the long run having to replace it. We put them all through a wide range of tests: pureed smoothies made of fresh kale frozen pineapple and orange juice, crushing ice, multiplying eggs and oil into homemade, mayonnaise and grinding almonds into almond butter almond butter is particularly tough. That test was designed to show us which machines can tackle such a thick viscous texture without burning out. We also evaluated these blenders and how easy they were to use, including filling the jars operating.
The controls scraping down the sides pouring out the finished food and cleaning up. We also measured the noise they make and we check them at the end of testing for wear and tear. Surprisingly, we found huge differences between the blenders in this lineup. Four of them utterly failed to make something as simple as mayonnaise, and only one could turn almonds into a completely smooth butter. Some of the butters are mostly smooth, but they're blenders also required us to keep stopping opening the lid and scraping down the sides over and over and over again, the best one took just three scrape downs, the worst much more now. Our smoothie test also really showed distinctions between how well the machines blended.
We weighed out the same amounts of kale pineapple and juiced and blended for the same 60 seconds, and then we painted a stripe of each smoothie on parchment paper, which made it very easy to see texture differences, some lift, bigger, chunkier flecks of kale, while others are More uniformly bright, green and smooth some of the blenders also whipped in a ton of air. We didn't really like those area smoothies as much as ones that were and creamy. So what made the difference? First, we consider the size, shape and alignment of the blade, but we really didn't find a clear relationship to how well the machine splendid. We expected that more power and higher watts would matter, but that alone did not guarantee success.
What it came down to instead was whether the blender had a wide range of speeds. If it's low speed was actually slower between 1000 and 4000 rotations per minute or rpm, it performs better ingredients could combine with that tons of splattering and slower low speeds. Also help guarantee vaz a blender wasn't overworked, so the motor was less likely to burn out one had a low speed, a low speed of over 14,000 RPM and that made a mess. It just blew all the mayonnaise ingredients so far at a range of the blades. That it never came together into mayonnaise and having a fast enough high speed also helped improve results, especially when we wanted really smooth fine, textured, purees and smoothies our top rated blender. It didn't have the most power or the lowest start speed, but another factor came into play that helped it work better, which was the jar shape and the good blender food spins into a vortex. Like a small tornado, it gets drawn down into the spinning blades pushed back up the vortex and then pulled back down. It gets pushed past the blades at a fast speed, so we found if the jar had rounded interior and a smooth, seamless bottom, the vortex could do its work. Food didn't get trapped. Far from the blades aside from a rounded interior.
We also like two slightly narrower profile to the jar, because it kept the food closer to the blades about four and a half inches across seemed just about right. If the jar is too wide ingredients, not only splatter out of reach of the blades, but you get that phony consistency, our tasters disliked now. In the end, our old winner was the champ again rebels. The hemisphere control once again beat all the competition it blended, smoother. Smoothies perfect mayonnaise and fluffy crushed ice. It even did well in our almond butter abuse test.
WINNING TRAITS OF A GOOD MIDPRICED TOP-RATED BLENDER
– Powerful, durable motor
– Well-designed blade that results in optimal food circulation
– Well-designed jar that requires few or no scrape-downs
– Reasonably quiet motor
– Clear, logical control panel
WHAT WE EXAMINED
We tested seven blenders, priced from $159.99 to $285.00, rating them on their ability to perform various tasks. We also evaluated each blender on how easy it was to operate and clean. We measured the diameter of each jar at the midpoint. We used a tachometer to measure how fast each blender’s blades turned on the lowest setting and a decibel meter to measure how loud each was.
SMOOTHIES: We made kale, pineapple, and orange juice smoothies in each model. The best made completely smooth smoothies while incorporating minimal air.
CRUSHED ICE: The best models quickly turned ice into fluffy white snow with minimal scraping.
MAYONNAISE: We evaluated each model’s ability to blend small amounts of eggs and oil into mayonnaise, measuring the efficiency of its lowest speed and the functionality and usefulness of the hole in the top of its lid, through which we poured the oil while the blender was running; the best models produced a smooth and creamy sauce on the first try.
ALMOND BUTTER: Models that were able to produce smooth butter from whole almonds with minimal scraping or overheating rated highest.
EASE OF USE: We rated each blender on how logical and intuitive its controls were, as well as how maneuverable the jar and the blender itself were. We also evaluated how easy it was to clean.
NOISE: We noted how loud the blenders were throughout testing and measured their noise levels with a decibel meter, noting a range of roughly 80 decibels (comparable to the dial tone of a telephone) to 103 decibels (comparable to a lawn mower). Those that stayed under 100 decibels rated highest.
America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most-foolproof recipe.