Any decent blender will mix, purée, or emulsify your fruits and veggies. But a great blender — it makes smoothies, soups and sauces with ease and last for years, thanks to a motor that never loses power, and blades that stay sharp no matter how much ice you throw their way. It’s especially handy now that the weather is warming up, and adult libations like margaritas will be on the menu.
Before you invest in a blender, figure out what you’re using it for. Because, no surprise there, a good one is not cheap. If you don’t have much storage or counter space, consider an immersion blender. Premium blenders cost the most, and do the most, while so-called conventional blenders are up for daily tasks like making pleasant smoothies.
“If you’re mixing up frozen drinks in the summer, go cheap. If you’re making raw kale smoothies and nut butters, spend some money. You want food to stay close to the blades, so you don’t want anything with a wide jar,” recommends Lisa McManus, the executive editor of tastings and testing at America’s Test Kitchen.
Such an appliance can cost you hundreds of dollars, but it doesn’t have to. We picked out the top blenders that are worth the investment, whether you crave a berry smoothie in the morning, or a chunky salad dressing for dinner.
Leave it to Instant Pot to give us an affordable blender that cooks your food while blending it.
Pros: Instant Pot’s Ace blender has four cold blending programs and four hot blending programs. Which means you whip up soups, smoothies and, or sauces. And baby food. And margaritas. And nut butters. After you make your favorite tomato soup, it automatically warms for it up for two hours.
Cons: None. Go for it.
The Ninja Chef countertop blender has a 1500-watt motor system with super-sharp blades and 10 pre-set Auto-iQ programs to do the blending thinking for you.
Pros: If you’re into smooth smoothies, and don’t feel like spending half of your car payment on a blender, then get this Ninja Chef blender. It’s easy to clean, it grinds everything beautifully, and you get smoothies that taste like a pro made them.
Cons: It doesn’t do great with nut butters.
You seriously cannot get a better blender for a better price. This one does it all. It has 10 speed settings along with three pre-set programs so you can make soups, salsas, sauces, and more.
Pros: Normally, you have to shell out $400 or more for a truly powerhouse blender. Meet the Ballarini Tesoro, friends. It’s efficient, powerful, and affordable. It has durable stainless steel blades, and an 800-watt motor to make the best smoothie you’ll ever have. Oh, and it looks damn fine while doing it.
Cons: The motor is not as powerful as that of the Ninja, so just be prepared for a somewhat lesser performance.
This brilliant blender allows you to toggle between pre-set programs to make whatever you want, without giving it much thought, making for one seamless blending experience.
Pro: This lean, mean and very affordable machine can crush through ice and frozen fruit. You can set it to make a smoothie, a cocktail, ice cream, or just to puree something. It’s durable and for all these reasons, it’s Amazon’s top seller.
Cons: Read the directions, people, and make sure you remove the blades before you clean the device.
You need a blender, but you don't need anything turbo-powered or super-fancy. Then this is your blender. It has seven speeds, and three pre-programmed settings for the most common blender creations. Its blades are extra-wide, for extra blending power. It has 1200 power watts and 900 watts of ice-crushing power.
Pros: This is a great, solid, no-frills blender that will crush your ice, blend your smoothies, make your cocktails, and turn frozen fruit into sorbet. What more do you need?
Cons: Well, if you need more, like a blender that also cooks your soup, this isn’t it.
If you don't want to take out a second mortgage to buy a blender, get this KitchenAid blender. It has a powerful motor, a one-piece pitcher, stainless steel blades and electronic controls that combine to give you all the blending power you need.
Pros: No, it won’t cook your soup for you, but the KitchenAid blender will let you make smooth smoothies and smoother cocktails. It has five speeds: stir, chop, mix, puree or liquify.
Cons: It’s not powerful enough if you want fast, quick blending.
The included smoothie cup lets you add ingredients and blend inside the cup, then take it with you to work or the playground.
Pros: We love smart appliances, and that’s why this blender makes the cut. It senses what you’re blending, and automatically adjusts its power to main the correct blade speed. It has dual-direction blades and a 1,100-watt motor to pulverize whatever you’re blending. Plus, it has 10 different blending speeds.
Cons: Some say it’s not as powerful as advertised.
Fill it, flip it, and drink it. This appliance is perfect for those of us on the go who still need to get our fruits and veggies, and don't have a lot of time in the morning.
Pros: This blender couldn’t be simpler to use. You stuff it with whatever goodness you want, stick it into the motor, and break it down into one great drink. It even tears up fibrous foods like carrots. Then, you rinse out the plastic container when you’re done.
Cons: It can leak, and you do need to eventually replace the blades.
Meet the king of blenders, with the royal price tag to match. This is ideal for those who are going to use it religiously and really get their moneys' worth making all kinds of things like homemade nut flours and cake batters.
Pros: You can make soup, yes hot soup, in this self-cleaning 64-ounce blender. The blades reach high enough speeds that they create friction heat, which results in steaming-hot broths. Sort of perfect on a chilly winter night. In an equally-impressive trick, it makes flawless ice cream, too.
Cons: The price. But for converts, it’s not just a blender, it’s a lifestyle.
If you're not ready to spend a ton of dough, this is a great blender at a solid price. It does most of the thinking for you, and gets great results.
Pros: Like the Vitamix, but for half the price, the Blendtec blender heat soups and drinks using blade friction heat. Also like the Vitamix, it’s self-cleaning, with a little soap and water. It has six pre-programmed cycles and 10-speed manual control.
Cons: The price. Plus, some customers complain that the jars that come with the Blendtec are flimsy and tend to crack.
This sleek and sexy appliance is part food processor, part ultra-powerful ice crusher and smoothie maker. Shoppers swear by the brand's longevity and quality.
Pros: It’s got an easy-to-use LCD display that gives you total control, and it looks sleek sitting on your countertop. And for the price, it’s an absolute beast that crushes and blends with ease.
Cons: The lid to the blender is tight, which is a selling point while you’re busy smashing food around. But it’s also challenging to remove.
A handy little blender, for a nice price. No, it won't make soup from scratch, but yes, it will get your happy hour going by crushing ice and getting your drinks sip-worthy.
Pros: No, it’s not fancy. No, it has no major gimmicks. But this affordable immersion blender is ideal for those of us who need it every once in a while, have little counter space, and want something that quickly blends ingredients for smoothies, milkshakes, soups, sauces, dressings or baby food.
Cons: The blender has attachments, but the thing is, they’re sold separately.
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