Announcing winners for the title of best kitchen blender. All of these powerful, elegant and durable kitchen blenders survived a flurry of tests – and whipped the competition!
A new kitchen blender can set you back $20 or over $500. No matter which end of the spectrum you choose from, your blender is a kitchen appliance that’ll be on constant view and frequent use to crush ice, blend smoothies, prepare frozen drinks and milkshakes, whip up desserts and hummus, and much more.
Many different factors go into defining any one model or brand as the best kitchen blender. Higher price generally indicates better performance and greater versatility. Upscale looks, blending power, sturdy construction and aesthetic design (color, finish, touchpad controls)… all influence buying decisions.
But the best kitchen blender must stand up to constant, daily, heavy use without dropping in performance while also being easy to operate, maintain and clean. Be it for shakes or salsas, frozen cocktails or smoothies, these blenders must get the job finished.
How To Identify the Best Kitchen Blenders
To find out which of the available range of models might rightfully stake claim to the title of best kitchen blender, we put many of them – starting from the most affordable $35 ones to top of the line $450+ blenders – through the paces.
So what tests were the blenders expected to do? Crushed ice, milkshake, hummus and margarita blending were a part of the standard testing protocols. But the acid test the top performers had to pass was making smoothies from frozen pineapple and raw kale.
Many models dropped out at this point. A few cheap blenders would choke on the ice crushing challenge and stalled. Others only barely made it through the milkshake and cocktail tests. And only a handful did a decent job of making a kale smoothie. The weaker blenders only chopped leaves into tiny bits, while the powerful best kitchen blender pulverized all ingredients to create delicious smoothies.
What Design Elements Define the Best Kitchen Blender
Three aspects of blender design characterize performance above everything else:
- shape of the jar
- position and number of blades
- strength of the motor
When in action, the blender’s motor spins blades and generates a vortex within the jar which sucks food towards the blades which smash, whip, blend and crush it. The vortex is what drives ingredients to the bottom of the jar and then back up the sides, ensuring all that you put into the blender is processed.
Jars with a flat bottom don’t generate a vortex quite as efficiently, and this slows down the blending process. Gently tapered jars moves food more effectively towards the blades.
Jars made of Eastman Tritan co-polyester were more durable and withstood the heavy impact of constant blending better than kitchen blenders with glass or plastic jars. They also better resisted heat, water pressure and chemicals in dishwashers.
The number, length, sharpness, orientation, shape and configuration of the blades has a great impact on how well a kitchen blender works. The pattern and angles at which blades are fitted to each other, and the gap between them and the jar, determines how well food is blended. Cheap blenders have wider gaps, which results in chunks of fruit or vegetables remaining in a smoothie.
The best kitchen blenders can be pre-programmed and will turn off automatically whenever the motor strains too much, preventing burn out.
With so many design elements going into enhancing performance of the best kitchen blender, it really isn’t surprising that the top rated blenders are priced so high. When you consider how long blenders like the Vitamix or Blendtec will last, you’ll see that they are cheaper in the long run than a less expensive blender that you will have to replace often.
How To Pick Your Best Kitchen Blender
There’s no universal favorite best kitchen blender that suits all tastes and needs. Your requirements for a kitchen appliance are unique and specific enough to make it important that you choose the right blender to serve them well.
Here is a simple way to decide which model is best for you…
Evaluate your typical blender use.
If all you want a blender to do is whip up a milkshake every now and then, you’ll choose a different model than if you’re a heavy juicer, or prefer your daily green smoothie without chunks in it. Once you know what your blender should do, you can decide which of the 4 broad categories of kitchen blender is ideal.
High-Performance Kitchen Blenders
Driven by powerful motors and featuring high RPM blades, these blenders will churn out silken smoothies, crush ice into snow, and prepare whole-fruit juices in an instant. Prices range from $300 to over $700.
Conventional Kitchen Blenders
Useful for low-intensity blending like milkshakes and fresh fruit smoothies, these are excellent appliances at typical prices of $50 to $150. But don’t expect miracles! You might have to accept chunks of fruit in your smoothies and ice in your cocktails.
Designed specifically for users who like to whip up protein shakes and yoghurt smoothies while traveling, personal blenders are relatively weaker and won’t be able to handle many serious blending tasks. Prices start from $20 and go up to $100 or even higher.
Immersion Kitchen Blenders
Best hand blenders cost between $30 and $100. They can be immersed into the food or drink you want to blend, such as vegetables boiled in a pot or sauteed in preparation for sauces or salsa. Used for whipping butter or eggs too, an immersion blender is often a supplement for countertop appliances rather than a one-stop blending solution.
Other Factors To Consider When Choosing Kitchen Blenders
1. Consider Storage:
If your kitchen is small, look for a blender with a compact design. Immersion blenders can fit into drawers. Personal blenders are often tiny. Countertop versions are available at heights less than 17 inches, which conveniently fits under kitchen cabinets and on shelves. Accessories and attachments may also take up storage space.
Plastic blender jars are lighter and don’t break as easily as glass jars, but may absorb flavors and get stained over time. A wide-mouth jar is easier to load, and also to clean up when you’re finished using the blender.
The best kitchen blender is one which has controls that match your taste and preference. Touchpad controls can be easy to clean but are tougher to operate. Push buttons are easier for changing blender speed and switching off. Dirt also collects in the crevices. Dial controls can be wiped clean, but there’s the inconvenience of having to turn it through all settings to reach the one you want.
Your best kitchen blender may have 16 speed settings – or just three. Whether you need many features will depend on what you plan to blend. When there are too many options, the difference between various speeds is hard to notice. Pulse settings are useful in some situations, letting you blend more precisely or work with delicate food items. Pre-programmed settings in a raw food blender makes it convenient to make smoothies, whole fruit juices and soup.
Most countertop blenders range from 300 to 1,000 watts, with the two best kitchen blender models going up to 1,350 watts. Higher power often means better blending performance, though other factors clearly matter (such as the jar’s shape and blade configuration).
Don’t ignore this. A longer warranty is clear indication of how strongly a manufacturer stands behind the model – and how long you may reasonably expect it to last! The best kitchen blender brands offer 7 to 8 year warranty periods. Budget models are usually covered for no longer than a year.
Best Kitchen Blender – Our 5 Top Picks
1. Best Kitchen Blender All-Around: KitchenAid 5-Speed Kitchen Blender
2. Best Kitchen Blender On a Budget: Oster 12 Speed With Food Processor Attachment
3. Best Kitchen Blender – Immersion or Hand Blenders: Breville Immersion Blender
4. Best Kitchen Blender for Superpower: Vitamix 5200
5. Best Kitchen Blender Single-Serve: Cuisinart Compact Portable Blending/Chopping System