Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Put the blender of your choice to use with these recipes: 5 Easy & Energizing Smoothie Recipes.
Choosing a blender is only half the battle – learning how to use it right is equally important. Follow these tips (and, of course, always read the manual) and you’ll be a master blender in no time.
Liquids first: Generally, it’s best to pour your liquids in first, followed by softer ingredients and the hardest ones on top. The liquid helps get your blades going for best results – plus, keeping the hardest ingredients on top will help protect the blades. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions as the order may slightly vary.
Rev it up slowly: Start on low, then slowly increase speed. This allows ingredients to get cut into pieces before being pulled into liquid – and it’s much easier on the machine’s motor.
When it’s hot hot hot: When blending hot liquids, the steam can create pressure in the jar. Remove the plastic insert in the lid and firmly hold a clean towel over the opening to allow steam to escape.
Last but not least: While some of these models offer dishwasher-safe containers, we prefer to clean them the old-fashioned way to avoid stuck-on grime. Fill about halfway with warm water and a drop of dish soap and give it a whirl; then rinse.
1. The Cult Classic
There’s no other name in the blender game that’s as recognizable as Vitamix, and for good reason. Its high-efficiency 1,380-watt motor can tackle the toughest ingredients with ease: Berry seeds? No problem. Frozen bananas? Toss ’em in. The friction of the blades is so strong that you can even make hot soup. This model comes standard with a wet-blade container (for liquid ingredients, pestos and nut butters), but to grind dry items like grains or coffee, you’ll want to purchase a dry-blade container that works with the same base. A tamper to help with thicker mixtures is included.
2. Cool Factor
KitchenAid Torrent Magnetic Drive Blender
While the design is retro with its gorgeous cherry red color, this blender is anything but old school. With a 1,300-watt motor, this model works by way of a magnetic system to spin the blades. It has a rotating dial to select the settings, which include various preprogrammed options, including our favorite, a superfine juice setting for extra-smooth drinks. This unit is quite heavy to move around, though, so it’s best if you’re planning to keep it in one spot on your countertop.
3. Dual Jar
Black + Decker Performance FusionBlade Blender
With five automatic settings including smoothies, soups and nut butters, this 1,100-watt model is a good option without a hefty price tag. We love that you also get a 20-ounce personal blender jar with a flip-top lid for take-to-go smoothies – so you can blend and then hit the road without any cleanup. Before blending with the larger pitcher, make sure to fit the lid and press firmly to secure it.
4. The Ice Obliterator
Ninja Professional Blender 1000
This 1,000-watt model has a lot of pep for such a compact, lightweight machine. It blends ice with ease – a real testament to its efficacy. The blade is removable for easy cleanup, but use caution as it can fall out when the jar is turned upside down. The lid locks in place, plus it has a spout, which means you can pour with the lid on without spilling (while keeping the blade safely in the jar). All parts are BPA-free. This is a great choice at a more moderate price point.
$100, ninjakitchen.com for where to buy
5. True to Its Name
The Breville Boss
This is a blender that truly deserves the name the “Boss.” It’s supremely powerful (1,500 watts), and its one blending jar does it all, from smoothies to nut butters and hot soups – you can even grind grains and seeds into flour. It has several easy-to-use automatic settings, so you can turn it on and walk away, or you can choose the manual option if you prefer. It comes with a stunning cookbook to provide inspiration in the kitchen. This is truly a luxurious blender and one of our all-around favorites.