Blenders are the home cook's go-to tool for making puréed soups, quick smoothies and shakes, and frozen cocktails like blended margaritas and daiquiris.
Here's your guide for buying the best blenders.
Blenders can be a little spendy. A good one will cost you. Considering that they're responsible for serious chopping, mixing, liquefying, and are occasionally called upon to crush ice...it's a good idea to buy the best quality blender you can afford. With blenders, price typically does indicate quality.
Some basic options you'll definitely need:
- Thick glass pitcher with curved pouring spout.
- Easy-to-read marks for measuring ingredients.
- Sturdy, wide base.
- Speed-control buttons that clean easily.
- 500 Watts of power or more (for crushing ice and blending smoothies).
- Jar, lid, blade component, and base that disassemble for easier cleaning.
The pitchers (or "jars") come in various sizes. Personal blenders typically hold 8 ounces. That's personal smoothie size. Larger blenders hold anywhere from 48 ounces, which is standard, to 60 ounces. The most durable pitchers are made of thick glass. Cheaper versions are made of plastic. You can also find stainless steel pitchers. The best of the jar blenders perform all manner of tasks: emulsifying dressings, mixing up smoothies and shakes, crushing ice for frozen margaritas, finishing soups, pulverizing grains, puréeing baby food, and everything in between.
Immersion Blenders or Stick Blenders
These hand held blenders are super convenient. No need to pour hot liquids into separate glass pitchers for blending. Immersion blenders quickly blend soups and sauces directly in the pot or bowl you're using. Clean up is super easy. They're also easy to stow away, unlike large jar blenders. Some have varying speeds and attachments for functions like chopping and whipping.
These blenders make things personal. They're single-serve blenders, best for blending up a quick smoothie-for-one. Bonus: The small containers do double duty as to-go mugs, which also means there's only one container to wash. Downside: These blenders are not designed for hard-core, heavy-duty tasks.