What to Look for in a Premium Blender
Want the Best Blender for you? It starts with knowing the right questions.
When shopping for a premium countertop blender for your home kitchen, here are 9 super important qualities to consider and compare, to help you find the best blender that is just right for your needs, wants, intentions and preferences.
Why? Simply put, if power is insufficient, you will not be able to blend anything but the easiest of blend tasks. A powerful motor (paired with an appropriately large, strong, ample sized and well designed blade) enables you to tackle high intensity blends such as: frozen produce, ice, hard raw vegetables and even leafy greens.
Do you need a high powered motor for your blending intentions? Well if you intend to use all soft and easy to blend ingredients, than probably not. However, if you want to be able to make smoothies with frozen fruit, turn grain into flour, turn nuts into nut butters, turn granulated sugar into powdered sugar or make soup in seconds, or other challenging blend task, then you definitely need and want a high-powered blender.
Ask yourself what do you want to do with your blender and what type of recipes would you like to make. Are the recipe ingredients easy or challenging types? Consider, if you have a weak under powered blender and use anything other than easy to blend ingredients, then you are likely to experience results like: lumpy smoothies, soups and sauces or even worse beaten looking salads.
- Preprogrammed Cycles
These are awesome for getting blends done right, easily and most conveniently. Depending on your interest, you will want to pick a blender offering the most relevant preprogrammed blend cycles that matches your lifestyle. Here are the top benefits of preprogrammed cycles.
- Faster and easier done for you blends. How? Simply by taking the guess work out of what is the most appropriate blend cycles for a specific blend task. With a pre-set you get an optimized combination of speed cycles paired with time, to produce superior blends without the guessing.
- Lets you “set and forget”, basically move on to other tasks, so an essential for the multitasker. However, it is important to note, that some blenders with presets are designed to use a tamper for blending, which defeats this purpose.
- Precision Control / Manual Speed Controls
This is very important if you want to have more exacting control over your blending creations. Basically, more speed options equate to finer control to follow or interpret recipe instructions or freestyle in making your recipes.
For some people an offering of 5 speeds is sufficient, for others like gourmet chefs and foodies, they may better appreciate and fully make use of 100 manual speed options in the making of their delectable blending creations. Others simply like to have the best of the best, and will want the finest control (like the 100 manual options), because that is what they like and the price difference for more rich features is not a factor.
In a high powered premium blender product line, all will provide great blending, however the finer control has advantages. Ask yourself, what type of manual control will satisfy your needs, wants or preferences.
When looking for best blender for your dollar, keep in mind, initial purchase price isn’t always representative of real lifetime costs and value. Consider, most cheaper made blenders have short warranties and these units typically break down, just after their brief 6-months, 1-year or 2-year warranty ends, resulting in their disposal into landfill waste and you shopping again.
Conversely premium blenders with long warranties are built to blend better, provide customer satisfaction, customer service post sale support and last longer.
Common consequence when buying cheap, is the increasing costs incurred when replacing them repeatedly over your lifetime.
When shopping, it pays to look at more than price alone. When shopping for the best deal, ask yourself:
- Is likely a cheaper blender can offer same performance (such as effectively blend tougher tasks like frozen produce, hard raw veggies or crush ice)?
- Do I trust the brand for quality? Is it made with high quality food safe materials? Does it have a long reliable warranty? Does it have a live customer service and reputation for post sale support?
- Does it offer a wide range of benefits such as: finer speed control & array of pre-sets for set and forget perfect blends) that you can get with select premium blenders.
In general, purchasing a high quality blender with a good warranty, is likely to cost more upfront, but provide more satisfaction, assurances, support and value over their lifetime and lastly, can very well end up costing much less.
When looking at blender brands and trying to decide what brands could be right for you, ask yourself for your intentions right now, is a short term blender or high powered lifetime blender right for you?
- Blending Jars
Compare quality and benefits offered by different blending jars. I can’t emphasize this enough!
An integral part of the technology in the making of a great blender is in the blending jar. There is no one jar that fits all. You can have jars for general multi-purpose blends (personal size) or larger volume sized blends (family or entertaining sized) as well as some that are optimized for special tasks such as: nut butters, extra thick blends (like: thick sauces or dips) and flour making (such as: fresh homemade ground wheat flours, organic rice flours, nut flours like almond flours or chestnut flours). Select those that best match your needs and intended uses.
Is it possible that you would have a multiple blends at a time?
If this is forseeable, than you may want to consider having extra blending jars that are sized right for your volume and blending task needs. Having mulitple jars can offer huge time savings with meal preparation. it is especially good for being able to leave blends in jars until ready to serve or leave out for self-serve.
One example scenario for a family, is if 3 members each want a different smoothie recipe and you make enough for more than one glass serving.
In this scenario, you may want to have a separate blender jar for each blend, so everyone has their smoothie at the same time and / or each member can come back and self pour remaining seconds.
Any left overs can later be packed up for later day consumption.
If getting multiple blending jars sounds like a good fit for your intended use and environment, check and see if the brand, size and style of multi-purpose blender jars of interest, are stackable so you can enjoy the added benefit of easier space saving storage.
When it comes to high quality / high performance blenders, jars should be made of strong, light, and durable food safe BPA free co-polyester. In commercial blenders, stainless steel jars are sometimes offered to suit some unique needs in a commercial application, however the major draw back with steel jars, is you cannot see the status of a blend through the blend jar. Instead you must assess blend doneness, by lifting lid, looking in and possibly stirring to review contents.
As for glass jars, this option is available on some low powered blenders. However, on account of the very high power RPMs offered in most premium high powered and high speed blenders, glass pitcher jars are not a safe option due to risks of chipping, cracking and shattering.
- Warranty/Reliability/Peace of Mind
When looking for a good blender that is reliable, of good quality and designed to last, be sure to compare warranties.
Any warranty of just 6 months or 1 year, is not a good warranty but certainly common in low end and cheaply made blenders.
Such short term warranties do not indicate a reliable long life is expected by the manufacturer, so why should you expect different?
Also when comparing blender warranties, be wary of lesser known brand names. You will want to check how long they have been in business, their warranty return terms, their process and if they have online reviews. The benefit of a well known brand is you can easily see if they have a reputation for truly standing behind their warranty and offer excellent post sale customer service and support.
- Ease of Cleaning (inside and out!)
When cleaning takes a long time and gets you frustrated, you can end up regretting your choice of blender and worse yet may not use it as often.
With blenders, you have the inside of the jar and the outside (exterior base and controls) cleaning to consider. Each part involves a different cleaning approach. Possible challenges and solutions in cleaning is greatly determined by the manufacturer's design.
The power of a premium high powered blender can make the inside jar cleaning process generally fast and easy. Simply add water, a little liquid soap, run your preprogrammed blend clean cycle or if not available on your blender, run manually briefly, then rinse with water. Done.
However the only caveat to the typical easy clean, are some sticky and thick blends. With sticky type blends like nut butter or thick dough, running the blender with water and dish soap is not always enough. Nor is putting it on the top shelf of your dishwasher.
If you intend to make blends that are sticky (and why not?), you may want to consider a blender with a safe blunted blade design, so that you are free to use your bare hands and fingers to easily and safely, clear clean under and around the blade and not cut yourself.
Keep in mind, that, a jar with less groves and or flat sides will be easier to scrape clear blend remnants.
Blender cleaning efficacy and time to complete, will vary greatly depending on the exterior blender base design.
Blender bases with knobs and or buttons for blending control, require more intricate cleaning attention to clean spills, splashes, dirt, grime, bacteria and germs from nooks and recessed areas.
Smooth exterior blenders with sealed and protected, smooth touch controls, are faster and easier to clean and they typically only require simple damp wiping.
- Specialized Features
If you have special requirements that are not common to most blenders, like quieter or built-in-counter, there may be a model offering that is the perfect match for you.
It is no secret that blenders are generally loud. Depending on ingredients and engineering, offending loudness can vary in severity. Fortunately, for those where quieter blending is a priority, there are blenders that deliver premium blending output at lower decibels, regardless of blend ingredients. The quiet blenders are engineered with sound dampening technology that includes a dome cover that effectively reduce sound output and depending on model may include other sound dampening and airflow innovations.
This sound dampening technology, can be particularly helpful for those that wish to blend early morning or late at night without waking others in close proximity or when others are around and the blend master wants normal conversation to be audible over the sound of the blender.
Modern custom designed kitchens loving clutter free space, seek practical ways to use space most efficiently.
A popular wish list item, is to remove the chunkiness of a blender motor from the countertop, and instead build it into the counter, and have the controls sleekly in line at counter level. Not only is this attractive it removes clutter from countertops.
A lower profile built into the counter blender system is a very fetching clean look indeed and certainly there is at least one major brand we are aware of offering a premium blender designed specifically for the custom kitchens needs.
For those wishing to have their blender built into the countertop and become a part of your kitchen design and funciton yet still have the flexibility to move to different work placements.
- Blender Placement Consideration
Size is important. Be aware that the height of some high performance blenders is not always conducive to placement or storage under home kitchen cabinets. Depending on your kitchen layout and your preferred location for placement, this could be a very importance factor in determining which blender is most right for you and your home kitchen.
In most kitchens, the standard distance from counter to upper cabinets is 18 inches. Slide under clearance will be lessened further, if there is trim molding and or under cabinet lighting.
If you intend to place your blender under a cabinet, just be sure to look for blenders that are less than the clear space you have measured to be available, so that it can slide in and under the cabinet. Also keep in mind that depending on style of blender, some come with a tamper which will add to the blender height dimensions when stored with the blender.
Ready to get started on finding the best blender for you? Great!
Proceed to Step 2: Identify which Premium Blender Solution is best for you