Choosing the best kitchen blender doesn’t need to be very complicated. Blenders are basic kitchen appliances, but there are features that you should look for. Paying attention to what you plan on using your blender for should also play a part in picking a blender. As you search, you may be surprised at how many different types of home kitchen blenders there are to choose from. Choices are nice, but making the wrong one can cost you time and money.
A Kitchen Blender Is Not A Food Processor
As you begin your search for a good kitchen blender, make sure you want a blender and not a food processor. People often lump the two appliances together, but they are quite different in many ways.
Food processors do a great job of slicing foods, such as vegetables, into thin slices for cooking and baking. They can be used to need dough, grind (not pulverize) nuts and puree vegetables. They don’t do a very good job of making smoothies or crushing ice, two tasks that are done very well by blenders.
Blenders, on the other hand, can’t slice vegetables or knead bread dough. They aren’t very good at grinding nuts, although you can do this task if you have the patience. A blender is a good tool for making smoothies, soups and sauces. They can puree vegetables for juice (although they can’t get rid of peels and seeds) and blend frozen drinks. When you are looking for a blender, make sure you know what you can and can’t do with that small kitchen appliance.
Some Blenders Can Become Food Processors
If you know that you will want both a kitchen blender and a food processor, you may look at some units that can be converted from blender to food processor. This usually involves changing the mixing bowl and using a different set of slicing and cutting attachments. Some of these multi-purpose appliances, such as the Oster pictured above, are both good blenders and good food processors. You will pay more for this type of appliance than you would for just a blender, but you do end up with two small appliances in one.
What To Look For When Buying A Kitchen Blender
Yep, size matters! You are asking your blender to chop and grind dense foods and ice. These are not easy items to chop up and you will need a blender with a powerful enough motor to keep the blades spinning through dense foods.
*Good Blade System
Blades are designed to not only chop food but to keep the food moving around in the mixing jar. If the ingredients keep moving, you will end up with a smoother mix, one that is ready to pour right out of the jar.
*A Good Mixer Jar
The receptacle that is used for mixing is called a mixing jar. Your blender will have at one main jar and maybe one or two small jars for mixing individual beverages. You want to watch for a couple of features on the mixing jar before choosing your blender.
Size is the first consideration. Blenders that have more capacity will have jars that are 60-72 ounces, large enough for a batch of mixed drinks. Small to-go mixing jars are a nice add on, but you don’t want the main jar to be too small. Your recipe might not fit in a small mixing jar and you end up having to blend by hand.
Mixing jar material is the other consideration that deserves attention. Glass and plastic are the two materials used and both have pros and cons. Glass is sturdy, won’t cloud, won’t react with some foods and can go in the dishwasher. It is also heavier and can break. Plastic is light, can go into the dishwasher and is very durable. However, it can scratch and even peel, and it can get cloudy with use. PBA contamination shouldn’t be an issue on newer blender models.
A good kitchen blender is a valuable tool that every cook and baker will use often. They can make your life much easier and you want to make sure that you have exactly the right blender for your cooking needs.