How to choose the best blender for smoothies
Well the good news is that buying a blender is a lot easier than buying a juicer! However, putting some time into getting the right one will make your smoothie making a lot more enjoyable. Here are a few things to consider when looking at blenders:
- Generally speaking the higher the power the motor the better the blender. Most blenders on the market today are between 500w and 800w but high street stores do sell ones up to 1,200w. The higher wattage blenders will be able to handle frozen fruit and ice much better and also manage thicker smoothie consistencies. I would recommend looking at one that has a minimum of 750watts if possible.
- Ideally you want a wide heavy base for stability, when blenders are being worked hard they can vibrate quite a bit so you need a solid base.
- Blenders come with either plastic or glass pitchers and there are advantages to each. Plastic are lighter and easier to handle but are prone to scratching (check too to make sure they are dishwasher safe). Glass pitchers are heavier to lift and pour from but are scratch resistant and very durable (unless you drop on the floor!). Generally I prefer glass to plastic but as this is not being used for storage of food, I find the plastic is easier to handle. It’s really down to personal preference.
- The size of the pitcher is something to think about too if you feel you will be doing more than one serving at a time. I would tend to lean toward a bigger pitcher as although you might not need the larger size daily, if you have friends around or want to get your kids involved in making their own smoothies having the option of a larger pitcher is useful. Also look for a wide based pitcher as it is easier for the contents to blend (and also easier to clean!).
- The controls are not something we often consider but they are important. Smoothies can be messy (when doing them with kids at least!) so touch pads can be a lot easier to wipe off than buttons. Smoothie residue can tend to build up around buttons and switches so my preference is touch pads. Also consider whether you prefer the ability to vary the speeds or if you prefer pre-programmed options.
If you really want to go for it and are ready to invest in a high end blender, then the gold standards in blenders are the Vitamix and Blendtec blenders. These retail around €600 and upwards. These were on my wishlist but in the meantime I invested in an Optimum blender which is about €400 but for the price difference I am not sure what additional benefits I would have gotten from the two higher end models. I use it daily (and for making salad dressings and lots of other things too) and have had no problems with it. The nutribullet is a very popular ‘extractor’ at the moment, it does have powerful blades that rotate very quickly which enables it to pulverise seeds, skin etc. This is an advantage in that you can add more veg to your smoothies but if you are paying that price I would consider investing a high-end blender. You can only make enough smoothie for one in a nutribullet and it doesn’t have the same power as the high-end blenders.
Where is the best place to buy a blender?
You can either buy online or many high street electrical stores stock blenders too. I have probably seen the best range in Harvey Normans but places like Argos, Currys or your local electrical store will have a range to choose from. Even Aldi and Lidl occasionally have blenders (about €40) and they are not a bad option. I had one but it only lasted about a year but it did have daily use. This is the downside I guess of buying a cheaper blender in that it may not last so long and you don’t generally have a warranty, however it is great as a starting point to get you going and you can upgrade as your finances and interest dictate. If investing in a higher end model make sure to check out your warranty too. As this is an investment you want to make sure that it will last you for years and that you will have a replacement or repair option if something goes wrong. Many of the higher end blenders do a 5 year warranty.
Really the best advice, is to purchase the best blender with the highest wattage and features you like, that you can afford. Ultimately it has to be one you will use on a regular basis so that you can enjoy the results – yummy, nutritious and health-enhancing smoothies!
Top tip – to get the best use out of your blender, leave it out in a prominent place in your kitchen where you will see it daily. Keep all the ingredients you add to your smoothies close by (I have mine in rotating carousels which works great) so your smoothie making process is as easy and enjoyable as possible!