If we could only keep one kitchen appliance, our choice would be a blender. From smoothies to the tastiest hummus: a blender does it all. An alternative to a blender is a pestle and mortar, but of course, no one is waiting for that these days. This article covers everything you need to know about blenders: how they work, what types of blenders there are and what you can do with them.
Are you looking for a new blender, but don’t know which one yet? Make use of our handy TOP-10 of the best blenders of 2023.
What is a blender?
A blender is used for grinding/blending soft and hard ingredients. The kitchen appliance is used for mixing and pureeing and is therefore also called a chopper. Thus, a blender is very popular for making a smoothie, but also for sauces, soups and crushing ice cubes.
For readers confused about the differences between a smoothie and juice: A smoothie is made with a blender and is a mixture of liquid, frozen fruit and/or vegetables. Juice involves extracting all the liquid from fruit and vegetables, for which you use a juicer or slow juicer.
Types of blenders
- Normal blender or smoothie maker
- Power Blender: these are powerful blenders with a high speed per minute. A better option for smoothie bowls.
- Professional Blender: suitable for the catering industry and frequent use.
- Blender-to-go: the mixing cup can be used as a drinking cup. Handy when you drink your smoothie on the way to work, for example.
- Vacuum blender: with a vacuum blender, all the air (and therefore oxygen) is extracted from the blender jar.
- Soup maker: do you use your blender mainly to make homemade soup? Then choose a soup maker, which blends the ingredients but also heats up your soup.
- Smart blender: a smart blender that you can control via a smartphone app.
How does a blender work?
Using a blender is very simple. You fill the mixing cup with the (fresh) ingredients, put the lid on and press the start button. Most blenders have several speeds to choose from. Blenders are available with the following functions:
- Turbo function: this is often the strength setting. Useful when you need a lot of power for a smoothie bowl, for example. You will often find a turbo function on power blenders.
- Pulse function: this allows you to use the maximum speed of the blender as long as you hold down the (rotary) knob. This is useful when you need short pulses at high speeds.
- Ice crusher function: this function is useful when you want to blend ice cubes or frozen fruit.
The pros and cons of a blender
As with any kitchen appliance, it has pros and cons. What are the pros and cons of a blender?
- Time-saving: quick preparation and easy to clean.
- Healthy: homemade food is always healthier and fresher. It also preserves fibre, something that is not the case with a juicer.
- Very versatile: as you have read above
- Affordable: you can buy a blender for as little as a few tenner
Things to consider:
- Noisy: a blender makes quite a lot of noise especially when you put hard ingredients in it.
- Space: a blender takes up space. Fortunately, smaller blenders are also available.
What can you do with a blender?
Most people think of a blender as a smoothie maker, but it is much more than that. For example, you can use a blender for:
- Soups: if you only use a blender for soups, choose a soup maker.
- Milkshakes or smoothies: a good blender will grind fresh ingredients and frozen fruit within a short time.
- Sauces: think hummus, pesto, tomato sauce
- Vegetable milk: grind nuts or oatmeal with water and you have a vegetable milk.
- Cocktails: opt for a blender with an ice crush function
- Dressings: perfect for salad dressings.
- Desserts: think batter for cakes, as well as frozen desserts.
- Baby food
A blender invites you to cook more at home, which is healthier and more satisfying than cooking a ready-made meal with packets from the supermarket.
Can you make dough in a blender?
If you make the occasional bread or something with dough then you can use a blender for this. If you bake regularly, we recommend a dough mixer. These are more powerful, do not move while kneading dough and are easier to clean than a blender when it comes to dough.
How many watts is a blender?
A normal blender uses about 200 watts and this can go up to 1,500 watts for power and/or professional blenders. To put this into perspective, when you use a 1,000-watt blender for less than 5 minutes it consumes 166 watts, which equates to 1.66 kWh. This is comparable to a light bulb you leave on for 8 hours.
What is a powerful blender?
A misconception is that the number of watts tells something about the power of a blender, but this is not true. The number of watts only says something about power consumption. You look at the number of revolutions per minute to determine how powerful a blender is. For a powerful blender, you look at an RPM above 20,000 per minute.
What does a blender cost?
You can buy a simple blender for as little as a few tenners. For power or professional blenders, prices run into hundreds of pounds.
- Normal blender: 25 to 100 pounds
- Power blender: 50 to 200 pounds
- Professional blender: from 300 pounds
- Blender-to-go: 25 to 80 pounds
- Vacuum blender: 100 to 150 pounds
- Soup maker: 50 to 100 pounds
- Smart blender: from 100 pounds
Which is the best blender?
The Vitamix Ascent A2500i was voted the very best blender of 2023 in our blender test. This is a professional blender that really gets everything fine. This blender is suitable for the catering industry, but also for foodies who think to use the blender on a daily basis.
What is the best buy blender?
Are you looking for a blender with excellent value for money. The Philips Viva HR3571/90 was voted the best buy in our test. A great blender for smoothies, sauces and soups.
Popular blender brands
- Philips & Tefal: the perfect choice for an affordable blender or vacuum blender.
- Kitchen Brothers, Tristar, Inventum and Moa: look at these brands if you are looking for a budget blender.
- KitchenAid and SMEG: for when you are looking for a stylish blender and your budget is not an issue.
- Magimix & Bosch: a good brand for power blenders.
- Nutribullet: this brand is best known for blender-to-go’s.
- Blendtec and Vitamix: these are professional blenders.