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Blender: The Ultimate Buying Guide
While it’s true that any decent blender will mix fruits and vegetables together, finding the right one can be challenging. Even though, technically speaking, there are only two types of blenders, each model has so many features, that it can get confusing when trying to decide which one fits your needs best. To help you sort through the seemingly endless stream of options and simplify your decision, we've rounded up a list of things you need to consider before buying a blender.
First thing first, what’s the difference between a blender and a juicer?
The main difference between juicers and blenders is that one separates juice from fiber, while the other one combines all the ingredients. Juicers extract juice from the tissues of raw fruits and vegetables. All the pulp and fiber is removed and what remains is a liquid rich in nutrients, which can be very rapidly absorbed into your body and bloodstream. Blenders, on the other hand, mix all the ingredients together, pulverizing them into smoothies, soups, ice creams or purees. Unlike juicing, blending uses the entire fruit or vegetable, but breaks the fiber apart in the process, thus helping the body to assimilate it easily.
Types of blenders
Technically speaking there are two types of blenders: countertop blenders and immersion blenders.
Also known as “jar” or “jug blenders”, countertop blenders have been designed to withstand years of heavy use. Sturdy and versatile, this type of blender is perfect for mixing, chopping, pureeing, grinding or crushing ice. Countertop blenders come in a variety of shapes, sizes and designs. The container can be manufactured of glass, plastic or stainless steel. The capacity of the jar also varies, from four to about eight cups (between one to two liters). While most countertop blenders offer basic speed guidance, such as slow, medium and fast, some devices can have up to 16 speeds.
Long, sleek and lightweight, immersion blenders, also known as “hand blenders”, are flexible mixing devices, which can be used to blend directly in a pot or a bowl. Easily maneuvered with your hands, they are an excellent option for when you want to mix just a small amount of ingredients. Their sleek, stick-shaped design, with rotating blades at one end will give you more control. Similar to countertop blenders, immersion blenders can mix, chop, grind and crush a large array of ingredients, from fruits and vegetables to ice and leafy greens. However, due to their small size, immersion blenders are great for small batches of smoothies or soups. Because you can immerse the blade directly into a bowl or pot, immersion blenders are easier to clean than jar blenders. Furthermore, due to their dimension, immersion blenders don’t take much storage space, and are perfect for small households.
Tips for buying a blender: which one is the right for you?
A blender is one of the most important small kitchen appliances. It can be used for a number of things, such as whipping up smoothies, pureeing, chopping fruits and vegetables, grinding nuts or crushing ice. However, with so many brands and models to choose from, shopping for a blender can be challenging. What features and functions do you really need? What type of food will you be blending? What capacity do you need? Here are some questions to ask yourself before buying a blender.
How much power do you need?It goes without saying that blenders with higher wattage are more powerful. But, do you really need 3 horse power or a lower powered blender will be enough for you? Think about what you want to do with your blender. If you want to crush hard food, you should choose a more powerful blender, but if you plan to use it for soups and smoothies, an immersion or low-powered blender will work just fine.
What capacity do you need?The blender capacity may vary from four to eight cups. In order to decide which size is best for you, you need to consider how much food you are going to blend at the same time. If you plan to mix small portions of food, an immersion blender is the right choice for you. If you decided to buy a countertop blender, our suggestion is to get one with a large container. This way you will be able to mix large batches of smoothies and soups, without having to worry about overflowing the container.
How often will you use it?
Countertop blenders take a lot of space. So, if you don't plan to use it regularly, it’s better to opt for an immersion blender or single serve blender (AKA bullet blenders). Small and thin, it is easier to store than countertop blenders.
Do you really need 16 speeds?
Speed is important and it can allow you to chop and grind the ingredients at different sizes. But, do you really need 16 speeds? Chances are “slow”, “medium” and “fast” are all you need to get the consistency you want. More important than speed is the Pulse function. The Pulse function can help you crush hard ingredients making it easier for you to control the blending process.
What material is the container made of?
When choosing a blender, pay attention to the size, shape and material of the blender’s container. Blender containers can be made of glass, plastic or metal, and the material can affect their sturdiness and durability. If you know the blender will be intended for heavy use, choose a glass or stainless steel container. You might be interested in looking for BPA free blender jar.
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