If you’re in the market for a small, efficient and extremely practical blender that does the job well, then look no further than this cracking model from fast-rising blender brand, NutriBullet. We love our blenders but the majority of models are simply too big for a quick single- of double-serve nutrient blast. They also take up too much worktop space and are often too tall to store away. The NutriBullet, though, is small enough to leave permanently on the worktop (it’s just 14-inches tall) or very easily stored in a cupboard. It's also unbelievably simple to use and just as easy to clean. This model comes with a blender blade, milling blade, two single-serve cups and a tall one for two.
We tried one of their recommended NutriBlasts using some spinach, banana, strawberry and blueberries and were incredibly impressed by its speed and efficiency. The whole lot was whipped into a smooth health-giving elixir that had absolutely no lumps. Delicious. It pulverises ice too. The ultimate test of any kitchen device is how easy it is to clean. Well this one passes with flying colours. Simply unscrew the cutter housing from the cup and rinse. That’s it. Job done. NutriBullet’s insightful manual offers a variety of smoothies but if you really want to take advantage of a myriad tantalising recipes, purchase the excellent NutriBullet book. If we were to put our head on the block we’d happily say that, right now, this is far and away the most practical blender on the shelves. Buy one. And one for your friends.
Go to almost any smoothie or cocktail bar anywhere in the world and you can be sure they’ll be using this blender. The Series 500 uses a 1,200 watt motor to spin its stainless steel cutting blades at speeds of up to 240mph. This means that when you throw in a handful of ice, it pulverises it into a brain-freezing slush in seconds – perfect for frozen cocktails like daiquiris and margaritas. Furthermore, chuck in a bundle of vegetation and after several minutes you’ll have hot, lump-free soup. Yes, hot! It goes without saying that it also makes the smoothest smoothies of any blender anywhere.
The Vitamix Pro Series 500 comes with three pre-programmed settings, a brilliantly smooth variable speed control and a pulse function for coaxing any stubborn ingredients stuck to the walls of the plastic, shatter-proof two-litre container into the path of the blades. Its low-friction motor is built to last a lifetime – the machine comes with a seven year warranty – so if you’re a smoothie or cocktail aficionado or are thinking of starting a professional business, we advise you make this model your first port of call. It’s not called the sumo of blenders for nothing.
Vitamix Professional Series 500
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Magimix Le Blender
Those of you who like a nice big knob on their appliances will get on just fine with this very simple but effective table-top die-cast blender. The Magimix Le Blender couldn’t be easier to use: simply select ‘smoothie’, ‘crushed ice’ or ‘desserts’ on the illuminated dial, hit the big start button and its 1,200-watt motor starts mashing all those lovely fruity ingredients together into one big scrummy, health-enhancing drink. It even turns itself off when the process is complete. This is one of the tallest blenders on the page – its glass pitcher holds a whopping 1.8 litres – so it’s unlikely to fit under your worktop cabinets. It isn’t as pretty as the KitchenAid either. But it’s just as well built.
If you’re only making the odd smoothie or milkshake then this plastic covered Jamie Oliver-branded Philips model will do the trick. Unlike the other models here, its 600-watt motor has just two speeds and a pulse mode. Sadly it didn’t crush ice as well as expected but only because some of it dropped beneath the blades. Nevertheless, its ‘titanium coated’ blades did a good enough job of dealing with frozen fruits and vegetables. Like the Magimix, this one’s too tall for storage under a worktop cabinet, but at least it’s light enough to move it into position when needed. Given the nominal selling price, you could do a lot worse than give this budget model a whirl.
Philips Jamie Oliver Blender
Rugged, unswervingly retro in design and available in 13 attractive colours, the heavyweight die-cast KitchenAid Artisan Blender looks stylish in any kitchen. What’s more, it’s short enough to fit under worktop cabinets. You get two for the price of one with this blender: a 1.5-litre shatter-resistant glass pitcher and a 0.75-litre culinary jar for mixing herbs and spices. The mode setting icons are a mite confusing and it only has a 550-watt motor, but where it matters most – blending anything from ice to hard vegetables – the Artisan works a treat, pulverising frozen fruit, milk and ice cream in a thrice to produce a gorgeously smooth, throat-lubricating meal of a drink. Great value and gorgeous looking too.
KitchenAid Artisan Blender
The USA-made Blendtec Total has the most powerful motor here (a terrifying 1,560 watts of unstoppable power). Despite its industrial looks, this particular model has been thoughtfully designed for consumer use so that it not only fits under a worktop cabinet but it also comes with easy-to-read, pre-set programme cycles – ice, smoothie, milkshake, etc – that shut off automatically on completion. It even makes soup simply by heat friction from the blades. The Blendtec Total doesn’t come with a tamper since the rectangular shatterproof plastic container has been designed to create a vortex that sucks the ingredients into the blade area. Needless to say it makes a damn fine smoothie. Anyone seen the hamster?