Blenders

A standard benchtop blender can be used to make soups, purees, smoothies, shakes, but can also be used to make pesto, pate, nut butter, mayonnaise, aioli and for crushing nuts and seeds and also ice. For handling hard foods or large amounts of ice you would need a high powered blender or a super blender.

Consider what you would typically use your blender for. The higher the power the more the blender will crush or grind, but also the higher the price tag will be.

Advantages of Standard Blenders

  • Large capacity
  • Cheap models are still very useful for pureeing blending and making smoothies
  • More powerful models can blend chop, churn cream, crush, emulsify, frappe, grind, knead, mix, powder, puree and whip and even cook

Disadvantages of Standard Blenders

  • Take up bench space
  • Only the dearer models can crush and grind hard items effectively
  • Messy to clean
  • Noisy

What to look for when buying a Blender

Power

Most bench top blenders are in the 500 to 200 Watt range and usually the higher the power the higher the price. You will need a higher powered motor if you want to crush harder items such as ice or tough vegetables.

Capacity

The capacity of bench top blenders is usually larger than other blender types, normally in the 1.5 – 2.0 litre range. Some models come with jars that have clear measurements on the outside which can be handy.

Speed Settings

Even the cheapest blenders usually have at least three speeds while most have many more. Some blenders also have programs for particular uses, such as smoothies, and others have a full variable speed function. A pulse function is important if you want complete control over your blending.

Blades

Most blenders will advise on what foods their blades are best used on. A standard blender will normally have a blade suitable for blending, pureeing and mixing and should handle such jobs as pureeing soft fruit or vegetables, making smoothies, making baby food from cooked vegetables and creaming soups. Removable blades make cleaning easier.

Ease of Use

Make sure the blender you choose has easy to use controls, most come with either buttons or a speed dial. When it comes to the jug it is usually easier to use one with a sturdy handle. To help with your blending some blenders come with lids that have a removable section so you can add more items in during blending and specially sized paddles for pushing down and moving the food to help them blend properly.

Ease of Cleaning

Jugs or jars with removable blades are the easiest to clean. Look at the lids, especially if they have fiddly seals to remove and clean.

Super Blenders or All-in-one Machines

A moderately priced benchtop blender may the best tool for your kitchen However, if you want to crush grind pulverize or powder hard items like nut and grains, you will need a more high powered or super blender.

These high powered and high performance machines have highly spinning blades that will crush ice to snow, make silky smooth smoothies, and turn hard full fruits and vegetables in juices. Some can even make hot soups. Of course, they also come with a higher price tag.