Upscale Blenders

Published September 1, 2009. From Cook's Illustrated.

Does a blender that costs three times as much as a good mid-priced model really do that much better of a job?

Overview:

We pitted our favorite moderately priced blender against two new upscale appliances. After putting the three machines through their paces, we found one absurdly turbo-charged, turning a smoothie into thin juice. Worse, it couldn’t perform the main function required of a blender (crushing ice), as its extreme speed and power made no difference when ice got trapped out of reach. As for the other upscale blender (an update of a model we recommended in 2002), it aced our crushing, blending, and mixing tests. A low setting on the dial transformed chickpeas into creamy hummus in seconds; with a quick turn, it burst full speed ahead, pulverizing frozen fruit into perfect, lump-free smoothies. If your blender is in constant use, our winner is a great investment. But for most of us, the best of the cheaper blenders will do just fine.

We pitted our favorite moderately priced blender against two new upscale appliances. After putting the three machines through their paces, we found one absurdly turbo-charged, turning a smoothie into thin juice. Worse, it couldn’t perform the main function required of a blender (crushing ice), as its extreme speed and power made no difference when ice got trapped out of reach. As for the other upscale blender (an update of a model we recommended in 2002), it aced our crushing, blending, and mixing tests. A low setting on the dial transformed chickpeas into creamy hummus in seconds; with a quick turn, it burst full speed ahead, pulverizing frozen fruit into perfect, lump-free smoothies. If your blender is in constant use, our winner is a great investment. But for most of us, the best of the cheaper blenders will do just fine.

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