Blenders are for more than just making smoothies. They can mix, they can puree and they can emulsify food into virtually any type of liquid form, Lauren Harris-Pincus, RDN, author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club, tells LIVESTRONG.com.
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While food processors might be your go-to for a host of meal prep duties, blenders are key for pulverizing and evenly combining wet and dry ingredients, Harris-Pincus says. Many newer and professional-grade models can perform functions that were once reserved for the food processor or several minutes of knife work. Soups, sauces and dips are totally in the cards.
"My favorite sweet concoctions to prepare in a blender are smoothies, frozen cocktails and 'nice' cream made from frozen bananas," Harris-Pincus says. (Don't miss our 64-calorie-per-scoop Cocoa-Mint Soft-Serve Nice Cream.) "I also love to make savory dips and soups in minutes."
These best blenders — chosen based on a dietitian's recommendations and stellar Amazon reviews — will help you puree like a pro, delivering thick and creamy recipes in a matter of seconds.
There's sure to be a blender option you'll want to add to your kitchen tool collection for the ultimate recipe success.
How We Chose
We talked to six registered dietitians for their tips for choosing and top choices of blenders based on the following criteria:
- Ease to clean
- Special features
1. Best Budget: Ninja Professional Plus Blender
Blend 8 cups of food or drink in the dishwasher-safe pitcher of this blender, one of Ninja's strongest models. This blender is a deal, effectively crushing ice and blending fruit just as well as its more costly competitors.
Three Auto-iQ programs do all the work for you to create creamy smoothies, slushy frozen mixed drinks and ice cream.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $109.99
2. Best for Big Families: KitchenAid K150 Blender
With two 16-ounce single-serving blender jars and a 6-cup pitcher, this blender can tackle small and large jobs alike. It's strong enough to crush a half-tray of ice in 10 seconds and comes with three preset speeds that you can cycle through for the just-right blend.
No matter which speed you choose, the blender starts off with a gentle feature that invites ingredients into the vortex slowly so they don't splatter or jam up. The Intelli-Speed Motor Control will sense when to move faster or slower for mixing perfection.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $149.99
3. Best For Smoothies: OYeet Personal Blender
Designed to pulverize ice and frozen fruits, this twist-and-blend, super-powerful appliance needs about 10 seconds to make smoothie dreams happen. OYeet's vortex blending system can tackle the thickest protein powder-packed smoothies, and ample airflow around the motor means it won't overheat.
The slender design won't take up too much kitchen counter space, and because the blender "pitcher" also serves as your cup, you'll have fewer dishes to clean. That cup is thick and essentially shatter-proof, so you can take it to go.
Buy it: oyeet.com Price: $169.95
4. Best for Hot Soups and Sauces: Instant Ace Nova Cooking Blender
Brought to you by the makers of the Instant Pot, this blender can mix smoothies and also puree and heat soups all within the same appliance. A heating element in the base gently boils and stirs so all you need to do is dump, heat and pour your soup recipe into bowls for slurping.
This Ace blender also has a crushed ice setting that makes homemade margaritas and daiquiris a breeze.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $119.99
5. Best Immersion: Mueller Austria Ultra-Stick Immersion Multi-Purpose Hand Blender
With an immersion blender, you can puree soups in the same pot you cooked them in. Affordable and easy to store, we love this one in particular because it has a non-slip, comfortable grip and a motor that won't overheat — even when pureeing potatoes.
Besides soups, this stick blender comes in handy for milkshakes, baby food, smoothies and frothy coffee drinks.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $34.97
6. Best for Anyone Who Hates Doing Dishes: Vitamix 5200 Blender Professional-Grade, Self-Cleaning
Like all Vitamix blenders, this 8-cup appliance masters durability and power. But this one scores some serious extra points: It has a cooling fan to keep the motor from getting too hot, as well as the ability to create steaming hot soup by the friction produced from blending at such high speeds.
And yet, it's the self-cleaning feature that truly takes the cake: Add a drizzle of dish soap and some warm water and this blender cleans itself in less than a minute.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $381.57
7. Best for Techies: Vitamix A2300 Ascent Series Smart Blender
With an 8-cup capacity, this family-sized blender can tackle big blending jobs. Chalk up the steep price tag to the blender's smart tech features: Not only does it have wireless connectivity and an app that can guide you through more than 500 recipes, but it also comes with variable speed control that senses when to increase the speed or pulse to blend just right.
No need to keep a super-close eye on your blender recipe, either — the machine knows when your smoothie's ready and will automatically turn off so your mixture doesn't overprocess.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $499.95
8. Best Speed: Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender
Thanks to a smart, high-performance motor and stainless-steel blades, this Vitamix blender will certainly come in handy next time you meal prep for the week, as it can handle making batches of soup, smoothies, batter and baby food in no time at all.
"Vitamix can handle frozen fruits and raw vegetables with ease," says Kristi Ruth, RD. "I've blended up all kinds of frozen fruit, celery, beets and carrots with no problem. The Professional Series comes with a 64-ounce container which holds the most; it also requires a minimum volume of 12 ounces to cover the blades."
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $580.00
9. Best Portable: Cuisinart EvolutionX Cordless Rechargeable Compact Blender
"Portable blenders are great for when you are traveling and still want the ability to make a healthy (and more affordable than take-out) meal option," explains Meghan Pendleton, RD. "But, as with any portable blender, I would suggest avoiding hard ingredients such as carrots, as they are less powerful than corded blenders and may not thoroughly blend."
Buy it: HomeDepot.com Price: $79.95
10. Best Ninja: Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen System
"This kitchen system blends any smoothie recipe I can think of, and comes with different size options," says Chris Henigan, RD. "The blender pitcher allows you to make one batch for the week, or a batch for the family or you can make personal smoothies in the 16-ounce to-go cups if you want less or variety. The system comes with two to-go cups that I can fill the night before and pop on the blender in the morning, making my healthy breakfast a breeze. The bonus is that it comes with a food processor as well."
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $159.99
11. Best Luxury Blender: Blendtec Total Blender Classic
"This blender creates a wonderful consistency and will blend literally anything," says Angela Lago, RDN, LDN.
"It allows users to prevent waste of items such as kale stems, and is able to blend raw food items such as raw beets to a smooth consistency. This is also a great blender for homemade soups, such as butternut squash soup — a personal favorite — and heats the ingredients for you when you use the soup function."
Buy it: Blendtec.com; Price: $399.95
How to Choose a Blender
While there are many blenders to choose from, you can uncomplicate your search by considering several factors before you buy.
One important thing to look for in a blender is convenience, according to Rachel Fine, RDN, especially if you plan on using your appliance every day. "I am often recommending smoothies as convenient options for on-the-go. But, if your blender is leaving you with splatter, then it's not so convenient!"
Equally important is considering the features of your blender, Fine adds. "Look at how easy it is to use the blender's controls, to clean its base and remove and replace the blade for deeper cleaning."
You'll also want to consider the materials of the blender, explains Allison Tallman, RDN. "When looking at the material of the blender, I typically recommend going for the glass or stainless-steel option," she says. "While these are both more expensive than the plastic alternative, they will likely last a lot longer and not discolor or hold on to smells as easily."
Finally, the size of the blender is always something to think about, as blender sizes can range from mini (which holds about 10 ounces) to large (80 ounces), Tallman says. "You'll want to consider what you will typically be using the blender for. If you're not sure, I recommend a medium to large blender, so you have plenty of room to work with."