Blender for Smoothies
I currently have a Kitchenaid blender and I end up with chunks of frozen fruit when I make a smoothie.
I am considering Blendtec, Vitamix and Waring Pro. Some of the Waring blenders (MX1050) are more in my price range. Was also considering Breville but read a lot of negative reviews on leaking and poor customer service.
Most of the videos I see of blenders show fresh fruit, juice and ice to make a smoothie.
I usually use frozen fruit which tends to get rounded off and then bounce off the blades instead of getting blended. Will any of these blenders handle frozen fruit?
I have made smoothies in two different blenders, one by Kitchen Aid and the other by Waring. The Waring takes longer than the KA when you put frozen anything in it. I don't much like the KA because of this peculiar thing it does that makes me have to stop and scrape everything on the sides back into the center. This only happens when I make a single smoothie. But I'm the only person living here, so all I make are single smoothies.
In truth, I haven't made a smooothie in years, but I wouldn't recommend either of these blenders.
Problem I see with the KA is the shape of the jar -- too wide and straight-sided. There is sort of a corner where chunks can orbit around the blade without being drawn through.The old Osters and Warings have narrow, tapering jars -- chunks of food and ice really can't bypass the cutting blades at the bottom.
Unless you have a commercial blender that can crush iPads for breakfast (the ads for one of these actually has a video of an iPad being pulverized), technique and time will make up for power.
Personally, I have an old beehive that seems to work fine, despite it being fairly low powered (the bottom says 375W -- current Osters are rated at 500W.) My basic smoothie is banana, frozen strawberries and OJ. Best results are when I start with the fresh fruit and juice, then add the frozen fruit. (Similar strategy with blended drinks: most of ice goes in last).
I like my Oster - I will not buy any blender without a metal to metal clutch between the base and the blades. I have had to many rubber bases crap out on me while bartending.
But... Thomas Keller endorsed the Vitamix in the Ad Hoc cookbook, and I have a pretty hard time arguing against him. I have not rushed out to drop the bucks on it, but when it does come time to upgrade, or when I next wander into Costso with a few extra hundred ready to spend, I will get the Vitamix.
They use VitaMix's because they are PAID to use it (by their customers). They probably get more use out of those blenders in a week than you or I will in a lifetime, so it behooves them to get the very best. I'm not advocating buying junk -- nothing is more expensive than buying cheap crap. Just match the machine to your needs.
I've had a KitchenAid, Hamilton Beach and a Breville. Now I have a VitaMix. The VitaMix is head and shoulders above te others. If you can afford the investment I'd go with that. Aside from the power, I love the ease of cleaning. I use this much more than any other blender I've had because I don't have to take it apart to clean it.
My next favorite was the Breville. It runs about $300 but I picked one up (new) on Woot for $119 a few years ago. They show up there periodically so you may be able to snag one if you keep watch.