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Jun 30, 2012 06:22 PM

Blender Recommendations


I'm finally tossing the blender I inherited from my parents as its never been able to crush ice and you have to cram down fruits to get them to blend into a smoothie. I swear the only thing it was capable of doing were simple milkshakes.

I already own a Cuisinart mini prep plus that I used for basic chopping needs for baking, however its too small to make drinks in.

Any economical recommendations of a Blender that can crush ice and blend fruits but its not extremely large or super expensive. I was hoping to pay somewhere under $70 but I'm not sure which brand/model to go with.

Any recommendations would be great!

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  1. Lorry13,
    By economical I am guessing that VitaMix is out. I would go with the Ninja. It gets good reviews (and some bad as all things do), and there are several configurations with different pricing. Target may be a good place to look.

    10 Replies
    1. re: dcrb

      I just ordered a Ninja from QVC for 130. I'll post once I get it and try it out. Looking forward to it!

      1. re: Oboegal

        Oboegal, I really do hope you post your reaction to your new toy. And Lorry- I second (or third) the vote for a Ninja, and WalMart has the Ninja we got a few years ago, but with less accessories than QVC. Lower cost by far. We love it. We bought it about 3 years ago, and I've bragged on it whenever a ChowHound thread gives me a chance. It should meet your needs re: crush ice or blend fruit and much more. Hope to hear your "final decision."

        1. re: Florida Hound

          So would you recommend a less accessorized Ninja versus a less accessorized Oster or Cuisinart? I've even seen a Food Network blender decently priced in Kohls but just cause its Food Network doesn't mean it great...

          I have access to Kohls, Walmart or Target but I'll buy online if its somewhere online like Amazon with free shipping.

          1. re: Lorry13

            You said you have a Cuisinart mini prep basic chopper, and I think Cuisinart makes a blender, but they are best known for their food processor, so "less accessorized Cuisinart" is not to say my Ninja can replace my food processor. But come to think of it, we don't really use the food processor very much. I have not tested every 'blender' out there, but the basic 400 watt Ninja more than beats the other blenders we've tried over the years.

            1. re: Florida Hound

              Gave in and ordered the Ninja NJ600 from Target (free shipping)! Really liked the model I saw in the store, too bad they were out or else I'll be trying it out right now!

              I also liked that it didnt have a bunch of extra accessories as it saves me the trouble of making space for them in my tiny kitchen.

              1. re: Lorry13

                LORRY13, If you see this, give the Chowhound world an update- How are you liking the new Ninja? Florida Hound

                1. re: Florida Hound

                  I am LOVING my new Ninja!! It was perfect timing getting it during the hot summer months. I've used it to make tons of popsicles with fresh fruits (that can finally be blended easily!). Really happy I could finally crush ice to make milk shakes and frozen Serendipity style hot chocolate =)

                  I'm trying to see what else I can make with the blender. I recently tried making pots de creme by the blender method and was happy with the results I got.

                  1. re: Lorry13

                    Congratulations. Hope you share some of your blender creations and experiments in the days ahead. (I mean, share the "word pictures" with the Chowhound community. It will be more fun for you, though, sharing the real goods, poured fresh from the Ninja, with family and friends.)

      2. re: dcrb

        I recently bought a Vitamix Creations II through QVC for about $440 plus tax. They currently have an offer allowing 3 payments of $ 146. on a major credit card or their store card.

        1. re: Antilope


          That is a good deal. I have the 5200 and it is a joy to use. So versatile and powerful. Here is a link I find enjoyable. Runs long. Click on the TV:

      3. For what it's worth, America's Test Kitchen has two recommendations. Their top choice costs $150: the KitchenAid 5-Speed Blender. Their second choice and best buy, at $50, is the Kalorik BL Blender, Model 16909. Not only do they put equipment through Consumer Reports-type testing, but use their top choices in their kitchens and on the air.

        Full disclosure: I don't have a countertop blender, just a stick blender. But if I wanted to get one, I'd buy the Kalorik on ATK's say-so.

        2 Replies
        1. re: John Francis

          Funny you mention the stick blender. That's part of how we got the Ninja. Back in the day, when our blender at the time just wasn't doing it for us, I started thinking that the stick blender would be just what we needed. I don't remember for sure, but someone on Chowhound might have gotten me interested in it. After using it 1 or 2 or 3 times, I decided it wasn't versatile at all, and met about zero of our needs.

          So the next stop was the Ninja "Master Prep" Model QB900 54. I think it ran about $40.00 at WalMart at the time. And the stick blender found its way to a church yard sale, I think.

          Ninja Master Prep specs: Power 400 watts. Pitcher capacity 48 oz. Bowl 16 oz.

          1. re: John Francis

            That's really odd about the ATK recommendations because the current issue of Cook's Illustrated (September & October 2012) rates both the Vitamix 5200 ($449) and the Breville Hemisphere Control ($199.99) as "Highly Recommended." The Ninja model NJ600 ($99.99) is "Recommended with Reservations."

          2. If a 40 oz. jar is enough for you and you don't need it to slice and shred then the base model of the Ninja Pulse would be your best choice. Has 700 watts of power, and a small footprint. It makes ice into snow and comes with 3 individual jars to make smaller amounts of smoothies and take them with you. It's about $64 at Bed Bath & Beyond with their 20% off coupon. You can also make pizza and cookie dough with it. It does more than the older Master Prep machine.

            You can read hundreds of rave reviews on It was rated about 4.5 star out of 5 stars there and you can see a video of it in action there too. There's also a video on of it in action as well as several of their how to videos using it. Search for QVC Ninja.