A Better Blender

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Posted by Joe Butler on Aug. 9, 2018, 6 a.m.

Sarah Rainey, a food writer and columnist for The Telegraph, a British newspaper, once colorfully called modern kitchen technology “terrifying.”

She observed that just about everyone’s kitchen now contains more than its share of electronic gadgets that whir, spin, chop and squish, sometimes all by themselves even when no one is around.

Mother and daughter using a blender

Help in the kitchen has come a long way from the days spent all day in front of a stove or an oven. Now, we can fire up our slow cooker while we go out for work or fun, or wield our food processor to chop through mounds of veggies in minutes that would have taken our grandmas hours with a peeler and knife.

Rainey never veers into nostalgia or sentimentality of how much better things used to be, and admits this device evolution has been a good thing in terms of saving time and sanity. But she still warns readers that it’s increasingly easier to hurt ourselves in unexpected ways, from grease splatters from a novelty donut maker to shocks and burns from misuse of an extra-jumbo bagel-toaster.  And (spoiler alert), will you ever look at your Crock-Pot the same way again after its sinister appearance on the NBC drama “This Is Us”?

The modern blender definitely falls into the “so cool but treat with respect” category.  The device has matured from the low-frills, low-speed kitchen staple in the 1970s and 1980s to the high-performance, high-capacity beast available today.

Many of them now pack double or even triple the ‘umph’ of your garbage disposal (up to 3 hp!), which makes it super easy to mix drinks for a party or veggies and other superfoods for a morning smoothie. Don’t forget the kale!

If you’re planning to upgrade this season, take a peek at some of the newer blenders on the market. Visit local retailers like Huppin’s, The Kitchen Engine and Bargreen Ellingson to find these and other brands.

Vitamix Professional 750
Not only does it hold up to 64 ounces of liquid, it includes a self-cleaning feature – just insert soap and warm water and it scrubs itself in about a minute, which is useful if you like home cooking but dread the clean-up. Rather than a whole bank of buttons like old-school blenders, this one only has a Pulse setting plus five pre-programmed food settings. Vitamix also sells assorted accessories, including separate cups for storage and transport, and tampers and spatulas to ensure maximum blendage. 

Ninja® Mega Kitchen System®
Here’s a ninja that you should make sure everyone sees because it does so much for your meals, and it’s just fun to show off. The main device doubles as an 8-cup food processor. Plus it comes with two Nutri Ninja to-go cups. One it its selling points is a 72-ounce capacity, plus the ability to “easily turn ice into snow,” which can be handy for margaritas or daiquiris, or snow cones for the kids. 

Blendtec Profressional 800
Blendtec’s 500-series of blenders was hailed as revolutionary, which featured square sides instead of round, plus a futuristic LCD display, not to mention a smaller cup that nestles within the larger cup. It has built on that success with the 800 model, which has all those features and more, including the ability to hold up to 90 ounces of fluid. It’s now billed as the world’s quietest blender, a treat for anyone tired of the clatter of ice cubes or noisy carrots and berries. It has a touch slider for adjusting power and a high-speed pulse. Even better, Blendtec appeals to your inner child’s curiosity: “If I stick ____ in the blender, what happens?” with a series of “Will it Blend?” YouTube videos showing successful annihilation of everything from a whole turkey to an iPhone.