A blender is an extremely helpful kitchen gadget to have stashed in a cupboard - they are invaluable for reducing soft ingredients to liquid, blending up smoothies and making soups. Blenders come in many different shapes and sizes - from small 1-person smoothie makers to giant soup blenders for whole families. Today we’re going to take a look at 5 of the best currently on the market.
Let’s start off with Smeg’s retro 1950s-style blender, the BLF01. Like most of Smeg’s retro appliance range, the BLF01 has a pleasingly stylish design and comes in a range of natty pastel colours. Look beyond the design though, and there’s a great device here. The 800W motor may not be the most powerful in our list, but this blender excels at making up smoothies and blitzing fruit and veg.
It’s well-built, but still light and easy to hold - a change from some of the larger blenders, which are uncomfortably heavy. The biggest problem is that there isn’t much stand-out with the BLF01 : you get 4 speeds, pulse, a below-average power and a 1.5l jug for mixing up anything you want. Now 1.5L isn’t particularly large as far as capacity is concerned, and the blender lacks some of the more interesting features of it’s larger cousins. However it is also reasonably priced, and cheaper than the comparable Magimix and Ninja models reviewed here today.
If you like the design - and don’t need an enormous capacity - this is an excellent middle-tier blender that’ll look great in your kitchen!
Magimix are a household name for kitchen appliances, and ‘Le Blender’ is an excellent example of why they are held in such high regard. The appliance has a solid feel with a simple, elegant design. The specs are good too: the 1200W motor will handle pretty much anything you throw at it, there are 4 speeds, and you get a number of different accessories in the box. The 1.8L capacity could be larger, but will suffice for most families.
The biggest plus of ‘Le Blender’ is Magimix’s ‘BlenderMix’ technology, which allows the blender to run at full power while being impressively quiet - indeed this is the quietest blender on our list. That’s a real boon - blenders can be really noisy appliances, so quieter the better!
There aren’t many downsides to ‘Le Blender’ - the capacity isn’t particularly impressive, and could stand to be larger. Also some reviews have mentioned that the glass jug is unwieldy, and uncomfortable to hold for long periods. However all-in-all this is a great blender for a very attractive price!
Most blenders are just a set of sharp blades spinning very fast, and so the actual cooking is done elsewhere. Not so the Ninja HB150UK, which contains a built-in heating element to allow you to heat and cook ingredients as you blend them! This is extremely helpful - it turns a standard blender into a one-pot cooker, able to handle everything from sauteing onions to heating soups.
The HB150UK is powered by a strong 1000W motor that will handle even the hardest ingredients, and boasts 10 presets for different types of hot and cold foods. The control panel can be a bit intimidating to begin with, but quickly becomes second nature - especially if you have any experience with an Instant Pot or similar appliance.
Unfortunately there are a few troubles with the HB150UK. While the specs are largely great, the capacity is only 1.7L - or 1.4L for hot liquids - which may not be sufficient for larger families. This is also a noisy beast - when running full-power it is the loudest of all the blenders reviewed here, meaning it will be antisocial to use - no midnight soup-making for you! Finally, the HB150UK isn’t sleek or light - it’s a large, bulky appliance, meaning you may have trouble fitting it into smaller kitchens.
Despite some problems, the negatives do little to dent the good points of the HB150UK - it’s a fantastic powerful blender that does far more than just blend, and is a competitive price for such an array of features.
If you’re searching for a budget blender, then take a look at the Kenwood Blend-X Fresh. The price is the first thing to notice - it’s 1/3 the cost of many of the other blenders reviewed here, yet can hold its own against the big boys.
The 2L jug is extremely generous, and can handle the demands of larger families. The controls are simple and intuitive (much like the overall design), and the motor has 3 speed levels and a special function for crushing ice and making cocktails. Finally, while the 650W power isn’t particularly good, tests show that it can handle most blending tasks, though it may fail against very hard or thick ingredients.
Truth is, the Blend-X Fresh is rather bare bones - there are few extras, no special presets apart from ice-crushing, and it doesn’t come with any attachments. However for such a cheap price, this is an excellent blender for simple tasks - if you just want to make smoothies or blend a big jug of cocktail, then this will do the task without costing the earth. Put the money you’ve saved towards those cute cocktail umbrellas.
Finally, on the other end of the spectrum: if you want to get the best - and money is no option - then take a look at KitchenAid’s Power Plus Blender. This beast is top-spec in almost every way: it has a staggering 1800W motor, which can handle everything you could need to blend. The 2.6L jug is big enough for the needs of large families, and it has several presets for smoothies, juice, soup and a cleaning cycle. As with most of KitchenAid’s appliances, it has a stylish sleek design and comes in a number of different glossy colours. This is a great blender to display on your kitchen counter - which is a good thing, because it’s really heavy to move!
The weight of this device is both pro and con - the solid build quality means more stability when blending at high speeds, but it also means it’s a pain to move around and lift in and out of cupboards. Find a corner of the work surface and just let it live there.
Finally, the hefty motor means this isn’t a quiet blender at all - it’s very noisy when running at higher speeds. All-in-all, this is a very powerful blender that can do a lot, but the eye-watering price tag (13 times as expensive as the Kenwood Blend-X Fresh!) makes it difficult to justify unless you are doing a lot of high-power blending. However if you do need a powerful, high-capacity blender - and can afford it - this is one of the best blenders you can buy!