A blender is a kitchen appliance that aids in mixing up a variety of ingredients. These can be used to make smoothies, milkshakes, dressings, sauces, soups, and among many other things. There are also exceptional type available which can double as other kitchen appliances, saving you precious kitchen space. For example, some blenders also shave ice, which allows users to make snow cones. Other blender models, such as the Vitamix, act as a juicer and a food processor.
When it comes to types, there are two main types of blenders that you can buy, counter top and hand held.
The counter top include ones that can crush ice or even puree soup. These blenders usually sit on the counter-top under the kitchen cupboards because of how big they are.
With these counter tops, users can find blending jars ranging from 14 ounces to 64 ounces, depending on their specific needs. A hand held blender is also known as an immersion blender and is small enough to fit inside of a drawer. The immersion blenders are held by hand and placed inside of cups or saucepans to puree soft foods, but they should not be used to crush ice or other hard foods.
Must-Have Features of Travel Blenders
- Speed – Speed is one of the most important features of a blender, but users need to think about just how much speed they need. There are many blender models out there that give users a wide range of speeds to choose from when using the device, but that doesn’t mean that they are better than the other ones on the market. With blenders, three speeds are more than enough to get the job done; even those who buy the variable speed blenders find that they mainly use only the three speeds.
- Removable Blade – Having a removable blade is important because it allows for thorough cleaning. Food and other particles can get stuck underneath the blade of the blender and if it isn’t removed, can cause bacteria to grow, which can create health problems. If the blade isn’t removable, users should ensure that the jar is dishwasher safe so that the extreme heat of the water sanitizes everything that cannot be reached with a dish brush and hot, soapy water.
- Container – The type of container that comes with the blender is also very important. Blenders that offer a container that is uniform in size often require a lot of mixing during use, while tapered containers allow food to funnel down towards the blades allowing for less mixing. Plastic containers are easily scratched, which allows for staining and odors to form. Glass jars are heavier, but are also prone to breaking. Polycarbonate containers are shatterproof and don’t tend to scratch as easily.
- Buttons – One of the worst features that every device have is push buttons because food and other dirt can become stuck inside the crevices. Rather than choosing a blender that has pushbuttons consider one that has a dial to control the speed or even a touch pad. Toggle switches are also another choice, but can trap food and dirt, but not as much as regular push buttons.
- Looks – What the blender looks like is also important because chances are the blender will sit out on your countertop. Pick out a blender that is going to match your kitchen so if you do leave it out it isn’t an eyesore. The size of the blender is also important because you want to ensure it will fit under your cupboards while sitting on the countertop.
- Price – Like with other products just because it is expensive it doesn’t mean it is better. Always read the reviews because some of your most expensive blenders receive some of the lowest reviews, while the mid priced ones receive the highest reviews.
- Pulse Option – The pulse option is probably the most important feature a blender can have. The pulse button is probably used the most on a device and is great for getting the best results. The pulse button allows for short bursts of blending, which prevents the mixture from being over blended, but can also help crush bigger items like ice.
While knowing about the must have features is important, so is knowing about the most popular brands of blenders. Three of the most popular brands are the Vitamix, Blendtec, and Waring. Waring blenders were the first ever to hit the market and are still known today for their high quality and durability.
Waring are a great option for people who are looking for a simple blender. Vitamix and Blendtec are two of the more expensive blenders on the market because of the fact that they are so much more than blenders. Both of these can not only blend perfect smoothies, but can also be used to make soups and sauces that are hot enough to serve directly out of the blender.