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Choosing a blender isn’t as easy as it used to be. We used to use them for mixing up a quick milkshake with milk and ice cream. We thought we were getting fancy if we used three ingredients.
Today’s needs are different. We use blenders to balance out our everyday diet with smoothies made with every fresh fruit and vegetable under the sun. We use them to churn out nut butters, grind flour, and chop onions. Blenders have become our assistant in the kitchen and the heavier usage means they have to be up to the task every day.
Every day use means we need a blender that’s easy to clean. It’s about saving time because time is a currency that we need to learn to spend wisely. Let’s take a look four of the top easy to clean blenders on the market today and how they compare.
Easy to Clean Blenders: Side-by-Side Comparison
1. NutriBullet NBR-1201
2. Ninja Professional Blender BL610
3. Blendtec Classic 575 Blender
4. Vitamix 5200 Blender
NutriBullet NBR-1201 12-Piece High-Speed Blender
The NutriBullet comes with 1 High-torque Power Base, one Tall Cup (32 ounces), one Short Cup (18 ounces) with Comfort Handle Lip Ring, one separate Lip Ring and one Extractor Blade.
Touted as a nutrition extractor, the NutriBullet is definitely a high-powered machine. The first time I tried to use it to chop tomatoes for salsa, I wound up making tomato soup instead because my “Pulse Technique” wasn’t on point. It takes a little practice to use this blender to chop food, but it’s this same power that makes it perfect for well-blended smoothies.
Cleaning the NutriBullet is pretty easy. All of the parts except for the base are dishwasher safe. Be sure and unplug the Power Base before cleaning. Food particles that are stuck on the blade can be wiped off with a small brush. For really stubborn items, let it soak in a warm vinegar, soap and water solution for a few minutes.
The NutriBullet is more of a personal blender than a multi-tasking kitchen sous chef which means everything is done on a smaller scale. You can make nut butters in small quantities as long as you add an oil (you should never use this machine without adding liquid) and crush small ice cubes. Trying to do anything on a larger scale means things will get stuck and you run the risk of the motor burning out.
Two noted drawbacks are that you can’t use hot ingredients in the NutriBullet and the extractor blade should be replaced every 6 months although the extractor blades are fairly inexpensive.
Overall, I think the NutriBullet is definitely easy to clean and it has great extraction properties for this price point. If you’re looking for a personal blender that doesn’t involve a lot of hassle, the NutriBullet is worth considering.
Ninja Professional Blender 1000 BL610
This is your typical kitchen counter-top blender but on steroids. It has three speeds and a pulse button which I use almost every time. If you use the Pulse button to start, you’ll eliminate some of the issues like food getting jammed in-between the blades. Think of it like cutting food with a knife; you cut it into smaller sections to make it more manageable.
The Ninja blender often gets rave reviews for its ability to extraction and crushing capabilities.
It looks like your average blender, but it really knows how to blend and smooth out all kinds of produce. It comes with a 72 ounce pitcher that has a 64 ounce blending capacity which can turn out more than one smoothie at a time and, with its ability to turn ice into snow, rumor has it that it’s great for margarita parties. Check out the video on Amazon that shows how this is done.
At 1000 watts, you’d expect this machine to pack some punch and it really delivers. It’s the first blender I’ve ever owned that made me afraid of blender blades.
Clean up is so much easier than it was with Mom’s old blender. Many blenders make you remove the blade from a cup that screws onto the bottom of the pitcher and the gasket that prevented leaks could get really nasty. That isn’t something to try if you’re dressed for work. With the Ninja Pro 1000, you lift the blade out from the top of the self-contained pitcher, making the entire cleaning process much less messy. Rinse off everything right after using it and you can even (carefully) put the blades on the top rack of the dishwasher.
The pitcher is BPA-free plastic, so it won’t shatter into a million unsafe pieces if it accidentally hits the floor.
One drawback is that, unlike its namesake, the Ninja Blender isn’t quiet. In fact, I tend to use it more after the neighbors in my apartment building have left for work. Another nit-picky thing is that I would like to see a hole in the lid for adding oils to emulsify food. You can still get an emulsified texture, but I like pouring while blending since it’s easier to predict and control the thickness.
The Ninja Professional Blender comes with a one year warranty. I’ve owned mine for over four years without any problems. You really can’t beat the performance and convenience at this price point.
Blendtec Classic 575 Blender with WildSide Jar
This blender is from their “Classic” series. It has five speed settings from lo to hi four pre-programmed settings and a pulse button. It has a touch pad interface. The pitcher is a whopping 90 ounces but the blend capacity is limited to 36 ounces.
Unlike the other blenders in this review, the Blendtec uses a vortex system to draw food downward. Yes, instead of food being tossed upward towards the lid, which is the basis of many comedy skits, the food gets pulled to the bottom of the pitcher and the blades handle pulverizing and extraction from the bottom. In this way, no tamper accessory is necessary to push down food that gets pushed to the sides of the pitcher.
Along with the Vitamix, the Blendtec creates enough friction to make hot soups. While some people seem to be afraid of this technology, I truly welcome it. I’ve had tough encounters in the past with trying to make creamy soups that splattered uncontrollably when I tried to transfer the mixture from the stove-top pot to my old blender’s cold pitcher. By isolating the entire process in a single container, it eliminates the danger of explosive splattering.
The four pre-programmed Walk Away cycles are Smoothie, 60 Seconds, 90 Seconds and Clean. This machine roars and seems a little unstable. When you first work with it, you’ll be torn between walking away from the noise and staying to hold it down as it seems to jump around more than the average blender. Once you’re confident that the blender isn’t going anywhere, the Clean button really does its job, leaving you to just rinse and repeat for the next course of your meal.
Blendtec really stands by their products more than any other manufacturer. Their eight year warranty is to be commended, especially since the stories about replacements they’ve allowed are crazy. Since they view Vitamix as their main competition, you can expect great things from Blendtec blenders.
The Vitamix 5200 is a part of Vitamix’s Classic line of blenders. These are updates to old standbys that people have pined over for years. It comes with a 64 ounce container but you can also purchase other sizes separately that may be better suited to your cooking style. It also comes with a tamper for pushing down food and a DVD to help you get started.
The 5200 has a 10 speed dial along with a Variable/High speed switch. The variable speed dial is truly variable. You can even change the speed while the machine is blending. Cleaning the pitcher is accomplished by rinsing it out and then adding in a couple of drops of dish soap and some warm water. Put it back on the base and run it anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds.
Along with the Blendtec, the Vitamix 5200 uses friction that enables it to make hot soups right in the blender.
The way to make soups is to collect all of your raw ingredients. If they’re fibrous, like carrots, you just steam them but you don’t have to cook them all the way through. Add all of the ingredients in the carafe you’d like to puree’, including the broth, and blend on High for about 6 minutes.
If you’re afraid that kind of heat will cause a fire, don’t be. The 5200 is built with a thermal protection system. Running your blender for long periods won’t bring the fire department banging on your door.
This is a great blender if you’re looking for a blender for baby food. It’s also highly recommended for those who require a real food blended diet for eating through a feeding tube. For everyone asking if it can grind, blend, emulsify or chop anything, the answer is a resounding, “Yes.”
As with other blenders that can be used professionally, this Vitamix blender is both on the loud side and on the pricey side, but this is also the blender and brand by which all others are compared. It comes with a seven year warranty. Reliability and performance are two reasons health care professionals who recommend blenders mention the Vitamix first.
Which is the best blender of these four easy to clean blenders depends on your needs. The Vitamix 5200 is the top performer but is also the highest priced. If you want reliability and also want that soup-making feature, definitely give the Blendtec Classic 575 a test drive. If you want a solid Blender Buddy in the kitchen with a lower price tag, go with the Ninja Professional Blender 1000. If you’re just looking to level up your smoothie game, the NutriBullet NBR-1201 will give you all of the power and accessories you need to get the job done.