The Best Blenders For Making Smoothies, Soups, and So Much More
News flash: blenders are useful for so much more than smoothies, but yes they ace that task. Beyond crushing ice and fruit, blenders are excellent for puréeing soup, making nut butters, and even making flour. Depending on what you're planning on using it for and how often you will use it will impact what kind of blender you need, and how much you pay. Because when it comes to blenders, you get what you pay for.
When shopping for a blender, Joshua Resnick, chef-instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, checks to see the capacity of the pitcher. "As food blends, it gets aerated so you don't want to overfill your blender with raw product or it will overflow once it's blended," he says. For him, a larger pitcher (around 64 ounces) is ideal. "That way, I can blend larger products or smaller amounts."
Controls are another thing to pay attention to. Preset buttons can be convenient, but a good old fashioned speed dial lets you have more control over the blending process. "I don't need a blender to have unnecessary controls or fancy gadgets and attachments," Resnick says. "A clean, easy functionality makes a blender easier to use." At home, he uses his blender almost every day to make a meal replacement smoothie featuring frozen berries, fresh spinach, avocado, banana, peanut butter protein powder, turmeric, black pepper, almond milk, and ice. But when he's working in a professional kitchen, he uses blenders for everything from puréed soups and sauces, to emulsified sauces, and infused oils like basil oil.