Unless you put it on your wedding registry and are getting it for free, blenders are one of those purchases that can really feel like a splurge. With many priced in the triple digits, it’s natural to wonder how well it actually works since you can’t exactly try it before buying. It (literally) pays to do your research—and no one uses blenders more than professional chefs.
When it comes to smoothies, soups, even ice cream…blenders have been used to do it all on the set of Well+Good’s Cook With Us series (which has been filmed in chef’s homes during the pandemic). Having used a lot of different blenders in various restaurant kitchens, they also have very strong opinions when it comes to the best blenders.
For both Chopped winner chef Palak Patel and chef Mina Park (who co-owns the Los Angeles restaurants Baroo and Shiku with her husband), there’s one blender brand that they say is hands-down the absolute best: Vitamix.
The splurge: Vitamix Ascent A2500 Red Blender
“My Vitamix blender is a workhorse in the kitchen,” Palak says. “I simply can’t imagine cooking and entertaining without it.” Palak says the reason why she loves it so much is that the motor (which controls the speed of the blade) is super powerful, which makes cooking easier. “The variable speed is one of the key features of the Vitamix. It allows me to do a delicate task like making a mayonnaise or blend ingredients for a soup at high-speed for about two minutes,” she says. “The soup will actually get hot while it blends.”
Park says she loves her Vitamix blender so much that she actually rescued it from her restaurant kitchen and took it home. “Having used a few other blenders in the past, nothing beats the Vitamix in making something absolutely, silky smooth,” she says. Park uses her blender several times a day to make smoothies, sauces, and even pancake batter. “I like making healthy, savory pancakes for my toddler,” she says. “I whizz up tons of spinach with eggs and a little bit of flour, and the Vitamix makes the pancake batter smooth and also adds air. The pancakes come out very light and fluffy, almost souffle-like. Blending pancake batter is an easy way to sneak extra greens into my toddler’s food.”
The save: Ninja Personal Blender ($50)
Buy it now: Ninja Personal Blender ($50)
If the Vitamix is out of your price range, you definitely don’t have to live a blender-free life. Former Top Chef contestant and chef Nyesha Arrington recommends another model: The Ninja Personal Blender ($50). “The beauty in a smaller single-use piece is you don’t have to commit to a large blender that takes up a lot of space,” Arrington says. “I buy tools and products that make sense in my everyday life.” She says she fires this baby up to make single-serving smoothies and even face masks using fresh produce and pantry items like oats.
Whether you have $50 to spend or $500, all the chefs say a blender is a great investment for healthy cooking. “You won’t regret investing in this kitchen equipment,” Palak says. “My advice to anyone who is in the market looking to make an investment in a high-power blender.” With their advice, now you know which ones have the power worth the countertop space.
Use your new blender to make this delicious beet hummus:
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