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The 9 Best Blenders for Making Any Concoction, from Soups to Protein Shakes

Blenders have come a long way since 1922, evolving from a motorized mixer to intricate blending systems with myriad innovative functions. Now, they’re an essential kitchen tool for home chefs and dieters. Although a high-performance blender is worth the investment, you need to reflect on what you’ll be using it to make.

Immersion blenders, for example, help you concoct quick and easy meals, blend soups, and chop greens. Unlike conventional blenders, they don’t take much kitchen space. Conventional blenders are powerful, able to perform any task from crushing ice to preparing luscious summer smoothies for three to six people. Personal blenders, though not designed for high-intensity blending tasks, are best for making healthy, single-serve concoctions. They’re cheaper, too.

Now that you have the types of blenders in mind, it’s time for you to make your choice. We curated a list of the best blenders for 2021, which includes middle-of-the-road options and high-end models. We also rounded up the best food processors in case you need one for your kitchen.

Best Overall: Vitamix 5200 Professional-Grade Blender

If you walk into almost any high-volume, professional kitchen you’ll find at least one of these bad boys. There are multiple reasons why this blender is trusted by executive chefs everywhere. Its high-performance, 1,380-watt motor with a metal-drive blade system can handle large batches of thick consistencies up to 64 ounces. It has a radial cooling fan to prevent overheating and a variable speed control knob to let you have precise control over the stainless-steel blades. This thing is so powerful you can even heat soup from cold to steaming hot in about six minutes from the blade friction! On top of all that, it comes with a seven-year warranty, and it’s made in the good old USA.

Yet, with any marvelous invention comes a hefty price tag. The good news is, this isn’t the most expensive model of Vitamix blenders on the market, but it has all the features you need. The bad news is Vitamix blenders, overall, are the most expensive blenders.  If you’re the type who lives by the maxim, “Buy the best, and you only cry once,” then you need a Vitamix.

Best Overall Runner-Up: Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender

Professional chefs and blend-geeks alike have been debating for years about which blender is better, the Vitamix or Blendtec. There are some distinct features between the two that either put you on team Blendtec or team Vitamix, most revolving around the “tech,” as is in the latter product’s name.

Blendtec blenders come with six pre-programmed cycles, pulse, and 10-speed manual control, unlike the Vitamix that has a speed control dial. The Blendtec is actually more powerful (1,560 watts) and holds more at 75 ounces. Blendtec’s most unique feature is its patented, dull blade system, making for worry-free clean-up. Blendtec claims that the powerful motor and dull blades make for amazingly smooth blends, though there’s no noticeable difference to the Vitamix. You can also heat liquids in the Blendtech through blade friction, and it comes with a warranty that’s one year longer than the Vitamix (eight years). It’s also made in the USA.

You can probably tell that these two brands are in direct competition. Yet, it seems like the Blendtec does everything a Vitamix does, but for cheaper. All in all, that’s a true statement. The main differences lie in programmable controls and ease of use. The less-is-more design of the dial control system Vitamix employs is a big draw for many people. But in the end, Blendtec stands up to pretty much every aspect of its rival. It just depends if the dial control system of Vitamix is that big of a draw and if you’re willing to pay the extra money for the name.

Best Value: Oster Pro 1200 Blender

best blender for smoothies and frozen cocktails

Now that we’ve talked about the most expensive blenders let’s get into the more affordable ones that can still get the job done. An excellent value blender is the Oster Pro 1200. This Oster model has a more powerful 1,200-watt motor for blowing and seven different output settings, including a pulse function.

The glass pitcher is a very nice touch at this price, too, particularly for those looking to eliminate plastic from the kitchen. Be aware that it’s fairly hefty, and be careful not to drop it in the sink when you’re washing it, although the glass is pretty substantial (hence the weight). The Oster Pro also includes a 24-ounce bottle for taking your smoothies on the go. Despite its approachable price point, this is an extremely solid, if somewhat plain-looking, blender.

Best Under $100: Ninja Professional Blender

best blender for smoothies and frozen cocktails

This Ninja Professional is one of the best ones we’ve found, with a beefy 1,000-watt motor and six-blade chopper assembly that shreds through hard ingredients without straining. Its 72-ounce pitcher (that’s nine cups) is plenty big enough for preparing large batches of whatever you’re making. Still, its squared-off design minimizes space, so it’s not too bulky on your countertop. At around $80, the Ninja Professional is simply the best blender we could find for less than $100 (and maybe even less than $200).

If you want to shell out more cash, you can grab a version that comes with two single-serve bottles and a small blade assembly for making a nutritious smoothie and other personal shakes. But, if you want a smaller blender for that, read on to see our other picks.

Best All-Purpose Option: Ninja Mega Kitchen System Blender and Food Processor

best blender for smoothies and frozen cocktails

This Ninja Mega Kitchen System Blender offers it all. At first glance, it looks like the Ninja Professional, albeit with a modified and even more powerful 1,500-watt blender motor that also accommodates a large eight-cup food processing bowl. This two-for-one design lets you create smoothies, shakes, and other blended concoctions (you even get two small single-serve bottles) while also giving you the ability to process food ingredients like cheese and dough. The only real drawback here is its price tag, but the Mega Kitchen System gives you a lot of food prep capabilities for your money.

Best Single-Serve Option: NutriBullet Personal Blender By Magic Bullet

best blender for smoothies and frozen cocktails

A number of our picks, such as the Ninja blenders, come with their own single-serve bottles and even small blade assemblies for making one-person smoothies. However, the blenders themselves are still somewhat bulky. If you already have a full-sized blender (or maybe you don’t need one at all) and you just want a small one that can make drinks for one, then it doesn’t get much better — or much more compact — than the NutriBullet Magic Bullet.

The Magic Bullet blender is small but mighty, with a 600-watt high-speed motor that’s ideal for making your own fruit-and vegetable-based smoothies (it can also handle ice, but don’t overdo it — adding crushed ice instead of large cubes is a good idea). Your drinks are made right in either the included 24-ounce or 18-ounce cup, both of which come with lids storage and transport when your drink is ready. If you’re making a lot of frozen drinks, one of our other blender picks would be better, but if you’re looking for a unit that can whip up daily health shakes and smoothies made just for you, the Magic Bullet is the one.

Best for Smoothies and Shakes: Ikich Vacuum Blender

You can blend a smoothie or shake in pretty much any blender, but there’s one feature of this Ikich Vacuum Blender that the others don’t have, and that’s, well, the vacuum. The vacuum suction technology removes air bubbles from your smoothie, which results in less oxidation and less separation. Ikich claims that vacuum mixing can provide three times more vitamin C and 63% more antioxidant activity than normal mixing, but we’ll leave that up to the scientists. This model has eleven pre-programmed settings and comes with a nifty sports bottle.

Best Immersion Blender: Vitamix 18-Inch Immersion Blender

One type of blender that’s often overlooked is a quality immersion blender. This powerful Vitamix immersion blender is great for blending sauces and soups right in the pot while cooking. It has scratch-resistant blade guards that prevent you from ruining your favorite nonstick pots and pans. But it’s not just for cooking purposes. You can blend a tasty smoothie or shake right in your pitcher or glass.

Best for Frozen Cocktails: Margaritaville Bali Frozen Concoction Maker

Who knows boat drinks better than Jimmy Buffet? Nobody! That’s why we’re interested in making our frozen boozy, blended beverages in this Margaritaville Bali Frozen Concoction Maker. It comes with four pre-programmed settings — margaritas, daiquiris, coladas, and smoothies. It has programmable settings for half or full-size batches. You can even customize your blending consistency with its manual shave and blend controls. So crank up the yacht rock and get your tiki party started!

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