Written by Charlotte Mei
Whether you’re someone who enjoys cooking long stews or someone who likes to fix up a quick smoothie, a blender can help you with your kitchen tasks quickly and effectively.
Buying a kitchen blender may sound like a simple task, but there are so many factors to consider to make sure your purchase best suits your needs. I put five different blenders to the test to see how well they grind almonds into flour and blend fruits into a smoothie. There were some I underestimated, and others that didn’t quite impress me as much.
Braun Blender JB5160
This, to me, is your standard blender with straightforward no-frills functions like variable speed settings for manual blending, as well as a programme to crush ice and another to blend soup. It would be good for blending smoothies, soups and pureeing baby food, however, I probably wouldn’t use it to grind food into a fine texture (e.g. nut flour, garlic paste, etc).
I like how the jug is made out of glass, so I won’t have to worry about it retaining smells.
Philips High Speed Vacuum Blender (HR3752/01)
This was the most advanced of the lot with its vacuum technology. This means a low-oxygen environment is created in the jar so it reduces the oxidation of ingredients during blending.
Once the blending button is pressed, the blender automatically prepares a vacuum connection to the vacuum module and air gets sucked out of the jar. This process takes a few seconds and can create quite a bit of noise. The good thing about it is that it is optional so you can skip this step if you are in a rush.
The smoothie that came from this blender was unlike any I’ve seen before. I have to say I was impressed, there were absolutely no bubbles and the colour was certainly brighter than the rest. Good evidence that blending in a low-oxygen environment does have a positive impact. Frankly, I couldn’t taste much of a difference, but it definitely stood out visually.
Finally, I would’ve preferred a glass jug rather than one made of plastic, but it was probably made that way as the body of the machine was heavy enough to begin with.
Philips Blender Viva HR3556/00
EDIT (18/12/2019): We have been informed that the Philips Blender Viva is able to blend smoothies directly into the tumbler. We apologise for the incorrect information in the initial article.
Another simple, straightforward blender with the basic functions you need. I like how it comes with a tumbler so you can pour your smoothie into it and get on with your day. I thought I would’ve been able to blend my smoothie directly into the tumbler, but unfortunately, that wasn’t possible.
That said, I felt the material of this tumbler is of better quality than the tumbler from the Daily Collection, however it does mean it weighs slightly more too. The jug for this blender is made from glass, so that’s another plus point for me!
Philips Daily Collection Mini Blender HR2874/01
This was one of the simplest blenders I’ve ever come across, with one jug (glass), 2 blades and 2 buttons. It also comes with a separate tumbler made from lightweight plastic which you can blend your smoothie directly into. Major plus points for me, as this means that you don’t need to fuss around pouring the smoothie from one receptacle to another, and you can save on washing the blender jug. I like how you get two different blades both made with stainless steel so you can separate the blades you use to work with raw and cooked food.
As simple as this blender may look, it has high horsepower which I greatly underestimated! Out of all blenders, this performed the best in terms of blending a smoothie easily and quickly without chunks, as well as blending nuts into a fine, homogenous nut flour.
Another thing I like about it is its size! Definitely one that won’t take up too much storage space. The only downside: you can’t use it hands-free, you have to constantly keep your finger on the button.
Tefal Fruit Sensation Mini Blender BL142
Again another slim, compact blender with 2 basic buttons. It does come with 2 other blades and ‘cups’ which allows for different types of blending (mini chopper, blender, spice grinder) which I really liked!
It did just as well as the Philips Daily Collection in blending the smoothie and nuts to the desired consistency, however, it didn’t feel as powerful and this got me thinking about its durability for items that may need a longer blending time.
Again, you can’t use this hands-free due to the nature of the buttons.
All that said, these are all great blenders, especially for basic kitchen needs (blending, pureeing). If you want to go for something that you can make fine flours, nut butters or smooth pastes with, I’d say to go with the Philips Daily Collection or the Tefal Fruit Sensation – their small size helps with storage too. If you often make a high volume of smoothies/soups to serve to a number of guests, the Philips Vacuum Blender would be a good choice as it yields really visually-appealing results!
More information is available for the Braun Blender JB5160, Philips High Speed Vacuum Blender HR3752/01, Philips Blender Viva HR3556/00, Philips Daily Collection Mini Blender HR2874/01 and Tefal Fruit Sensation Mini Blender BL142.
They are available at Courts.