I got this blender earlier this week and I’m so excited and enjoying it so much I want to tell you about it. There are other BlendTec & Vitamix reviews out there (see links below), and here’s my take on it all.
1. Why did I want it? Why liquify my fruits & veg?
Actually, for me it’s more about getting a bunch of veggies into one serving. It’s hard to sit and eat a snack of 4 big carrots, an apple, a tomato, and some fresh ginger, as well as a cup or two of water. I get bored and full. But I thought if I could buzz it all into a drink, including some of the carrot greens, make an easy-to-consume-in-one-sitting (and delicious) drink… well I just knew I’d be eating way more whole foods and more often. That’s what I want to do. So recently…
So recently, I decided I wanted a juicer. But I had one in the past, a really expensive one too, commercial quality, high powered, best of the bunch at the time. Ended up hating it. Not using it. Hated cleaning the pulp out of everything. Hated that it wasn’t using the whole food. Felt like a huge waste. Tedious cleanup meant I didn’t get it out and use it much. So this time around, I wanted something that would liquify the whole fruits or vegetables and be a fast clean up.
On a different line of thought, I was thinking for the thousandth time that it would be a luxury to have an ice cream maker, and that maybe I finally deserved one for my retirement years. “Back in the day” I really loved making homemade ice cream with a friend in his ice cream maker.
I didn’t have a blender…well, just one of those electric wand jobbies. I’ve made my smoothies for years with it. But it doesn’t chop up fruit, just blends stuff. I have a great Cuisinart food processor, but it doesn’t make smoothies very well, and anyway, it’s too big for making single- or even double-serving smoothies. And a tedious cleanup.
Then I remembered a long discussion last year with Christa, when she’d told me about the Vitamix blender. It could do all of the above — make whole-food juice, ice cream, and blender-style cleanup. So I went back to my bookmarked websites about the Vitamix.
I knew I needed a high-powered blender. Didn’t want to be disappointed again about the results, especially for smoothies. A short googling session about Vitamix revealed to me the newer kid on the block, the BlendTec– because googling for Vitamix reviews kept bringing up “Vitamix vs BlendTec” sites. I found out that these are the only 2 units on the market that will liquify even tough vegetables, manage ice cubes right in the mix, cope with thick nearly-solid creams during ice-cream making, etc.
I began reading the comparisons and reviews. I focused on the ones written by people who have used both products. The others are all by people giving praise for their own blender, with no idea what the other one is like. Kind of pointless, except for reading what features people love in the one they selected.
- The Vitamix site: http://www.vitamix.com/index_int.asp
- BlendTec’s site:http://www.blendtec.com/
- An excellent unbiased review from a person who’s used both: http://www.greensmoothiegirl.com/robyn-recommendations/blenders/best-blender/
- A good side-by-side comparison chart of features: http://www.totalblender.com/vitamix-blendtec-blender-comparison-reviews.html
- Another good unbiased comparison review: http://gotgreensrevolution.com/Vitamix-versus-blendtec-review.html
- An extensive BlendTec commentary with a big chart listing features: http://www.chezbettay.com/pages/tools/tools_totalblender1.html
3. Why did I pick BlendTec?
They both seem like great machines. I can honestly say I’d buy either one for the job.The home models are both in the same price range, without specials, discount coupons, etc. Vitamix is slightly more expensive, but both are expensive for my fixed-income budget But I know you do have to expect that when you want a high end machine with lots of power.
So it all comes down to priorities for features. My main reasons for my choice, in order of my own priorities:
- SIZE was the main reason. I have a miniscule kitchen. I want the blender on the countertop, and ALL my countertop has cupboards over it. The Vitamix at 20.5″ is too tall to fit under there. The BlendTec at 15.5″ fits perfectly.
- PROGRAMS: BlendTec has 30 preprogrammed operations, plus fully manual options like 10 speeds, pulse. Even better, the programs run themselves. The speed goes up and down as needed for the item(s) being processed, and best of all, the machine stops at the end of the program. No babysitting the blender. VitaMix doesn’t have that.
- WARRANTY. Warranties mean something to me. Not so much because of getting free repairs done. More because of what they imply about how the company stands behind their product. At first I was disappointed to see all the reviews mentioning BlendTec’s 3 year warranty compared to VitaMix’s 7 years (with an optiion to purchase more, for 10 years). BUT! I called BlendTec and they said yes, they have 3 years on everything, AND they have a LIFETIME warranty on the blade and the driveshaft/motor. Lifetime! That tells me it’s a well made machine.
- SERVICE. I found out there’s a local vendor for the BlendTec, and that they are also a Canadian service depot for the machines. IF there’s ever a problem, I won’t have to wait for parcel service for the repair/replacement.
- IMPATIENCE. 😉 Once I’d decided on which machine I wanted, I wanted it NOW and it was great not having to wait for an internet order to arrive. I just went to the local vendor and bought it.
- FAST CLEANUP Basically, it’s just rinse and put back on the base. If the task contained oil or something that doesn’t rinse as well, you just have to put a cup of water and a drop of detergent, pulse, and rinse. (But it’s dishwasher proof if you want to. So far I haven’t felt the need.)
Question from a relative: “The BlendTec though? Sounds a little excessive as it can blend an iPad and a rake.”
My reply: The ipad and rake are just illustrations of the motor power and durability. I’ve tried with other blenders in the past that could never do the juicing thing properly. I have a food processor that can’t even make juice or even good pulp out of some veg & fruit. Ever try sawing your fireplace logs with a kitchen knife? It’s not about overkill
, it’s about getting the tool for the job you want done properly. There are only two blenders on the market that can take up the whole plant and make it drinkable. This one can make whole juice out of even the tough veggies, make fresh hot (!) soup from a pile of them, pulverizing the pulp too so you get all the fibre & nutrition as well as the juice. You can throw in the seeds, hulls, skins (of some), all of which hold fibre and nutrition. And it can make green smoothies — a drink of kale every day, that’ll clean yer tank (and make you healthy, ya!)
4. So anyway…
I’ve had my BlendTec for a week and I’ve used it more than anything else in my kitchen this week. I’m such a happy camper! I’m experimenting with recipes 3 or 4 times a day. Tonight I’m going to make some real, homemade ice cream — with real cream, real vanilla pod, real excited kid-feelings. YaY!