Shopping for a new Vitamix Professional Series Blender can a major source of frustration, but if you know what to look for it shouldn’t be a big ordeal. Having your own kitchen blender is a great thing to have. However, you may find it is more difficult to find the perfect model for your use then what you think. This is when you should know more information about the kitchen blenders you can select from and how you should go about selecting the proper one for your specific needs. Then you can use the tool and know it will work properly for you all the time.
The first thing you should be looking for in the kitchen blender is the brand name. Brand names may not mean much to some people, but you need to realize these can make a dramatic impact on how the blender will be working. For example, KitchenAid, Ninja, Vitamix, Hamilton Beach and Magic Bullet have been around for a long time so most of the kinks and other issues have already been worked out of them.
How to Buy the Best Vitamix Professional Series Blender – Helpful Tips and Advice
Any blender that comes with 17 pieces is bound to be predicated on versatility and practicality. On its website, Los Angeles–based Homeland Housewares surrounds the Magic Bullet with the bold graphics and dynamic call-outs of appliances hawked on infomercials, positioning it as the affordable solution to a slew of kitchen challenges.
The reason for those 17 pieces? The Magic Bullet is designed to: make blended drinks and smoothies, chop vegetables, grind nuts and cheeses, whip up sandwich spreads, and even make a quick red sauce for pasta. It is, it seems, the perfect blender for young or less experienced cooks, single people, or anyone interested in downsizing by chucking the full-size blender and the food processor in favor of one small appliance that fits in a drawer (a big drawer, but still).
But is the Magic Bullet really all that? Can it perform enough blender functions to be worth the $50?
Magic Bullet Express Blender 17-Piece High-Speed Blender Mixing System Design
Opening the Magic Bullet’s box and seeing its 17 pieces, we felt like a kid opening a train set under the Christmas tree. First there’s the High-Torque Power Base, with its 120-volt motor and blade housing. It looks, well, like a bullet casing set into a wavy black base, sprouting a cord that’s a little longer than 4 1/2 feet.
There are two blade sets that fit into the base: a cross blade for chopping and blending, and a flat blade for grinding and whipping cream. There are two so-called Bullet Cups (i.e., blender jars made of clear plastic, safe for both microwave and dishwasher): a tall (5 3/4 inches high) and a short (3 3/4 inches high).
There are four tops that screw onto these: two solid lids and two shaker tops, with perforations in a couple of sizes. You get four Party Mugs—essentially 5-3/8-inch-tall blender jars with handles like beer mugs—and four screw-on Comfort Lip Rings, one each in yellow, red, blue, and green, presumably so you can find your mug if you set it down at a party. Finally, there’s a user guide and a recipe booklet called “10 Second Recipes.”
Magic Bullet Express Blender 17-Piece High-Speed Blender Mixing System Performance
The Magic Bullet’s numbers don’t end with its 17 parts. There are three techniques you can employ, depending on what you’re processing. For chopping there’s the pulse technique, achieved by twisting the Bullet Cup back and forth in the base. For thick mixtures like smoothies there’s the shake technique (you lift the whole unit and shake it as it blends).
And for chunky, low-moisture ingredients like spreads, there’s the tap technique, in which you keep all of the Bullet Cup’s contents in contact with the blade by gently smacking the base against the counter as you blend.
We used each of these techniques in a total of four tests:
grinding coffee and making strawberry smoothies (shake), making deviled ham spread (tap), and chopping onions (pulse).
Fitted with the cross blade and the short cup, the Magic Bullet rendered whole beans into ground like a charm. In 20 seconds, we had a grind just right for our French press.
We filled the Party Mugs with fresh banana, hard-frozen whole strawberries, and ice and twisted to engage the cross blade. After 10 seconds, a significant part of the contents was unblended, so we shook the Magic Bullet. It took nearly 40 seconds of constant blending (not 10, as the Magic Bullet suggests) for the smoothies to achieve the thick, smooth texture we were looking for.
We followed up with CHOW’s recipe for Frozen Pineapple Daiquiris, which calls for frozen pineapple chunks, and found that the Magic Bullet had a harder time getting rid of lumps (we figure our frozen pineapple was denser and more fibrous than the frozen strawberries for our smoothies). We shook the Magic Bullet for more than 40 seconds as it blended (the instructions warn against running it longer than 60 seconds), and still ended up with chunky daiquiris.
Deviled ham spread:
This was a recipe from the “10 Second Recipes” booklet: cubes of ham, Dijon mustard, onion, and a little water, blended using the tap technique. But after 10 seconds, instead of having a smooth spread, we had a wildly inconsistent mass of smooth and chunky.
We used the pulse technique for chopping half a red onion, but after 10 seconds (the instructions said we’d have a medium chop by then) we had a mix of wet, tiny pieces and large hunks. Another 10 seconds and our onion was beginning to purée while large pieces lingered, so we gave up—a disappointing end to our testing session.
Most people probably buy the Magic Bullet to make single servings of smoothies, and that’s fine—it can handle that. As for doing the jobs of a food processor (chopping and puréeing denser ingredients), the Magic Bullet just doesn’t deliver. Buy this blender to make drinks and shakes (and to grind coffee and nuts), but don’t expect it to satisfy the rest of your food processing needs.
Hamilton Beach Personal Blender Review 51101
There are a few other buzzwords that Euro-Pro likes to use in their marketing campaigns with the Ninja product line. Some of these can sound a bit confusing. Some also sound as though they are unique to Ninja, when in reality they are features that are included in many other blenders.
- Pro Variable Speed – Ninja states that the higher end models of the Ultima system features Pro Variable Speed.This is simply a speed adjustment dial on the base unit whichincreases your blending speed. This is certainly not a unique idea to ninja as many other companies in various price points offer varying speeds on their blenders. You can honestly find this feature on products ranging from $80 all the way into the $1000 price range. It is certainly not a unique selling point, however, it is certainly a nice feature to have as it allows you to start at slower speeds for chopping and slicing, and then increase speed for blending and pureeing.
- Patented Dual Stage Blending – This one really is a bit unique to Ninja. It refers to the blade sets within the blender and how they function together.
The first set of blades rotates at 5000 rpms and crushes hard fibrous fruits and vegetables, and also ice. The second set of blades in the bottom of the blender is designed to liquefy ingredients and create a cyclonic effect so that ingredients are pulled to the bottom of the blender and then mixed throughout the blending process.
What’s Good About the Ninja Ultima BL820
- Offers a lot of versatility through various attachments and accessories
- Provides a fairly smooth blending for smoothies ( more on that in the breakdown )
- Offers a strong blender in the mid-line price range
- Offers personalized blending in travel size cups
- Does an amazing job with frozen ingredients
- Completes most jobs in less than 30 seconds
What’s Bad About the Ninja Ultima BL820
- Blade attachment is VERY sharp and can result in cuts while unpacking and cleaning
- Inability to add ingredients while blending liquids
- Very loud (honestly what blender isn’t though?)
- Only offers a limited 2 year warranty which doesn’t include normal wear and tear (more about this in the breakdown)
- Plastic body build makes the machine feel cheap
- You can’t put hot liquids in it
- Pulse function is always very fast
What about the Lead Content Warning!!??
If you have done any research about this product line online, there are many reviewers who state that there is lead on the blades of this blending system. This is certainly not true. There is a warning on the bottom of the box that states the unit does contain lead, but it is merely in the mixture of the plastic which coats the power cord of the unit. You can find a more detailed explanation about this fact here
Ninja Ultima BL820 Breakdown
All in all, I believe that this is a pretty good blender for the price. The versatility that it offers with all of the attachmentsalone makes it a relatively good deal.
Having the ability to blend liquids, smoothies, and shakes in both a group size with the 72 ounce container as well as insmaller cups on the fly, makes it very nice as normally you would need two completely separate machines for this which will run you roughly $100 to $150 each.
This machine does all of the jobs that it is advertised to do pretty well, and its versatility offers you the ability to do many things with one device.
You can do several food processing jobs with this as well as,blending and mixing. While many individual devices can do these jobs better, you would be spending a lot more money in order to have each device present in your kitchen.
It completes most jobs in about 30 seconds. This gives you the ability to create some delicious treats for unexpected company, or to have some wonderful snacks quickly prepared at any time.
The amount of room that this blender takes up is pretty substantial though. It is 18 inches tall with the 72 ounce liquid pitcher installed and the base has a footprint of 9 inches by 8 inches. Many owners have stated that in order to store it on their countertops that it must be disassembled and the accessories stored separately from the base as it will not fit under many countertops assembled.
Another thing that should be mentioned here is that you need to be certain that there is no loose debris present on your countertops prior to using this unit. This is because there are suction cups which stick to your countertopwhile you are operating the blender. If there is any debris present under the suction cups, then you can risk them not making a full seal which may result in movement of the blender while in use.
It is a fairly loud unit when in use but what blender isn’t? If you are using a machine to crush ice and frozen fruits and vegetables, you would be a little over-expectant to not have some associated noise.
One concern that I really have with this machine, is that second set of blades. Since they are optional for many uses, they are removable, and potentially pose a risk to children as well as adults. They areextremely sharp, and can result in cuts while unpacking the unit and also when cleaning.
Another concern that I have is the warranty that comes with this product. It is a 2 Year Limited Warranty that doesn’t cover normal wear and tear. The issue I have with this is that pretty much anything could potentially be considered normal wear and tear. Not to mention the fact that if you need to use this warranty, you are required to pay the $20 shipping fee that goes along with sending it back to the factory.
The good news is that you can resolve this issue easily by purchasing an extended warranty for just a little bit more money at most retailers. Some examples of this are the Smart Guard and Assurant plans available at Amazonwhich are right around $20 for 2 years of coverage at the time of this review.
When making smoothies in this unit, many users have stated that it leaves a chunky, grainy texture to the smoothies. While with some blends this can certainly be true, many times it is simply improper blending that gives these results. In order to avoid making these same mistakes with your Ninja unit, you can see a more detailed explanation on just how to properly use your Ninja over here.
While making smoothies I found the one issue that perhaps irked me more than anything else about this unit was that in order to add more ingredients to my liquids or smoothies while blending required me to completely stopthe blender, remove the lid, and then add ingredients.
I understand why this is the case though. With the loose additional blade system, it would be a major safety issue to be able to add additional ingredients while in use. Still, this makes for a slight inconvenience that for some reason really bothered me personally.
So Who Is This Ninja System For?
If you are looking for a great blender for the price that will doa lot of different jobs in the mid-line price range, then you will most likely be very satisfied with this unit.
However, this one is a great unit for all the jobs that it can do.If you want something that will give great results without breaking the bank, then you will most likely be happy with this one.
Where Can You Find The Best Price On The Ninja Ultima BL820?
While the Ninja Ultima Kitchen System is frequently advertised via television infomercial, you can find a much better price on it elsewhere saving you up to $150. The best consistent price that I’ve seen is over at Amazon. There are however, some occasional deals that other sites will post. Normally, these deals will only differ by about $20-$30 and they are normally only valid for a day or so.
Also, don’t forget to check out the extended warranty coverage that many retailers, including Amazon, offer on this. If your unit breaks down a couple of years down the road, you will want to make sure that your investment is properly covered so that you don’t have headaches while trying to get it replaced or repaired.
The Ninja Ultima Kitchen System (BL820) is an auspicious kitchen appliance that is worth owning it. Its blade speed is considered a professional one as it offers outstanding speed and performance for food processing and blending. It makes use of Dual Stage Blending technique used in creating several delicacies like smoothies, dips and sauces. Gentle blending and perfect crushing is made possible; thanks to the Pro Variable speed design. The Nutri Ninja cups are specifically for preparing smoothies that are personalized and delicious. This Ninja model utilizes Sip and Seal lids for convenience. You can effortlessly mix pizzas, extract nutrients and vitamins and last but not the least makes cookie dough using the blender.
- Dual Stage Blending Technology: This is a unique technology by Ninja and that is why it has a patent. It offers high speed which is facilitated by the high torque gears it has. Two blades are able to rotate at a go but the distinct thing is that each one of them is doing so at different speeds. Total crushing becomes a reality as it crushes the big particles at first and then liquefies it altogether.
- XL 8 Cup Food Processing Bowl: It has a reversible slicer, stainless steel blades, dough mixer and grating disc. This accessory makes the blender a dependable appliance that does a commendable job every time.
- Nutri Ninja Nutrient & Vitamin Extraction: Any time you are preparing anything using it, this feature ensure that you get all the nutrients and vitamins available in what you are blending.
- Dishwasher safe.
- BPA free.
- Versatility: you can prepare dough, crush ice and also pulverize fruits and vegetables.
- High torque.
- When used correctly, perfect smoothies become a reality.
- Assembling and its disassembling are simple.
- Easy to use.
· Easy to overfill if you don’t take a closer look.
To enjoy all nutrients and vitamins from your food, the Ninja Ultima Kitchen System (BL820) can do a great role in delivering that.