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Blenders that don't suck
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wallinbl
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Jan 20, 2006, 11:11 AM
 
The 'Are you in shape?' thread reminded me that I've been searching for a good blender for several years. Everytime I go to a smoothie place, I'm reminded of one depressing fact - their blender crushes ice thoroughly and quickly, while mine can't. In fact, I've never seen a blender in a house that can make a decent smoothie or frozen margarita. Perhaps it's the larger, harder ice that comes out of household refrigerators, but surely there's a blender out there that will work. Can anyone tell me of a good blender to make smoothies for breakfast with? All I want is to crush the ice from my freezer and some frozen fruit.
     
only120xs
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Jan 20, 2006, 11:50 AM
 
Check out Oster blenders (the high end ones, not the cheap ones). Mine does ice great as long as you have enough stuff in it.
     
KeyLimePi
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Jan 20, 2006, 11:53 AM
 
I'll second the Oster machines. My old beehive one works great and has the 'To Go' cup thing that I use for smoothies.

I'd definately stay away from the 'smoothie' blenders that have a pour/tap spout at the bottom. Might look cool but it's not very functional.
     
tooki
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Jan 20, 2006, 12:19 PM
 
The ice is critical. Homemade ice cubes are too big for a blender to break up -- it just chips away at them until they're round and just roll around inside the slush. You'll never get a professional result with homemade ice.

Instead, buy storebought bagged ice, and look for the kind that is hollow: hollow cubes are the best, but hollow tubes work fine, too. Avoid the one that's little flat pieces with a circular side.

And find a place whose bagged ice isn't melted into a big hunk. You want the cubes to be as "loose" as possible.

Then, armed with this ice, pulse the smoothie. Just turning it on won't work -- you get a hollow air vortex in the center that keeps the smoothie away from the blades, which doesn't help. Pulse it so that the mass always collapses towards the center (usually with a big FLURP! splash -- keep the lid on!!) until just done.

Remember also that once the ice is in there, you can't really puree any of the other ingredients. So if you want to make, say, a banana smoothie, puree the banana first, otherwise you'll have chunks of banana in the finished product.

tooki
     
wdlove
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Jan 20, 2006, 12:24 PM
 
A Blender is a very nice thing to have. Makes me hungry for a delicious banana milkshake t=right now.

"Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense." Winston Churchill
     
wallinbl  (op)
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Jan 20, 2006, 12:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by tooki
The ice is critical. Homemade ice cubes are too big for a blender to break up -- it just chips away at them until they're round and just roll around inside the slush. You'll never get a professional result with homemade ice.

Instead, buy storebought bagged ice, and look for the kind that is hollow: hollow cubes are the best, but hollow tubes work fine, too. Avoid the one that's little flat pieces with a circular side.

And find a place whose bagged ice isn't melted into a big hunk. You want the cubes to be as "loose" as possible.
Surely I can just pay a bit more for a blender that can handle the ice from my freezer, can't I? I'm lazy, and if I have to keep buying and storing bagged ice, I'll give up.
     
tooki
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Jan 20, 2006, 12:49 PM
 
Nope. Trust me on this, it has nothing to do with the blender's strength. A blade simply will never be able to chop through a whole inch of ice that's just floating in liquid. You have to either crush the ice first, or just take the easy route and pick up bagged ice on the way home from picking up the smoothie ingredients. Your home freezer will never make enough ice for more than one pitcher of frozen daiquiri, anyway.

tooki
     
only120xs
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Jan 20, 2006, 01:04 PM
 
Sorry tooki, you're wrong. My Oster does just fine with homemade ice (as long as what you put in it has enough water for it to move around).

That said, I don't think tooki is TOTALLY wrong... crappy ice would work better, but if you have a good blender, it will take solid ice just fine. (The good blenders actually reverse the blades for a fraction of a second to stir up the mixture so you don't just have that vortex and nothing gets chopped up.)
     
turtle777
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Jan 20, 2006, 01:31 PM
 
What you need is a hampstor powered blender, the ones with a wheel attached. Nothing else will do. I'm sure tooki can give you some tips how to train the hampstor

-t
     
Tesseract
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Jan 20, 2006, 01:46 PM
 


If you want this blender, make sure to get the 'real' one, not the department-store version that's made of chrome-plated plastic.
     
tooki
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Jan 20, 2006, 02:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by only120xs
Sorry tooki, you're wrong. My Oster does just fine with homemade ice (as long as what you put in it has enough water for it to move around).

That said, I don't think tooki is TOTALLY wrong... crappy ice would work better, but if you have a good blender, it will take solid ice just fine. (The good blenders actually reverse the blades for a fraction of a second to stir up the mixture so you don't just have that vortex and nothing gets chopped up.)
Maybe your ice cubes are smaller? I've never been able to make good smoothies with homemade ice, with any blender (i've owned el-cheapo, a Cuisinart, and now my Oster). It takes so long for the homemade ice to break up that the texture of the smoothie is ruined (too smooth).

tooki
     
festeringwounds
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Jan 20, 2006, 02:28 PM
 
Go to estate sales and antique stores. Get a big ****ing chrome mother that weighs 30 lbs with a thick cable. Make sure it's over 400 watts. It will outlive your family.
     
festeringwounds
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Jan 20, 2006, 02:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by tooki
Maybe your ice cubes are smaller? I've never been able to make good smoothies with homemade ice, with any blender (i've owned el-cheapo, a Cuisinart, and now my Oster). It takes so long for the homemade ice to break up that the texture of the smoothie is ruined (too smooth).

tooki
Get an old one. Make sure it has 2-3 settings. High, low, and off. And make sure it's over 400 watts. Everytime I turn mine on the lights dim but holy crap I could make gravel with it.
     
Stradlater
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Jan 20, 2006, 04:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Tesseract


If you want this blender, make sure to get the 'real' one, not the department-store version that's made of chrome-plated plastic.
Great machine, though pricey. If you can find an antique, it would be cheaper to fix it up, and it may last longer.

This one should even crush homemade ice easily. Just don't attempt to put ice on the blades and nothing else and crush. This could cause problems. Always put soft stuff (fruit, etc.) on the bottom and WHILE it is blending, add the ice.
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Rolling Bones
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Jan 20, 2006, 04:29 PM
 
Blenders are great if you have no teeth.

I myself bought a used 30 year old Osterizer. Built like a tank and will liquify a human hand very quickly. Lesson...never ever stick your hand in while it is running. One thing the newer ones have is they won't turn on unless the lid is on.

Awesome!
     
bradoesch
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Jan 20, 2006, 04:49 PM
 
I've burned out a few blenders before I got this one:



This baby handles oatmeal, flax seeds, frozen fruits (strawberry, raspberry, etc.). 580W
     
turtle777
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Jan 20, 2006, 07:07 PM
 
I know only of vacuum cleaners that suck. Muahahahahahaha.
     
agentz
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Jan 20, 2006, 07:33 PM
 
I've got one of these beasties from Philips, but in brushed steel finish. 650 Watts of ice-pulsing power - I have been able to crush ice in it from the freezer trays, but it does seem to crush bagged ice that much easier.
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ghporter
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Jan 20, 2006, 07:42 PM
 
Osterizer, first and foremost!

If you can find one, get a Waring Blender-not because they're better than Oster (they're on a par) but because Fred Waring, the big band leader, invented it-and of course all other similar blenders owe their design in part to Fred.

There are a ton of variables in crushing ice in a blender, mostly having to do with the ice. The ice can be very hard or not hard at all (a function of the temperature it's made at), it can be in large or small chunks from the ice maker/tray, and it can be of a variety of shapes (mine are semicircles). For smoothies you need small chunks to start with or the blender won't grind it down to the proper size and you'll get chunks-YUCK!

So you can either have the fridge crush the ice for you and then go from there, or use a high-quality, powerful blender (one that says "crush ice" as one of its speeds) and precrush the ice before starting with the fruit.

agentz, that'a a beautiful blender! But being a Philips product, I'll bet it's kind of dear. It sounds like it's worth it though.

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festeringwounds
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Jan 20, 2006, 07:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by bradoesch
I've burned out a few blenders before I got this one:



This baby handles oatmeal, flax seeds, frozen fruits (strawberry, raspberry, etc.). 580W
What blender CAN'T handle frozen fruits. Keep in mind the wattage is just how much power it USES, not how much it actually makes use of. I'd put an antique blender like mine against yours anyday.

Basically looks like this, only 'less used' and no yellowed clear plastic. Scored it @ an estate sale for $20.

     
agentz
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Jan 20, 2006, 07:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter
agentz, that'a a beautiful blender! But being a Philips product, I'll bet it's kind of dear. It sounds like it's worth it though.
I've actually just gone into the kitchen and double checked the model of our blender - turns out we've got the HR2094, not the 2084 that I linked to, so 750W instead of 650W = info at http://tinyurl.com/88nhj. Not majorly expensive either - £70 (~ $125). We use it several times a week to make smoothies and purees, it's always getting frozen fruit chucked in it and it's never balked at anything we've put in it. It also came in handy a few months ago when my daughter was just starting out on 'solid' foods - was nice and quick at mushing stuff up for her to eat.
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only120xs
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Jan 20, 2006, 08:27 PM
 
This is the one that I have. I guess they don't make it anymore, but it works pretty well.

Tooki, my cubes are fairly small so that may be part of it, though I don't recall ever having much of a problem with any type of ice. On the other hand, sometimes I do have a chunk here or there.
Point being, Osters are beasts
     
bradoesch
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Jan 21, 2006, 10:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by festeringwounds
What blender CAN'T handle frozen fruits. Keep in mind the wattage is just how much power it USES, not how much it actually makes use of. I'd put an antique blender like mine against yours anyday.

Basically looks like this, only 'less used' and no yellowed clear plastic. Scored it @ an estate sale for $20.
I meant to say it blends those items at the same time.
     
rozwado1
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Jan 21, 2006, 12:21 PM
 
Vitamix, bitches.

This thing blends so fast that you can heat up soup in it.



or, if you have the need for restaurant-quality smoothies (and about $3,000): Island Oasis
     
jcadam
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Jan 21, 2006, 01:22 PM
 
I have a beehive-shaped oster. It's heavy and solid. 500W motor. 3 settings: off, low, and high. It can really blend some sh!t.
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Tesseract
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Jan 21, 2006, 04:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by jcadam
I have a beehive-shaped oster. It's heavy and solid. 500W motor. 3 settings: off, low, and high. It can really blend some sh!t.
That's soft and easy to blend. How does it handle ice?
     
Monique
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Mar 20, 2006, 05:47 PM
 
I can't find a Breville, is Villeware any good?

It is important because I cannot eat fruits, do not like the taste, so I started with smoothies but my blender went kapout so now I am looking for a new one.
     
BlueSky
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Mar 20, 2006, 05:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by wdlove
A Blender is a very nice thing to have. Makes me hungry for a delicious banana milkshake t=right now.
I'm wishin' I had a nice goldfish frappe.
     
davesimondotcom
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Mar 20, 2006, 06:04 PM
 
I got a Krups as a wedding gift 5+ years ago and have made many smooties and it's still going strong.

One complaint I have about it is that it sometimes doesn't slide together correctly and I get a leak.

I'd love one of those Osters though!
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Monique
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Mar 21, 2006, 10:08 AM
 
That is what I had an Oster and it went kapout after one month and half of use.
     
Railroader
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Mar 21, 2006, 01:17 PM
 
I'll put a plug in for KitchenAid. A friend has one and it destroys any ice cube it comes near. Super smooth drinks.
     
f1000
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Mar 21, 2006, 01:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
I'll put a plug in for KitchenAid. A friend has one and it destroys any ice cube it comes near. Super smooth drinks.
I'll second that plug.
     
   
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