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Gourmet Living

A gourmet is a person who is knowledgeable in fine food and drink.

Blender


Blender for juices, smoothies and drinks.




Braun MX2050 PowerMax Jug Blender

This appealing blender looks great, with a rounded triangular shape that marries form and function. It pours perfectly and cleans beautifully, but what we noticed first was the terrific grip on the handle: firm and comfortable, like a great handshake. The lid is also well designed, sealing easily and snugly, with tiny rubber tips attached on three sides to facilitate a smooth release and opening. This blender packs a lot of power, puréeing in seconds and turning eggs and oil into mayonnaise in fewer than two minutes. Five speeds let you whip up everything from chunky salsa to velvety soups; there's also a pulse mode when you need an extra surge to add solids or give something one last stir. As a bonus, this blender looks great on the counter or stores easily in two parts in the cupboard. --C. Whitney-Ward

Editor's Choice:Braun's PowerMax blender is an ideal first blender--not too expensive and still heavy-duty enough for many blending tasks--and is our pick for best blender under $50. It has five speed settings and a pulse feature. The blades are made of stainless steel, which makes them strong enough to crush ice (don't pack the ice too tight, though), and they remove easily for cleaning. The blades, jug, and lid go in the dishwasher, while you wipe the base by hand with a damp towel.


KitchenAid KHB100OB Hand Blender, Onyx Black

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Vita-Mix 1300 TurboBlend 4500

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Braun MR430HC/AC Multiquick Deluxe Hand Blender & Chopper

This multipurpose tool created a stir in the kitchen when it came out, as the food processor did a generation earlier. In order to blend, whip, and chop smaller amounts of ingredients, it's no longer necessary to wrestle with bulky appliances. Immerse the 7-1/2-inch blender shaft, with its little blade on the end, into a pot where vegetables have been simmering, press the switch, and in seconds a creamy soup appears--with no need to dump everything into a big blender. Blend sauces and baby foods in their cooking pots, too. Blend a milk shake or juice drink right in its drinking container, or in the 2-1/2-cup beaker included in this set. Whipping cream and egg whites is just as convenient: a 5-inch whisk attaches to the motor when the blender is removed. For chopping nuts, herbs, garlic, or onions, there's a 2-cup chopper bowl with a special blade. The motor with the attached blender shaft can be mounted on a wall (mount included). Everything but the motor and the chopper-bowl top (both should be wiped with a damp cloth) can go into the dishwasher. This tool is more than handy, it's a revolution. The instruction sheet, unfortunately, is harder to comprehend than the tool is to use. --Fred Brack


Waring MBB518 Professional Quality Food & Beverage Blender, Stainless Steel

Bandleader and inventor Fred Waring introduced the first blender in 1936; more than 60 years later the Waring blender remains the standard for the field. Tall and old-fashioned looking with a plated metallic finish on its base, this blender will crush ice and blend frozen fruit beautifully in a few seconds. This blender feels sturdy: the lid, with a cap that doubles as a 1-ounce measurer, fits securely, and the pitcher, made of thick, ridged glass, won't wobble. Many chefs prefer a blender rather than a food processor for soups and creamy sauces--the blades of a good blender whirl more quickly than those of a food processor and will refine a thin liquid such as cream of tomato soup to an incomparably silky texture. This blender is definitely up to that task. The fixed, self-cleaning stainless-steel blades on the base of the pitcher mean the lid is the only separate part to wash. --Maria Dolan


KitchenAid KTA-KPCB348PPM Pro Line Chef's Blender with Polycarbonate Jar, Pearl Metallic

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Braun MR5550MBC-HC Multiquick Professional Hand Blender

Meet practically every kitchen need with this multipurpose handheld blender: crush ice, purée soups, blend smoothies, chop onions without tears, mince herbs and spices, beat egg whites, whip cream, mash potatoes, and more. The powerful 400-watt, 5-speed motor comes with a variety of blades and attachments, including a whisk and measuring beaker with airtight lid. A turbo switch is especially helpful for chopping hard foods, such as chocolate, nuts, and Parmesan cheese. All parts are made of either stainless steel or durable plastic and, except for the motor and the gear box, are dishwasher-safe. The helpful instruction booklet illustrates various combinations of parts. The blender is covered by a one-year warranty against defects. --Ann Bieri


Cuisinart SmartPower Basics 18-Speed Blender, Black

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Cuisinart BFP-703CH SmartPower Duet Blender/Food Processor, Chrome

Two powerful kitchen appliances have been brought together in this blender/food processor by Cuisinart. The heavy-duty motor base is up to both blending and processing tasks, and won't "walk" on the counter, even when it's crushing ice. Use the blender with its dripless pour spout to make and serve 40 ounces of frozen drinks or to purée baby foods or soups; use the processor to prep up to 3 cups of vegetables, cheeses, nuts, and meats. With one motor base, it's simple to keep the blender out on the counter and then bring out the processor attachment for special tasks.

This is an amazingly sturdy product, with tight-fitting lids, a heavy glass blender jar, and a motor that chops meat or ice with equal aplomb. Most attachments are dishwasher-safe, and the flat touch pad, which has seven settings (including ice crush and pulse), is easily wiped down with a sponge. This dual appliance comes with a booklet that explains how to use all the features and lists 48 recipes, from cranberry-orange mimosas to classic mayonnaise. --Maria Dolan


Factory-Reconditioned KitchenAid RRKSB5MC Ultra Power 5-Speed Blender, Metallic Chrome

Capable of crushing ice and being pulsed at any of five speeds, this sturdy, powerful, 500-watt blender provides ease of operation and versatility for a serious cook. It creates frozen drinks like smoothies and margaritas; chops nuts, coffee beans, vegetables, and chocolate; mixes batters and party dips; purées baby food and soups; removes lumps from gravy; and shreds cheese. Four cutting blades whirl at different levels for thorough work. KitchenAid's "step-start" feature automatically begins a process slowly to prevent splatters and quickly increases speed to the level selected on the touchpad control panel. The blender has a 40-ounce, dishwasher-safe, glass jar with a drip-resistant pouring lip and a tight-fitting top. Removing the cap creates an opening for adding ingredients, and the cap is a 2-ounce measuring container.

The blender's heavy metal base doesn't skid on its rubber feet during operation and offers a cord-wrap underneath. Base and control panel wipe clean easily. The blender measures 7 inches wide, 15 inches high, and 8 inches deep and weighs 13.2 pounds. Its instruction booklet includes 75 recipes. --Fred Brack

Editor's note: This is a reconditioned small appliance. Reconditioned generally means that the appliance has been returned to the manufacturer, who returns the appliance to like-new condition. Some appliances may contain cosmetic blemishes.


Waring PBB25 Professional Bar Blender, Black and Stainless Steel

Bandleader and inventor Fred Waring introduced the first blender in 1936; more than 60 years later the Waring blender remains the standard for the field. With this stainless-steel, black bar blender, the company has captured perfectly the sleek, modern look of its first models. The perfect cocktail party appliance, it doesn't just look good but has a strong, efficient (though slightly noisy) motor that zips through ice and frozen strawberries. The metal keeps drinks cold longer, too. The blade is nondetachable, so you never need to worry about the seal deteriorating. The stainless-steel container is also perfect for a classic diner-style milkshake. --Maria Dolan

Editor's Choice:Waring's professional bar blender only has two speeds, high and low, and it doesn't need any more, which is why it's our choice for best blender over $100. This 350-watt blender is really for professional bartenders, but it's also a dream for the home user that plans on blending often, or on blending a lot of ice or frozen drinks. The blades are stainless steel, as is the 32-ounce jug.


Braun MR5550CA Multiquick Professional Hand Blender, White

Braun's Multiquick Professional improves on an appliance that's already highly convenient. With a 400-watt motor, this updated hand blender has increased power for faster and better results. A dial on the top of the handle allows you to select from five different blending speeds, giving you more control over the consistency of your purées. A turbo button on the front of the handle lets you immediately switch up to the highest blending speed. The hand-blender attachment has a unique blade that offers smoother and more even blending, making it ideal for puréeing fruit shakes, soups, or homemade baby food. In addition, the hand-blender shaft has an innovative antisplashing design that prevents food from splattering on your kitchen walls during blending. Other included attachments are a minifood processor with an antislip bottom for chopping foods such as herbs, onions, or meats and a whisk for whipping egg whites, cake batter, or cream. The set also comes with a tall lidded beaker that is a convenient shape for blending smoothies and for storing leftovers, and a wall holder for storage. The hand blender, chopper, whisk, and beaker are all dishwasher-safe, and the unit is covered by a one-year limited warranty. --Cristina Vaamonde


Oster 6646 Osterizer 12-Speed Blender with Glass Jar and Food Processor, White

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Waring RB75 Pro Professional RPM Blender

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Proctor Silex 57171 Blender

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KitchenAid KSB5 5-Speed Blender, Metallic Chrome

Capable of crushing ice and being pulsed at any of its five speeds, this sturdy, powerful, 575-watt blender provides ease-of-operation and versatility to a serious cook. It creates frozen drinks like smoothies and margaritas; chops nuts, coffee beans, vegetables, and chocolate; mixes batters and party dips; purées baby food and soups; removes lumps from gravy; and shreds cheese. Four cutting blades whirl at different levels for thorough work. KitchenAid's "step-start" feature automatically begins a process slowly to prevent splatters and quickly increases speed to the level selected on the touchpad control panel. The blender has a 40-ounce, dishwasher-safe glass jar with a drip-resistant pouring lip, a tight-fitting top. Removing the cap creates an opening for adding ingredients, and the cap is a 2-ounce measuring container.

The blender's heavy metal base doesn't skid around on its rubber feet during operation and offers a cord-wrap underneath. Base and control panel wipe clean easily. The blender measures 7 inches wide, 15 inches high, and 8 inches deep and weighs 9 pounds. Its instruction booklet includes 75 recipes. --Fred Brack


Back to Basics SHP1000 Smoothie Professional Smoothie Maker

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Waring MX1000R Professional 3-Horsepower Blender

Just the size and weight of this blender indicates it is a professional grade workhorse. Weighing 15 pounds and standing 19 inches tall, with an oversized base measuring 9 inches square, the blender takes on a prodigious appearance. The supercharged three-horsepower motor and large blades will crush ice with ease and smoothly blend fruit drinks and soups. Only two speeds, high and low, are available, which should cover most needs. The pulse feature is ideal for creating large-particle foods such as homemade salsa and gazpacho.

Squared in shape, the tough polycarbonate pitcher features a very generous nonslip handle and holds 64 ounces of cold liquid, less if hot. The flexible lid presses tightly in place and features a central clear cap that turns and releases to open for adding foods. Two paddle-shape switches make operation easy even if hands are wet. The removable pad that covers the top of the blender base to add nonslip cushioning for the pitcher can be tossed in the dishwasher for cleaning. The four broad legs of the blender are also made of nonslip material to help prevent sliding and make pick-up secure. Because the blade assembly does not unscrew from the pitcher for separate cleaning, the blender pitcher should be washed thoroughly with hot soapy water and a soft scrub brush after each use. Waring covers the blender with a two-year warranty against defects. --Ann Bieri


Girmi FR55 400-Watt 5-Speed Blender

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Krups 34413-42 Power XL 6 Blender, Black

Blend ice slushies, puree cream-based soups, or whip up a delicious viniagrette dressing in Krups’ Power XL6 blender. This machine uniquely uses six blades, which, combined with its powerful motor, blends ingredients more uniformly. In addition, the XL6 offers 14 different blending speeds on an easy-to-set adjustable dial, giving you better control over the proper blending speed for your ingredients. Like many food processors, this blender also has a Vari Pulse button, allowing you to blend in spurts and avoid overprocessing. Another special button crushes ice in just seconds for making great frozen juice drinks and cocktails. The blender’s large calibrated glass jar holds up to 50 ounces of food--enough to make huge quantities of soup or sauce without having to puree in batches--and a 3-ounce measuring cup hidden in the lid assists in measuring out ingredients. The locking watertight lid ensures that food won’t escape out the top during vigorous blending and a pouring spout eliminates dripping. The glass jar and blade assembly on the XL6 are dishwasher-safe and the entire unit is covered by a one-year limited warranty. --Cristina Vaamonde


KitchenAid KSB5 5-Speed Blender, Onyx Black/Stainless Steel

This is the blender of the future. It performs all the traditional blending tasks (crushing ice for margaritas, thinning ice cream) plus it can be used like a food processor (mincing garlic, puréeing peppers). The wide jar is rounder and squatter than old-style blenders, which makes it easier to reach in and scrape the sides (when the blender is off!). To reduce splatters of strawberry daiquiri, the Step Start feature starts blending slowly, then picks up to the chosen speed. This blender also comes with a booklet containing 75 recipes--my favorite is the Frosty Chocolate Raspberry Latte. --Dana Van Nest


Braun M880 Multimix 4-in-1 Handmixer

Equipped with an exceptionally powerful 280-watt motor, this versatile appliance is a combination hand mixer and hand blender. For mixing, beating, and whipping, there are two cunningly designed beaters that produce volume while reducing splashing. For kneading, there's a strong dough hook, and for blending, there's an attachment that can be used in the accompanying 2-cup container (or any container) for small jobs like salad dressings. For chopping, the power unit attaches to another container with its own blades to make quick work of nuts, onions, hard cheeses, herbs, garlic, and meats. (The container's base serves as a snap-on plastic lid for storage.) The mixer/blender has three speeds and a power-pulse button for working through tough jobs. It stands upright on a nonskid base, and its power cord pivots to stay out of the way or can be locked in place. This appliance carries a one-year warranty against defects. --Fred Brack


KitchenAid KSB5CR 5-Speed Blender, Black/Chrome

This is the blender of the future. It performs all the traditional blending tasks (crushing ice for margaritas, thinning ice cream) plus it can be used like a food processor (mincing garlic, puréeing peppers). The wide jar is rounder and squatter than old-style blenders, which makes it easier to reach in and scrape the sides (when the blender is off!). To reduce splatters of strawberry daiquiri, the Step Start feature starts blending slowly, then picks up to the chosen speed. This blender also comes with a booklet containing 75 recipes--my favorite is the Frosty Chocolate Raspberry Latte. --Dana Van Nest

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