Vitamix Vs Blendtec | Blendtec Vs Vitamix | Which Blender Is Better?

blendtec stealth reviewAptly named – the Blendtec Stealth makes the claim as the World’s quietest blender, and it most likely is.

What looks as though was designed to fit nicely on the back counters of the Smoothie shops of the World, the Blendtec Stealth is in fact a retail blender that you can take home.

The first thing you’ll notice with the Stealth is it’s massive 360 degree sealed sound enclosure.  The proprietary construction of this sound proof cover allows simple conversation level noise and not much else.    The babies can continue sleeping while mom or dad whip up smoothies mid day.

Neither Blendtec nor Vitamix had (up until now) released a blender to the public that was constructed with commercial attributes, so this is groundbreaking for Blendtec.  Not only does the Blendtec Stealth claim to be the quietest blender around, but it is also making the claim as the Universe’s most advanced blender.

Let’s see if that’s true.

First – the Blendtec Stealth operates with a near 4 horsepower motor.  I know of a few commercial blenders that operate with a 3/4 horsepower engine, but none that do so on the retail level.  To give you an indication on just how powerful a blender this is – it will take practically any iced drink, full ice chunks included, and almost totally pulverize the contents.

Second – the intuitive, capacitive touch mirrors the operation of your smartphone because it uses the exact same technology.  The interface is smart enough to recognize your touch and movement, while also knowing the difference between your fingers and chunks of food or spills.

Third – you can now ‘plug-in’ to the Blendtec Stealth blender via a USB port.  The Stealth comes pre-programmed with 42 different blend cycles.  But should you want to add your own custom blend program you can do so through a USB port – a first as far as my eyes can see.

Fourth – this blender is fully compatible with the Blendtec online Blend Wizard.  Blendtec has always been ahead of their competition when it comes to utilizing the latest technology in their design, and now they are taking strides forward in the interactive media category.  The online Blend Wizard is a fantastic tool for the ‘home professional’.  You can log-in and create your own unique blends and create additional pre-programming cycles for your specific recipes and instantly send those programs to your Blendtec Stealth blender.  Once the program is downloaded, simply shut the lid and start your blend.

Fifth – it come with a three year warranty that can be upgraded instantly.  You don’t have to upgrade the warranty right out of the gate, but it’s nice to know that it comes with this option should you change your mind down the road.

In my opinion, Blendtec and Vitamix blenders could have always been slightly quieter for home use so I don’t know what took them so long to put one of these blender prototypes on the retail market, but it is nice to see.  I expect Vitamix to come up with a response sometime in 2014, although I don’t expect it to do anything other than compare in price.

So is the Blendtec Stealth worth the investment?

I have three blenders – two Vitamix blenders and one Blendtec blender.  I need another blender like I need a hole in my head :)

My latest Vitamix is about two years old at this point – but I can tell you that this blender definitely serves a purpose.

There is a market for those who want the absolute top-of-the-line professional products for use in the home, and who also want to enjoy their peace and quiet uninterrupted.   The loud blenders can be an intimidating noise for children, pets, and the elderly, to name a few.  Even I don’t like the startling noise that Blendtec and Vitamix put you through for the 15-30 seconds (sometimes longer).

So yes, this investment is worth the price.  It won’t be for everybody, especially most people looking to purchase a Vitamix or a Blendtec blender for their first time, but if you want the highest performance you can find in a retail blender and you want to impress pretty much every single person you invite to the house, this blender is calling your name.

My Blendtec Stealth Review comes from having tested the controls of the machine locally where I live – although this machine was not easy to find.  In fact, I had to travel to one of my old commercial restaurant parts stores to see one behind the scenes.  I don’t know if the specialty retail outlets are carrying this machine just yet – so it looks like you need to get it online at the moment.

As always if you have questions or concerns, just shoot me an email.

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interesting_facts_about_the_most_common_fruitsIf you’re using a Vitamix or a Blendtec, you’re most likely doing so with fruit, and lots of it.

If you’re not using a lot of fruit, what on earth are you doing with your blender?

Eating plentiful doses of fruits and vegetables for optimal health has been preached for ages, and it is true – eating veggies and fruits on a consistent basis will improve your overall health and well being.  Those benefits are well researched and documented by the brightest minds in the land – but there are some health benefits you may not have been familiar with when it comes to the most common fruits found in your grocery store, and subsequently, in your blender.

I took a cursory look at the fruits available at my local grocery store and compiled this list of the top 20 fruits you’ll most likely find in your grocery store as well.  Every fruit mentioned has multiple health benefits based on research, but I wanted to try and list some health benefits you may not have been aware of for each type.

In addition to the health benefit, I also curated a list of weird and interesting facts about the fruits on this list.  Some of the weird facts you may have never known – I actually learned quite a bit while compiling the information.

weird_facts_about_apples Apples

  • Help prevent gallstones
  • Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t eat apples. Apples are loaded with soluble fiber, the key to blunting blood sugar swings.

 

 

weird_facts_about_bananasBananas

  • Help prevent constipation
  • Bananas can also benefit your garden. Instead of throwing the peels away, banana peels are ideal fertilizer for gardens and soils. Rose bushes benefit a great deal from the peels. If you have a certain plant that you want to blossom, simply bury a few peels next to it by the roots. In a few weeks, the plant will be huge.

 

 

weird_facts_about_blackberriesBlackberries

  • Help prevent stomach problems
  • Blackberries are one of the few fruits that contain heart-protective Vitamin E.

 

 

 

weird_facts_about_blueberriesBlueberries

  • Help prevent urinary tract infections
  • In a USDA lab at Tufts University, neuroscientists discovered that feeding blueberries to laboratory rats slowed age-related loss in their mental capacity, a finding that has important implications for humans.

 

weird_facts_about_canteloupeCanteloupe

  • Helps prevent heart disease
  • Canteloupe played a huge part in the mass production of penicillin.

 

 

 

weird_facts_about_cherriesCherries

  • Help prevent cholesterol
  • Traditional folk healers often advocate sour cherries to treat gout. Some alternative practitioners advise that the juice of wild choke cherries can be effective in alleviating an attack on gout.

 

 

weird_facts_about_grapefruitGrapefruit

  • Helps prevent kidney stones
  • The grapefruit got its name because of the way it grows, in clusters, just like grapes themselves.

 

 

 

weird_facts_about_grapesGrapes

  • Help prevent cardiovascular disease
  • Around the world there are more than 8,000 varieties of grape. There are 7 different grape colors: red, green, white, black, purple, blue and golden.

 

 

 

weird_facts_about_honey_dewHoney Dew

  • Helps prevent tooth decay
  • As sweet and as popular as honey dew melons are, they are rarely, if ever, used in cooking or baking.

 

 

 

weird_facts_about_kiwiKiwi

  • Helps prevent vision loss
  • Kiwifruit has not only one of the highest concentrations of lutein in fruits – but the lutein in kiwifruit has recently been shown to be really highly bioaccessible (better than from vegetables) and so it is bio-available – meaning it can actually do good things such as help to prevent age related deterioration of eye-sight.

 

 

weird_facts_about_mangoMango

  • Helps prevent diabetes
  • Some compounds in mango skin help fight diabetes and some forms of cancer

 

 

 

weird_facts_about_orangesOranges

  • Helps prevent rising blood pressure
  • Oranges are unknown in the wild. They are a hybrid of tangerines and the pomelo or “Chinese grapefruit” (which is pale green or yellow), and were first cultivated in south-east Asia. They weren’t orange, but green, and Vietnamese oranges and Thai tangerines are still bright green on the outside and orange inside.

 

weird_facts_about_pearsPears

  • Help prevent osteoporosis
  • Shortness of breath: The summer heat may cause children to have shortness of breath with excessive phlegm. Drink pear juice during this period to help clear the phlegm.

 

 

weird_facts_about_pineapplePineapple

  • Helps prevent nausea
  • Pineapples grow slowly, and can take up to two years to reach full size, so we pick and eat them when they are much smaller, but if they are left to their own devices they can reach up to 9kg (20lbs).

 

 

weird_facts_about_plumsPlums

  • Help prevent iron deficiency
  • Plums are very versatile in cooking. They can be baked, poached, sliced, broiled, stewed, or mashed into a jam.

 

 

 

weird_facts_about_pomegranatePomegranate

  • Helps prevent blood clots
  • Although pomegranates are fruit trees, they are often used for landscaping purposes due to their attractive foliage, flowers, and small size.

 

 

 

weird_facts_about_raspberriesRaspberries

  • Help prevent premenstrual syndrome symptoms
  • Raspberries can be four different colors, although red and black are the most common.  They can also be yellow or purple.

 

 

 

weird_facts_about_starfruitStarfruit

  • Helps prevent fatigue
  • Despite being a very tasty fruit, starfruit is actually very low in sugar!

 

 

 

weird_facts_about_strawberriesStrawberries

  • Help prevent blood sugar spikes
  • Did you know strawberries can help whiten your teeth? The acids in the fruit help to remove stains.

 

 

 

weird_facts_about_watermelonWatermelon

  • Helps prevent arthritis
  • Not only does it quench your thirst, it can also quench inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and colon cancer.

 

 

 

For those of you who still skimp on your fruits maybe this list of weird facts about fruit and their unconventional preventative traits will get you to change your mind.  I can’t think about fruit without thinking about how refreshing and – when these fruits are at their most ripe – how uber delicious they are.  It’s a shame we hide them in our smoothies at all!

Now take a look at those pictures – aren’t you compelled to throw some into a nice smoothie right now?  Next time your at the local market try a few of the fruits you don’t normally eat.  The benefits of eating fruit for good health seem endless.

 

Sources:

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/nutrition/15-health-benefits-of-eating-apples

http://www.lifescript.com/food/articles/0/14_banana_health_benefits_you_might_not_know_about.aspx

http://www.aperfectpear.com/health-benefits-of-pears.html

http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garden/view_org_research/id/105/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/health_and_fitness/4272966.stm

http://www.randomanything.com/2009/10/28/ten-strange-pineapple-facts/

http://www.zespri.com/zespri-health/fabulous-facts.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/qi/8345477/QI-Quite-interesting-facts-about-orange.html

http://www.kiawahresort.com/blog/kiawah-island/2012/02/29/10-fun-facts-about-grapes/

http://westchesterdish.com/2007/06/ten-facts-you-never-knew-about-watermelon/

http://lsned.com/facts/penicillin-invention/

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/honeydew-melon-facts.html

http://www.buyforlessok.com/Departments/Produce/Plums

http://www.blueberrywoman.com/research.htm

http://www.jellismarket.com/raspberry%20facts.htm

http://www.southerngracefarms.com/funfacts.html

http://scienceray.com/biology/botany/10-fruity-facts-about-the-exotic-pomegranate-and-the-mystery-behind-it/

http://healthymeals.nal.usda.gov/hsmrs/Middle_School_Nutrition_Marketing/Middle_School_Marketing_Grapefruit.pdf

http://www.stumblerz.com/interesting-facts-about-cherries/

http://thranax.hubpages.com/hub/Star-fruit

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Vitamix_Blenders_2012

All Their Children….

My post in 2011 regarding the Vitamix blender being the best choice for certain individuals was accurate at the time it was written.  In that post I tried to explain that while both a Vitamix and a Blendtec blender contain many similar traits, they are actually very different blenders in a lot of ways.  The differences, if not carefully considered, could be the difference between you being elated over your purchase or considerably disappointed.

Things can change rapidly in the land of high powered blender manufacturing, and that post I wrote was written about a year ago.  Just like my Blendtec 2012 update, I feel as though it’s my responsibility to bring my readers the most up to date information I can regarding the Vitamix vs Blendtec showdown.

So what major changes has Vitamix made since 2011 that may impact your decision to purchase a Vitamix blender?

None.

Just like Blendtec in 2012, Vitamix hasn’t made any substantial changes or updates that would greatly impact your decision to buy a Vitamix blender.  If I remember correctly, the Vitamix 5200 was first released in late 2007, making it almost five full years since Vitamix has released a new model blender.  What I have noticed, especially this year, is Vitamix increasing their advertising frequency on all of the popular reality cooking shows.  I don’t see Blendtec advertisements near as many times, if I’ve ever seen them.

Now – things will be changing for Vitamix, as evidenced by the fact that the company has recently announced a $10,000,000 expansion to their headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio (North Olmsted, Ohio to be exact).

Well What Makes Vitamix The Right Choice For Me?

If you are ready to take the plunge and spend $400-$500 on a blender you had better choose the right one the first time.  Even though Blendtec and Vitamix are similar in a lot of ways, their differences could mean the difference between elation or devastation.

I’m Afraid Of Flying!

Operating a Blendtec blender is a bit like flying an airplane if you aren’t the tech type.  There is an LCD display to become familiar with and push button operating systems to learn.

In the most perfect of perfect worlds, the average home cook would always put the right amount of ingredients into the blender pitcher and never an ounce more.  They would also add the ingredients in perfect succession every time.  In addition, they would know that even though one of the buttons on a Blendtec blender says – smoothies – for example, they would be wrong to hit that button to blend certain types of smoothies, based on the ingredients they are using.

This isn’t that world.

Even I, who spent 15 years working hand in hand with Vitamix and Blendtec blenders at a professional level, still do it wrong from time to time when I use my Blendtec.  And I don’t shy away from advancements in technology to boot.

Vitamix blenders have to be operated manually, taking guess work, and interface technology, out of the equation.

Vitamix blending speeds are operated with a speed dial and a variable speed/high speed switch if needed.  Have a smoothie that contains light yogurt and other easily blended fruits?  Turn your Vitamix on, turn the speed dial to around mid speed, wait for a few seconds and turn your machine off.  The job is complete.  It’s very easy and gives you more control over your blends.

If you are someone who isn’t keen on operating a technical interface, you should be buying a Vitamix.

Apples To Apples.  Or Are They?

Blendtec’s top of the market blender is the Blendtec Designer Series.  That blender tops out at $500.  Vitamix’s masterpiece is the Vitamix 5200.  That blender maxes out at $450.  So in an apples to apples comparison of the two best blenders, what makes the Designer Series worth $50 more than the 5200?

Is it the wattage?  Blendtec sells the fact that their blender is the most powerful blender of the two.  Technically, they are correct.  Blendtec’s wattage is 1560, Vitamix’s is 1380.  I’m not going to get into a physics discussion here, but if you do your research and ask physics professionals if that 180 watt difference is significant for horsepower purposes, they might tell you that is isn’t.  In my non-professional opinion I agree.

Is it the fact that Blendtec is more versatile because their blenders fit under more kitchen cabinets due to it’s height?  Vitamix solved that problem by adding a smaller pitcher option that allows the pitcher and the base to fit under most cabinets.

Is it the technology aspect?  Could be.  I wouldn’t know.

So why then is this apples to apples comparison so different when it comes to price?  I’d like to know as well;)

If you want the top of the line but want the right price, the Vitamix 5200 makes more sense.

A Century Of Dominance

Out of the millions of brands that exist or have existed in time, name 10 that have been around for a century.

It’s not as easy as you think.

Vitamix has been around for about 90 years.  Ninety.  Not technically a century, but who cares?

I can name some specifics as to why it wouldn’t be a mistake to buy a Vitamix based solely on company longevity and relevance, but why should I?  This company has dominated the high powered blender market for almost 100 years.  That is almost impossible.

A company that has so few products and has kept it simple for almost a century is still in business – at the very top of the industry segment no less.

Buying a Vitamix blender for that reason alone is wise.

Customer Service

I bought the Vitamix 5200 in April of this year.  After I opened the package, I left the blender sitting out on my stove top and got distracted and left it there.  Normally, this isn’t a big deal, except for the fact that I have an amazing and wonderful wife who wanted to get dinner started right away.

She turned on one of the empty stove top burners and we both walked away for a quick second.  It didn’t take long for the smell of burnt plastic to permeate the household, and when I arrived back into the kitchen I noticed smoke.

As it turns out, my wife turned on the wrong burner, and the Vitamix was sitting on top of the burner she did start.  Ouch.  That burner melted the entire cord, which was still fully wound underneath the unit, of our brand new Vitamix 5200.

After my heart attack, I called Vitamix customer service.

When I got through, I told them exactly what happened.  I admitted that it was our fault and was ready to pay to have the machine shipped back, pay to have the machine fixed, and pay to have the machine shipped right back to me – despite wanting to have to pay for any of it.  Tacking on another few hundred dollars to an already expensive kitchen appliance wasn’t very high on my ‘fun things to do right now’ list….

Vitamix not only offered to take my machine back without me having to pay to have it shipped back, they fixed the machine pro bono and shipped it back to me for free as well.

Can you believe that level of service?

Now this could very well have been an extenuating circumstance.  I got the right people on the right day.  I wouldn’t expect freebies in the future just as I didn’t expect one this time – and you shouldn’t either.  But you can and usually will receive superior customer service than you will from Blendtec support.

I’ve said it many times before and I will say it again – Vitamix customer service owns this blender battle.  Their is no comparison between Vitamix and Blendtec customer service.  It’s that type of business philosophy that keeps brands alive for 100 years.

Well Then, Vitamix It Is. But Which Vitamix Should I Purchase?

vitamix_2012I myself recently purchased the Vitamix 5200 standard series with the smaller 48oz. pitcher (for storage space reasons).  This is my Vitamix 5200 review, and a friend of mine wrote a review for me before I purchased one that can be found here.

Some of you may be hesitant to order a unit over the internet.  If that is the case you will need two things – an 800 number to call your order in and a code to receive free shipping.

Call 800-848-2649 (Ext. 2303) and ask for J.P. Minard.

Give him code 06-007258 for the free shipping.

That’s it!

If you think someone may benefit from this post, please pass it along.  I would appreciate it!

Thank you once again for being loyal readers and I wish you the best of luck in your decision!

 

Brendon Thadeus

 

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eight_corporations_own_the_majority_of_the_worlds_food

Think These Are The Only Choices You Have?

In this man’s opinion, we rely way too much on public officials and talking heads that do not represent us in any way, any shape, or any form.

We have become an uninformed, misinformed lot who thinks that writing a congressperson or voting in an election to express your viewpoints and desires is good enough when it comes to getting what we want out of life.  Let’s simply go and vote for someone to do our dirty work for us and we won’t ever have to ‘think’ for ourselves again.  The good people up there on the “Hill” will take care of it.  Now we can go back to watching American Idol.

I have news for you – the real world doesn’t work that way.

The public figures you think have your best interests at hand do not work for you.  They work for massive industries and large corporations who have the ends and the means to control the decisions these ‘elected’ officials make when it comes to things like ‘health care’.

The United States purports to have the best health care in the world.  We are supposed to have the best doctors, the most resources, and with the first two in the bag one might reasonably deduce that we would have the highest life expectancy in the world as well.

 

…….did anyone here that record scratch?

 

Depending on what news source you get your information from, the United States falls somewhere between number 25 and 30 as a nation when it comes to life expectancy.  In other words, despite being the supposed world leader in health minds and health care, there are 30 other countries who’s citizens live longer on average than the citizens of The United States.

But, but, but……….wait…..but………

Powerful Control, Or Is It?

In the graphic above it appears as though there are roughly 10 large corporations who own and control the majority of the food in the United States and beyond.  It also appears that a small group of very powerful entities are making the food choice decisions for the huge swaths of people that choose to give these companies their dollars – and we are giving those companies ALOT of our dollars.

You_have_more_food_and_diet_choices_than_you_think

You Have PLENTY Of Choices

If you are someone that is even remotely concerned with your overall health, is looking to change some of the eating habits you have, or wants a complete health makeover, you have to know that you still have TONS of choices when it comes to your diet.

A Government of the people, for the people………..yeah, yeah, yeah.  Sounds good in theory.

It starts with an understanding that the information you get from the media and ‘Government’ isn’t going to help you.  In a lot of cases, especially when it comes to health care and your diet and health, that information may even hurt you.  Big business isn’t out for your best interests, they have profits to reap.  ‘Elected’ officials aren’t out for your best interests, they have large conglomerates who give them millions of dollars to support ‘their’ cause, not YOUR cause.

Does this make any sense?

So it is up to you to choose right if you are going to improve your diet, your health, and your overall way of life and it starts with understanding how the political world works.

Sure we have an obesity epidemic in America but a lot of that falls squarely on our shoulders.  It is not that hard to educate yourself and I am not interested in trying to help those who don’t want the help.  I am interested in helping others who want to make positive individual changes especially in the way of their diet and that’s why I created this site in the first place.

 

If you want to take your health into your own hands you are on the right track.  I am an advocate of discussing all things Blendtec and Vitamix because I truly enjoy blending and cooking with these blenders but I use them for the benefit of my overall health as much as I do for pure fun.  My health has never been in serious condition and I want to keep it that way for as long as I can.

It’s time to rely less on others to do the homework we should be doing and rely more on our own intuition and instincts.

Time to get off the soapbox:)

 

Brendon Thadeus

 

 

 

 

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designer_series_with_twistar_jarAbout a year ago I wrote this post explaining features of the typical Blendtec blender and why that brand might be best suited to your needs.  A lot of people who have read that post took (and continue to take) action.

Now that some time has passed, I feel obligated to readers who are still deciding whether they should buy a Vitamix or a Blendtec blender to provide the most up to date information I have regarding both brands.  Things can change fast during the course of a year, and buying a Blendtec in 2012 might be vastly different than buying a Blendtec last year.

The changes are twofold – the attributes you covet in a blender may have changed, and the characteristics of the blenders themselves might also be different from last year to this year.

So what significant changes has Blendtec made regarding their blenders from 2011 to 2012?

None.

Blendtec has released the Total Blender Designer Series model this year, and I wrote about that blender here.  You’ll be otherwise happy to know that the information in last year’s post about Blendtec being a better blender option is still as reliable then as it is now.

Instead of editing that original post though, I am going to add some fresh content right here that will help you decide whether you are really better off with Blendtec and not Vitamix.

So why is Blendtec a better buy for you than a Vitamix?

The Technical Advantage

You’ll become very familiar with the touch pad and the LCD Information Center when you purchase a Blendtec blender.  Blendtec encourages those who embrace technology and automation with it’s customary pre-programmed cycles.

This comes direct from my Blendtec owner’s manual:

  • The Blendtec Total Blender has labeled touchpad buttons that represent automatic blending cycles for various needs. These cycles have variable speed settings that will change during the course of the cycle. This allows the blender to draw the contents into the blending vortex, which creates the desired texture. The blender will run its pre-programmed cycle and automatically shut off. If at any point you want to stop the blender before it has completed its cycle press any lower row button.

In other words, if you want a smoothie, simply add the contents of your mixture to your blender, put the lid on, hit the pre-programmed ‘smoothie’ button, and the rest is history.  The buttons on the Fourside and the Wildside look like this:

  • Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt
  • Ice Crush/Milkshake
  • Soups/Syrups/Fondues
  • Sauces/Dips/Dressings/Batters
  • Whole Juice
  • Smoothies

The new Designer Series pre-programmed buttons look like this:

  • Batters
  • Ice Crush
  • Smoothie
  • Ice Cream
  • Whole Juice
  • Soups

Vitamix blenders do not work this way.  The Vitamix 5200 for example is a manual operation machine.  You have to turn the machine on, spin the speed dial to your desired blend speed manually, flip another switch if you want even higher power, and then basically reverse those steps to turn the machine off.  If you aren’t scared off by Blendtec’s technical prowess and don’t want to babysit your blender for the duration of your blend, you want to purchase a Blendtec blender.

Fits Like A Glove

A consistent complaint regarding Vitamix is the fact that their blenders are too big.  Too big as in they don’t fit under kitchen cabinets very well.

It’s true.  They don’t fit very well.  Blendtec has a graphic on their website that I will re-post here to illustrate the problem:

will_Blendtec_fit_underneath_my_cabinets

 

Vitamix has since addressed that issue by creating a blender pitcher that while only 48oz. is compact enough to fit under the average kitchen cabinet.  That’s great, but unfortunately you lose considerable blending space – 14oz. to be exact – because Blendtec blender bases and 64oz. pitchers both fit underneath most kitchen cabinets.  Yet Vitamix charges the same price for the 48oz. combo instead of making it slightly less expensive!

When I upgraded to the Vitamix 5200 not too long ago I had to opt for the smaller pitcher to get it to fit properly on my counter top and under the cabinets.  And I paid the same price that I would have if I had chosen the larger pitcher.  My old Drink Machine has to be stowed away underneath since it’s too big, as if I have the room for yet another appliance.  If cabinet space is an issue, and you want the full 64oz. pitcher, buy a Blendtec.

Age, Or Beauty?

Vitamix has been around for over 90 years.  You read that right, ninety years.  Blendtec was started in the mid to late 70′s.  Yet despite the obvious head start in age, Blendtec blenders have an aesthetic that in my opinion is more appealing than any Vitamix.  If you are lucky enough to see some pictures of the Vitamix blenders of yesteryear you’ll see that not much at all has changed.  In fact, it seems like Vitamix is getting, well, uglier – the 1960′s models were all chromed out and still look pretty sweet today in a vintage, nostalgic kind of way.

Let’s face it, Blendtec blenders look great on top of granite, marble, and just about any other common kitchen counter top.  It’s like parking your race car in your kitchen.  Or dining with a supermodel.

Who’s On Cleanup?

Cleaning the base of a Blendtec shouldn’t be any more easy or difficult than cleaning the base of a Vitamix blender.  Cleaning their respective pitchers is a different story.

Vitamix pitchers are generally more narrow than Blendtec’s, and Vitamix pitchers have a four pronged blade attached while Blendtec uses a two prong blade to do the same thing.  Every now and then you will find that simply adding soap and water to your pitcher and turning on the machine to clean it won’t work at 100%.  You will have to go in and physically clean your pitcherto remove the hard to reach/clean spots, which puts Blendtec ahead because there is more room to maneuver about the interior of a Blendtec pitcher than there is a Vitamix pitcher.

While it might not save you hours of clean up time (if it takes you hours to clean one of these pitchers you’re either blending without the lid attached or your cooking with cement) but there is no denying that the Blendtec is easier to clean.  I’ve had to clean both thousands of times over.

Those are some of the glaring attributes that make the Blendtec blender the obvious choice for you.  Let’s face it, you don’t become the direct rival of the longest running high powered blender businesses this quickly without doing some things better than your rival.  Blendtec hasn’t been around for half the time Vitamix has and they find themselves standing neck and neck in the industry.  That’s very impressive.

Okay I’m convinced…..but what model should I choose?

If price is your top concern: Get the Fourside.  It’s the least expensive of the big three, coming in at $435.  I understand that Blendtec sells some reconditioned units at about $50 less than a brand new Fourside model, but do you really want to sacrifice four warrantied years over $50?  Reconditioned units carry a 3 year warranty, new units come with 7 years.  Also, Blendtec has a three payment plan option that makes purchasing one of their units much easier.

I want the best right from the beginning: Get the Designer Series.  If you haven’t yet read my review on it, do so here.

I’m in the middle.  Don’t want the top of the budget, don’t want the bottom either: The Wildside is a fine choice.  It’s in the middle as far as price is concerned but is super powerful and compares favorably to the Designer Series in all aspects of performance.  The two are different only in style.

Good luck making your decision – I have no doubt that you will be blown away by these machines.  I still marvel in their ability and this isn’t my first rodeo.

 

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strawberry ice cream in a blenderI can still feel the excitement I had as a child in anticipation of eating Neapolitan ice cream.  We are talking about three flavors of ice cream for the price of one; who could possibly pass up a deal like that?  Certainly not this kid.

Eating Neapolitan ice cream as a youth was just as much a science for me as it was an art.  I would start by eating the vanilla and the chocolate portions first, and save the entire strawberry sliver for last.  It would go down just like this: eat the vanilla and chocolate together at a ratio of about 2:1.  This ice cream eating strategy would eliminate the vanilla completely while leaving less than half of the chocolate left, and would preserve the best flavor, strawberry, for last.  I liked chocolate the least of the three but didn’t want to ruin the vanilla by always combining the two, so I opted to mix them at a ratio that would allow me to eat some vanilla alone (good enough!) and some chocolate alone (easier to do when you know strawberry is on deck!)

Then I would ’round third and come home in a full sprint, if you will.  Who knew eating ice cream could get so technical?

I’m a funny eater that way – I like to eat the majority of my favorite portions of the meal towards the end of the dish.

Eating strawberry ice cream has always been nostalgic for me and now I make it regularly for my family.  This strawberry ice cream recipe is one of the easiest to make and is surprisingly tangy and flavorful.

 

Tantalizing Strawberry Ice Cream - My 'Berry Blend

By Brendon Thadeus Published: August 2, 2012

  • Yield: 1 quart (6-8 Servings)
  • Prep: 2 mins
  • Cook: 1 min
  • Ready In: 3 mins

This strawberry ice cream recipe is packed with powerful flavors and even stronger memories!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. homemade strawberry ice creamAdd whole strawberries, creamer, heavy cream, agave, and ice in exact order to your blender. Blend on medium-high for about one minute. Serve!

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juicing vs blendingIt’s okay to be what you are and nothing more.  Really, it is.

In the case of Vitamix and Blendtec, both blenders perform not just one, but a number of functions better than any other comparable device.

Obviously, their smoothie making capabilities are unmatched.  They also ‘process’ food better than all other food processors that exist – when used correctly.  These blenders happen to grind coffee beans they way coffee beans should be ground, in this man’s humble opinion.  They are acute machines that perform numerous tasks at an optimum level.

But can they juice?

Before I offer my real opinion on Vitamix and Blendtec blenders and their juicing capabilities, we’re going to back to school.  We’re going to dissect a juicer in biology class and talk a little physics after that.

Never fear – this is open book and there is no test at the end ;)

 

How Does A High Powered Juicer Work?

Juicers are small centrifuges that pit forces against each other – inertia and centrifugal force -  to extract juice from your fruits and vegetables.  For lack of a better definition a centrifuge is any piece of equipment that is powered by a motor, spins its content and applies force to the area perpendicular to its axis.

The juicer comes with a sieve – which is used to separate the elements of the fruit or veggies that you do want – the juice – from the elements of the fruit and vegetables that you do not want – the pulp.

Blenders do not come with sieves.  That does not mean that you can’t juice with a Blendtec or Vitamix though.

When you turn on a juicer, the motor starts spinning the centrifuge and when you drop your food items towards the slicer, the force of the spin sends the fruit crashing into the walls of the sieve.  As the force of the fruit hits the sieve the juice seeps through into one container while the pulp is thrown into another container.

Once the juice is fully extracted from the fruit, the job is complete.  You now have a perfect cup, or cups, of delicious pulp free juice.

Now back to Blendtec and Vitamix.

 

Juicing Vs Blending In My Own Words

Blenders blend.  Blending is the process of combining pulp and juice.  Juicing separates.

If you want to juice with a Vitamix or a Blendtec, and get an end result similar to one provided by a juicer like this Omega model, you’re going to have to do a bit more work.

You will need a high quality mesh strainer to filter liquid that may be too thick to be considered true juice.  Depending on how many ingredients you used in your blend as well as the type of ingredients, you may or may not achieve your desired results.

If the liquid is too thick for the strainer, you can always add water or another liquid with a comparable consistency to water, but now you’ve changed or diluted your food.

This sounds like too much work for me and your results are going to vary.

While you can get juice using these blenders, they cannot ‘juice’ as well as the best juicers on the market.  Even the Breville Juice Fountain Plus is more efficient.

 

Hopefully by now your juicer vs blender questions have been answered.  There is no doubt I love Blendtec and Vitamix blenders for their multi tasking capabilities, but when it comes to perfect juice every time I need a juicer to supplement my cooking.  You certainly can get juice by using a blender, and get results, but nothing can replace a well built commercial juicer.

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Blendtec Total Designer Series FiveAn affair with an appliance – The Blendtec Total Blender Designer Series Blender

 

I recently bought the Vitamix 5200 Standard after getting a chance to test drive it with a friend of mine.  So I am officially out of the market for blenders.  Most of you reading this blog are still deciding whether to purchase a Vitamix or a Blendtec blender, so I’ll do my best to see that you get the information you’re looking for.

If you are considering purchasing the Blendtec Total Blender Designer Series model, you most likely fall into certain categories of buyers.  These buyers are:

  • Not looking to find a budget model Vitamix or Blendtec blender.  This one tops the Blendtec vs Vitamix home blender market out at $499.
  • Interested just as much in aesthetics as they are performance.  This is an absolutely beautiful blender.
  • Likely to display the blender on your kitchen counter tops and make it a focal point when company is over for lunch or dinner
  • Looking for the strongest, most powerful home blender that either Blendtec or Vitamix can offer.  This is that blender.

 

I’ll give you the good and the bad below, and if I still haven’t answered your questions feel free to shoot me an email.

 

What You Might Not Like About This Blender

 

The Lid

In my quest to anoint this blender as the blender that makes the smoothest smoothie, I was stopped short at the lid.

The lid is very flat on the exterior, which is great for space saving purposes, but there is a huge hole in the lid for a plastic cap.  The hole itself shouldn’t surprise you – it’s the plastic cap you remove when you need to use a tamper that you may have a problem with.

When you flip this lid upside down you’ll notice a lot of crevices where little chunks of food can get stuck.  The wide circumference of the pitcher and the two prong blade will force your food items to splash to the top of the blender.  Because the food hits the lid pretty hard during a typical blend, food can get stuck in the lid and fall into your mixture after a blend cycle, leaving small amounts of chunks.

Now can this happen?  You bet it can.  Will it happen?  Not necessarily.

 

 

 

The Power

 

This blender can reach 270 mph.  That’s a lot of muscle.  There are countless benefits to owning a blender that can reach that type of speed.

Yet – even with rubber stoppers on the bottom of the machine it will sometimes slide across your counter tops at the higher speeds if you don’t ‘spot’ it.  Do you have granite counter tops?  Hold the machine down because it will creep very slowly out of its original position on you too.  There are ways to combat the sliding, but having to constantly monitor the machine while in use may be annoying if you have many other moving pieces and parts during your kitchen cooking routine.

 

No Tamper

 

Blendtec blenders do not typically come with a tamper.  They give users the opportunity to use one by ventilating the lids with a plastic cap, but let’s face it – some of us are going to need a tamper.  Unless you are a professional there will come a time when you overfill your blender or you add ingredients in the wrong sequence and the food won’t get sucked into the vortex. A tamper solves that problem easily, so why not add one?  Blendtec even advertises that you won’t need a tamper with their machines – they’re giving us too much credit here.

 

What You’ll love about this blender

 

Blendtec Total Designer Series FourSophistication

 

The Blendtec Designer Series incorporates capacitive touch via the blender interface.  You use the same technology on your smartphone, or your All-In-One wireless desktop computer.  The power control recognizes the heat from your finger and it illuminates the rest of the programming options.

It also features a manual slider speed control.  Now, instead of hitting different pre-programmed buttons mid blend or starting and stopping abruptly to make things like salsa, you simply adjust the speed of the blend by sliding your finger left or right.  This is very convenient for better than average cooks who know that adjusting speeds is the key to perfection in certain dishes.

Blendtec Total Designer Series Two

Blendtec Total Blender Designer Series OneDining With A Supermodel

 

Or two supermodels, depending on what your human company looks like;)

The Total Blender Designer Series has the word ‘designer’ in it for a reason.  Blendtec wanted to achieve sleek, sophisticated, and modern with their newest release.  This Designer Series model was Blendtec’s excuse to combine maximum power (it still holds the strongest motor distinction over Vitamix) with beauty and elegance.  Muscle and looks.  If you want a pretty blender, this is a pretty blender.

 

Flexibility

 

Take your old Fourside pitcher or Wildside pitcher and put it on the base of the new Blendtec Total Blender Designer Series.  They’ll both fit perfect.  In fact, this new blender base is compatible with the Twistar jar too.  If you had a favorite recipe from your older Blendtec you can import it without altering your measurements.  Same great recipe, improved results in the end.

 

Some other quick points to consider:

  • Sits 15” tall and will fit under most cabinets
  • The warranty is a seven year warranty
  • The blender and lid together weigh about 8 lbs.
  • Comes in one color only – Champagne Metallic
  • Recipe book is included in the purchase
  • Redirected air intake and outflow which reduces overheating and extends the life of the blender

Would I buy this blender?  Yeah I’d love to own blender number four:)  That’s pretty unrealistic at this point.  If it were my first purchase and money was no concern I would be happy with the purchase.  I love the Vitamix 5200 but it is a far second in the looks department and it is bulkier than this blender.

If you are looking to make a splash right out of the gate then buy this one.  It looks awesome, packs some serious punch, lasts longer than any previous Blendtec and did I mention it looks awesome?Blendtec Total Designer Series Three

If you have questions contact me at support@blenderbattles.com.

by Brendon Thadeus

 

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Vitamix 5200 Reviews

My new Vitamix 5200 with the compact container

Change is inevitable.

I’ve made a change recently that while not terribly earth shattering it is certainly different, and for the better.

I bought the Vitamix 5200.

If you have read the majority information on this site you now know that I own three (yes, three) high powered blenders -  two Vitamix blenders and one Blendtec blender.

Now I don’t plan on keeping all three -  I’ll be sending my original Vitamix to a proud new owner, but I have upgraded to the Vitamix 5200 after being given the chance to test drive it with a friend of mine.  I explain why I made the upgrade towards the bottom of these Vitamix 5200 reviews.

After using it for a few weeks now I think it is time to give those of you considering purchasing this blender my full review.  This review is going to turn out to be a few Vitamix reviews wrapped up into one because there are three package variations of the Vitamix 5200 and it’s important to know what the differences between those versions are.

The Vitamix 5200 Standard – What’s In The Box

The Standard version is the machine I purchased.  My wife picked the color (white) but it also comes in black, red, platinum, and brushed stainless, although you’ll pay $50 more for the last two colors.  White looks great.  Strangely enough (because white is the hardest color to keep clean) Sylvia also had a white 5200.  In addition to the standard version there are two additional 5200 series ‘packages’ you can purchase – the Vitamix 5200 Super and the Vitamix 5200 Deluxe.  I’ll explain the differences later.

A 64oz Pitcher

The Standard comes with one dry 64oz pitcher.  Because I also own a Blendtec blender I didn’t need an additional blender for wet ingredients.  There is also a smaller, more compact 48oz pitcher if you are concerned with fitting the machine on your counter top.  I opted for the smaller container.  It’s a space saving thing.

Recipe Book

In addition to the blender pitcher the Vitamix 5200 standard comes with a recipe book titled “Whole Food Recipes”.  It is a hard bound three ring binder that has full color pictures.

Despite having worked in commercial kitchens and upper level restaurant management positions in full service restaurants for 15 years I do not consider myself a culinary visionary.  I know how to follow a recipe and I am capable of making simple recipe tweeks to my liking that didn’t require a degree from the Culinary Institute of America to concoct.  That’s what is great about owning a mega blender – you can still create delicious soups, smoothies, salsas and more without being an expert.  If you can follow a recipe you’re ahead of the curve.  My point is this – if you buy this blender do yourself a favor and take a glance at the recipe book that comes with it.  You might actually enjoy one or two of them!

Tamper

For those of you who may not know a tamper is, it’s a device that fits through the hole in the top of the blender lid and stretches down through the middle of the pitcher and stops just above the blades.  You use the tamper to facilitate the movement and blending of the food that you are trying to blend.  In the event the blender blades aren’t pulling the contents of the pitcher down you use the tamper to push or ‘feed’ the contents into the blades.  There is a collar on the tamper that prevents it from touching the blades.  This tamper is especially important if you are planning on making things like peanut butter.

Getting Started Guide/DVD

The dvd is useful – it has some cooking class tutorials that you may benefit from.  The getting started guide is self-explanatory.

Warranty

I am entitled to a full service seven year warranty with my purchase so long as the machine is operated in a non-commercial manner, setting or venue.

 

The Differences Between the Standard, the Super, and the Deluxe

 

The Vitamix 5200 Super

The Super package differs from the Standard package in two ways:

  • It has an additional pitcher (a 32oz dry grains pitcher for dry ingredients)
  • It has an additional recipe book (for whole grains)

The Vitamix 5200 Super is the exact same machine and motor as the Vitamix 5200 Standard.  Don’t let the fact that there are three different 5200 packages confuse you because the machine and the motor are the same.

The Vitamix 5200 Deluxe

The Vitamix 5200 Deluxe comes with:

  • Two extra pitchers – the 32oz dry grains pitcher and another 32oz regular pitcher for a total of three
  • Four cutting boards
  • A three pack spatula set

Vitamix vs Blendtec warrantyYou also get the same two recipe books with the Deluxe as you do the Super.  The Vitamix 5200 Deluxe is perfect for the chef or aspiring chef that cooks primarily at home.  All three packages come with a full seven year warranty.

 

Performance – The Apple Skin Test

If you read Silvia’s Vitamix 5200 review as well as my take on the blender at the end of her review you know that the Vitamix 5200 passed my ‘apple skin’ test.

An apple’s skin is very tough and hard to shred to a pulp.  Even the strongest motors and blades struggle with annihilating an apple skin completely.  The Vitamix 5200 blades do not struggle with an apple skin.

That happens to be the reason I bought one myself.  The Vitamix 5200 pulverizes an apple skin in the true sense of pulverization.  It shreds the skin completely leaving virtually nothing but pure liquid.  After speaking with the great folks at Vitamix they have confirmed that the ‘smoothness’ of the liquid was a main focus when reformulating the design and operation of the machines motor.  The Vitamix 5200 produces the smoothest, creamiest smoothie of all of the high powered blenders I have used.  The smoothies taste and feel like perfect smoothies.  I am a happy camper.  I can’t wait to test it out on soups.

Performance – Noise

Two and three horsepower motors packed into a small, confined space weren’t meant to be unheard.  This didn’t stop Vitamix from seeking to create the markets least loud blender – and in my opinion they succeeded.  The Vitamix 5200 produces the least amount of noise per cycle than all of the blenders I have owned and used in my culinary career.

Conclusion

These were the major differences between this machine and the ones I used to own, both Vitamix and Blendtec.  They are the only two factors that I considered when deciding to make the upgrade.  I still have to put the machine away after every use because it won’t fit in a snug position on my kitchen counter top but it would only clutter the area more than it already is anyway.

 

Who Is the Vitamix 5200 Right For?

If you have made up your mind that you want to make even the smallest commitment to eating healthier or cooking more at home then give this blender a try.  It doesn’t really even have to be about health either.  I think people unfairly link these types of blenders to the raw food or the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle movement and it isn’t like that at all.  You can make delicious ice creams and sorbets at home with this blender.  You could refine and perfect your pasta sauce, whip up some delicious alcoholic treats, even make some delectable pancake or waffle mixes.  I do it all the time.

It’s Just Fun To Use

Quite simply – the Vitamix 5200 is right for the individual who wants some sort of change in the way food appears in your everyday life.

It doesn’t need to be any more specific or complicated than that.  If you have become bored with your everyday food routine, get this blender!  It’s a ton of fun to experiment with and it’s mind numbingly easy to use.  Owning one almost forces you (in a fun, enjoyable way) to search for neat new recipes and it takes very little effort to recreate the recipe yourself with a blender when you find one.  You may come to find that you actually enjoy the hunt for something new to create so you will benefit directly from other people’s expertise!  I do it a lot and I am just as lazy as the next person.

If you are a fan of the Chopped’s and the Iron Chef’s of the world, take a look at the blenders used in those kitchens.  Do you recognize them?  It’s the Vitamix 5200.  Giada de Laurentis was on a Holiday segment of NBC’s ‘Today Show’ making a fatty delicious New Year’s feast using guess what? The Vitamix 5200.  They.Are.Everywhere.

If you managed to read all the way through these long winded Vitamix 5200 reviews of mine than I have to congratulate you – sometimes I talk a lot.  Please don’t forget to email me at support@blenderbattles.com if you have questions.  I receive lots of email but I will try my best to answer your questions or concerns just as quick as I can.

Lastly – for those of you who would rather order over the phone – keep code 06-007258 handy.  Call Vitamix at 440-782-2303  or 800-848-2649 (ext 2303) and ask specifically for J.P. Minard.  He will take your order securely over the phone and give you free shipping when you use that code.

Enjoy!

-Brendon

Blendtec vs Vitamix 5200

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The Blendtec Blender Is Better…..Here’s Why

by Brendon Thadeus on 3:29 pm

 

blendtec_vs_vitamix_wildsideIn the last Blendtec vs Vitamix installment I went over the features that may make the Vitamix blender the more superior of these two powerhouse blenders based on certain characteristics you covet.

This article explains how a Blendtec blender might just be the right blender for you. Below I will discuss the features and benefits that make the Blendtec blender the better blender option for your needs. Once you have read and analyzed both posts you should have a much better idea which brand is best suited for you.

1. Technology

All Blendtec blenders have an LCD display and a touch pad with six pre-programmed blending cycles or speeds (in addition to a manual operation function).  The guesswork has been taken out of finding the correct blending speeds for each unique food item.  Remember, foods have all sorts of different textures and those foods will blend best at different speeds according to that texture.  You can’t blend whole apple juice at the same rate you would an apple puree and expect the same exact texture because they will come out different.  Since Blendtec blenders blend certain items at varying speeds throughout the blending process automatically, all you need to do is press the appropriate button one and the speed adjustments are made for you.  Set it and forget it!

2. Versatility

When it comes to blending dry and wet ingredients in a Vitamix blender, you will need two separate pitchers, one for blending wet ingredients and one for blending dry ingredients.  With a Blendtec blender, you will only need one pitcher as Blendtec pitchers will grind both wet and dry ingredients. When you blend grains in your Blendtec pitcher the reservoir will become cloudy–this is perfectly normal. If you were to try to do the same in a Vitamix wet pitcher the results would be pretty ugly and I don’t suggest you try it.  Buying a Blendtec saves you from having to purchase two carafes right from the start, a saving s of over $100.

3. Cleaning

The Blendtec blender is easier to clean than a Vitamix blender. The Blendtec carafe is square shaped but the blades are two prong (not four prong like Vitamix) which makes scraping ingredients out of the Blendtec pitcher and cleaning it’s interior much simpler.  The distance between the ends of the blades and the carafe walls is greater in the typical Blendtec blender than in the Vitamix blender.  Not only will you retain the majority of the food you blend, you can reach the bottom of the pitcher much easier reducing build up and saving time.

4. Price

No need to ramble on about this one. Blendtec blenders are typically less expensive than comparable Vitamix blenders. They have done an exceptional job of keeping the price of their blenders lower without sacrificing features or overall quality.  I used to beat up those Total Blender Classic Series Wildside blenders I worked with in one particular restaurant and they put up quite the fight.   Let’s not forget an important point – these are commercial grade machines being used inside the home.  They are built to withstand punishment.  When you work in a fast paced kitchen like I have you can’t help but bang and bruise the equipment you work with.  It’s the nature of fast paced restaurant work.  I can say first hand that Blendtec produces a tough product.  I am much, well, easier on my Total Blender at home.

March 2012 Update: Blendtec.com has just reduced the price of their Wildside blender to $454.95.  Awesome news and a great price.

You can still get the Blendtec Fourside at Amazon for $399.95 (best deal there is for this blender right now) as well as the Widside for $454.95.

5. Vanity

Don’t aesthetics count for something?  Blendtec blenders are prettier than Vitamix blenders, in my opinion.  I like the sleek, almost aerodynamic design of the Blendtec.  I suppose it ‘blends’ in better with my other kitchen appliances and my kitchen in general.  Plus it fits better under my cabinets; my Drink Machine has to be stored underneath.

These benefits list can be applied to the Total blender series models, the Blendtec Classic Fourside Blender and the Blendtec Wildside Blender.  The two differences between these two blenders is the size of the blade (3″ for the Total blender, 4″ for the Wildside blender) and the size of the pitcher (2 qts for the Total, 3 qts for the Wildside).  If you have a larger family you’ll want the Wildside for it’s size.

There you have it!  Each blender has qualities that make it unique but only you know which of those qualities best suits you.

If you have questions, feel free to contact us at support@blenderbattles.com and we will try and respond as soon as we can.

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