If you’ve been anywhere even relatively close to a CostCo or department store as of late, you’ve seen the Vitamix series of blenders. In our local store they’re seemingly doing a smoothie demo almost every time we’re there.
The bottom line on these is that they’re kind of expensive, super popular and have this weird, cult-like following. It didn’t take very long for us to cave and get one after repeated, impromptu reassurances from friends about them being the ‘best blender ever’ and lifetime quality and all this and that. Does the Vitamix hold up to the tall hype? Let’s see.
If I had to describe my Vitamix in a few words it would be: classic, expensive and refined.
It looks like a blender, that much is clear. It doesn’t come in 42 colors (only 2 actually, black and white, thought there are similar models that come in red). It doesn’t have a glass pitcher. It’s got a rock solid, heavy base with the little rubber pegs for feet to ensure that the blender doesn’t slip around on the counter.
The thing is – that’s it. It doesn’t look like anything special, but what it does, it does well.
These are some of the most powerful blenders on the consumer market. 1,380 watts… that’s close to 2 horsepower of ice crushing, smoothie making oomph.
Vitamix is marketing itself as a professional quality product for use in home kitchens. Yeah, they’re a little more expensive, but they’re still a bargain for a professional grade appliance.
Ours is able to handle anything we throw at it. One thing that we learned early on though, to enhance the end product of smoothies and stuff is that if you’re going to be using a lot of ice, make sure to put some pure liquid down below it. For us, this often means coconut milk or almond milk as the base in our shakes. I’ll normally throw the ice on top of the banana we include too. It seems to help things blend a little quicker and easier and you’ll get a super nice, fine texture without the little ice pieces that are often left behind.
One cool thing about the Vitamix that a lot of people don’t realize is that the blades can reach such a high speed that they’ll actually warm your food through friction. Something to definitely keep in mind when you’re spinning out a smoothie for a few minutes, or wanting to warm up a soup.
The BPA free jar is a generous 64 ounces, and pretty much shatterproof. Ours has seen innumerable trips through the dishwasher without getting brittle or cloudy in appearance.
I’d rate this as one of the more solid, nearly indestructible appliances we’ve tested.
By now, you guys know how I do things. The attached blades are perfect for me. I simply grab the jar and take it over to the sink, use the sprayer to spray it out and pop it back on the base. Done.
Do note that I don’t often use the included stick for pushing down ingredients through the lid. In my testing the blade design does a great job with the vacuum / cyclone force to bring the bigger pieces down to the blade arrangement.
You get the blender itself (base + 64oz jar), a plunging / pushing stick that goes through a whole in the lid (pretty cool) and some various other materials; a book of recipes, sometimes a dvd and information stuff depending on where you get your package.
I think the Vitamix is a good value, though not initially. It’s going to cost you 2-3x what a similar blender would cost, but over the long run you’ll make up for it with a more powerful, faster, and longer lasting appliance. In truth, I can see you replacing other models more often, and therefore keeping this one long enough to make up for the difference in price.
The Bottom Line
Would I recommend the Vitamix 5200 series? If you’ve got the cash and want something rock solid, for a long term appliance… then yes. Of course. Whereas with other blenders, over time you’ll find that you have to accommodate for their little perks and weaknesses; I once had a blender that couldn’t really do a great job with ice, so I’d just mix the ingredients and throw it in the freezer until it firmed up some; this type of thing won’t happen with the Vitamix. It just works.