Whizz the day away by investing in a quality blender to make light work of soups, smoothies and other puréed treats. Discover our pick of the best, from budget models to cheffy bits of statement kit.
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Lots of modern models have specific smoothie and soup settings. Moreover, blenders can be used for more general kitchen tasks, like making sauces such as mayonnaise and pesto, or batters for pancakes and Yorkshire pudding that need to be pulsed until smooth.
While you'll need a decent amount of cupboard space to store this hefty piece of gadgetry, you can find blenders for as little as £20, making it an accessible, affordable and corner-cutting investment.
Smeg Retro food blender
Blender with best aesthetic
You can’t fault Smeg for design and this blender stays true to the company’s retro-inspired aesthetic with aplomb. It's available in a range of nifty pastel shades, and eschews lots of buttons in favour of one simple knob with four settings, plus pulse, smoothie and ice functions.
This blender is ideal if you're prone to butter fingers and prefer a plastic jug as this feels just as robust as a glass jug. As a nice added extra, the base of the blender comes with a handy ring for securing the plug cable into a neat coil for storage.
Russell Hobbs Food blender
Best value blender
This is a great entry-level blender ideal for students keen to cook budget-friendly soups. What it lacks in aesthetic flourishes, it makes up for with ease of use. The blade is strong but the plastic feels flimsier than more expensive models as it’s very light. It didn’t shake during use, however, meaning the secure function is sound.
Sage Boss to Go blender
Best blender for time-pressed health buffs
This Sage model has a smaller jug that’s specially designed for portability – much like the phenomenally popular Nutribullet – although it feels quite large and could probably hold enough for two people. It’s designed for drinks so smoothness is its speciality. Let it be said, this is a serious piece of kit with a 1000W motor and ‘Kinetix’ blending action, designed for a 42% finer blitz. It’s an expensive choice but compact and made by a trusted brand, so if you’re serious about your smoothies, this could be the one for you.
Ever tried smashing chickpeas with a potato masher to make hummus? Or manually juicing citrus with a hand squeezer? If the answer’s yes, you’ll know this kind of pulverisation takes time and elbow grease. A blender bypasses all of that and is a great investment for soup or cocktail lovers too. As well as being designed to purée warm ingredients, lots of blenders can be used to crush ice too.
Which blender should I buy?
Blenders are fairly uniform in size, and while the base has a smallish footprint, the glass or plastic jugs can usually hold over a litre of water, so they can be difficult to store, especially when you factor in the handle. For this reason, it’s good to buy a blender with a jug that can be easily stood up in the fridge, as it doubles up as a storage vessel.
A basic blender will have a simple blitz function, sometimes in different speeds, but the more you pay the more settings you get, whether that’s specific smoothie, soup or ice functions. It’s worth considering whether you want a glass or plastic jug – plastic might be less prone to breakages, but may feel a little flimsier.
Jugs with measurements are handy for those times when you want to quickly throw together the ingredients for a smoothie. Pour holes are handy for making mayonnaise as you can gradually add olive oil in a slow trickle.
What we look for when testing blenders
Blade strength: Arguably the most important quality in a blender is the strength of blade, although don’t go prodding your fingers around them to check. The best marker of blade strength is how quickly they work through hard ingredients. For that reason, we tested the blenders using hard vegetables.
Speed of blitzing: We timed each blender for how long it took to work through the vegetables.
Ease of use: We looked for blenders that were easy to unpack and set up, and those with functions that were easy to get our head around – pointless buttons and knobs just complicate matters.
Jug strength: Whether plastic or glass, a sturdy jug is an absolute essential, especially if you’re going to be pouring hot liquid into it.
Loudness: All blenders make a bit of a racket, but those that kept the din down to a minimum were judged favourably.
Functions: We totted up the number of added functions of each blender to assess whether they offered any extra benefits.
How we tested: We tested 11 blenders using raw carrot, beetroot and kale, lubricated by 500ml of water.
How to use a blender
This review was last updated in July 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.
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