What to Look for in a Blender for Protein Shakes
Type of Blender
There are three main types of blenders: countertop, high-performance, and single-serve.
Countertop blenders have a classic large pitcher with a handle and are mounted on top of a motor base. These are user-friendly and come with various functions, like mix, crush, blend, and puree.
High-performance blenders have the most functionalities as well as the strongest motors, often yielding the smoothest consistency. From grinders to food processors, these multifunctional appliances can be used for a variety of ingredients, including tougher items like nuts and ice.
Single-serve blenders are the most space-efficient of the three. The pitcher is much smaller—serving only one portion—and often doubles as a to-go cup. Given their size, single-serve blenders typically have less power, making them better suited for softer ingredients.
The motor size indicates the type and amount of food the blender can process at a time. The stronger the motor—reflected by a higher wattage—the better the results. Blenders with 1000 watts or more can not only handle tougher ingredients but also last longer. Additionally, they’re much larger in size. Lower powered units can have challenges when crushing ice and harder ingredients. They also tend to have a shorter life span with heavy use. On the other hand, lower-powered blenders come with a much cheaper price tag.
Variable Speed Control
Blenders with variable speed control enable users to start slow and gradually build up speed to reach their desired consistency. This function also allows users to layer in multiple ingredients at different times with varying textures. Variable speed control also puts far less stress on the motor, helping extend the life of a blender. Some blenders offer a manual speed control knob, while others have a digital touchpad with pre-programmed settings. Whether you prefer a manual or digital control system is a matter of personal preference.
In general, investing in a high-quality appliance built with top materials pays off in terms of durability and longevity. When choosing a blender, always opt for stainless steel blades as they’re usually the sturdiest.
Blending pitchers are typically made of plastic or glass. Glass doesn’t absorb odors like some plastics do and is preferred for blending hot food (like soup), but can be heavy and shatter easily. A plastic pitcher should always be BPA-free. Some high-end plastics can be expensive and are not always dishwasher safe. Do your research to find the best balance between quality, safety, and value.
Why Trust Verywell Fit
Emily Stone researches and reviews products for Verywell Fit and Verywell Health. Her favorite blender at the moment is the NutriBullet Pro (view at Amazon). It makes perfectly blended, grit-free smoothies, is easy to clean, and takes up minimal cabinet space.
Additional reporting to this story by Anne Cook Carroll, MS, RD, CDN
As a Registered Dietitian, Anne Carroll uses her clinical expertise to cut through marketing claims and get down to the science. These are all products that she has researched, vetted, and would recommend to her clients in private practice and incorporate into her own cooking. She currently uses the Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender (view at Amazon) in her kitchen to make healthy smoothies, soups, sauces, dips, and more.