When it comes to kitchen tools, blenders are pretty close to the top of the list of things every chef needs to have. What are you making, salsa? Soup? Salad dressing? From William's Sonoma to Walmart, you'll find myriad brands – Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, Oster and Philips – that offer different features at a range of price points.
And then there's the Vitamix. The silent hulking blender behemoth that's currently enjoying a lot of media coverage as a powerful workhorse, the secret ingredient we're all missing that promises endless possibilities in the kitchen.
In many circles, including professional chefs, the Vitamix has become something of an icon for healthy eating. What gives?
What the heck is it?
The Vitamix isn't your typical department store purchase. This hefty machine (it weighs in at about 11 pounds, which helps keep it from flying off the counter during operation) is a blender, food processor and dough kneader all rolled into one.
What's all the hype about?
It does everything a normal blender can do - blend dips, salad dressing, puree soups, etc. - but thanks to that powerful 2-horsepower motor (that is almost as fast as a lawnmower) it can also do a lot more. With the Vitamix it's actually possible to juice whole foods, heat up soup, make frozen desserts, and homemade nut butters.
Frankly, if we don't think about the issue of cost (because something this sturdy and durable, and offering this many features is bound to be pricy), the only downside to this machine seems to be that it's a little difficult to clean– the blade doesn't separate from the pitcher. But there are ways to work around that.
Is it splurge-worthy?
At upwards of $450, the Vitamix is a long-term investment. Would we call it a miracle? In so much as it's a product that can save you time and counter space (by providing several tools in one), perhaps, and you'll definitely become the envy of your friends. But life changing? If you don't care to juice whole foods, heat up soup while you're making it, or for any of the other bells and whistles that characterize this machine, you're better off sticking with a lower end model. With a little know-how and for less than half the price you can find a reliable blender that serves your healthy eating needs perfectly.