Best blender for $100?
December 11, 2013 8:24 AM   Subscribe

I have started making smoothies in the morning, and my $30 wedding gift blender ain't cutting it anymore. I want a new one, and my budget is $100.

Of course I'd love a Vitamix. Who wouldn't? But my budget is definitely not $400 or anything near it. I don't care about making soups and hummus and peanut butter, I just want a better smoothie blender, one that doesn't start to smell funny when I try to blend chunks of frozen mango, god forbid.

I don't care about extra gadgets and functions and spare pitchers and whatnot. Just the best blender I can get for $100.
posted by pyjammy to Shopping (23 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
My bf just got a nutri-bullet; it has 600W motor and it is pretty damn good. We made veggie juice last night. This doesn't help you, but it is on sale at Canadian tire for $99, which means if you look for a good deal you should be able to find it online (in the US) for a little less.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:31 AM on December 11, 2013

As I type this I am drinking my morning smoothie out of my Ninja single serve cup. I LOVE it! It's a tad over 100 (130.00). Maybe shop around for deals. Good luck!
posted by WalkingHorse at 8:32 AM on December 11, 2013 [4 favorites]

I am VERY happy with my Magic Bullet. You can get them at any big box store (Wal-Mart, Target.)

It comes with multiple cups, which is super convenient.

I've had mine for about 5 years now and it still works perfectly. Great little multi-tasker.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:34 AM on December 11, 2013

I second the Ninja. I LOOOOVE my ninja.
posted by SarahBellum at 8:34 AM on December 11, 2013 [3 favorites]

Nutri-bullet on sale at amazon for $99
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:38 AM on December 11, 2013

This one is a tad over your budget, but I'm wondering if you could find it at overstock, or a department store with a coupon or such. I love this blender. It replaced my underpowered Cusinart duet, and chews up ice like a pro.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 8:40 AM on December 11, 2013

Consider a powerful hand blender. I seldom bothered with smoothies until I got one, but they are now very quick and easy to make to go (I use Ball jars) since the only cleanup is rinsing the blade afterwards.

I have a Miallegro 9090, currently $65, which has a 550W motor, was top-rated by Cooks Illustrated and destroys frozen fruit like a champ. It's also quite versatile for other purposes (such as soup), and stores very small, so it's one less thing to keep on the counter.
posted by susanvance at 8:53 AM on December 11, 2013 [4 favorites]

MAN, do I wish your budget was a wee bit higher, as I LOVE my Ninja Mega System.

I was very hesitant to buy anything that I'd seen on an infomercial, but I took the plunge and returned my Vitamix to Costco the very next week.

Should you decide to scooch up your budget a little bit, I think you would love this powerful and convenient machine.
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 8:59 AM on December 11, 2013

Ninja. I used to have one, it was great.
posted by cabingirl at 9:02 AM on December 11, 2013

I'm also in love with my Ninja, which I lovingly call the murderblender. The blender (without the many attachments that come with the system, and which, it sounds like, you don't care about anyhow) is a hundred bucks on Amazon. I use mine mostly for smoothies, and it does amazingly. Frozen fruit, whole raw carrots, kale, etc, and it all blends up really smoothly. I've even made carrot juice--a couple pounds of carrots, maybe a half cup of water, and a whole orange. I poured it through a fine mesh strainer to remove the pulp, and there was maybe a quarter cup of it for about 2-3 pounds of carrots. This blender is good.
posted by MeghanC at 9:09 AM on December 11, 2013

So many Ninja recommendations all of a sudden ...

I recommended Hamilton Beach's smoothie blender.
posted by Kruger5 at 9:21 AM on December 11, 2013

I have the Ninja Master Prep, which is awesome. I saw it for around $50 in Black Friday sales.

Last night I made sorbet in seconds, using ice cubes, frozen raspberries, a little sugar and a spoonful of creme fraiche. It was as smooth and delicious as any I've ever bought. It's also great for smoothies and soups, and the smaller container is perfect for grinding coffee beans (which come out almost as fine as in my burr grinder), chopping onions, nuts, herbs, breadcrumbs, chocolate ... It really is a great blender.
posted by essexjan at 9:46 AM on December 11, 2013

nthing the Ninja. I have the mega system and love it! Note, that thing is extremely LOUD!!!!
posted by ramix at 9:54 AM on December 11, 2013

I have a Magic Bullet, and I love it. It can blend up anything, ice, large chunks of frozen fruits anything. I've made pesto in it. If you hunt around you can get it on sale, I know i've seen it in Sams Club for less than $99.
posted by wwax at 9:58 AM on December 11, 2013

Previously people were not so into the Ninja but maybe that was because of the price? I have a friend who has a Ninja and LOVES it. I have had a Magic Bullet in the past and I thought it was great, though for quantity it is obviously not the best choice.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 10:02 AM on December 11, 2013

Stick blenders are great for just this thing. I had a Braun and then an upgraded version of the same many years ago, and it was super great; I'd make the smoothie in the morning and then just give it a nice rinse/clean and set it aside to use again the next day. I am almost pathologically against cleaning up any more paraphernalia than is strictly necessary, and this was way better than a regular blender.

They don't seem to make the same model anymore, but this guy looks like a good substitute.
posted by Madamina at 10:32 AM on December 11, 2013

Nthing a stick blender. I have this one, and Amazon reminds me that I've had it for almost 5 years. I actually think it works better for milkshakes and small quantities and thick things than my Vitamix, because you can move the blade towards the to-be-blended material. Not going to get it as smooth (so I wouldn't use it for a kale smoothie; underblended kale smoothies are approximately the worst thing in the world), but more compact, more efficient, and easier to clean.
posted by supercres at 11:14 AM on December 11, 2013

I have a Ninja. I've had it about one year now and use it pretty regularly. It's generally good for making smoothies. I don't think it really handles ice cubes all that well, in my experience. People rave about making near instant "snow" in the Ninja but I've never been able to accomplish that. Maybe it's the size/shape of the ice I'm using. I also find that the Ninja leaves large ice chunks in the smoothies/shakes I make with it. Or that it takes several "pumps" of the blender top to get the ice chunks (mostly) gone. Another issue I've had is that the blade shafts get worn down (or 'stripped') after a time. I've started to see this with the ones I have although it hasn't affected the functionality so far. One more annoyance with the Ninja is that sometimes after the initial blend food gets pushed up on the side and stays there so that you have to get a scraper and push it down again. This isn't so much a problem with more liquid things so it may not be something of concern for you.

For blending just fruit/juice/milk/leafy greens based smoothies I think the Ninja would work well. Using it to mix iced smoothies is a bit more problematic.
posted by moxiequz at 12:13 PM on December 11, 2013

I also like sticks but if you want a contained machine, what about a Ninja Master Prep? $55, blends frozen fruit and makes smoothies...
posted by DarlingBri at 1:17 PM on December 11, 2013

What about a commercial bar blender? Here is one on Amazon in your price range.
posted by jadepearl at 1:40 PM on December 11, 2013

I have a Ninja and it is great. I think it was $70.
posted by tacodave at 2:15 PM on December 11, 2013

I love my Nutri-Bullet and got it at Target for $99. It's so easy to use and clean. And the motor is very powerful.
posted by katypickle at 4:08 PM on December 11, 2013

Coming in to join the chorus of Ninja Master Prep owners. I've had mine for several years and I use it daily. It's a rock star.
posted by 26.2 at 8:01 PM on December 11, 2013

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