This test is part of How We Test Our Full-Sized Blenders v1.0
Given the significant demand for information on the best blender for smoothies, we understand the importance of providing precise and reliable reviews. To this end, our testing process began with a careful selection of full-sized blenders from a range of top brands.
We then evaluated the smoothie-making ability of each blender through a standardized test that involved processing a variety of fruits and leafy greens commonly used in smoothie recipes. By following strict testing protocols and assessing every aspect of the blender's smoothie-making abilities, we were able to accurately compare and contrast their performance and provide you with valuable insights.
Why The Test Matters
As we learn from our research, the true test of each blender’s performance lies in their ability to process high-fiber foods. This is where different blenders may show varying degrees of effectiveness, with some performing better than others.
As such, we've created a testing smoothie that combines kale, apple, banana, pineapple, and plant milk. While apple and banana are popular smoothie staples and can reveal some aspects of a blender's practicality, kale and pineapple present a unique challenge due to their tough and fibrous nature.
Kale, in particular, is a tricky ingredient to blend as its fibrous leaves can easily get stuck in the blades of a weak blender. During the blending process, the leaves can also get caught up and adhere to the walls of the blending container if the blender isn't strong enough to draw them towards the blades on its own.
In conclusion, the results of this test will give you an idea of how well each blender handles fibrous ingredients, how long it takes to blend two servings of smoothie, and how it compares with others. The test will also help to identify the pros and cons of each product so you can better understand the trade-offs associated with them and make a more informed purchase decision.
Testing Recipe: 2 Servings
- 1 oz kale
- 2 oz apple
- 2 oz pineapple
- 4 oz banana
- 0.5 cup milk
To make two servings of smoothie, we add all the ingredients into the cup in the following order: apple, pineapple, banana, kale, and milk, and blend them until they appear smooth. We then pause the blending process and use a spoon to stir the smoothie and check for any remaining chunks of fruit that may have evaded the blades. If necessary, we blend for an additional 30 seconds until the mixture is completely smooth.
Next, we scoop out a spoonful of the smoothie and spread it evenly onto a white paper to more accurately assess its texture and consistency. If we determine that the smoothie can be further improved, we’ll continue blending for another 30 seconds and repeat the assessment process. This cycle continues until we are satisfied that the blender has produced the smoothest and most consistent result possible. Since a silky-smooth consistency is hard to judge, this meticulous approach allows us to achieve the optimal results and obtain an accurate measure of the timing and thus, the machine’s efficiency for this type of blend.
Based on our trials, we found that a blending time of 4 minutes was adequate to prepare two servings of smoothies and also allowed us to discern differences in performance between the blenders. As a result, we established a maximum blending time of 4 minutes for this test. The test concludes either when the blender has achieved its optimal results or has reached the time limit, whichever comes first.
The smoothie test makes up 35% of the overall performance score and is measured on a 0-10 scale. Each blender is considered to have passed the test once it completely liquified all the ingredients without any large chunks left behind. Our scoring factors include the Blending Time (30%) and Blended Result (70%).
The smoothies' flavor doesn’t contribute to that score since we use the same recipe for each test. Each one should taste roughly the same.
Blending Time Score (30%)
The blending time score is determined by the duration required for each blender to fully pulverize the ingredients. Although this scoring factor is important, we have assigned it a lower weighting of 30% in comparison to the blended result (70%) because achieving a silky smooth texture is a crucial aspect of making a delicious and visually appealing smoothie. Some users may be willing to blend a bit longer as long as they can get a desired consistency.
Here’s how our scoring breaks down:
- ≤ 1 minute: We made smoothies with a myriad of personal blenders and noticed that some worked so well that they could break down all the ingredients and provide us with silky- smooth drinks in only one minute. That’s why we selected this timeframe as the benchmark for a full 10 points.
- ≤ 1 minute 30 seconds: 9 points
- ≤ 2 minutes: 8 points
- ≤ 2 minutes 30 seconds: 7 points
- ≤ 3 minutes: 6 points
- ≤ 3 minutes 30 seconds: 5 points
- ≤ 4 minutes: 4 points
- More than 4 minutes: 0 points
Blended Result Score (70%)
The blended result score was marked based on the smoothie’s fineness. We found that we could categorize the fineness into four distinct variants:
- Velvety: We gave a score of 9-10 points for any blender that can produce a smoothie with a superior silky texture where all the ingredients were blended evenly and thoroughly, creating a creamy and uniform consistency that feels really rich in the mouth.
- Smooth: These smoothies blended evenly but still bore a smattering of tiny flakes. We awarded them 7 - 8 points.
- Slightly Coarse: Smoothies with a slightly coarse texture typically have small chunks or bits of ingredients that were not completely blended, resulting in a slightly grainy or rough consistency. While this may not be ideal for everyone, some individuals prefer a more natural feel and added texture in their smoothies. Therefore, we assigned a score of 5 to 6 points to blenders that can produce this texture.
- Very coarse: Blenders that left large chunks of unprocessed fruits and kale were awarded a maximum score of 4 points, taking into account the shape, size, and quantity of the remaining chunks.
Tina Pham is a staff writer and reviewer, with five years of experience in the industry. As a passionate amateur home cook, she loves to discover practical cooking solutions, and has made it her mission to bring her findings to every kitchen. Her ultimate goal is making cooking more of a pleasure for all.
Lap is Head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (RTR Team) at HealthyKitchen101.com, where he directs and supervises the testing of kitchen gadgets and appliances.
Nguyen Ntk is a graphic designer, photographer, and videographer whose philosophy centers around respecting and celebrating the beauty of reality. Through his lenses, Nguyen strives to capture the true essence of objects and events, showcasing and highlighting authentic features without distortion or exaggeration.