Our Full Size Blender TestSmoothie

Tina Pham
Lap Vo
Test Lead
Nguyen Ntk
Visual Specialist

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.

Nine full-sized blenders standing on a table with 5 ingredients for the green smoothie test, including apple, kale, banana, pineapple, and whole milk, next to them.

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
Nine full-sized blenders standing on a table with 5 ingredients for the green smoothie test, including apple, kale, banana, pineapple, and whole milk.

Testing Procedure

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.

Someone is holding the Ninja AMZ493BRN Compact Kitchen System blender, with a smartphone sitting next to it on a countertop. Another person is using a spoon to spread a small amount of green smoothie onto a white piece of paper.

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.

Scoring Scale

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.
Two spoons of Vitamix 5200’s green smoothie were spread evenly on a white paper with blending times of each indicated below (30 seconds and 1 minute).
The velvety smoothie is produced by the Vitamix 5200 in 1 minute. We awarded it 10 points.
Three spoons of Cuisinart’s green smoothie were spread evenly on a white paper with blending times of each indicated below (3 minutes, 3 minutes and 30 seconds, and four minutes).
The smooth smoothie is produced by the Cuisinart in 4 minutes. We allocated 8 points to it.
Four spoons of Ninja BN401’s green smoothie were spread evenly on a white paper with blending times of each indicated below (2 minutes and 30 seconds, 3 minutes, 3 minutes and 30 seconds, and four minutes).
The very coarse smoothie is produced by the Ninja BN401 in 4 Minutes. We assigned it 4 points.
Kale, apple, and pineapple are in the blending container of the Hamilton Beach.
Failed Smoothie of the Hamilton Beach is awarded 0 points.

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