Our immersion Blender performance TestFrozen Fruit Smoothie
Not all users want icy blends from their immersion blender; some stick to fresh fruit smoothies for their higher nutritional value and sweeter flavor. However, we decided this test was worthwhile because any machine that can blend fiber and solid ingredients won’t have any trouble making other fruity drinks.
Why The Test Matters
Our smoothie consisted of kale, frozen mango, frozen pineapple, and whole ice cubes. Since most immersion blenders have trouble with leafy greens and solid ingredients, this recipe gave us a clearer picture of each blender’s effectiveness. Our results will give you an idea how long the job should take, how easy the machine is to use, and how smooth the resulting drink can be.
Initially, we planned on incorporating milk into our recipe because it would help promote smoother operation. However, we soon realized using liquid might mask some important differences between blenders. It would prevent us from sniffing out problems that crop up under heavy-duty use.
Testing Recipe: 1 Serving
- 3 oz kale
- 4 oz frozen mango
- 4 oz frozen pineapple
- 8 ice cubes
Our smoothies were blended in a 24-oz beaker. To ensure equal comparisons, we always added the ingredients in the following order: ice cubes, fruits, and kale.
We began by running the blender at its lowest speed and then gradually increased to its highest speed. Note that it’s important to move the blending wand around, including up and down, to achieve the best consistency.
As recommended by our chef, we stopped blending after the first 30 seconds and used a spoon to check the smoothie’s consistency. If the drink was still grainy or leafy at that point, we continued blending until we got the best possible texture. Sometimes this required a little downtime to keep the motor from overheating.
Note: Before beginning the test, we checked the user manual for any instructions about using the blender to crush frozen fruit and ice cubes. In the case of the Muller Ultra-Stick, the manual specifically said not to try this sort of blend. We thus skipped the test and considered that blender to have failed it. We awarded the Muller zero points in this category.
We rated each blender’s performance on a 0-10 scale. The score was the average of two equally-weighted section scores: blending time and blended result.
Blending Time Score
The blending time score was calculated based on how long each blender took to yield a serving of smoothie. We allowed each blender up to three minutes worth of runtime. The test ended either when we hit that time limit or when the smoothie had reached the perfect consistency. Any blender that couldn’t reach the right consistency within 3 minutes would fail the test.
Here’s how our scoring breakdown was designed:
- 120 seconds or less: Not every immersion blender can handle the tough job of breaking down solid ingredients in a short amount of time. A good machine usually demands 90-120 seconds to yield a smooth texture. That's why we gave full marks to any blender that passed the test in under 2 minutes.
- 121 - 135 seconds: 9 points
- 136 - 150 seconds: 8 points
- 151 - 165 seconds: 7 points
- 166 - 180 seconds: 6 points
Most immersion blenders can only run for a limited amount of time before needing to cool down. Such models usually demand a break every 50-60 seconds to protect their inner components from damage. The cool-down time is not included in the total blending time score but does affect the overall ease-of-use score.
Blended Result Score
The blended result score is calculated out of 10 points based on one key evaluation criteria: texture. Once the blender finished blending, we stirred the smoothie using a spoon to check the smoothness and then awarded points accordingly. The results always fell into one of five textures: smooth, slightly chunky, chunky, lumpy and leafy, or lumpy and icy.
Note: The smoothies' flavor wasn’t factored into the score. Each test used the same recipe so they should taste roughly the same.
- Velvety: We awarded 9.5 - 10 points for smoothies with a superior silky texture — the ones with no unprocessed food remaining.
- Smooth: These smoothies blended evenly but still bore a few tiny fruit chunks. We awarded them 8 - 9 points.
- Slightly coarse: The blender didn't fully liquefy the ingredients, causing its smoothie to look grainy or lumpy. We awarded it 7 - 7-5 points in this case.
- Chunky and/or Leafy: If the blender ended up with large chunks of unprocessed fruits and/or kale, we gave it no more than 7 points, depending on the shape, size, and amount of chunks.