Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Budget Blenders for Ice Cold Shakes and Smoothies: Six Blades Is Where It's At.

If this sounds like an informercial, it probably is. Yes, this particular blog post will go into "sell you stuff you probably don't need" territory.

Except that this is something that you might need ... for a decent ice-blended drink.

I am no stranger to the budget (under $100 or so) blender. The basic specs of a budget blender are the following: Four blades, usually a pain in the ass to clean, and does a piss-poor job at pulverizing ice. The typical ice-blended shake or smoothie with a four-blade blender will usually have some hard, jagged bits of ice in the drink. These pieces of ice tend to clog up a straw, like a blocked artery. Cleaning up is also a hassle, especially if you have to disassemble the blender and keep track of all the waterproof washers and blades, in order to reassemble the device again.

For several months, I have been using the NutriBullet blender, produced by the same people who made the Magic Bullet blender. I have to say that it is an improvement on all the budget blenders out there: Six blades, easy to clean, and usually blends the ice into something icy smooth (provided you add enough liquid to your mix). Depending on what configuration of accessories you buy, the Nutribullet should cost about $100 or less, definitely defining it as a budget blender. Here's my affiliate link, if you want to buy stuff you may or may not need.

The original Magic Bullet was relatively inexpensive and easy to clean. However, it has only four blades, and I suppose the blender's motor isn't that strong. Ice-blended drinks tended to be rough and clogged many-a straw.

There is also an "upgrade" to the NutriBullet, called the NutriBullet Pro 900 or something like that. Allegedly, it is so overpowered, that it is sort of a safety hazard, as the blades apparently broke during a safety test a while back. You can Google it, if you want. I can only guess that it would pulverize ice so hard, that the ice might turn into water, defeating the purpose of an ice-blended drink ... but that's just untestable hearsay on my behalf.

In conclusion, if you're in the market for a budget blender, I recommend the basic NutriBullet. It has six blades of awesomeness, to make fantastic piña coladas, daiquiris, and margaritas.

Or you can get an expensive blender. I hear some of those are good, too.

P.S., for personal reference. Here's how to make a decent quasi-piña colada with any overly-sweet piña colada mix, using the NutriBullet:

Pour two fingers (the thickness of two fingers should be the height) of piña colada mix;
Add one big glass full of ice (about the size of the Coca-Cola glass in the photo above);
Fill milk and/or rum to the MAX line on the Nutribullet blending cup;
Add half a big glass of ice;
Blend to the count of 30;

This formula pretty much works for any overly-sweet, syrupy, store-bought mix -- using the NutriBullet:

Two fingers of mix;
One big glass of ice;
Booze and/or other liquid to the MAX line;
Half a glass of ice;
Blend to 30;


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