In the previous article, we talked about crushing ice and frozen fruits for cold beverages. Today, I would like us to continue on liquid refreshments and explore the best blender for milkshakes and smoothies.
The two no doubt are some of the most iconic American snacks and for any time of the year. Whether it’s the hot summer or the cold winter, you’ll still find someone sucking on his strawberry, chocolate peanut butter, or raspberry.
Needless to say, many [especially the young] despise the fibrous feel of the smoothies. But when made right and using the right equipment, you certainly will have everything to grin at. Furthermore, milkshakes and smoothies are the simplest recipes you can make from your basic kitchen. So, you won’t even need to go to an ice cream booth to enjoy either.
You just need to gather your ingredients, send them straight to the blending machine, and pluck the switch for several seconds.
Smoothie vs Milkshake: Which is the Easiest to Make?
A simple answer is BOTH, but it all does depend a lot on the kind of ingredients you’ll be using. If it’s the basic smoothie or milkshake, you won’t even need ten minutes to complete the entire process. Like I have just mentioned, you just need to toss the ingredients into the pitcher of the blender. Then, let the machine run until the mixture starts to swirl evenly and it’s completely smooth.
Despite all, though, it’s worth to note milkshakes may be much easier to make than smoothies. This is so as its main ingredients are only three- milk, ice cream, and delicious mix-ins [flavoring] of your choice. The flavoring can be anything from chocolate syrup, fruit sauces, or frozen fruit.
In case you’ll be working with the former, you don’t even need a 1000-watt blender to complete the task. But if you opts for frozen fruits, however, you have to make sure the motor and the blade are up for it. Otherwise, you’ll stress out either or both and compromise the expected lifetime.
That said, let’s move to our next subject and see some selections that’ll guide you to the best blender for milkshakes and smoothies. If you already have one, you can also skim through and see if it’s amongst the list.
The 8 Best blenders for milkshakes and smoothies
Editor’s Choice: Vitamix 5200 Professional-Grade High-Speed Countertop Blender
If it’s the model 5200, the machine is one of the oldest but can handle anything put in its belly. This is so as it has a very powerful motor, which includes an extra peak horsepower boost. Hence, allowing it to work on even the toughest materials without bogging down since it’ll start on a high gear before dropping to its original speed.
At the belly [container], the blender has superior aircraft-grade stainless steel blades that cut through ingredients in seconds. The blades are nearly flat but the container has cornered sides to stimulate a vortex to fold the ingredients back to the bottom.
Furthermore, this blender has a variable speed setting, which can be very helpful in processing a variety of mixtures. It doesn’t have a specific pulse feature, though, but you can still blend in short pulses if you wanted. In which case you can make salads and chunky salsas with optimal precision.
- It blends fast and thoroughly
- Can process small to large batches
- Has a solid and durable design
- You can make hot soups
- Effortless to use and clean
- It Can handle ice and frozen foods without issues
- It’s very expensive
- Tricky to fit in most standard 18” cabinets
- Pretty loud while blending
Best Budget: Oster BVCB07-Z00-NP0 Reverse Crush Glass Countertop Blender
This is one of the top options that you can consider if you need the best blender for milkshakes and smoothies at a low price. Yes, you can’t compare the overall performance to the high-end models, but it does all the basic blending tasks you want.
If it’s making ice-cold smoothies and milkshakes, the blender has exclusive 6-point stainless steel blades that chop and pulverize with precision. Still, the blade has dual direction technology that allows it to blend in forward and reverse directions. Hence, enabling it to churn the ingredients out of the path and pull those on the top down to the revolving blades.
Like most from the brand, this blender has a conical style motor base, but with an elegant touch of brushed stainless steel. It also has a neatly arranged control panel, consisting of the various buttons to deliver expert results.
Thanks to the peak horsepower motor, the machine can achieve up to 1000 power wattage during the startup. So, it’s less likely to stall as it has the extra boost to handle the resistance that might be present.
Nonetheless, the motor is originally 600 watts, in which case it will drop to the setting to complete the task.
- It can deliver up to 5 or 6 cups of content
- Includes two pulse features
- Supports automatic blending
- Comes with a tough, heavy glass container
- Has multiple speed settings for complete control
- It’s very affordable
- It’s exceedingly loud, particularly when on “high”
- It struggles to chop large volume due to the extreme conical jar.
Best Design: Blendtec TB-621-20 Total Classic Programmable Blender
If you fancy smart tech, this Blendtec may serve your preferences pretty well. Of course, it doesn’t have any of the wireless technology or capacitive controls like the Vitamix Ascent models. But it has 6 preprogrammed cycles that you might love to take the guesswork out of your blending.
Some of the recipes you can make using these presets include smoothie, ice cream, soups, dressings, milkshakes, dips, and batters. You can also use to crush dry ice blocks and frozen fruits to make ice-cold yogurts and cocktails.
The blender has a pretty powerful motor, with a peak 3.0 horsepower boost to counter initial resistance. It has up to 10 variable speeds, which allows you to achieve a variety of textures and in high precision.
In case you’d want to perform food processor tasks like chopping, the blender has a pulse feature in place. It also uses the patented four-sided jar that enables blending as it pulls the food towards the blade. Hence, giving you finer blends and faster.
More on that, the blender uses a single blade that’s very blunt. So, it’s pretty harder to cut or poke your finger, particularly when hand-cleaning.
- It’s very powerful and high-performing
- Has easy-to-use one-touch buttons
- Supports walk-away blending
- Features a built-in, illuminated LCD timer
- Crushes ice and frozen fruits with ease
- It’s a well-made and durable design
- It’s relatively expensive
- Pretty loud when working
- The preset programs are not very convenient
Bestseller: Magic Bullet MBR-1101 11-Piece Compact Personal Blender
Yes, this is the overall bestselling blender for milkshakes and smoothies on the market, featuring over 25,000 positive ratings on Amazon [only]. So, can you imagine those who’ve purchased but didn’t bother to review?
Anyways, the blender has a compact design that’s only perfect for processing small amounts of smoothies or milkshakes. It uses single-serving 16- and 18-ounce containers, which is approximately 2 cups of content.
Despite its tiny size, however, this blender has a powerful engine that you can use in most of your kitchen needs. Blending, chopping, whipping, mixing, and even grinding, the little guy can deliver.
The personal blender is straightforward to use, although not like the standard countertop blenders. It has got no buttons on the power pod, but still, you can blend in short “pulses” or continuously using the cup as the switch.
The blender usually comes as a complete unit, with an easy-to-read user manual to get you started. Also, it has multiple comfort cup rings that allow you to drink directly from the blending cups without hurting your lips. And in case you’d want to take your drink with you to work, the package includes two sip-and seal lids for the cups.
- It blends fast and to consistency
- Easy to move around the house or on trips
- Quick and effortless to clean
- Has a small design that can easily fit in tight spaces
- It’s durable and very affordable.
- Not ideal for large batches
- No automatic/ walkaway blending
- Struggles to blend dry ice [without liquid]
Best for Ice: Ninja BL610 Professional Total crushing Countertop Blender
If you would like your smoothies or milkshakes to be having mix-ins of frozen fruit or an icy taste, this Ninja can make good company. Not only is the brand budget-friendly, but also you’ll get consistent results without a fail.
The main reason for this is due to the stacked 6-blade assembly that the engineers designed primarily for ice. Also, this blade is usually razor-sharp, which is why you need to be very careful-especially when cleaning.
On top of the crusher, the blender has a strong 1000-watt motor at the core, allowing it to handle even the toughest ingredients with ease. It does have three-speed settings, namely low, medium, and high. So, you can make any recipe and using around any ingredients with complete control.
Even better, there’s a predefined pulse feature that you can make use of when prepping delicate recipes that don’t need complete pulverizing.
The blender uses a 72-ounce BPA-free pitcher for the processing. So, you can make large batches of fresh and delicious margaritas, frozen drinks, plus smoothies for the entire family.
Still, the lid of the jar has a pour spout on one of the corners, thereby allowing you to serve without a mess.
- It has a simple but decent, well-made design
- Features a powerful and high-performance motor
- Crushes ice and frozen fruits like a pro
- Offers high capacity
- Available at a reasonable price
- It fits in the standard 18” kitchen cabinet.
- It’s so loud when blending
- Impossible to add content while blending
- You can easily cut/ poke your finger when handling the blade
Alternative 1: Blendtec B01FHQVY8I Classic WildSide+ Pre-Programmed Blender
This is an alternative Blendtec that you can consider for making your smoothies and milkshakes. It has a rugged, well-made design, with a high volume pitcher that you can use to blend beverages for up to 6 people.
The blender packs the patented and thick stainless steel blade, with two vertical wingtips to achieve amazingly smooth blends. Furthermore, it has a patented four-sided design jar that enables processing as it pulls the food towards the rotating blades. Hence, making it possible to deliver consistent results and in a shorter time.
At the heart, this machine packs a real powerful motor that draws up to 1560 wattage of power. It has the variable speed function that has up to five settings, plus a dedicated pulsing feature. So, you get to work on your ingredients with maximum control.
Meanwhile, this classic model is pretty much like its sisters price-wise. It’s quite more expensive than the standard designs that we have in the market today.
- It has a rugged and long-lasting construction
- Engineered and assembled in the USA
- Supports automatic blending
- Can fit under most top cabinets
- Straightforward to clean [manually or clean cycle]
- It has an illuminated LCD timer for the blending cycle
- Quite louder while in use
Alternative 2: Nutribullet NBR-1201 High-Speed Personal Blender
If you feel the Magic Bullet is too small for your morning needs, this Nutribullet has a slightly larger 24-ounce container. Of course, the amount is still limited but that’s the nature of all so-called “personal” blenders.
In any case, the blender has a well-built design, featuring a compact power pod that you can easily set up in a tight space. It packs a powerful 600-watt motor at the core, which also is slightly bigger than its counterpart.
The blender is very easy to start and operate, but unlike the countertops, there’s no control panel or physical buttons. However, the starting switch is still within the power pod around the top, where it’s triggered by the processing cup.
When it now comes to performance, this blender uses a tough stainless steel extractor blade mounted on a removable lid. The blade can work on most of the kitchen ingredients, including soft vegetables and hard grains.
Regardless, the blender requires a significant amount of liquid when working with dry ice and frozen fruits. Moreover, it usually uses two different types of blades- wet-blade for blending tasks and dry-blade for milling purposes.
- It’s doesn’t take up much space
- Blends materials fast and to consistency
- Easy to move around the house or on trip
- Quick and effortless to clean
- Includes cup rings and re-sealable lids for takeaway drinks
- It’s very affordable
- It has limited capacity
- Doesn’t have a variable speed setting.
Alternative 3: Homgeek H22259US 1450 Watt Multi-Speed Countertop Blender
Although the last on the list, this blender has everything to love and that you need in your culinary/ kitchen life.
First, it has a sleek design, featuring a black and brushed stainless steel power base, plus a tough Tritan pitcher. The blender is seemingly huge but it does fit under some cabinets easily.
It packs a 1450-watt motor, which, no doubt, is strong and pretty enough for the usual blending and food processor tasks. If it’s the basic smoothie or milkshake, the motor does have multiple speed settings. So, you can work on any of the ingredients with better consistency and faster.
If it’s chopping salads and chunky salsas, on the other hand, the blender has an integrated pulse feature to bring you complete control. There are also three smart programs to make your blending easier and more accurate.
- It features a powerful motor and solid stainless-steel blade
- Has a large capacity pitcher to make diets for an entire family
- Very easy to clean the container and components
- Straightforward to start and control
- Includes a built-in LCD timer
- It’s very affordable
- It doesn’t fit under the standard 18” cabinet.
- Not ideal if you need professional-grade equipment.
Quick Guide: Factors to Consider when Looking for the Best Blender for Milkshakes and Smoothies
Generally, there are dozens of brands of blenders in the market and not just the eight mentioned above. As you look for one to be making smoothies and milkshakes, therefore, you have to keen to ensure you get what you exactly needed.
Needless to say, all the products on my list comprises the bestsellers, but each has unique characteristics that you may or not need. In any case, some of the key features of a good blender for making smoothies and milkshakes include:
If you’ll be making the basic smoothies and milkshakes, power is not a pressing factor. This is so as you’ll be using soft ingredients that even a 250- or 600-watt personal blender can handle without stressing.
But if you’re hoping to explore deeper into the culinary world and maybe want to crush dry ice, consider at least a 1000-watt engine. Not only will you get perfect results, but also enhance the durability of your blender
Various materials have different textures; and different textures require different cutting speeds. Also, different recipes require different work speeds if you’re to have perfect results.
If you’re hoping to use your blender in more than smoothies and milkshakes, a blender with multiple speeds might come in handy. The same applies if you’re hoping to be using these refreshment drinks with frozen mix-ins [flavorings] and toppings.
Container and Blade
The first thing you have to consider before buying your blender is determining your needs. That way, you’ll know the right size of the container to consider.
For the blade, on the other hand, neither milkshake nor a smoothie uses tough ingredients unless you want to use frozen food for flavoring. In that case, you can look for a design that can crush dry ice like Vitamix and Ninja. Or else consider the standard models that require you to add some liquid to the mixture.
Again, different blenders have varying designs and features. Some are just for simple blending purposes and others are open to all kitchen tasks, including those meant for a food processer and mixers.
If it’s Vitamix, for instance, the blender is a favorite of many as it can do a whole lot of stuff on top of blending. A model like the 5200 C-Series [the simplest] can chop, grind, shred, emulsify [mix], whip, knead the dough, and even make juice. Hence, delivering its blending purposes, as well as those of a food processor, mixer, and juicer.
The last thing you want is buying a blender that blends for only three times and then starts breaking apart. If the price is not a concern, therefore, consider a commercial-grade model like Blendtec or Vitamix that has a guarantee of several decades while still running. That way, you’ll appreciate your culinary adventures and the investment made.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can blenders make milkshakes?
Absolutely, Yes! As a matter of fact, you can even prepare a basic milkshake by hands if you won’t mind exhausting your muscles.
Like I said at the beginner, a milkshake is just a mixture of three ingredients- ice cream, milk, and mix-ins. The mix-ins are nothing more than a flavoring, in which case you can even use peanut butter or chocolate syrup.
How long should you blend a milkshake?
After adding your milk, ice-cream, and delicious mix-ins to the blender, you have to run the motor until the blend is evenly smooth. There’s no specific time that should be as it all depends on the type of ingredients you’re using.
If you’re just making a basic milkshake, 30 seconds are enough for the three ingredients to be fully liquefied. But if you’re using frozen fruits for the extra flavor, you have to continue running the blender for several more seconds until all the content is crushed and pulverized.
Which milk is used for a milkshake?
Yet again, preparing a milkshake is not as complicated as most of us tend to think. For the choice of ingredients, whole milk or a mix of milk and half-and-half can work.
In case you’re wondering, Half-and-Half milk is a type of milk that consists of half whole milk and half heavy cream.
Which is better smoothie or milkshake?
Well, both milkshake and smoothie are great liquid refreshments. How better either is depends on which side of the scale you’re standing on. If you’re on the side of health benefits, smoothies undoubtedly have sufficient nutrients from the used food materials.
On the other hand, a milkshake is more sweet-tasting since it has a high content of fat and sugar. Hence, the reason it’s a favorite cold treat for most kids.
Without a doubt, it’s never too cold or very hot to have your favorite treat. And when it comes to smoothies and milkshakes, they’re certainly the best you can have. Of course, the smoothies are not for everyone, especially the young generations. But it’s the healthiest since it’s just like taking your usual fruits, though, as a drink.
In any case, this article has reviewed some selections that can guide you to the best blender for milkshakes and smoothies. I duly hope it was informative and with the solution you were seeking for your current situation.