I got an email asking me my opinion for blenders and food processors. This comes up quite a lot so I thought I'd just post it here and I'll put on the blog as well... Why not, right?
The question was: Also, I'm looking to get a new blender and food processor. Can you please recommend a brand, and tell me what you like about it? I'm asking around so that I can make an informed decision...
My response: The only blender to get is the VitaMix in my opinion. It's an expensive appliance but well worth saving your pennies for. I sell the 4500, the basic model. (http://vt-fiddle.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=10&products_id=14) I haven't yet seen a need to go up in price to their higher models. I've been using my VitaMix 4500 since 2001 and I use it every day - two-three times per day. The VitaMix does everything from making soups, nut milks, juices, masticating greens, blending creamy dressings/sauces/puddings, to making ice cream and grinding seeds into flour/meal. There's also a K-Tec/Blend-Tec and I've only heard 1 good recommendation on that blender in the many years I've been doing this. Most of the other things I've heard about the K-Tec makes me not want to ever get/use the thing. Waring is supposedly another good blender but I have no idea if it masticates greens like the VitaMix does - I'm not at all sure if it's in the same league as the VitaMix. Whatever blender you get, you'll probably be wanting to get one that has a high-powered motor to do the above-mentioned tasks. VitaMix also has a great plunging tool that comes with each blender to help push down ingredients when blending things that don't have a lot of water in them... With regards to the food processor, you just want one that works. I use Hamilton Beach because it's cheap and for me it works better and has lasted longer than others I've tried. I've tried kitchenaide, black and decker, cuisanart, hamilton beach and a few others that don't readily come to mind. The recommendations I've gotten over the years about food processors is that it really doesn't matter too much because the motors will burn on all of these whether you spend $150 on them or $50 on them. I'm afraid to say that this is the truth. I haven't seen any major difference in the food processors and I'm not about to buy a super high-end model for what I do. We've also been known to go to salvation armies/goodwills to get replacement parts for food processors that are no longer made which have broken. Replacement parts are always easy to get from the above-mentioned manufacturers, too. If you go with the Hamilton Beach, get the "big mouth" model since it doesn't have the dual function of shredding out the side that the smaller models do. This is a design flaw in the lower-end food processors, in my opinion, and I hate that feature. I have a small food processor that is a 1-2 cup jobbie that my husband got at goodwill. We've had that one for over 11 years now and like I wrote, we got replacement parts at other goodwills - that one is an OSKAR and it's good but it's not made anymore. I use that small processor for puddings and mixtures that don't have a lot of ingredients. Otherwise, I use the 14-cup big mouth food processor from Hamilton Beach. This last food processor that I got is about 2 years old and still working great. If you find anything in your own research, please let me know as I'm always interested in getting that information and using the best that's out there for the job at hand. Thanks and take good care, Linda