4 Best cooking Blenders–Reviews & Buying Guide
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Are you looking for the best cooking blender? Perhaps for making hot soups?
This category still blows my mind. Who would have thought you could cook a meal with a blending machine? A blender that cooks soup is rare, but Vitamix has been making blenders capable of heating soups through friction since 1969. But sautéing? Well, that’s a totally different story.
Top 4 Cooking Blenders
Let’s get to it! The following cooking blenders are capable of much more than cooking soups. Below are our top picks for the best cooking blenders.
#1 – Vitamix 750 Professional Series
Best Overall Cooking Blender
The Vitamix 750 is both a professional and home blender. It features a powerful 2.2 peak HP motor that can heat soup to 165.2°F (74°C) with just friction. The Vitamix Pro 750 highlights 5 automatic blend settings, including a self-clean option. Despite its age, or maybe because of it, its minimal buttons make it one of the easiest blenders to use.
- Classic design
- Five pre-programmed settings
- 10-speed variable with pulse control
- 64 oz (1.89 L) low-profile, BPA-free container
- 2.2 HP motor, capable of making hot soups
- Long-lasting stainless steel blades
- Easy to clean
- 7-year warranty
- More expensive than (some) newer models
- Classic switches tend to trap food particles
- No high-tech features
- Not dishwasher safe
The Vitamix 750 Professional Series Blender is an all-around blending machine that heats foods through friction. It can make just about anything you can make with a cooking blender with a heating element. Still, it is much safer for many because it doesn’t have a heating element.
Vitamix is the first blender company to make a blender capable of producing hot soups, and they do their best. What’s more, Vitamix backs up their product with a 7-year warranty, and I have heard nothing but good things from people who need to contact their company for service.
All Vitamix blenders use friction to heat ingredients up to 170 degrees, which is hot enough to make just about any food safe without additional cooking.
Another reason this is listed as the number one cooking blender is that the Vitamix blender is also capable of much more than just making hot foods and smoothies. The 3-inch stainless steel blades can pulverize almost anything, including dry grains and coffee beans.
This means that, unlike the Ninja and Instant Ace cooking blenders, it can also be used as a food processor to handle anything from making dough to grinding meat.
Don’t think that the Vitamix is limited to hot soups! I have used my Vitamix blender to make other recipes, including infused drinks, soy milk, and fondue. It can handle almost anything you can do with the Ninja and Instant Ace cooking blenders with heating elements, except for extra cooking features like sauteing.
This Vitamix blender has 5 presets, including one specifically for hot soups. But you could also use that hot soup setting to make other recipes, including those mentioned in the following sections.
#2 Ninja Foodi Blender
Best Cooking Blender with a Heating Element
- Budget-friendly AND multi-purpose (that’s rare)
- Glass blender (non-reactive and doesn't release toxins)
- Can cook
- Modern-looking design
- 64-ounce capacity for hefty servings
- 3-speed button with pulse
- 1400-watt motor, it's powerful enough to crush ice
- 12 walk-away blend settings
- Labeled measurements on the pitcher
- Blend quality isn't that impressive
- Too bulky and heavy
- While it has a self-clean function, it’s still not that easy to wash, and it’s not dishwasher safe
- Currently not upgradeable (no extra accessories)
- Only 1-year warranty
The Ninja Foodi HB152 is the best cooking blender with a heating element. It is affordable, but even better is that it is almost as powerful as the Vitamix blenders on this list. I highly recommend Ninja products in general, and the Ninja Hot and Cold Blender can do some things that the Vitamix blenders can’t.
What does this mean for you?
Besides the price, you have to choose between the functions you need. To make it simple, here are the unique auto-iQ presets for the Ninja Foodi Blender:
- Sauces and Dips
- Hearty Soup
- Smooth Soup
The Ninja HB152 is the best cooking blender for making sauces due to its saute feature. You can saute your onion and garlic for your sauce in the same container, which isn’t possible with the Vitamix blenders.
If that coincides with your needs, then this appliance is undoubtedly worth considering.
The pitcher on this blender is extremely heavy, almost 6 pounds when empty. When you add 50 ounces of hot soup or sauce, you have a boiling-hot container with just one handle that will weigh 10 pounds or more, depending on the density of your ingredients.
If you go with this blender, use oven mitts to protect yourself from burns and allow you to grasp the container with both hands. If you have difficulty manipulating a whole gallon of milk (which weighs 8 pounds), you should stick to the Vitamix options.
#3 Vitamix 5200
Most Affordable Hot Blender
The Vitamix 5200 Standard Blender is an old product, yet 13+ years later, it’s still widely popular. The reason is because it is a workhorse! It's powerful 1400-watt (2 HP) motor can make smoothies in less than a minute. Moreover, it comes with Vitamix’s classic 64 oz (1.89 L) container capable of blending 6-12 servings in one cycle.
- Classic design
- Variable speed control to achieve your desired texture
- 64 oz (1.89 L) container for big batches
- Strong motor that can cook or heat soups
- Long-lasting Stainless steel blades
- Easy to clean
- 7-year warranty
- Outstanding blender for a premium price label
- Food bits can get in-between switches, and the dial
- Technically, there is no pulse feature
- Requires an extra adapter for a personal cup
- The container it comes with may be too tall for some kitchen countertops
- An older model blender
- Not dishwasher safe
The Vitamix 5200 is the most affordable and effective hot and cold blender, but this is because it is stripped of the features included in the others on this list.
Still, its affordability and efficiency in making hot recipes land it in the #3 spot in my review.
The Vitamix 5200 does everything that the Vitamix 750 Pro Series Blender does, but you must do everything manually. There is a high/low switch and a variable speed dial. That’s it. It does make this a super simple blender for anyone to operate, but you have to know how long to blend hot recipes to get the best result.
To ensure that the appliance doesn’t overheat from running too long when making hot recipes, the Vitamix 5200 has a cooling fan. Despite this, it is tested at a lower noise level than the Vitamix Pro 750 blender.
I highly recommend reading the full review and making a few recipes from the Vitamix recipe guide that comes with the blender before experimenting. This will help you determine the appropriate speeds and times for making hot recipes in the Vitamix 5200 blender.
That said, I recommend the Vitamix 5200 as a mobility-friendly blender for anyone that wants to make basic hot and cold recipes at a budget-friendly price.
#4 Instant Pot Ace Plus
Most Versatile Cooking Blender
- Modern sleek touch screen design
- 56-ounce (1.6 L) capacity
- Non-toxic glass jar with measurement indicators
- 12 one-touch programs
- 10-speed control
- 1300-watt motor
- Programmable timer
- Adjustable temperature with indicator (both Fahrenheit and Celcius)
- Delay start cooking
- Keep warm function
- Self-clean function
- The pitcher is sturdy but it's heavy
- Only 1-year warranty
- The pitcher is not dishwasher safe
The Instant Ace Plus is easily the most versatile cooking blender when it comes to cooking capabilities, but not when it comes to other blending tasks. Also, it looks aesthetically pleasing and powerful— but it’s not strong enough to be considered a high-performance blending machine. Still, this machine is the best Instant Pot Blender.
Anyway, here are some extra features that the Instant Ace Plus Blender has that you won’t find on other cooking blenders.
The Ace Plus Blender has a “delay start,” so you can prep your ingredients hours before, and when you return, it’s ready to eat/drink. More importantly, you have complete control over the presets since you can adjust the duration and temperature depending on your recipe.
For the next best thing:
It’s the sole blender that has rice and soy milk walkaway settings. If you don’t know, both these alternative milk must be cooked (or soaked in hot water). So, using the Instant Ace Plus means fewer tasks and more minor cleanup.
Other notable peculiarities include Keep Warm, 10-speed selections, touchscreen control panel, and auto-clean function.
That said, if you want to make a lot of jams, this is the blender for you. While you could technically make jam in any cooking blender, the Instant Ace Plus can program your recipe at the desired temperature and time. It also allows you to cook the fruit more slowly, which can improve the quality of your jam.
Another thing that the Instant Pot Ace Plus Blender has going for it is that it is the quietest blender on this list. However, it is quiet because it has much less power than the other blenders and therefore doesn’t do non-cooking functions like the others.
There is one other cooking blender with a heating element on the market: the Pampered Chef Cooking Blender. The Pampered Chef Cooking Blender functions similarly to the Ninja and Instant Pot offerings. Still, it could perform better and have fewer presets.
If you are willing to invest significantly in a blender, check out the Vitamix blenders with intelligent features for even more capabilities in a mobility-friendly option.
There are few choices when it comes to cooking blenders. It’s undoubtedly a niche category. But that just makes it easier to make a decision. I’m sure you can effortlessly pick a winner from the products we’ve listed above.
The best thing about these blenders is that they aren’t limited to cooking. All of the blenders on this list are also capable of general blending tasks. The Vitamix blenders are even capable of being used as food processors.
What is a cooking blender?
A cooking blender is a subcategory of countertop blending machines that features the ability to heat ingredients or blend hot ingredients, either through a built-in heating element or through friction of the blades.
In a way, a cooking blender is like a smoothie maker combined with an electric range. So it’s almost like a 2-in-1 kitchen appliance bundle.
Heating with Elements vs Heating with Friction
Only a few blenders have heating elements. But be aware that not all blenders can heat food to a temperature that is safe for all foods. This is especially true of blenders that heat ingredients through friction.
Now, let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of hot and cold blenders.
PROS of Cooking Blenders
- Affordable to midrange budget
- Can reach boiling point
- Cook, simmer, sauté, infuse, depending on the model
- Make both smooth and chunky hot soups
- Non-toxic glass or plastic container
- Beneficial cooking functions like keep warm, delay cook, adjust the temperature (not for every model)
- Most have automatic programs (hot and cold)
CONS of Cooking Blenders
- Uncomfortably heavy pitcher on blenders with a heating element
- Hard to clean since you have to make sure that no water will enter the container’s base
- The vessel gets really hot, so you have to be careful, just like you would when you cook on an electric stove
Cooking Blenders Vs. High-Performance Blenders
High-powered blenders like the two Vitamix blenders on this list can heat soup through friction, whereas the Ninja HB152 and Instant Ace Plus blenders have heating elements. Many high-powered blenders can heat ingredients, but only up to 158-165ºF (70-74ºC). The Vitamix blenders heat up to 170 degrees.
On the other hand, cooking blenders with heating elements do have more capabilities than Vitamix blenders. So they make some recipes a lot easier to prepare.
Differences Between Cooking Blenders with Heating Elements and Those that Heat Through Friction:
|Type of Blender||Heating Element Cooking Blenders||High-Power Blenders that heat with Friction|
|Price range||✅ Less Expensive||❌ More Expensive|
|Container weight||❌ Heavy pitcher||✅ Lightweight pitcher|
|Container material||✅ Non-toxic glass container||✅ BPA-free plastic container|
|Cleanup||❌ Hard to clean||✅ Straightforward|
|Can it cook?||✅ Yes||Kinda|
|Motor rate||Mid to high-performance motor||High-Performance Motor|
|Warranty||❌ Up to 1-year warranty||✅ Up to 10 years of warranty|
Comparing Cooking Blenders
There are a lot of differences between the four cooking blenders above, but here are the biggest differences you need to know to make a decision about which is right for you.
|Feature||Vitamix 750||Ninja||Vitamix 5200||Instant Ace|
|Pitcher weight||2 pounds||5.85 pounds||2 pounds||3.25 pounds|
|Footprint||9.4 x 7.7 inches||8.8 x 7.9 inches||8.75 x 7.25 inches||9.2 x 9.2 inches|
|Cord length||6 feet||31.5 inches||6 feet||35 inches|
|Total Wattage While Cooking||1600||2200||1380||2100|
|Noise Level||88 dB||96 dB||85 dB||65 dB|
|Warranty||7 years||1 year||7 years||1 year|
|Preset Programs||3 Cold|
|Max Temp||170 degrees||212 degrees||170 degrees||180 degrees|
|Manual Temp Settings||None||172 to 212 degrees||None||140 to 180 degrees|
|Food Processor Capability||Dry grains|
Nut Butter (Thin)
|Chunky soups and sauces||Powerful|
|Jams, fondue, delay start|
|Weaknesses||No manual temperature settings or timer||Heavy blending container can cause injury||No preset programs or timer||Heavy blending containers can cause injury|
What can I make with a cooking blender (that a regular blender can’t)?
Here are the recipes that are exclusive to blenders that can heat to at least 170 degrees:
Usually, these recipes are made with several appliances and tools. But with a cooking blender, you can do the same work with less cleanup.
That’s where the significant advantage of a cooking blender comes in. Primarily, making these recipes will be quicker and more effortless. And most importantly, there will be fewer tools for the post-cleanup.
Here are a few important notes about how these four cooking blenders make the above recipes.
Many people will try to convince you that Vitamix blenders aren’t capable of making anything but pureed soups, but this is just not the case. A chunky potato soup, for example, can easily be achieved by adding chunks of potato at the end of the blending cycle and pulsing a few times to blend in with the pureed part of the soup.
Don’t take my word for it! Here is an example recipe from Vitamix: Bacon Cheddar Potato Soup Recipe
The Ninja Hot and Cold blender is the best choice for making infused drinks because it has a timed setting for that purpose. You can make infused cocktails in the Vitamix 750 Pro Series Blender, but you have to be careful to watch your temperature or you will burn off the alcohol.
Just as you can make chunky soups in the Vitamix blender, you can make fondue with extra effort. The key here is to remember that only the Instant Pot Ace has a keep-warm feature. That means if you make fondue in the other cooking blenders on this list, you’ll need to do so soon before serving and transfer it immediately to the fondue pot to keep it warm.
Over to You
The Vitamix 750 Professional Series Blender takes the cake. It’s an older model, but very reliable. And in a day with complicated buttons and settings, the Vitamix 750 is simple and easy to use.
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