Vitamix

puppyfuzz

Howdy!

Does anyone have one? They seem to have quite a large and devoted following. I'm seriously considering getting one....you know how a "seed" gets planted in your head about a cooking gizmo, then you've just GOT to have it? Yep, right here. Been reading all about them and comparing options online.

I value the opinions of the members of the BC and was wondering if any of you have one. What do you think of it? I wouldn't be using it to grind flour, mostly smoothies, ice cream, soups, that sort of stuff. I don't see how it could be so incredible, but everyone seems to just rave about them.

Watcha think?

badge posted by: puppyfuzz on August 28, 2012 at 8:41 pm in General discussions
share on: Twitter, Facebook
Replies to this discussion
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save" to activate your changes.
reply by: MangoChutney - Sandra Too on August 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm
MangoChutney - Sandra Too

I own one from the 1980s. It is stainless steel with a spigot on the bottom. The job for which I found it to be of most use was processing large quantities of tomatoes or tomatilloes. I dropped the unpeeled fruit into the top and drew the puree out the bottom in a semi-continuous fashion. The Vitamix heated the purees to steaming temperatures which was ideal for draining into canning jars for processing.

In that time-frame I used it to make nice, thick, smooth salsa for my home-made deep-fried tortilla chips and to make smooth, slushy margueritas. I had to be careful with those, though, because my Vitamix does heat things up quite well.

Grinding grain with it was something I did not try until last year. I found it to be a somewhat nervous task because the flour heated up quite a bit and there was a very fine dust raised inside the container. Also, whole grains got stuck in the spigot. I did try once making powdered brown sugar from sucanat with my Vitamix. It worked, but the operation was sticky from sugar dust.

A couple of months ago I saw the new Vitamix units on display at Sam's Club. The new units do not have the spigot, which I feel was a selling point of the old ones. The containers are not stainless steel, but rather some kind of plastic. Despite the encouragement of the representative at the display to replace my old unit with a new one, I decided instead to buy a cheap Oster blender with a glass container for my tasks that work better without a spigot and without so much heating-up.

I don't know if the new units have as much power as the old ones, but if they don't, I don't know what they have to offer over a blender.

reply by: robinwaban on August 28, 2012 at 9:53 pm
robinwaban

I love my Vitamix. I use it every morning to make a smoothie for myself and my husband using egg whites and fruit. I also make soup in it. There's a fabulous tortilla soup I make using unpopped kernels of corn. I do not have the blade that grinds seeds for flour. There's also a terrific Vitamix cookbook. I got mine at Costco. It was my second one, my first lasting 15 years. Do not buy the smaller Vitamix. It's not as strong. You can also get one at a restaurant supply store at a good price. I say go for it. You will not be disappointed.

reply by: swirth on August 29, 2012 at 6:33 am
swirth

I've had mine since 1995 and love it for so any things. I have both the dry and wet containers. Since they came out with the smaller containers, I've wanted to get one of those for smoothies and those types of things but never have done so. I use mine so much for canning/freezing prep of tomato-y things, squash, pumpkin and such. Soups are so wonderful.

reply by: janiebakes on August 29, 2012 at 9:49 am
janiebakes

Just bought mine a couple of months ago at Costco and love, love, love it! Every morning I make Dr. Roizen's anti-cholesterol smoothie for DH and myself. Got a real deal on tomatoes and made over 2 gallons of gazpacho for the freezer in about half an hour. Had a watermelon that tasted good but the texture was not so great. I juiced it and turned it into watermelon jello using unflavored gelatin. Had three pears that had seen better days, into the Vitamix with some soda water...Pear smoothies. That tortilla soup is awesome, the whole thing is made in ten minutes, ready to serve. I have the dry container too. I've been grinding wheat and baking bread/pizza. Tastes so much better than whole wheat from the store. Clean up is easy. Put some water and a drop of soap in the container and run it for a minute, rinse. Done. I don't have a blender, don't need the Magic Bullet, won't be replacing my FP. It helps me sneak veggies into things for my picky eaters
Made in Ohio. They are building a new plant in Strongsville that will employ 150 people when completed.

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on August 29, 2012 at 10:16 am
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

The Vitamix is one of the few blenders that lives up to the hype. They do overhype the motor in it - it is not possible, at the listed amperage and power source, for it to actually run at the top rating they list for the motor - but that's actually a good thing because you don't WANT to top your motor out, it will burn it out. An overbuilt motor is a necessity in these types of appliances, for longevity's sake.

I understand about not liking the "plastic" (it's some kind of high grade vinyl actually) carafes; women of my generation and earlier, brought up on the long-lasting, clear glass carafes of lesser blender are generally unhappy with the trend towards "plastic" carafes, as we equate "Plastic" with cheap.

There are 2 good reasons for the shift from the metal to the vinyl carafes:

First is expense. The vinyl carafes are just a lot cheaper. The Vitamix is already extremely expensive - as costs rise, if they need to reduce expenses somewhere, at least they're not choosing to dumb down the motor.

Second is the preference on the part of the user to be able to SEE what is going on inside the machine. It was a common complaint against the original metal carafes.

Glass would not be appropriate for a blender this powerful. Because of the high torque, the carafe must be one piece so the assembly doesn't tear itself apart - this also totally avoids the problem of user error causing improper assembly of the blade/carafe, which, at these levels of power, could be a pretty horrible accident waiting to happen. Actually they probably COULD come up with a design for a 2 part assembly (after all we can put a man on the moon) but it would be prohibitively expensive and would introduce the opportunity for someone to put it together incorrectly and damage the machine or themselves, either of which would open them up to a flood of complaints and suits. So, the one part vinyl carafe is a reasonable design consideration.

Vitamix is constantly having demos around the country. There are at least a half dozen scheduled in my area in the next few weeks.

You can usually get a discount at the demos, sometimes (reportedly) a significant discount.

Costco Demo report

Vitamix w/Dry blade @ Costco (may not be at all Costcos but I think they will ship this one)

Refurb 5200 direct from Vitamix

Find a demo near you, also stores that carry them

Free Shipping discount Click the link, it inserts a $25 discount code on the Vitamix shipping page. There are several of these around, it's some kind of affiliate program but hey, if it saves you $25 it saves you $25, right?

Poor quality video of a Vitamix demo, but she does mention the discount near the end - $700 worth of stuff (she says) for $445 if you buy AT the demo

Vitamix discussion - I have to admit, I wept briefly when I read the one where the woman found a complete virtually unused in the box Vitamix at at thrift store for $58 ...

Another forum discussion about Vitamixes

This guy says a Vitamix at one of the Costco demos was the same price as a refurb

Vitamix 4500 @ Bed, Bath & Beyond for $379, less 20% from this e-mail sign up link makes it $303.20 plus tax. As noted in this posting, if the unit is not available in the store and has to be ordered for you, try telling them "I won't pay for shipping" and see if that saves you $25 for shipping.

QVC carries the "Creations" line, or at least some of them, but they seem to be only about $20 or $30 less than direct from Vitamix.

Vitamix has a trade-in program, they'll give you $100 for an old Vitamix as a rebate after you purchase a new one. I imagine you would have to pay to ship the old one to them. I don't know if the old one has to be functional. But you might be able to find an old beat up possibly nonfunctional or not completely functional Vitamix for $10 or $20 at a flea market or Craigs list or a thrift store, if such a thing was eligible for the trade in that's a few more bucks you might be able to save. Better check with them first about just what exactly they will accept as a trade-in.

I'd like to have a Vitamix, but I don't like the giant jar most of them come with. There are only the 2 of us - the "normal" 48 oz jar on a typical blender is already usually a bit large for my needs.

Just for kicks and grins - Make ice cream in your blender in seconds.

Should have saved the $300 I spent on the Cuisinart ice cream maker that broke the very first time I used it and put it toward a Vitamix, LOL!

reply by: mrscindy on August 29, 2012 at 10:59 am
mrscindy

A year ago, when I put The Saint on a strict heart healthy diet, I started making him a fruit smoothie every morning for his afternoon 'slump'. I went through two Kitchen Aide blenders, a Black and Decker and an Oster in about three months. I just kept thinking there was no way I needed a $400 blender to make smoothies, for cryin' out loud! But, T.S. saw the Vitamix at Costco and insisted that I buy it. He really loves his smoothies.

Several months later this baby is still going strong with not a whimper. Everything I put in his smoothie is frozen to begin with. All frozen fruit. But it never hesitates. I put a Kitchen Aid blender in the motor coach and the first time I used it I held my breath the whole time. Since it won't get used every day, I think it might be okay for the coach, but inside, every day, Vitamix has the job.

Get one, you will not be sorry!

~Cindy
p.s. if you notice, there has not been a negative comment about the Vitamix in this thread. That should tell you what you need to know.
~C

reply by: swirth on August 29, 2012 at 11:07 am
swirth

Here's the smaller Vita Mix containers page...they sell both wet and dry 32 oz. containers. They fit under kitchen cabs.

https://secure.vitamix.com/32-Ounce-Container.aspx

I have made so many nut butters thru the years with my 1995 edition...cashew, peanut, almond and so many others. So fresh and wonderful!

I dearly love my Magic Bullet, as well, but it is very different than a Vita Mix. I grind all of my coffee beans with the Magic Bullet and it is so great for fast whizzes of very small qtys. of veggies and fruits and lots more. I use it nearly every day and several times per day quite often. When my first one died, I was online ordering another one and got it in a couple of days from a Walgreen's distribution center not far from me.

reply by: MangoChutney - Sandra Too on August 29, 2012 at 11:12 am
MangoChutney - Sandra Too

Just to clarify, I did not buy the cheap Oster to replace my Vitamix. I bought it because I wanted something glass in which to grind batches of mixed spices. $25 for just that function seemed like a reasonable deal, to me.

I wouldn't sell my 25-year-old stainless steel Vitamix for any reasonable amount, let alone $100. I wouldn't trade it straight for a newer model, either. *smile*

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on August 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Yeah, the problems is the $130 price tag on top of the $400 to $800 for the mixer. The version that comes with the "smaller" carafe comes with the 48 oz carafe, which I will grant you is nearer the mark, but still...

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on August 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Well I have $700 of mad money. I was planning on spending it on some Sandalwood essential oil - YES IT IS THAT EXPENSIVE for the real stuff these days, the trees are going extinct due to overharvesting - takes upwards of 60 years for them to fully mature and tree poachers have ravaged the reserves. There are only 2 places I know of where I can still get the stuff and be sure it's genuine

Nature's Gift

and

Eden Botanical

You do mix the straight stuff with a carrying oil @ 10%, so 2 oz would make 20 oz - should last me the rest of my life if I don't lose it or break the bottle, LOL!

Anyway, I've been diddling around so long trying to make up my mind which kind to buy it's gone up about $100 for 2 oz just a few days ago on both sites - the authentic stuff is now almost $800 for 2 oz! Some of the other varieties are good (and they're $400 to $500 for 2oz which is pretty bad too), but some don't smell sandal-woody at all, and I've lost my samples so I can't remember which I was intending to get, ARRRRRG!

Anyway. Ridiculously extravagant scents aside.

The VM at BB&B is the 4500 model and it only has 2 speeds, doesn't have the variable speed control. My question is, how useful is that variable control? Because it seems to me someone told me that you can't really use it for long on the variable control settings but you have to either leave it at the low or ramp it up to the top if you're going to blend for more than a few seconds.

I'm also wondering if you can make ice cream in the 4500. At $300 from BB&B with the 20% off coupon, that would seem to be the most economical way to get a Vitamix, short of being given one or stealing it, LOL! I'm just wondering what the limitations would be that make it $200 or more cheaper...

reply by: janiebakes on August 29, 2012 at 12:40 pm
janiebakes

I thought the carafe would be to big also but it has proven not to be a problem. Mixing two 12 oz smoothies uses up 3/4's of the carafe. And yes, the Costco price is the same as buying a refurbished model. The demo lady also said that the BPE free plastic container was needed because glass was not strong enough for the speedsa the Vitamix uses. I grind coffee beans to an espresso grind in the dry grinding container for DS's "rocket fuel".

You get a DVD with your purchase to help you how to get the best out of your machine. It welcomes you to "the Vitamix Family". DH says for some of us (ahem) it is more like the Vitamix cult. lol

reply by: mrscindy on August 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm
mrscindy

I use the variable dial ALL THE TIME! It is quite useful. If you are going to buy one, get as many bells and whistles as you can afford. Just my opinion!

~Cindy

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on August 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

We would only be mixing ONE smoothie at a time, as my son is the one who likes those.

I'd rather have an artery-clogging milkshake, LOL!

reply by: Mike Nolan on August 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm
Mike Nolan

If it's milkshakes you want, the Multimixer is still the most popular. (The 5 headed one is what launched Ray Croc's interest in McDonalds back in the 50's. He was a salesman for Multimixer and couldn't understand why the McDonald brothers kept buying more of them.)

The Multimixer has a stronger motor than the Hamilton Beach, but if you want the best malt mixer ever made, look for an Andis Speed Whip. These were made from the 30's through the mid 60's, I believe, they are MONSTERS, with a HUGE motor in them, it must weigh 25 pounds. (Andis is still around, they make world-class barber clippers these days.)

They're highly collectible, I've seen them go for $400 or more on Ebay, but you seldom see them anymore. Many of them were thrown out because if not used properly you could break a finger or worse!

I collect soda fountain equipment and have 2 Hamilton Beach mixers, a 3 head Multimixer, and an Andis Speed Whip that (sadly) has a cracked outer case, so I don't use it much. (I only have one cup for it, too, as the cups are larger than the ones that work in the HB or Multimixer, and also highly collectible, I've seen a single cup sell for $100.)

For smoothies, I use my Bamix stick blender. (Best $170 I've ever spend on kitchen gear.)

reply by: swirth on August 29, 2012 at 1:37 pm
swirth

Those great 32 oz. containers were introduced in 2008 and many of us on the oldBC were talking of how great they'd be and many wanted a 32 oz. one.

They sent me promo coupon things in the mail for $ 99.00 for a 32 oz. container...that's how I knew they had them. I've received the same $ 99.00 pricing in the mail since that time, as well.

My wet container leaks at the bottom and I have to be very careful that liquids don't fall down into the motor area. KathyD on the oldBC (and newBC, too) told me what I needed for a part and it costs almost as much as the new 32 oz. container.

She had this same part failure so she knew exactly what I was talking about.

I'd have to buy the whole wet blade assembly and when I last checked the price was $ 84.00+ plus shipping. That price made me think the new 32 oz. container would be all the more worthwhile when I could get it for free shipping and at $ 99.00.

reply by: janiebakes on August 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm
janiebakes

Well Zen, if you'd rather have an artery-clogging milkshake, I would think you would want the biggest carafe you could buy to make them in! lol.

I tried to look up the 4500 you mentioned that BB&B has. Could not find it on the Vitamix website but did find the TurboBlend two speed which looks like what you are looking at. It does say it makes frozen desserts, I would think that included ice cream. Most of the ice cream recipes for Vitamix that I have seen use frozen fruit with milk or cream. As for the variable speed dial, I think it's mostly used to keep from over processing things, so it depends if this will just be a smoothie machine or if you will use it heavily in cooking. The other day I ground wheat berries using speed ten for pizza dough as well as making a fresh tomato sauce using speed 8 to keep some texture. The sauce recipe was in the included cookbook and is a real keeper. Tasty, super simple and fast. Also, check the 20% off coupon. It may have restrictions against using it on a Vitamix. The company has price agreements with most stores.

One last thing. The high speeds the Vitamix can attain break open the cell structures of the veggies. That makes more nutrients available to you. I have found that I can eat tons of veggies without the gastric distress that large quantities of salads give me.

Janiebakes, a member of the Vitamix cult.

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on August 29, 2012 at 2:33 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Well, if you're anywhere near Cleveland, apparently there's an outlet store. They give an e-mail on the Vitamix website, but apparently tnere's no website for the outlet store.

Here's the link to the yelp description

reply by: janiebakes on August 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm
janiebakes

Thanks for all the links you have included Zen. I had a good time reading through them. And yes, I do live in Cleveland. The demo lady at Costco told me that the Costco price is the bottom line best you can get. It beats the big Mother's Day sale and matches the outlet store so you don't have to put up with Cleveland winters to get the best deal!

reply by: Mike Nolan on August 29, 2012 at 2:52 pm
Mike Nolan

My experience with outlet stores has been that they don't always have the lowest price, nor the newest merchandise.

However, sometimes they have items that you can't find anywhere else.

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on August 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Well you got more out of them than I could! They couldn't even tell me for sure at the local costco which model they have on the floor - She called it a "5200s", listed at $445, and couldn't tell me what's in the package.

Vitamix was even less forthcoming. They said I'd have to call Costco to find out what they were bringing - which I did - and all the person at my local Costco could tell me was they were bringing "the newest model, we have an older model in stock". Oh well. I don't have a Costco membership any more anyway.

In any case, for me at least, it looks like the 5200 refurb @ 329 is the cheapest I can get - Whole foods kept trying to tell me what COLORS the Vitamix comes in, they couldn't tell me what MODEL. (Again, Vitamix told me I'd have to get that info from Whole Foods, and the person at Whole Foods did not know).

reply by: mrscindy on August 29, 2012 at 4:14 pm
mrscindy

The VitaMix I got at Costco is model VMO 103. It's black, has variable speed and works. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! 😄

~Cindy

reply by: puppyfuzz on August 29, 2012 at 8:53 pm
puppyfuzz

Ooh, consider me S-O-L-D!

Thanks for all the feedback. Like I said, I truly value the opinions of you all here. I called the nearest Costco and they have the 5200 for $349. The Costco in the next town has VM's traveling show going on where they have the newer model, as well. The gal on the phone said that if you make nice to the demo person they often throw some freebies in the box......so I'll be heading to the demo tomorrow. Funny thing is, I'm not even a member of Costco! I figure what I'd save on the VM will more than pay for one year's membership anyway.

Oh, and about the VM reducing "gastric distress" from greens.....Cool! As much as I love to bake, those treats are always for others. Personally, I'm a raw vegan, and all that roughage can do a number on me sometimes. We'll give this baby a go!

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on August 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Let us know what you find there. My Costco couldn't tell me a thing about what they'd be demonstrating, or what they had on the shelf either for that matter.

reply by: puppyfuzz on August 31, 2012 at 7:38 am
puppyfuzz

Zen, before I went yesterday I called 2 Costcos, and they both said they had a pkg with the 5200 for $349. One Costco had the road-show, and she said the VM people were demo-ing the newest model. So I went to the demo (honestly, with hopes of scoring a deal or those talked about "freebies") and the 5200 was $379, not $349. The new model is the 6300, I guess a Costco exclusive, for $499. Main differences are that it has pre-sets (soup, smoothie, frozen dessert) and a "pulse" button. Comes with the 64oz container, DVD, and cookbook.

I was the only adult at the demo....amidst a flock of kids, not yet back to school, waiting for the demo man to just give them a smoothie sample already. What was funny was that nearly everyone that walked past me (men/women/families/TEENS!) told me how much they loved their VM and to "just get it...you won't regret it." VM couldn't have paid for better marketing than that.

reply by: janiebakes on August 31, 2012 at 9:06 am
janiebakes

Yesterday at Costco I looked on the shelf and they had the 5200 for $349.00 The demo I went to was for the 6300 with the pre-sets. Off to the side she has some 5200s. I bought that model instead and the savings let me buy the dry container and still pay less than I would have for the 6300. The 6300 looks snazzier but really, the only difference is that it has a preset for smoothies and for soups. I don't find it hard to move the switches and time the processing myself. And I love being able to grind wheat berries into flour.

So puppyfuzz, did you get one?

reply by: janiebakes on August 31, 2012 at 9:06 am
janiebakes

Yesterday at Costco I looked on the shelf and they had the 5200 for $349.00 The demo I went to was for the 6300 with the pre-sets. Off to the side she has some 5200s. I bought that model instead and the savings let me buy the dry container and still pay less than I would have for the 6300. The 6300 looks snazzier but really, the only difference is that it has a preset for smoothies and for soups. I don't find it hard to move the switches and time the processing myself. And I love being able to grind wheat berries into flour.

So puppyfuzz, did you get one?

reply by: robinwaban on August 31, 2012 at 10:23 am
robinwaban

Is the 5200 the small one? I purchased the smaller one from Costco and HATED it. I used it for a month and was so disappointed. I bought it thinking it would be great for just me and my DH since all our kids have left. It just wasn't as powerful as the big one. I called Costco and they took it back even though I had used it for the whole month. I saved all the packaging. Costco is great on returns. I bought the big one and am so happy now. Love it!!!!

reply by: puppyfuzz on August 31, 2012 at 8:55 pm
puppyfuzz

Yes, I bought the 6300, but....after getting home and reading through the recipe book, I can't justify an extra hundred plus dollars for pre-sets. I didn't really know anything about how VMs work and was in a massive hurry when I went in (not a good idea when making a large purchase!). I simply don't need pre-sets, and definitely not at that price.

As much as I don't like to return things, tomorrow morning the 6300 is going back and the 5200 will be coming home with me.

FWIW, in Western WA the 5200 is currently $374.99

reply by: anndyer on August 31, 2012 at 9:05 pm
anndyer

I had one in the 80's...loved it! I bought it used...put an ad in the local paper. I had people calling me and was able to bargain with them! I said...well I had another call and they're going to sell me theirs for only $25! What a way to shop! Anyway I bought it for smoothies...I wanted to be able to put the whole banana and peel in it, a whole apple with seeds, etc...the vitamix could do it! I think I will put an ad in again because I do not want to pay hundreds for a blender! I will let you know how I fare!

reply by: wingboy on August 31, 2012 at 10:55 pm
wingboy

My DSW has burned out several blenders. She likes her smoothies as thick as drywall mud. We are now members of the VitaMix cult.

We started out with smoothies for breakfast. Really good. I started to gain weight. I don't need to gain weight. It turns out that I was getting too much fruit, and not enough veggies. Once we reversed the ratio of fruit to veggie, I started to drop the weight.

The VM makes great blended drinks. It makes great hummus. It makes great guacamole.

reply by: MangoChutney - Sandra Too on September 01, 2012 at 9:22 am
MangoChutney - Sandra Too

Price of 5200 on Amazon:

$525 with free shipping

http://www.amazon.com/Vitamix-5200-WARRANTY-Variable-Countertop/dp/B0062...

Price of 6300 on Amazon:

$653 with free shipping

http://www.amazon.com/Vitamix-6300-Featuring-Pre-Programmed-Settings/dp/...

Looks like Costco really does provide good deals. I don't recall what Sam's Club was charging, but their affiliation with WalMart makes me doubt they were charging full price.

reply by: GinaG on September 01, 2012 at 2:34 pm
GinaG

Does anyone here have a Blendtec?

Apparently they're fiercely competitive and VM had to shell out $11M to Blendtec for a copycat issue/ lawsuit.

According to all reviews I've read, the only real drawback among either is the noise. Also, Vitamix is more expensive.

http://devin88german.hubpages.com/hub/blendtecvsvitamix

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 01, 2012 at 5:04 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

That one on Amazon is the steel exterior, which costs $50 extra. The "regular" VM 5200 is $449 on the VM website. What you're paying there is the VM price of $450 plus $50 for the fancy exterior plus $25 for the shipping.

You can avoid the shipping charge by using one of the many free shipping codes you can find all over the internet, so it would actually be $25 cheaper to buy the exact same model from VM direct.

The "standard" VM is $450, and you can get a refurb from VM for $329.

By the time I pay for the $50 Costco membership, it's not that cheap for me anymore. It also depends on whether or not the Costco model comes with the dry container - some of them do and some don't. It's a much better deal (of course) if its the set. With the dry container, from VM, it's $550, and with both extra carafes its $650.

I couldn't find out which version they're demoing at Whole foods - VM claims not to know, and they didn't know at the WF either. LOL! They were selling whatever it was for about $425 I think.

If I can get over there to see I'll post back, but I won't be buying one. I may end up getting one of the refurbs though. What with my health issues, I've been finding that make-do solutions like my KA blender that will work for making dosa batter if I'm careful and take my time now take too much effort and concentration. So I end up not using it.

As I've been replacing sort-of-works appliances with really-works-well appliances, I'm finding I'm able to do more.

So eventually I'll go to a Vitamix. Too bad I didn't put the $300 I dropped on the one-use-only (cuz it broke making the first batch) single purpose Cuisinart ice cream maker, plus the $100 I spent on the KA blender, towards a VM back then, LOL!

I probably won't do it 'til after my son gets a real job and we move.

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 01, 2012 at 5:09 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

The Blendtec has poor durability and in tests hasn't typically performed nearly as well as the VM.

That lawsuit was a joke. The general consensus was that if any company other than a company based in UT had filed that suit in any court other than one based in UT, Blendtec would have lost big time. The whole Blendtec thing is a huge ripoff of Vitamix to start with.

They're not as good. Save the time, effort, and frustration, and get a VM refurb or pick one up cheap at a Costco show, or maybe Whole Foods.

reply by: janiebakes on September 01, 2012 at 5:15 pm
janiebakes

From Consumer Reports:

We're testing the $400 Blendtec Total Blender TB-611-20 for our June 2010 review of blenders. How does it do at piña coladas, fruit smoothies, and other blender jobs more conventional than mauling an iPad? The Blendtec Total Blender TB-621-20 has excelled at crushing ice but has been only so-so at icy drinks and smoothies, jobs that require more than just raw power to render the right consistency. This Blendtec Total Blender is also among the noisier models being reviewed.

I did go to the link you provided Gina, and went to the site they suggested for a blender to blender comparison. They say the Vitamix container is made of polycarbonate. That is not correct. The container is made of Eastman Tritan polymer (since 2008) which is a great improvement over polycarbonate. DH is a polymer chemist, we have weird dinner time discussions about plastic all the time.

"they have been making brake-though innovations ever sense."

I think they depended on SpellCheck a little too much, lol.

reply by: violadoc on September 01, 2012 at 5:46 pm
violadoc

I purchased a Vitamix from Costco in July. I use it several times a day to do exactly what you are proposing. I could not live without it. It's been terrific for my diet and my teenaged kids. We make smoothies in the morning and have them in the fridge for after school. I take smoothies to work. Every thing is healthy to eat, doesn't take long to make, and the whole foods are cheaper. I have also found that grinding whole wheat kernels in the dry blade container that came with my package super fun and again, healthy and cheap. The Vitamix package that I bought from Costco came with two wonderful cookbooks and the dry blade container. The containers are easy to clean. As a working mother with very little time for anything the Vitamix has become a cornerstone to good health in our kitchen. It is worth the money I spent on it.

reply by: GinaG on September 01, 2012 at 6:20 pm
GinaG

Janiebakes,

I agree spell-check doesn't trump paying attention!

Zen,

I always appreciate your feedback, but calling the Blendtec a waste of money? I dunno about that. Many big name, commercial giants boast their use of this machine and they're supposedly the only legitimate competition VM has, so how "bad" can it be?

Reviews are great for both of these machines which is why the decision hasn't been easy for me. Costco sells both Blendtec and VM.

reply by: puppyfuzz on September 01, 2012 at 6:39 pm
puppyfuzz

Zen-the Costco 5200 does not come with the dry container, at least the one I got today ($375).

reply by: MangoChutney - Sandra Too on September 01, 2012 at 7:10 pm
MangoChutney - Sandra Too

I lost respect for Consumer Reports one year when I bought two appliances and read their evaluations of them. One of them was some kind of appliance with a spinning blade. It might have been a food processor, or in fact the VM. They considered it dangerous because the blade rotated at "dizzying speeds". I think if you fall over and hurt yourself because you become dizzy from watching the blade spin in an appliance, you have some kind of problem. You certainly couldn't fall into this appliance, whatever it was, so you were in no danger from the blade. The other one was a pasta extruder that came with a push-pin to pop out dried pasta dough from the dies. The instructions specifically said to let the dough dry and then rap the die on a flat surface to remove as much material as possible, following which actions you were to use the pin to remove any dried materials remaining. The procedure worked great for me. I seldom needed to use the push-pin. The reviewer tried to clean out fresh dough using the pin and some water, and then complained because the pin didn't work and the dies were difficult to clean.

reply by: GinaG on September 01, 2012 at 7:19 pm
GinaG

People are such a kick in the pants!

I like reading reviews as a starting point, but I don't rely too heavily on them and would never make decisions entirely based on reviews unless they were all abjectly awful. At some point you have to use your own discernment.

I recall reading a review on the My Weigh 8000, which I did buy, despite a reviewer complaining of what I found to be trivial minutiae. Some complaints are isolated to user-error, some are well-founded and some defy all reasoning: Someone needs a new form of entertainment if they're busy getting dizzy "watching" a spinning blade...

reply by: janiebakes on September 01, 2012 at 7:24 pm
janiebakes

I agree with you ladies on product reviews. I used to follow them strictly, then one day saw a bunch of negative reviews after I purchased a certain fridge. I was moaning to a friend who told me to get over it,there will always be someone who has a problem with everything. It was a good reality check for me.

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 01, 2012 at 8:24 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Why the VM is a safer bet than the Blendtec:

Blendtecs are known to eat through their containers every couple of years.

The VM has variable speed control from 500 to 37,000 RPM.

The Blendtec has 10 presets from 4,080 to 28,000 RPM - VM has the clear advantage here on both ends, as well as the variable speed control on the 5200.

The Blendtec is actually more expensive than the VM 5200 if you buy at a show, and especially if you buy a refurb. Blendtec runs $400 compared to VM sale price of $350 to $375, or a straight-up refurb at $329.

The VM is warranted for 7 years. Nominally, the Blendtec is ALSO warranted for 7 years - except the carafe. The warranty on the carafe is only 3 years (remember how they have a tendency to tear up and leak).

Both blenders are pretty noisy, but the Blendtec is MUCH noisier than the VM.

Both blenders come with a 64 oz carafe; but the Blendtec can only be filled half full. The VM can be used at full capacity.

The VM comes with the handy tamper, which is why the VM is better at turning big chunks into a consistent puree. The Blendtec makes you buy a special carafe (extra cost to you) to be able to do the same thing.

Unless you overheat it, the VM will run until you shut it off. The Blendtec shuts off after 50 seconds if you're running a manual cycle. The programmed cyles cannot be changed, which means you end up having to pulse the thing if the programmed cycle you selected was not sufficient unto the job.

While the Blendtec's actual max capacity is only half that of the VM, the VM does a better job of blending small quantities.

The big selling point of the Blendtec has been that it fits under your kitchen cabinets where the classic 5200 won't. Except you can get a 5200 with a shorter carafe that WILL fit under the cabinets, and it's 48 oz capacity is still greater than the actual usable capacity of the Blendtec (half of it's 64 oz size).

SOURCES:

Vitamix vs Blendtec

Popular Mechanic's blender smackdown

Blendtec's 3 year warranty on carafes

side by side comparison of VM and BT blenders by an average user

I'm just sayin'. Given that the VM can be had for actually LESS money than a Blendtec anyway, why choose the less flexible, more expensive option over the VM and it's long history of reliability and (unlike, say, KitchenAid) the reasonable expectation of the same in the future?

reply by: puppyfuzz on September 01, 2012 at 8:24 pm
puppyfuzz

Hah! This is precisely why I asked all you lovely BC folks for your opinion....because I value what YOU think!

reply by: GinaG on September 01, 2012 at 9:13 pm
GinaG

Lately, pricing is all over the map, but I've seen Blendtec at Costco as well as on a Blendtec site, a brand new model in the $300.-ish range. Blendtec has a button to release jambs, which I'd favor over having yet another "thing" to wash, another step to do a task.

As far as power goes, is there really a need for more than Blendtec offers for home use? I doubt my FP has the power of either, yet I've used it for the sorts of things I'd use a blender with outstanding results. My biggest issue is, do I 'need' this or do I just want it??? I do like the look of the Blendtec better, but that would never be the sole reason to choose it.

In my close circle of friends, no one has either. Costco does have an amazing return policy, so if I hated it i could always bring it back.

Refurbs are a great way to save money, but in many cases you've given up the warranty, so it pays to ask ahead.

In either case, I'd get a second carafe. I hate being limited in the kitchen or having to stop to wash to re-use, so I do have a second standing mixer bowl and a second FP bowl. I'd do the same for a fancy blender.

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 01, 2012 at 9:44 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Warranty on VM refurbs is 5 years, extendable to either 7 or 8, I forget which offhand.

The BT is actually the more powerful machine by a tiny margin. Not enough for it to make any real difference either way.

The problem is you can't stop the BT to unjam it - it runs its program until it stops, or it runs 50 seconds at a time in manual mode. Possibly that doesn't matter to some people, but the whole preprogrammed thing just doesn't sit right with me.

To each their own.

reply by: janiebakes on September 02, 2012 at 7:40 pm
janiebakes

I think a lot of us bought the Vitamix because we are trying to eat healthier. I wanted to share a recipe that I tried out for dinner tonight and just loved. It is from Dr. Oz's website.

Healthy Carrot Soup

Ingredients
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion cut into medium dice
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-in rounds
5 cups of vegetable stock
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp ginger juice
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with 2 tsp of dill and dollop of plain yogurt

Directions
In a medium-sized pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and salt. Sweat until onions are soft (about 5-8 minutes). Stir often to prevent browning. Add the carrots, cover pot and cook over low heat for 5-6 minutes. Stir to prevent browning. Add stock and oats to pot. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 25 minutes until carrots are tender. Pour contents of the pot into a blender. Blend the soup until creamy. Add additional stock to desired consistency. Add lemon and ginger juice. Readjust seasonings. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt and dill and serve.

I didn't have ginger juice so I just chucked about an inch of fresh ginger into the Vitamix along with the cooked veggies.Also left out the dill and yogurt. The soup is very filling and delicious. Pretty inexpensive too.

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 02, 2012 at 9:01 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

"Sweat until onions are soft"

Personally I sweat all the way through all of my recipes, except for the parts where I bleed ...

*checks to see if newest bandaid needs to be changed again yet*

>:D

reply by: janiebakes on September 02, 2012 at 9:52 pm
janiebakes

Good one Zen. lol

reply by: janiebakes on September 02, 2012 at 9:53 pm
janiebakes

Good one Zen. lol

reply by: Susan L on September 02, 2012 at 10:00 pm
Susan L

The Vita Mix is a wonderful, powerful tool. I use it mostly for smoothies and soups, but also use it to make homemade peanut butter. Everyone raves about it. The recipe book has some great ideas too. I made macaroni and cheese (sauce) and it came out great.

It's very easy to use and clean up is a snap. I use it all the time and I believe it was well worth the money. Hope you decide to get one - you won't be sorry!