You’ve already been introduced to Foodal’s recommended choices for blenders. Keep reading to get a more detailed review on one of our favorites: the Vitamix 5200 Series Blender!
For those of you who frequently rely on a blender, the Vitamix will be an unstoppable, powerful mainstay on your kitchen counter.
The blender is available in 5 different colors: black, white, brushed stainless, platinum, and white.
It is definitely an expensive purchase. But don’t hide your wallet just yet.
While it does cost quite a pretty penny, this is one of the most popular blenders, due to its superior quality and performance. It is an essential piece of equipment to add to a bustling home kitchen for countless of food prep tasks, and is well worth the high price tag.
And if price is an issue, you can often pick them up certified refurbished from Amazon for a significant discount.
The Industry Standard
Outside of the home, Vitamix is definitely an industry favorite.
In many kitchens where I have worked, from bakeries to restaurants, it is the pride and joy of the operations and the most fought over piece of equipment among the staff.
I have witnessed cooks guard the Vitamix at their prep station, growling like a mother bear protecting her young when other cooks walk by or try to take it. This blender is precious.
Smoothie shops rely on it to instantly blend hard ingredients, like ice cubes and frozen fruits, with a flick of the switch.
Pastry kitchens use it over and over again for creating smooth food items like fruit purees, and nut butters or milks. Restaurants love how it blends infamously difficult emulsions like mayonnaise with ease.
The Whole Package
Here are all the parts that come with your purchase:
- Motor base
- 64-ounce container
- Classic tamper tool
- Owner’s manual
- Recipe book
- Instructional DVD
In More Detail: Vitamix Features
- Radial cooling fan and thermal protection system
- Friction heat potential
- Laser-cut, stainless steel hammermill and blades
- 64-ounce container and tamper tool
- Variable speed control dial
- Owner’s Manual, Recipe Book, and DVD
- Additional Accessories
Below, I’ll go over what each of these features offers so you can learn all the fine details about this mighty machine.
Radial Cooling Fan and Thermal Protection System
The radial cooling fan and thermal protection system work together to prevent the motor from over-heating. The motor will automatically shut off the motor if it reaches a certain hot temperature.
These features ensure that the motor keeps running properly and essentially extends the motor’s life expectancy.
Following the instructions Vitamix provides, you should allow about an hour for the motor to cool before continuing blending if it does automatically shut off.
Friction Heat Potential
The blades can actually reach a speed fast enough to create friction heat.
Within about six minutes, cold ingredients can become steaming hot. Smooth sauces and soups can be ready to serve within minutes – better than any instant ramen from a Styrofoam container!
This feature is ideal if you’re on a serious time crunch, like if you planned a last-minute soup and salad lunch party, or if you ran out of tomato sauce in the middle of dinner service. All of these emergency troubles can be blended away to steamy perfection in a flash.
Don’t be worried the next time you are making your next summer favorites like frozen beverages. Depending upon what cold food items you are making, it should never take six minutes to completely blend.
When I used to work in a bustling smoothie shop, we would use the Vitamix to make countless cups of cool, refreshing smoothies and slushies for thirsty customers. It would take no more than a minute to fully mix these beverages, even with solid ingredients like frozen fruits and ice.
The Hammermill and Blades
Vitamix features a laser cut, stainless steel hammermill and cutting blades measuring 3 inches in diameter.
What do these words of weaponry mean?
A hammermill is designed to shred and crush a range of hard materials. Intended for more heavy-duty, large-scale applications like pulverizing rocks and shredding automobile scraps, a hammermill is also widely used by farmers and wholesale manufacturers for milling grains and juicing large quantities of fruits.
Now imagine what it can do to just a few cups of nuts or ice cubes! And combined with the blender’s sharp blades, you will be able to achieve a consistent blend every time.
Not only will your mixture be perfectly smooth, it will also be super fast to make. The sharp blades will only take a few seconds to blend together your favorite smoothies and milkshakes. Thicker items like nut butters and doughs will naturally take a longer amount of time to come together, but they are still very easy to make.
Container and Tamper Tool
The 64-ounce plastic container is a great size for mixing up medium and large batches. The pitcher is BPA-free, meaning it is not made with the industrial chemical Bisphenol-A, known for potential adverse health effects.
Every Vitamix container is also designed to create a vortex with the ingredients. This causes a systemic pattern of mixing where the ingredients are repeatedly brought back to the blades for faster, smoother blends.
All Vitamix models come with a long, black plastic tamper tool. This tool is designed to push down ingredients, to help process thicker mixtures easily.
With the tamper, you can finally banish that annoying ring of food that remains stubbornly clinging around the sides of the blender container. This handy tool will push it all down to the blades while the motor is running, ensuring even blending.
Variable Speed Control Dial
The motor base is home to very simple, straightforward mechanics that are easy to understand.
In addition to the Off/On switch, there is a numbered variable speed control dial so you can adjust the speed to achieve a variety of textures. The dial can be rotated at any point during the blend. You have the control!
Books & DVD
Vitamix provides an owner’s manual, recipe book, and DVD as part of your purchase.
The owner’s manual is a detailed guide for the machine that includes instructions, safeguards, and a breakdown of each machine part. You can also access this manual for free on the manufacturer’s website.
The included recipe book, Whole Food Recipes, provides instructions for making tasty dishes and drinks using the Vitamix. This book is a great foundation for inspiration if you are new at using a high-speed blender. Recipes include clear instructions and pictures for smoothies, juices, sauces, purees, desserts, and much more.
Much like the recipe book, the DVD provides a visual instructional guide that describes all of the basic categories of food you can make in the blender.
Looking for more accessories for your blender? Vitamix has plenty to offer!
Well over a foot in height, the 64-ounce container that comes with your purchase may be too tall to fit under your kitchen cabinets. If you prefer a smaller size and yield, you can buy a separate 48-ounce container that is much shorter (at the expense of capacity of course).
Vitamix also sells a container exclusively designed for blending, grinding, and milling dry goods, which come in handy when you’re grinding whole grains and nuts into fresh flours. Specially designed blades that are shorter and angled upwards create a reverse vortex, pushing dry ingredients away from the blades to prevent packing.
If you are the type of cook who likes to process your own flour on a daily basis, I do recommend that you purchase the separate dry goods container. However, you can certainly use the original blender for dry foods if you don’t need to use it all the time and you process smaller amounts.
The blades of the standard container are designed to pull food down through the blade rather than pushing ingredients up and away, like the blades on the dry container. Grinding dry grains in the standard container can still be done, but the ingredients will compact more quickly while blending. You may need to stop the process more often to break up the food particles if this is what you’re using.
This machine is the reliable best friend you can always count on to complete an assortment of kitchen prep tasks. Take a look at some of the many things this blender can be used to make in your kitchen:
- Smoothies and juices
- Nut butters
- Dips and spreads
- Pasta Dough
Do you hate seeing all that nutrient-rich pulp get discarded when using your juicer?
Unlike a juicer that separates the pulp, skin, and fiber from a fruit or vegetable, the Vitamix will not waste any edible part of your fresh produce when you use the blender for juicing.
The blades help smoothly blend your produce into a juice, therefore maintaining all of the nutritional benefits of the entire food item.
A few words of caution on making dough in this machine: Vitamix is quick to advertise that you can make doughs. However, after reviewing some of the complaints from customers, I advise that you should not try to make your homemade pizza or pie dough in this blender.
Due to the thick consistency of doughs and the slender design of the containers, the motor will be overworked as it’s trying to properly mix, increasing the risk of breaking your hard-earned dream machine.
My recommendation is that doughs should be mixed in machines that are more applicable to dough-making, that can better knead and produce a better gluten structure, like a bread maker or Kitchen Aid with a dough hook attachment. Or, quite simply, by hand!
Spare the blender on your next pizza night and pull out the bread machine instead. It’s useful for so many other tasks, and will still be worth every cent.
Cleaning is as easy as making your favorite smoothie! Because the blades are attached to the container, you don’t have to disassemble too many parts.
Even though the container is not recommended for the dishwasher, it is still a breeze to clean.
All you need to do is place warm water and a drop of dish soap in the container and blend them at the highest speed. It will self-clean in 60 seconds or less, and simply needs to air dry on your dish rack.
Cleaning the lid can be a bit of a nuisance, as flecks of flyaway liquids stubbornly stick to the inside. This component will need a little more attention, by hand scrubbing with soap and water.
Vitamix comes with a 7-year warranty. It covers all the parts in addition to the motor blender base. When treated with proper care and cleaning, the blender should last you well beyond these seven years. Some reviewers have owned their Vitamix for over the seven years with no problems.
Be aware that the warranty does not cover aesthetic changes that do not affect its performance. For example, discoloration due to food buildup of certain abrasives and chemical cleaners might alter the appearance of the blender, but not how well it operates.
Through multiple uses and cleanings, the container attachment does tend to get cloudy over time and will lose its transparency. Depending on how often you use it, the cloudiness may take just a few months to form, but I assure you this does not interfere with its phenomenal function in any way.
While not a common problem, some customers did have the motor break while still under warranty. Overall, customers were thoroughly satisfied with the customer service and rapid action they received when they reported these mechanical issues to the manufacturer.
Customers were able to send the broken piece or pieces to the manufacturer, and they were quickly replaced at no additional cost for shipping/handling or the parts being replaced.
- Available Accessories
- Build Quality
What Others Are Saying
The following notes are a compilation of the most common praises and critiques from reviewers at Amazon to date.
- The blender is incredibly easy to clean.
- It is a long-lasting kitchen appliance. Many wrote that they bought it over 5 years ago and the blades are still as sharp as when they first purchased it.
- It is money well spent, due to its useful versatility for a variety of prep jobs.
- Because of how easy it is to use, many customers were inspired to pursue a healthier lifestyle with daily smoothies, juices, and nut butters.
- Customers appreciated effective customer service from the manufacturer.
- The expense is far more than what most customers would typically pay for a kitchen appliance.
- The container, when it is attached to the motor, can be very tall and bulky. Some complained that the whole blender would not fit inside their kitchen shelves or under their counter.
- Some complained about a burning smell from the motor when they were blending food items that required more time to mix, such as doughs and nut butters.
- Others complained the motor was difficult to restart when it automatically shut off due to overheating. Be sure to follow the directions Vitamix provides in the instruction manual and wait about an hour for the motor to cool before using it again.
The Vitamix is a long-term investment that will definitely prove its worth to you with each use. You will appreciate the consistency of every smoothie, milkshake, and any other food item you choose to make due to the blender’s mighty motor, sharp blades, and multi-purpose design.
Busy home cooks and professional chefs never miss a beat during their kitchen prep when they’re using this blender. Time is vital. A fast, multi-purpose blender like the Vitamix will always be a quick assistant that you can rely on at any moment.
Start saving your pennies now and get ready to purchase your next blender. Or, like me, add it to your wedding registry and cross your fingers that a gracious guest will buy it for you!
Looking to comparison shop? Then check out all of Foodal’s blender guides and reviews.
Do you already own a Vitamix? What are your favorite recipes to make with it? Tell us your own experiences and opinions in our comments below!
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is a full-time cheesemonger and specialty foods buyer living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.