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Personal Blenders

“Personal blenders” offer promising perks over full-size blenders, such as smaller footprints, lower price tags, and lids that allow them to transition neatly from pitchers to travel cups. So how well do they work?

Top Picks

Winner

Ninja Nutri Ninja Pro

See Everything We Tested

What We Learned

We love our winning full-size blenders, but “personal blenders” offer promising perks, such as smaller footprints, lower price tags, and lids that allow them to transition neatly from pitchers to travel cups. Curious if these conveniences would justify the purchase of a second blender, we gathered nine models with pitchers sized 24 ounces and smaller, priced between about $15 and nearly $100. We evaluated their performance in blending smoothies with hard frozen berries and fibrous kale, whipping up thick chocolate milkshakes, and incorporating fresh herbs into creamy Green Goddess salad dressing. Though these blenders come with as many as 16 pieces of equipment, including superfluous handles and specialty blades, we focused our attention on the pitchers; the blades designed for blending; and the travel lids (with spouts when available), which allow them to seal completely and be flipped open for easy drinking on the go. We rated each machine on its speed and ease of use and evaluated how evenly and completely all of the ingredients were blended together. Finally, we tested the comfort of the drinking lids and the tightness of their seal. Throughout testing, we compared our models to a new copy of one of our favorite full-size blenders.

While two of the models we purchased are designed like traditional blenders—the blade is permanently centered in the bottom of the pitcher, and the pitcher moves directly from the blender base to the countertop—the other seven work differently. To operate them, you screw on a cover fitted with a blade and invert the pitcher onto the blender base so that the blade engages for blending; after blending, you remove the pitcher and flip it back over to remove the cover and screw on a travel lid. None of the models offered variable speeds or settings.

Neither of these designs affected how well the blenders worked, but their performances did vary dramatically. Some consistently whirred hard-frozen and fibrous ingredients into a cohesive blend in less than a minute, while others struggled for several minutes to incorporate chopped herbs into a creamy dressing. Part of that discrepancy came down to the shape and style of the pitchers. Tall, narrow vessels trapped ingredients far from the blades, so they couldn’t incorporate into a smooth, uniform mix—and pausing to shake or stir the contents was fussy. The two U-shaped models were more effective because the pitchers flared gently toward the opening and thus provided more space for the ingredients to circulate. (The only downside to their wider shape: They don’t fit in most standard cup holders.)

Another factor was blade design—specifically the number ...

Everything We Tested

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Recommended

Recommended with reservations

Not Recommended

*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.

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The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.