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Made-to-order margaritas at the beach? A smoothie for one after the gym? We’re all ears.
What You Need To Know
A good blender can tackle everything from smoothies to waffle batter to béarnaise sauce. And while we’ve reviewed high-end, midpriced, inexpensive, and personal blenders, we recently learned about a new type of blender: the portable, rechargeable kind.
These handheld, single-serving blenders are charged by USB cable, so you can take them with you to the gym, to the beach, on a hike, or to work. They’re also becoming extremely popular; BlendJet, one of the first brands on the market, reportedly sells 50,000 units a month.
The possibility of being able to make smoothies and margaritas anywhere, anytime is certainly appealing, so we set out to see if any of these portable blenders live up to the hype. We selected four models, including the BlendJet, priced from about $32 to about $40. We used each to make kale, frozen pineapple, and orange juice smoothies; protein shakes; Frozen Strawberry Margaritas; and green goddess dressing.
Getting to Know Portable Blenders
There was a learning curve with all the portable blenders. They were similarly shaped, consisting of tall cups that screwed onto bases that housed the electronics; each took 3 to 5 hours to fully charge. Their cups were much smaller than those of standard-size blender jars, holding 10.75 to 14 ounces, with narrow mouths that measured from 1.4 to 2.3 inches wide. The size of their openings made them difficult to fill with ingredients. As we were loading smoothie ingredients into the cups, pieces of pineapple and kale spilled out. We had to add protein powder, mayonnaise, and sour cream to the cups carefully and by the spoonful. To circumvent this, one of the blenders came with a small silicone funnel. The cup of another model unscrewed from the base so we could fill it upside down, which provided a wider opening to add ingredients. We found both of these features helpful, but we still had to add ingredients in small quantities to prevent spills.
We also learned that portable blenders worked best when we turned them upside down, started the motor, and then flipped them upright so the ingredients in the cups hit the blades when they were already running at full speed (a technique most of the manufacturers recommended). Otherwise, the blades jammed, whether they were mixing frozen fruit for a smoothie or fresh garlic and herbs for the dressing. We also had to be mindful not to fill the blender cups to more than two-thirds of their capacity, especially when making smoothies and frozen margaritas. When we did, the blades jammed.
None of the blenders offered variable speeds or settings; all had a single button programmed with preset blending times that ranged from 20...
Everything We Tested
Reviews you can trust
Reviews you can trust
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. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.