10 best blenders for smoothies, soups and sauces

Pete Wise
·9 min read
<p>One of these handy devices even has a vacuum pump to remove gas from blended liquids</p> (iStock/The Independent)

One of these handy devices even has a vacuum pump to remove gas from blended liquids

(iStock/The Independent)

These jug-style blenders are easy to handle and ideal for blending large batches. A jug blender is a classic-style blender, consisting of a mixing jug with a handle and lid, and a base with a motor that spins an array of blades in the mixing jug.

These handy appliances can be used to make a variety of foods and drinks, including smoothies, milkshakes, sauces and, in some cases, hot soup.

What’s the difference between a jug blender and a bullet blender?

In recent years, bullet blenders have been all the rage. These Nutribullet-style machines are rightly prized for their space-efficient design and simple operation – but do they really deserve all the limelight? Classic, jug-style blenders hold several advantages over bullet blenders:

  • Most jug blenders have multiple speed settings, whereas most bullet blenders are single speed

  • A jug blender will typically have a greater capacity

  • Jug bowls tend to be easier to pour liquid from

How to choose the right jug blender

The most important specification of a jug blender is usually the power of its motor. This goes a long way towards defining which ingredients it can grind, and how efficiently it does so.

Another point to consider is the number of speed settings offered. While most users will habituate into blending using just one or two settings, it’s sometimes helpful to have a wider range of options – especially when you want a liquid to retain some thicker pieces for texture.

Some models have additional features that may appeal to certain customers. For instance, one of the types featured in this article has a vacuum pump designed to remove gas from liquids. Another has a juicing function in addition to its blending capabilities.

We’ve reviewed a wide range of jug blenders, representing the full variety of features and price points available today. Our aim is to help you pick the perfect kind for your kitchen.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Read More

10 best bean-to-cup coffee machines for barista-quality drinks at home

9 best can openers that make light work of tough tins

8 best air fryers that make life easier in the kitchen

8 best hand blenders for speedy, mess-free blitzing

Tefal infiny mix tritan blender BL91HD40

Capacity: 1.75l

Power: 1600W

Settings: 10

The Tefal infiny mix tritan blender has some of the highest performance specs of any of the blenders we tested, at a price that could represent good value to those who plan on doing lots of blending. Its 1.75l capacity is sufficient to blend big batches in one go, and the 1600W motor is up there with the most powerful you can get.

We became more impressed with the infiny mix tritan the more we used it. The components are well made, the touchscreen controls are pleasant to use, and it won’t start until the lid is properly attached – a great feature for safety and cleanliness. As you might expect, it also blends brilliantly.

Please note that this model is not designed for use with liquids with a temperature of over 60C, so it’s not a good buy for those wishing to make soup.

Buy now £169.00, Currys PC World

Ninja 2-in-1 blender with auto-IQ BN750UK

Capacity: 2.1l

Power: 1200W

Settings: Three

We wouldn’t like to meet this beast of a blender in a dark alley. It is a formidable performer, with a 1200W motor powering a three-tiered spinning column of sharp blades. In our testing, it made light work of grinding a wide variety of ingredients, from berries and peanut butter to rolled oats and seeds. The ingredients came out very smoothly mixed – with the exception of a few patches of peanut butter that stuck to the sides of the jug.

In terms of capacity, versatility and power, the BN750UK ticks all the boxes. It also has a really effective shape at the corner of the jug, which helps with pouring. The only potential downside is that some might find it a little too large to store conveniently.

Buy now £89.99, Currys PC World

Philips avance high speed vacuum blender

Capacity: 1.8l

Power: 1400W

Settings: Variable speed

We were blown away by this high-speed vacuum blender from the Philips avance collection. The appliance is sleek and space efficient, operates quietly relative to other machines, and the variable speed dial offers an excellent degree of creative control. And, most importantly of all, it produces beautifully blended results.

One of the best features is its vacuum setting, which pumps excess gas out of the liquid inside the jug. This helped us make smoothies that were bursting with flavour and vibrant colour.

Buy now £169.99, Amazon

Vonshef 1000W glass jug blender 2000087

Capacity: 1.5l

Power: 1000W

Settings: Variable speed

With a variety of settings and a tough, glass jug, this is an ideal reasonably-priced model for smoothies and hot foods like soup. We were pleased with the results produced during testing, with the only negative point being that it’s not the most foolproof of blenders: turn the jug in the wrong direction within the base, and you run the risk of a spillage. Having said that, if you take more care in reading the instructions than this reviewer did, you’ll be just fine.

The 2000087 comes with a nice little extra in the form of a 500g stainless steel grinder attachment, ideal for grinding small, hard ingredients such as nuts and coffee beans.

Buy now £79.99, VonHaus

Kitchenaid artisan K400 blender

Capacity: 1.4 litres

Power: 1200W

Settings: Eight

Powerful, versatile and beautifully well-made, the Kitchenaid artisan K400 is a truly premium product, suitable for shoppers with exacting standards and a significant budget. In our testing, it proved capable of blending a variety of hard and soft ingredients effectively. We were particularly impressed with how little residue was left on the sides of the jug.

There’s no doubt that this blender goes beyond the average user’s requirements – but if you’re looking for a top-notch appliance to play a big role in your kitchen, that can only be a good thing.

Buy now £279.00, Currys PC World

Russell Hobbs retro blender 25192

Capacity: 1.5l

Power: 825W

Settings: Three

This cute and kitsch blender from Russell Hobbs looks like something out of a 1950s milkshake parlour. And it can certainly make a good milkshake (or a smoothie, or even soup).

We’d be lying if we said the 25192 is one of the most powerful models we’ve tested – it can struggle a little with tougher ingredients. But, with that said, this charming machine still does a great job of blending softer ingredients such as fleshy fruit. And the manufacturing quality is good, considering its mid-market price.

Buy now £64.99, Currys PC World

Kenwood BLP302WH blender

Capacity: 1.6l

Power: 450W

Settings: Two

This reviewer is unusually well qualified for testing blenders, having worked in a milkshake and smoothie shop in his teens. Kenwood’s blenders were always the go-to option in that shop, owing to their combination of good performance and outstanding durability.

In our testing, the BLP302WH lived up to that reputation, providing excellent execution and intuitive usability. If you’re looking for a machine that will give you good performance in the long term, without breaking the bank, this would be our recommendation.

Buy now £49.99, Currys PC World

Sage the 3X bluicer pro

Capacity: 1.5l

Power: 1350W

Settings: 10

The brilliant 3X bluicer pro from Sage is a jug blender and a centrifugal juicer rolled into one. We particularly enjoyed the process of using the Bluicer to turn fruit into fresh juice, funnelling that juice into the blending jug, and then whizzing up the juice with other fruits to make a smoothie. All the components and tasks required for the process fitted together intuitively and worked exquisitely well.

Of course, you won’t always need fresh juice for your smoothies or, perish the thought, soups. In such cases, you can set the blending jug up normally. The only real downsides to the 3X bluicer pro are the price and the fact it requires quite a lot of washing up.

Buy now £299.00, Amazon

Bosch vitaboost high performance blender MMBH6P6BGB

Capacity: 1.5l

Power: 1600W

Settings: Variable speed

The Bosch vitaboost is a superb all-rounder, featuring variable speed settings plus presets for milkshakes, smoothies, ice creams, soups and sauces. Setting up the blender is simple – you sit the jug on top of the base, rather than screwing it in. All of the components feel very well made and built to last, down to the on/off switch, which toggles with a satisfying click.

With a 1600W motor, this is one of the most powerful blenders aimed at a consumer audience. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, it can be a little noisy when used on a high setting. But we were thoroughly impressed with the vitaboost’s performance. Using the soup setting, we turned a chunky broth into a silky-smooth vegetable soup in no time.

Buy now £279.97, Appliances Direct

Salter EK4246 deluxe blender set

Capacity: 1.5l

Power: 400W

Settings: Two

This great-value machine from Salter offers fantastic versatility and solid performance. As well as a roomy jug, there’s a food processor add-on with attachments for chopping, slicing and shredding. As a blender, the EK4246 works very well. Its motor may not be the most mighty, but this thrifty machine still managed to blend a wide range of ingredients, including dark chocolate digestive biscuits (which go very well in milkshakes, by the way).

The EK4246 is both easy to use and easy to clean, and while it’s components may not be the heaviest or the most luxurious, it still feels very well designed and made. We rate this as the ideal blender for shoppers on a reasonable budget.

Buy now £57.94, Amazon

The verdict: Jug blenders

Offering top-of-the-class performance at a really decent price, the Tefal infiny mix tritan blender is our IndyBest best buy. The only drawback is that it’s not suitable for very hot ingredients. If you’re looking for an appliance of similar quality which can handle soup, try something like the Ninja BN750UK instead.