Commercial vs. household blenders
The difference between commercial and household blenders is not always visible at first sight, mostly because the real distinction is inside the appliance. The most important distinctions between the two kinds of blenders are the design of the blades, the power of the motor, various functional features, and, most importantly, the ability to handle repeated use throughout the day.
Unlike household blenders, commercial ones are primarily blenders for milkshakes, smoothies, frappes, and sauces as they can easily turn frozen fruit, vegetables, ice, and other tough ingredients such as nuts into smooth and creamy cocktails or soups many time a day. The main function of a commercial blender is often to create frozen drinks, but many models do more than that.
Features to consider before buying a commercial blender
Some of the most important things to consider when shopping for a commercial blender include the type of machine, which is determined by the kinds of foods that require preparation, the material and capacity of the jar, as well as the horsepower. Other features to take into account include the ease of operation, the level of noise at which the blender operates, as well as the number of controls and settings, and the length of warranty. Let’s discuss them in detail.
Type and application
The three main types of commercial blenders are bar, food, and immersion. Bar blenders are a common choice for creating frozen beverages such as frappes, ice crushes, and smoothies. While many bar blenders only have this one function, some models such as the Vitamix Blending Station Advance serve more than one purpose.
On the other hand, food blenders can complete a wide variety of tasks and can handle a multitude of ingredients. They can be used to puree vegetables for a soup, blend frozen fruit for a smoothie, grind nuts for baking, or chop fresh vegetables for salsa or other sauces. If that’s what you’re looking for, consider getting a blender food processor combo. Some models on our list come with multiple accessories that transform them into truly versatile cooking appliances. The examples of such blenders are commercial blenders by Waring and the Blendtec Stealth 885.
Finally, immersion blenders are handheld appliances that are inserted into a container of liquid such as soup. They don’t come with a jar, so you need to use your own container.
The main benefit of immersion blenders is the fact that you don’t have to move the prepared vegetables or other foods from the original pot you prepared them in.
Immersion blenders have various speeds, and many of them also come with interchangeable shafts and accessories, allowing a wide range of blending and mixing types, including pureeing, mashing, whisking, and emulsifying.
Jar: material and capacity
The two main materials used for branding jars are glass and plastic. The type of jar doesn’t really make a difference in blender performance, but you need to keep in mind that blending eyes or hard food items such as nuts may scratch or cause engine in the polycarbonate construction of some blenders. Blenders with a glass jar are usually heavier, but since commercial blenders are bulkier items overall, this shouldn’t matter much. If you opt for a plastic jar, make sure it is BPA free for safety reasons.
There is also a third type of blender jar available for commercial models, the stainless steel one. Present in blenders such as the Waring Commercial MX1050XTX (as an optional replacement), this jar is more durable than both glass or plastic, but the main drawback is that you cannot monitor the contents during blending.
The capacity of the jar is important, but you need to take into account how much blending you need to do at one time. A 64 oz. capacity such as the one present in the Waring Commercial MX1050XTX and Cuisinart CBT-2000W Hurricane Pro should be enough for most uses.
The power of commercial blenders is measured in horsepower, and this feature is a distinction that usually matters the most for bartenders and cooks. Having a high-power motor of up to 3.8 peak HP means that you can blend at high speeds in a short amount of time and get super smooth results every time. However, keep in mind that power alone is not an indicator of how well a certain blender will perform. The speeds, controls, and quality of blades are all things that work together with HP to deliver professional results.
When it comes to numbers, ½ HP should be enough for light food and beverage preparation of no more than 50 servings per day, whereas a 3.5 HP or more is ideal if you’re interested in a heavy-duty appliance that can handle more than 100 servings a day.
Different blenders come with different types of controls, with electronic, touch, and programmable being some of the most common. Electronic controls offer you more precision than toggle ones, whereas programmable ones are a good option if you want to program times and power levels for future use. An example is the Blendtec Stealth 885, which features a capacitive touchscreen interface that lets you program the machine intuitively. Electronic controls often provide more options than toggle controls, but they can make the appliance more expensive.
Blending a smoothie or crushing ice for a frappe can be pretty loud, so if you’re looking for a commercial blender to use in a coffee shop or bar, the level of noise it makes should be a big factor in your decision. Look for a model with a sound enclosure such as the Vitamix Blending Station Advance to create a comfortable atmosphere. A sound enclosure is often made of polycarbonate and reduces the sound produced by the blender by surrounding the unit.
As a rule of thumb, the blender you choose should not be louder than the level of a regular conversation, so that you can continue to take orders with accuracy when the appliance is in use.
Warranty periods for commercial blenders depend on specific brands and models. Some models come with an extended warranty of up to 10 years, like the Bamix Professional G200, which is however residential and not commercial. But generally, you should expect a 3-year commercial warranty for the motor.