Last month, I received Blendtec’s new Designer Series blender with the WildSide jar to review. I am no stranger to powerful blenders and been using Vitamix for many years. If you are looking for a new powerful blender, then you know Blendtec and Vitamix own this market. See my Blendtec vs. Vitamix comparison post.
I have been using the Blentec for many weeks now and in this post I will be giving you my honest opinion.
The blender is packaged well in a big heavy box. Blendtec offers free shipping on all their blenders if you order online. This is a great value once you see how heavy the box is.
Once the blender is out of box, the first thing you will notice is how clean and small the Blendtec Designer Series is. It fits nicely on our kitchen counter and takes less counter space. The WildSide jar is wider but not as tall as the Vitamix 5200 series.
A little size comparison with the Vitamix just so you get an idea. Even though the Vitamix looks bigger in the photo, the Blendtec jar has an approximate volume of 90fl oz while the Vitamix is rated at 64fl oz. (You can click on each photo to enlarge it)
Once you plug it in, the control surface will illuminate and you will be able to see all the icons and blending options the blender offers. The blender offers five blend cycles that are optimized to deliver the same blend quality every time.
Below the icons, you will see a touch slider where you can slide your fingers to change blending speed.
The Designer Series Wildside dimensions are 15″ tall, 7″ wide and 9.25″ deep. It weighs in at about 8 lbs. It has a commercial-grade motor with a powerful 1,560 watts. The motor base comes in four different colors (champagne metallic, red, black, or cream)
The Wildside Container:
The WildSide jar’s has distinctive square design with a fifth side. Yes, there is a fifth side to this jar where the handle is. According the Blendtec, this design gives the blender a unique shape that creates a better “blending vortex” and that allows it to mix all the ingredients without having to use a plunger. The blender did that effortlessly during all my tests. At least that’s how it looked to me! Smoothies that I normally used a plunger for blended with no problem.
The jar has a 4″ blade and an easy-open vented Gripper lid. One of the nice feature of the lid is that it allows ingredients to be added through either the center opening or by adding liquid with the container closed. Just add liquid through the side vents and it will pour down jar.
Now to the important and fun stuff. After all this is why you are looking for a blender in the first place. You’ve probably seen all these Youtube videos of “Will it blend” by Blendtec founder, Tom Dickson. The blender definitely makes blending very easy. I was very impressed with the blending power. One of the nice things about the Blendtec is everything gets mixed together without the need to use a plunger like with the Vitamix.
I have put this blender to test to make very thick smoothies, ice cream, almond butter, hummus, and pancake batter. Every time the blender did the job and I was very impressed with the results.
The blender has a touch screen preset automatic blending options. The idea behind these presets options is to give you the same results every time. You will notice, your smoothies have the same consistency after every blend. Each blending option has a time limit and variable speed. You can see that in the little video I have below.
Once you turn on the blender and select one of the preset options, the blender will start on low and slowly increase power. You will see all the ingredients jump up and down and everything is getting mixed together. Then power go all the way to high and blends everything to a nice consistency that you are used to when going to any smoothie shop. The blending cycling take about 40 to 90sec depending on what you are trying to make. I have had the same consistency with each blend which I really like. I don’t have to worry about over blending or not blending long enough.
Here is a little video I took making a smoothie:
Blendtec, also offer different jars for different blending options. The Twister jar is one that I have been using and will review in a separate post. This a perfect jar to blend thick recipes like nut butter, hummus, or ice cream. It comes with a patented twister led that you can use during the blending cycle. This twisting motion forces the ingredients from the sides of the jar back into the blade without you having to stop the blender to push the ingredients down. I will leave all the details for my review of the Blendtec Twister jar later.
Cleaning The Blender
One of the reasons I don’t like using many of our kitchen appliances is the mess I have to deal with after using them. However, that isn’t the case with this blender. They made the process to clean the blender extremely easy.
The designer series doesn’t have buttons or dials and the touch area is sealed and has a smooth motor base. All you need is a damp cloth and the blender is as clean as the day you bought it. To clean the jar, you just need warm tap water and couple of drops of dish washing soap and run the blender then rinse and let it air dry.
The blender isn’t cheap. The Designer Series retail for $454. It took us a while to jump on the bandwagon since you can go to Target or Wall-Mart and get a blender for less than $100. In all honestly, those blenders hardly got used for many reasons. For one, cleaning them was hard and smoothies don’t come out as good as you expect. We never used them to make green smoothies because they just tasted awful. However, that isn’t the case with Blendtec blenders. Because everything get’s blended together and reach a very smooth consistency, the green leaves don’t over power the other ingredients. The ultimate test was with our kids, they love the green smoothies we make, and always ask for seconds.
Other than smoothies, you will find yourself using this blender in place of your other kitchen appliances. For example, making ice cream, bread, you can even use it to grind meat or coffee. For me, making nut butter on a regular basis justified the cost since I go through one jar per week and these can be very costly if you buy the good healthy brand.
Overall, if you are serious about healthy living or just looking for a good blender, then I would definitely recommend this blender. Blendtec also offer factory certified refurbished option for a lot less and comes with the same 7-year warranty as a new blender.