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The high-power blender topic


Fat Guy
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The problem with Teflon and fry pans is not actually the flaking off of the Teflon itself. The problem with more about some of the things it gives off if it is heated to her too high of a temperature. Also, the Teflon used in cookware is a much different type of Teflon than that used in implants.

 

I'm pretty sure it's all just PTFE. They may be adding stuff to it for different purposes, but teflon's teflon. Even non-Teflon® teflon is teflon.

 

The stuff that's given off when you overheat a pan is widely misunderstood. While PTFE can break down into potentially toxic monomers at very high temperatures (greater than 600°F), what happens at lower temperatures (upper 400°F range) is the sublimation of PTFE from the surface, which condenses into very fine particles in the air. The particles are made of the same inert substance as the pan. But very fine particles of any type can be irritating to the lungs, and can be fatally so to some small animals—especially birds.

 

You really shouldn't keep birds near the kitchen, btw. They'll be killed just as quickly by smoke coming off a cast iron skillet.

Notes from the underbelly

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You really shouldn't keep birds near the kitchen, btw. They'll be killed just as quickly by smoke coming off a cast iron skillet.

I like to do that, and them throw them into the same skillet until they have a nice, crispy skin and a rosy breast.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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  • 1 year later...

I've now had my Vitamix for about a year, and although I like it better than the Blendtec I had, this is a piece of equipment that I just don't enjoy working with at all, and I'm liking it less and less as time goes on.  I'm sure it makes great smoothies, but I've never made one and never will.  For cooking applications, I find the machine severely lacking in that it cannot reduce things to a smooth paste, and its a pain in the neck to get product out of the bottom of the container.  I returned my first container due to the black teflon dust, and I'm wondering if the redesigned container is not able to spin the blade as smoothly over time.  I find myself using my food processor more and more, and looking for a replacement blender.  Can anybody make a suggestion?  It seems as if this market is very geared towards blending liquids (smoothies, juices, etc.) and I'm wondering if the Waring units are any better for cooking and processing solids, or if there is anything else out there.

 

Relatedly, I'm also thinking about moving some of these projects that won't work well on a Vitamix (i.e., nut butters, spice pastes, hummus) to a wet-grinder.  Might this be a good tool, and if so can anybody recommend one?  There is an interesting pistachio butter on ChefSteps, and would love to make it (it was an expensive disaster on the Vitamix).

Edited by IEATRIO (log)
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This spatulair?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B000S171G is a close to ideal tool for getting product out of the bottom of a blender jar. (Edit: Other colors may be cheaper. Check out other colors if you're looking to save a couple bucks.)

 

Blenders in general aren't that great for processing hard solids into pastes without added steps (like soaking nuts or what have you). The ChefSteps pistachio butter starts out using a Vitamix to turn pistashios and sugar into a powder, but they move that mixture to a conche to reduce the particle size to a smooth paste. Making something that smooth would be impossible in a blender. Getting smooth hummus shouldn't be a problem; smooth pistachio paste -- not so much. 

Edited by btbyrd (log)
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57 minutes ago, btbyrd said:

This spatulair?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B000S171G is a close to ideal tool for getting product out of the bottom of a blender jar. (Edit: Other colors may be cheaper. Check out other colors if you're looking to save a couple bucks.)

 

 

This spatula has been mentioned several times on eGullet.  I suspect it's quite popular.  Thanks for the reminder.  I've been meaning to put it into my cart for some time.  The white and the green spats are about $2.00 less expensive.

Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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3 hours ago, IEATRIO said:

I've now had my Vitamix for about a year, and although I like it better than the Blendtec I had, this is a piece of equipment that I just don't enjoy working with at all, and I'm liking it less and less as time goes on.  I'm sure it makes great smoothies, but I've never made one and never will.  For cooking applications, I find the machine severely lacking in that it cannot reduce things to a smooth paste, and its a pain in the neck to get product out of the bottom of the container.  I returned my first container due to the black teflon dust, and I'm wondering if the redesigned container is not able to spin the blade as smoothly over time.  I find myself using my food processor more and more, and looking for a replacement blender.  Can anybody make a suggestion?  It seems as if this market is very geared towards blending liquids (smoothies, juices, etc.) and I'm wondering if the Waring units are any better for cooking and processing solids, or if there is anything else out there.

 

Relatedly, I'm also thinking about moving some of these projects that won't work well on a Vitamix (i.e., nut butters, spice pastes, hummus) to a wet-grinder.  Might this be a good tool, and if so can anybody recommend one?  There is an interesting pistachio butter on ChefSteps, and would love to make it (it was an expensive disaster on the Vitamix).

 

 

I've had my Waring only a few days but so far I am quite pleased:

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/150545-wet-spicecurry-paste-grinders/?do=findComment&comment=2082442

 

Note the WSG60 is technically a spice grinder not a blender, however I'm not making smoothies either.  My otherwise very nice, faithful, made in Japan Cuisinart food processor will not produce smooth pastes.  The Waring will.

 

But I suppose it depends on what one is blending.  I have yet to try peanut butter.  The recipe from the Waring booklet calls for "1 cup unsalted peanuts, 1 cup lightly salted peanuts".

 

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7 hours ago, IEATRIO said:

I've now had my Vitamix for about a year, and although I like it better than the Blendtec I had, this is a piece of equipment that I just don't enjoy working with at all, and I'm liking it less and less as time goes on.  I'm sure it makes great smoothies, but I've never made one and never will.  For cooking applications, I find the machine severely lacking in that it cannot reduce things to a smooth paste, and its a pain in the neck to get product out of the bottom of the container.  I returned my first container due to the black teflon dust, and I'm wondering if the redesigned container is not able to spin the blade as smoothly over time.  I find myself using my food processor more and more, and looking for a replacement blender.  Can anybody make a suggestion?  It seems as if this market is very geared towards blending liquids (smoothies, juices, etc.) and I'm wondering if the Waring units are any better for cooking and processing solids, or if there is anything else out there.

 

Relatedly, I'm also thinking about moving some of these projects that won't work well on a Vitamix (i.e., nut butters, spice pastes, hummus) to a wet-grinder.  Might this be a good tool, and if so can anybody recommend one?  There is an interesting pistachio butter on ChefSteps, and would love to make it (it was an expensive disaster on the Vitamix).

 

 

Hmmm, interesting report. I find the Vitamix excels at these tasks, and when making smooth pastes like nut butters, greatly exceeds my expectations. 

 

The spatula that Btbyrd links is great. It doesn't make it easy to clean sticky stuff out of the jar, but it makes it reasonable.

 

With nut butters, the real concern is the oil content of the nuts. Second to that is if you've roasted the nuts or not; roasting seems to liberate the oils and help the nuts turn to butter. Lower-oil nuts like almonds may need some added oil to turn smooth. Higher-oil nuts like pecans should blend to a very smooth paste no hesitation.

 

I make a butter that's equal parts almonds, pecans, and walnuts, and the total oil content is plenty to get a smooth paste. It's smoother than the supermarket nut butters that I've bought (which, even though milled, probably have some texture intentionally). 

 

You have to use the the tamper, and you have to use high speed. I use ear plugs when I make nut butter (it's stupid loud) and I keep a hand on the housing near the exhaust vents, to make sure the motor isn't getting too hot. Usually it doesn't. Once when I made back-to-back batches, it got hot, so I stopped in the middle and let the fun run fast and unloaded for a couple of minutes. This babying is optional—the motor will go into thermal shutdown if it gets very hot. But backing off before you get to that point will extend the life of any motor.

 

I don't think any blender is better for culinary applications than the vitamix or vitaprep. Some are a bit better designed for smoothies, or for making frozen bar drinks, but there's a reason you see these in most pro kitchens.

 

Here's some nut fat info:

 

Less than 5% fat:

Chestnuts

Lychee

 

40%–49% fat:

Cashews

Pine Nuts

 

50%–59% fat:

Almonds

Pistachios

Black Walnuts

 

60-69% fat:

Brazil Nuts

Hazelnuts

Hickory

English Walnuts

 

70%+ fat:

Macadamia Nuts

Pecans

 

 

Notes from the underbelly

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Thanks.  I've got that spatula, as well as the official Vitamix one (which is not nearly as good) and while it definitely makes it easier, I find that I still lose a lot of product at the bottom of the jar.  The Blendtec was a pretty lousy piece of equipment, but one thing that was nice about it was that it had a flat bottom which was easy to empty.

 

Maybe I'm looking for something that doesn't exist, but if it doesn't somebody should invent something and put it on Kickstarter (Dave Arnold, call your office).   I was trying to make hummus the other day, and the machine overheated and stopped -- that shouldn't be that hard, and my much cheaper and lower tech food processor can do it without a problem.  The food processor has worked better for me with nut butters too -- especially since that is a good which inevitably hangs on to the bottom of the jar.  Being able to do this with a blender would be much more convenient, as its small enough to live on the counter, while the food processor has more bits and pieces and stays in the drawer most of the time.

 

I really like that Waring spice blender, but I'm really looking for something to process wet ingredients, and not usually dry ones.  I thought the Vitamix would work better for these projects than its turned out, but maybe the solution is to get an Indian style wet grinder or a concher.  The Indian wet grinders aren't too expensive, but none of the ones on Amazon look too robust.  

 

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21 minutes ago, IEATRIO said:

Thanks.  I've got that spatula, as well as the official Vitamix one (which is not nearly as good) and while it definitely makes it easier, I find that I still lose a lot of product at the bottom of the jar.  The Blendtec was a pretty lousy piece of equipment, but one thing that was nice about it was that it had a flat bottom which was easy to empty.

 

Maybe I'm looking for something that doesn't exist, but if it doesn't somebody should invent something and put it on Kickstarter (Dave Arnold, call your office).   I was trying to make hummus the other day, and the machine overheated and stopped -- that shouldn't be that hard, and my much cheaper and lower tech food processor can do it without a problem.  The food processor has worked better for me with nut butters too -- especially since that is a good which inevitably hangs on to the bottom of the jar.  Being able to do this with a blender would be much more convenient, as its small enough to live on the counter, while the food processor has more bits and pieces and stays in the drawer most of the time.

 

I really like that Waring spice blender, but I'm really looking for something to process wet ingredients, and not usually dry ones.  I thought the Vitamix would work better for these projects than its turned out, but maybe the solution is to get an Indian style wet grinder or a concher.  The Indian wet grinders aren't too expensive, but none of the ones on Amazon look too robust.  

 

 

The Waring is rated for 3 cups dry, 1 1/2 cups wet.  Two cups for something in between like peanut butter.  Says it grinds "spices, creams, sauces, pastes".  I bought the Waring more for wet grinding than for dry grinding.

 

Why did you assume the Waring was mainly for dry grinding?

 

 

 

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I find that my Vitamix (vita prep ) produces michelin star quality vegetable purees, excellent and very smooth hummus and good nut pastes. There are few tricks:

-use small quantities, I fill it no more than 750 ml / 3 cups

- use plunger to get things going, increase speed gradually

- add liquid: cooling liquid, milk, cream, juice (fruit or same vegetable just juiced) but you cannot make good, smooth, creamy puree with too little liquid. add gradually

- cook your vegetables to really soft, overcooked stage

- if using roasted, add more liquid

 

See how smooth my roasted pumpkin puree is in the attached picture

lamb side (2).jpg

lamb aereal.jpg

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On 12/3/2016 at 11:42 PM, IEATRIO said:

I was trying to make hummus the other day, and the machine overheated and stopped

 

That seems peculiar. I've made a bunch of hummus, even using the blender to turn sesame seeds into tahini as part of the process. It's a pretty light-duty task. How are you going about it?

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  • 2 months later...
On December 13, 2016 at 9:54 AM, paulraphael said:

 

That seems peculiar. I've made a bunch of hummus, even using the blender to turn sesame seeds into tahini as part of the process. It's a pretty light-duty task. How are you going about it?

 

Sorry for the delayed response.  Pretty simple really.  I mix cooked chickpeas and prepared tahina in abut a 1:1 ratio, add a bit of lemon juice, and blend.  It makes my Vitamix very unhappy and often chokes it entirely.

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On 12/3/2016 at 7:57 AM, IEATRIO said:

Relatedly, I'm also thinking about moving some of these projects that won't work well on a Vitamix (i.e., nut butters, spice pastes, hummus) to a wet-grinder.  Might this be a good tool, and if so can anybody recommend one?  There is an interesting pistachio butter on ChefSteps, and would love to make it (it was an expensive disaster on the Vitamix).

 

I have a wet grinder, and they are good for nut butters.  Super smooth.  However, at room temp, all nut butters (sweetened and not) I've made are pretty much liquid.  I've tried thickening them by adding a little water drop by drop, but that only goes so far before it seizes.  It is kind of a specialized tool, though - I've only found a use to make chocolate, nut butters, and idli uttapam batter.  I don't know what else to make with it.

 

I also have a vitamix - love/hate.  It is loud and as you mentioned, getting stuff from the bottom is awful, leads to some waste.  I use mine intermittently to smooth out soups and make fresh flours.  Smoothies tend to give me gas.

 

When you say "choke" on the hummus stuff, are the blades actually stopping, or are you just getting a pocket of air in there where it makes noise but doesn't do anything?

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12 hours ago, IEATRIO said:

I mix cooked chickpeas and prepared tahina in abut a 1:1 ratio, add a bit of lemon juice, and blend.  It makes my Vitamix very unhappy and often chokes it entirely.

 

Not to bash Vitamix in any way, but it seems like Blendtec may have an advantage for this application.  Late last year I picked up a Blendtec twister jar and it has worked well for thick stuff like hummus.  Of course it does add cost and storage bulk to the equation.  It is a smaller jar so it generally wouldn't be suitable as a complete replacement for a wildside or fourside jar (I have for latter). 

 

@IEATRIO unfortunately this obviously isn't going to help you, but I wanted to share it as something to consider for anyone who is deciding which blender to buy - as well as for the Blendtec owners who haven't tried the twister jar.  FWIW, I originally went with the Blendtec mainly because at the time I was able to get it for relatively reasonable price.

Edited by rustwood
typos! (log)
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I got my Vitamix at least 12 years ago, mostly for making smoothies.

Well, after a year or so I got really tired of the smoothie routine.

I've never had a need to make purees or pastes. hummus, etc.

Except for the (extremely) occasional need to use it for a blender, it has sat in the back of my pantry.

If I were making that decision today, I'd pass on the Vitamix and stick with my old reliable Oster.

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13 hours ago, IEATRIO said:

 

Sorry for the delayed response.  Pretty simple really.  I mix cooked chickpeas and prepared tahina in abut a 1:1 ratio, add a bit of lemon juice, and blend.  It makes my Vitamix very unhappy and often chokes it entirely.

 

I'd call Vitamix. I have trouble imagining this combination even slowing the machine down. This is a pretty light application.

 

I've never seen the VM "choke." It does work hard and begin to heat up when doing pure nut butters. It does them well; I just keep a hand near the exhaust vent to mind the motor temperature. I want the thing to last a while, so I'll give it a break if it gets hot to the touch. I've only had to do this once, when making multiple batches of nut butter back-to-back.

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Notes from the underbelly

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  • 4 years later...
17 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Fellow Blendtec fans:  when do you use the soft lid and when do you use the hard lid?

 

I only have soft.

What does the hard one do?

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I have both. Not sure why the hard lid even exists. Maybe just cheaper to produce in competition with the more preferred Vitamix. My hard lid just sits rather loose on top. I use it for seed, grain, Parm/romano cubed in chunks and powdered like snow---take some out when a bit sandy for a different texture. The fluffy snow is great for popcorn. I do keep a parm chunk for shaving and if I want hand grating. 

I use my twister jar 90% of the time. It comes with a hard twister and a soft top. 

I use it near daily or at least 3-4 times a week. Small batch humus, dressings, soups like roasted garlic/leek. Plenty big for two servings. 

If your hard lid is much easier to remove like mine---it would be suitable for adding things as you go I think. Open/close fast. My soft lid is so sturdy but needs a good push and two hands to get it off. Mine has a cap and hole in the middle for adding oil and such.

Guessing the variety of lids is ease of use?

I purchased the twister jar 6 yrs ago? Or whenever it was first available. It died 6 months ago and a bugger to pay another 129$ for another. I checked E-Bay for a couple months and got a new one with a Blentec base with low mileage for 50$, (20 shipping) but nice to have and extra spare base for traveling. Probably take it to the beach house. IMG_1340.thumb.jpeg.a1767cb31c02cc61650d17b6cc998bd7.jpeg

728770990_ScreenShot2021-10-23at10_44_01AM.thumb.png.daca1fef5640ece1de9848d897fa56f0.png

For those having a annoying chore of getting thick ingredients out of any blender jar---leave the 2-4 tBsp in the jar and add a 1/4 cup of AC vinegar or what makes sense. A bit of toasted sesame seed oil, fresh ginger....more lemon, an herb...and ice cube for emulsifying...excellent salad dressing for a few days and cleans out your blender jar. 

The twister jar has feet that you spin when blending.

 

 

Edited by Annie_H
typo (log)
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