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Vita-Mix Blenders & Mixers


Lucylu
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Once again, from their website:

The CIA Professional Series performs an astounding number of food preparation tasks, including chopping, dicing, pureeing, blending, mixing, whipping and grinding a very wide variety of foods, from whole fruits and vegetables to spices, cheese, meats and coffee beans. It even crushes ice! Its powerful 2+ peak horsepower commercial-grade motor easily handles hot as well as frozen foods, and everything in-between. That’s why we call it an MTA—Multi-Tasking Appliance. The CIA Professional Series outperforms any other single kitchen appliance.

Most of these machines (prep, mix, cia) perform the same functions. My feeling is that the 3HP is what you really need for restaurant applications; if there's something that the 2HP can't do for you at home, I'd like to hear about it.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I would imagine that, for virtually everything, at worst it's a matter of batching. The higher powered models can handle larger, tougher jobs without straining the motor. But the way to get around this would be to simply blend a smaller batch. In this way, it's no different from buying cookware or even a stove. To my thinking, it was worth the relatively small extra money to get the higher powered professional model. But that $80/20% increase may be outside some else's tolerance -- and, of course, many people would never pay 400 bucks for a blender in the first place, and it's still true that a 50 dollar blender can do most of the things a 400 dollar blender can do.

Yesterday I more or less liquified a large Spanish chorizo in the VP3, getting a thick purée I'm going to use in a few applications.

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I brought my Vita-Mix 5000 to various Heartland Gatherings. It went mostly unnoticed in Ann Arbor and Cleveland, but it got a workout at the Chicago gathering last year. I used the dry container to grind spices, and puréed the sauce for our chicken course in the wet container. Tammy and Steven used it to make their Apricot/Mango Schmear, which had previously caused a Cuisinart to emit a near death-rattle.

I haven't found myself wishing for more horsepower, but I'm not in a commercial environment.

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For some reason they don't seem to recommend the dry container with the Vita Prep, and tell you you can do all those things with the regular blade. Not sure why that is. The dry blade assembly isn't even offered as an "official" accessory.

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I haven't found any definitive applications where 3HP would be a significant advantage over 2HP. I will say though, that you should definitely get a Vita-* (either mix or prep) with the variable speed dial: that is genuinely useful in maintaining a vortex.

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al wang

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I often have problems not only with the things they test, but also how they test them.  I wouldn't say that ice-crushing is a major priority for me.  But I also have my doubts as to whether the CI people used the adjustable speed in the 5200 in the best way for this task.  In addition, as I have done myself to satisfy my curiosity, the VP3 (and the 5200 as well, I imagine) can turn a container packed full of ice cubes into dry snow in relatively short order.  Is this something any of the other machines can do?  Meanwhile, the Vita-Mix excelled at making smoothies and soup purees, both things that are important to me.  But how about how well the various machines were able to make a smooth puree out of a fibrous raw vegetable such carrots or fennel?  How good were they at making a thick puree of parsley or cilantro, including the stems and without any added liquid?  While we're at it, just how smooth were those soup purees?  How long did it take to pass them through a chinois?  Were they making a potato puree (easy) or a carrot puree (significantly more difficult to get smooth)?  Could they do what I did yesterday in making a shrimp bisque, and drop in cooked rice, boiling shrimp stock and raw shrimp that came out silky smooth and passed straight through a chinois?  What technique were they using to make the hummus?  Since I often find that their criteria for various dishes are not the same as mind, I also have to ask: What were their goals in making the hummus, and are they the same as mine?  I could go on, but suffice it to say that my preferences for cookware and also for cooked dishes do not often coincide with CI's.  Some of CI's conclusions directly contradict my own.  For example, they say that having a tapered base is critically important.  Really?  Well, I suppose this is true when you have a lot of liquid in there.  But my experience is that if you want to make a relatively thick puree, a narrowly tapered base makes this impossible unless you add enough liquid to create a vortex -- which is exactly what you don't want to do.

I bought the RPM blender well before the cook's illustrated review came out and I have been impressed with it. I agree that some of their testing can be lacking at best. Sometimes I've been severely disappointed in their findings and other times they do nail it right on the head.

As for the L'Equip RPM, it can easily turn a carafe full of ice cubes into a dry snow very quickly. It also works on frozen chocolate sauce/ice cream base for a similar result as Albert Adria gets out of a pacojet for his Natura recipes. It does a great job turning some carrots and broccoli into a smooth puree for a soup base. I was originally considering buying a vita-mix, and I will when and if the RPM blender stops working, but I have been extremely pleased with this nice odd looking blender.

I have no doubt that the vita-mix and prep are better machines but the RPM is worth a look...at least in my opinion (especially when on sale or w/ coupons)

Cheers

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  • 1 month later...

I am amazed at some of the posts in this thread.

It's kind of like "My Ferrari is better than your Maserati!"

I have a 1964 Vita mix. No glass bowls. All stainless steel. A reverse switch which is awesome. A spigot. I don't have to saute carrots, onions, et al, and then put them in the Vita mix to smooth them out. I put them in raw and it cooks them and they come out hot and smooth.

So, lets see, 2009 - 1964 = 45 years old and works like new. Grind whole wheat berries, add water to cool off the "wheat berry flour", add yeast, honey, EVOO, salt and knead it all in the same stainless steel blender.

Roll it out and let it rise. The only thing my Vita Mix doesn't do is bake the bread!

All I've heard many times over the last 5-10 years is that the new Vita Mixers are not as robust as the old ones like mine. I dread if it ever "dies"!

doc

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Yeah, they don't make 'em like they used to.

To add even more confusion to the mix, the latest issue (March/April) of Cook's Illustrated has re-tested blenders. This time, the Kitchenaid KSB 580 came out on top, with a suggested retail price of $150. The L'Equip seems to have slipped in their ratings, to 3rd place.

Interesting enough, they didn't test any Vitamixes - perhaps trying to compare apples with apples, at least in terms of pricing.

I can get the Kitchenaid at J&R for $99, I have a $20 rebate coupon and they'll ship it to me for free. Which I'm doing - so for $79, I'll be able to report back on CI's latest winning blender - at about 1/5 of the price of the Vitamix.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I am amazed at some of the posts in this thread.

I have a 1964 Vita mix.  No glass bowls. All stainless steel.  A reverse switch which is awesome.  A spigot.  I don't have to saute carrots, onions, et al, and then put them in the Vita mix to smooth them out.  I put them in raw and it cooks them and they come out hot and smooth.

All I've heard many times over the last 5-10 years is that the new Vita Mixers are not as robust as the old ones like mine.  I dread if it ever "dies"!

doc

Don't despair you can still find the old ones at reasonable prices. I bought two 4000s for under $200 each. I too, love throwing that baby into reverse to amaze and awe my friends!

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I continue to get good use out of mine. So far, very happy! Last night I was looking for a quick and easy meal. I had picked up some cockles, baby octopus and squid tubes on the way home, and I knew I had some Spanish paella rice. Figured I'd cook them together in a frypan.

So, I made small dice of some celery and onions. The rest of the celery and the onion were looking a bit old. Those went into the Vita-Prep, along with some aging carrot from the fridge. Then I had a jar with around 4 medium-sized "fire roasted red peppers" I had picked up on sale at Fairway. Dumped those in the VP. Then poured in some chicken stock I hadn't used up the other night. Liquified all that for a minute or so. Ran it through a fine sieve to get any fiber out and end up with just the liquid. Softened the onion and celery in some olive oil. Threw in the squid and the 'pus. Threw in the rice and the broth. Simmered a while and tossed in the cockles. Turned out brilliant, in a large part because of the amazing broth I was able to put together in around 60 seconds using the VP.

gallery_8505_416_32247.jpg

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If it's a professional kitchen that is using the blender for multiple items such as pureed sauces and marinades, coulis and the like, smooth soups, house-made mayonnaise and other dressings, nut butters, and more at any real volume... it seems very likely that they're using the blender at least four hours over the course of a 10 hour day.

Quite simply: No.

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I am amazed at some of the posts in this thread.

I have a 1964 Vita mix.  No glass bowls. All stainless steel.  A reverse switch which is awesome.  A spigot.  I don't have to saute carrots, onions, et al, and then put them in the Vita mix to smooth them out.  I put them in raw and it cooks them and they come out hot and smooth.

All I've heard many times over the last 5-10 years is that the new Vita Mixers are not as robust as the old ones like mine.  I dread if it ever "dies"!

doc

Don't despair you can still find the old ones at reasonable prices. I bought two 4000s for under $200 each. I too, love throwing that baby into reverse to amaze and awe my friends!

That is exactly what I did , I bought two VM 4000s on Ebay, and they are the BOMB!! :wub:

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  • 1 month later...

I'm in Vancouver and the Yaletown Costco is featuring the Vita-Mix 5200 for $499 and the dry blade container for $99!

I assume this is a good price as I already checked out the official site and you save on shipping and handling. Plus Costco has a good return policy.

What I mainly want to do is vegetable smoothies. I guess if it can pulverized an avocado pit to liquid, vegetable fiber would not be a problem? I initially wanted to get a high end juicer but this VM does more and seem so easy to clean.

Has anyone had success with cold vegetable smoothies?

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Thanks for your assurance and confirmation on the price. I'm heading out today to get a Vita-Mix. It seems as I was searching the net, nearly everyone was very very happy with its performance and durability.

Edited by maxmillan (log)
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I'm very glad I read this in the morning before heading to the city, changed from the Willingdon Costco to go to the downtown one. Got my Vita-mix today, I've been waiting a couple years to find them at Costco.

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  • 2 months later...

I registered my Vitamix this spring and they sent me this special offer. Enter the promo code and you can buy a Vitamix for the same price I paid at Costco. It basically covers shipping fee. The price is $499 Canadian plus tax. The promo code is 05-0881-06-07 .

The site is

https://secure.vitamix.com/acb/stores/5/CLE...N=05-0881-06-07

This is the best price I've seen in Canada and on the internet for a brand new Vitamix.

Edited by maxmillan (log)
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I registered my Vitamix this spring and they sent me this special offer.  Enter the promo code and you can buy a Vitamix for the same price I paid at Costco.  It basically covers shipping fee.  The price is $499 Canadian plus tax.  The promo code is 05-0881-06-07  .

The site is   

https://secure.vitamix.com/acb/stores/5/CLE...N=05-0881-06-07

This is the best price I've seen in Canada and on the internet for a brand new Vitamix.

Thanks! Do you know how long the offer is good for? I tried to purchase it, but kept getting an error code on the payment page. I sent an e-mail to them about it, but I don't want to miss it!

Not buying a Vitamix at Costco several years ago has always been one of my regrets! (We saw it, put it in our cart, then put it back. :sad: )

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  • 1 month later...

I am bumping this topic up so I can post a link to a site that has manual for many appliances, including Vita-Mix. (I'm also going to post it in the stand mixer thread.)

Manuals on line?

I thought this source might come in hand for folks who have purchased second-hand appliances.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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