Tech rundown: Vitamix high-speed blender

Whether your cooking is devoutly traditional or boldly avant-garde, a blender is a vital piece of kitchen equipment. (Unless, that is, your cooking is so traditional that you use a food mill for everything.) Obviously, its main use is to puree soft foods and soups, but it can also be used to grind brittle foods, disperse hydrocolloids, and emulsify sauces, such as hollandaise.

Until recently, I had two different blenders to work with: a Braun immersion blender and an old Osterizer upright blender. These were fine for most applications, but in some cases they just weren’t up to the task. One day in particular, I remember swearing that I would never make an artichoke puree again; although it was delicious, the work involved in blending and straining the artichokes just wasn’t worth it. Similarly, I’ve made a few things from the Alinea cookbook that challenged – or downright exceeded – the capacity of my previous blenders. This is notably true of agar-based fluid gels, but also of the roux-thickened dill sauce in the dish “Smoked salmon, salsify, dill, caper.” (When the motor in your blender starts smelling like burning oil, it’s time to stop. I ended up omitting that sauce from the final dish.)

Fortunately, all that changed in December, when my husband gave me a brand-new Vitamix blender. This high-speed blender, much like its competitor, Blendtec, is more powerful, better designed, and faster than most home blenders. The model I got is intended for home use; Vitamix also makes commercial-grade blenders, but that’s probably more power than I need. Of course, this much power comes at a cost, but if you have the money, it’s almost certainly worth investing in one.

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