My Detailed Vitamix Review
I'd like to tell you a little bit about how our family came to own a Vitamix blender and give you a thorough overview of the parts of the blender, what you can do with it, and what to look if you are considering purchasing a Vitamix.
Disclosure: Before we begin I want you to know that I have not been paid to write this review and I would definitely not recommend a product if I didn't use it myself. If you do order a Vitamix through my link I receive a commission from Vitamix which helps support my growing family and allows me to write more content for this website. So thank you in advance. Now on to the review!
The Problem with Cheap Blenders
We used to have a regular cheap blender that was probably pretty similar to what most people have tucked away in their kitchen cabinet somewhere. We didn't use it much except for an occasional daiquiri or smoothie. I thought it worked okay for what we were using it for until the day I went to use it and it wouldn't start up. I tried several outlets but it was deader than a doornail. So I replaced it with another cheap blender and the motor in that one burned out after a few months.
Searching for the Best Blender
Well rather than replace the freshly broken blender with yet another cheap-o one, my wife and I decided that perhaps we should invest in a blender that will actually last a long time. After all, these cheap ones do start to add up after a while. So, we did a bunch of research online and discovered that the general opinion was that a Vitamix is the best blender on the market. I had heard of Vitamix before through a few of our cookbooks (oh, how I love to collect vegan cookbooks!). Well after looking it over and reading some reviews on it I have to admit we were pretty amazed at all of the things it could do. But honestly, we weren't sure if we could afford to buy one. It was definitely more than we were originally planning on spending on a new blender.
Buying the Vitamix: 30-day Trial + 60-day Payment Plan
After talking it over some more we decided we would give it a try. Since Vitamix offers a 30-day in home trial, I knew that if we didn't like it we could just return it and get our money back. We made use of the payment plan that split our purchase into three payments over the course of 60 days (this allowed us to spread the price out over 4 paychecks which really made it easier to budget). That was back in 2009 and obviously we never did get around to returning it.
Customer Quote: "Although it is very expensive, it is a worthwhile investment. I have had three cheaper blenders that have been virtually useless for any heavy duty use. Don’t waste your money buying a cheap blender which won’t do the job!" -LisaLMB
I can truly say that the Vitamix has been the best investment we have ever made in an appliance. It has become an indispensable tool that we use everyday. It's so convenient and it has really made it easier for us to incorporate more beneficial whole-foods into our everyday diet. My family has never eaten as healthy as we do now and our Vitamix is a big part of that.
Vitamix Models and Features
Vitamix makes quite a few different models which can be confusing when you are trying to decide which one to buy. I know I had a hard time figuring it out when we ordered ours. The reason they all sound like pretty much the same thing is because they are all based around the Vitamix 5200. The CIA (Culinary Institute of America) series is just a rebranded 5200 that costs more so I don't recommend it. The Turboblend VS is a 5200 that comes with a free cookbook on raw food and a nut milk bag. There is a two speed version as well that is a bit cheaper but I strongly recommend that you stick with the 5200 for the variable speed control. The Vitamix 5200 comes in 4 colors: white, black, red, and gray. When selecting your package you can choose which containers you want as well.
Base and Motor
The first thing I noticed about our new blender when I took it out of the box was that it was noticeably heavier than any blender I had picked up before. This thing is definitely heavy-duty. Weighing in at around 10 pounds, most of that weight is in the base of the blender which houses the uber-powerful motor. Operating at a peak 2+ HP the motor in the Vitamix is quite a marvel. When you crank it up to high speed it gets the blades rotating at 240 mph and can tear through pretty much anything you put into the container. It's really quite fun to watch I think. The real benefit of all of that power is that it can completely pulverize the food you put in it. By breaking down the cell walls of the ingredients you increase the bioavailability of the nutrients in the food. To put it simply, it's just healthier for you.
The other nice thing about the motor is that it has excellent thermal cooling by means of a large radial cooling fan. What this means is that you can leave the blender running on high for a long time without it overheating or burning out. When making hot soup from raw ingredients I leave the blender on high for up to 7 minutes which leaves the ingredients steamy and ready to eat without ever having to turn on the stove.
The two switches and dial on the base of the blender have a really sturdy feel to them and I like having big, fat switches and a smooth continuously variable dial to grab ahold of when adjusting the blending speed. The controls are so simple: there is the on/off switch, the variable speed dial, and another switch to kick the blender into high speed mode. I like this set up much, much better than having a bunch of randomly labelled buttons or touchpads that are just confusing and prone to malfunctioning over time. The Vitamix makes it easy. Just turn the dial as much as you need it or kick in high gear to completely pulverize your ingredients.
Wet and Dry Containers
The first thing you should know is that Vitamix offers two kinds of containers that are designed for blending either wet ingredients (smoothies, sauces, nut butters, etc) or dry ingredients (fresh ground flours, flax seed, etc). The containers are made of polystyrene, a completely BPA-free plastic so it won’t contaminate your food with any toxins. And since it not made of glass you don’t have to worry about breaking or chipping it. All of the Vitamix packages come with the wet container which is available in a choice of three sizes. The default 64 oz container holds just over 8 cups and is large enough to blend up a recipe for your whole family. There is also a 48 oz and 32 oz container if you don't need such a large capacity, but for most people I would still recommend the default 96 oz container as it is convenient to be able to make 8 cups of something when you need to.
The wet container is tall and slender which helps the food fall into the vortex that is created once the blending begins. I like the fact that it has a perfectly sized pouring spout which prevents me from so easily over-pouring the width of my glass. The inside of the container is smooth and I never have trouble cleaning it out. I’ve also never noticed any residual flavors sticking around after making a spicy garlic sauce or any staining after blending up a fresh tomato sauce.
It's Easy to Clean
Washing the blender container is a breeze. All you have to do is fill it half way with water, add two drops of soap, blend on high for 30 seconds, and rinse it out. The powerful motor creates a vortex so strong it’s like a mini-dishwasher inside the jar.
When I was first looking at Vitamix packages and reading Vitamix reviews, I remember I was really excited by the possibilities of the dry container. The blade in it is specially made to grind all sorts of things without using any liquids.
The blade and the shape of the container work together to push the unground grains down into the bottom of the blender while allowing the ground particles to move to the top. It is perfect for making whole-grain flours from whole kernel wheat, rye, spelt, buckwheat, or oats. It's also great for grinding flax seed, spices, and coffee beans too.
The dry container is not included in the basic package but if you do get it I’ll let you in on a little secret to saving money month after month. Have your grocery store or local health food store order a bulk bag (usually 50 pounds) of whole wheat grains and whatever other whole-grains you want to use in your bread. The price per pound this is much cheaper than buying ground flour and since the grains are still in their whole kernel form, you can easily store them for a long time without them going bad. Then once a week or however often you want you can grind up some fresh flour and get to baking. Even if you don't order in bulk you can save money by making your own specialty flours like oat flour or chickpea flour that are usually insanely expensive for a tiny bag.
The tamper is my absolute favorite part of owning a Vitamix. The design is incredibly smart. It allows you to push the ingredients down into the blades while the blender is running.
You just pop off the small plastic cover from the blender top and insert the tamper. The stop ring at the base of the tamper prevents it from going too far down and hitting the blades. I can freely jab and push the ingredients in the jar while the blender is on without having to worry about blending the tamper. The way it is designed you can even use it in the 32 oz try container too.
The tamper is a critical tool when making nut butters and I find it useful when working with greens as well. When I’m blending a super thick frozen banana smoothie or making a homemade fruit sorbet, I don’t want to have to stop the blender several times, pick the jar up and shake the air pockets out. The tamper eliminates this problem completely. Really, I just love it!
"I’ve had a vita mix since the late 80′s absolutely love it…You don’t need to heat or bake vegetables before making soup. We make smoothies and green drinks everyday… I have no stock in this company I just think this is the most versatile and easy to clean product ever." -chumba via Vita-Village discussion
What Can You Make with a Vita-mix blender?
The key to healthy eating is consuming a diet rich in whole foods like fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Some people find it difficult to consistently incorporate fresh whole foods into their diet because they find raw vegetables and fruits unappealing and the prospect of cooking is either too time consuming or too challenging of a task to take on. I do think that it is worth the effort to cook your own meals from scratch instead of relying on packaged convenience foods and I do think that making a habit of cooking regularly will allow you to become more confident in your own abilities. But I will also say having a Vitamix around does certainly make it easier to eat lots of whole-foods and definitely cuts the preparation time down to a bare minimum for many tasks.
Here are some of the things I have made in our Vitamix 5200:
- Smoothies: Fruit smoothies and green smoothies.
- Juice: Whole-food juice with the fiber-rich pulp included is much healthier for you.
- Soup: Hot soup from raw ingredients in a just a few minutes. Great for when I am short on time.
- Dressings, sauces and marinades: Cheaper, tastier, and no preservatives.
- Dips and Hummus: Convenient for parties or just everyday snacking.
- Nut Butters: I save a lot of money by making our own almond butter and cashew butter.
- Baby Food Purees: Babies deserve fresh vegetables and fruits… not that gross stuff that comes in the jars.
- Ice Cream and fresh fruit sorbet: Rich, thick, creamy, satisfying. Yum.
- Fresh-Ground Whole-Grain Flours: We save a lot of money by grinding our own versus buying specialty grain flours from the supermarket.
- And More
Experimenting with Healthy Whole Foods
I love experimenting with our Vitamix. It’s just plain fun to throw a bunch of stuff into the blender and see what happens. The kids enjoy using the tamper too and they like to come up with their own smoothie recipes themselves. Their favorite is still dad’s strawberry banana smoothie, but it’s hard to mess with a classic.
Adding more whole-foods into my family’s diet has never been so easy or such a fun experience for all of us. I find that the more I use the Vitamix the more adventurous and creative I get with our own recipes. There is a limitless way to combine foods together and it's so simple and quick for me to try things out in the Vitamix. It's true, some blends are tastier than others but it's all part of the experimentation process. The important part is that I am feeding my family more healthy whole foods than ever before.
Vitamix Review from the web: "My main concern right now is for health and energy. I have recently been diagnosed with liver disease and a pancreatic tumor so changing my diet was a must. With little to no appetite and poor eating habits the VitaMix has been a God send to me in changing some of those behaviors! I now look forward to healthy green smoothies and fresh veggie and fruit drinks! I would recommend this juicer to anyone who wants to change their life without a lot of hassle." -joy2you via ViewPoints
What I Don't Like About the Vitamix
As I'm sure you know, nothing in life is perfect and that includes our dear Vitamix blender as well. Some Vitamix reviews only focus on the good but I want to be balanced here. While I do think it is a great blender overall if I had to nitpick these would be my chief complaints.
Honestly, I knew this was going to be a loud blender before I even purchased it and when I turned it on my suspicions were confirmed. It is rather loud. Louder than our old cheap blender. It depends on how thick of a recipe you are making. Nut butters and ice cream are definitely the loudest because the mixture is so thick. It's not like blending is a quiet activity to begin with though. We lived in a condo when we first got it and I was concerned that our noise-sensitive neighbors were going to complain. I guess it must not be too bad because they never did and we are accustomed to the powerful sound it makes at this point, so it's not really a big deal.
It's a Bit Too Tall
Since the base of the blender is rather large on it's own, once you put the tall 64 oz container with the lid onto the base, the whole thing becomes too big to fit under a standard kitchen cabinet. For us it's no big deal though… we just keep the container sitting next to the base and slide it out from under the cabinet when we are ready to use it.
Recently Vitamix has released a shorter 48 oz container that will fit underneath the cabinet. Personally I'd rather have the additional volume that the 64 oz container provides, but if counter space is at an absolute premium in your kitchen you should probably opt for the 48 oz container. It's still plenty large for most tasks. I've been thinking of getting a second wet container and if I do I'll add my opinion of it to this review.
It Can be Hard to Scrape Sticky Blends Out
Another minor gripe I have about the tall container is that it can be difficult to scrape out the last bits of nut butters or thick dips from the bottom of the blender. The four blades and tight space at the bottom of the container make it tricky to get every last bit out. Mind you, it's still easy to clean since I just add hot water, 2 drops of soap and blend on high for 30 seconds or so. Still I do hate to leave anything to waste. The 48 oz jar looks a little wider on the bottom so I'd like to try it out at some point but until I have one in person I can't comment directly on it.
Is a Vitamix 5200 Expensive?
One of the first things most people notice when they are considering buying a Vitamix is that it’s not cheap. Indeed it was definitely a big purchase for us, but I could see the value in owning a professionally made appliance that would last a long time. I’ve bought my share of cheap kitchen appliances and when they break from normal use I’ve regretted every one of them. That said, a Vitamix is large chunk of change for most folks so I don’t recommend buying one if you are not able to budget it. If you can’t pay your power bill at the end of the month you won’t be able to use your blender either.
If you are tight on cash for one large expenditure you can use Vitamix’s 3-payment plan to stretch out paying for it over 60 days. That's what we did and it made it a lot easier to work it into our family budget since I could divert money from 4 paychecks to pay for it.
When I bought our Vitamix I saw that it came with a free recipe book but I wasn’t really expecting much from it. After all, the real reason I placed my order was for the blender not the freebies. I was pleasantly surprised then to discover that the recipe book was full of great information and recipes that are actually good! At this point I usually just experiment and come up with my own blends, but this is a great reference when you are getting started and I still regularly find useful tips in it. Also included is a Getting Started Guide and a demonstration DVD which I thought was handy when we first got the blender.
Vitamix Promotion Code and Free Bonus
If you order using my Vitamix promotion code I will send you a FREE eBook as a thank you gift. Read the details of this at the bottom of the page.
Joining a Healthy Community
The community that Vitamix has built around their brand really does have a friendly vibe about it. One of my favorite places to visit when looking for inspiration on a recipe to make in our Vitamix is the Vita-Village community forum. Here, users post their favorite recipes and you can view hundreds of video demonstrations (both by professionals and other users). It is fun to explore around and check out the recipe ideas that other people have come up with.
Does Vitamix Stand Behind Their Products 100%?
Vitamix is renown for their excellent customer service and willingness to go the extra mile to ensure that their customers are happy. Plus they have A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. The company has been around since the 1920's (they released their first blender in 1937). Vitamix is a U.S. company based in Cleveland, OH and all of their blenders are built in the United States. Any repairs are handled domestically and they keep parts in stock for even their older machines. I like having the confidence that they will be around if I need something.
"I have used a VitaMix for about 15 years now. I wouldn’t even try to make a white sauce without it! The uses are endless as it is SO much more than a blender. The fact that I can make hot items in it as well as cold is awesome." -Tribemomof5
The Peace of Mind of a 7-Year Warranty
When I first read about the generous 7-year warranty that the company gives for free to every customer I was shocked. It’s just not something you see companies doing these days. I’ve never had to send in my machine for repair but I know if I do it will be handled promptly. I have been a happy Vitamix owner since 2009, but that’s nothing. I met someone recently who has had hers for over 9 years and if you read some of the other Vitamix reviews on this page you'll find people who have had theirs even longer.
The fact that Vitamix is willing to give such a long warranty really says a lot about their product and customer philosophy and I have to say, that is what really convinced me to purchase ours. Plus, since they offer a 30-day in-home trial I knew I could return it and get all of my money back if I thought it wasn’t going to work out for us.
Ready to Order?
So what are you waiting for? Put yourself on the road to a new healthy lifestyle and get your very own Vitamix right now. Use my free shipping code 06-007610 to get FREE standard shipping on your order and claim your exclusive Healthy Blender bonus gift.
ATTENTION! Special Bonus Offer! Free eBook.
If you are ready to place your order for a Vitamix now then I have a special offer for you. Just click the Vitamix store banner above or use THIS LINK to go to the official Vitamix store and make sure to use my Vitamix promotion code 06-007610 when you checkout. Not only will this give you free shipping on your order (a $25 value) but it will also entitle you to a FREE copy of my guidebook: Tips and Recipes for Healthy Blending. This guide will allow you to get started the right way with your Vitamix the moment it is delivered. Here's what you will find inside this guide:
- How to make your smoothies thick and creamy without any extra fat added in.
- Tips on creating desserts including a recipe for the most amazing whole food ice cream.
- The key secrets to creating simple sauces and salad dressings that have complex yet balanced flavors and take only seconds to make.
- Learn how to experiment the right way so that you can quickly come up with your own recipes. Approach your new appliance with creativity.
- Plus 24 family-tested recipes that you can enjoy.
Claiming Your Bonus
To request a copy of the ebook just send me an email to [email protected] and I'll get back to you with the eBook ASAP. Please include your Vitamix order number. Thanks!