Blendtec vs. Vitamix, Part 3 of 5: Peanut Butter

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This video is the third of five in a series comparing the Blendtec Total Blender and the Vitamix 5200.  The goal of the video series is to help you, the consumer, select a high-performance blender that best suits your and/or your family’s needs.  While the Blendtec and Vitamix are both excellent machines, there may be differences in appearance, operation, and/or performance that draw you toward one over the other.  Hopefully, this series will shed some light on these differences and assist you in making the best possible decision.

In this video we run a test on a popular practical application of high-performance blenders: making peanut butter. The goal of the test is to determine if there is any significant difference in either the results or process required to make it.

This test incorporates the exact same amount of peanuts, 3 cups, in both blenders and is performed using the manufacturer’s recommended procedure for making nut butters in each machine.  Because a tamper is included in the Vitamix 5200 package, it has been used in this test.

This video has not been edited.

We can conclude from this test that both blenders produce an equally smooth and delicious peanut butter with no noticeable differences in texture or flavor. The Vitamix, however, aided by the tamper that is included with the machine, did so in considerably less time (just under 1 minute compared to 6 1/2 minutes) and with less overall effort required than did the Blendtec.

It is worth noting, however, that what is not shown in the video is the process of removing the butter from the jars, themselves. Because of the differing blade designs on each machine, much less effort is required to remove the peanut butter from around the blade in the Blendtec than the Vitamix. Cleanup on both machines requires equal effort, including minimal “hand washing” around the blade areas on both.

 

31 comments so far. Have questions? Fire away! We can discuss it right here.
  1. Hi, what do you recommend would be the largest quantity of nuts that could fit and still make peanut butter?
    I’m assuming food processors are better for larger amounts?

    • bd

      Mimi, 4 or even 5 cups should be no problem with enough patience and proper execution. Personally, I’ve never blended more than 3 cups at a time. Never an issue.

  2. I just purchased a Vitamix 7500 and tried making peanut butter. The peanut butter turned out a little dry, the taste was good. I was just wondering did I not process it long enough or was it processed to long? How can I make creamy peanut butter?

    • Blenderdude

      Elh, it’s tough to say without having watched you do it. Even with the driest of dry-roasted peanuts I have always been able to make creamy butter. My first thought is that you didn’t blend long enough. After blending for a minute or so if you aren’t sure that you’re getting the texture you desire, it is advisable to let the recipe “rest” for 5 to 10 minutes. This will let the natural oils of the peanut release which will then facilitate easier incorporation into a creamy texture.

  3. Actually, this wasn’t the best demo as the best blending container to make nut butter in for the Blendtec is their Twister Jar, not the regular or Wildside jars.

    • Blenderdude

      MDG, this video was made prior to Blendtec’s introduction of the Twister Jar. I have a separate video demonstrating it I invite you to watch. More, as the Twister Jar is sold separately from almost all Blendtec packages, many are interested in how to prepare recipes like nut butters in the standard containers that came with their models.

  4. So I know that Vitamix sells some spatulas that say they are specifically design to help in getting nut butters and other thick substances out with ease, and they are only $6.95. personally I would not mind paying that if I was to use them a lot. have you ever used them?

    • Blenderdude

      Uriel, yes, I have and use them. I also have other narrow-headed spatulas that work just as well which aren’t made by Vitamix. They come in handy for removing nut-butters and spreads such as hummus.

  5. BD, I’m just curious from your unique perspective as someone who used to demonstrate for Blendtec. As for the standard & WildSide container, it seems that the Vitamix is the definite winner when it comes to nut-butters (as far as ease of use goes). W/o the Twister jar, this seems to be a very one-sided “fight” in the Vitamix’s favor. What response do you think a Blendtec demo rep would give if he were demonstrating and a customer pointed out that the Blendtec takes a lot of work to make nut-butters but the Vitamix can do it in 2 minutes or less?

    I’m just curious. I may be a little naive, but I figured that the reps would have some type of “trick” to be able to make it really fast in the Blendtec. But after watching you do it, and you used to be a rep, I now know that there is no “secret” to doing it really fast.

    • Blenderdude

      Joseph, a Blendtec rep would have no choice but to admit the Vitamix performs this particular task more efficiently without the Twister Jar. There is definitely no “trick” to making peanut butter any faster. You can get equally-good results with the Blendtec, but it takes significantly longer. This is one reason the Twister Jar is so popular.

  6. the twister jar seems to mix the nut butters and coconut butters much faster and easier than any of the other jars.

    • Blenderdude

      Lorinda, the Twister Jar does a great job with nut butters. I don’t necessarily agree that it is much faster or easier than the Vitamix, but it is a fantastic accessory. You can view my demonstration of the Twister Jar here:

      Blendtec Twister Jar

  7. Hi, I just exchanged my 6 year old 5000 model for a 5200 because the 5000 was starting to leak brown stuff out of the bottom of the container, getting louder and louder, not blending as smoothly, and the blade seemed loose.

    In the last month or so, I have been making a “Nutella” type nut spread with roasted almonds and sometimes hazlenuts added, chocolate chips, and coconut oil. In my 5000 I was able to get a super creamy and smooth spread without much work. This evening I threw out 2 batches of the stuff made with my new 5200 vitamix for the first time. Same ingredients, with the addition of a little bit of coconut milk to keep the coconut oil from solidifying in the colder air. With both batches, I was unable to get the great creamy texture as my old machine produced. I got a grainy texture that seemed dry. I kept blending and added a bit more oil, then suddenly, the mixture sort of seized up and became dry and crumbly, almost spongy and brownie like, but loaded with oil. That was batch one.

    Batch two I took slowly and carefully. Still not creamy and a bit dry, so I trickled in a bit more coconut oil, then some coconut milk…a few seconds later…greasy brownie type stuff again. Is there something you know of that I might be doing that is keeping the mixture from emulsifying properly? Could the new machine be responsible for the change, or am I perhaps blending too long? It never seemed to be a problem with my 5000. Might the colder weather be part of the problem? Could the addition of the coconut milk be adding too much liquid? It almost seems like it has been baked a bit after a certain point. Any insights you have would be appreciated. I cannot afford to dump these expensive ingredients any longer. Thank You.

    • Blenderdude

      Kate, I understand the frustration of wasting good, quality ingredients, but I have never attempted your specific recipe so I am going to be of limited help, here. The first thing I would try, though, would be to warm the oil up so that it more closely resembles the consistency of the recipe with which you have experienced success in the past. If you mimic the recipes exactly you can then eliminate the possibility of anything but the blender being the culprit.

      Use the same recipe without the milk, and try a speed very slightly lower than what you were accustomed to on your older machine. Again, I don’t know of any specific fail-proof tips for you but I am suspecting that the high-friction generated by the length of time you are blending is the main problem with the dry consistency. Try to replicate not only the ingredients but also their temperatures/consistencies as well from your more successful batches.

  8. Do you feel the use of the Wild Side jar for making nut butters improves the results (ie less scraping)? In general, do you feel the Wild Side is effective in eliminating the need for the tamper or does it still require either shaking or scraping between cycles for some of the more sticky or thick foods?

    • Blenderdude

      Dave, I assume you are asking me for a comparison of the WildSide to the FourSide jar. For nut butters, there is not much, if any, difference between the two jars. You will have to make them practically the same way. In fact, with the WildSide you will probably have to make a bigger quantity than you would with the FourSide or else you may have to scrape more often.

  9. Hi,

    I just purchased a Vitamix 6300 from Costco. Yesterday, I tried to make almond butter, from raw almond, with no additional oil. I followed this website recipe:

    http://andloveittoo.com/raw-vegan-almond-butter/

    The almond butter turned out very smooth and creamy. However, it took about one hour of “turning it on for one minute and letting it cool for 1 minute”. The I got tired of hampering for an hour. So I waited for another hour and by then the oil was oozing out and one one-minute blend, mixed all up and I got my almond butter.

    My question is, why did it take this long to make almond butter. I used the hamper for the first hour and keep pushing the paste down and the blender would not start swirling.

    I was kind of disappointed as my food processor (an 8 cup 12-years old Quisinart) makes the butter in about 45 minutes.

    Thanks,
    Roya

    • Blenderdude

      Roya, no nut butter should take that long in the Vitamix. My only guess is that maybe you were either using too many almonds at one time or not using the High speed. I also have never experienced the blades not turning while making these kinds of recipes. My best advice is to use no more than 2 cups of almonds at a time, and use the High speed. Also, make sure the almonds are completely dry. Regardless, it should never take an hour, or even 45 minutes like your food processor. I wish I had a better idea of what happened in your instance.

  10. One consideration I haven’t seen mentioned is the cord length. Blendtec is 3′ and Vitamix is 6′. I was about to buy Blendtec when I noticed this. I absolutely need the longer length.

    • Blenderdude

      Donna, the cord lengths on the respective blenders are discussed in my written reviews of each. You are correct, the Vitamix cord is longer.

  11. Thanks for the great videos. Like you suggest, research has led me to a choice between these two blenders, and away from Healthmaster, Ninja, etc. I have two questions:
    1. Does grinding peanuts, coffee beans, or other hard materials, significantly dull the blades, shorten the motor life, or cause other problems?
    2. I am baffled how you can make boiling soup, and ice cream, in the same machines. Please explain?

    • Blenderdude

      McFred, thanks for the nice words about the videos. To answer your questions: grinding of ingredients such as those you mention will not dull the blades of the Blendtec, as it is built with what I would consider rather dull blades. The Blendtec is more of a pulverizer than it is a slicer. Those ingredients should not adversely affect it. The Vitamix has sharper blades that will, over considerable time, dull slightly if used excessively as a grinder of harder materials. It is for this reason that Vitamix makes a separate jar for grinding which works perfectly for those ingredients. Sugar, beans, oats, etc. – “softer” ingredients you might wish to grind – are perfectly suitable to grind in the standard Vitamix jar, however.

      Grinding will, over time, tend to create a “cloudy” effect in the jars of both the Vitamix and Blendtec. This is more of an aesthetic caveat than anything else. This condition will not affect the performance of either container.

      The key to these high-powered blenders being able to perform multiple functions is the perfect combination of two things: the right blade speeds and the right ingredients. If you have the right ingredients loaded into the container and run the machines on the right speed and for the right length of time, you will get the desired results. This logic applies to ice cream, soup, smoothies, dips, etc. Blendtec pre-programs several of these cycles into its machine, but they are recipe-specific. If you deviate from the recipes you might have to alter the speeds and blending duration of the blender manually. Vitamix will perform the exact same functions as the Blendtec, but the user must manually control the machine from start to finish. Both blenders perform wonderfully for all these functions in my opinion.

  12. Regarding the ease in getting the nut butter out after it is blended, can the bottom of either blender be unscrewed so that the nut butter could be pushed down & out (which I think would be faster than getting it out from the top, esp in the Vitamix, with its narrower base & (shorter?) blades)? If not, can you please give a rough estimation of how long it takes you to get the nut butter (maybe say for 3 cups of peanuts, as you demonstrated above) out of each blender? And finally, I don’t think I’ve read anywhere–how long are the blades of the Vitamix?

    Thanks.

    • Blenderdude

      JB, the bottom of the Vitamix can be unscrewed with a specially-designed wrench, but it is not recommended that you do so for the removal of ingredients. Rather, it is strictly for blade-replacement. The base of the Blendtec cannot be removed. Removal of something like peanut butter is a bit easier in the Blendtec because of it’s single blade as opposed to the 4-pronged blade in the Vitamix. Depending upon how meticulous you are with removing peanut butter, it can take anywhere from 1 to 2 minutes with the Blendtec. I would probably double that time for the Vitamix.

      Each individual “blade” on the Vitamix is approximately 1 1/4″ long, but tip to tip from one blade directly across to another is just under 3″.

      • Great… thanks for your reply… very helpful & much appreciated!!

      • Instead of trying get the little last bit of nut butter residue from the bottom of the container , why not just make a smoothie with the remaining ingredients or start another recipe that call s for a little nut butter. Soups or dressings, there is a lot to consider. Why waste even the smallest amount of a good product.

        • Blenderdude

          Judy, that is an excellent idea that has been mentioned a few times across the site. I agree with you – there’s no need to waste any!

  13. One of the main reasons I want to buy a high powered blender is to make nut butters, specially hazelnut butter. Your video demonstration shows that VitaMix 5200 makes peanut butter much faster. Does the Blendtec Wild Side with its longer blade (I think it is longer?), does it make nut butter faster.

    Does either of the machines make hazelnut butter that is free of any tiny chunks of nuts (completely smooth)?

    • Blenderdude

      Michael, great questions! The Blendtec WildSide does have a longer blade (4 inches as opposed to 3 inches on the FourSide) and in my experience does make nut butters slightly faster (fewer required cycles) than the FourSide. However, it still does not make nut butters as fast as the Vitamix. This is almost solely because of the tamper that comes with the Vitamix. It is doing the work of the spatula that I was using for the Blendtec and prevents the user from having to stop the machine and remove the lid time after time. For nut butters, the Vitamix does not by definition work better, but it certainly works faster.

      Personally, I have never made hazelnut butter in my blender so I cannot speak to it, specifically. However, I have made cashew, almond, and peanut butters in both machines. You can make these butters as smooth as you want them – completely free of chunks. How smooth simply depends upon how long you allow the machines to run. I would imagine hazelnut butter would be no different.

      • Have you tried using Blendtec’s Twister Jar? The jar is suppose to act sort of like the tamper, and I would be curious if using this jar compared to the vitamix w/ tamper would make a difference in blend time. Thanks

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