Blendtec vs. Vitamix, Part 2 of 5: Power, Long Test

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This video is the second 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 longer test – making hot soup out of common vegetables – with a goal of trying to determine if there is any noticeable power difference in the two machines in terms of the temperatures generated over extended blending durations.  Although the technical specifications in terms of horsepower, wattage, and amperage is slightly different on these two blenders, this does not necessarily translate to a practical difference on blended results. However, if after conducting an identical test in both machines one produces a higher temperature than the other, it may be possible to determine which of the two is more powerful.

This test incorporates the exact same ingredients in both blenders and is performed on the highest speed setting for each.  The duration of the test is 3 minutes for the Blendtec and 3 minutes, 10 seconds for the Vitamix. The decision to extend the Vitamix duration an extra 10 seconds was based upon a delay in tamping the ingredients during the demonstration and is noted in the video, itself.  Because a tamper is included in the Vitamix 5200 package, it has been used in this test.

This video has not been edited.

Both blenders produced a hot soup resulting from friction created by the blades and ingredients during the tests. A pre-cycle temperature of 77*F was recorded in both blender jars prior to running the test. After 3 minutes, the Blendtec produced a soup measured at 134*F while the Vitamix’s soup was measured at 118*F. The conclusion for this test is that both the Blendtec and Vitamix do an excellent job in creating sufficient friction required for cooking soups. The Blendtec, though, produced a 16*F hotter temperature over the course of the same blending duration. It might be fair to say that, in a practical application such as making soup, the Blendtec is a slightly more powerful machine.

One consideration to make when heating ingredients in high-performance blenders such as these is that research suggests nutrients in foods diminish significantly once they are heated above temperatures ranging from 105*F to 118*F. To keep ingredients “raw,” blending to temperatures below this range is suggested.

 

22 comments so far. Have questions? Fire away! We can discuss it right here.
  1. Hello,
    I just purchased Blendtec 570 from Costco and used it already few times.
    One thing that I really do not like about Blendtec that the jar does not lock to the base and the jar shakes when I make a smoothie or soup. Is that normal or I am doing something wrong? I am thinking may be I should return Blendtec and get a Vitamix? Also, I saw Vitamix presentation at Costco and they include Accelerator/Tamper with the blender. I searched on the internet and did not find anything similar for the Blendtec. If I buy Accelerator/Tamper for Vitamix, can I use it for Blendtec or not?
    Also, all Blendtec soup recipes include cooked vegetables. My goal when I was buying this expensive product was to cook with raw vegetables to make it faster. Can I use Vitamix recipes for Blendtec or not.

    Is Vitamix better than Blendtec? Should I exchange mine Blendtec for Vitamix ?

    Thank you!

  2. I would like to know the maximum temp a vitamix can get and if this temp will kill salmonila when raw eggs are used.
    I suspect that the temp will be a function of time and viscosity of the mixture, so lets say, the viscosity of the usual broccoli soup. Thanks. Your site is very helpful.

    • bd

      Jeff, a Vitamix can boil liquids if left in the container with the blender running on the highest settings for a long enough period of time. So, the power of the Vitamix will not be your primary concern in this regard. For eggs, at least with general cooking, I have heard that bacteria is killed at between 140*F and 160*F. For soups, the Vitamix will easily reach these temperatures. The question is, at what temperature will the eggs set or coagulate? I imagine it’s somewhere in this range but can’t tell you definitively.

  3. So I’m a little confused about hot soups in the Blendtec. Someone stated that in a demo they used boiling water. You say that you could actually heat a soup to near boiling by running enough cycles. However, the Blendtec documentation states that you should not add any ingredient above 115 degrees (on the website they say not to go over 110 degrees). And that if you want a hotter soup, you should heat it in a saucepan on the stove after blending. Yet in one of their soup recipes online they instruct you to simmer the ingredients on the stove then add it to the Blendtec to blend it smooth.

    Now that I have a Blendtec I wanted to retire my old Oster blender with glass jar for blending items such as hot soups. I suspect they stated that temperature to avoid “explosions” when blending hot liquids (if the blender is too full, then the sudden escape of steam blows the lid off along with half of the soup). My other thought was perhaps the plastic used in Blendtec containers wasn’t approved for elevated temperatures. What has been your experience with hot soups? Do hot liquids have any negative effect on the plastic containers?

    • Blenderdude

      Ned, it does sound like a bit of conflicting information, huh? I am fairly certain Blendtec is erring on the side of caution by recommending these specific temperature limits. One can obviously produce temperatures significantly higher than 110* – 115*, as evidenced in my video. This could also be a recommendation based on optimal nutritional retention from one’s ingredients, as surpassing temperatures of 115* begins exponentially decreasing the nutritional yield from most raw vegetables. I do have some experience taking things a bit too far in the heat department. Once while experimenting, I created enough pressure inside the container such that the lid was forced off, sending its contents everywhere. I did not take a temperature reading of the soup at the time but I can tell you it was far too hot for anyone to enjoy without a significant cool-down period. In short, even if you like your temperatures on the hot side as opposed to just “very warm,” you can generate these temperatures without concern over losing a lid due to pressure.

      As for why recommendations might be given to cook, roast, or even saute ingredients prior to them being added to the blender, this most likely has to do with achieving certain flavor profiles. Ingredients can certainly be heated in a blender, but this does not equate to cooking them. Some flavors are and always will be more optimally achieved on a stove-top or in an oven.

      The only negative effect hot liquids might potentially have on a container is aesthetically – namely, by potentially staining it. Turmeric is an example of an ingredient that has known to discolor a container when heated to high temperatures. There are likely a few others out there, too. Some people have claimed carrots will do this. I, though, have blended carrots in my soups for years without any ill-effects to my containers, aesthetically speaking.

      On the opposite end of the spectrum from ingredients potentially harming containers, there are some who feel the containers, themselves, could be potential threats to ingredients by the very nature of their composition. Despite being BPA-free, other chemical components of these containers worry some people in regard to potential leeching. While there have been studies demonstrating that prolonged exposure does subject the contents of a plastic container to BPA in small amounts, there has been no conclusive evidence to date to suggest that normal implementation of a BPA-free container like Blendtec’s is threatening to ingredients to any extent.

  4. Hi there, great website! Question: I’m in Canada and can’t find a refurbished Vitamix and simply can’t afford a new one. So I bought the Blendtec Classic after doing a little research for a pretty good price at Costco($360). I really want to make soups and the sites I checked said it could make soups as well as the Vitamix. Now that I am about to try the Blendtec, the recipe book is instructing me to cook/soften all the vegetables before blending. I can already do that with my current blender! I wanted to make fast soups by doing it all in the blender. Your video shows you making soup with raw ingredients. All the recipes in the Blendtec call for cooked. Can I assume that I can use the recipe book for amounts and just run the blender longer to cook the vegetables? Why doesn’t Blendtec offer any recipes that start raw for people in a hurry? Will they honour my warranty if I use it this way or will they say I am abusing it because it’s not meant to run for 3 minutes? Thanks so much, I hope these don’t seem like silly questions. And if you have any idea where to find a refurbished Vitamix in Ontario that would be great.
    MK

    • Blenderdude

      MK, as a general rule, you can place just about any vegetable, seasoning, or oil in your Blendtec in its raw form and let the blender do the “cooking.” You cannot do this, of course, if you want to maintain any texture of the whole food, as blending will always result in a single, pureed texture regardless of the ingredients you use. Also, flavors of certain ingredients like onion and garlic might be more intense if not cooked-down prior to blending. And, of course, whole grains such as rice will need to be cooked elsewhere before being added to your finished product.

      The Blendtec recipe book leaves a lot to be desired in this respect, in my opinion. But rest assured that adding vegetables to your container and using the Soup cycle is not in any way invalidating your warranty. It can easily handle back-to-back 90-second cycles.

      As for obtaining a Certified Reconditioned Vitamix in Canada, it is difficult. If you have a U.S.-based mailing address it is possible, though. Contact me directly and I will give you details if you think this might apply to you.

      • Thanks so much for the detailed response Blender Dude! I was hoping you would say that. I’m going to think about it and I’ll contact you directly if I can do the American address thing. Thanks again,
        MK

        • Blenderdude

          You’re welcome and good luck!

  5. I have just stumbled upon your site and I am impressed thank you for all the information! I am a little concerned about the 5200 I just ordered, I am short 5FT and it appears to me that this machine is going to be a bit high for me to have access to the top and using the taper has anyone ever asked you about this? It seems from the videos that your pretty tall so was wondering if I am going to have to get a step ladder to use this blender.
    Thank you.

    • Blenderdude

      Naomi, yours is a legitimate concern. I am 6’1″ tall so the videos aren’t going to be much help to you in this regard. I have a friend who is 5’2″ and uses the Vitamix with no issues. However, this is my recommendation to you: take advantage of Vitamix’s excellent 30-day no-questions-asked return policy. Use it several times and see if you feel comfortable with the height. If you aren’t, you can always get a full refund and explore the alternative Vitamix models.

  6. What is the difference between the Tabletop Total Blender and the Total Blender (which I assume is the one used in the demo video)? Thanks!

    • Blenderdude

      Elizabeth, they are one in the same. Whomever is referring to the Total Blender as a “Tabletop” model is simply trying to differentiate it from the models Blendtec makes that can be installed into a countertop.

  7. First, let me say that your unedited, fair and impartial comparison of the Vitamix to the Blentec is the best that I’ve seen and really helped me to decide to purchase the Vitamix.
    It took a while to ship, but I got my Reconditioned Vitamix 7500 yesterday and was very impressed with the quality. This thing is like new. I had never seen one in live action – only on video. This thing’s a beast and made my 40+ year old Osterizer look like a toy. The reason it lasted so long was that I hardly ever used it. Not the case with this Vitamix. I’ve used it to make green smoothies, ice cream and the soup from your video. Only, I added some seasoning to make it Tortilla Soup. I really love this thing. I had never tasted green smoothies, so I was pleased to find that I actually like them, because my doctor has been on me to eating more greens, fruits and veggies.
    I just wanted to say Thanks.

    • Blenderdude

      Lee, congrats on getting your blender – I’m glad you found the videos helpful. It’s funny you use the term “beast” to describe the Vitamix. I use that very same word all the time when talking about it. You’ve got the perfect machine with which to follow doctor’s orders. Enjoy!

  8. In your experience, is there any quality differences in the two company’s products? Is BlendTec a better machine? Does either company tend to skimp on their treatment of customers or in standing behind their warrenties?

    • Blenderdude

      Marty, the short answer to your question is “no.” Both are American-made, high-quality products. “Better” is completely subjective here. Blendtec owners will say theirs is the better blender, as will Vitamix owners regarding their machines.

      In the past I would say that Vitamix clearly had the better customer service team and warranty. Blendtec has since matched the Vitamix warranty, and their customer service has vastly improved as well. That said, I would have no problem saying that the Vitamix customer service is still the best in the business. Both companies will completely stand behind their machines – do not be concerned about that with either company – but Vitamix will often go out of their way to make sure you are a happy customer.

  9. Hi,

    I have borrowed both the Vitamix and the Blendtec from friends to try them side by side. As hard as it is to give up the aesthetics and smaller size of the Blendtec, I’m leaning toward the Vitamix. One of the reasons is that when the Blendtec was blending, it actually shook on the base. Seemed a little unstable to me (although in your video demo, I did not notice that at all). The vitamix, or course, acts like an industrial strength blender with that huge base. I realized afterward that my Blendtec friend had the 2 pronged blade (although she did have both size carafes, and we tried them both). Perhaps the 4 pronged blade somehow makes the Blendtec more stable?

    The other thing that I was disappointed in was that neither blender really served “hot” soup. Vitamix was warm – The Blendtec was barely lukewarm. When I saw the Vitamix demo at the store, the guy used boiling water for his soup – saying that it wasn’t really needed, but I truly think it is. Can you comment?

    Thanks!

    • Blenderdude

      Beth, thanks for your great questions. Both of the Blendtec carafes your friend owns contain 2-pronged blades. The design is exactly the same with the only difference being the size. The larger carafe has a 4″ long 2-prong blade, the smaller one has a 3″ long, 2-prong blade. Depending upon what you’re making, it is not uncommon for them to shake a bit during blending – they are doing serious work – but in all my years of using both containers I have never had one shake itself off of the base entirely. The Vitamix is certainly larger and heavier and many people like its “feel” because of this. Just as many are on the other side of the size/weight issue, though.

      Regarding soups, both blenders will make anything hot. They can boil soups if that’s what you wanted. The key is time. When you say “warm” and “barely lukewarm” I”m assuming that this was after one blend cycle on the Blendtec, and probably a similar blending time on the Vitamix. The Vitamix rep at the store was not lying when he said using boiling water wasn’t necessary, however, there is a reason he used it. Depending upon the starting temperatures of your liquids and/or vegetables and other ingredients that you’re using for your soups, varying lengths of blending times will be needed to reach your desired temperatures.

      The longer you let either blender run, the hotter your soups will be. There is no rule against pressing the “Soups” cycle on the Blendtec 2 or even 3 times to make the soup as hot as you want it. Sometimes you just have to do this. The Vitamix may take 4 or 5 minutes. You can always stop either machine while they blend to check their temperatures, and just re-start if you still desire a hotter soup. Neither blender “senses” when anything is ready. You have to do that. But both will make your soups any temperature you desire.

  10. hello
    i’ve read that the vitamix soup becomes very “foamy”
    was that your experience?
    was the blendtec texture different?
    thank you

    • Blenderdude

      The finished texture of all soups are going to be ingredient-dependent to a large degree, but, the short-answer to your question is, yes, occasionally soups made in the Vitamix will have a layer of foam on top after you stop the blending process. There are a few tricks you can use to lessen this if it were to happen to you. If your recipe allows for it, adding a little oil helps a great deal. You could also strain the soup after you make it. A final tip would be, after stopping the machine initially, restart the blender on Variable Speed 1 (the slowest the machine will run). It is okay to do this with the lid off. Then gradually turn the Variable Speed dial until you see the foam start to spin in the center of the whirlpool that is created during blending. At that point, stop the blender and quickly use a large spoon or a baster to remove the foam.

      Again, not all soups will require this. But if you want completely foam-free soup, none of these tips are difficult to learn. Soups in the Blendtec foam to a much lesser extent. Thanks for the good questions.

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