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Blendtec VS Ninja - Blender Comparison
Many questions have been asked why should spend so much money on a high-powered blender like a Blendtec. Blendtec is famous for blending iPhones, magnets, and garden rakes in their blenders on Youtube. You might wonder why you can't get a less expensive "high-power" blender like the Ninja? Even though Ninja marketing campaigns make it look like Ninja blenders can do it all, is that going to be the case six months after using it day after day? The Everything Kitchens team pitted Ninja head-to-head against the Blendtec Designer 675 to determine if it's worth it to invest your money in a Blendtec, or should get a Ninja and save your money?
The Test Subjects
Ninja Mega Kitchen System BL770A 30
Blendtec Designer 675
|72-oz. jar, 8-cup food-processing bowl, & two 16-oz. jars included
90-oz. Wildside+ Jar included, 46oz Mini Jar & Twister Jar available
1500W 2.0 HP Motor
3 HP Motor
3-Speed Manual Control
8-Speed Manual Control & 5 Presets
Plastic-to-plastic blender jar to motor base
Metal-to-metal blender jar to motor base
Thin, sharp tower of blades will become dull over time
Thick, 2 prong wing-tip blunt blade
No LCD Display, Flush-Mounted Push Buttons
All capacitive-touch screen interface
Ninja's blender jars are very brittle and not very strong. This one broke after falling from the top of the refrigerator.
The Ninja Mega Kitchen System comes with 4 Jars: a 72-oz. blender pitcher,an 8-cup food processing bowl, and two 16-oz. Nutri Ninja Smoothie cups. All are constructed from BPA-free plastic. The plastic is not the best quality. Check out the Jar Drop Test and you'll see the Ninja blender jars break, chip, and crack from average falls. The Ninja is famous for its tower of sharp blades that are designed to break down whatever you're trying to blend. Like your kitchen knives, the blades on the Ninja wear down over time and become less and less effective.
Blendtec uses thick blunt blades attached to an all metal assembly, Ninja uses sharp blades that will dull over time and are attached to plastic.
The Ninja has an outdated, flush-button interface that feels mushy to press. The buttons are not very responsive and can be a little confusing. There are no preprogramed timed functions on the Ninja, contrary to the somewhat misleading wording underneath the 1-Dough, 2-Blend, 3-Crush and Single Serve buttons. These are just 3 suggested speeds to choose from, not timed functions, and the Single Serve button can only be used with the smaller 16-oz. Nutri Ninja Smoothie cups. With a jar of a different size on the Ninja base, the Single Serve button doesn't even turn on.
The Designer 675 from Blendtec sports a sleek, futuristic, all-touch screen interface. Easily press one of its five preprogrammed cycles and walk away while it blends. There is a dedicated pulse button and manual speed touch slider for blending at any speed you choose. The numeric LCD shows how long you’ve been blending, or displays the time remaining on preprogrammed blends.
Blendtec gives complete control with mulit-speed settings and all touch-screen interface. Ninja has flush-mount buttons that take a press or two to get going.
Blendtec uses metal for the gear coupling on their blender jars and the drive socket on the blender bases. This is one of the reasons these blenders last so long in your kitchen - the metal isn't going to wear down as quickly as the plastic components in cheaper blenders, like the Ninja. The Ninja uses plastic for both their gear couplings and the drive sockets, which can easily wear down and break over time.
Metal gears and couplings can handle more torque and will last longer than plastic. Blendtec is metal-on-metal and Ninja is plastic-on-plastic.
We tested the major functions of each blender, using real-world recipes that you would actually cook in your kitchen. We looked at how well both blenders did at each task. For every round, we used identical recipes, blending for identical times unless otherwise noted. To make the comparison fair, we chose Ninja and Blendtec blenders with similar specifications, the Ninja Mega Kitchen System, versus the Blendtec Designer 675.
Hummus, everybody's favorite Mediterranean dip, is made from chickpeas, olive oil and flavored with just about anything. We had an abundance of onions, so we decided to do some caramelized onion-infused hummus. A good hummus should be thick and spreadable with no chunks or bits of food in it.
We were looking for how well each blender incorporated the ingredients to test the effectiveness of the blades and the engineering of the jar.
Recipe: Caramelized Onion Hummus
Blend time: 1 Minute
We loaded our Blendtec with chickpeas, olive oil, caramelized onions and the rest of the ingredients and blended on high speed. After just one minute, the Blendtec completely emulsified all of the olive oil into the other ingredients, and made a light and creamy, spreadable hummus. The Blendtec's hummus had a smooth mouth feel and was creamy and airy, all the qualities of an excellent hummus.
Exact same test for the Ninja, undeniably different results. What came out of the Ninja was more like a hummus smoothie. The hummus was very liquidy and very viscous - it poured out of the blender jar like a thickish soup, compared to the Blendtec hummus we had to scrape out with a spatula.
The Ninja simply didn't incorporate the ingredients very well. The oil didn't emulsify with the rest of the ingredients and instead started to pool on top of the hummus. We could taste the specific flavor of each individual ingredient, which was off-putting. The hummus was much too runny - it ran right off of the cucumber we dipped in it.
Ninja makes more of a hummus smoothie compared to Blendtec's fluffy and creamy hummus.
Winner: Blendtec - Fully Combines Ingredients
The jar design won this one for Blendtec. The five-sided WildSide Jar is engineered to create a vortex that moves ingredients around the jar walls then brings them back down into the blades without the use of a tamper.
Oil and water do not mix - but you can emulsify them. In order for oil and water to combine into one, oil particles have to be small enough to surround water particles in order to not separate. The vortex effect created by the Blendtec Wildside Jar achieves full emulsification of the oil and water in the hummus that the Ninja’s jar simply could not manage.
This one was simple: We put sugar into our blender, with the expectation of getting powdered sugar out of it. This tests the effectiveness of the blades. We're looking for a consistently fine, fluffy powder with no sugar crystals left unblended.
Recipe: Powdered Sugar
Blend time: 30 seconds
After 30 seconds at the highest speed in our Blendtec, we delighted to see a pile of snow-like powdered sugar in the bottom of our jar. We sifted through and could not find any full sugar crystals. Blendtec makes a great mill for turning granular sugar into powdered sugar.
Unfortunately the Ninja completely failed to make powdered sugar. After 30 seconds, we saw some of the sugar crystals trying to turn into powder but it was a grainy, sugary mess on the inside. Full sugar crystals were left over. We couldn’t tell that the Ninja had even tried.
Ninja's milling ability is far superior to Ninja's. Ninja left full sugar crystals that fall right through the sifter.
Winner: Blendtec - Mega Milling Machine
Ninja has its signature tower of sharp blades running up the entire middle of the blender jar, whereas Blendtec has thick, blunt blades at the bottom of the jar.
This is where the the Blendtec blades and jar excel. Instead of relying, like the Ninja does, on sharp-edged blades to slice and dice food, Blendtec's blunt blades actually crush ingredients because there is more surface area for those tiny sugar crystals to hit. This, along with the Wildside Jar creating that food-grabbing vortex, ensures all of the food you put into your blender gets pulverized. This also makes Blendtec great for milling whole grains into home-made flours.
Ninja relies on the many sharp blades to chop food. The tower of blades actually prevent a vortex effect, which can lead to uneven and inefficient blending. If you like smooth food textures, or are wanting to mill your own grains, go with the Blendtec.
Hot Soup Test
Blendtec's 3.0 HP motor spins so fast, it can make hot soups without you ever turning on your stove. That's right, hot soup is created right in the blender jar. How this occurs is brilliant in its simplicity: Those super-fast blades create so much friction, food heats up while its blending. We wanted to see if a Ninja with the similar-size motor could do the same.
Recipe: Cheddar Broccoli Soup
Blend Time: 6 minutes
Our ingredients were tossed into the Wildside blender jar and we simply pressed the Blendtec’s Hot Soup preset button. We stepped away and 3 minutes later, we had soup at about 135°F. Now, the soup was steaming and technically "hot," but not as hot as we think a serving temperature should be. If you were to put this soup into a cold bowl, the soup would cool down quickly and be more room-temperature. We ran the preset once more and came back to a much hotter soup, at around 170°F degrees (which is now a total blend time of still only 6 minutes), now the soup was hot and ready to serve.
We put the exact same recipe into the Ninja jar and lo! and behold, after 6 minutes of blending, that soup was still tepid at best. The Ninja couldn't do it. The Ninja's soup was a chilly 70 degrees, colder than room temperature. Even after blending for so long, the soup was still not nearly as creamy and velvety as the Blendtec’s. It still felt and tasted granular, with little broccoli bits floating around.
Blendtec can make hot soup from cold ingredients, no stove required.
Winner: Blendtec - Hot Soup, No Stove Required
You can add cold ingredients straight into the Blendted Wildside blender jar and and end up with a literal steaming hot soup. Again, it's the friction, caused by the blades in a small area, that heats the ingredients during blending. You'd think that with a comparable 1500W motor, the Ninja could also generate some heat. Alas, it could not.
Ice Cream Test
Yes, we were looking forward to this test especially. We love ice cream. We were looking for how well the blenders crush ice and how well the liquid ingredients freeze around the crushed ice, because that’s what creates a blended ice cream. The smaller the ice crystals and the faster they're moved around, the more frozen and creamy the ice cream.
Recipe: Chocolate Ice Cream
Blending Time: 1 Minute
Blendtec’s provides a dedicated Frozen Dessert button, which starts blending at a slow speed and then cranking up the power to crush ice. At first, Blendtec was doing great, but after 20 or 30 seconds, the ice cream started to freeze on the sides of the jar and no longer blend. We had to stop and push the frozen ice cream back into the blade to continue blending.
After blending, the ice cream turned out pretty good. The ice crystals were small, but some chunks of ice were still there. All in all, Blendtec made a tasty chocolate ice cream and passed the test.
We added those same ice cream ingredients to the Ninja blender jar and, sadly, got back very different results - an icy chocolate milkshake instead of ice cream. There were large chunks of ice and the mixture was completely runny. If you want milkshakes, I guess the Ninja can do it, but it's definitely not fast enough to create ice cream like the Blendtec.
Blendtec pulverizes ice with blunt blades. Ninja struggles to get ice crystals small enough with its sharp blades that dull over time.
Winner: Blendtec - Anytime Ice Cream
Blendtec actually made something that resembled ice cream, where Ninja could only make a liquid chocolate and ice mess. To give the Ninja the benefit of the doubt, we even tried the recipe in the food processor jar and blade set. Unfortunately, we got another icy milk shake, not ice cream. If you want ice cream in your blender, Blendtec is going to be the blender to make it happen, not Ninja.
Bread Dough Test
Both Ninja and Blendtec advertise their blenders can make bread dough. We tested this claim with a dough recipe that is mixed and kneaded right in the jar, not by hand.
Recipe: White Yeast Bread
Mixing bread dough is something Blendtec is also very good at. All the dough was well kneaded and created a nice, stretchy bread dough as shown below.
The Ninja actually has its own dedicated blender jar with special kneading hooks for kneading dough, so to give it the best chance, we used that jar. Although it looked like it was doing a swell job mixing everything and incorporating all the ingredients, it did not develop gluten very well. The dough was not very stretchy and broke apart when stretched.
Blendtec makes perfectly stretchy bread dough. Ninja's dough tears apart with low gluten development.
Winner: Blendtec - Kneads Your Dough
Even with Ninja having a dedicated bread dough hook with special blender jar, the Blendtec did a better job of kneading the bread dough creating an over all finished baked bread.
Smoothies are what most folks make most often in their blenders. If this is the same with you, you'll want your blender to do the best job making those nutrient- dense, sippable meals. That means no chunks, no strings, and no grainy, gloppy messes to try to choke down. For this test we wanted to see how small Blendtec and Ninja got all of our green smoothie ingredients.
Recipe: Green Smoothie
(1 Apple, 1 carrot, 3 brussel sprouts, 1 oz of kale, 8 oz water, one frozen banana)
Blending Time: 1 Minute
We used Blendtec's dedicated Smoothie button, and in 60 seconds we had a nutrient-dense green smoothie ready for drinking. The Wildside jar pulled down all of the hearty ingredients and pulverized everything until it was unrecognizable. There were no large bits of anything we could identify, it had a very smooth and creamy mouth feel and was an enjoyable sipping experience.
Ninja failed the hardest on the one test any blender should ace. This test revealed the most dramatic differences between the two blenders.
Just look at all the distinguishable chunks in the Ninja's blend. You can see actual hunks of kale and apple skin throughout the entire smoothie. Unblended hearty produce like kale and apple skin makes for an incredibly grainy and gritty smoothie, which is unappetizing, and honestly, almost undrinkable. I could see why some people might put smoothies down altogether if the only smoothie they ever had was from a Ninja.
Close-up of each green smoothie. Same blend time, same ingredients. The engineering from Blendtec far surpasses the Ninja.
Ninja did have include an individual serving-size smoothie jar in the set, so we went ahead and tested it as well. We could not fit the full recipe we used in the previous test, so we halved it.
Close-up of each green smoothie. The smaller Ninja jar did much better than it's full size jar, but still was no match for Blendtec.
The results were considerably better, with fewer distinguishable bits of fruits and vegetables compared to the standard Ninja jar, but you can definitely still see chunks of apple skin and there were still some full-on carrot chunks in the smoothie we made. This smoothie was drinkable, but the Blendtec definitely out-did the Ninja in the smoothie test, like it did in all of the other tests we put the blenders through.
Winner: Blendtec - If you didn't guess by now
If you haven't guess by now, Blendtec is the smoothie test winner. Ninja can't pulverize hearty greens and tougher veggies like the Blendtec can. Especially with less palatable, nutrient-dense smoothies you need to have your ingredients blended as fine as possible. Sandy chunks of apple and kale are going to make a less-than-desirable smoothie like Ninja makes. If you are wanting to make smoothies a part of your daily life, I have to reccomend avoiding the Ninja and going for the Blendtec.
Chef Austin's Top Pick
Blendtec came out on top in every single test. I would never recommend the Ninja to anyone after seeing it fail over and over again. Ninja spit out , crunchy 'ice cream,' gritty smoothies, and sandy powdered sugar. None of those results are acceptable to me when a product is being advertised as a "high-power" blender. Blendtec, on the other hand, passed every single test. The Designer 675 is incredibly easy to use and understand; it feels like a commercial quality machine; and it excelled at every single real-world test we threw at it. The 8-year warranty shows how much Blendtec stands behind their products, so you can rest assured that you can rely on this powerhouse of a blender. The Ninja, with its plastic parts, just feels flimsy, and the blender jar can't survive even a short fall. When comparing the results, the hours of engineering and fine-tuning that obviously went into the Blendtec Designer series really shine through. The Bendtec is worth every single penny; when you invest in a Blendtec, you're getting years of silky smoothies, steaming-hot soups, and 60 second ice creams.
Want to know more about Blendtec blenders? Check out our full video review and article on the the full Blendtec series here.
About the Author:
Chef Austin Merath is Everything Kitchen's Culinary Wizard, Kitchen-Gadget Reviewer, and New-Product Tester. He studied under chefs in College of the Ozarks' Culinary Program. It's his job to make sure you choose the kitchen tools that are right for you by testing the best we have to offer. When not cooking, Austin is tinkering with computers or exploring the Ozarks with his wife Amy. Click here for his full bio.