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Vitamix Ascent Series Review
By Chef Austin | August 25, 2017
- Easy to use and understand control dial, commercial-quality construction
- Powerful motor and blades perfectly puree potato leek soup and crush the smallest chia seed
- Multiple blender jars available; to-go smoothie-size jar and 8oz mini jar for baby food or grinding spices
- Presets for smoothies, ice cream, and hot soup available on A2500 for no-guesswork blending
- Cannot use old Vitamix blender jars with new Ascent series blenders, only Ascent jars with Self Detect technology are compatible
- More expensive than the average blender, but that higher price buys you power and a decade-long warranty
Quick Specs: 2.2 HP Motor | 64oz Blender Jar | 10 Year Warranty
Chef's Thoughts: It looks like Vitamix is finally making it easy for people to have one blender that does it all.
Vitamix’s new Ascent Series blenders combine the best features of previous Vitamix blenders with advanced technology to make blending easier and more accessible. Whether you're making a big batch of hot soup or a personal-size smoothie to go, the Ascent series has the capability to do it all in one machine.
Vitamix Blenders are extremely high-powered. The speed is measured in horsepower, something you're not going to find with those flimsy, off-the-shelf blenders. Having a Vitamix can encourage a complete lifestyle change, once you see how easy it is to create healthy meals in a matter of minutes. I use mine to make nutrient-packed carrot smoothies in the morning, and for blending unforgettable velvety smooth potato leek soup when I'm catering small dinner parties.
Let's take a look at the overall new design of the Vitamix Ascent. You'll notice a new digital timer above the speed-setting dial, which is awesome for measuring the perfect blend time for new recipes. The timer also counts down the time on a preset (only on the A2500), so you can press one button, walk away and come back to steaming hot soup or a perfectly blended smoothie.
Keep track of time for your blends whether counting down from a smoothie or counting up for custom blends.
The blending jar's updated design makes it easier and more efficient to use. The most notable feature is the new Self-Detecting wireless technology integrated into each jar in the Ascent series. This allows the blender base to 'talk' to the jar, recognize the size of the jar, and adjust the power level and maximum blend time to avoid damaging the jars.
Wireless Self Detect Technology knows when the jar is on your Vitamix and adjust power level appropriate for your jar size.
Another thing you're going to notice with the new jars is the newly designed lid. Gone are the days of the silicone lid that kind-of stayed on the top of the blending jar. Vitamix has opted for a plastic design with an easy to clip-on and -off lid that's much more secure than its predecessors. You can still add ingredients during blending through the removable plug that doubles as a small measuring cup.
Margaritas are even easier with a built in 1-oz. measuring cup/lid plug. One less jigger you need to keep in the kitchen.
Vitamix is finally offering their complete line of blending jars on one blender. Included with the Ascent series is the standard 64 oz jar for blending large batches of food, a personal-size blending jar first introduced with the personal-size S Series Vitamix blenders and now available on your full-size Vitamix blender, and an even smaller 8 oz blending jar which is perfect for making fresh baby food and for grinding spices. These new jars are also equipped with the wireless Self Detect technology that adjusts blend times and power levels to perfectly accommodate the size of the jar.
Designed for morning smoothies. Blend right in the cup you drink from and make it portable with the flip-top lid.
To top it all off, Vitamix has a 10 Year Warranty on your investment blender. That's the longest warranty they've ever offered. You can rest assured that if your blender has any issues in the next decade, Vitamix will have it covered.
We tested the Vitamix Ascent blenders to see how powerful they really are.
Vitamix A2500 - The Preset King
What separates the Ascent A2300 and the Ascent A2500 are new preset features for no-guesswork blending. Along with the classic 10-speed variable control, Vitamix has included preprogrammed Ice Cream, Hot Soup, and Smoothie functions to make your blending life easier.
We tested the Hot Soup function on a thick, creamy pureed cheddar broccoli soup, like the kind Panera is so famous for. We loaded the blender jar with roasted broccoli and onions, half and half, chicken stock, and plenty of cheddar. We set the dial to Hot Soup, turned it on and walked away. Five and a half minutes later, we came back to a blender jar of literally steaming-hot soup that reached a temperature of a torrid167°F. We were hugely impressed with the creamy smoothness of the soup that -bonus!- we didn't have to heat on the stove.
Hot soup from cold ingredients, no stove required.
We also tried the Frozen Dessert function on the Vitamix A2500. Using some basic ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen- half and half, ice, sugar, and cocoa powder. We tossed them all into the blender jar and set it to the Ice Cream preset. This process did require the use of the tamper to push the frozen, chocolate-infused ingredients back down to the blade. The result was a great chocolatey soft-serve ice cream with very finely-chopped ice crystals, in about 1 minute.
Who's gonna love it: If you are the person making smoothies every morning or hot soup for dinner on a regular basis, the A2500 is worth the extra cost just for the convenience of pressing a preset button and walking away. Also enjoy complete control with the manual 10-speed control dial to make everything from springy bread dough to fragrant basil pesto.
If you're not interested in presets, Vitamix still offers the classic manual speed-dial so you can control your blends. The A2300 is no stranger to hot soup, ice cream or smoothies, either. By manually mixing instead of relying on the preset functions featured on the A2500, you can save a bit of money with the A2300 with no presets.
The Vitamix A2500 sports 10 speeds and 3 times preset functions for Smoothies, Frozen Desserts, and Hot Soups. The A2300 offers the classic 10-speed dial, no presets.
You're still getting all the power and performance of the A2500. We effortlessly blended a batch of caramelized onion hummus using the manual-control speed dial. Starting slow and then cranking it up to maximum speed resulted in a perfectly smooth and spreadable hummus, it even emulsified our olive oil and water, thanks to the extremely high speed of the 2.2 HP motor.
Who's this best for: Folks used to being in control of their blenders and who want that classic Vitamix feel. 10 speed settings make you the chef in your kitchen, creating the perfect Hollandaise sauce or a refreshing nectarine sorbet. Add the Ascent personal-portion smoothie jar or the 8oz mini jar for making a small batch of garlic aioli or to grind fresh garam masala Indian spice.
Smooth creamy hummus, made in a minute with Vitamix.
Chef Austin's Final Thoughts
With the innovative Self-Detect technology, Vitamix is making their blenders easier to use and care for by helping you make better blends and extending the life of your blender jar. It's also a huge step forward for Vitamix to offer a no-confusion solution to selecting blender jar sizes, something I feel Vitamix has struggled with in the past. And with the extreme power that Vitamix is known for combined with that 10 Year Warranty, this blender is one you'll be using for a really long time.