Blendtec Designer Series Blender and Twister Jar Review
I have personally tried several countertop blenders over the years to make smoothies and other blended beverages with varying success. I think most of us start out with a cheap blender from our favorite big box store thinking that it will work pretty well. It only takes a couple of times making drinks before we’re wishing our smoothies were a bit smoother or our frozen drinks were a bit more slushy. We’re more disappointed when we try recipes that use ingredients that our blender can’t blend at all, breaks, or goes up in smoke.
I recently decided I was going to get serious about a blender and picked up a Blendtec Designer Series. I wanted to be able to make smooth and creamy protein shakes and other blended beverages consistently. My older blenders just weren’t cutting it. I love smoothies for recovery drinks, snacks, and meal replacements so I made the leap. Best of all Blendtec’s are made in the USA from a majority of American made parts. Check out the features and performance of the Blendtec Designer Series below.
I’ll follow up with some of my favorite recipes, protein powders, and supplements in articles in the coming weeks.
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What’s in the box:
- Designer Series motor base
- WildSide jar
- Vented Gripper™ lid
- Fresh Blends Recipe book
- Owner’s manual
- Registration card
- 7 years
- Actual weight: 8 lbs
- Actual dimensions: 7″ wide x 15″ tall x 9.25″ deep
Blendtec Designer Series Blender Review:
Base / Motor – Let’s start off with the obvious, the Blendtec Designer blender is insanely powerful. At 1560 watts it is the most powerful blender I have ever tried. When the blender spins up you can see very evidently how much power it has from the noise and how much it can rock the jar when you have thick ingredients inside. The Blendtec blender features a metal coupling for direct power transfer from the motor to the blades of the jar. The Blendtec blender is assembled in the USA and is mostly made out of American made parts. The design of the blender base is sturdy, heavy, and feels high end. The base itself actually has large venting ports on the bottom to allow air in and a fan is used to cool the motor. This is supposed to make the motor last longer. With a 7 year warranty Blendtec is ready to stand behind their blender for a long time. I also like the fact that the pitcher can be placed on the base if your either right handed or left handed. The points on the base make sure you place it on the base solidly and hold securely while blending.
Blending Controls – The blender features several automatic modes: batter, ice crush, smoothie, ice cream, whole juice, and soup. These modes spin at specific speeds and lengths of time for the intended blending. The modes tend to work pretty well for what they were designed for. If you’re using thick ingredients they might need another cycle from time to time or just blend on high for a bit more time. The trick with any blender is having the right amount of liquid in the recipes to blend smoothly. There is also a pulse feature which can be set at any speed. Dialing the speed of the blender when not using the blending modes is really easy thanks to the capacitive touch interface. As mentioned at the top the Blendtec is super powerful. You do have to be careful making smaller quantities if you’re using the large Wildside jar. Smaller recipes are best made in the smaller Twister jar which doesn’t have as much volume. Small recipes in the big Wildside jar don’t mix well since the ingredients get pushed up the walls and don’t form a nice vortex like larger recipes. The touch interface is nice and easy to clean too since it doesn’t have any buttons. Just wipe it off with a soft cloth.
Blade – You’ll notice that the Blendtec jars have long flat blunt blades for blending. This is their unique design that is made to pulverize ingredients by allowing them to more easily come in contact with the cold forged stainless steel blades because they have more opening. The single blade design also makes it easier to get your drink/soup/whatever out of the jar because you can easily scrape around and under the blade. The blades on the Blendtec are permanently attached. I really like the strong metal coupling between the blade and the motor. The only quibble I have is that sometimes that coupling doesn’t line up and you have to twist the blades a tiny bit to get the jar on the base.
Lid – The lid on the Blendtec jar is vented to allow steam to come out if you’re making a hot recipe and you can also add ingredients in through the opening. If you’re adding liquid you don’t need to take out the whole middle section, just pour through the vent. The lid sealed really well keeping all of the blended goodness inside.
Jar Design – The Blendtec Wildside jar is unique in that it is designed with a fifth side to the jar. This extra side is designed to help accelerate the ingredients in the jar, making blending easier and more smooth. They originally designed their jars to only have four sides and not round because they found that objects in the blender would more easily come in contact with a wall and then back into the middle of the blender for blending. The Wildside jar is rated to hold only 32oz of ingredients. The jar itself is 64oz but you can only fill it half way. The lines on the jar are easy to read and offer multiple measurements so you don’t over fill the jar when using this product.
Extra Thoughts – The jar is dishwasher safe to wash or you can use a nifty cleaning method to rinse out the jar (see video below). The Blendtec’s don’t come with a tamper like a Vitamix. Blendtec contends that it is not needed. I’ve found over time that this is mostly true but thicker ingredients can sometimes need a bit of scraping with the Spectacula (which conveniently fits through the lid opening) and reblending. This is the reason they came up with the Twister Jar. It scrapes the sides of the jar and redistributes the ingredients to mix thick recipes. Another nifty feature that the Blendtec offers is a blending counter that shows you how many times you’ve blended. It’s fun to watch the count go up.
Blendtec Twister Jar Review:
What’s in the box:
- Patented Twister lid
- Mini Gripper™ lid for containing thinner blends
- Twister Jar
Design – The Twister Jar holds up to 16oz of ingredients. It was designed primarily for blending thick recipes like nut butters, frozen smoothies, and shakes. The blades of the Twister lid force the ingredients off of the walls of the jar and redistributes them back toward the blades. This makes sure all of the ingredients are well blended. The design works really well for thick smoothies and nut butters that need help. In a standard jar you would need to stop the blender scrape the sides and then start blending again. With this jar you just start blending and turn the lid counter-clockwise through the cycle. Being smaller also makes this jar very useful for small recipes which blend better than the large jar. This jar also has easy to read markings like the big jars.
Blades – The blades of the Twister jar are the same as the larger Blendtec jars. They have the same unique shape and fixed design.
Lid – The gripper lid on the Twister jar seals really well and still has a port in the top to pour in additional ingredients. The Twister Lid doesn’t have any grip to it so you have to hold on to it as your blend. With the powerful motor and a full jar sometimes a little bit of my smoothies would come out of the top of the jar around the Twister Lid edges. It wasn’t a big deal but could be messy if you didn’t pay attention. The Twister lid also has a removable red top if you want to add some more liquid to your blending.
Spectacula – This is a specially designed spatula just for the Twister jar and Blendtec’s other jars. It has a unique shape that can really get into the jar and get all of your smoothie or nut butter out of the jar.
Blendtec Designer Series Real World Performance Review:
The Blendtec Designer Series blender is a pure knockout. The blender is so powerful and handy I’m not sure I could go without one again. My smoothies and blended beverages have never been as smooth and creamy as with this blender. Any recipe that I’ve thrown as this blender has always turned out really good. I’ve used lots of frozen fruit, ice, and vegetables and the Blendtec has pulverized them all into a nice creamy consistency. Even green smoothies that are notoriously hard to make taste good are really fantastic with this blender. Kale and Spinach are really broken down nicely and mix well with other fruits. My old blenders barely could handle these types of recipes.
My wife and child have really enjoyed a lot of the recipes I’ve made in the Blendtec. I’ve made baby food, my own custom almond butter, and a ton of smoothies and shakes. I was glad I had the Twister jar on hand a lot of the time too. Small smoothies just for me are easy to make and turn out perfect. The big jar is better when when you’re making recipes for two people or saving servings for later.
The blending modes and the touch controls have been really nice to use. It’s very cool to just put in your ingredients and push a button and just wait for it to blend. I’ve used whole juice for a lot of baby food. Smoothie mode works really great for smoothies. I used ice crush to do daiquiri’s and pina colada’s. The variable speed mode is nice when you want to control your own blending or pulsing. Super simple to use with great results.
My only real complaints about the Blendtec is the noise can be a bit annoying (it’s loud) and the coupling can be a bit fiddly sometimes. It’s easy to twist the blades on the jar though and then it slides right in. I wish the Twister lid had just a bit better seal. I’ve had some overflow while using it from time to time.
At the end of the day this blender is just fantastic and I feel worth the money. We’re always trying to get the best performance from our bikes and our bodies. This blender performs heads and tails above just about any other out there. It allows me to enjoy healthy recovery drinks, snack smoothies, and lot of other healthy recipes with ease. I know whatever I throw in the jar will get blended well and taste great.
Where To Buy The Blendtec Signature Series Blender:
There are a couple of avenues for purchasing a Blendtec blender. You can buy a new Designer Series blender from Amazon or you can by a reconditioned one directly from Blendtec. The reconditioned model from Blendtec’s website still carries a 5 year warranty. The price on reconditioned models is more affordable and you still get a great warranty. Since I purchased my blender Blendtec has came out with several new models that feature the same jars with even more features and power. Check out their 2014 Designer 625, 675, and 725.
Blendtec Corporate Video Promo
How To Clean Your Fixed Blade Blender Pitcher
Fixed blade blenders may seem like they’d be a pain to clean. Fortunately there is a simple hands free cleaning method to cleaning your fixed blade blender pitcher. Follow these simple instructions.
- Fill the pitcher 1/3 of the way with hot water
- Squirt in a splash of dish soap
- Blend for 30 seconds