Have you ever experienced a blender blowout? That’s what I call it when your blender dies mid-margarita on a summer Saturday and you have to run out to buy a new one. It happened to me enough times that I explained to my husband if we bought a Vitamix, we’d never have to replace the bargain brand versions again. That was twelve years ago, and our Vitamix is still going strong. It has made its fair share of frozen mixed drinks, but these days it’s powering through baby purees like nobody’s business. I cannot think of a single appliance I use more!
So Why Vitamix?
One thing’s for sure—this is not a dreaded beach house blender, dusted off occasionally for mediocre frozen beverages. The Vitamix is a use-it-everyday, can’t-live-without-it appliance. It is a commercial-grade blender built to withstand the test of time. There is more to this machine than meets the eye, so it’s important you take the time to explore its various features to truly maximize its capabilities. The Vitamix is intuitive to use, but here are a few tips and tricks to enhance your overall experience.
How to Fill the Vitamix Container
Improperly loading your Vitamix container is a rookie mistake, but it has a huge impact on the outcome of your recipe. (Confession: I did it wrong for a really long time!) Not only does layering ingredients in the proper order guarantee the smoothest results, it prevents the motor from stalling out.
Always load the container with liquids first! This prevents air pockets from forming around the blades. Follow with dry goods (such as grains, seasonings, and powders), then leafy greens, fruits & vegetables, and finish with ice and frozen ingredients. The weight of the frozen ingredients on top helps push the ingredients into the blades for a better blend. (For the personal 20-ounce containers, load the opposite way, since the container will be flipped onto the base.)
Variable Speed Control: Crank it Up
The Vitamix works best at high speed—to get the fastest, smoothest blend—so don’t let the power and noise scare you. Always start at the lowest setting, then quickly increase the speed to high. In fact, blending for too long at a lower speed puts you at a much greater risk of overheating the motor, not to mention the resulting recipe won’t be as good.
Keep the Tamper Close
The Vitamix tamper plays such a critical role in the success of a recipe, yet many people simply toss it aside, or worse, discard it. When you are blending thick items, such as smoothies and nut butters, the tamper continuously circulates the ingredients to keep air pockets from forming at the base. And don’t worry, as long as the lid is on, the tamper will never come into contact with the blades. Be sure to push down along the four corners of the machine to really keep things moving.
Never cut a Vitamix-specific recipe in half. The container needs a minimum quantity of ingredients for the blades to do their job properly, or else the ingredients will just sputter around the bottom. Luckily Vitamix makes smaller 8-ounce and 20-ounce containers to meet almost all of your personal needs. Likewise, never overfill your container, especially when blending soups or other hot recipes. The heat can cause expansion and blow the lid right off the top. Pro tip: throw a dish towel over the lid when blending hot items, just in case!
Containers: Wet vs. Dry
The majority of recipes use the wet container that comes with the Vitamix. The wet container yields super smooth results by harnessing the power of a vortex. That powerful tornado pulls ingredients down into the blades for the creamiest, dreamiest textures.
The 32-ounce dry container works the opposite of the wet container by blasting things up and out. A reverse vortex if you will. This prevents ingredients from getting stuck or packed under the blade. The dry container is great for grinding coffee beans, making nut flours, and milling your own grains.
How to Clean and Care for your Vitamix Blender
I wish all things were as easy to clean as a Vitamix container. Start by giving it a quick rinse. Add a drop of dish soap and fill halfway with warm water. Securely fit the lid. Start the machine on low and slowly increase the speed to high. Run for 30 to 60 seconds, then thoroughly rinse clean and place upside down to dry. Done!
Occasionally you might notice a cloudiness to your Vitamix container. This can be from improper cleaning, blending herbs and spices, or hard water. To remove, simply add one cup of white vinegar and fill the container with warm water. Let soak upright for several hours, or overnight. Pour liquid out and clean with dish soap and a gentle scrubbing sponge. Rinse and let air dry.
Blending coarse ingredients, such as granulated sugar, can eventually create miniscule scratches inside of the container, creating a cloudy effect. This is irreversible but will not affect the performance of the machine. If it bothers you, purchase an additional container and use one for wet and one for dry applications.
Utilize the Accessories
If you want to take your Vitamix experience to the next level, check out the Perfect Blend Smart Scale and Recipe App. This interactive scale walks you step-by-step through recipes made just for the Vitamix. The accompanying app helps you meal plan, prepare shopping lists, and stay on target by pairing with your fitness programs.
My favorite addition to the Vitamix lineup is the Aer Disc Container. The Aer disc is an incredible innovation that will kick your cooking up a notch. Liquid is pulled through small holes in the spinning disc, allowing them to aerate and emulsify without pureeing them. You can now achieve feather-light whipped cream, ethereal hollandaise sauce, muddled cocktails, and pillowy foams at the touch of a button. It’s the stuff of Michelin-starred chef’s dreams!
Hopefully all of these tips and tricks will help you better use your Vitamix to reach its maximum potential. Check out our selection of Vitamix and Vitamix accessories at MetroKitchen, and get ready to whirl your way to culinary perfection.