If you are a health nut, or a person who simply loves to cook or prepare food, you will most likely appreciate having numerous kitchen appliances at your disposal. And, given today’s health-oriented recipes, one of the most important kitchen tools would be your blender
Modern-day blenders would have to be adapted for heavy duty, and they should be able to balance between being able to make smoothies and shakes, and being used for jobs as nasty as crushing ice, pulverizing solid food (like nuts), and shred even the stringiest of fiber-laden food. If you are looking for a blender that can process any kind of food, then you should get a Vitamix 5200 variable-speed countertop blender.
You can say goodbye to owning two, even three different blender-like appliances, minimize clutter, and expand your home menu with even more recipes and drink ideas that the Vitamix 5200 can help you with.
The absurd and joyous amount of power that the 5200 has at its disposal comes from its 2-horsepower motor. This puts the 5200 in the same power class, relatively, as some air conditioning units and vacuum cleaners. The motor is assisted by a cooling fan and a thermal cut-off, so you will not end up cooking the motor from extended use.
The default jar for the 5200 can hold 64 ounces, and is made of a tough plastic material that can definitely withstand the stresses of being a blender receptacle. The default set of blades are made for wet blending, but there are also some accessories for dry usage. The lid has special vents, to prevent accidents with hot liquids, overloading, and accidental activation at a high setting.
The controls are simple enough, with ten buttons for a gradual increase in strength, after which you can switch it to the “high” setting.
Be it stringy vegetables, ice, or even frozen alcoholic drinks, you name it, the 5200 can process it. You can also make super-smooth ice cream, have dough kneaded, and grind coffee with the 5200.
And if you are worried about how to clean it, do not. All you have to do is blend soapy water.
Aside from that, the only issue seems to be that it can be excessively noisy. On the other hand, once you know you are in command of a 2-horsepower blender motor, noise should be expected.
The first concern in durability, of course, is the blending jar. No worries about that, it is made of copolyester, and it can take a lot of punishment. The material is supplied by Eastman, and it is as tough as polycarbonate, but without using BPA (Bisphenol A), a possibly toxic chemical that can seep from polycarbonates into the food. Yes, it has probably crossed your mind: why not use glass? Would that not get rid of any leeching issues? The answer there is that glass was not used in the name of safety.
Given the power of the motor, all it would take is a metal fork dropping into the container while it is on, and you are looking at a possible explosion of glass shards. At least with copolyester materials, there is a little bit of give, which can prevent an explosive situation.
As for the motor, the aforementioned safety features ensure that your Vitamix 5200 will last a long time. However, do not be scared if you smell something like burning plastic the first few times you use it extensively. This is merely some of the plastic materials in the motor housing finally being cured by actual use. The smell should disappear after a few times.
The jar can hold 64 ounces, but it is not suggested that you max that out. Always leave a little bit of leeway for the blending action.
This is where it gets interesting. As can be expected, most of the options are for various jar sizes and blade types. The following are approved and official accessories for the 5200 blender:
48 oz. container
If you are the type who processes a lot of food, or you simply feel that you will not need a 64-ounce jar for some of your food processing, then it makes sense to buy a smaller 48-ounce container. This is perfect for small- and medium-sized smoothies, soups, and frozen desserts. It uses a blade for wet blending.
32 oz. container with dry blade
This particular container is designed specifically for kneading dough or grinding grain. You can also grind coffee beans with this. The container comes with a Whole Grains cookbook with recipes for bread, cereal, and dessert preparations.
32 oz. container with wet blade
This is a small version of the original 64-ounce container, but has much the same construction and hardiness.
64 oz. container with wet blade and soft grip handle
If you are processing foodstuff that can make your container’s grip slippery, then it is a good idea, for safety’s sake, to buy this replacement or addition to your Vitamix blender set. The soft grip is also useful for more mature people, and those recovering from illness.
The basic set starts around $450, and goes upward as accessories are added for “expanded” sets. It is possible that you may get lower prices, but do be careful and check if they are reconditioned, second-hand, or for some reason are not covered by warranty anymore.
The Vitamix website offers information on service center locations, warranty concerns, and return policies. The standard warranty for the 5200 is worth 7 years, and covers all parts, labor, and two-way shipping, if necessary. That just goes to show how serious they are about how good their product should be.
The Vitamix 5200 is definitely for serious health buffs and food fanatics, given the price point. But, on the other hand, it should also appeal to those who wish to get lifetime-use appliances. Just be sure, however, to buy the accessories for it. Yes, they may also cost an extra pretty penny, but once you have a dry-blade container and a few other wet-blade containers in reserve, then you can get really serious about using the 5200 for all many of your kitchen preparations