Item: Blendtec Designer 625 Blender
Overall Impression: With a small countertop footprint and the fact that you can walk away while it's blending, the Blendtec combines power with great design.
Blendtec is a big name in the commercial blending business but also makes powerful blenders for home kitchens. It's prided itself on innovative engineering and even calls itself "The World's Most Advanced Blender," but how well does this blender work in a home kitchen? I took it through its paces to find out if its sleek design matched up to what it claimed it could do!
The Quick Facts
Characteristics and Specs:
- Height: 7" wide x 15.5" tall x 9.25" deep
- Weight: 9.25 pounds
- Blending container: 5-sided, 90-ounce WildSide+ jar, with markings up to 36 ounces; vented Gripper lid
- Cord length: about 3.5 feet
- Power: 3 peak horsepower motor
- Blade construction: 2 blunt blades made of cold-forged hardened steel
- Base design: Touch interface, 4 pre-programmed cycles (smoothie, ice cream, whole juice, hot soup), 6-speed touchscreen slider, pulse button
- Production and construction: Engineered, designed and assembled in Orem, Utah. Components manufactured or sourced primarily from the US.
- Accessories: Instruction manual
- Warranty: 8 years
Favorite details: The pre-programmed cycles make basic blending tasks happen with just a touch of a button, and the design of the jar makes it easy to scrape thick foods out of the jar and clean. Crushed ice came out perfect.
Potential problems: While the blender is powerful, the lack of a tamper to push hard foods like nuts into the blades means that it doesn't handle really tough tasks like nut butters very well.
Who would love this? Those who like programmed settings so that they can just walk away while their morning smoothie is blending will love this minimalist, modern-looking blender.
I put the Blendtec through 5 different tests, and here's how it did:
- The test: kale, soaked raw cashews, banana, dried figs, fresh ginger, and ice
- Result: Pressed the smoothie button and listened to the variable speeds working as the program ran. 40 seconds later, it produced a very smooth smoothie. Even though there isn't a pour spout on the jar, it wasn't hard to pour the smoothie out.
- The test: chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, water, garlic, lemon juice, salt
- Result: Used high speed and watched as it blended while the digital counter counted up the time. The chickpeas started really moving around the jar at 30 seconds, and it was completely blended in 90 seconds total. Hummus was smooth and had a good texture.
3. Pureed Cooked Carrots
- The test: cooked baby carrots, plus cooking liquid
- Result: Pressed the soup setting, and 90 seconds later, the carrots were silky smooth and at a steaming 123°F. Really liked that I didn't have to tamper or scrape the sides of the jar down.
4. Almond Butter
- The test: 1 1/2 cups dry roasted almonds
- Result: Using the high setting, the almonds turned dusty but never quite turned into almond butter, despite blending for a total of 70 seconds and stopping and scraping the container down after the first 15 seconds. It just barely formed a chunky paste. Much more stopping and scraping would be needed to turn this into almond butter.
5. Ice Crushing
- The test: 2 cups ice cubes
- Result: Unsure of which setting to use, I just used the ice cream setting and the result was fluffy, perfectly crushed ice that was almost snow-like in texture.
Design and Functions
Blendtec, famous for its Will it Blend? videos, has long been a leader in the high-end blender category and a rival to Vitamix. The basic model we chose to test, the 625 Designer with WildSide+ jar, has a sleek base with a touch interface that disappears when the blender is unplugged.
There are 4 pre-programmed cycles (smoothie, ice cream, whole juice, hot soup) in addition to a 6-speed touchscreen slider and pulse button. The little icons for the cycles were cute and easy to identify, and once pressed, a countdown clock displayed how much time was left in the cycle.
If you were using the touchscreen slider to pick your own blending speed, a count up clock shows up instead. Count up isn't necessarily what most people need in a blender (perhaps if you test recipes and track timing), so while this function is nice, it seems extraneous.
A Blendtec representative at the 2015 International Housewares Show mentioned that they tried out blenders with many more preset buttons but dialed down after research showed that people weren't necessarily using all the additional presets. I thought the four settings here made sense and would probably be the ones I used most.
The most interesting part of the design were the dull blades. It seems counterintuitive to have dull blades in a blender, right? But instead of relying on the sharpness of the blades to chop food up, Blendtec relies on the speed at which the blades spins instead — the blades spin at up to 300 miles per hour!
This blender stands shorter than other high-end blenders and can fit well on counters under overhead cabinets. I really liked the compactness of it even though it had the largest capacity blending container out of the three I tested. However, there is no built-in cord storage.
The Blendtec WildSide+ jar has a huge capacity: 90 ounces, with markings on the side that go up to 36 ounces. Its shape is squat and mostly square, with a fifth side that disrupts the flow of the blender. Ingredients hit the flat sides, creep up to the top of the jar and then head right back down to the blades. The flat sides also mean that it is easy to scrape thick mixtures out.
I liked the vented Gripper lid, which stayed on securely but had vents to let steam escape when blending hot foods. The WildSide+ jar has no spout on the container, which can make it bit messier to pour liquids.
I used the presets to blend smoothies and cooked carrots and really appreciated the ability to press the button and walk away. The cooked carrots also heated up to a nice steamy texture, so you'd be able to serve it right out of the blender.
The Blendtec design doesn't use tampers but was still able to handle hummus with ease on high speed without the need for me to stop the blender to scrape the sides down.
Where it really excelled was at ice crushing, with ice cubes turned into perfectly even, snow-like bits. If you want to make crushed ice cocktails or snow cones, this is the machine for you.
Where the Blendtec fell flat was making almond butter. Even after stopping and scraping down the jar multiple jars, the almonds turned dusty and just seemed to fly around the jar. They finally turned into a coarse paste but didn't have a texture that was close to commercial almond butter. Blendtec recommends using their Twister Jar instead for nut butters.
Out of the three machines I tested, the Blendtec was definitely the quietest, but was by no means quiet. High-powered blenders are noisy appliances and there isn't much that can be done about that!
One of the things I liked most about the Blendtec is how easy it is to clean. It can be cleaned in the top rack of the dishwasher (although it might be too tall for some dishwashers), but heated dry is not recommended.
While you can definitely use the soapy water blending method to clean it, this method didn't do a great job of getting all the sticky almond butter residue out. But since the jar has flat sides with no indents and ridges, and there is only a small dull blade to work around at the bottom, it was easy to get in there with my sponge to get all the little bits out.
One thing I did notice was that the pureed carrots temporarily stained the jar orange even after cleaning, but after blending the next food in there, the orange tint went away.
Even after all the official blending tests were complete, I found myself reaching for the Blendtec to blend up some salsa for dinner because I wanted to just press a button and walk away while it was blending. If you like this kind of ease along with power and stylish design, this blender's for you!
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.