Item: Vitamix Professional Series 300
Overall Impression: Versatile, powerful, and worth the hype!
The Vitamix has achieved cult-like status, but I always considered this high-end blender outside my price range. Plus I never cared for the industrial design, which is functional but not particularly stylish. Well, after putting the newer Professional Series 300 model through its paces, you can call me converted. The Vitamix Pro 300 has quickly become an indispensable and beloved tool in my kitchen — one that I would buy in a heartbeat, and possibly save in a fire.
Characteristics and Specs: The Vitamix Pro 300 has a newly designed 64-ounce carafe with a low, wide shape (10.125 inches tall) so it can fit under most kitchen cabinets. The container is made of BPA-free Eastman Tritan copolyester and has stainless steel blades and a vented lid, lid plug, and optional tamper.
The blender base has a variable speed dial and pulse control, a quieter 1,440-watt, 2.2-peak horsepower motor (apparently 40% quieter than previous models), and radial cooling fan and thermal protection system.
Measures 17.4 x 9.4 x 7.7 inches and weighs 12.5 pounds. Available in two colors: Onyx and Ruby. Comes with the Create cookbook featuring over 200 recipes, and a DVD tutorial with Chef Michael Voltaggio. 7-year warranty. Made in USA.
Favorite details: Quietness at lower speeds, good airflow and lack of overheating, volume measurements on the carafe, and the self-cleaning feature.
Potential problems: The Vitamix Pro 300 is still loud at high speeds; not a real problem, just something to note.
Splurge-worthy? Yes. This machine is powerful and durable and quickly becomes indispensable as you realize you can use it to make everything from smoothies to juices, sauces, soups, flour, batter, ice cream, and more.
Good for small kitchens? Yes. The container has been redesigned for easier storage, but more than that, the Vitamix Pro 300 is versatile. It's not quite an all-in-one appliance, but it comes close.
I'm not usually one to cook from the recipe booklets that come with appliances, but the Pro 300 comes with a real, hardbound cookbook and I figured that working through it would be a good way to learn the Vitamix's myriad uses. It's something I recommend for every new Vitamix owner. (Recipes are also available on the Vitamix website.)
Every day, even multiple times a day, I felt like an infomercial — "but wait, there's more!" — as I used the Pro 300 to blend drinks, puree and heat soups, emulsify sauces, mix batters, whip cream, churn frozen desserts, grind nut butters, and create my own gluten-free flours. (A special dry grains container is sold separately to make flour, grind coffee, and more; review forthcoming.) But unlike most infomercial products, this was the real deal.
It sounds hyperbolic, but the Pro 300 changed the way I cook, eat, and do dishes. As much as I savor making things by hand (my favorite mortar and pestle is the other thing I'd grab in a fire), there are nights when I'm tired and busy and the Vitamix is what helped me eat better. I was able to quickly whip up marinades and sauces for healthy one-bowl meals; make velvety, hot soups; and even treat myself to frozen fruit desserts. In the morning, it functioned beautifully for making things like kale smoothies and homemade nut/seed/grain milks.
Throwing everything into the Vitamix also meant dirtying fewer dishes, and cleaning the Pro 300 is a breeze. For most jobs, all you need to do is fill the container halfway with water, add a drop of dish soap, and run the machine for 30 to 60 seconds. Amazing!
Although I don't feel that the Vitamix completely replaces my food processor and stand mixer (those are still superior for some doughs), in most cases I'm now using the Vitamix, instead. As my partner Gregory put it, "If I'd known the Vitamix was this great, I'd have bought one long ago." I wholeheartedly agree.
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.
(Images: Emily Han)