Buying Guide: The Best Bar Blenders For You

Whip, Crush and Mix Drinks, Soups and Purees with the Best Bar Blender

How to Choose a Bar Blender

Adding a bar blender to your home entertaining area gives you the ability to play bartender for friends and guests. These powerful devices make it easy to whip up delicious mixed drinks and signature bar-style beverages in moments, and just the appearance of a professional bar blender on the counter can enhance the look of your home bar or kitchen counter. Bar blenders are versatile machines that can also help with a myriad of other tasks, like making cheesecake, crushing nuts or blending smoothies--they can do many of the jobs traditionally delegated to food processors.

Many top manufacturers make bar blenders for home use, and choosing the right set of options and features from amongst the hundreds or thousands of available combinations can take a bit of time. There are ways to narrow down the pack, however, when you're ready to start learning how to choose a bar blender.

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Picking the Right Bar Blender for You

Professional Bar Blender

Out of the many small kitchen appliances available for making drinks, a bar blender leads the pack when it comes to speed and efficiency. Your new blender should have all the power and capacity to handle your favorite ingredients and drink types. It also needs to last through occasional busy evenings of entertaining friends and family, and you may require commercial models if you'll use it daily use or know you'll be serving a crowd on a regular basis.

Additional features, such as swappable blade types, LED indicators and multiple pulse speeds are very much preferential. We find it's easier to first look for the features we know we need, then consider the various bells and whistles as we compare models--even the most advanced add-on isn't that handy if you never have occasion to use it.

Lasting Durability

When it comes to buying bar blenders, one of the most important factors is the durability of the unit. Sturdier models cost more, but their heavy-duty construction helps them endure through many more margaritas and slushies than their lower-grade counterparts. There are a few components that any high-quality bar blender should have, and these can help ensure that you have a blender that can withstand the rigors of daily use.

Stainless Steel Blade Bar blender

The first material consideration is the construction of the unit and the blades. Long-lasting blades that can withstand high speeds and torque must be made of durable metal material. Stainless steel construction, similar to that used in knives and high-quality stand mixers, ensures that the blades maintain their edge and resist chipping, bending and breaking during operation. Aluminum is a lightweight alternative to stainless steel that is still likely to last for quite some time.

The second consideration is the jar, which is either plastic or glass. Plastic can easily withstand hits from potentially sharp and hard foods such as big chunks of ice, and fare well when dropped on the floor. Choose a BPA-free copolymer plastic to avoid adding undesirable chemicals to your drinks. Glass is another popular option, but less popular for heavy usage as it doesn't fare as well when dropped or when it takes repeated hits; it can scratch or crack under pressure. However, glass is a trustworthy material that will never leech chemicals into your food.

Capacity

7-Speed Bar Blender

When judging which blender cup capacity to get, consider how many drinks you're likely to make in a batch. If you regularly serve five or more guests simultaneously, 60-ounce or larger containers are the order of the day. Four or fewer guests are easy to serve from 48-ounce or even single-cup blenders. Many home bars keep hand blenders near the bar blender, so they can mix single drinks without breaking out the heavy-duty equipment. For home bars and parties that may serve a dozen or more guests simultaneously, look for 90-ounces or more.

Raw Speed

The speed of drink creation in your new bar mixer depends on its power and the thickness of your ingredients. So when you look at blender speed, you want to choose the model that will mix drinks as quickly and effectively as possible. This means you need features that allow it to operate neatly as well as the power to chop through hard ice and foods.

Pay close attention to blending speeds, commonly listed as RPM (revolutions per minute), as this tells you how quickly the motor will spin the blades. Many blenders have a handy guide that estimates what the RPMs mean in terms of how long it takes for common actions, such as shredding ice or blending smoothies. Most modern blenders have variable operating speeds, each with a different RPM rating, making them even more versatile.

Pure Power

Powerful Bar Blender

One of the most prominently displayed--and arguably most important--factors when you're buying a bar blender is its horsepower. Unlike hand blenders that rely on smaller and lighter components, the bar blender needs exceptional power to effectively do its job. This means a heavy motor that can output one or more horsepower, giving the strength to the blades to power through many common tasks.

If you regularly use blenders to mix softer ingredients, such as blended wines or whiskeys, and rarely need to crush ice or cut tougher pieces, a single-horsepower motor may do the trick. Two or more horsepower is often needed for regular ice crushing and powering through tough options, and motors with horsepower ratings of three or more can quickly carve through almost any common home bar ingredient.

If you regularly use blenders to mix softer ingredients, such as blended wines or whiskeys, and rarely need to crush ice or cut through frozen fruit, a single-horsepower motor may do the trick. Two or more horsepower is often needed for ice crushing and powering through hard foods, and motors with horsepower ratings of three or more can quickly liquify pretty much any ingredient.

Discovering how to choose bar blenders is an important step towards creating a fun and engaging home bar experience. With the knowledge of how to pick the best fit for you based on the capacity, motor output and blade speed, you can easily find a blender that will suit your needs and give you and your guests countless hours of fun.

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