Best Blender for Ice - Ice Blenders 101

Incidents happen when users get their new shiny blender shipped to their doorstep and they eagerly put fruits and veggies to the jar and add ice and turn it on with a hope that they will get a nice chilled drink in a minute or two.

But for some users, this has turned to a disaster because as soon as they add ice and turn the blender on, the motor of the blender is destroyed. When they refer to the users’ manual afterwards, it comes out to be ‘not recommended’ to blend ice and other frozen ingredients.

best ice blender

All in all, crushing ice seems to be one of the most challenging jobs for blenders. Moreover, it may also be difficult to tell definitely whether a particular model will actually do the job, even though the product description says that it will.

Thus, ice crushing blender should be chosen carefully.

What to Look for in an Ice Crushing Blender

Type of Blender

There are many types of blenders such as immersion, personal, countertop and high-performance blenders. Personal blenders are also known as single-serving blenders.

For frozen ingredients like ice, high-performance and a few of the more heavy duty personal blenders are the best.

All in all, users will need the sturdiest and most durable machine that can suit their budget.

Powerful Motor

A lot of torque is required for chopping ice. Hence it’s important that the blender should feature a very powerful motor of minimum 600 watts. However, the more powerful motor, the better it is for crushing ice.

Motor Speed

Chopping ice is typically done at the high-speed setting. Thus, users will need to choose a blender that has adequate setting for this. In general, if the motor can meet the above-given power specifications, it can reach an adequate speed of crushing ice.

Blade Design

Again, ice cubes will be hard on the blade and therefore, blades should be very strong and durable and should be designed to stand the impact.

Jar Materials and Design

If the jar is made of thinner polycarbonate, the powerful impact of ice can soon crack it. Therefore, the material and design of the pitcher should be extremely strong and impact-resistant and it can be glass, copolyester or heavy polycarbonate. The top models in the market all have pitchers designed to handle the pressure of ice crushing efficiently.

How to Process Ice in a Blender

Firstly, users will have to refer to their instruction manual to check whether there are manufacturer-specific instructions and also ensure it’s indeed designed for the purpose i.e. crushing ice.

It’s not at all recommended to crush ice or frozen ingredients in a blender that is not particularly designed for that purpose.

Most models give the following steps users should take while crushing ice or frozen ingredients:

- Users should take ice out from freezer and set aside for 5-10 minutes at room temperature. However, if a user is using a high-performance model, this step isn’t necessary.

- Next, the jar should be filled with ice cubes up to 1/3rd.

- Now, it should be added milk, fruit juice or any other liquid ingredient users want. Adding a small amount of water can speed up the process.

- Now users should place the lid on the jar and press the pulse button 6-7 times in 2-second bursts or they can use presetting if it’s available.

- Now the blender should be set at high speed for 15-30 seconds. During blending, users can use plunger (tamper) or shake the jar gently to help churn the ice.

- Once the ice attains the desired consistency, it should be removed from the jar.

Can Ice Be Crushed without a Blender?

If users have no blender, they still can have crushed ice with a bit of elbow grease.

Users have the option of starting out with chipped ice or pelleted ice bought from a store. However, they can also take the following steps with whole ice cubes:

- Users should take ice out from freezer and place them in a plastic bag. The bags should be thicker and durable, designed for food storage.

- Now this bag should be placed on a wooden cutting board or similar surface that won’t be damaged. In case of whole cubes, users should hit each cube rapidly with a wooden mallet to break the cubes.

- Once the ice cubes are turned into small fragments, grinding motions should be slowed down so as to crush fragments into smaller bits.

- Users get crushed ice without a blender!

Top Blenders for Crushing Ice

Several blenders are able to process ice to a variety of levels of success. Here are a few top models with a range of prices so that users can choose the best blender for them.

Vitamix 5200

vitamix 5200 blenderVitamix 5200 is certainly a heavy duty blender and is capable of handling literally anything edible. Thus, it’s definitely able to crush ice. This is one of the higher-priced blenders. But if users are ready and able to shell out some extra money, it’s well worth it.

Features

- Manual controls that offer a wide range of speeds but offers no hands-free blending

- Very easy to use but knobs and buttons take a bit longer to clean

- 7-year warranty and excellent customer service

- One of the higher-priced models but well worth the price

Pros of Vitamix 5200

- Durable copolyeseter pitcher that is BPA-free and won’t be damaged with the impact of ice cubes

- Wide range of speeds are offered by rotary control and pulse

- Top-rated high-performance blender

Cons of Vitamix 5200

- Manual controls and therefore no hands-free blending

- Higher price

- Those who have used Vitamix 5200 recommend to set the speed to the highest setting and pulse and use the tamper if required to push the crushed ice down.

Adding a little water is recommended by the manufacturer; however, users don’t consider this necessary.

For more reviews and recommendations, check Vitamix 5200 Blender Amazon link (link opens in the new window).


Vitamix 7500

vitamix 7500 blenderWhile Vitamix has many models that are all powerful enough to crush ice but especially Vitamix 7500 is the favorite of reviewers. It is the same as Vitamix 750 but 750 adds preset controls. While the blending capability of both is the same, 750 costs more.

Features

- 2.2HP, 1500-watt motor crushes ice to give it a snow-like texture

- 7500 is a part of the newer “Next Generation” G series blender line of Vitamix with new longer blade design and wide container. For many years, 5200 was the most popular Vitamix blender and 7500 can be considered as an upgraded version of 5200 with stronger horsepower, quieter design and wide mouth pitcher.

- Simple controls with a 10 variable speed dial and pulse lever

- 7-year full coverage warranty

Pros of Vitamix 7500

- A workhorse that is able to blend anything including nut butter, finely blended smoothies, milling flour and more

- Wider base and longer blades are extremely helpful for crushing ice

- Extremely durable

- 7-year full warranty

- Not as loud as Blendtec Designer (given below)

- Comes with a useful tamper

Cons of Vitamix 7500

- Doesn’t handle smaller portions as nicely as the 5200 but not a very big issue

- Expensive

- Manual controls

- Not dishwasher-safe

- Those who have used 7500 consider it unnecessary to add water while crushing ice which is recommended by the company. If users add water, they might have to strain it out after crushing. Users have to choose the highest level (10) and pulse on the variable-dial and they are good to go. They can use tamper if needed.

For more reviews and recommendations, check Vitamix 7500 Blender Amazon link (link opens in the new window).


Ninja Master Prep QB1004

ninja master prep blender qb1004Ninja Master Prep QB1004 is a jack of all trades featuring three different pitchers viz. a 16-ounce chopper bowl, 40-ounce food processor and 48-ounce jar for frozen drinks, each having their own stacked blade assemblies. Also, this is one of the most affordably priced blenders.

Features

- Versatile

- User-friendly

- 1-year limited warranty

- Good customer service

Pros of Ninja Master Prep

- Multipurpose with three separate units

- Stacked blade assembly prevents jamming due to ice and food

- Great price

Cons of Ninja Master Prep

- With its 450-watt motor, Ninja is not as powerful as other options and cannot tackle tougher options like nut butters

- Warranty is not as generous as other brands

For more reviews and recommendations, check Ninja Master Prep QB1004 Amazon link (link opens in the new window).


KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender

kitchenaid 5 speed diamond blenderKitchenaid blender comes in a range of colors and is reasonably priced than some of the higher-end blenders, but can still do most tasks including ice crushing. It has a solid metal base that is durable and prevents the blender from moving during working.

Features

- Presettings that allow hands-free blending

- 5-year limited warranty

- Great customer service

Pros of Kitchenaid 5-speed Blender

- 60-ounce pitcher is lightweight, durable and dishwasher-safe

- Digital touchpad controls allows easy cleaning

- Ice-crush presetting

- Intellispeed motor that senses content to keep optimal speed

- Comes in 20+ colors to match almost any décor

Cons of Kitchenaid 5-speed Blender

- Narrow bottom of the jar can cause jams

- Doesn’t offer the wattage of high-end options hence may not suit tougher recipes like nut butters

For more reviews and recommendations, check KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender Amazon link (link opens in the new window).


Breville Boss Superblender

breville bbl910xl bossThe Breville Boss Superblender BBL910XL competes well with its high-end competitors and has been rated as the best ice smoothie maker by users in comparison to Vitamix and Blendtec.

In fact, Breville has two settings for smoothies, viz. for fruit smoothies and for green smoothies. Thus it’s perfect for frozen smoothies.

Features

- Hands-free blending

- 1-year limited warranty

- Great customer service

- High-powered

- Convenient presettings

Pros of Breville Boss Superblender

- 2HP motor can perfectly handle ice

- Two smoothie settings make it perfect for frozen drinks

- Reinforced polymer pitcher that is durable as well as lightweight

- Dishwasher-safe

Cons of Breville Boss Superblender

- Motor is not as powerful as other high-end blenders

- Warranty doesn’t match up to other high-end blenders

For more reviews and recommendations, check Breville BBL910XL Boss Superblender Amazon link (link opens in the new window).


Oster My Blend with Travel Sport Bottle

oster blstpb wblThe Oster BLSTPB-WBL My Blend is a single-serving blender that is meant for crushing ice and making smoothies and comes with an innovative sport travel bottle.

This moderately-sized personal blender is one of the cheapest blenders on the market and provides great value for the money.

Features

- Very low-cost still very durable

- Easy to use

- 1-year limited warranty

- Good customer service

- Convenient single-serving but only one speed

Pros of Oster My Blend

- Pitcher and blade assembly can do more than handling ice

- Easy to use

- Pitcher can be removed and blades are replaced by a lid, which means users can drink their smoothie on the go without having to use another bottle

- All parts are dishwasher-safe

Cons of Oster My Blend

- Only one speed

- May overheat after prolonged use

- 250-watt motor is capable of handling ice in the single-serving size, but may not be able to handle frozen fruits and nuts

Those who have used this blender recommend allowing ice to sit for 5-10 minutes at room temperature before starting and adding a little water or other liquid to the mixture. Also users should make sure that the jar is about 1/3rd full.

For more reviews and recommendations, check Oster BLSTPB-WBL Blender with Travel Sport Bottle Amazon link (link opens in the new window).


Blendtec Designer

blendtec designer wildsideThe Blendtech Designer is a leading name in blenders. This blender has an innovative “wild-side” jar, powerful motor and cold-forged blade assembly that make it extremely functional.

The blender also has a lot of impressive features including touchscreen controls as well as pre-settings for everything from frozen drinks to hot foods. Many trusted reviewers have mentioned it as particularly well-suited for crushing ice.

Features

- Pre-settings that enable hands-free blending and a perfect end-product every time

- 7-year warranty and great customer service

- High-performance blender packed with features

Pros of Blendtec Designer

- Cold-forged wingtip blades that are durable and build to last

- Durable BPA-free pitcher that won’t be cracked by the impact of ice

- Ice-crushing pre-setting

- Huge crushing power under the hood with a 3HP peak, 1560-watt motor

Cons of Blendtec Designer

- Doesn’t come with a tamper (however, for this blender it’s not needed)

- Slightly noisier than Vitamix and other high-performance blenders

For more reviews and recommendations, check Blendtec Designer Series Blender Amazon link (link opens in the new window).


CleanBlend 3HP Commercial Blender

cleanblend 3hp blenderThe name itself reveals that this blender is highly powerful and gives a tough fight to Vitamix and Blendtec. This blender has got excellent customer reviews and its customer service has got highly positive feedback.

Features

- Powerful 3HP peak, 1800-watt motor that is close to Vitamix blenders

- Variable speed control and a pulse switch is strikingly similar to Vitamix 5200

- 5-year warranty

Pros of CleanBlend

- High-powered blender that costs only a fraction of other equivalent blenders

- Great customer service

Cons of CleanBlend

- Variable speed dial of CleanBlend doesn’t offer the array of speeds that is offered by Vitamix

- Some reviewers have found that CleanBlend made smoother smoothies than Vitamix 5200.

For more reviews and recommendations, check Cleanblend 3HP 1800-Watt Commercial Blender Amazon link (link opens in the new window).


Oster Reverse Crush Blender

oster reverse crush blenderIf users are looking for a reasonably priced blender for crushing ice, the Oster is a wonderful option.

This blender is not as powerful as Blendtec or Vitamix, but is still capable of crushing ice and making chilled drinks.

Features

- Easy to use

- Frozen drink presetting

- 10-year limited warranty

- Great customer service

- Excellent price and value for money

Pros of Oster Reverse Crush Blender

- Stainless steel 6-blade assembly that is sufficiently durable for ice

- 6-cup glass pitcher that can handle ice well and is dishwasher safe

- Dual-direction blade system prevents blade from being jammed

Cons of Oster Reverse Crush Blender

- Glass jar that is heavier than plastic alternatives

- 600-watt motor is not suitable for harder recipes like nut butters

- Those who have used this blender recommend to use the “Frozen Drink” presetting to handle ice effectively.

For more reviews and recommendations, check Oster Reverse Crush Counterforms Blender Amazon link (link opens in the new window).


Oster Versa Pro 1400

oster versa pro series blenderThe Oster Versa Pro 1400 has got great customer reviews for its high performance and features.

Features

- 1.9HP 1400-watt motor

- 64-ounce BPA-free Tritan jar

- Variable speed dial and 3 preset speeds for soup, smoothie and spreads/dips

- Blades can attain up to 250mph rotations (20,000 RPMs)

- Comes with a tamper

Pros of Oster Versa Pro 1400

- Fantastic blending performance for the price

- Well-built blender

- 7-year warranty

Cons of Oster Versa Pro 1400

- Doesn’t offer the same power as that of Vitamix or Blendtec, so, not suited for heavy jobs like dough making

- Some users have found the jar leaking

- Tamper can possibly touch the blades

- Oster recommends using only up to 6 large ice cubes at a time while crushing ice without liquid, whereas there is no such limit when users do that with liquid. For blending ice, only pulse button should be used.

For more reviews and recommendations, check Oster Versa Pro Series Blender Amazon link (link opens in the new window).


Bottom Line

Considering the features and functioning of all these brands, Blendtec Designer is the best of them as it turns ice cubes into perfectly powdery, fluffy magic. Its programmed ice cycle is extremely useful for hands-free blending for those who are very busy in the morning. Vitamix 7500 is another best ice crushing blender which also offers powdery snow-like texture of crushed ice but has manual controls.

For mid-line blenders, Oster Reverse Crush can be a good blender as its dual-direction blade assembly prevents jamming from ice and it’s great for frozen beverages. It also offers a great warranty and customer support; thus, users can buy it with confidence.

The right blender for users depends upon their budget, frequency of usage and whether the user wants it to only crush ice or also wants to make tougher recipes like soups, nut butters etc.