Video Review: Vita-Mix 5200 Blender

Make no mistake: A Vita-Mix 5200 blender is overkill for the home kitchen. It’s $450, to start. And its laudable blending ability doesn’t even make itself apparent unless you’re blending quite a bit of food at once. But over the course of the last month, I’ve yet to find food it can’t turn into a healthful slop—eventually.

(You can buy a smaller blending carafe that makes it more suitable for home use, but that’ll set you back nearly another $100.)

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40 Responses to Video Review: Vita-Mix 5200 Blender

  1. Mariano says:

    Spatular is not a Spanish verb. Spatula is a noun in Spanish as well as English.

    The person who wrote the conjugation of spatular is make it up, it does not exit.

  2. missfern says:

    little did i know that a random click on this vita-mix review would lead to one of the most entertaining internet time-wasters in recent memory…

    @#32 – “spatular” is MOST DEFINITELY a verb…if you have a sense of humor.

    i will be using this term in conversation as soon as possible – along with “tampa stick”.

    @#25 – thank you, i’m still laughing out loud at your PS.

  3. Cabana Girl says:

    #33, Rob. I just had to comment. I just bought my Vita-mix 5200. Everything I read from the company or any recipes for this machine, YOU PUT IN LIQUIDS FIRST! Just had to point that out. And as for use of Erythritol: As a whole, erythritol is generally free of side-effects in regular use, but if consumed in very extreme quantities (sometimes encouraged by its almost non-caloric nature), effectively consuming it faster than one’s body can absorb it, a laxative effect may result. Allergic side effects can be itching with hives. Nice suggestion. Every think that plain old sugar (maybe use LESS??) is safe! ;p LOL and 20 minutes for soup??? Mine takes about 6-7 total. And to #26, yes, it will make it boil! Have fun!

  4. hohum says:

    Ahh, the Vita-Mix, long standing champion in the blending world! Though I think nowadays, BlendTec is really giving them a run for their money…

    PS, You are an idiot! Use the SPATULAR!!!

    (My favorite comment thread in weeks)

  5. Agies says:

    @11

    My day has been made

  6. Alan says:

    I was really hoping to see the spoon drop into the blender, but the launching of the smoothie coated blade across the room just about made up for it.

    We have a KitchenAid blender, and the bottom screws off, so getting to the good stuff in the bottom is no problem at all.

  7. Rory says:

    It looks nice but my Magimix (Cuisinart)can do all of that and with what feels like more power.
    I always say its the one thing I’d rescue in a fire.

  8. Dean Putney says:

    Did you just throw part of that blender out your window? That’s some serious class right there.

  9. feedingfashionistas says:

    @ #20 – that’s a ThermoMix you’re speaking of. A curious device if there ever was one, but certainly the fastest way to pureed soup there ever was.

    I’d rather have a PacoJet, if we’re talking SUPER spendy kitchen gadgets- but then I’d need a deep freezer.

  10. 123vita says:

    I am not so sure I like this Video. The guy demonstrates that he does not know the Vita Mix 5200 blender very well. And by the way, there are really lots of good blenders out there.

    The most important thing in my opinion is to avoid getting deceived, defrauded. Here are a couple of things to watch out for. You pay a lot of money for the 2 hp Vita Mix 5200 blender if you buy it for $ 449 plus sales tax. The blender has overheating problems at times.

    For about $ 5 or $ 10 more you can buy the 3 hp Vita Mix blender Vita Prep 1005 already. This is a commercial blender with a 3 years warranty and it performs much better.

    http://www.3blenders.com/VitaMix.html

  11. mechno says:

    I’d heard a legend that the vitamix line is so powerful that if you leave it blending it will actually bring your mixture to a boil from the blade friction. Any chance you’d do an experiment to verify or dispel that rumor?

  12. Uniquack says:

    The Vitamix! It is the most versatile blender I’ve ever owned, in fact, the best kitchen appliance in general, hands down. In fact, you don’t even need a stove with this thing, if you enjoy lots of veggies.

    I rationalized my purchase on the basis that I could make almond and other nut and seed milks (hemp works really well) that would make the blender pay for itself in a couple years (I don’t use dairy). It has. So $450 isn’t really that much if you use it all the time, which you will.

    Also, people have owned Vitamixers for over 20 years and they still work. The motor has a 10 year warranty, and is so powerful it will not be stressed and burnt out by regular kitchen use. I’m saving also on not buying new blenders every few years. Even the more expensive up-market blenders fail because their motors are still too underpowered for long term use. The Vitamix is built as if its sole purpose were for making wood pulp in a paper factory or something, and is accordingly built to a different set of expectations. In fact, it probably would work for that purpose, just stick a bunch of branches and some water in it!

    The only issue I have is not being able to open the bottom– the instructions specifically state not to do that unless you’re replacing the blades. The water and soap usually works okay to clean it. It really is easier than cleaning most blenders, which can’t spin fast enough to self-clean.

    However, I recommend also occasionally blending a couple cups or water with a half cup of baking soda– enough that it isn’t all dissolved. This will clear away some darker tarnish and stuff that seems to develop on the blades with time. Also, blend a cup of white vinegar to remove soap deposits and any other stuff.

  13. HeatherB says:

    @ #1 of course you are meant to be able to take it apart from the bottom. Not only do you get it cleaned better that way (without taking up dishwasher space) but a “spatular” won’t get all the stuff off of the blades properly.

  14. Jaison says:

    That thing blows, get a BlendTec blender for $399. It is sure to dominate that POS.

  15. Steven Leckart says:

    Nice mesh cap.

  16. KBot says:

    I just got a Vita-Mix and I haven’t had any problems with it so far. Definitely whipped up some better smoothies than Joel but I don’t want to brag!

    Agree with #10 — the Vita-Mix comes with a stick to help with processing so you don’t have to mess with the blade.

  17. ralmand says:

    Like a good consumer, I recently purchased a Blendtec total blender for the low, low price of just about $400 from Costco. After seeing this review, I think I made the right choice in super-high-powered and very-over-priced blending appliances.

    The ‘throat’ of the Blendtec (diameter of the jar just above the blade) is much wider and allows a lot of foodstuff to circulate up and down which helps it combine the top and bottom layers shown in the video. More than once I have had a similar experience as Joel with my Blendtec, but it turns out that adding just a few ounces of liquid is all it needs to make some nicely pulverized slop even if most of the ingredients are frozen.

    After watching demonstrations for using the Blendtec, a secret method for filling the blender became apparent: the softest and most liquid items are placed closest to the blade and you continue filling in descending order of liquidity. So for example, soft fruit like peaches and strawberries go on the bottom, followed by apples or other medium-soft fruit, followed by frozen fruit. Of course if you’re adding a few ounces of liquid to the mix, you can fill the jar in pretty much any order you like, since it will pull everything down into the blade with the help of some liquid.

    Contrary to the Cuisinarts and Vita-Mixes, the blade assembly is ‘welded’ onto the bottom of the jar of the Blendtec blenders. While this sounds like a problem at first, the jar is wide and square enough that even a fat silicone spatula can easily clean out all that remains of your tasty fruit slop.

    Joel: try loading the blender from soft to hard items and see if it blends better!

  18. Alan says:

    @#22 – You’re welcome.

  19. pupdog says:

    I loved it, having launched my mom’s blender blade out of the top as a kid (that retaining ring really IS supposed to be tight, I guess). At least at 13 I was no bigger a dork than Joel.

    And #1, I have to know what a ‘tampa sick’ is. I have to be able to work it into a conversation…

  20. dculberson says:

    @1: Buy a spatular what?? A spatular robot? A spatular million dollars? The suspense is killing me!

  21. Brandon West says:

    Spatular is the spanish verb “to spatula”

  22. mags330 says:

    The Vita-Mix 5200 is hands down the best blender on the market. It can probably liquify steel. Don’t get me wrong, the price is steep but well worth it IMO. Yes, using the tampa stick (with the cover still on) to get the ingredients jump started is MUCH easier then taking the top off and inserting the spoon while this beast is still running. I too was looking for the spoon to get caught and be thrown across the room. Adding a bit more liquid also solves the clogging problem most blenders encounter. The only reason why you should attempt to take the bottom piece off is to replace the blade. If Joel would have taken the 30 seconds it takes to read the instructions he would have given a much better demo. To clean just put a drop of dish soap in along with a bit a water, turn it on for 30 seconds, rinse and your done. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

  23. cinemajay says:

    Yes, but will it blend?

    Oh, it will? Okay, well then…

  24. Anonymous says:

    Looks like my 30$ blender can do this faster and better.

  25. Rob says:

    What a Dork! Obviously, he was TRYING to make the greatest appliance you could have in your kitchen look bad. #1, not enough liquid…they’re called smoothies, not chunkies. #2, Contrary to #6′s comments, you put the frozen items in the bottom, then soft fresh fruits, then liquid. #3, The Tamper (not Tampa, that’s a city) works while you run the machine. I would recommend, however, buying an old 3600 model that has the reversible motor…frozen strawberries on bottom, frozen milk and cream cubes, then a bit of vanilla, 20 drops of Stevia and 2 Tbsps of Erythritol, add the fresh cream and milk, and hit the reverse for three to five seconds, then forward for 2 minutes, and you have the best, natural Ice Cream with Strawberries the only sugar source. You can also make hot soup, 245mph motor heats it up in 20 minutes, AND you can make bread that rises quicker than a tent at the Playboy mansion. Nut Milks, Nut butters…this one machine replaces ten, and used you can get one in mint conditon for $100 that will last you many many years. I had mine for 8 before it was stolen…could have went 80 more. I’d NEVER used anything but water to clean the thing…45 seconds, clean as can be, no goop on the blades…no soap scum. You just have to be a bit smarter than the product you are using, which in this case was THE problem.

  26. dculberson says:

    yo spatulo
    tú spatulas
    él spatula
    nosotros spatulamos
    vosotros spatuláis
    ellos spatulan

    Nosotros spatulamos muy bien.

  27. ahaley says:

    No one is policing the blogs, this blender is just one of those items that causes people to become fanatically devoted like apple or tivo. We love ours and have had one since I was a kid and we were given one when I got married. It makes great soup, smoothies, and the best ‘ritas anywhere.

  28. dculberson says:

    Hmm, Vita-Mix can apparently afford to pay people to police blog posts.

  29. Thermomixblogger Helene says:

    Hey-ya! There’s a comment here about Thermomomix being used by Chef Picard Au Pied du Cochon. Well, y’all should be very happy to know that Thermomix is not a new gadget, nor is it just for restaurateurs… but it IS pricey! Also, it IS extremely popular in Europe, and has been for years. Over there they also call it “Bimby” as a nickname. Now available in Canada so that people don’t have to import them and use electrical converters. The new model for North America works GREAT. I have one. I love it. I paid a LOT of money for it, and still, I consider it to be under-priced. It has changed how I use my kitchen. Sounds hyperbolic, but it’s true. Check out the new fan-site for this machine – (lots of videos there too) at http://thermomixbimby.com

  30. Rickyneck says:

    I really would like to see the spoon down to blenders, but the blade coating Smoothie launched across the room just to make up for it.

    We have a KitchenAid mixer, and at the bottom of the screw, so be a good thing at the bottom is no problem.

  31. jjasper says:

    If Joel would have taken the 30 seconds it takes to read the instructions he would have given a much better demo.

    And it would have been much less entertaining.

  32. Mrlarry says:

    Did I just waste some of my life? YES!

  33. Hybridan says:

    I cannot agree more with #28, since I have had my vita-mix for 5 years I cannot attest to its true longevity, I can say that you will be amazed at how often this blender gets used. The earlier comment is also correct that for some odd reason. (Myself included)people become passionately loyal to there blenders at times. This is my second most used kitchen appliance. My first is my great-grandmothers iron skillet. As far as I can tell it has been used almost every day for the 92 years since she received it as a wedding present. Please forgive the bragging here, but I just love that skillet.

    I would like to mention that the Vita-mix is one of the few blenders which can effectively juice wheat grass for healthy human consumption, a huge advantage over every other blender I know about.

  34. mmbb says:

    Or, if you don’t feel like using the poking-stick to agitate the clog at the bottom, just pulse it a few times. I’d suggest using the high to variable (set to less-than high) switch instead of the power switch. The only time I’ve had to manually agitate the contents to start blending is when making large batches of pesto.

  35. PaulR says:

    Chef Martin Picard, from Au Pied du Cochon, uses a squat blender that has a built-in heater.

    I’ve tried to find it, but I keep coming across the same type as above. Does anyone know which one I’m talking about?

  36. EK says:

    Im unsure if this same model has the capability, but also like the BlendTec models there should be a programmable blend cycle. It will slow rev, stop briefly to allow things to settle and then rev up again for a final blend. That usually makes the beverage fairly consistent , provided there is enough liquid in the mix as well to allow gravity to do its thing.

  37. MetroV says:

    #26 – not a legend; it takes about 5 minutes or so from cold ingredients to get hot soup out of this thing. Not sure whether it’ll get to a boil, but it definitely gets to too-hot-to-drink-comfortably.

  38. Anonymous says:

    you are an idiot, just use the tampa sick, which the vita mix comes with NOT a spoon. and DONT take the bottom appart, you are not ment to, that is why you ended up with fruit “slop” all over your kitchen, just buy a spatular from WallMart for 50c.

  39. Barney Five says:

    #35, your $30 blender may do it to your satisfaction but it won’t do it faster OR better. What’s more it won’t last 7 years. We have a big Oster and it wears out the bearings in about two weeks.

  40. cptech says:

    What a Moron, anyone who makes smoothies knows that if you are using frozen fruit, you will have to add more liquid. You can easily duplicate this Friut Slop in any Blemder. The issue here is the lack of knowledge or plain supidity, not the Blender.

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