Why should you get the best blender for crushing ice? Well, there are few things as refreshing as a margarita after a long day’s work, or a slushy on a hot summer afternoon. However, You shouldn’t have to walk to a bar or a store every time you want to have an icy treat. That is precisely the reason why many people choose to invest in a multipurpose machine – a blender that can help you make food and drinks, while also being able to crush ice.
If you choose a blender that can crush ice, you can have a delicious, ice-cold slushy or cocktail in a matter of minutes, without ever having to step outside your home! To help you make the right pick, we prepared reviews of our favorite models on the market and a handy buying guide.
What Can Be Done With an Ice Crusher Blender?
You don’t have to own one of the best shaved ice machines to enjoy a slushie on a hot summer day. In fact, a simple blender is sufficient.
You’re likely familiar with the good old kitchen appliance. A blender is not a complex machine. It’s nothing more than a jar with motor-operated blades. But even though it’s simple, a blender is a staple in any household. It’s simply so useful.
The most common use for a blender is making various types of soups, purees, smoothies, and even milkshakes. You only need to drop your fruits and veggies in, close the lid, and press the button – and in as little as half a minute, you have in your hands a tasty, healthy drink.
But why stop there? Though smoothies are definitely great, a blender is not only useful as a smoothie maker for the after-gym drink. If you get a powerful enough blender, you can even make icy drinks. Using a blender is the easiest way of making crushed ice.
Whether you’re serving Pina Coladas at a home party, enjoy a margarita on a relaxing evening after work, or you and your family love drinking icy slushies on a hot summer day, a blender that can handle ice crushing is the one machine you can use to make all of that in your own kitchen.
Best Blender For Crushing Ice Comparison Chart
NutriBullet NBR-1201 12-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System
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Ninja BL456 Blenders – Countertop, 24 oz, Silver/Black
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Vitamix 5200 Blender Professional-Grade
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Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender with FourSide Jar
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Oster BLSTPB-WBL My Blend 250-Watt Blender
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Sboly Personal Smoothie Blender Single Serve Small Blender
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PopBabies Personal Portable Rechargeable USB Blender
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Best Blender For Crushing Ice Reviews (Updated List)
1. NutriBullet NBR-1201 12-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System
You’ve surely heard about the NutriBullet. The popular brand is one of the leaders on the market, and that’s for a reason. They simply make quality items. We decided to go with NutriBullet NBR-1201 here, a nice, mid-range blender with a lot to offer.
This model is quite simple, so it’s very user-friendly and easy to master. You’ll be making professional-grade smoothies, slushies, and even cocktails in no time. But even though this model is simple, it’s not weak. It comes with a 600 Watt motor, and two sets of blades. That’s right – you can choose whether the milling or the extractor blade works better for your particular recipe.
The jars won’t disappoint you either. You get one 18 oz and one 24 oz cup, one cup with a handle, and two cup seals – one of which has a handle of its own. As you can see, NutriBullet lets you mix and match to find the perfect way to make your favorite drinks.
2. Ninja BL456 Blenders – Countertop, 24 oz, Silver/Black
If you’re aiming at a great mid-range blender that comes with a lifetime warranty coming from a reputable and well-known company, you should consider this Ninja BL456 blender.
This simple blender is very easy to use, yet it’s super effective. With only one speed setting, learning how to use this blender is extremely easy. However, don’t think that it’s weak only because it’s simple. Running at 900 Watts, this Ninja blender can tackle any fruit, veggie, or ice cube. In the end, you’ll always have a quick and easy icy drink in a matter of minutes.
When it comes to the jar, the company went a step further and actually included two jars – one 18 oz and the other 24 oz, so you don’t have to wait for your dishwasher to finish its cycle (yes, the BPA free plastic jars are dishwasher safe) if you’re ready for the next glass. Both jars also double as to-go bottles, and they come with special drinking lids.
3. Vitamix 5200 Blender Professional-Grade
If you love hosting big parties at your place and want to serve your guests with top-notch icy cocktails that look and taste just as if a professional mixologist put them together, Vitamix has got a big model that’s right for the job!
This powerful blender with stainless steel blades can crush almost anything you throw at it. At 1380 Watts, its strong motor can pulverize ice with ease, giving you that perfect texture for margaritas and slushies. The speed won’t be an issue either – with many speed settings, you are in control. You can serve your entire family or plenty of guests with delicious icy treats in a matter of minutes because this blender comes with a huge 64-ounce jar.
However, this model by Vitamix should not be cleaned in a dishwasher. Still, maintenance is quite easy, since you only need a couple of minutes and a bit of soapy water to get it spick and span. This machine is a safe buy because it’s covered with a 7-year warranty by a reputable company.
4. Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender with FourSide Jar
If you’re looking for a powerful blender that can crush almost anything you put into it, Blendtec’s classic model is the right way to go.
This blender comes with an extensive dashboard with many options. Though this may seem overwhelming at first, you’ll soon come to appreciate the 6 pre-programmed cycles suitable for different drinks, 10 different speed settings, and a pulse option. All of these are easy to control with one-touch buttons and a small screen on the base of the machine.
When it comes to power, this blender doesn’t come short at all. It’s run by a 1560 W motor which can power through anything. It also comes with dull blades, perfect for crushing ice without the danger of damage. The BPA free plastic jar is four-sided and quite large at 32 ounces of functional capacity. This model is easy to clean since it’s dishwasher safe.
You’ll also be happy to know that purchasing this model is not a gamble, even though it’s on the expensive side – because it’s covered with an 8-year warranty!
5. Oster BLSTPB-WBL My Blend 250-Watt Blender
If you’re looking for an affordable and handy blender to get you started with a healthy, icy drink every morning, Oster has got a great offer for you.
This compact model comes with a practical design, as its 20-ounce jar can be used as a bottle. This can dramatically reduce the amount of dish washing you need to do each day. Furthermore, once you’re done with your drink, you can simply throw the bottle into your dishwasher, since it’s made out of BPA free plastic. While we’re at it, let us also mention the beautiful color choices – you can choose between baby blue, fresh green, warm orange, hot pink, and sweet red.
The small size and pretty design don’t make this blender weak. It runs at 250 W and features a 4-point stainless steel blade. It’s strong enough to crush ice, yet it’s compact and affordable.
6. Sboly Personal Smoothie Blender Single Serve Small Blender
If you love a practical design, you’ll appreciate this Sboly blender. It comes with a 20-ounce jar that doubles as a drinking bottle, which is very handy if you’d like to prepare a healthy breakfast and enjoy it on your way to work.
This Sboly model is very small, and it weighs only about 3 pounds. But don’t let its compact size fool you – this blender is quite strong. With a 300 W motor, it’s strong enough to crush ice cubes, giving you that perfectly icy Pina Colada in a matter of seconds. Still, the motor has a sufficient overheating prevention system. The blender runs 4 sharp stainless steel blades, chopping anything in their way. It’s dishwasher safe, so maintenance is a breeze.
The interface of this blender is very simple – and it only features an on/off button, so you can start using it with ease as soon as you plug it in!
7. PopBabies Personal Portable Rechargeable USB Blender
If you’re looking for a model to use on the go, this cute PopBabies model is just the thing you need!
It comes with a small 14 oz. jar, which is just enough for a perfect icy breakfast. It’s dishwasher safe, so you can save some time by simply dropping it into the washer once you have your refreshing drink. It’s strong enough to crush and blend ice cubes, so you can make a single serving of anything, from a daiquiri to slushy, in a matter of seconds. Along with the blender, you also get an ice tray with perfect sized ice cubes for the little blender, and a funnel to help you pour your ingredients in without spillage.
The best thing is – it’s completely portable. Not only is it small, but you can also use it even when you don’t have a power outlet nearby. You can charge it via a USB charger, even using your computer.
Which Blenders Can Handle Ice?
It’s not always easy to say whether a blender can crush ice or not – after all, they are rarely made with ice crushing as their sole purpose.
Of course, if you wish to make crushed ice in your device, you should look for a moderately powerful machine. Whether you make it in your freezer or you own an undercounter ice maker, ice is quite tough, so not every blender can handle the job.
You should be mindful when choosing the right model. The fact that a blender can crush ice cubes does not mean that it should. In fact, you can dramatically reduce the lifespan of the machine if you make it do the job it was not designed for. If you crush ice in an unsuitable model, you can end up with dulled or damaged blades, and even worse, a broken or even exploded jar.
An appropriate blender should have a couple of characteristics. It needs to have a motor powerful enough to work through the hard bits of ice. The blades should be thick and sturdy, made out of high-quality metal. Finally, the jar should be made out of sturdy plastics or tempered glass, both of which can withstand the force of ice hitting it rapidly. We will cover all of these points and more in detail in our buying guide.
Ice Blender Buying Guide
If you want to get a blender that can easily handle crushing ice and last for a long time, there are several factors that you should consider before you make your final pick. Let’s go through those in detail.
1. Motor Power
Crushing ice with a blender requires a powerful motor. With low-tier blenders, even a bigger chunk of an apple can cause the machine to grind to a halt. Ice is much tougher than apples, so you need a mighty model that can power through the tough job without stopping.
The wattage (W) of blenders on the market differs drastically. You can find models of anywhere between 100 and 2000 Watts. Of course, the higher the wattage, the better. However, you don’t have to spend thousands on a super-powerful motor if you have moderate needs. In fact, anywhere above 400 Watts is alright for a home-use model that can crush ice.
A common issue with very powerful motors is that they can overheat. If you opt for a very powerful model that runs at 700 Watts or higher, make sure that it has a built-in overheating prevention system. This will help keep your machine running well for years to come.
The blades of your blender make a huge difference because they’re the ones doing the crushing and cutting. Because of that, you should pay special attention to make sure that the blades of your blender can handle ice.
If you get a model with weak or mediocre blades, chances are that after only a few icy drinks, they will hardly be able to cut through anything at all. That’s because they need to withstand a lot of abrasive force when dealing with tough bits of ice. Over time, they will inevitably become duller and require either sharpening or replacing, but if you pick high-quality blades, that day won’t come so soon.
When it comes to the material they’re made of, it’s always the best bet to go with stainless steel blades. These are resistant to rust, and at the same time, they’re sturdy enough to crush ice.
2.2. Sharp or blunt blades
Some blenders come with sharp, and others with blunt-edged blades. Even though it may feel intuitive to go for the sharp blades, this is not always the best option. The final verdict truly depends on your personal preferences.
Sharp blades are great if you want to use your blender to chop veggies to small pieces. This is a great choice if you want to make fruity desserts like a parfait, yogurt, or pudding with larger chunks of chopped fruit. Sharp blades will give you clean-cut pieces. Of course, the longer you blend, the smaller the chunks become. You can achieve a perfectly smooth blend with sharp blades if you run it for a couple of minutes. When it comes to processing ice, sharp blades are not the ideal solution, but they can do the job well. However, you should know that tough ice will make sharp blades dull over time, and maybe even damage them. The more you blend big ice cubes, the more frequently you’ll need to sharpen or replace your blades.
Blunt blades are a good choice for ice crushing machines. These will hit the ice with more brute force and break and crush it along the way. However, the fruits and veggies you process with blunt-edged blades will also be crushed straight away, rather than cut to smaller and smaller pieces. This can be an amazing thing, but it doesn’t let you make delicacies like fruit yogurt with large chunks of fruit to chew. Additionally, blunt blades are much safer and easier to clean, since you don’t have to worry about cutting yourself when trying to remove the pieces of food that may get stuck between the blades.
If you don’t want to make a choice between these, you’re in luck. You can even opt for a blender that comes with replaceable blade assemblies that you can swap depending on the results you want to achieve for your recipe.
Finally, there are different assembly styles for blades. While all blender blades rotate around their central axis, they are often set in different positions to make the best use of the spinning.
The basic construction is three blades lying flat or set at a slight angle. However, many manufacturers tried to develop a construction that overcomes the shortcomings of this basic style. The most notable disadvantage is that sometimes this type of blade assembly over blends the ingredients at the bottom, while leaving those at the top uncut. An uneven feed is the most common issue with this type of blade assembly.
That’s why you can find many blenders with blades either set at an angle (reaching upwards) or set one atop another on multiple levels. Both of these are quite good solutions because they allow the blender to catch the ingredients from the top, essentially trapping them in a whirlpool and dragging them down to be cut. The more dramatic the angle, the smoother the finish. However, these can be quite difficult to wash because of their unusual shape.
3. The Jar
The jar is another important aspect of your blender that you should think about. After all, that’s where the magic happens.
3.1. Material and shape
The jar of your blender should be able to withstand a lot of force. That’s especially true if you want to crush ice in your blender, as tough ice will hit the walls of your jar at high speeds and with a lot of brute force.
That’s why you should always try to get a blender with a high-quality, thick, and resilient blending jar. The best materials to look for are tempered glass and solid plastics. Of course, tempered glass can get quite heavy, which makes these models less portable.
The shape of your jar plays a role as well. You should go for a jar that doesn’t have any corners. Square shaped jars look good, but corners are a liability, and they’re a weak spot that is most likely to burst. That’s especially true if you crush ice in your blender – it’s enough to have one piece of ice hit a corner a bit too hard to make it burst open. Go for a nice, round type jar – that’s the most resilient shape for a reason.
However, you don’t have to limit yourself. Apart from the good, old pitcher-style jars (which are the most popular to this day for a reason), you can also get some of the more creative shaped blenders as well. One of the most interesting and practical designs we came across is a blender jar that detaches and doubles as a sports bottle. If you value practical ideas, you can find blenders with such multipurpose jars as well.
Next up, you should think about what kind of jar capacity is best for your needs.
You should be aware that the size of a blender jar is not the same as its functional capacity. Since a blender works by spinning the ingredients, it needs some space for the ingredients to properly mix while spinning. That’s why you should never fill your blender jar to the brim. In fact, you should only fill your blender jar up to half the capacity, otherwise, it can spill, explode out, or simply not blend well.
If you plan to make slushies for your whole family or serve margaritas and daiquiris on a house party, you should opt for a large jar that will let you make many servings at once. Some of the largest consumer-grade blenders have 64-ounce jars or similar.
On the other hand, if you mostly plan on making a single serving, you can go for a smaller jar size. You can find them as small as 20 ounces. These are a good choice because they’re smaller and thus easier to clean and dry.
4. Speed Control and Options
When it comes to speed, you should consider whether you’d rather go with a machine with only an on-off button, or with a more complex interface and more options.
Of course, the on-off button-operated blenders are incredibly simple to use. However, there are some options that make more intricate models worthwhile.
4.1. Variable speed
One of the most common types of options is several speed settings. These will help you control your blending, resulting in a more even blend. Slower speeds also make it possible to stop blending as soon as you hit the perfect size. On the other and, a higher speed will finish the job very quickly, saving you precious time. Variable speed dials are quite common, and we’d always recommend going for a model that includes it.
Additionally, some blenders even come with pre-programmed speed settings for various recipes.
4.2. Reverse option
Some blenders come with a reverse function as well. Essentially, this button makes the blades spin in the opposite direction than what they usually do. This option is very handy because using it while blending helps you make sure that the ingredients from the top get evenly processed as those at the bottom. Essentially, the reverse button prevents jamming and uneven blending. It can also be quite helpful when cleaning your blender.
Blenders are noisy, and that’s a fact of life. They’re especially noisy with chunks of hard ice hitting the glass or plastic jar, at high speeds and force. However, if you’re trying to find a way to avoid waking your family up in the morning but still want to enjoy your morning smoothie, you should try to find the least noisy model out there. Otherwise, you can find ways to make the blender quieter.
Tips for Blending Frozen Drinks
Once you get your ice-crushing blender, you may get tempted to just throw anything you have in the fridge and mix it up all at once. However, that’s the easiest way to get disappointed in your purchase – mixology is not as easy as it seems when the pros do it. In fact, there are many tricks to a perfect drink. We’ll share some of the most important, basic rules for creating a perfect icy refreshment with your new blender.
1. Choose the Right Ingredients
You should definitely feel free to mix and match your ingredients and adapt recipes to your personal taste and preferences. However, the quality of your ingredients should be up to par if you want to end up with a truly delightful, refreshing drink.
You should always use fresh, clean ice. It’s very easy for ice to gather up odors from the fridge, and that can ruin your experience. Using ice made in a specialized ice machine is always best because these machines give you the cleanest, freshest ice without the danger of collecting food odor or transferring bacteria from the plastic ice tray. If you still use freezer ice, sniff it beforehand to make sure your strawberry slushy doesn’t end up with chicken aroma.
When making ice drinks, there’s an age-old dilemma that doesn’t seem to have a single right answer. The dilemma is between fresh and frozen ingredients. It really comes down to your own taste and preference. So what’s the deal?
Frozen fruit is, obviously, very cold to begin with. That means that you don’t need to add a lot of ice in your drink to make it super refreshing. As a result of using frozen fruit, you can use less ice, resulting in a thicker drink which isn’t too watered down. So, if you enjoy a truly cold, icy, but not watery drink, frozen fruit is the way to go.
On the other hand, fresh fruit simply gives you a stronger and sweeter flavor. It’s no secret that frozen food loses some of its aromas, both in smell and taste. That’s why fresh fruit drinks always end up with a richer taste. However, if you want it to be very cold, you will need to accept a watered-down drink because you’ll simply need more ice.
2. Avoid Huge Ice Cubes
Unless you get a very powerful blender, you should generally pick smaller ice cubes. Ideally, you should use ice nuggets, but regular ice is ok as well. If you can, you can crack large ice cubes by wrapping them in a bag or a clean kitchen rag and hitting them on the table or with a mallet or skillet. Using pre-cracked ice will make sure that you always have equal-sized ice in your drink, and that your blender lasts a long time.
3. Measure Your Ice
Some people only like their drink slightly cold, while others consider bits of ice a treat in and of itself. Because of that, there’s no right or wrong answer to how much ice you need. Of course, that also depends on what you’re making. When it comes to margaritas, you should use equal part ice and everything else. On the other hand, if you’re making a slushy, you’ll need more than twice the amount of ice as other ingredients. Go easier on the ice when making a smoothie, since you don’t want it too watered down.
4. Don’t Overfill
Your blender needs space to do its job. You should never fill your blender jar to the brim. In fact, once you fill your blender jar, it should only be a bit over half full.
Overfilling your blender doesn’t leave it space to properly mix the ingredients. As your smoothie spins in the machine, the liquid naturally goes up the glass walls of the jar. If you overfill the jar, the liquid has nowhere to go – making the built-up pressure either open your lid or crack and burst through the jar walls. In either way, you end up with a messy kitchen.
Of course, this is not true if you use ingredients that are large but get tiny when chopped up, such as spinach leaves. If your liquid and solid ingredients fill up half the jar, but your spinach on the top reaches the brim of the jar, there’s nothing to worry about – it compresses as soon as you turn on your blender.
5. Don’t Crank It Up Straight Away
A bit of patience goes a long way, no matter the recipe you’re following. When using your blender, you should avoid the rookie mistake of cranking up the speed setting as soon as you put in your ingredients.
Once you have your ingredients ready and your jar closed, you should start off with a couple of pulses. Usually, this means turning on the reverse function a couple of times, or a specialized pulse option. This will make sure that your ingredients get that perfect chop at the beginning, which will make sure you have your entire frozen drink evenly blended. Once you’ve gotten started, set your blender to a lower speed setting, and slowly increase the speed as you go. In the end, you can use the reverse button again to make sure that everything is nice and even.
This method will make sure that you always get a perfect blend, without clumps and leftover large pieces, and it will make sure your blades stay sharp and strong for a long time.
FAQ About Blenders for Crushing Ice
1. How do I keep my blender clean?
If you have a dishwasher, keeping your blender clean is a breeze. However, you must make sure that your blender is dishwasher safe. Luckily, most models on the market are.
To keep your dishwasher-safe blender clean, you simply need to detach the removable parts (the jar and the lids) from the motor base. Rinse them as soon as you pour your drink into your glass, and put them away into your dishwasher. Then, simply wash them on a regular cycle like you would wash any regular dish. After your blender jar is clean, take it out, and let it air dry before putting the parts back together and using it again.
Don’t clean the base of your blender with water, because it contains all the electrical components and the motor.
2. How do I clean my personal blender for crushing ice if it’s not dishwasher safe?
If the manufacturer of your blender doesn’t recommend dishwashing, or you don’t own a dishwasher machine, don’t fret. Cleaning your blender by hand is just as simple and easy.
Once you’ve poured your icy drink into your glass, you should rinse the blender jar with fresh water right away to avoid tough stains. After you’ve rinsed out the bigger chunks of food residue, add a bit of water and a couple of drops of dish soap into the jar. Then, close the jar, and attach it to your blender. Turn on your blender, and let it spin for a few rounds, and let the soapy water do its magic. Then, you simply need to rinse your jar, and it’s good as new. Let it air dry before closing the lid or using the blender again.
Remember that you should also clean the base (the part that holds the motor) of your blender, but you should never soak it in water. Refer to question number 4 for instructions.
3. How do I battle old or stubborn stains or odor in my ice blender?
The best way to avoid stubborn stains and odors in your blender is to get into the habit of always rinsing the blender jar with fresh water as soon as you pour your drink.
However, if you didn’t have time to do it, it’s not the end of the world. There are a couple of cleaning tricks that can help save the day, and you likely already have everything you need in your kitchen.
The first thing you should try is a baking soda solution. Pour water into your blender jar, and add a couple of spoonfuls of baking soda. Then, run your blender on top speed for a minute. Pour the solution out, and then wash again with water and dish soap.
If you’re dealing with a stain, you can use a dish sponge or brush to wash it like with any regular dish. Using baking soda will help break down the stain and make it easy to remove.
If the odor is troubling you, which is quite common with plastic blender jars, you can use a bit of white vinegar to disinfect the jar. Pour a bit of vinegar, and fill the jar with water. You can use as little as 1/20 solution, or you can use more, depending on the severity of the issue. This time, you don’t need to spin it on the blender, you only need to let it sit for a couple of hours. After you discard the vinegar solution and rinse with fresh water, wash your blender jar as usual with soapy water.
4. How do I clean the base of my blender for crushing ice?
Of course, you should never put the base of the blender (which holds the motor and the power cord) anywhere near water.
You can maintain these parts by cleaning them with a moist rag. Make sure to turn the machine off and unplug it from the power socket before cleaning. If they get food stains or spillage, you can use a tiny bit of your regular cleaning agent or dish soap with a clean, moist rag to remove the stain. Don’t plug it in before it’s completely dry.
Who doesn’t love a cup of sweet, ice-cold slushy on a scorching summer day? Or a great house party with a fun atmosphere and delicious home-made margaritas and Pina Coladas? You don’t have to invest thousands of dollars into kitchen equipment to drink first-grade icy drinks whenever you feel like it. Instead, you only need one device – the best blender for crushing ice. With one of these, you can make a refreshing delicacy in a matter of minutes, without ever having to leave your house.
We hope we helped you make your pick and find an ideal model for you. If our buying guide didn’t give you all the answers you were looking for, feel free to leave us a comment below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!