High-powered blenders that make excellent smoothies, sauces, and soups

With these versatile kitchen gadgets you can add margaritas to the menu.

Juice and smoothie bars have become almost as ubiquitous as coffee shops, and while a few years ago, your kitchen blender would have been hard-pressed to compete, crushing technology has come on in leaps and bounds, so obliterating ice or frozen berries like the pros do requires nothing more than the push of a button. Plus, once you’ve got one in your kitchen, you’ll be surprised how useful blenders are. Make smoothies and protein drinks in the morning, soups and dips in the afternoon, and sauces and cocktails in the evening.

Breville Blend Active Personal Blender & Smoothie Maker
Packs considerable punch for the size of its motor.Amazon

This affordable device works like most single-smoothie blenders: there’s a lid with a blade inside it that screws onto the top of your container, then you up-end the whole thing, click the lid into the main device and press a button. When it’s finish, you unscrew the lid with blade, and you have a beaker full of liquid. Rather than having to decant this into a flask or bottle, many blenders—like this one—will come with leak-proof flip-top lids that screw on for an easy take away option for no fuss, and less washing up.

NutriBullet 600 Series
Effective and reliable, this is one of the brands that spearheaded the home smoothie craze.Amazon

Although the technology is broadly the same for all of these machines, if you can afford to increase your budget a little, you get a lot more for your money with the Nutribullet. In this case, it’s about cups of different sizes, with different attachments, as well as a far more powerful motor that can blitz through skins, stems, and seeds more easily. The result is a smoother consistency than that of drinks and soups coming from less powerful blenders. You can also purchase additional cups and lids—the small cups and stay-fresh resealable lids are particularly good if you’re making small batches of baby food.

Ninja Duo 2-in-1 Blender with Auto iQ
Combining a multi-blade jug mixer with a smaller smoothie blender for the ultimate in versatility.Amazon

Making individual smoothies is all very well, but if you’re a large family, you want to make more than 600ml at a time, and if you don’t want to buy two different gadgets, something like this that combines a jug blender with a smoothie maker is ideal. Whether you’re serving frozen margaritas to a crowd, blitzing a potato-and-leek soup, or making Saturday morning smoothies, the two-litre jug is ample enough for the job. And with a number of different speed settings, you can easily use it for mixing everything from dough to smoothies.