Pros: Powerful moter
Cons: Large blender for your counter top
Donated by: Everythingkitchens.com Authorized Vita-Mix dealer
Retail Price: $399.00
I have to admit that I was a little dubious when offered the Turbo Blend 4500 for review. Could it, I wondered, live up to its reputation. This is the blender, after all, that is most often seen on the counters at juice bars and is frequently cited by chefs as a favorite kitchen appliance. But its price tag, which averages around $399.00, is one that can be difficult to swallow. Could this blender be that much better than another name brand blender that sits on my counter but cost a fraction of the price? My questions were answered and put at ease the moment I tried this professional-grade blender.
This is a big blender, without doubt, but it needs to be because it is used as often in professional kitchens as it is in the home; the container holds 64 fluid ounces, or about 2 liters, and stands a full 20 inches tall. This is also a powerful blender, possibly the most powerful on the market, but it is also one of the simplest kitchen appliances I've ever operated. And the genius of this machine, I believe, truly does lie in its simplicity. It sports a mere two switches: on/off and high/low. And though the container is large it is also lightweight and easily attachable to its base. While other blenders may require some fidgeting or wiggling of the bowl to attach to the base, the Vita-Mix fits on first try every time (it's easily apparent why busy juice bars, which require quick and frequent container changes, often use this blender).
While this may be an attractive countertop appliance, where this machine truly shines is in its performance. Put virtually anything in this blender and it will be ground or pureed to desired consistency in a minute or less. Where lesser blenders may leave a chuck or two, or even a grainy consistency to a puree, the Vita-Mix TurboBlend 4500 yields silky-smooth purees every time.
I have used this blender for multitudes of fruit and vegetable smoothies, often including ice cubes, and within 30 seconds I have a perfectly a smooth and frothy beverage each time. The same goes for pureed soups; this by far out-performs other traditional blenders I've used, or even high performance immersion blenders. The large capacity container allows you to puree large soup batches a half-gallon at a time. But what I found particularly interesting about this machine was its ability to grind dry items, which is an area where other blenders and even food processors fall short. Its large high-speed blades allow the cook to grind small amounts of grains and dried legumes to a powdery consistency in a matter of seconds. I recently ground dried beans, lentils, and barley for a bread mix and was astounded at how quick did the job.
OK, now here's the best part; I've been saving it for last. If you are like me the thing you like the least about blenders, food processors, and especially juicers is the clean up. Well with this blender you struck gold because there is no clean up, or at least almost none: this thing washes itself. Let me repeat that but word it a little more bluntly: you do not need to wash the Vita-Mix TurboBlend 4500 because it washes itself. That's right; it becomes its own internal dishwasher. Simply fill it with 5 cups of hot tap water and a few drops of liquid soap, run it on high speed for about 20 seconds and rinse it out. It sounds almost too good to be true but it's not. For many applications, particularly cold smoothies, vegetable juices, and soup purees, the process from start to clean up spans two minutes or less. To sum it up with a cliché, this is one smooth operation.
Summery: The Vita-Mix TurboBlend 4500 is a professional-grade blender that is worth its price. It will be as equally comfortable on your home kitchen counter as it will in a restaurant. Its 2-liter capacity container allows the cook to prepare large or small batch recipes with ease. It only has two switches making it simple to operate, and foods are pureed or ground silky smooth with consistent results. Cleanup is a snap because it washes itself. The only real problem I've encountered with this blender has more to do with the home cook than the professional. Standing 20 inches tall and 8 inches deep this is a big countertop appliance, and it is difficult to rinse the container in my home-kitchen sink (this would not be a problem in a professional kitchen), but this is purely trivial.
Final words: On the opening page of the recipe book that accompanies the Vita-Mix TurboBlend 4500 they state, "We want you to love your machine as much as we do!" Well Vita-Mix, you've succeeded, I do love this machine: I use it often and plan on doing so for years to come.