Commercial blenders are versatile, performing the functions of food processors, mixers and even nut grinders while occupying little space. This powerful equipment handles food prep or concocts blended beverages. Multipurpose models can create soups, purees, salad dressings, sauces and foams, among other items.
For being a kitchen workhorse, these units have simple designs. Key blender parts include a steel blade, a container with a lid, and a motor. Some models also have an accelerator tool, or tamper, which facilitates consistent food processing by pushing food through the blade. This ensures complete processing and eliminates cavitation or rapid changes of pressure in liquids that form small vapor-filled cavities in spots with relatively low pressure.
Operators can choose from a variety of blender types. Traditional blenders’ single-blade assembly at the bottom of the mixing container is constructed in varying forms of steel and stainless steel. Blades, which are categorized as ice, wet, and advanced or heavy-duty, take on slightly different shapes for varying tasks. For example, while ice blades are designed for frozen drinks, wet blades are used most often for food prep. Advanced blades’ unique shape accommodates more strenuous blending tasks. For lighter duty, portable immersion blenders with removable blades affixed to the shafts can be utilized with any food container.
Beverage blenders combine a container and blade design to fully process ice-based drinks, such as smoothies and milkshakes, to the desired consistency. The more power the blender provides, the quicker the process and the longer its service life. Some beverage blenders are programmable for added recipe consistency and improved speed of service.
Food blenders combine a container and blade design to process raw foods and vegetables. Containers are typically constructed of either stainless steel or polycarbonate, have capacities that range from 32 ounces up to a gallon, and have either a 7-inch-by-7-inch or 9-inch-by-9-inch footprint.
For high-volume operations, such as hotels, ice dispenser/blender combinations allow ice in predetermined quantities to be dispensed directly into a blending container. These shaver blenders have a hopper on top that can be filled with ice, while the jar below has flavoring or a drink mix. The unit shaves the exact amount of ice needed and automatically measures it into the jar.
Although most blenders require 120V AC power at 50/60 Hz, some 220V/240V models are available. Operators can choose from either one-, two- or variable-speed configurations with motors ranging from ½ to 4.2 hp. Controls vary by model and include toggle or paddle switches. Touch pads also are offered and may offer various speed options.
Some new food blenders include a one-touch chopping feature with speed control, which thoroughly chops solid ingredients. This chop feature also keeps the blender from cavitating.