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How to Use a Vitamix Blender (Vitamix 5300 Review)

Discover how to use a Vitamix blender including all the components, perks, and features. Comprehensive Vitamix 5300 review — is this the right blender for you?

vitamix blender

The Vitamix blender is the best blender I have ever owned.  By far.  Without question.

The Vitamix 5300 purees soups, smoothies, and hummus like a champ.  It chops like a food processor.  It grinds grains to soft powder.  It mixes, kneads, and emulsifies.

To top it off, it cleans up in a flash!

So the question is, how well does it do all of these useful tasks?  Honestly, some functions are better than others.  But the blending and pureeing capability is beyond comparison.

Let’s run through all the functions and evaluate how well they do their job. 

Keep in mind that this review is for the Vitamix 5300.  However, many Vitamix models behave similarly.  Newer models may be digital and have pre-programmed functions, but the basics of how to load, tamper, and clean are the same.

This article will examine:

  • Vitamix components
  • Perks of owning a Vitamix
  • Vitamix functions (pureeing, chopping, grinding, heating, emulsifying, mixing, and cleaning)

Vitamix Components

The Vitamix comes with a base, container, lid with removable lid plug, and tamper.

Base

The base contains a robust cool-running motor that delivers consistent power and even torque to process a wide range of ingredients.  

The design of the Vitamix allows perfect airflow circulation around the motor.  This circulation prevents the motor from overheating and extends the motor life.

As an added benefit, the reliable motor is quieter than standard blenders, even when blending loud ingredients, such as ice. Quieter, not quiet.

A metal drive system connects the container to the base.  This increases the lifespan of the Vitamix and gives it an unparalleled blending ability.

It has both a pulse and a blend feature.  Pulse for quick chops and blend for everything else.

vitamix container and tamper

Container

The container is made of a Tritan™ copolyester tough BPA-free plastic.  It is a shatter-resistant material, so it can handle normal bumps and wear.

Tritan™ has undergone scientific testing by an independent third-party to ensure it is safe and is completely free of bisphenol A (BPA), bisphenols (BPS), Estrogenic activity (EA), and androgenic activity (AA).

Inside the rugged container is an attached aircraft-grade stainless steel blade with the capability of blending almost any ingredient for any recipe.

The shape of the container, along with the blade and motor work together to create a vortex that pulls ingredients into the blade.  The Vitamix blends quickly, powerfully, and efficiently.

Dry Grains Container

The dry grains container is capable of grinding wheat, rice, corn, and other hard grains. It is an accessory that can be purchased separately.  The container is smaller and has a blade engineered to create a reverse vortex.  This pushes dry ingredients away from the blade so they don’t get packed under it.

Lid

The Vitamix container lid is snug and keeps ingredients from flying out while blending. 

There is a lid plug in the center of the lid.  Removing the lid plug allows you to add ingredients as you are blending.  Steam can also be released when making hot soups or sauces by removing the lid plug.  

Or, you can place the tamper through the lid plug to help move the ingredients around and into the blade.

Tamper

Use the BPA-free tamper to move the ingredients so they can be incorporated by the blade. 

Use the tamper only through the lid plug when the lid is on the container.  When the lid is in place, the tamper cannot hit the blade. 

Do not use the tamper with the container lid off. Otherwise the tamper may hit the blade.  And yes, the tamper will break if it hits the blade.

Standard Perks of Owning a Vitamix

There are many reasons to consider purchasing a Vitamix. Listed below are just a few.

Warranty

Up to a 10-year full warranty.  The Vitamix warranty covers parts, performance, and return shipping both ways.  According to Vitamix, less than 2% of the products in the United States under warranty have been returned for service.

Be sure to register your Vitamix and read the warranty information so you know specifically what is covered.

Customer Service

Superb customer service.  If you do have a problem with your Vitamix, reach out to Vitamix customer service.  I had a really good interaction with them when I broke my container chopping up some hard cheese.  Read about how I broke my container and Vitamix customer service sent me a new one for free.

Easy to Clean

Self cleaning.  Simply rinse out the container and lid.  Fill halfway with warm water and a drop of dish soap.  Turn the Vitamix on low speed and increase to the highest speed for 60 seconds.  Rinse out, dry, and store.

Easy Upgrades

Trade in program.  If you own certain Vitamix models and want to upgrade, Vitamix has you covered.  They have a trade-in program you can read about here.  

Keep in mind that you must order your Vitamix through the Vitamix website (not from a retailer) if  you want to be eligible for this program.  Read the full details.

Select Discounts

Product discounts for children with swallowing challenges.  Vitamix is a company that truly wants to improve lives through whole-food nutrition.  If you care for a child with a feeding or swallowing challenge AND you can show financial need, there is a discount application process.

Update: There has been an overwhelming demand for the program and Vitamix has had to close the program until they can catch up on requests.  So keep checking back. 

In the meantime, you can also check out the Certified Reconditioned Blenders for more affordable blenders.

Social Responsibility

Vitamix gives back. Vitamix partners with a select group of 501(c)(3) organizations devoted to:

  1. Educating children about nutritional choices
  2. Making healthy food choices accessible to those with health challenges
  3. Supporting the needs of children with medical conditions that would benefit from a blended diet

While this is not a personal perk for owning a Vitamix, it is important to know that Vitamix gives back and helps teach about good nutrition for health.

Highlights of the Vitamix 5300

New to powerful blenders? Don’t worry. I will walk you through the most common ways to use the Vitamix to puree, chop, or grind.

How to use the Vitamix for Purees

blender with hummus ingredients and finished hummus

I bought my Vitamix so I could make hummus.  I tried all sorts of blenders, choppers, and food processors before I bought it.

Nothing worked very well.  The difference the Vitamix made in my hummus was amazing.  It was smooth and I no longer had garbanzo bean chunks.

Load the liquids and seasonings first before adding the chickpeas.

Vitamix 5300 Review for Pureeing (5 out of 5 stars): The powerful blade and engine create smooth and creamy purees. Please note: You must have enough liquid in the container to achieve a creamy puree. Pour the liquid in first.

How to Use the Vitamix Blender for Smoothies

strawberry smoothie

A smoothie is a combination of fruits and vegetables, frozen ingredients, dry ingredients, and a liquid.  Blend all of the ingredients until they are combined and relatively smooth.

A smoothie is not a puree.  It has some texture.

For an easier blend and a complete mixing of ingredients, load the ingredients in the Vitamix from top to bottom in the following order.

  1. Liquids (water, juice, yogurt)
  2. Dry goods (grains, seasonings, powders)
  3. Leafy greens
  4. Fruits and vegetables
  5. Frozen ingredients and ice

After loading the container, place the lid on top.

Turn the blender on to level 1 or 2 until the blades have pulled in all the ingredients.  Increase the speed slowly and blend until you reach the ideal texture.

Vitamix 5300 Review for Smoothies (5 out of 5 stars) This blender excels at easily blending a smoothie. It has no problems with ice, nuts, or frozen fruit.

Vitamix Review: Is it a Food Processor?

Dry Chopping

Dry chopping is quick and easy.  The speed you chop will determine whether the chop is fine or coarse.  Faster speeds equal a finer chop.  Slower speeds are a coarser chop.

bowl of chopped cheese

To chop cheese, cut the cheese in cube. Add the cheese to the container and place the lid on top. Pulse 10 to 15 times at a speed of 5 until you get the desired size.

Be aware that the food will not be in uniform pieces when chopped in the Vitamix.

This can sometimes be a problem resulting in uneven cooking if, for example, you are trying to make cheese toast. Some of the cheese may be melted, while larger pieces aren’t quite there yet.

However, if you use the chopped cheese in a cold pasta salad or even melted in a cheese sauce, the different sized pieces won’t create a problem.

Vitamix 5300 Review for Dry Chopping (2 out of 5 stars): You can chop, but the result will not be uniform pieces. In addition, you may need to stop and remove food that is the right size or it may be chopped too small. Use the tamper to force larger pieces toward the blades.

Wet Chopping

Wet chopping uses water in the container to circulate the food. 

Be sure to add enough water so the food floats on top of the blade.

To wet chop onions, peel the onion and cut it into quarters. Add the pieces to the container and place the lid on top. Pulse 10 to 15 times at a speed of 5 until you get the desired size.

After chopping, drain the water.  As with dry chopping, the faster the speed, the finer the chop.  The slower the speed, the coarser the chop.

Use the wet chopping method to chop onions for a soup or cabbage for a salad.  

Wet chopping also chops the food into different sized pieces. Not a problem with soups or salads though.

Vitamix 5300 Review for Wet Chopping (3 out of 5 stars): Wet chopping will also not yield uniformly sized pieces. However, the addition of the water seems to help pull larger pieces toward the blade. The result is food closer to the same size than then food that is dry chopped.

Grinding

bowl of almond butter

Use the Vitamix to grind nuts into nut butters or to grind grain into flour.

To make almond butter, add 4 cups of dry almonds to the container. Turn the blender on speed 1 and slowly increase to speed 10. Keep it running until the nuts turn into butter. This may take 4 or 5 minutes.

When you grind nuts, periodically stop the Vitamix and scrape down the sides.

If the nut butter seems a little dry, add melted coconut oil 1 tablespoon at a time, and blend until you get the right consistency.

The only downside to making nut butters is the clean up process. It may take two or three cycles of cleaning to get all the food out from under the blade.

Note: The large container can also grind grain into flour, but the flour container is better suited for this task.

Vitamix 5300 Review for Grinding (3 out of 5 stars): One star came off because it is more difficult to clean the blender after grinding nut butters.

The second star came off because you have to really work to get a smooth grind. Using the tamper, scraping, and adding oil bit by bit make this job harder than I want it to be.

Heating 

bowl of pumpkin soup

The friction of the blade can heat the ingredients in the container if you blend long enough.  Vitamix representatives often show a demonstration of heating a soup with the Vitamix.

I personally don’t use the Vitamix to heat only.  But I do puree soups that have been cooked either on the stove, slow cooker, or pressure cooker.  As the soup purees, the friction can keep it hot.

To avoid burns after blending, remove the lid plug and let some of the steam escape before opening the lid. And always, open the lid away from you.

Vitamix 5300 Review for Heating (4 out of 5 stars): Heating in the Vitamix is easy enough. However, the risk of getting burned is high. I have been burned by the steam when removing the lid plug to let the steam escape and when I have opened the lid away from me.

Emulsifying

The Vitamix can emulsify a vinaigrette or mayonnaise.  However, to be effective, you must make a large batch.

If you aren’t making a large recipe, I don’t recommend the Vitamix.  If you use it, you will likely be frustrated that the ingredients are splattering all over the container, but not getting blended properly.

For small recipes, you can try using the smaller Vitamix flour container.  I have used it more successfully for vinaigrettes than the big container.

But for smaller recipes, I prefer to use an immersion blender, like the Bamix or a small serving ninja blender.

Vitamix 5300 Review for Emulsifying (4 out of 5 stars): The one star came off because you must make a large batch for it to be effective. So 5 stars for performance with a large batch of vinaigrette. But small batches won’t work at all.

Mixing

The Vitamix can mix recipes like pancake batter, cake batter, and cookie dough. 

To make pancakes, load the wet ingredients in the container first. Be aware that you may need to stop and scrape the sides periodically to make sure all the flour gets incorporated into the batter.

The pancakes turned out nicely. As a bonus, pouring the batter from the container was easy since it has a pouring spout.

Vitamix 5300 Review for Mixing (3 out of 5 stars): It took more scraping of the sides than it would take to mix something with a hand mixer and bowl. This blender does not have perfectly round sides, so it was more difficult to scrape. This is not my preferred way to mix.

Cleaning

soapy water in vitamix

The Vitamix is easy to clean for most foods.  The quicker you clean up after you use the blender, the easier it will be.

Beware of thick sticky foods like nut butters that can be caught under the blade and missed if you aren’t careful.

Loading the container properly can help prevent this problem.

Vitamix 5300 Review for Cleaning (4 out of 5 stars): It is easy to clean after use of most foods. However, the container does easily stain and become discolored after repeated use.

How to Clean the Vitamix

  1. RINSE the container and lid with warm, but not hot water.  Use a kitchen sink sprayer if possible.
  2. FILL the container halfway with warm water.  Add a drop or two of dish soap in the container.
  3. PLACE the lid on the container, with the lid plug in place.  Place the container on the base.
  4. TURN the Vitamix on the lowest setting and slowly increase the speed until you reach the highest setting.
  5. RUN the Vitamix on high for 30 to 60 seconds.
  6. POUR out the dirty water and rinse thoroughly.
  7. REPEAT if necessary.
  8. TURN the container upside down and air dry.

How to Deep Clean the Vitamix

  1. MIX 4 cups of water and 4 cups of white vinegar in the container and soak for 2 to 4 hours.
  2. POUR out the vinegar water and fill the container halfway with warm water.  Add a drop of dish soap.
  3. PLACE the lid on the container, with the lid plug in place.  Put the container on the base.
  4. TURN the Vitamix on the lowest setting and slowly increase the speed until you reach the highest setting.
  5. RUN Vitamix on high for 30 to 60 seconds.
  6. POUR out the dirty water and rinse thoroughly.
  7. REPEAT if necessary.
  8. TURN the container upside down and air dry.

Vitamix Review: Conclusion

Overall, the Vitamix 5300 is a powerhouse in the kitchen. I use mine every day and many days I use it more than once. If you want a blender that purees and blends with ease, is simple to clean, and has several other functions, I recommend the Vitamix 5300.


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