Over the years I’ve attempted to make smoothies, salad dressings, salsas, and sauces with my archaic blender, but have never quite been able to achieve the right consistencies, regardless of how closely I follow the recipes. Clearly, in order to blend a smoothie that is free of chunks, or whip up a perfectly emulsified and creamy dressing, a blender with some serious chops in the power department is required. I was recently asked to take one such blender for a spin. Here is my take on the Ninja Chef DUO Stand Blender with Auto IQ.
Appearance & Features of the Ninja Chef DUO
The Ninja Chef DUO blender is a professional-grade blender that comes with a whopping 1500-watts of power, which means it makes easy work out of almost any ingredient you toss in it. The base of the Ninja Chef DUO is quite solid, and features four suction cups that grip flat surfaces so the blender won’t move when it is working its hardest.
Along with the 1500-watt base itself the Ninja Chef DUO comes with:
- A 2.13-litre (72-ounce) pitcher with lid and vented lid cap;
- A 24-ounce double-walled to-go tumbler;
- A tamper so you can scrape ingredients from inside the pitcher while blending; and
- A recipe inspiration guide.
In my opinion, the three biggest standout features of the Ninja Chef DUO are its:
- Auto-iQ technology. These 10 pre-programmed settings give consistent results regardless of whether you’re chopping, blending or pureeing. To use the settings, you simply load your pitcher with ingredients, select the setting, and let the Ninja Chef DUO do its handy work for a pre-determined amount of time. Settings include: Flour/Mill, Frozen Drink, Extract, Smoothie, Soup, Ice Cream, Puree, Dip/Salsa, Dressing, and Nut Butter.
- Double-walled tumbler. You can put your ingredients directly into the tumbler and attach the tumbler to the base to whip up smoothies in a flash. When blended, simply remove the blades, replace with the tumbler lid, and off you go!
- Automatic cleaning. To remove food from under the blades, you simply add some warm water and soap to the pitcher or to-go tumbler and hit the Clean button. The Ninja Chef takes care of the rest.
Testing the Ninja Chef DUO Blender
After flipping through the inspirational recipe booklet that came with the Ninja Chef DUO, I decided to whip up some Classic Hummus. To get started, I first plugged the base of the Ninja Chef DUO into the wall and locked the pitcher in place. As is the case with many blenders and other small appliances, the various functions on the Ninja Chef were not made available until the pitcher was firmly in place.
I then followed the recipe and added chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and a touch of cumin to the pitcher. I then secured the lid and selected the Auto-iQ setting PUREE. A time of 1:03 seconds popped up on the face of the base, and I hit the power button.
The first thing I noticed wasn’t how quickly the Ninja Chef DUO was whipping and blending my ingredients into hummus, but how loud it was. I suppose that is because of its powerful motor, but still, it was a bit surprising.
That said, after just over a minute, my hummus was ready. Now, if you’ve ever made hummus before you know that it can sometimes be difficult to find that perfect balance of smooth and creamy without being too chunky or too runny. The Ninja Chef delivered in a big way. It was perfect and delicious.
Testing the Ninja Chef DUO To-Go Tumbler
As I mentioned, instead of using the large pitcher to blend your smoothies (and perhaps your margaritas!), you can simply put all your ingredients directly into the 24-ounce double-walled to-go tumbler, and blend your smoothie directly into the cup you’ll use to drink it.
I was craving a smoothie so placed some Greek yogurt, frozen and fresh berries, coconut water and a banana into the tumbler, secured the blade to the tumbler, and then locked the tumbler in place on the Ninja Chef base. I then selected the SMOOTHIE Auto-iQ setting and in just over a minute I was greeted with one of the creamiest, smoothest smoothies I have ever tasted in my life. The Ninja Chef DUO’s next-generation blades pulverized the frozen berries like a boss.
My take on the Ninja Chef DUO Blender
Overall, I was very impressed with the Ninja Chef DUO blender. It made easy work out of everything I put in it. I also thought it is great that it offers a MANUAL mode for those times when you don’t want to work within the confines of a pre-programmed setting.
I absolutely loved the idea of the tamper, and while I didn’t need to use it during the few days I had the Ninja Chef in my possession, I can see it as being a big asset for those times you need to scrape the inside of the pitcher walls while actively blending. I am also a big fan of the size of the pitcher itself. At 2.13-litres, you can whip up big batches of sauces, soups, and drinks in one go.
What I didn’t like was how loud the Ninja Chef is. While I was making my hummus, my neighbour texted me asking me what the heck I was doing! Granted, I live in an apartment building, but I can’t see the noise level going over very well if you’re trying to make a smoothie in the morning while others are still in bed, or if you are like me and live in a small space. However, that is really the only negative point for me, and it isn’t enough to dissuade me from adding one of these DUOs to my small appliance arsenal.
My few days with the Ninja Chef DUO made me realize how desperately I need to replace my existing blender! Mom and dad, if you are reading this … Christmas is right around the corner!
You can find the Ninja Chef DUO Stand Blender with Auto IQ on Best Buy right now!