Ninja’s Professional Plus Kitchen System with Auto-iQ has an impressive spec, which makes it great value for money. In the box, you get a good mix of tools to suit the food you’re blending, chopping, crushing, or mixing. In addition to a tall 72-ounce Total Crushing Pitcher, you get two single-serve cups with spout lids and a 64-ounce Precision Processor bowl. The set comes with a mix of blades, including a total crushing blade, one for chopping, one designed for whizzing up smoothies, and a dough blade—all of which add to its versatility and powerful performance. Its 1400-peak watt motor base sits securely on the kitchen countertop, and I found it easy to interchange the base with the cup blender, the pitcher, and the precision processor bowl and a choice of suitable blade. This gave me the flexibility to either create smoothies for post-workout fuel, purée sauces for pre-dinner dips, or crush ice for evening cocktails.
The Ninja blender's black and stainless steel finish feels premium and looks good in the kitchen. I found that leaving the base on the countertop and storing the jugs and cups in the cupboard until use worked well to keep my countertop looking clutter-free. The set comes with dishwasher-safe parts, including the blades. If you are washing them by hand you’ll need to take care, as the blades are very sharp and designed to blitz tough food in seconds.
On board, you get five preset programs to eliminate guesswork and make it easy to carry out a number of blending and processing tasks, always reliably with excellent, consistent results. You can choose from a low, medium, high, and pulse setting. The settings include one for smoothies, one for crushing ice, and a nutrient extraction setting. There’s also a chop setting that’s great for nut butters and vegetables, and a dough setting that lets you create up to 2 pounds of dough when using the processor bowl. This means that you can use the kitchen system to both purée soups and then make dough for fresh bread to dip inside. —Emily Peck
★ UK Alternative: The UK version of this Ninja blender has much the same powerful, useful functionality. Their wattage varies slightly: 1200W for the UK version as opposed to 1400W, and the US version has two blender cups to the UK’s single 700-ml cup.