This blender helps me make creamy hummus, puree vegetable soup, make frozen drinks and more.
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Kitchenaid k400 Blender

When I got the Kitchenaid K400, I had zero expectations. My thought was that, unless it's a Vitamix, a blender is a blender. I've worked with different sizes of Vitamix blenders, and they're amazing blenders, but when I see them at the store, I look at them longingly, thinking "Someday…maybe." I'm just not willing to spend $300+ on a blender that I'll probably only use to make hummus.

To be clear, I make a lot of hummus. Having a machine that can do it well is pretty important. For me, it's the one snack I never get sick of so I have a constant supply in the fridge. Making it myself is much cheaper than buying it and, as a bonus, I know exactly what's going in it. Getting the flavor right wasn't hard, but I've spent years trying to achieve the creaminess of Sabra or Cedar's hummus using myriad brands of blenders and food processors. Every once in a while, with a lot of effort (and risk of blowing out motors), I could get something close, but not perfect. Then I tried the Kitchenaid K400. Mind blown.

To test it out, I made my hummus per usual. While my old blender took 20 minutes to make a batch of hummus—and required babysitting my whirring chickpeas to make sure they wouldn't overwhelm the blades and motor—with the Kitchenaid K400 my hummus came out perfectly smooth in three minutes. It's never been this easy. Never. Ever.

Then I tested out its ice-crushing capabilities with a few smoothies and frozen drinks. It pureed ice and frozen fruit like a champ. Then I pureed Brussels sprouts into soup using our formula for pureed vegetable soup for an ultra-creamy dinner. It was like a had a new machine to help me generate menus every week.

I haven't done side-by-side comparisons of the K400 and its Vitamix counterpart (the K400 specs are comparable to those of the Vitamix 5200), but I do know that, depending on where you're buying your blender, you can expect to spend at least $100 more on the Vitamix than the Kitchenaid K400. According to my calculations, if I just make hummus, the K400 will pay for itself in less than six months. It would take a few months longer with the Vitamix.

Coincidentally, just after I tried my K400 for the first time, my mom called asking for blender recommendations. Instead of rattling off my reasons for why it's so great, I just sent her a K400 of her own. She had her chickpeas and tahini waiting along with visions of frozen cocktails all summer long.

If you want to get one for yourself (or Mom), the Kitchenaid K400 Blender is on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond for $199.99 (down from $259.99).