Best Blender for Ice and Frozen Drinks (Updated 2018) Reviews and Comparison
If you don’t want to end up ruining your blender, as happened to one of our followers Karen, be sure to read this guide.
As soon as Karen got her new shiny blender shipped from Amazon, she eagerly placed some veggies and fruits into the jar and added ice to chill things up.
Not at all.
After a minute or so, a strange smell came out of her new appliance, and she shut it off.
But it was too late. The motor has gone.
A closer inspection of the owner’s manual revealed that blending ice and frozen ingredients is “not recommended”.
Turns out crushing ice is one of the most challenging tasks for a blender.
It can also be difficult to tell whether a model will actually get the job done, even if the product specs say that it will.
To help you select the best ice crushing blender, I’ve prepared this quick guide on what to look for, and which popular models are recommended.
Ice-Crushing Blenders for Smoothies: Direct Comparison
Name & Image
What to Look for in an Ice-Crushing Blender
There are several types of blenders including countertop, immersion, high performance and personal (or single-serving) blenders.
The high performance and some of the more heavy duty personal blenders are your best bets for handling frozen ingredients.
In general you’ll want to select the most powerful and durable machine within your price range - click HERE to see our reviews of a few models at different price points!
Chopping ice requires a lot of torque, so it’s important that your blender have a powerful motor of at least 600 watts, but the more powerful the better for this application.
Ice crushing is usually conducted at the high-speed setting, so you’ll want to select a blender that has a sufficient speed setting for this.
Generally if the motor meets the above power specifications, it will be able to reach a sufficient speed for processing ice.
Ice cubes tend to be hard on the blade, so you’ll need a strong, durable blade that’s designed to handle the impact.
Jar Design and Materials
Dealing with ice can be hard on your blender’s jar, and may crack thinner polycarbonate pitchers.
The jar should be durable and made of impact-resistant glass, heavy polycarbonate or copolyester.
The top models featured here, all have a pitcher designed to withstand the pressures of ice crushing.
How to Crush Ice in a Blender
To make crushed ice for frozen drinks, slushies, frozen fruit smoothies or frappes, you'd need a relatively strong blender.
Check your blender’s instruction manual to see if there are manufacturer-specific guidelines and also to make sure that it’s actually designed for this purpose!
It is not recommended to use ice or frozen ingredients, in a blender that's not specifically intended for this purpose.
The following steps should be compatible with most models:
- Remove ice from freezer and allow it to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. This step isn't necessary if you use a high performance blender.
- Fill the jar about ⅓ full with ice cubes.
- Add fruit juice, milk or other liquid ingredients. A small amount of water can also be added to speed up the process.
- Place lid on pitcher and press the pulse button 6-7 times in 2-second bursts, or use ice presetting if available.
- Set blender at high speed for 15-30 seconds. To help churn the ice during blending you can use the tamper (plunger) or gently shake the pitcher.
- Remove ice once it has reached the desired consistency.