Friday, 6 January 2017

Silicon Heaven

Have you heard of Silicon Heaven the afterlife for appliances?  No? Clearly, you are not a fan of the sci-fi show Red Dwarf.  Watch this clip and it will all become clear to you.

I am sad to say that our beloved Vitamix blender has gone to Silicon Heaven. We got this high powered, industrial baby in 2010 right after my horrible hysterectomy.

That's six years ago.

The warranty was for five years.

You do the math.

She had started making a slight urgh urgh noise and smelled faintly of burning rubber the week before she died. Then one day right before Christmas, black smoke started pouring out of her during my morning smoothie.

To be fair, she might just be in a coma. It might just be that she needs a new belt or something. There was a definitely PING! sound like a screw fell out after the black smoke. But we can't even figure how to open her up for surgery, so at this point she is considered MIA, presumed dead. If you are a handy sort of person who lives nearby in Wales, please feel free to contact me and offer surgical assistance.

So what to do? We couldn't afford to replace her. A Vitamix costs an arm, a leg and a kidney. We needed a new blender, but one that was affordable. We also needed one that wouldn't die at our first attempt with serious blending. A Vitamix has a 1380 watt (nearly 2 horsepower) motor. 

You get spoiled to a high powered blender.

Well....a bit of searching on our parts and I found us an incredibly affordable replacement. It is not exactly a like-for-like, but it is good and we are happy.

I present to you the newest member of kitchen appliance family:
Image result for tower xtreme pro blender review
The Tower Xtreme Pro Blender. 

She is a lot smaller than the Vitamix so we have lots more counter space. We need all we can get in my tiny-ass kitchen.

But how does she measure up?

Pretty well, actually.

Wattage and horsepower
Vitamix --1380 watt (around 1.93 horsepower)
Tower--1000-1200 watt ( between 1.34 to 1.6 horsepower)
This is pretty close considering many of the blenders we saw were around 400 watt.

Size of jugs (no boob jokes, please)
Vitamix--2 litre
Tower--you get a 1 litre jug and a 800ml jug
So far this has not been a problem as we rarely blended up large amounts of stuff anyway. This has the bonus of "blending in the cup you drink from" so there is less washing up. It also comes with 2 lids for the blender jugs--one for storing and one with a drinking top for travel.  Plus, you can order spare jugs for £7.99.

Vitamix--variable speeds
Tower--one speed
So far, this has not been an issue. The little Tower blends like a champ.
Vitamix--£459 and you have to order online and have it delivered
Tower--£28 at Wilkos--bought it locally and carried it home
Well, that pretty much decides it then.

Will it do *everything* a Vitamix does? No, but it will do lots of things.

It came with a wee cookbook, so that helps to know what you can and can't do in it. It has many nut recipe, but the cookbook recommends soaking your nuts (again, no jokes please) and so we have.

Was it easier to just throw hard stuff like nuts and dry dates straight in the Vitamix without soaking? Yes. But is it really all that hard to put stuff on to soak before you go to bed to make the next day? No.

So far I have made countless smoothies, 2 cashew cheese sauces and creamed corn. It has worked beautifully.

Everyone goes crazy for a Vitamix saying it is perfect, but are there any drawbacks to a Vitamix? A bit. You can't remove the bottom of the blender so cleaning around the blade was a bit tricky to clean. The Tower has a removable bottom so you can wash it really well and you don't have to worry about gunk lurking under your blades.

Are there any drawbacks to the Tower? Not really. The only thing is the rubber seals on the removable bottom need to be checked EVERY TIME you blend as they can easily work themselves free and cause leakage. Is that really a problem? No. it just means I take 10 seconds to check before I blend.

Are there things the Vitamix can do that the Tower can't? A bit. The speed and heat of the Vitamix blades can make soup, but who wants to have their blender run for 6 minutes? Jeepers, you'd need noise cancelling headphones and an aspirin after that. A Vitamix can turn frozen fruit into sorbet, but we only ever did that in the summer and only if fruit was on sale. We only did it once last year, so not really missing anything. Besides, I can make banana ice cream in my food processor.

I am also working hard on being content with what I have. If you have seen my vision board then you know this is part of goals for 2017.

To be honest, the Tower works pretty well so I am not having to try very hard to be content with it.

 Would I buy another Vitamix? After careful  My little Tower takes up less space in my kitchen, blends everything I have asked it to do and only cost £28. I can think of lots of ways I could use £449.

But the million pound question is: Where do all the calculators go? 

1 comment:

  1. That's about $570 in US dollars for the vitamix and about $36 for the Tower. I am so proud for you!