Every good home cook should have a good blender. They’re incredibly versatile appliances that let you make superior soups, dips, smoothies, and more! If you’re looking for a powerful blender that’s cheaper than the big brands like Vitamix, the Ninja Professional Blender BL660 is a great option.
What are the BL660 basics?
The Ninja Professional Blender BL660 is a BPA-free, countertop blender from Ninja Kitchen. It’s from the “Total Crushing” series, which means it offers a ton of power and great blades that can crush ice and frozen ingredients. It has 1,100 watts, and a 6-blade system for the 72-ounce blender jar, in addition to two 16-ounce blending cups and pro-extractor blades.
The design on this blender is simple – it has a touch pad with three power levels (1 – low, 2 – medium, 3- high), a pulse setting, and settings for the blending cups. Even if you’ve never used a blender before, you would have no trouble using this one. There are blenders out there with special settings for soups, dips, and so on, but I prefer simple and sleek. You’re smart enough to know when your soup or smoothie is smooth enough to your liking.
What do I really love about the Ninja Professional Blender BL660?
1) The blending cups
There’s a lot to love about this blender. At first, I wasn’t sure what to think about the fact that the blender is so big at
72-ounces. That sounds great for making soups and drinks for the whole family, but what if I just want a smoothie for one? Do I have to use the whole 72-ounce blender and wash that out when I’m done? That’s where the single-serve Nutri Ninja cups come in handy! You can fill the cup with fruits, veggies, ice, milk, what have you, and then blend it up and stick on one of the included lids. The whole point of smoothies is to be healthy on-the-go, so including those smaller blending cups and lids shows how smart Ninja is.
2) The blades
A blender’s blades are super important. If you don’t have good blades, you don’t have a good blender, period. The Ninja BL660’s blades are part of the Total Crushing line and there are six of them. Combine that with the wattage and you get blades that can crush, blend, and puree whole and frozen ingredients quickly. If you’re using non-frozen ingredients, the blades are even faster, so making a drink with the small blending cup is done in mere seconds.
For the blending cups, you use the smaller, but still powerful blades, since the big 6-blade system obviously wouldn’t fit. Like those blades, the small ones can crush ice.
What do I think could be better?
Green smoothies are very popular now, and way healthier than fruit-based smoothies. Unfortunately, the BL660 isn’t great with greens, especially leafy ones like spinach and kale. The blender tends to chop up the greens just fine, but it isn’t able to truly liquefy them. They’re just too pulpy and you end up with little leafy bits. For a blender that’s ended to compete with more expensive brands like Vitamix, I expected better.
In my experience, the smaller blending cups do better with greens than the big 72-ounce jar. I guess the motor and blades aren’t quite quality enough to puree a large amount of greens.
What are the safety features on the blender?
There’s nothing really special about the safety features on this Ninja. It’s all pretty standard, with the lock-on lid and overall power button you push before making your blender setting selection. There was actually a recall of these blenders sold between August 2012 and September 2015 in both the US and Canada because of safety concerns. If you buy a blender now, you should be sure to read the updated instructions. The new instructions basically just say to either empty the pitcher through the pour spout or after taking out the blade system, so the blades don’t fall out on you.
What’s the cleaning and maintenance on this blender like?
The best part about cleaning the Ninja BL660 is that all the parts (except the motorized base) are dishwasher-safe! The big pitcher and cups are BPA-free plastic, so they won’t break in the dishwasher, or warp because of the heat. You can also clean the pitcher manually if you want, by just adding ¾ a cup of water and a drop or two of soap into the pitcher while it’s attached to the base. Pulse like you would if you were making a smoothie, and the soapy water gets every inch of the blades and pitcher. I’ve found that cleaning the big pitcher and 6-blade system this way is often better than the dishwasher, which sometimes misses the underside of the blades and the corners of the pitcher.
How much does the Ninja Professional BL660 cost?
I saved one of my favorite things about this blender for this section. For all it can do, this blender is actually very affordable. It’s less than $200. Compare that to the $400+ of a standard Vitamix blender, or even the $600+ that some of those really high-end blenders charge. The Ninja BL660 isn’t significantly less impressive than those other guys, and costs so much less. It’s more than just a smoothie blender because of its great crushing blades and large pitcher size.
My final thoughts
I really like this blender. It doesn’t make the best leafy-green purees, but for the price, you would have trouble finding something else that’s comparable. The Ninja BL660 has a huge 72-ounce pitcher and two single-serve cups that you can blend with, so you don’t even have to dirty up multiple cups when you just want to make one drink. Just blend, snap on a lid, and take it to go. Powered by an 1100-watt motor, the blades are able to crush ice and whole fruits, which is something blenders around this price range tend to have trouble with. When you’re done with the blender, you can just stick the various parts in the dishwasher. Everything is BPA-free plastic.
So, should you get this blender? If you have a really cheap blender right now that is dying or isn’t doing what you want it to do, I definitely recommend this Ninja because it’s certainly an upgrade, but you don’t have to shell out tons of cash for it. If you don’t have a blender right now and want one, I encourage you to go with this one, because you can do a lot with it beyond just making smoothies (think soups, dips, pesto`s, puddings, muffin batters, guacamole, etc.), so you can “grow into” the blender and use it a lot without it burning out in only a year or so, which would happen with a really cheap blender.