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I'm debating getting a blender to create a pulpy drink mix - for example: two peeled oranges with ice cubes turned into a pulpy orange drink mix.


Has anyone tried this before?  Any recommendations for an economy, or an entry-level blender that would work?

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Depends on the texture you're going for.  If you're picturing a slushy smoothie thing, you should know many cheap blenders can't crush ice.  



Not all of them can liquefy fruit effectively, either. It might be worth a try with a food processor, but read the manual before you try putting ice in it.


I actually would not consider a basic blender a good investment; for general cooking purposes you're better off buying a food processor.  They cost $50, as opposed to a blender's $20, but the food processor does many more useful things.  For those into batch cooking, a food processor is an absolute lifesaver.  It makes veggie hash, pesto, salsa, nut butter, applesauce, grates cheese, crumbles short dough, and chops onions without making you cry.  And yes, you can use it as a blender.  It is more powerful than a cheap blender, but not as powerful as a very expensive blender.


I've never owned a margarita machine or a snowcone maker.  Maybe one of those would be useful to you?  I'm sure they're not hard to find used, but I've never wanted or tried one.


 The very best machine to make slushy smoothie things is a super blender such as a vitamix.  They can also liquefy any fruit or veggie, and grind seeds pretty well (I've even used mine to grind coffee).  However, they are not cheap.  Used ones start around $200.  On the upside, they are super easy to clean and will last a very long time.


If your fridge doesn't have one of those crushed ice dispensers, you could do it by hand (bag ice, smash with heavy object).   Or try blending up the fruit, then lightly freezing it and stirring it.  Or just shake up the fruit with the ice cubes and drink with a straw.

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Hrrrrm - good to know, thanks!


I might still try a cheap one for testing my commitment to the effort, before committing to a better model for long term use.  :D

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I bought a mid-level blender, and it still wasn't strong enough for ice-crushing and smooth blending. For the power I got out of a $100 model, I can equal and diversify with a $30 immersion stick/food processor combo, so I gave my blender away. I may get one again someday, but only if I can afford a top level. The cheaper, less powerful ones just didn't cut it for me.

That being said, if you're fine with a lower-power model to test your devotion - I did the same thing with food dehydrators - then by all means, test it out! You might consider checking with friends, though, and seeing if anyone has a blender they don't use that you can borrow for a month. So many people have unused blenders, especially in the winter. Gives you a chance to try before you huy, and a better sense of whether or not you'll need the higher-powered model to be satisfied.

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