|Ninja's Pulse Technology|
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|Ninja Technology 4 Blades||700 Watts||Safe to wash|
I love unpacking new pieces of equipment, feel like a baby in a candy store when I do it. The first time I opened the Ninja BL204 box I was actually surprised, as there were some elements I did not expect to see there. Here is a list of what the package contained:
- Main blade shaft with 4 Ninja® razor-sharp blades.
- Bread blade
- Cookie dough paddle
- Personal blade for use with the individual glasses
- 3 single-serve individual glasses, each with a storage lid
- 40 oz. pitcher / bowl with storage lid
- A small cook-book with recipes for your blender
- Instruction manual & warranty card
Everything was packed neatly and individually. Taught by my own experience, I was very careful when unpacking the main 4 blades; they are REALLY sharp as with all other Ninja products, so take care not to cut yourself by accident.
Durability & Assembly
From taking a look at the pictures you might think that the personal cups and pitcher are made from glass, but it is not so – they are made from plastic. This does NOT mean that they aren’t sturdy – this is the “thick” type of plastic that you could kick around your kitchen for ages and it would never brake. It’s kind of similar to the materials used in the QB1004, although a little tougher and more durable I would say. Every single part is reasonably heavy (good balance between durability and easy handling), and the lines and edges are well polished – nothing feels rough to the touch.
Assembly is really easy regardless of whether you’re using the 40 oz. pitcher or the personal cups. I’ve found that the lids close and open very easily, and that the blades are easy to attach and never shake or “pop out” during the blending process. I never really felt like attaching or closing anything was a struggle as with other blenders I’ve use; everything pops into place easily, and yet is still tight enough to prevent any leaking.
Performance & Use
I decided that my first test would involve the individual cups, as I was mostly going to use the BL204 to make single servings of smoothies and ice coffee. The individual cup attached firmly and effortlessly to the main unit. I put in some some ice cubes and berries and yogurt – didn’t even add any water or milk to “water” things down. Used the personal blade for everything
Since this blender is pulse-based, it means that you need to hold down the power button for as long as you want to keep blending. The great thing about this is that it allows you to bring your smoothie/product to the exact consistency that you like – gives you a lot of control over the process basically.
It took me around 25 seconds to make my smoothie, and I really loved the result. The blending was equal all the way across the cup – contents at the top weren’t blended any less than those at the bottom. Since I was able to control the blending process accurately with the pulse action, it came out just as I like it – a little rough with very small bits of ice. But I wanted to make sure that I can get it even smoother than that, so after drinking a little I put the whole thing back and blended it for another good 15 seconds – this time, there were no chunks of ice or anything – perfectly smooth just like the smoothie you’d get at Coffee Heaven. Thick and creamy in texture.
Then I went ahead and tried something completely different. Salsaaaa! Put in a few different veggies including bell pepper, tomatoes and onions, some garlic and… mango (I’m weird, I know). This time I used the main 40 oz. pitcher to see how it would perform in comparison to the smaller cups. Again, everything was really easy to attach, and a light “pop” sound indicated that everything was firmly set in place and ready for use. I held the button and let it rip!
Again, great results. The whole contents of the pitcher were perfectly blended together, and it didn’t feel like the blades were struggling to get the job done – no considerable shaking or jumping at all. I ate the salsa with some grilled chicken I had prepared a little earlier and absolutely loved it.
I’m pretty sure Ninja uses the same blades in all of their blenders, which I think is a great thing. As I’ve already mentioned they are REALLY sharp, which is one of the reasons the appliance performs so great – just be careful when cleaning and handling the BL204 as things can backfire easily if you aren’t careful.
I have probably made over 300 milk shakes, iced coffees, smoothies and protein shakes in this blender so far (I drink them a few times a day). All of these things involve the use of at least SOME ice cubes. Despite that, the blades are still very sharp. My previous blender would easily get scratch marks from the ice cubes inside the pitcher, but it’s just not the case with the BL204 blades. I’m pretty sure they will last at least another few years, unless I decide to start blending rocks for some reason.
Nothing easier. You basically need to clean the pitcher (or the personal cups) and the blades. There are basically three ways you can clean it:
- Rinse it with some warm water and gently scrub it with a brush. Most of the time I don’t even need to scrub anything as all the waste comes off real easy from the water alone.
- Add in some water plus a few drops of dish-soap, attach the pitcher / glasses with the blade inside to the motor, and hod the power button for 10 seconds. This will clean everything to perfection.
- If you have a dishwasher, you can safely throw in all the parts (except for the motor of course) into it and have all the cleaning done automatically for you.
Dough Blade & Cookie Paddle
Personally I haven’t had the chance to use these parts because I have a regular mixer that I use when making pastry, however I did do some research online to see what other customers had to say about them.
Overall and from what I have read, it seems that the Ninja BL204 was designed with primarily blending in mind, and the dough/cookie blades are just there as an extra. So if making cookies and pastry is your main goal, I would most likely go with something different. If you are primarily interested in blending though, then you won’t be disappointed.
The only con I can think of is that the personal cups are not somewhat larger; it would have been awesome if it was just 2 or even 1 oz. larger, because as it is right now I sometimes find myself having to limit myself in the amount of ingredients I put in when making a smoothie for example. However, I’m a pretty big guy and I like my smoothies BIG too 🙂 For most of you this will most likely not be an issue at all. Plus, you can always just use the main 40 oz. pitcher, in which case you definitely won’t be complaining about anything.
- Sturdy and durable.
- Very easy to clean; no nooks or hard-to-access places. Dishwasher safe as well.
- A very powerful motor for a blender in this price range. Makes quick work of ice cubes, frozen foods, and all kinds of fresh vegetables and fruits. No chunks or uneven blending.
- Pulse operation gives great control over how smoothly blended your final mixture will be.
- The personal single-serve cups are an awesome addition.
- The lids for both the personal cup and the 40 oz. pitcher are durable and perfectly seal the contents of the container.
- Evenly blends the contents of your pitcher/cup, from top to bottom.