Is anyone else disappointed with their Vita Mix?

scpalmettoMarch 30, 2014

When the old blender gave out I bought a Vita Mix, 1709 CIA from BBB, thinking it would serve as a blender and do some of the things my food processor does. So far it makes the best smoothies ever - but that's about all. A friend made the potato soup in their recipe book and said it was great but she had the darn thing running for 7 minutes to heat it up. I've tried grating cheeze and no matter how small an amount you put in there it gets clogged in the corners long before is is grated. Frozen fruit clogs it up if I don't keep that massive plunger handy while I am using it.
Is it me or did I buy the wrong model?

What do you use yours for?

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Hi! I love my vitamix, but I have an old model from the mid 90's. It was my grandparents and they gave it to me around 2000. Still works like brand new, which speaks for the quality but I don't know the newer models are equally long lasting. I find the plunger is necessary in all applications, aside from whirring up super liquid-y beverages. To get a more chunky consistency I switch it from high to variable and turn the dial to 1, then while it's running I kind of pulse it and don't run it for very long. it doesn't make chunky salsa though, that is why I also have a food processor.

Anyhoo, not sure if that was much help, but I am definitely not dissatisfied with my vitamix, it's the greatest kitchen gadget I've ever owned.

This post was edited by beachveggie on Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 17:42

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 5:41PM
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The VitaMix guy told me to boil or heat the water first before making soup as it would heat up the entire mixture much faster. I have an electric tea pot and use that for hot water. But to your question, yes I am somewhat disappointed. Mine will cavitate when I try to up the speed and just spin but not mix. It is hard to get it to pull the top of the liquid down into the blades. So the bottom is getting mixed but not the top. I have the 5200 model. The cheese does not grate unless it is really a hard cheese and it does that great. I've used it for a very hard Parmesan and it did a great job on that but I had the same experience as OP did when trying to do cheddar.

When I bought it the salesman told me you could grind coffee beans in it. I bought the optional small dry ingredients blender for that purpose but when I tried to grind the beans it beat up the plastic container sides and the beans in the bottom were nearly mush and the top not fine enough. I never tried that again.

I"m still getting used to it. I have a refurbished model and I'm always thinking maybe it doesn't work right. I do like that it will pulverize anything given enough time. I use the tamper a lot. I have discovered if I put it on high nearly right away it does much better instead of trying to work up to it. Just blast it away and use the tamper. The more water you use the easier time it has of mixing more evenly. I still like it a lot and am still learning things about it and how it works best.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 7:32PM
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I use my sisters, but hers is top of the line. Made carrot ginger soup and sweet pea soup, both worked out beautifully. I've made smoothies in it, no problem... For my needs it's a great blender, but then, it's a blender. I've never tried to use it to replace a food processor or to leap tall buildings in a single bound. There's a cult around vitamix that makes it out to be the second coming. It's just a small kitchen appliance.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 11:28PM
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I use mine daily for so many things besides whole food smoothies - which was my primary need. But we do so much alternative baking / cooking due to food allergies, many things I make would never have crossed my mind years ago (like vegan dressing made with soaked raw cashews, etc.)

Most of the ideas came from watching YouTube videos. Lately I've been making "vegetable rice" - quick pulsing various raw vegetables in water, draining and then using them for whatever dish intended. I did this with broccoli and carrots the other day to stir fry with quinoa. It was a perfect match. But I learned that watching someone make a "rice substitute" by quick pulsing cauliflower - which was also wonderful toasted up.

For thick and frozen items, that wand is an amazing tool. But it does mean keeping it handy.

Hope you find its niche in your kitchen as you continue to experiment.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 12:30AM
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SIgh, thanks, I suspected I was expecting too much. I'll have to check out the you tube videos. The video that came with mine showed it pulverizing a whole carrot. I tried that and it promptly jammed. The cheese I was trying to grate was a hard parmesan, the food processor does a much better job at that. However, the VM does make the smoothest sauces ever and I can see where it has its place but darn, it takes up a good bit of real estate on the counter.
I am slurping my breakfast smoothie as I write this.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 6:22AM
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It takes practice. I started a thread when after buying mine- Help me like my new Vitamix
Now, I love it!
I can make Chop Chop veggies(yup, whole carrot down the chute), soups are scrumptious and I was an awful soup maker- I usually pre-heat the liquids.
Smoothies are wonderful and if I put in the right balance of liquids to frozen- I don't need the tamper. If using a lot of frozen fruit or ice, I do sometimes run it once with some frozen items and then add more frozen items and run it again.
The thread helped and then the little book VM sent with my replacement bases gave me the idea on not overdoing the frozen items on round one.
I am finally back home after 4 months in SSM and made a green smoothie! Yum! I had limited supplies but had been at market- fresh OJ for liquid, kale, pea shoots,frozen pineapple, frozen zucchini, frozen peaches and a few other items.
I am also looking forward to using some of my homemade VM pasta sauce.
I also used it to make the worlds best peach jam (OK- don't laugh but it was for a fund raiser for my Boston Marathon charity)
I do have the dry container- my DH would be too picky for coffee beans and he likes dark roast beans which are oily) but love to grind the corn into cornmeal and I needed a bit of tapioca and rice flour..
Ear protection is recommended for the dry grinding - in my opinion.
I have the 750.
Hang in there!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:15AM
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You're right, it does make the best smoothies ever. I haven't had mine for long, but I love using it for soups - although I generally cook the soup on the stove and use it to blend. I find that I get more depth in the soups that way. Last night I made short ribs, and with the drippings that I would normally have to thicken into a gravy - I just threw into the Vitamix and ended up with an amazing silky smooth sauce. I also have the dry container and make my own cornmeal and almond flour and when I'm in the mood - ww flour. I know there are lots of ways to use it that I haven't discovered.
Keep trying!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:41AM
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There is a learning curve, but you have many responses here urging you to stick with it because it is really worth it to learn how to use it to the fullest. The advice I give my friends who buy them is to invest $20-40 in a basket of produce and then use it all as a self-teaching lesson. Freeze about half of it before you start your practice.

For example, take a potato, cut in half, put one half in the jar and then just watch what happens to the texture as you move through the speeds from low to high. Then add water and watch again (all with no tamper). Cut the remaining half in half again, and start with smaller piece, repeat process. With the final piece start with water from the beginning and watch what happens. You will learn a lot from just one potato. Move on to try leafy things, soft fruits, hard fruits, tomatoes.

When I first bought mine about ten years ago, I used the tamper much of the time, but over the years I've learned from experiences just what ratios of soft, frozen, and fluids, of the foods I make will work best, and now I almost never use the tamper at all. Please stay with it for at least six months, you will look back and be very, very glad you did!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 8:35AM
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Oh, now you have all gone and made me hungry. :-) I won't be getting rid of it even though my husband says it sounds like an outboard motor.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 8:38PM
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