Nutri Ninja Ninja Blender DUO with Auto-iQ Review
Pros: Tons of accessories, good at crushing ice
Cons: Subpar at fruit smoothies, struggled with pureeing
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Ninja Blender DUO scored towards the back of the pack, but did outperform the Oster Simple Blend 100. However, while it does substantially outperform the Simple Blend 100, it does retail for about five times the price. The Ninja Blender does perform worse than the Oster VERSA Pro and cost roughly the same, so we would recommend the VERSA over the Ninja if you aren't interested in the personal smoothie cups.
To find out which blender came out on top, we bought the best models available today and pitted them against each other in our head-to-head reviewing process to pick our winners. We rated each blender in five weighted metrics — Smoothies, Convenience, Grinding, Pureeing, and Ice — with the Ninja's results elaborated on in the following sections.
By far the most important of our rating metrics, our set of smoothie tests take credit for 30% of the total score for each blender. We used four different drinks to rank and score these kitchen appliances, judging the quality of an Oreo shake, green smoothie, berry smoothie, and a hearty fruit and oat smoothie produced by each blender to determine scores. The Nutri Ninja didn't particularly impress, earning a substandard 3 out of 10.
This blender started off with an average performance when it came to mixing up a healthy green smoothie.
The texture of the smoothie was a little on the watery side, with an inconsistent flavor profile throughout. This smoothie just didn't taste as good as the drinks produced from the top-notch blenders, like the Vitamix 5200. There were also plenty of flakes of veggies throughout, with plenty of material caught when we strained the sieve.
This product did quite well at blending an Oreo malt, though the texture was just a little grainier than the Cuisinart. However, the performance of the Nutri Ninja dropped severely when it came to our fruit smoothie tests. The berry smoothie was of very poor quality, lacking the smooth texture of the top blenders and failing to obliterate the seeds, with plenty caught in the sieve.
Moving on to our fruit and oat smoothie assessment, the Nutri Ninja delivered the worst score of the entire group. The finished drink was exceptionally chunky and practically undrinkable, with odd chunks interspersed throughout. However, the performance was much better when we tried this test again with a personal blender, matching the performance of the KitchenAid.
A pair of tests comprise our Ice metric, worth 20% of the overall score. We ranked and scored each appliance on how well it could crush ice alone and its prowess at blending the perfect margarita. The Nutri Ninja actually did very well, earning an 8 out of 10.
This model did an excellent job at crushing ice, pulverizing a full pitcher in less than 15 seconds without any struggle. The Ninja Blender also did quite a good job at blending a margarita, creating a drink with a consistent slushy texture, but there were a few chunks of ice that didn't fully get crushed interspersed throughout.
Equivalent to Ice, our Convenience metric also merited 20% of the total score. We judged how easy it was to use and operate each blender, scoring attributes such as how easy it was to clean each blender, whether or not it is dishwasher safe, and if there are preset functions. The Nutri Ninja Blender DUO with Auto-IQ scored reasonably well.
This blender's lid, pitcher, and blades are all dishwasher-safe and the lid and pitcher aren't too much work to clean manually. However, the three tiers of blades are quite difficult to clean by hand and are the perfect recipe for cutting your hand if you aren't careful.
You also need to be sure to properly dry all the pieces of this blender, as there is practically no ventilation on the base and the underside of the pitcher definitely has the potential for growing mold if put away wet.
This model does have a digital timer and a handful of preset functions.
These are clearly labeled with text, making it a breeze to use them. The lid is very easy to remove from the pitcher and this blender is on the quieter side, only measuring in at 84.9 dBa in our test, compared to closer to 90 dBa for the loudest models.
Taking credit for 15% of the total score, our Pureeing metric tested how well these products could make almond butter, mix tomato soup, and heat it. This metric proved to be a difficult one for the Nutri Ninja, with this product earning a 3 out of 10 for its relatively poor performance.
This model did a poor job of mixing almonds into a smooth and creamy spread, instead creating an extremely thick, grainy mixture that was quite undesirable. This product did a little better at pureeing the soup, but not by much, leaving whole garlic cloves intact at the end of its Auto-iQ puree cycle. It also didn't really heat up the soup, only causing it to hit a temperature of about 78°F.
Four our final rating metric, we evaluated how each blender did when tasked with grating hard parmesan cheese, grinding corn kernels into corn flour, and creating powdered sugar. The Nutri Ninja again did quite poorly, earning a 3 out of 10 for its subpar showing.
This product didn't do amazingly well at creating powdered sugar, failing to achieve the fine grind of other products, with plenty of intact granulated sugar. However, none of the sugar burned or melted into the blades. This blender's performance did improve when we tasked it with grating cheese, producing a blend that was roughly in the middle-of-the-road. It was relatively evenly grated, but it wasn't the finest blend and there were some residual large chunks.
The Ninja Blender DUO finished out with a relatively poor showing, only milling about 10% of the corn kernels to the point where they would pass through the sieve.
This model might be an alright value pick if you are a fan of the personal blender cups, but there are other models that perform better and cost the same if you don't care about those.
The Nutri Ninja didn't do particularly well and definitely wasn't one of our favorites, but we have to admit the personal smoothie cups are an extremely fast and easy way to grab a smoothie to go.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer