Oster Versa Pro Review
Pros: Good at grinding, solid at crushing ice and making blended drinks
Cons: Substandard smoothie skills, not that convenient to use
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
The VERSA is thoroughly bested by our Best Buy award winner, the KitchenAid Diamond 5-Speed. The KitchenAid scored better in terms of overall performance and retails for about $80 less, making it a substantially better value. The Oster VERSA does outperform the Ninja Blender DUO, though the Ninja includes a set of personal smoothie pitchers for those that want to grab their smoothie to go. Both the Ninja and the VERSA retail for a comparable price, though you would be much better served by the KitchenAid for practically every use case.
To find out which blender is truly a cut above the rest, we bought the best products available on the market today and pitted them against each other in a series of side-by-side tests to crown our winners. We judged the Oster VERSA Pro in its performance in our five weighted rating metrics — Convenience, Smoothies, Ice, Grinding, and Pureeing — with the sections below elaborating on the VERSA's results.
Taking credit for the largest portion of the final score, our Smoothies metric is responsible for 30% of the overall score. We used four sample beverages — fruit and oat smoothie, Oreo shake, berry smoothie, and green smoothie — to judge the performance of each blender, looking at both taste and texture. The Oster VERSA delivered a subpar performance, earning a 4 out of 10 overall.
The green smoothie produced by this blender was quite mediocre, with an exceptionally chunky texture that wasn't very pleasant to drink.
We caught plenty of unblended greens in the sieve when we poured the smoothie — the main cause of the unsavory texture and inconsistent flavors throughout.
However, the smoothie produced by the VERSA was superior to that made by the Nutri Ninja. Performance did not improve when it came to making a berry smoothie, leaving an entire strawberry unblended and the majority of the seeds intact.
The same thing happened with the fruit and oat smoothie, with it taking three full smoothie cycles to get the drink even remotely palatable. Even then, it still had a very grainy texture with plenty of unblended almonds and oats interspersed throughout the drink. However, the VERSA did finish out this quartet of tests with an alright showing at making an Oreo shake, producing a decent drink that only had a single chunk of ice cream that remained unblended. We did have to stop and scrape down the sides of the pitcher to get the drink to successfully blend though.
Taking credit for 20% of the total score, our Ice metric was substantially kinder to the VERSA than our Smoothie metric. The Oster VERSA earned an 8 out of 10 for its solid performance at crushing ice and blending a margarita.
The VERSA did a good job at crushing a pitcher full of ice, though it doesn't feed the ice very well, requiring us to pulse the power to the blender. It did completely crush the ice in about 15 seconds, even with the pulsing.
The margarita produced by the VERSA was quite nice, though there were some irregularly large ice chunks dispersed throughout the drink. The rest of the drink did have a very smooth texture and was close to an ideal margarita.
Ranking on par to our Ice metric, Convenience also accounted for 20% of the overall score. To assess how convenient to use the VERSA is, we looked at how easy to clean it is, whether or not there are preset functions, the presence of a digital timer, how easy the lid is to remove, and if you could place the pitcher back on the base after washing to dry or if you needed to spread the components out on a dish rack. The VERSA didn't do terribly well, meriting a 5 out of 10 for its relatively lackluster performance.
The VERSA is not dishwasher safe, so manual washing is required. This model isn't the easiest to clean by hand, as there are a few sharp edges and hard to reach places on the pitcher that can trap food. The lid also had some difficult to clean areas, really requiring you to clean it with a toothbrush-style brush. However, there is plenty of ventilation if you place the pitcher back on the base for it to dry, provided you put it slightly offset to allow air to reach underneath. It still will dry much faster when spread out on a dish rack or mat.
This model lacks a digital timer, but it does have a few preset operations. These are clearly labeled on the blender itself and very easy to use.
The lid is also fairly easy to remove, though it can provide some difficulties at times. This blender is on the quieter side compared to the rest of the group, measuring in at 83.8 dBa in our test, compared to around 90 dBa for the loudest models.
Accounting for 15% of the total score for the VERSA, our Pureeing metric consists of a trifecta of tests: mixing and heating soup, as well as pureeing nut butter. The VERSA did reasonably well, meriting a 7 out of 10 for its performance.
The Oster struggled a little with the nut butter test, getting exceedingly hot and forcing us to stop the test part way through. However, after we gave it a little break and added a tiny bit of extra oil, the VERSA eventually made a high-quality nut butter that was on par with the A2500.
The VERSA did a mediocre job at mixing the tomato soup, creating a thicker mixture that required us to force it through the sieve. There was also plenty of leftover unblended food in the sieve.
This product did heat up the soup, though not as much as we would have liked, only hitting about 138°F.
For the final 15% of the score, we assessed how well each appliance did when tasked with grinding up hard food. We again used a trio of tests, rating the performance of the VERSA on how well it grated parmesan cheese, powdered sugar, and milled cornmeal. It did reasonably well, earning an 8 out of 10 overall.
95% of the cornmeal produced by the blender from milling popcorn passed right through the sieve without any difficulties.
This blender also did very well at making powdered sugar, though the final mixture was just a little bit grainier than the Vitamix Pro 750 or the Vitamix A2500. This VERSA finished out our testing process with a solid performance at grating parmesan cheese, though the final blend was just a tiny bit coarser than the Cuisinart's.
The VERSA isn't a very good value, as it costs a lot and scored quite low.
The Oster VERSA Pro somewhat failed to impress us and is a little hard to recommend. It is on the pricey side, with other models costing less and outperforming it, and its overall performance wasn't even close to the top-of-the-line models we tested.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer