Review of Breville's The Boss Blender

Almost on par with Vitamix, but noisier

Breville's Boss Blender is a pleasure to use. Sharon Basaraba

Research is showing that adopting simple lifestyle habits like getting 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day can make a big difference to your overall longevity and risk of age-related illness as you get older. One way to boost your intake of fresh produce - not to mention healthy fiber - is to enjoy a green smoothie every day.

    The trouble is, not every blender can handle sturdy greens like kale, collard and Swiss chard, leaving you with an unappealing (albeit nutritious) lumpy mass of sludge. Some economical models like Nutribullet's 600-watt and 900-watt "nutrition extractors" do a pretty good job for their $80-$130 price tag. But if you're considering a powerful race car of a blender that can hold its own beauty quotient alongside your high-end espresso maker on the kitchen counter, you might consider the Boss by Breville.

    The Boss Blender by Breville

    I should begin by confessing that I'm a big fan of Breville's kitchen appliances.  I own several within this brand, including the risotto multi-cooker (can brown and slow-cook in the same pot) and automatic milk frother which can heat and froth up to 2 cups of milk (500ml) to any desired temperature.  Small touches like a three-pronged plug with finger hole ("assist" plug) that's easy to insert and remove from an electrical socket make their devices a pleasure to use, and the brushed stainless exteriors match most major kitchen  appliances.

    Still, at $399-$500 (depending on promotions and currency), the Boss is not cheap.  I've used this 1500-watt blender for several months and find it to be (almost) on par with my Vitamix Professional Series 750, and better than my classic Blendtec blender.  

    What comes in the package:

    • A stainless finish power base
    • BPA-free Eastman Tritan blender jug
    • Frozen dessert wand (similar to Vitamix's tamper to safely push food onto blender blades)
    • Scraper spatula 
    • Recipe book
    • User manual

    How it works:

    Unlike the sole rotary dial control common to the Vitamix and some other models, the Boss boasts 5 preset programs for smoothies, spice milling, soup, and ice crushing.  Green smoothies have their own program setting, designed to cycle the ingredients through evenly and without heating leafy greens in the process.  The unit also has a manual speed control dial with 12 speed settings ranging from stir to mill.  The blender will automatically stop after 6 minutes in manual mode.

    An auto clean button will launch a cleaning cycle; just pour in 2 cups (500ml) of warm soapy water to remove sticky or thick ingredients from the blades without the need for scraping.

    How well it works:

    I love this blender.  It's sleek and capable.  At a height of 18 inches (45cm) it will fit nicely under your upper cabinetry, a big improvement in my opinion over the towering classic Vitamix model.  Shorter jugs have been designed by a few companies to address this storage problem.

    The Boss confidently pulverizes greens into an almost frothy concoction with no lumps or granular bits, no matter how robust the vegetable.

     Running the preset programs did the trick (I've found additional time was required on some other blenders).  Other efforts to blend sauces like hummus, soups and salsas were equally impressive.

    My only objection is that the Boss is a noisy kitchen companion.  Any blender that boasts 1500 watts of power will likely force your family members to turn up the television, but the Boss is especially loud while operating.  The cacophony is worse when crushing ice.  The programmed cycles top out at 6 minutes for soup, with only 60 seconds for smoothies (including the green variety) so it's a pretty short-lived nuisance.

     The auto clean feature is effective, but make sure you've got the inner lid installed instead of the tamper, or you'll be wearing your soapy water.  The Boss won't count your lifetime smoothie record like the Blendtec does, but you might not care too much about tracking your consumption.

    The Boss doesn't include travel smoothie cups, as some other models do. I also wish the recipe book (which offers some interesting scientific insight into the optimum micron-width of a smoothie particle) contained more options.  You will too, if you purchase the Boss, because it could easily become a new favourite in your kitchen.  My guess is you'll like it (noise aside) as much as I do.

    Like many other prestige blenders, Breville's Boss offers a 7-year warranty.  You can find out more about the blender and the company here.

    Final thoughts: why you need a good blender

    Whether you go for a Breville, Vitamix or Blendtec - or opt instead for a less-pricey Nutribullet or Ninja smoothie maker - get yourself a good blender.  Without combining fruits and vegetables into simple beverages, it can be tough to hit a daily quotient of 5 or more servings of produce each day.  What's more, water-rich foods like cucumber, grapes and celery can help you reduce your calorie intake without really noticing. Whether you prepare a smoothie as part of a healthy breakfast or as a mid-afternoon snack, these nutrient-laden beverages can help you consume fewer calories, help ward off cancer and even dementia. What's not to like about that?

    Disclosure: Blender tested was supplied by the manufacturer for review purposes

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