Vitamix introduced Vitamix S30 as part of its strategy of getting its hands in the mix-and-go niche, and it’s been successful so far. The mix-and-go niche is characterized by consumers who want a blender that can make smaller batches for single-person use. The concept here is that there’s no need to transfer the smoothie or juice into another container – the blender’s small jar itself can be used as a personal tumbler.
But don’t dismiss it as a smaller tumbler with a less powerful motor or less efficient blade! Vitamix didn’t skimp on quality materials and sturdy construction, which are evident in the jar and base from the first glance. You won’t even hesitate to use the 20-ounce jar in the gym because it looks and feels durable as well as chic.
It’s definitely on top of our must-have mix-and-go blenders! But there may be a need to save for it since with its $400+ price, it isn’t exactly the most affordable blender.
Base Unit and Motor Power
The Vitamix S30 has two jars, namely: the portable 20-ounce container with flip-top lid and the compact 40-ounce container. The 20-ounce container is suitable for single-person smoothies and juices while the 40-ounce container addresses the blender needs of a small family. Both of these containers are designed to fit a single base (i.e., interchangeable jars).
The 20-ounce container has a matching flip-top lid that allows it to be used as a blender jar and as a handy travel cup. You don’t have to worry about leaks since it has a tight seal, too. You can use it virtually anywhere, such as in the gym or office, since it looks more like a personal tumbler than a blender jar.
Plus, it even has a large U-shaped plastic loop. You can attach it to your bag’s straps, if needed.
The 40-ounce container is made of sturdy shatter-resistant plastic, a satisfactory material for home use. It has thick walls with four contoured sides and a large handle for balanced handling and a spout for ease in pouring. It also has a rubbery lid that reduces the risk of spillage since it tightly clamps down over its top.
The blades are sharp and strong enough to cut through most solid ingredients. But it has a flaw that makes it less desirable!
Its blade assembly means that it’s quite challenging to clean manually. This is because its cutting edges, which can be fairly sharp even when it isn’t whirling, sit on a shallow bowl. You also have to unscrew it and clean the threads after every use since food fragments will become stuck in these areas.
Control Panel and Speed
The Vitamix S30 has a minimalist control panel – no frills, no fuss – so it has a sleek and stylish look. Its design makes it easy to understand even for someone who hasn’t used a Vitamix blender, as well as easy to operate out of the box. It has a circular dial on its front face that makes it easy to choose the blending speed.
Just twist the dial to the right and stop at whatever speed desired and then wait for it to finish the cycle automatically; there are 10 speeds to choose from. For the pulse function, turn the dial to the left from its off position.
The 840-peak-watt motor means that it has 1 horsepower, significantly less than that for other Vitamix blenders and for its competitors like Magic bullet, Blendtec and Ninja.
When the 40-ounce jar is on the motor base, the Vitamix S30 stands at about 15.7 inches. It’s then not taller than competing brands, meaning it can also be stored in a standard-sized cabinet or cupboard or placed on a countertop. With its sleek design, it will blend in with the rest of your modern kitchen appliances, in a good way.
The blender’s base is fairly large, nonetheless, although the jars themselves have a sleek form. The base itself takes up nearly two-thirds of its entire frame, meaning that it may well push the other kitchen appliances to the side. The motor housing has a monolithic appearance, too, although its glossy finish offsets it.
The base measures around 6 inches wide and 8 inches deep. The entire set weighs in at around 5 pounds, hefty but still manageable. Emphasis should also be made that while it’s significantly smaller than other Vitamix blenders, it isn’t tiny, far from it.
Functionality and Versatility
Making smoothies with Vitamix S30 was fairly easy. Just 10 to 15 pulses should do the trick in pulverizing solid ingredients, such as frozen blueberries, and liquid ingredients like orange juice and honey. You may have to use the tamping wand, however, in pushing down ingredients into the blades; these ingredients usually move to the sides of the jar during the blending process.
Note: If you pulse ingredients for 20-30 times, you’re likely getting an ultra-fine slurry.
Making juices is easy with this blender, too. It blends the liquid ingredients so well that the resulting drink is smooth and silky. You may have to remove seeds, skins and bits from certain fruits so as to avoid getting unpleasant textures.
Surprisingly, it isn’t easy to beat whipped cream with this blender, particularly if you’re looking for a lusciously rich texture. You may have to pulse between 40 and 60 times before getting the right consistency. But you can also choose the fastest speed (10) and let it run for 1 minute or so to get similar results.
Frozen yogurts, fortunately, are easy to whip up with this blender.
Baby food, dips and sauces are a cinch to make with Vitamix S30. Even a few pulses should be enough to pulverize cooked food and transform it into baby food.
Soup/ hot ingredients:
Despite its smaller size, this blender also warms up the blending ingredients through its blade’s friction. You can make warm soup from cooked ingredients in it and eat it immediately afterwards.
The strong action of the blade means that it can be used for both wet and dry chopping tasks. You may even use it for making coleslaw, perhaps even grating hard cheese quickly. You should ideally cut the ingredients into more manageable pieces, not to mention that you may not find the 20-ounce jar suitable for chopping purposes.
Nuts and seeds, such as almonds and peanuts, can be turned into nut butters using the Vitamix S30. This is quite surprising, too, considering that almond nuts are pretty hard to crack, literally.
Making batter for waffles, pancakes and cakes, among others, is as easy as pie with this blender. But it may not perform as well as expected when it comes to dough for breads and pizzas due to its firmer and thicker consistency.
Yet another minor flaw of Vitamix S30 is its relatively loud noise when in operation. If it’s any consolation, its noise is as loud as the larger Vitamix blenders.
You may or may not be bothered by the loud noise since we all have different tolerance levels. If you have a large kitchen, then it’s less bothersome, especially if you’ve already used larger blenders. But it may be a different matter in a small kitchen where the noise seems to echo across the room.
Ease of Using and Cleaning
The Vitamix S30 is easy to use mainly because there are no high-tech controls and blending modes. You can just refer to the suggested speed on the recipe book, turn the dial to the speed number or pulse function, and the blender will do the work.
But herein also lies yet another flaw. Its uncomplicated design means that you may have to adopt a trial and error method in finding the right speed and duration for whatever it is you’re making with the blender.
We’ve already said that it’s quite a challenge to clean this blender, mainly because of the need to unscrew the blade and clean the threads separately. But it’s also easy to clean certain parts by putting them in the dishwasher.
Warranty and Customer Support
The Vitamix S30 comes with a 5-year full warranty. This means that you can rely on Vitamix to provide parts and service in case of defects and repairs; terms and conditions apply.
You can also avail of the 30-day money back guarantee. Basically, if you’re not satisfied with its parts and performance, you can send it back and get a full refund.
The Vitamix S30 has a quite unique combination of blending power, quality materials, and versatile uses. It’s an efficient blender that can be used for making a wide range of smoothies, juices, frozen desserts and soups. Its blade design may pose a challenge in terms of cleaning it, but when it comes to effective blending, it does the job well.
If you’re looking for a personal blender for yourself or your family, then you may want to consider it. You can make small amounts of your favorite blended recipes, even take the concoction with you without transferring it to another container.