Pros: Speedily makes uniformly minced food, mixed sauces, crushed grains, and even soup.
Cons: Seems like a very expensive blender but it does SO MUCH MORE.
We got our Vitamix Creations II blending machine as a gift from my mom and we thought it was an outrageously expensive blender. Hubby told her to send it back because no one needs a blender that costs so much. Then we learned how wrong we were...
Product Information: The Vitamix Creations II was purchased at QVC for $439.00, including shipping and handling. The machine came with a 48 ounce PBA-free plastic "jar", a 4 point "wet" blade made for liquids but functional for grains, a plastic spatula, a "tamper" thick plastic stick to move food around, a "Let's Get Started" instructional DVD with guide, and a "Vitamix Creations" cookbook. (There is a "dry" blade that has 2 points and 2 square edges for coffee, grains, and other dry goods that you can buy separately). The machine is 8 1/2" L x 8"W x 18"H so it fits on our counter and it's height clears the cabinet. This model, VM0103, has 120 V, 50/60HZ and 11.5 amps - the motor is strong enough to make dust out of whole grains. The cord wraps under the base for safety and a neat look. The base has 4 prongs that the jar sits on for stability. The cooling fan provides "Automatic Overload Protection" so the machine will shut itself off before overheating. (If that ever happens, just take a hairblower and set it on cool before aiming it at the center of the four prongs - this has never happened to me but it's good to know if I'm in the midst of cooking and need a quick solution.) To clean the jar, I just add a few drops of liquid soap and some water and put the machine on a low setting for half a minute and then rinse. You have to hand wash it but that's all it takes to clean it. It's made in the U.S. and has a five year manufacturer's warranty.
Product Use: I always start on a low number setting on "variable" speed and then increase the number setting or use the "high" blending speed. It is very easy to over-mince so build up to a higher speed - the first time I made mashed potatoes I accidently made glue soup! The center of the jar cover comes out so I can add food while the machine is running. I use the "tamper", a thick plastic stick that pushes food around so I don't have to shut the machine, take off the lid, and move food around the blade. It quickly cuts food - I was cooking and needed several pounds of minced carrots and it took me just a few minutes. While I'm cooking I can take hot veggies right from the pan and put it into the jar before blending it into a smooth sauce. I don't have any other machine that could do it so fast or so well. I've also made ice cream smoothies in the Vitamix because it demolishes ice cubes into frost in seconds.
Frequency of Use: When we first got the machine we didn't think we'd use it often because we hardly ever used a blender. But I put it next to our stove and often use it to whip up soups, sauces, juices, and batters. I would be lost if I had to chop and mince veggies and herbs by hand like I used to; I cook quicker and produce consistent food because I use the Vitamix. We owe mom an apology for thinking she wasted her money on what we thought was a hyped up blender!