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Ninja Blender and Food Processor System with 1200-Watt Review

ninja blender food processor

Nin­ja Blender and Food Proces­sor Sys­tem with 1200-Watt Auto-iQ Base is a rel­a­tive­ly new blender that was released at the end of 2015. It is avail­able in two pack­ages BL494 and BL492. That although they have an absolute­ly iden­ti­cal motor base and con­trol pan­el come with a dif­fer­ent selec­tion of con­tain­ers. The Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem has a few sim­i­lar­i­ties with the BL480 mod­el but comes with a more pow­er­ful motor, the addi­tion­al light food proces­sor bowl, and the larg­er selec­tion of con­tain­ers.

In the review below, you will find out not only about the dif­fer­ence between BL492 and BL494 mod­els but also about all the strong and weak sides of this pop­u­lar gad­get.

Alter­na­tive­ly, check our arti­cles the Best Blender Under the $200 or Oster Ver­sa 1100-watt (BLSTVB-103–000) Blender vs Nin­ja Blender and Food Proces­sor Sys­tem BL492/BL494.

Functionality and Versatility

Smooth­ie: The Nin­ja Blender and Food Proces­sor Sys­tem sin­gle-serve attach­ment makes fair­ly smooth drinks includ­ing the green smooth­ies with hard and leafy ingre­di­ents. The blender homog­e­nizes well nuts and chia seeds in drinks but unable to blend prop­er­ly berries leav­ing often unprocessed straw­ber­ry and blue­ber­ry seeds residues.

The 48 oz. jar is not able to make smooth smooth­ies leav­ing a few chunks of drinks and unprocessed food on the wall of a con­tain­er.

The 40 oz. bowl (used with tow­er food proces­sor style blades) pro­duces rather grainy drinks no mat­ter what func­tion is used and how many cycles are run. How­ev­er, the 40 oz. bowl is good at food pro­cess­ing jobs.

Juice: The Nin­ja Blender and Food Proces­sor Sys­tem does not include any juic­ing attach­ment and thus unable to make text­book juice that sep­a­rates the fiber from the liq­uid. But the sin­gle-serve attach­ment with enough liq­uid added is quite capa­ble pro­cess­ing fair­ly smooth smooth­ies aka “whole juice”.

Frozen ingredients/desserts: Both, the sin­gle-serve attach­ment and 40 oz. bowl crush­es eas­i­ly ice cubes and frozen ingre­di­ents into a snow-like con­sis­ten­cy with­out any liq­uid added. Thus, they both can pro­duce ice cream, frozen yogurts, and oth­er frozen desserts. No won­der, the process well the frozen ingre­di­ents with liq­uids added in smooth­ies and oth­er alco­holic and non-alco­holic drinks.

Puree­ing: The 40 oz. con­tain­er is designed to puree raw and cooked fruit and veg­gies well. It can eas­i­ly make hum­mus, pesto, mash pota­to, or baby food. The only prob­lem it does not have any tam­per and may require to stop blender man­u­al mix­ing and help­ing cre­ate a prop­er vor­tex.

The sin­gle-serve attach­ment is not very suit­able for puree­ing tasks.

Soup/ hot ingre­di­ents: The instruc­tions clear­ly state that the Nin­ja Blender and Food Proces­sor Sys­tem is not designed for pro­cess­ing hot liq­uids. So it is not suit­able for blend­ing hot ingre­di­ents for soups with­out pri­or cool­ing or mak­ing bul­let­proof cof­fee.

Chopping/food prep: The 40 oz. bowl is per­fect­ly capa­ble of chop­ping veg­gies for sal­sa, sal­ad mix­es, and mari­nades. The blender is able to shred cheese, grat­ed crumbs, and chop nuts.

Nut milk: The sin­gle-serve attach­ment is able to make decent nut milk but for the best qual­i­ty you may require to use a milk bag to strain the processed liq­uid.

Nut but­ter: Pro­cess­ing nuts into nut but­ter is a chal­leng­ing the tasks for even more pow­er­ful blenders than the Nin­ja Blender and Food Proces­sor Sys­tem. Besides, this task usu­al­ly requires using a tam­per for remov­ing air pock­ets and push­ing ingre­di­ents for a bet­ter vor­tex. This machine does not come with a tam­per. Thus, the blender is not able to make decent nut but­ter.

Dough/batter: The blender comes with the dough hook to use with the 40 oz. con­tain­er and are quite good at knead­ing dough, pie crust, and muf­fin bat­ter.

Grinding/milling: The blender is able to grind some flax­es or chia seeds and soft grains like oat. But not capa­ble of pro­duc­ing bak­ing qual­i­ty flour from tough grains. Sin­gle-serve con­tain­er grinds slight­ly bet­ter than 40 oz. con­tain­er.

Over­all, the Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem is a fair­ly ver­sa­tile blender. The sin­gle-serve cups are mak­ing decent smooth­ies and able to process even though ingre­di­ents well. The 40 oz. bowl with tow­er food proces­sor type blades add func­tion­al­i­ty to the blender and is good at light food pro­cess­ing tasks and knead­ing the dough. While the 48 oz. con­tain­er (BL491 mod­el) is designed for pro­cess­ing a larg­er amount of food for smooth­ies but it is so bad at these tasks that seem use­less.

Speed Settings and Programs

ninja-control-panel

Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem con­trol pan­el equipped with six but­tons – start/stop, pulse, low, chop, smooth boost, blend, and extract.

Start/Stop is pressed to run the High speed for 60 sec­onds or it could be used to stop any pro­gram before the set cycle time.

Pulse func­tion acti­vat­ed by hold­ing hold down the but­ton to run a high-speed burst of pow­er. It is a very use­ful func­tion to break the ice or chop veg­eta­bles.

The low but­ton ini­ti­ates 30 sec­onds low-speed cycle with auto­mat­ic shut off at the end of it. These func­tions are use­ful for pro­cess­ing thick mix­tures or knead­ing the dough.

The chop func­tion is pre-pro­grammed with timed puls­es and paus­es. It does not have auto shut off func­tions and ends the cycle man­u­al­ly by press­ing chop or start/stops but­tons when reached your desired con­sis­ten­cy. This func­tion is very use­ful for food prep jobs like sal­sa, chop­ping veg­gies, nuts, cheese, or meat.

Smooth Boost Yes/No is always used in con­junc­tion with Blend or Extract func­tions. Smooth Boost + Extract should be used when blend­ing hard, leafy, or fibrous ingre­di­ents like kale or cel­ery. Before using Extract you should choose Smooth Boost Yes or No, Yes for smoother, and No for tex­tured con­sis­ten­cy. Smooth Boost + Blend can be used for soft ingre­di­ents smooth­ies, shakes, pro­tein drinks, and frozen cock­tails. The same, before select­ing Blend you should choose Smooth Boost Yes or No for smooth or tex­tured con­sis­ten­cy.

So, the start/stop, low, Smooth Boost + Extract and Smooth Boost + Blend func­tions that run­time pre-set pro­grams are very con­ve­nient for those users who want to press a but­ton and come back for per­fect­ly blend­ed drinks with­out needs to mon­i­tor the process.

Ease of Using and Cleaning

Assembling/disassembling/operation: The 40 oz. con­tain­er comes with the tow­er-like sharp blade assem­bly, con­tain­er-lid, and con­tain­er-motor base lock­ing sys­tem, so it takes some skill to assemble/disassemble. The user has to:

  • Place the con­tain­er on the base unit align­ing the tab on the con­tain­er to the tab on that motor base and turn clock­wise until the click;
  • Posi­tion the tow­er type blades inside of the con­tain­er;
  • Fill the jar with ingre­di­ents that are not the eas­i­est task because the tow­er blade does not allow freely place ingre­di­ents;
  • Lock the lid the right way by push­ing down the lever and seal it;
  • The Nin­ja con­trol pan­el will iden­ti­fy which con­tain­er is con­nect­ed to the motor base by illu­mi­nat­ing appro­pri­ate lights.

The secure­ly locked lid is quite incon­ve­nient dur­ing the use because it does not allow to add extra ingre­di­ents or mix food when need­ed with­out stop­ping a blender and open­ing the lid.

Assembling/disassembling the sin­gle-serve cup and the 48 oz. con­tain­er is a sim­pler task and just requires:

  • Add ingre­di­ents to the cup or con­tain­er;
  • Screw tight­ly the Pro Extrac­tor blade assem­bly;
  • Turn the cup/48 oz. con­tain­er upside down and place onto the motor base align­ing the tabs on the cup with the motor base;
  • Rotate clock­wise until you hear a click;
  • Once the cup is locked, the pro­grams avail­able for the attach­ment will illu­mi­nate;
  • Ones you fin­ish blend­ing, remove the blade sys­tem and screw instead of the Sip & Seal lid and it is ready to take out.

Clean­ing: The Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem is not dif­fi­cult to clean. The 40 oz., 48 oz. con­tain­ers, all Tri­tan sin­gle-serve cups, and blade assem­blies are top-rack dish­wash­er safe, only stain­less steel cups and Sip & Seal lid are hand wash only.

How­ev­er, after blend­ing thick or stub­born ingre­di­ents you bet­ter apply­ing a self-clean­ing pro­ce­dure – add few drops of soap with halfway of water in a con­tain­er and run for 60 sec­onds then rinse and dry.

Base Unit and Motor Power

Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem motor base is made of plas­tic and comes with a pow­er­ful 1200 watts motor enough for per­form­ing light to heavy duties. It has the suc­tion cups that make this gad­get sta­ble on a counter dur­ing the oper­a­tion.

The blender is also equipped with a safe­ty sys­tem that pre­vents dam­age to the motor and dri­ve sys­tem. So if it is over­loaded, the auto­mat­ic shut off will stop the motor.

How­ev­er, the gad­get has a weak fea­ture. The plas­tic-made motor with blades cou­pling includ­ing the sock­et and gear makes this machine not very durable.

Containers

Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem comes with a selec­tion of con­tain­ers depend­ing on the mod­el:

  • The 40 oz. poly­car­bon­ate Blend & Prep Bowl with a secure­ly locked lid that could be used as a food proces­sor, dough mix­er or for pro­cess­ing smooth­ies (all mod­els);
  • The 48 oz. poly­car­bon­ate XL Mul­ti-Serve upside down (bul­let type) con­tain­er (BL491 mod­el only) is intend­ed for pro­cess­ing a large por­tion of drinks (BL491 mod­el only);
  • The 24 oz. sin­gle serve dou­ble-walled stain­less steel cup that keeps frozen drinks cold­er for up to 4 hours (all mod­els);
  • The 24 oz. sin­gle serve high-qual­i­ty Tri­tan co-poly­ester cup (BL491, BL492, and BL492w mod­els);
  • The 18 oz. sin­gle serve high-qual­i­ty Tri­tan co-poly­ester cup (BL493z mod­el only);
  • The 32 oz. sin­gle serve high-qual­i­ty Tri­tan co-poly­ester cup (BL493z mod­el only);
  • The inter­change­able between all sin­gle-serve cups Sip & Seal Lids that are spills free and allow secu­ri­ty to take the drinks out.

It must be men­tioned, that the 48 oz. con­tain­er is not very well design and not able to cre­ate prop­er vor­tex dur­ing blend­ing thus tends to leave a few unprocessed pieces of food in drinks.

Check here the best today’s deal for the Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem BL492

Blades

The Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem comes with 2 blades assem­bly and dough hook:

  • The Total Crushing/Chopping blades have a food proces­sor design with 6 stain­less steel sharp blades stag­gered around the plas­tic tow­er. The blades are only used with 40 oz. Blend & Prep Bowl.
  • Pro Extrac­tor Blade assem­bly is inter­change­able between all sin­gle-serve cups and 48 oz. con­tain­er. It has stan­dards design with 4‑prongs stain­less steel blades attached to the plas­tic assem­bly.
  • The dough hook is made of plas­tic and fits into 40 oz. jar only for mix­ing dough and bat­ters.

Special Features

Col­ors: The Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem avail­able only in one col­or black and sil­ver.

Cer­ti­fied Refur­bished: There are no cer­ti­fied refur­bished blenders cur­rent­ly avail­able for these mod­els.

Use in coun­tries out­side of USA/Canada: The BL491, BL492, BL492W, and BL493Z mod­els come with a 110–120 volt­age sys­tem for use only in the USA/Canada and oth­er regions with appro­pri­ate volt­age sys­tems. The blender could be used over the volt­age trans­former. How­ev­er, the 220–240 volt­age ver­sions of these mod­els are avail­able in many Euro­pean coun­tries and the UK. Whilst still unavail­able in Aus­tralia.

If you are not still sure about The Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem then check our arti­cles:

Best Blender Under the $200 and

Oster Ver­sa 1100-watt (BLSTVB-103–000) Blender vs Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem BL942/BL492.

Noise

The Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem is very noisy and the user has to be real­ly mind­ful of neigh­bors and home dwellers when using this blender ear­ly in the morn­ing. It out­puts over 100 deci­bels when blend­ing iced ingre­di­ents.

The clas­si­cal advice for noise reduc­tion when using the blender to place a rub­ber mat under the base unit.

War­ran­ty and Cus­tomer Ser­vice

The Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem comes with an only 1‑year lim­it­ed war­ran­ty. The lim­it­ed means that cus­tomers will be charged an extra pay­ment for repair and replace­ment ship­ping. Some replace­ment parts can also require pay­ing extra.

The Nin­ja blenders are known to be not very durable with mod­est cus­tomer ser­vice.

Option­al Acces­sories and Attach­ments

There is a few option­al acces­sories and attach­ment avail­able for the Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem BL491/BL492/BL492W/BL493Z via the man­u­fac­tur­er or oth­er online retail­ers:

  • The large 72 oz. con­tain­er with 64 oz. max liq­uid capac­i­ty and blade assem­bly;
  • 12 oz., 18 oz. and 32 oz. Tri­tan copoly­ester and 24 stain­less steel sin­gle-serve cup;
  • 12 tbsp. Spice & Cof­fee Grinder.

The replace­ment con­tain­ers and blade assem­blies are also avail­able to buy from many online retail­ers.

Set Includes

Set Includes/Ninja Mod­elBL491BL492BL492WBL493Z
Base Unit 1200 Watts/1.4HPyesyesyesyes
40 oz. Blend & Prep Bowl with Lid1111
48 oz. XL Mul­ti-Serve Nutri Nin­ja1000
24 oz. Stain­less Steel Cup1111
24 oz. Tri­tan Sin­gle Serve Cup1210
32 oz. Tri­tan Sin­gle Serve Cup0001
18 oz. Tri­tan Sin­gle Serve Cup0001
Sip & Seal Lids2323
Pro Extrac­tor Blade for Sin­gle Serve Cups1111
Total Crush­ing Blade Tow­er Type Blades Sys­tem1111
Dough Hook1111
Inspi­ra­tion Guide (with 30-Recipe)yesyesyesyes
Own­er’s man­u­alyesyesyesyes

Dimensions

The Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem has quite a large foot­print of 7.80 inch­es X 8.80 inch­es and will occu­py some space on your counter. Thus, the blender will fit under most of the kitchen cab­i­nets with the 40 oz. con­tain­er on the top of the base unit height of 15.50 inch­es. It is a light­weight machine and weighs only 7.40 pounds.

How­ev­er, mul­ti­ple attach­ments that are not real­ly stack­ing into each oth­er for easy stor­age will require con­sid­er­able space in your kitchen for stor­age.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • The Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem comes with a selec­tion of sin­gle-serve cups which is very handy for mak­ing quick drinks and tak­ing them out;
  • The blender crush­es ice into the snow like con­sis­ten­cy with­out liq­uid added;
  • The blender includes good qual­i­ty Tri­tan and stain­less steels sin­gle-serve con­tain­ers;
  • The machine is fair­ly ver­sa­tile with the sin­gles serve attach­ment and food proces­sor acces­sories;

Cons:

  • Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem machine is rather over­priced for sin­gle-serve upside-down type blender with lim­it­ed func­tion­al­i­ty food pro­cess­ing attach­ments;
  • The blender comes with so much pack­ag­ing mate­r­i­al;
  • The Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem does not han­dle hot liq­uids;
  • Mul­ti­ple attach­ments need a lot of place for stor­age;
  • The 48 oz. jar does not do the job it is sup­posed to do.

Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Compact System Consumer Reviews

Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem is very pop­u­lar with the con­sumers. This machine has the sin­gle-serve attach­ment for blend­ing drinks and a large bowl for food pro­cess­ing tasks. No won­der, all Nin­ja sin­gle-serve blenders are fair­ly well-made and pro­cess­ing qual­i­ty drinks while the coun­ter­top Nin­ja blenders with tow­er type blades are bet­ter at ice crush­ing and food pro­cess­ing tasks and not so good at blend­ing smooth­ies.

Besides, this blender unlike oth­er comes with pre­mi­um qual­i­ty Tri­tan co-poly­ester cups, so it has few­er com­plaints and bet­ter reviews.

Ama­zon rat­ing — 4.6

Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Compact System Price

The price for the Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem mod­els varies with dif­fer­ent retail­ers. The BL491 mod­el with the larg­er selec­tion of con­tain­ers is most expen­sive and priced with­in the $150-$190. The BL492 mod­el is sold at $135-$150. The BL492W you can grab for $100-$130. While the BL493Z for $135-$140. Ama­zon offers the best prices and selec­tion of mod­els.

Check here the best today’s deal for the Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem BL492 Blender 

Summary

The Nutri Nin­ja Auto-IQ Com­pact Sys­tem (BL491/BL492/BL492W/BL493Z) is a good blender option for those who keen on the Nin­ja brand. The blender comes with a nice sin­gle-serve attach­ment that makes good qual­i­ty drinks and 40 oz. bowls for light to mod­er­ate food pro­cess­ing tasks. The major strength of this gad­get is the abil­i­ty to process ice up to a snow-like con­sis­ten­cy. But it also has some of the com­mon Nin­ja weak­ness­es — the plas­tic gear and rel­a­tive­ly mod­er­ate life expectan­cy. These par­tic­u­lar machine’s upgrade com­pares to oth­er Nin­ja mod­els is the good qual­i­ty sin­gle-serve con­tain­ers.

 

How­ev­er, if you are not sure about this blender you can alter­na­tive­ly check our arti­cles the Best Blender Under the $200 or Oster Ver­sa 1100-watt (BLSTVB-103–000) Blender vs Nutri Nin­ja Auto-iQ Com­pact Sys­tem BL942/BL492.

 

Posted in Ninja Reviews

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