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.
Table of Contents
- 1 Functionality and Versatility
- 2 Speed Settings and Programs
- 3 Ease of Using and Cleaning
- 4 Base Unit and Motor Power
- 5 Containers
- 6 Blades
- 7 Special Features
- 8 Noise
- 9 Set Includes
- 10 Dimensions
- 11 Pros and Cons
- 12 Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Compact System Consumer Reviews
- 13 Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Compact System Price
- 14 Summary
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
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/Ninja Model||BL491||BL492||BL492W||BL493Z|
|Base Unit 1200 Watts/1.4HP||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|40 oz. Blend & Prep Bowl with Lid||1||1||1||1|
|48 oz. XL Multi-Serve Nutri Ninja||1||0||0||0|
|24 oz. Stainless Steel Cup||1||1||1||1|
|24 oz. Tritan Single Serve Cup||1||2||1||0|
|32 oz. Tritan Single Serve Cup||0||0||0||1|
|18 oz. Tritan Single Serve Cup||0||0||0||1|
|Sip & Seal Lids||2||3||2||3|
|Pro Extractor Blade for Single Serve Cups||1||1||1||1|
|Total Crushing Blade Tower Type Blades System||1||1||1||1|
|Inspiration Guide (with 30-Recipe)||yes||yes||yes||yes|
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
- 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;
- 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.
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.