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Gear Guide: The Best Blender for Your Buck

Gear Guide: The Best Blender for Your Buck


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Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

We like the Cuisinart Velocity Ultra ($100) for its powerful motor that can crush ice for our Raspberry-Lime Rickey Slushies just as easily as it blends hearty ingredients like fresh kale to smooth perfection. This blender handles big jobs, too: The lightweight, BPA-free plastic jar holds up to 7 cups, making it possible to puree soups like our Golden Gazpacho all in one batch.


SPY Guide: The 5 Best Blenders for Your Home Bar

* You can make more than just smoothies in a high-performance blender
* Puree food, make a frozen cocktail, or even soup
* Whether you&rsquore looking for less noise or a quicker blend, there&rsquos a blender for you

Whether you’re a daily smoothie drinker or an occasional margarita consumer, a multi-functional blender is an essential device for any home bar or kitchen. Your blender should be large enough for hosting parties and guests, easy to clean, and should have a range of speed settings and pulsing options for different recipes. Here are some of the best blending devices for an excellent spiked slushie or a green smoothie in a pinch.


Are breakfast smoothies good for weight loss?

A plant based breakfast smoothie, when made the right way, can help the body burn fat as well as build muscle. Most ‘breakfast foods’ in grocery stores today (I’m looking at you, colorful cereal aisle), contain complex, or refined carbs. And no, you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy these! I’m technically a plant powered foodie. I eat mostly plants, yet won’t say no to a slice of NY style pizza or homemade ice cream.

Refined carbs found in most cereals typically lead to:

  • A quick surge of energy, then a sugar crash such as Type II Diabetes and heart disease
  • Multiple, unknown ingredients that are overly processed
  • Unhealthy increases in weight

Thankfully, there’s a better way to breakfast.

Creating a healthy breakfast smoothie

A breakfast protein smoothie can provide sustainable energy without the crash through simple, whole food carbs. They also contain necessary fiber to break down those carbs, along with healthy fats.

These natural fats help the body feel full, minimizing cravings throughout the day. Breakfast smoothies for weight loss are super easy to create, taste incredible, and are for real healthy. Kale yeah!

The 4 recipes highlighted below are delicious, yet don’t be afraid to create your own breakfast smoothies too! Here are a few tips to becoming a smoothie creating machine.

  • Follow the 1.5-1-1 rule: this means 1.5 cups of fruit, 1 cup leafy greens, 1 cup liquid
  • To stay full longer + have sustainable energy boost that smoothie with a healthy fat + protein
  • Use seasonal fruits as well as veggies to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to nutrients

Kickstart healthy habits through food

Another way to kick-start healthy eating habits is by utilizing whole foods to help the body reset. Check out my Thrive 7-Day Reset for a week-long cleanse that will get you on your way to whole body health. I don’t believe in weight loss through deprivation, instead I want to fuel my body the right way through energy-filled food.


50 Things We Want This Week: Memorial Day Sales, New Bourbon, Grills, And More

We are back again with all of the latest Things We Want in 2021, the best men’s gear out there right now. This is a weekly gear guide of the newest and best gear for guys and it includes everything from gadgets to accessories, apparel to whiskey, affordable items and some outrageous finds that caught my attention.

I like to editorialize the weekly ‘Things We Want‘ as little as possible but it’s important to call out some items in depth. This weekly gear guide also includes my daily Everyday Carry Essentials features so be sure to scroll all the way through so you don’t miss any of the latest and greatest gear for men! If you know of a product that you think should be featured in my weekly Gear Guide then feel free to hit me up via email at [email protected].

Traeger Ironwood 885

Bros, consider this your heads up that after not having a smoker for the past six months I’m now officially back in the game thanks to my new Traeger Ironwood 885 Smoker. This is easily the best smoker/grill I’ve ever owned and frankly it’s not even a close competition.

I plan on publishing an extensive review of the Traeger Ironwood 885 in the coming days but wanted to put this on your radar now for anyone who is looking to make a decision on a new smoker in the near future. The first two things I’ve made were a 16-pound Prime Rib Roast that my family claims is one of the best cuts of meat I’ve ever smoked and the other was an incredible pork loin.

I have some more recipes I want to make before doing my full review but the functionality of this smoker has completely blown me away. The ability to control the temperature and set temp schedules through the Traeger app and the smoker’s WiFIRE Technology is incredible. I went golfing last Sunday with my dad while the Prime Rib Roast was smoking (500 for 30 minutes, 300 for 4.5 hours) and was able to monitor everything from my phone while I was on the golf course (wife was still at home). The Traeger Ironwood 885 makes me want to repeat the phrase ‘The Future Is Now’. Check it out at that ‘shop now’ link below!

George Dickel Bottled In Bond Spring Vintage

The new George Dickel Bottled in Bond from Cascade Hollow Distilling Co. began hitting shelves this month and it’s nothing short of spectacular. I’ll explain a few reasons why you should go out of your way to find this release. First and foremost, the price. Its suggested retail is $44.99 which I believe makes it the best bang for your buck Bottled-in-Bond release on the market. Beyond that is every reason you would expect.

This limited-edition 13-year-old BiB came from Spring 2007. It follows Dickel’s award-winning Fall 2005 and Fall 2008 limited runs. It is bottled at 100-proof and best enjoyed neat or on the rocks, but it also lends itself perfectly to making a Manhattan cocktail.

This marks the first Spring vintage in George Dickel’s Bottled-in-Bond series but like the others it has nutty flavors, notes of cherry, and the mashbill of 84% corn, 8% rye and 8% malted barley comes together in perfect harmony before being chill charcoal mellowed like all of George Dickel’s whiskeys. Hit that ‘shop now’ button below to look for it on Drizly!

Stix Golf Clubs

While the big-name brands out there have the top of the market saturated for the more experienced players and those that just have to get their hands on the newest clubs each year, Stix has the market cornered for the casual golfer that wants aesthetically pleasing, better quality clubs that won’t break the bank.

You could spend countless hours online just searching for the driver you want to purchase, and more often than not, the casual golfer is going to gravitate toward the most expensive one on the market because a higher price point has to mean it’s the best option for every player, even for someone that may not even play 10 rounds per year. That same mindset would likely ring true for every other club in the bag, this is where the beauty of Stix Golf truly shines.

You can follow that ‘shop now’ button below to visit the Stix Golf website, or you can click here to read our full review on these incredible clubs.

Happy Hour Hero

To give you an idea of how good this whiskey is, they submitted it in an unmarked bottle to the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and it’s already been awarded a Double Gold medal in a blind taste test. The judges tasted it and immediately demanded answers, that’s how good it is.

The whiskey itself is 10-Year Aged Heaven’s Door Bourbon that is finished in Redbreast’s world-renowned Single Pot Still Casks for 15 months. The flavors come together in pursuit of flavor perfection. This 100-proof Master Blenders’ Edition is perfect for hosting your next happy hour.

It has complex dark red fruit notes on the nose and on the palate you’ll get smooth notes of raisin, buttery goodness, walnut, nougat, and marzipan. The finish lingers with a touch of honeya= and Irish honeycomb sweetness. Check it out at the link below!

Classic Reimagined Movie Posters

The Sandgrain Studio in Texas has taken a minimalist approach to these reimagined movie posters of classic films (and instant classics). Don’t get caught up in the word ‘classic’ here. Just because some of these movies aren’t decades old it doesn’t mean they weren’t instant classics.

To purchase any of these minimalist reimagined movie posters, you can follow those links below or click on that interactive image above!

Each of these retails for between $50 to $60, they are made in San Antonio, Texas, and printed on thick artisan paper with a matte finish. The Giclée print has incredibly rich colors and sharp contrast which will add some instant sophistication to your man cave.

[1] The Big Lebowski [Buy Now]

[2] Inglourious Basterds in Red/Cream [Buy Now]

[3] Tombstone in Orange/Cream [Buy Now]

[4] No Country for Old Men [Buy Now]

Essential Everyday Carry Accessories

These ten essential everyday carry accessories were carefully chosen to improve your life today. This collection of EDC gear includes apparel, accessories, and gadgets for every guy.

New Swim Shorts For Summer 2021

With Summer on our doorstep. it’s time to load up on the best new swim shorts of 2021. These men’s swim trunks were chosen because they are as stylish as they are functional.

To purchase any of the swim shorts you see here all you need to do is click the interactive image above. If something catches your eye and you want to learn more about each product then all you need to do is click through to learn more.

Memorial Day Weekend has nearly arrived. Load up on swim shorts now for crushing the beach, pool, river, boat, and tiki bar! Then you can rock your new shorts all Summer long.

Essentials For Staying Fit, Active, And Ready

Our friends over at Janji Running have launched a huge Memorial Day Weekend sale on their newest running gear and best sellers. I’ve featured two of my favorite pieces here (shirt + shorts) but they have some WILD designs on their site that you guys will love. Just follow the links below to pop on over to Janji and browse their latest daily essentials.

Heavens Doors x Redbreast The Master Blenders’ Edition

I had the good fortune of doing a virtual tasting this week with Heaven’s Door master blender Ryan Perry and Billy Leighton of Redbreast Irish Whiskey. Ryan and Billy shared their new Heavens Doors x Redbreast The Master Blenders’ Edition with me. This is the first-ever collaboration for these brands and it’s truly astounding.

To give you an idea of how good this whiskey is, they submitted it in an unmarked bottle to the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and it’s already been awarded a Double Gold medal in a blind taste test. The judges tasted it and immediately demanded answers, that’s how good it is.

The whiskey itself is 10-Year Aged Heaven’s Door Bourbon that is finished in Redbreast’s world-renowned Single Pot Still Casks for 15 months. The flavors come together in pursuit of flavor perfectioin. I have lots of notes from the tasting and will have a longer review coming in the near future but I wanted to put this on your radar because you can try and pre-order a bottle by hitting that ‘shop now’ button below and heading over to ReserveBar.

Living Your Best Life All Summer

The last of the everyday carry accessories we see here are the Bajío Nippers Sunglasses w/ Permit Green Glass [$249]. They come with glass or poly lenses, six different lens color choices to match the conditions, and four different frames to choose from.

These are wraparound sunglasses built for serious anglers but they look stylish for everyday use. The Nippers feature wide, curved lenses to give anglers a rich field of vision. They block blue light which reduces eye strain even on the brightest Bahamian days.

Save Up To 35% In Huckberry’s MDW Sale

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of Summer and each year brings opportunities for savings when shopping online. Huckberry’s annual Memorial Day Sale just kicked off. Guys can save up to 35% on the hottest men’s gear of the year.

This year’s Memorial Day Sale from Huckberry includes some deals that are too good to pass up. I haven’t included all of the deals here because they’ve slashed the prices on hundreds of items. But I have included some of the hottest MDW sales available.

Here’s a quick rundown of the Memorial Day Weekend Sales/Deals with a few hand-picked items below:

  • Memorial Day Weekend Sale – up to 35% off
  • Faherty – up to 30% off
  • Rhodes Footwear – up to 45% off
  • Joggers – up to 30% off
  • Lounge Shorts – up to 30% off
  • Father’s Day Gift Ideas – up to 35% off
  • Jackets / Outerwear – up to 30% off
  • Astorflex Leather Footwear- up to 30% off
  • Turkish Towels – 45% off
  • Lightweight Stretch Chinos – 30% off
  • Forty-Five Tees – 3 for $95
  • 365 Shorts – 2 for $108
  • Unlined Waxed Trucker – 30% off

Fish Print Carabiner Key Hooks

I had to put these keychains from Whiskey Leatherworks on your radar today. These are perfect for any fishermen and outdoorsmen out there.

Whether you’re looking to buy yourself a new keychain or you’re buying a gift for someone else, you can choose from the Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, or Brook Trout pattern. They’re all the same price and retail for $29.

Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Madeira Casks

The Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Madeira Casks is one of the greatest and most sought-after whiskeys on the annual calendar. If you want this one, you need to act fast. And trust me, you REALLY REALLY do want this one.

Between May 21 and May 25, Angel’s Envy 500 Main members can enter a lottery to purchase a bottle. 600 bottles will be made available to the 500 Main members. You can learn more about 500 Main right here if you’re not familiar. Beginning on June 6, limited quantities will be made available to the public (1 per customer) in KY, NY, CA, FL, TN, IL and TX.

This is the third release in the Angel’s Envy Cellar Collection led by Wes Henderson and his sons. It’s bottled at 100-proof and I’ll have full tasting notes for you next week but I wanted to ensure you guys got out there and tried to enter now before the lottery closes!

Stix Golf Clubs

While the big-name brands out there have the top of the market saturated for the more experienced players and those that just have to get their hands on the newest clubs each year, Stix has the market cornered for the casual golfer that wants aesthetically pleasing, better quality clubs that won’t break the bank.

You could spend countless hours online just searching for the driver you want to purchase, and more often than not, the casual golfer is going to gravitate toward the most expensive one on the market because a higher price point has to mean it’s the best option for every player, even for someone that may not even play 10 rounds per year. That same mindset would likely ring true for every other club in the bag, this is where the beauty of Stix Golf truly shines.

You can follow that ‘shop now’ button below to visit the Stix Golf website, or you can click here to read our full review on these incredible clubs.

Lululemon Spring New Releases For Guys

Lululemon has released some incredible pieces for men recently and I wanted to put a few of them on your radar. This isn’t just lip service like ‘hey, check these out’. I own several of these pieces and they’re some of the best things I’ve owned this year. To learn more about each product, you can follow the links below!

Customized Deejo Pocket Knives

It’s about that time of year when every single guy gets outside to explore. But, as we all know, you’ve got to have the right tools before adventuring for a day, night or an entire weekend, right? Obviously.

That’s why Deejo Knives is here, as their fully-customized, high-grade pocket knives are the ideal way to upgrade your everyday carry. So whether you’re looking to fix something around the house, are looking to tackle the great outdoors this spring, or just on the hunt for the best gift to give a soon-to-be graduate, Deejo has one-of-a-kind designs to make things unique.

Are you looking to limit, reduce, or eliminate your coffee intake? TEMPO’s got you covered with their F*ck Coffee Nootropics Brain Support Supplement. It was engineered to be an effective alternative to coffee and other stimulants by boosting focus. It’s cleaner than energy drinks and it promotes all-day energy, improved memory, enhanced creativity, elevated mood, and it’s crash-free.

The blend of Rhodiola rosea extract, Coffeeberry Energy, NeuroFactor Coffee Extract, and TeaCrine are ideal for rapid absorption. This is a newly-released item and you can pick it up on Amazon by clicking here or hitting that ‘shop now‘ button below.

4 CBD Products To Treat Common Problems: Hangovers, Recovery, Sleep, Energy

I wanted to throw some of the Best CBD products available on your radar today so I figured I’d include four of them and each with a different focus. First up is the Sunday Scaries Dynamic Duo which includes one bottle of gummies and one bottle of their Vegan AF formula and this is one of the best CBD treatments for hangovers out there today. Second, we see the Nanocraft CBD CBD Pain Salve Stick which is one of the top CBD products for recovery. In this instance, that’s referring to pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and appetite-regulating properties. Check it out!

On the bottom row, we’ve got the Honey Oil CBD Capsules 25mg 10 Pack which are one of the best CBD Sleep treatments you can find anywhere and they’re absolutely delicious. Check these out and thank me later. Lastly, we see the Rebel Morning Boost Formula (1000mg) which are a CBD treatment for boosting energy throughout the day by strengthening the parts of your body (cells) that are dragging you down. Give it a look!

The BroBible team writes about gear that we think you want. Occasionally, we write about items that are a part of one of our affiliate partnerships and we will get a percentage of the revenue from sales.


Base Unit and Motor Power

The E310 and E320 Explo­ri­an mod­els come with iden­ti­cal­ly designed base units and sim­i­lar pow­er­ful Vita­mix 2.2HP (1464 watts) and 12 Amps motors . The base exte­ri­or design car­ries out some fea­tures from both Clas­sic and Ascent Vita­mix models.

The min­i­mal­is­tic Explo­ri­an E310 and E320 mod­els have the Pow­er On/Off switch on the bot­tom of the base unit, but unlike the pre­mi­um clas­sic Vita­mix Pro 750 and 7500 mod­els do not light up the con­trol pan­el when the pow­er is on. While the curvy Ascent fea­tures allow the Explo­ri­an mod­el to use the con­ve­nient tam­per hold­er accessory.

The machine base is heavy and well made it also very stur­dy and does not trav­el across the counter even at the high­est speed. Both E310 and E320 gad­gets are equipped with radi­al cool­ing fan and ther­mal pro­tec­tion that means the blenders auto­mat­i­cal­ly stop oper­at­ing if the motor is over­heat­ed or over­loaded. The ther­mal pro­ces­sion sys­tem is usu­al­ly present in tall high-end blenders and designed for extend­ing the blender life expectancy.

The Vita­mix E310 and E320 motor have a ball bear­ing tech­nol­o­gy design that means it deliv­ers effi­cient pow­er and reduces wear of the motor, ensur­ing its fan­tas­tic dura­bil­i­ty. No won­der the Vita­mix machines out­per­form blenders with much high wattage. As the blender per­for­mance depends not only on the motor wattage but also on the set of fac­tors such as motor tech­nol­o­gy, derive con­nec­tion con­struc­tion, blades design, and the pitch­er com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors such as the motor’s design, dri­ve con­nec­tions, jar shape, and the blade technology.

P.S.The Vita­mix web­site has a bit of mis­lead­ing infor­ma­tion regard­ing the E310 and E320 motors. It is say­ing that E310 has a 2.0HP motor while E320 has a 2.2HP motor. How­ev­er, their blenders base indi­cates the same VM0197 motor mod­el, which cor­re­sponds to the 2.2HP. I con­tact­ed Vita­mix, and they con­firmed that E310 and E320 machines both have 2.2HP motors.


What to consider when shopping for blenders

  • Blades: While it seems counter-intuitive, better performing blenders do not come with sharp blades (which tend to dull overtime). Instead, they come with strong blades that stand the test of time and are able to pulverize just about anything. This also makes them much safer to clean.
  • Size: If you don't want to keep your blender on your countertop, look for a lightweight model. They're more portable, but also more likely to move around on the countertop when in use. If you plan to keep your blender on the counter, you may also want to consider the height as some models are too tall to fit neatly underneath kitchen cabinets.
  • Glass vs. plastic: Glass is heavier, but won&rsquot retain odors or stain as easily as plastic models. Most high-powered blenders do not use glass jars because they're not guaranteed to be completely shatterproof, but if you really want glass, look for one that&rsquos been thermal shock tested (which means you can blend ice in a canister that's come straight from the dishwasher). Many of our top performing blenders have jars made of BPA-free Tritan plastic which can withstand the high-speed blades.
  • Wattage: Though the blenders with higher wattage tended to perform better, this was not always the case. The overall design of the blender is more important in determining performance.

It&rsquos a cult fave for a reason: Short of cleaning your kitchen there's nothing the showpiece Vitamix can't do. With pro-quality precision and control, it can make everything from perfectly smooth nut butters to hearty soups and more. The ultra powerful motor has 10 variable speed settings and its heavy duty base won't easily move on the counter when in use. The controls are intuitive and fuss-free and this machine excelled in every one of our Kitchen Appliances Lab tests, easily grinding coffee beans and whirling up milkshakes and margs in seconds. It's an investment, but you won't find a better-performing more durable pick at a fraction of the cost of other Vitamix models. It's only limitations are the steep price tag and the container is on the small side at just six cups.

This well-priced and high-powered blender comes with three jars: a 64-ounce pitcher for large batches, and two different personal-sized cups (32 ounces and 24 ounces with a handle.) Both cups have lids that make it easy to take your smoothie to-go. It features an &ldquoextract&rdquo button that blends smoothies in preprogrammed variable speeds. We blended kale smoothies in all three jars &ndash there were no flecks to be tasted! It also blasted through frozen strawberries effortlessly to make a delicious, evenly processed daiquiri. The base is not much larger than previous NutriBullet bases and it has suction cups on the bottom that reliably prevent it from shifting around. Just remember to unscrew the personal blending cups from the base instead of the cups--it&rsquos easy to accidentally make a mess.

The Oster My Blend blender is our top recommendation for making smoothies or protein shakes to take on the go. Drinks can be blended directly in the sport bottle, meaning no extra dishes to do. Simply fill the jar with ingredients, twist on to blend, replace the blade with the lid, and you're off. This machine is really limited to smoothies and protein shakes and it doesn't perform well with tough leafy greens.

This pretty blender claims to blend &ldquoeven the toughest ingredients, from kale to almonds'' and it passed our test with flying colors &ndash we couldn&rsquot taste the kale in our smoothie, it crushed ice into snow-like consistency, and it even blended chia seeds smoothly. It features easy-to-use presets for crushing ice, smoothies, and icy drinks. Plus, a little soap and water added to the self-clean cycle makes sure no food bits are left behind in hard-to-reach spots. In our tests we noticed that the &ldquoStart&rdquo button is a little small and sometimes needed to be pressed several times to activate. We love its sleek design and lower price point compared to similar high-powered blenders. You can pick from a variety of fun colors.

Soup fans, look no further: Instant Pot's first foray into the blender category doesn't just pulverize fruit for smoothies: It's able to heat food inside the blender jar to temps upwards of 200°F, making it the ideal tool for processing foods like homemade soup, soy milk, or rice milk. It was able to get super hot when cooking and comes with pre-programmed settings for making ice cream, nut milk, purees, and more. It wasn't the best performer when crushing ice or hard foods like kale.

This is the blender for when you are tight on space, but don&rsquot want to compromise on performance and options. In our tests, the rotary dial controls to be easy to use (for low, high, and pulse), the measurement markings are clear, and the jar is easy to grip and get on and off of the base. It features a 32-ounce jar and two 16-ounce travel cups with lids (one&rsquos a single-wall, the other a double-wall, perfect for keeping your smoothie cold). It made great margaritas and milkshakes, but our smoothies had flecks of fruit and ice left behind. Keep in mind that getting the blade and off can be a little tricky &mdash to twist on, turn left and to twist off, turn right.

This highly popular Cuisinart blender/food processor combo has a low-profile 40-ounce glass jar, which has the benefit of not discoloring, scratching or absorbing food smells like a plastic jar may. This 500-watt blender is not the most high-powered. It features seven blending and processing options that are clearly marked and easy to use. We love that it comes with a compact food processor for chopping, stirring, and even shredding. All parts are dishwasher-safe.

We love this smart combination appliance for blending or juicing! The juicer attachment works just like Breville&rsquos popular centrifugal juicer that performed very well in our juicer test &ndash it juiced apples, carrots, kale, and celery without any pulp. It aced our separation test in which we store the juice in the fridge for three days to see if and how much the juices separate. The blender is powerful and makes thick smoothies. In our tests, we had to experiment with the blender speed to achieve drinkable smoothies.

The Vitamix brand has a strong following and we were impressed too. This blender performed exceptionally well at grinding coffee beans and blending milkshakes and smoothies. It has a 64-ounce jar, one of the largest we evaluated and perfect for large batches. Best of all, it was both powerful and quiet at the same time. We found the touchscreen controls easy to use, the jar fits on the base nicely, the handle is comfortable to grip, and the lid comes on and off effortlessly. The jar is not dishwasher safe, but the lid, plug, and tamper are. It can also connect to an app on your phone wirelessly &ndash the app provides 17(!) programs to make smoothies, baby food, and nut butters, and even for grinding, chopping, frothing, and cleaning. It comes with an impressive ten year standard warranty. We also tested and highly recommend this similarly priced Vitamix.

Unlock exclusive content and money-saving deals with our all-access membership program.LEARN MORE


  • Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Power: 670 watts
  • Dimensions: 8 x 9 x 17.25 inches

The KitchenAid 5-Speed 650 Series Blender was one of the kitchen giant’s most popular and well-loved models. The blender has a fairly small kitchen footprint, but its 670 watt motor, 56-ounce pitcher and patented stainless steel blade system can tackle most blending jobs, from making smoothies to crushing ice.


Winning Recipes from The World Champion Squirrel Cook Off

The World Championship Squirrel Cookoff is an eccentric event, complete with live music, funnel cakes, squirrel costumes, and the best squirrel you ever ate. It takes place every fall in Bentonville, Arkansas. The competition attracts both wannabe and bona fide squirrel chefs from around the country. Up to 40 teams compete each year, going head to head for the title “World’s Greatest Squirrel Chef.”

The winning teams last year, Nutty Cheeks Squirrel Squad, Big Time Barbecue, and Rawhide Nut Pirates, took home first, second, and third respectively. Here’s what they prepared and how you can replicate their squirrelly dishes.

1 st Place: Braised Squirrel Tacos – Nutty Cheeks Squirrel Squad of Kansas City, Missouri

Special Equipment: Blender, large saucepan, large pot
Time: 5 hours
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients
4-5 whole squirrels
9 dried guajillo peppers
1 can whole tomatoes
1 large white onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. chicken bouillon
1 can beer (preferably Saison)
Grape seed oil or cooking oil of your choice
Mexican oregano
Salt and pepper
Corn tortillas
Limes, red onion, queso fresco, and cilantro to garnish

  1. Take dried guajillo peppers and soak in water overnight. Make sure peppers are fully submerged in water. Prepare squirrel by breaking down into quarters. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. De-stem the soaked peppers and remove veins and seeds. Cut a white onion into quarter pieces. In a blender, add peppers, onion, canned tomatoes, garlic, bouillon, 2 tablespoons of salt, Mexican oregano, and fill blender ¾ of the way with water. Blend until smooth.
  3. In a large saucepan add 2 tablespoons of oil and warm the pan to a medium-high heat. Add sauce and stir until it’s reduced and begins to simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Cover the bottom of a large pot with oil and set to medium-high heat. Add squirrel and sear on both sides by flipping after 2-3 minutes. Once seared, remove squirrel with tongs and set aside.
  5. Add ½ can of beer and deglaze pot. Break loose all the burnt bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Reduce slightly.
  6. Once reduced, add sauce and squirrel and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let braise for 3-4 hours, or until meat is tender. Turn heat off and let stand for 15 minutes.
  7. After the braise has rested, shred all the squirrel meat from the bone and add to the braise sauce.
  8. Warm the tortillas in a small saucepan by adding a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, take a tortilla and slap some braise sauce on both sides to lightly coat. Add it to the oil and cook quickly so the tortilla is still pliable. You want it hot, not fried.
  9. Prepare your tacos by filling with braise and topping with cilantro, red onion, and queso fresco.

2 nd Place: Squirrel and Dumplings – Big Time Barbecue of Pea Ridge, Arkansas

Special Equipment: Pressure cooker, big pot, frying pan
Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients
3-5 squirrels
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
1 white onion
2 cans homestyle biscuits
2 cups white flour
1 jalapeño
3 slices bacon
Salt and pepper

  1. Cook three to five quartered squirrels in a pressure cooker with water for 20-25 minutes (or boil them until tender and the meat falls off the bone). Add enough water so the squirrels are half submerged. Once cooked, shred the squirrel meat off the bone and chop into small pieces.
  2. Chop the onion and jalapeño (take out the seeds if you don’t like it hot). Cook bacon slices, let them cool for a few minutes, and then chop into small pieces.
  3. Open the canned biscuits and dust them in flour. If they’re large cut them into quarters.
  4. Pour two quarts of chicken broth into a large pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the chopped squirrel, onion, jalapeño, bacon, and biscuits. Let it cook at a good boil for about 3 minutes, then reduce to a slow boil for approximately 25-30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste and serve while it’s hot!

3 rd Place: Squirrel Enchiladas – Nutty Cheeks Squirrel Squad of Springfield, Missouri

Special Equipment: 9×13-inch baking pan, saucepan, pressure cooker
Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients
4-5 squirrels
8 8-inch flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey cheese
3 tbsp. butter
14 oz. squirrel broth (or chicken broth)
1 cup sour cream
1 17 oz. can of diced green chilies
1 tbsp. white flour

  1. Use a pressure cooker to cook the quartered squirrels for 20-25 minutes. Put in enough water so the squirrels are half submerged. Debone and shred the squirrel meat by hand. Combine one cup of cheese with the shredded meat and stuff it all in the tortillas. Fold the tortillas enchilada style and place them in the in baking pan.
  2. In a saucepan on low heat, melt three tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of flour then whisk together. Slowly stir in the squirrel broth (acquired from the pressure cooker) and reduce until it thickens. Slowly stir in sour cream and green chilies. Cook until the mixture thickens, or about 10 minutes. Pour the sauce over the tortillas in the pan.
  3. Set an oven to 425 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes covered in aluminum foil, then remove foil, sprinkle cheese on top of the enchiladas, and cook for another 10 minutes.

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Give dad the ultimate gift this year! A hybrid hunting fixed blade with a fine, smooth edge to trim, debone, or slice your preferred cuts of meat. Makes just as much sense in the back of your truck as it does in the kitchen drawer.

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What to Consider When Choosing the Best Juicer

Now that you&rsquove learned about the types of juicers available, here are the assorted factors and features to keep in mind while shopping for one that will suit you best. A host of considerations from speed to container size will affect how well the juicer works for you.

Ingredients

Look for a juicer that extracts a high yield from the fruits and veggies you&rsquoll be using most. Keep in mind that masticating models are best suited for leafy greens as well as nuts, and their slow speeds are also ideal for soft fruits like grapes and strawberries because the intense blades of fast juicers will turn most of the fruit into pulp rather than juice.

The high speed of centrifugal juicers suits carrots, apples, and other tougher fruits and veggies, as well as softer produce like oranges and bananas. If you&rsquoll be juicing a wide variety of ingredients, you&rsquoll want to invest in a multiuse juicer with a variety of speed options.

Size and Weight

If counter and cabinet space are lacking in your kitchen, choose a juicer on the smaller side. Masticating juicers are the largest, heaviest, and most challenging to store. Centrifugal juicers are smaller and more lightweight so can be tucked into a tighter storage space.

Juicer size is a factor to consider when determining how much juice you&rsquoll want to make, and how often. Larger models produce a greater quantity of juice due to their larger containers and feeding chutes, some resulting in as much as 32 ounces. Smaller juicers, on the other hand, will produce around 16 ounces. If you&rsquore the only person in your household using the machine, a smaller model may suffice, but if you&rsquore making juice in larger quantities, go with a bigger size.

Speed Settings

Juicers with multiple speed settings are the most versatile because they suit a variety of lifestyle needs. They can also help you get the most out of your produce, as different speeds work better for juicing different fruits and veggies.

A juicer with a fast-moving blade may be a great convenience on busy mornings when you want to rush out the door with a juice to-go. Some centrifugal models can juice in under 30 seconds. Keep in mind, however, that centrifugal models tend to be the loudest. Slower, quieter masticating juicers are a good option if time isn&rsquot an issue or if some members in your household may be disturbed by the juicer&rsquos noise.

Chute

A large feed chute size is convenient when making large quantities of juice or salsa, as it reduces the need to chop and prep ingredients first. With a large chute, you can throw in handfuls of greens and even some smaller whole fruits without any prep. A smaller chute tube requires you to prep ingredients before putting them into the juicer, which could be a deal-breaker for busy people.

Container Size

The container, typically made of plastic, is the part of the juicer that collects the juice, salsa, or other recipe results. Most larger machines have containers that hold at least 32 ounces, meaning you can create a fairly ample amount of juice before having to empty it. Smaller juicers have single-serving size containers of 8 to 16 ounces, which means more frequent emptying.

Note that some juicers even have a separate container for pulp collection, so it&rsquos extracted from the juice entirely. Some models also include a froth separator, cover, or sieve to keep the froth out of your juice.

Noise Level

Juicers&rsquo sound levels range from between 80 and 90 decibels, which is comparable to a vacuum cleaner or a lawn mower. Noise level depends on juicer speed, so a slower, quieter masticating model may be your best bet if you&rsquoll be using it while household members are asleep. Fast centrifugal juicers are the loudest, but fortunately, the noise won&rsquot last long, as some models can juice a fruit or vegetable in under 30 seconds. Again, the best option may be a juicer with multiple speed settings so you can choose a quieter mode when necessary.

Cleaning

It&rsquos important to clean your juicer after every use otherwise, the food and pulp will stick to its compartments and harden. Some juicers are more complex than others, with multiple tubes and containers to be taken apart for cleaning. So if you&rsquoll be using your juicer daily, you might find it more convenient to get a model that&rsquos easier to clean.

As a rule of thumb, the larger the feed tube, the easier the juicer is to clean. Generally speaking, masticating juicers&mdashspecifically the twin gear models&mdashhave the most parts and so are the most difficult to clean.

Our Top Picks

Once you have a preferred type of high-quality juicer in mind and a good idea of the features that would be the most beneficial, it&rsquos time to start shopping. Keep reading for a selection of juicers considered to be among the best available.

Best Overall

Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite Centrifugal

If you want a hardworking juicer that will extract the most benefits from produce, consider the Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite Centrifugal. This speedy, 1,000-watt juicer has an innovative extraction system that uses an ultrasharp titanium blade surrounded by an Italian-made micromesh filter to squeeze 30 percent more juice and 40 percent more vitamins from fruits and veggies.

The juicer has two speed controls&mdash6,500 rpm and 13,000 rpm&mdashfor fast extraction, and a large 3-inch feed tube lets you add plenty of ingredients without a lot of prep. This brushed stainless steel machine&rsquos container holds 1 liter of juice and 3.2 quarts of pulp. The juicer&rsquos removable components are all dishwasher-safe, which makes cleanup a breeze.

Best Bang for the Buck

Hamilton Beach Juicer Machine (67601A)

A quality juicer needn&rsquot put the squeeze on your bank account. This nicely priced Hamilton Beach centrifugal model features a powerful 800-watt motor that can grind fruits and veggies and extract juice in mere seconds. In addition to juicing produce, it can also make soy, rice, and almond milk. It boasts a large chute for easy feeding with less prep work.

An extra-large pulp bin allows for a longer juicing time because you needn&rsquot continuously empty the pulp bin. The juicer is easy to assemble its parts are dishwasher-safe for fast, simple cleaning and at 7.8 inches long, 11.5 inches wide, and 14.4 inches tall, its small size allows for easy storage.

Best Design

Mueller Austria Centrifugal Juicing Machine

This sleek, stainless steel juicer has more than good looks going for it: With a maximum power of 1,100 watts, the Mueller Austria Centrifugal Juicing Machine has multiple motor speeds, up to 18,000 rpm, to handle hard ingredients like carrots, celery, beets, and kale. It features an ample 3-inch feed chute, culinary-grade stainless steel blades, and BPA-free plastics that are dishwasher-safe. There&rsquos also an auto-shutoff feature to prevent overheating. Note that its container is only 16 ounces, so perhaps it&rsquos not the best option for those who want to juice in larger quantities.

Best Masticating

Aicok Slow Masticating Juicer

If you&rsquore looking to get the most volume and nutrients from juiced produce, check out the Aicok Slow Masticating Juicer. This machine has a seven-segment spiral system designed to provide 90 percent more yield and minimal oxidation (so that less air is introduced into the juice, decreasing foam and staving off nutrient damage) for more vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.

It juices at a slow, effective speed of 80 rpm without clogging or foaming and features a pulp separator function to keep the pulp out of the juice. The Aicok is also very quiet, running at less than 60 decibels, similar to the level of a clothes dryer.

Best Twin Gear

Tribest GSE-5000 Greenstar Elite Masticating Juicer

The Tribest GSE-5000 Greenstar Elite Masticating Juicer operates at a slow and quiet 110 rpm speed. It features magnetic and bioceramic twin gears that preserve living enzymes and vitamins and give fresh juice a longer shelf life by generating minimal heat while juicing. The twin gears&rsquo teeth are engineered with pocket recesses to efficiently extract the benefits from hard produce like carrots and apples.

There&rsquos a reverse function to alleviate any jamming and homogenizing accessories to create fruit sorbets and nut butter. The downside to this juicer is that at 18.6 inches long, 6.8 inches wide, and 12.4 inches tall, it requires quite a bit of countertop real estate and may be hard to store in smaller kitchens.

Best Citrus

Cuisinart CCJ-500 Pulp Control Citrus Juicer

For fans of fresh OJ, lemonade, and other citrus juices&mdashas beverages as well as for recipes&mdashthis Cuisinart model is a solid choice. Its universal reamer can manage sizes of fruit from the smallest lime to the largest grapefruit, and there are three pulp-control settings: low, medium, and high. There&rsquos also an auto-reverse cone and a final-spin feature, both of which ensure that you get the most juice possible. An extra-long snap-up spout helps prevent dripping and can accommodate most glasses. Brushed stainless steel housing is easy to clean, and the BPA-free parts are dishwasher-safe.

Best Personal Size

HUROM HP Slow Juicer

If quality is more important than quantity when it comes to juice, you may want to check out this HUROM machine. Despite its compact size, this masticating machine can slowly but surely grind up anything from produce to nuts thanks to its low speed of 43 rpm and high yield, meaning it produces a high amount of juice content.

Unlike other juicers, this model eschews a blade in favor of a drilling device called an auger to squeeze juice while minimizing damage to ingredients, a natural motion that keeps both the taste and nutrition intact. This juicer is 7.6 inches long, 6.9 inches wide, and 15.5 inches tall and produces 11.8 ounces of juice.


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Header photo credit: Erin K. Handley
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I learned to fuel my body for what it needed, out of love.

I decided to do Whole30 because moderation wasn't working for me. I had tried shakes and pills in the past and knew they weren't the answer. A year ago, I was at the.

Read Vanessa L.'s Whole30 Story

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The opinions and/or information presented on this website is in no way intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical treatment, and should only be used in conjunction with the guidance, care, and approval of your physician. Nothing herein is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.



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