If you have questions regarding blender tampers, this article has got you covered!
This article goes over:
- What is a blender tamper?
- How to use a blender tamper
- Best blender with tamper
- Do you need a tamper?
- Blender tamper substitutes
Let’s get into it!
What is a Tamper?
Specifically, what is a tamper in a blender?
A tamper is a tool used to help your blender blend through thick ingredients and mixtures by pushing ingredients closer to the blades while blending.
It is basically a stirring stick that is held up by the lid of the blender so that it can stir inside the blender jug without touching the blades.
You might notice when blending that you sometimes have to stop to scrape down the sides of the blender jug because some food is stuck to the sides and isn’t getting blended by the blades at the bottom. This is where a tamper comes in to help the blender along with the blending process. A tamper is an easier way to do this because you can use it while the blender is running – much more efficient and convenient.
Tampers are most helpful when mixing very thick or chunky ingredients together. For example, making hummus in a blender is much easier with a tamper – otherwise, it’s a lot of stopping and starting.
A tamper either comes with the blender, or can be bought separately.
Not all blenders come with a tamper, and not all blenders are compatible with tampers (more on this later). If purchased separately, the tamper must match the blender it is used for; the tamper must be the right size and length so that it fits in the lid of the blender and does not touch the blender blades.
How to Use a Blender Tamper
Using a blender tamper is fairly straightforward (given you have an appropriate tamper for your blender).
Simply add your ingredients to a blender, seal on the lid, insert the tamper through the lid, blend, and stir/jab with the tamper as needed.
Use the tamper to scrape stuck food off the sides, push chunks towards the blades, and remove air bubbles to keep a consistent vortex going.
Here are a few additional tips when using a blender tamper:
- Use a slim blender jug as opposed to a wide jug. The range of your tamper is limited, so a skinnier jug helps you reach the sides more and push everything into the bottom of the jug. With a wider jug, the contents tend to get flung out to the corners which are hard to reach.
- Make sure you are using a large enough quantity of food/ingredients. A tamper is useless if there is not enough substance to reach the level that the tamper reaches. I have faced this problem many times when mixing small amounts of ingredients in my wide Vitamix blender jug. To get around this, you just need more substance or a skinnier jug.
- You may still need to stop to scrape down the sides with a spatula or spoon if making something like pesto. A tamper definitely helps break through chunks and get the blending motion going, but things like leafy greens on the sides are sometimes better handled using a spatula.
Best Blender With Tamper
Most blenders these days come with a tamper, or at least are compatible with tampers that you can buy separately.
All Vitamix blenders come with tampers.
Vitamix has different sized tampers depending on the different kinds of jugs, so don’t assume a Vitamix tamper will work with any Vitamix jug. They have a Classic Tamper for standard 64oz containers, a Low-Profile Tamper for 64oz low-profile and 40oz containers, and a Mini-Tamper for 32oz and 48oz containers.
Of the Vitamix options, some of the best blenders with tampers include:
- Vitamix Professional Series 750
- Vitamix E310 Explorian
In addition to Vitamix, most other blender brands like Ninja, Nutribullet, Oster, Hamilton Beach, Cleanblend, KitchenAid, and more have options for blenders with tampers. Tampers tend to be included in the more professional (and pricey) high-powered blender models.
Most blenders, such as Vitamix blenders, use a typical plunger-type blender tamper. However, there are some blenders that use unique built-in blender tampers:
- Blendtec Twister Jar – A jar and lid pairing that is compatible with all Blendtec blenders. The lid has these two arms extending down from it. The idea is you twist the lid while the blender is blending – while twisting, the arms attached to the lid will push the ingredients from the sides of the jar into the centre, closer to the blades.
Check out this video on how to use the Blendtec Twister Jar.
- Ninja Foodi Smoothie Bowl Maker – This is a personal ninja blender that has a unique container with a twistable portion on the top. You put your mixture in the cup to blend, just like any personal blender, as then as it’s blending, you twist the top portion to turn the arms inside. Similar to the Twister Jar, these arms push ingredients away from the sides and top of the container, helping the blades blend thick mixtures.
Check out this video on how to use the Ninja Foodi Smoothie Bowl Maker.
Blenders that are not compatible with tampers:
- Some Ninja blenders come with a rotating blade arm in the centre of the jug instead of at the base of the jug (ex: Ninja NJ600WMC Professional Blender). Obviously, a tamper could not possibly work with this type of blender, but you probably wouldn’t need a tamper anyways since the blades are dispersed vertically through the blender container. (To be completely honest, I’ve never tried this blender because it terrifies me!)
- Single-serve personal blenders (with the exception of the Ninja Foodi Smoothie Bowl Maker described above).
Do You Need a Tamper For a Blender?
You don’t exactly need a blender tamper. Most high-powered blenders can shred through almost any ingredient with ease.
Whether or not you need a blender tamper mostly depends on what blender you have and what you intend on blending in your blender.
If you mostly make drinkable shakes and smoothies with simple ingredients, you probably won’t need a tamper because you are making small portions of drinkable smoothie mixtures. In this case, a single-serve personal blender may be your best bet.
However, if you frequently find yourself struggling when making large batches or thick mixtures like hummus, nut butters, purees, or even dough, a tamper will definitely save you a lot of time and effort.
Pro tip: To help your blender blend through ingredients without a tamper, add your ingredients to the blender in the correct order: liquids and soft ingredients added first; largest and hardest ingredients added last.
Blender Tamper Substitute
Instead of using a tamper, there are other tools you can use to achieve the same smooth and thoroughly blended result when blending.
A rubber spatula or a spoon are the best options. Stop the blender, take of the lid, give the sides a good smooth scrape, get any chunks out of the corners or out from under the blades.
Warning: Do not use a spoon or other utensil instead of a proper tamper, open the cap in the lid of your blender, and go right ahead with stirring up your mixture by hand while the blender is running. This is a very bad idea because it is possible that you will drop your utensil right into your blender’s blades and quite probably ruin your blender (and your utensil).
Even more importantly, do not take the lid off of your blender while it is running to give it a stir – you could easily touch the spinning blades with your stirring utensil which would result in a messy and even dangerous situation (think flying utensil).
Similarly, never use a tamper without the lid on!!!
I hope this article cleared up what a blender tamper is, how to use a blender tamper, different blender tamper options to buy, whether or not you need a blender tamper, and blender tamper substitutes.
Let me know in the comments below which blender tamper you have found useful, or if you think blender tampers are useful at all!