Vitamix perfected the art of ultra-smooth blending some years ago with its robust, professional-style machines. If you were wondering what it might do next, the answer is its Smart System blenders, of which the Vitamix Ascent A2300i is one.
It comes with Self-Detect technology, where the base determines the container placed on it and adapts performance to suit the size and purpose. Essentially, this means you can attach blending cups and bowls without accidentally heating your smoothie or over-blitzing small chopping tasks. This clever feature means that this blender can be more of a multi-purpose kitchen machine, so you can move seamlessly from making instant frozen desserts to chopping onion or whizzing up non-dairy milks without having to switch appliance.
Vitamix Ascent A2300i – What you need to know
- Smoothie test: Fruit and leafy vegetables were blended effortlessly, leaving no flecks of spinach or a gritty texture from pears.
- Ice crush test: It took several pulses at low speed to break up cubes, but the higher speed pulse was more efficient at turning them into snow.
- Soup test: Soup was blended and heated using blade friction; the mixture was smooth, but the temperature was just below 70ºC.
The Vitamix Ascent A2300i offers more functionality than a standard blender
Whether food is frozen or fibrous, if you’re equipped with the Ascent 2300i then the answer to the question “can I blend it?” will almost certainly be a “yes”. Its four blades can handle a huge array of tasks, much like older Vitamix machines – such as creating sorbet from frozen fruit or heating soup. However, rather than choosing a programme on the dial, you pick the speed, allowing you greater control over the texture of the food you’re blending.
Its low speeds are ideal for handling large chunks of food and frozen produce. The higher speeds provide a super-fine blend that really does rid all those annoying traces of fruit and vegetables – gritty residue from pears and flecks of spinach or berry skin, for example – that often hang around in smoothies blended by cheaper machines. Running it on the higher speeds can initially produce a slight burning smell from the motor, but this should lessen over time.
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The Ascent has also been improved with a count-up digital timer, so you can view the time for which you’ve been blending. This means that you can easily replicate good results without wondering at what point you stopped a programme yesterday or how much extra time you added.
There’s a pulse function, too, which rather than giving a burst of maximum power, corresponds to the speed on the dial, meaning that you can use a low burst of power to chop or knead, and a high one for crushing.
Another good idea is that while the jug doesn’t twist in or lock onto the base, there’s a safety feature to prevent it running if the lid isn’t securely in place. There’s also a good length of cable (1.2 metres) so you’re not tied to blending near a plug socket. The option of black, white, red or slate for the base unit provides some colour choice for those who want the blender to be a permanent worktop fixture.
You can add accessories to the Vitamix Ascent A2300i, but there isn’t enough temptation to do so
It’s hard not to feel that the Ascent A2300i somewhat squanders its potential as a Smart System machine by only coming with a jug. By itself, this makes as much fruit smoothie as you like, meaning the temptation to invest in its single-serve blending cups is rather low. However, if a single cup were included in the box and proved useful, this could easily be the catalyst to invest in the additional cups and bowls to expand the Ascent’s capabilities.
Similarly, the accessories only extend to cups and small processing bowls at present; when larger processing bowls or a small blender jug might be more useful. The tamper, at least, is standard, and is especially good for nudging stubborn ingredients towards the blades. There’s also a recipe book in the box, which is a must for making the most of a pricey machine.
Why buy the Vitamix Ascent A2300i?
While it isn’t the most expensive blender on offer from Vitamix – that prize goes to sister Ascent machine, the A3500i – its price comes solely from its capabilities and features rather than accessories. Considering that more affordable Vitamix blenders, such as the Vitamix S30, can do most of the same tasks but with less capacity, the A2300i feels like a big investment.
That said, it’s a smart buy if you enjoy batch-making soup at the drop of a hat, or are whizzing up smoothies for the whole family. It’s also a decent model to choose if you don’t want to face the prospect of replacing your blender every few years. Build quality is undeniable, and the A3500i will handle a wider variety of tasks than an average blender without faltering. If your motto is buy once, buy right, the A2300i could be the perfect choice.