Blender Tamper: What Is It?

August 1, 2022
Related Categories: 

Helping to Expedite the Blending Process

A blender is one of the essential kitchen appliances for most kitchens. It does many things, from making smoothies and juices to sauces and beyond. But sometimes, even the best blenders get stuck and need a little encouragement to get moving again. A blender tamper is a perfect tool for the job.

So blender tamper: what is it? We’re going to cover everything you need to know in today’s post. Keep reading to learn more.

Blender Tamper: What Is It?

Anyone who’s ever used a blender knows that thick ingredients tend to hang onto the sides of the jug as it mixes. The food stays there unless you push it down yourself, so you have to stop and scrape down the sides to push those tough ingredients down further so they can blend. Otherwise, you end up with chunks in whatever you’re blending.

To make this task less arduous, many blenders come with a tamper stick. This useful accessory is specifically to push down food stuck on the sides of the jug. And because you can put it in the blender while the motor is running, all that start and stop is eliminated. You end up with a creamy smooth consistency with less hassle.

If your blender didn’t come with a tamper, you can purchase one separately. Just keep in mind that some models are not compatible with them. Check with the manufacturer first to see if yours is. If it does accept tampers, be sure to purchase the correct size. The tamper must fit in the blender’s lid, and it shouldn’t touch the blender blade assembly.

How To Use Blender Tampers

Using a blender tamper is straightforward. All you have to do is throw in the ingredients, start the blender, and remove the lid plug. Next, place the tamper inside until it comes to a stop. Hold it there for a few seconds and then release the pressure. Repeat as many times as needed.

Is A Blender Tamper Necessary?

Not necessarily.

High-quality, high-powered blenders have more than enough “juice” to shred food. If all you drink are smoothies, chances are you can live without a tamper.

But if you frequently make thicker mixtures, you probably already know the frustration of achieving the proper consistency. (Things like purees and hummus come to mind.) In this case, a tamper is a fantastic tool that can make using your blender less of a fight.

Do All Blenders Come With Tampers?

The Vitamix blender was a unicorn for many years, as it was the only brand that came with a tamper. Blendtec even went the other way from the Vitamix tamper and marketed itself as an anti-tamper brand. The company claimed that its superior products didn’t need one, and they’ve stuck to that story. Blendtec blenders are still sold without a tamper.

An Overview Video From Vitamix on Blender Tampers

Nowadays, many blenders come with one. If yours doesn’t, and you’re considering purchasing a universal tamper, be sure to check with your blender’s manufacturer to make sure it’s compatible. By forcing thick or frozen mixtures into the blade, you put more stress on the motor. Not all blenders are designed for this stress, and you don’t want to shorten their lifespan.

What Can You Use Instead of a Blender Tamper?

Maybe you can’t find your tamper, or maybe you just don’t want to purchase one. The good news is that you can replace a tamper with other common kitchen tools. The best choices are a good old-fashioned spoon or rubber spatula. They may be less comfortable to use, but they do the job just as well.

Of course, there is one caveat: it’s a bad idea to use these items while the blender motor is running. Ensure that it’s turned off before you stick a spoon or spatula inside the jug. Otherwise, you run the risk of dropping the utensil into the blender. You might end up damaging the blade, plus whatever you’re using instead of a tamper.

Not to mention, you could inadvertently create a dangerous situation. Who wants utensils flying around their kitchen anyway?

Do You Need To Use the Tamper on Vitamix Blenders?

Vitamix blenders come with tampers, so you may be wondering if you need to use yours every time. The answer is no; it’s not a prerequisite for turning on your blender. But the tamper does come in handy for thick mixtures, such as

  • Frozen fruit and smoothies
  • Nut butter
  • Frozen desserts, like ice cream

Vitamix created the tamper specifically to push ingredients directly into the blender’s blades, which removes air pockets. The result is that smooth consistency that makes Vitamix such a standout in the blender world.

How To Use the Vitamix Tamper

You use the Vitamix tamper just like any other. Put the ingredients in, turn on the machine, and while it’s running, take the lid plug out. You can then insert the tamper to help get stubborn foods moving as you want.

Whether you’re using the Vitamix or a different blender, the most critical (and easy to forget!) step is ensuring that the lid is on. Otherwise, nothing will prevent the blade from touching the tamper. And don’t be fooled into thinking you can hold the tamper in place. The blender produces lots of suction, so it will pull the tamper down as soon as it hits the mixture.

You might be wondering what would happen if you accidentally forgot to put on the lid. For one thing, you certainly wouldn’t be the first. Many distracted individuals have thrown their tamper in with no lid to hold it in place.

Thankfully, your Vitamix is much stronger than your tamper. It’ll chew up the plastic (bye-bye tamper!), but you won’t ruin your blender. Sure, you’ll have to purchase a replacement (and throw out whatever you were mixing). But replacing a tamper is much cheaper than replacing a blender.

Why Does My Blender Not Mix Well?

“My blender isn’t working as well as it should! What gives?” you might find yourself wondering.

The good news is that it’s likely not your new, expensive blender failing you. The bad news? You’re probably the problem. Most people don’t give much thought to their technique and end up committing some blender no-nos. Even experienced smoothie makers fall victim to some common mistakes. Thankfully, a little finesse goes a long way.

Here are some possible reasons your blender’s not mixing well and how to fix them.

  • You’re adding ingredients in the wrong order. That’s right: there’s a correct order for loading your blender. Start with liquids and soft foods on the bottom, then layer bigger and hard ingredients over them.
  • You overfill your blender. Blenders need a little room to do their best work, so don’t fill them all the way up to the top. You’ll be surprised how much more efficient your blender is with less. This point is especially true if you're blending hot liquids, which create steam as they mix. Add too much and the lid is likely to blow off.
  • You go too fast. Does the following scenario sound familiar: You put the ingredients in, cover the blender, and crank up the power as high as it will go? If so, you may be putting unnecessary wear and tear on your blender’s motor. Instead, start on the lowest setting and gradually work up to a higher speed. This technique is gentler on the motor and provides more even blending.
  • You go for too long. It’s critical to let the motor rest, especially when making thicker mixtures like pastes and dips. Otherwise, you risk the motor overheating. The best practice is to attack these challenging jobs in thirty-second intervals. And always stop if you hear grinding or high-pitched noises.
  • You add scalding liquids. Blenders get hot as they work, and adding scalding liquids can cause overheating. To avoid this, let your food cool down before putting it in the blender. You may also want to remove the center cap so any leftover steam can escape.

Can You Use Your Blender Like a Food Processor?

Depending on the quality of your blender, the answer is probably yes. For example, Vitamix performs some food processing tasks. You can chop vegetables in it, like cabbage, onions, and carrots. It also performs mixer functions, such as combining dips, salsas, and no-bake cookies. Where it can’t help you is with slicing.

Blender Tamper Tips & Tricks

Now that we’ve thoroughly answered the question: “blender tamper: what is it?”, let’s look at some tips and tricks to help you get the desired results from your blender tamper tool.

  • Add enough food. Ever tried to mix small amounts of food? If so, you know how frustrating it can be. If you don’t have enough ingredients in your blender, the tamper won’t be able to reach it - and even a high powered blender won't be able to do a proper blend. Try adding more or using a slimmer blender jug.
  • On the subject of slimmer blender jugs, using one can make the tamper more effective. It has limited side-to-side reach, so the skinnier the jug, the better it can reach the sides.
  • Some foods will resist your tamper. Although a tamper is a game-changer, you may still have to stop the motor and scrape the sides when making certain foods (think pesto and nut butter).

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
Related Blog Posts
rocketarrow-downarrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram