I love smoothies and I love my Vitamix. One thing I don’t love is the smell of an overworked hair-dryer.
My Vitamix Pro has served me well over the years, whether it’s making protein powder into a shake or frozen bananas into ice cream I can always count on it to not let me down.
I was reading over some Amazon reviews the other week, keen to see what other people thought of my beloved blender. I was surprised to read that some people have had issues with a burning smell whilst using their machine.
I’ve done a fair bit of research into why this could happen and I aim to cover all the Vitamix FAQs in this article.
The Vitamix has a nifty on/off feature that prevents burnout. If the machine smells like it’s burning then this is likely the motor overheating and the machine will likely turn off to protect itself. The main reasons for overheating are generally improper use or is due to the blender being overworked.
Vitamix Design Features
The Vitamix 5200 has several design features that help prevent overheating. Let’s have a look into these and why these are things you should consider before purchasing any blender.
Automatic Shut Off
The first and probably most useful feature of the Vitamix blender is the auto-shutoff feature. This kicks in when the motor overheats to prevent it from burning out. This extends the life of the machine and protects it from irreversible damage.
It’s worth knowing that using the Vitamix on too low a speed for too long will activate this function. Try to use the higher speed setting if possible.
The Vitamix container plays a surprisingly important role when it comes to product performance. The height and conical shape of the jug direct the ingredients down towards the blades so you’re not left with chunks of frozen fruit in your green smoothie!
This allows quicker and more efficient food processing so the motor base isn’t required to work as hard.
The blades are the key feature of the blender that makes direct contact with your smoothie ingredients. Poorly designed blades mean the blender will struggle to puree food at lower speeds. This means that to blend a typical smoothie will require extra work, so the machine will be more likely to overheat.
All Vitamix blenders use stainless steel blades. The 5200 comes with a wet and a dry blade attachment. It is really important that you use the appropriate blades for the job.
The dry blades are clearly marked with a D and should only be used for grains, cereal, coffee etc, or kneading dough. They will not cope well with making smoothies or soups or any wet chopping needs like hot soup, hummus, or nut butter.
The wet blades are marked with a W and can grind dry ingredients but are not as efficient as the specially designed dry blades. If used too frequently for dry grinding the blender container may end up cracked or marred and the blades will dull. This affects the life of the machine and can overwork the motor.
The Vitamix 5200 has a really powerful motor base. At around 1380 watts (2HP at peak high speed) the Vitamix motor is designed to tackle blending tasks with ease. It has 10 variable speed settings (with easy to use speed dial) so is versatile as well and powerful.
Whether it’s frozen bananas for ice cream or homemade peanut butter that is your preferred snack, the powerful motor SHOULD be able to handle it.
I emphasize the “should” as Vitamix machines can be fussy. I’ve compiled a list below of all the reasons your Vitamix may not be Living up to its reputation.
The first time you use the brand new Vitamix the motor and drive socket will heat up. This can cause some initial burning of the windings in the base and is nothing to worry about. Let the machine cool to room temperature and it should be just fine. If the burning smell persists or the machine won’t turn back on then definitely contact the Vitamix customer service team.
If the machine is overloaded with dense ingredients it may struggle to cope. If you’re making something thick like almond butter best use the tamper to keep things moving. It’s really important to use the tamper supplied with the machine and don’t try with a spatula or wooden spoon instead! It’s also a good idea to try making the thicker Vitamix recipes in smaller batches.
The order you load the ingredients into your Vitamix matters. You want liquids at the base and heavier items on top to weigh everything down. If you put leafy greens at the base it can form air pockets (which are basically large air bubbles) that prevent the blades from working correctly and can lead to overheating.
The Vitamix Legacy and Ascent series are durable and built to last. Despite this, every machine eventually reaches its limit and with very heavy use the motor may just end up wearing out. The 7-year warranty (if properly activated) will cover you if it burns out before this time.
It’s super important to take good care of your machine and to use it as directed in the user manual. If you’ve lost it, it’s easy to download if you look on google. Make sure to use the appropriate speed settings laid out in the Vitamix cookbook to optimize the life and health of your machine. If you keep it clean and follow the instructions then Vitamix should repay you with a good 10 years of delicious blended treats.