I've been using Vitamix products for the past 20 years or the better part of my professional career. When it comes to pieces of kitchen equipment you'll find in almost every single professional kitchen, a Vitamix blender is close to the top of that list.
Vitamix blenders are high powered, straightforward, made for professional kitchens, and considerably more expensive than almost all other blending appliances. They also do a very, very good job at blending, chopping, and pureeing foods.
Recently I had a chance to take a look at the Ascent series of Vitamix products. What I found in the Vitamix A3300 was a high-powered blender combined with a sleek aesthetic and well-made digital display. This was a steep departure from the rugged, utilitarian blenders I've been using in commercial kitchens for the past 2 decades.
While Vitamix has always made really incredibly appliances, aesthetic has never been the focus of the brand, functionality has always dominated. In the Ascent series I found beautiful blenders equipped with the same high-powered motor, and well-constructed quality I've come to associate with the Vitamix brand.
Though the Vitamix Ascent 3300 is not by any means a value blending system, it is absolutely worth every penny. If you came for the tl;dr version of this article, go ahead and purchase the Vitamix Ascent 3300 as long as it fits your budget, you won't regret it!
Table of Contents
- What’s in the Box?
- How Does It Look/Feel/Sit?
- How Easy is it to Set Up?
- First: Crushing Ice
- Meal #1: Peach, Raspberry, Banana & Yoghurt Smoothie
- Meal #2: Mango Coconut "Nice Cream"
- Meal #3: Cream of Broccoli Soup
- Meal #4: Red Salsa (Puree)
- About the Timer
- About the Pulse Feature
- How Easy Is It To Clean?
- How Would I Improve the Vitamix Ascent A3300?
- What’s the Warranty for the A3300?
- How Does it Compare?
What’s in the Box?
The Vitamix Ascent A3300 blender was simple and straightforward to unpack. With a branded shipping packaging that doubled as the item packaging, the blender was easy to unpack with little to no waste, almost all of which was recyclable. I always love to see smart and efficient packaging that is easy to get rid of once you've got the product out of the box, Vitamix definitely fits that bill.
Inside the packaging I found:
- 1 Ascent A3300 blender base
- 1, 64 oz low profile blender pitcher
- 1, tamper
- 1, quick start guide
- 1, users manual
- 1, hardbound Vitamix "Simply Blending" cookbook
How Does It Look/Feel/Sit?
The Vitamix Ascent 3300 is a sleek and well-made blender which isn't surprising given the price tag, and the overall quality of Vitamix products. . With a black base, silver accents, and a digital display, this Vitamix doesn't look much like the legacy models I've become accustomed to in the professional kitchen.
I love the aesthetic of the Vitamix Ascent series, it feels more streamlined and at home on a kitchen counter as opposed to the more function-centric designs of the professional models. I've owned a Vitamix professional model for almost a decade and while I've always loved it, one complaint I've always had is that it simply sits too high to fit easily under a counter. The Vitamix Ascent series solves this with a wider, lower-profile blender pitcher that easily slid under my cabinets even when attached to the blender base.
The digital display is bright and easy to understand. While the A3300 doesn't have any presets, it does have a programmable countdown timer that was easy to understand and set. This is a great option for making hot soups or other longer blending processes. Other than the timer, the control panel is incredibly straightforward, with a pulse button to the left side, an on-off button to the right, and a central control knob to adjust the speed and timer.
How Easy is it to Set Up?
Blenders are in general easy to set up and understand. While there has been a lot of innovation in terms of digital displays, motor speed/power, and blade design, blenders are still much the same overall as they were 20 years ago.
To set up the Vitamix Ascent A300 I removed the lender base from the packaging and placed it on my counter. I unpacked the blender pitcher and tamper and gave them a rinse before mounting it onto the blender base. I plugged the blender into the nearest outlet and got ready to get down to blending!
One thing I do want to note is that it was a little confusing to find the power button at first. The on-off button on the front of the display is easy to operate, but most Vitamix blenders come with a power switch to keep the blender off when not in use. In the past models, I've used the power switch has always been on the front of the blender on the bottom of the display. On the A3300 blender, the power button is on the right-hand side towards the back of the blender base.
First: Crushing Ice
Normally blenders do a great job crushing ice, but in my experience because of the taller, slimmer pitcher design of the Vitamix blenders I've used in the past, I've often thought other blenders did the job better. Not so, with the Vitamix Ascent A3300 blender.
The Ascent series of blenders have a wider, lower-profile pitcher that has a larger blade system. This allows food to sit lower in the pitcher, blending more evenly top to bottom. To get started testing the ice-crushing capabilities of the A3300, I filled the pitcher with about 6 cups of ice. I then fastened the lid to the top of the blender and loaded the blender pitcher onto the blender base.
Normally I would pulse the ice until I reached the perfect crushed ice consistency but in order to get a good picture of the operation, I'd need both hands available. I set the blender to speed 4 and pressed the start-stop button. I backed away to take a picture of the blender and the decibel meter I'd set up on my phone to measure the process.
In the time it took to snap 5 quick photos the blender had made perfectly crushed ice without any interference from myself and the pulse function. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to test this feature. I was initially worried, the Vitamix creates an incredible amount of friction at the blade system which can heat products very rapidly. My worry was that I would start to melt the ice before I could stop the blender. Thanks to a great design and super strong motor I was able to create perfectly snow-like crushed ice in under a minute.
I filled the blender ⅔ of its capacity with ice and it was reduced to 4 cups of total crushed ice by the time I was finished. Overall you could make 3-4 cocktails or snow cones worth of crushed ice at a time in under a minute, so this blender will work perfectly for entertaining guests.
One thing to note however is the sound level. Ice is a very hard item and the blender assembly is made from incredibly tough plastic. This was one of the louder things I could make with this blender, but it's worth noting that at 92db, this was fractionally quieter than another Ascent Blender, the A2500 (94db), and it's known to be significantly quieter than Classic and Explorian series Vitamix models.
Meal #1: Peach, Raspberry, Banana & Yoghurt Smoothie
Smoothies are a way of life for me. My toddler even refers to my current blender as daddy's smoothy machine. I've never been a huge fan of a big sit-down breakfast, especially during the week when I feel like I'm always fighting the clock. So for me, a fresh fruit-based smoothie is the best way to start my day. It provides staying power and a ton of rich nutrients for the beginning of the day. Usually, a hearty breakfast smoothie is more than enough to hold me over until lunch.
I was understandably excited to test the smoothie capabilities of some of the new Vitamix offerings. To start I loaded 1 cup of frozen peach slices into the A3300 blender pitcher, with a chopped banana. I added 1 cup of coconut milk and a 6oz container of raspberry yogurt. I set the Vitamix A3300 to speed 6 and pressed the start-stop button.
Recently I had the opportunity to look at another blender in the Ascent line of Vitamix blenders, the A2500. That model comes with 3 presets built-in which allow for 1 touch operation. The A3300 doesn't have any preset functions but it does have a count-down timer which can be useful for making a great smoothie. Overall, the lack of a preset didn't phase me in making my peach smoothie, but it would have been a convenient option to have around.
It took a little bit more than a minute to make this Peach, Raspberry, Banana smoothy. The preset function on the A2500 takes 55 seconds, but I think I liked the texture of the smoothie I made with the A3300 better. The longer blending time yielded a smoother, richer, higher quality, more milkshake-like texture that I found a lot more pleasant overall.
My smoothie recipe yielded about two full servings and I only filled the blender pitcher about ⅓-1/2 of the way. Thanks to the large, 64oz container capacity and the low profile design I could see myself making smoothies for up to 5 people at once!
Meal #2: Mango Coconut "Nice Cream"
One of the best things about having a high-powered blender like a Vitamix is the ability to create frozen desserts without having to break out an ice cream churn. "Nice Cream" or frozen desserts made from less fatty/sugary ingredients are all the rage, and with summer rapidly approaching it's best to get some recipes lined up now, so you're ready when the temperature spikes.
To test the Vitamix Ascent A3300 I put together a simple "nice cream" recipe based on a ratio I like to use for fruit-based, frozen treats. I combined 2 cups of frozen mango chunks from the freezer ice, with 1 cup of coconut milk and ½ a cup of cream of coconut in the blender base. Cream of coconut is an awesome sweet coconut product most often used in Pina Coladas, but it makes a great natural sweetener for things like Vegan Mango Coconut "Nice Cream" as well.
I wasn't sure how long it would take to get the ice cream made, but normally when I do this I like to use the tamper to help get the products blending quickly and evenly. Because of the low moisture content and a large number of frozen ingredients in this recipe, it can be really tough of blenders and it will often freeze up and sit above the blender blades. A tamper like the one included in the Ascent A3300 allows you to move the product around while it blends without worrying about catching it in the blades and ruining the product.
I set the A3300's speed control at speed 5 and used the tamper to help move the product around. I increased the speed to 8 and continued to help move the now freely mixing puree. After about a minute the consistency was perfect and I powered down the blender before removing the blender pitcher.
I transferred the "nice cream" to an airtight container and placed it in the freezer to harden for 30 minutes before enjoying it. I topped the mango coconut nice cream with some crushed cinnamon toasted almonds for a delicious treat that would perfect for the hottest of summer afternoons!
Meal #3: Cream of Broccoli Soup
I've heard for years that you can make soup in a Vitamix blender from raw ingredients. While I've always been curious I've never been interested in the process enough to give it a try, but for testing purposes, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to give it a go. I decided to make a cream of broccoli soup, from scratch in the Vitamix 3300.
To begin I chopped 1 head or 3 cups of broccoli florets and added it to the blender with ½ a cup of chopped onion, and 1 clove of garlic. To this, I added 1 cup of chicken stock, ½ cup of cream, and ½ a cup of milk. I added salt, pepper, and a touch of olive oil for seasoning.
I loaded the blender pitcher onto the blender base and fastened the lid securely. To begin blending I set the speed control at level two and pressed the stop-start button. I allowed the blender to stay at this level for a minute or so before increasing the speed to level five. Again I left the blender at level five for a minute before raising it to level 8. I repeated the process before reaching level 10 and allowing the blender to run for another 2-3 minutes
After 5-6 minutes of total blending time, the soup itself was steaming and the green puree had deepened in color alerting me the soup had begun to cook from the heat change. I removed the blender pitcher and checked for seasoning. I added a touch of lemon juice for acidity and continued to blend the soup for another 20 seconds.
Because of the incredible amount of friction a Vitamix blender can create it is possible to heat a puree to almost boiling in the blender. While this can put some stress on the motor, it is completely safe to do, as long as the soup your pureeing isn't too thick.
Cream of broccoli works perfectly. To serve the soup I grated some sharp cheddar cheese over the top and served it with warm, toasted bread. Once I sat down to taste the soup I was absolutely floored by how good it was. It was perfectly rich and creamy with incredibly broccoli flavor. I will say I would use shallots in the future for a less pungent onion flavor, but this was a learning process so I'll call that a win.
Overall, making soup from scratch in the Vitamix Ascent A3300 was a snap, and is a trick I'll definitely be pulling out more often in the future!
Meal #4: Red Salsa (Puree)
I love to make red salsa at home. It is hands down one of the easiest sauces to make and it goes great with everything from roasted meats or grilled fish, veggies, and alone as a dip for chips. While pico de gallo is fresh and delicious, red salsa can last for days in the refrigerator, and it can be frozen and thawed if you make too much!
To start I halved two Roma tomatoes and put them in a small saucepot with a halved jalapeno pepper, ½ of a red onion, and 3-4 cloves of garlic. I added water to the pot until the veggies were covered and placed it on the stovetop over medium-high heat.
Once the pot came to a boil I reduced the heat to a simmer and cooked the salsa for 10 minutes or so. Next, I strained the veggies from the liquid and placed them into the blender pitcher. I seasoned the veggies with fresh lime juice, salt, and pepper, before placing the pitcher onto the Vitamix A3300 blender base.
I set the speed to level 4 and pressed the start button. After 30-40 seconds of blending the salsa was perfect. I tasted the seasoning and adjusted it as necessary before serving the salsa as a snack with some crispy tortilla chips!
About the Timer
The Ascent A3300 comes equipped with a programmable timer that can be useful for a number of reasons, not the least is the ability to set a timer and walk away safe in the knowledge that you'll come back to a perfectly blended product, no matter what the recipe. This feature is only available on one other blender in the Ascent line, the significantly more expensive A3500.
This feature is great for two different categories of recipes, hot soups, and smoothies/milkshakes. Vitamix blenders create a lot of friction, and this will call the products inside to heat up rapidly. This can be great when you're creating a hot soup from scratch in your blender. Simply load the ingredients into the blender, set the countdown timer, and walk away.
On the other hand when making a smoothy or a milkshake you want to retain a fluffy, frozen texture so setting a timer will allow you to stop the blender at the perfect point even if you get distracted or step away.
About the Pulse Feature
Pulse is one of the key features of any blender, especially a blender without presets. When you pulse food in the blender you cycle it on and off allowing the food to jump up and down between blending cycles. This can be done to evenly chop things like crushed ice or salsa, or to help get thicker purees started, like a sweet potato or carrot puree.
To use the pulse function on the ascent Series of blenders simply press the pulse button on and off to blend the food intermittently. This was a nice improvement from the older models that had a "switch" for pulsing that you flicked up, then had to click back down. With this button, the pulse is finished when you release your finger from the button. A small thing perhaps, but a nice touch.
Once you have achieved a small consistent particle size with your pulses you can run the blender as normal with the speed control.
How Easy Is It To Clean?
Cleaning the Vitamix A3300 is incredibly simple thanks to the wider, low-profile design. To clean the blender pitcher I emptied it of all remaining ingredients, gave it a rinse in my sink using the spray nozzle on my faucet, and then loaded it with a few drops of soap and some hot water before placing it back on the blender.
Though this model doesn't have a self-clean preset, it was easy enough to let it run for a minute or so before removing the pitcher, emptying the now dirty water, and rinsing it thoroughly. I let the blender and the top air dry before storing the pitcher on the blender base tucked neatly away on my countertop.
One nice feature about the Ascent series blenders is that the blender pitchers are dishwasher safe. After making veggie puree in my blender I decided to give it a try by placing it on the bottom rack of my dishwasher and running it through a cycle. After it had finished its trip through the dishwasher the blender pitcher was completely clean with no smudges or left behind food. Thanks to the low profile design it was possible to completely clean the blade assembly even without a thorough pre-rinse.
How Would I Improve the Vitamix Ascent A3300?
There is not a lot to improve on the Vitamix Ascent A3300 blender, but there are some small things I might rethink in future models.
- The Cord felt short, and it didn't have a great way to store it when putting it under a cabinet or in a drawer. While I intend to keep this blender on a countertop, ease of storage is important and good cord management is the key to easy storage. I would like to see a better way to stow the cord in the future if possible.
- I kept trying to fasten the lid to the blender upside down. Even though it was pretty obvious how to properly assemble the blender, something about the lid design made me initially want to assemble it upside down.
- The power button was hard to locate at first. The start-stop switch was very clear and easy to find but by placing the on-off switch towards the back of the machine it felt harder to find than it should be.
- The only way to remove the blade assembly is with a special tool and it's not included with the blender. I like to clean a blender pitcher thoroughly and the ability to remove the bottom blade assembly to clean food build up around the o-ring is a nice feature. I wish they had included the wrench to remove the bottom blade assembly.
What’s the Warranty for the A3300?
As with all Vitamix products in the Ascent range, the A3300 comes with a 10-year manufacturer's warranty that covers defects in the quality of manufacture for 10 years from the date of purchase. This is the longest warranty Vitamix offers, up from 7 years on their best earlier models.
One thing this means is that you don't have to purchase any extended warranty with an Ascent range blender (usually offered at checkout when you're buying a Vitamix online). No extension we know if takes the warranty past 10 years anyway.
To best take advantage of the warranty it's important to mail in the registration card that comes with your Vitamix Ascent A3300. In the event you need a repair or replacement you can call Vitamix Customer Service at 1.800.848.2649 to begin the process. For more information about the warranty process head to this link.
If you're in the market for an incredible blender that can handle anything you could possibly throw its way then you could much worse than the Vitamix Ascent A3300. This blender is sleek, well designed, and powerful enough to handle almost any task imaginable. It also comes with a pretty hefty price tag.
While this blender isn't for everyone it definitely has a lot going for it. The ability to make incredible soups from scratch without the need for a pan or pot is in itself a huge selling point. Beyond that, this blender can make perfect purees, smoothies, milkshakes, and even frozen treats like "nice cream". It comes with an easy-to-use digital display and a countdown timer for longer recipes or blending tasks.
If you are looking for a really great blender and budget isn't a high priority then the Vitamix A3300 is perfect for you. However, if preset functions are high on your list of needs I would look at other blenders in the Ascent Series like the A2500 or the A3500.
How Does it Compare?
Vs Other Ascent Range Blenders
Vitamix Ascent A3300
Vitamix Ascent A2500
Vitamix Ascent A2300
Vitamix Ascent A3500
|Timer||Countdown (Programmable)||Count up||Count up||Countdown (Programmable)|
|Dishwasher Safe Containers||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Fits Baby Food Container||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Fits Food Processor Attachment||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Max Noise (Our Test)||96db||98db||98db||96db|
|Height||17 inches||17 inches||17 inches||17 inches|
|Warranty||10 year||10 year||10 year||10 year|
|Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon|
All of the Ascent blenders come equipped with a 2.2 horsepower motor, which is more than enough power to blend almost anything with ease. Thanks to a new design, these blenders come with 64 oz low-profile blender pitchers with completely plastic assemblies including the lids.
One new feature of the Vitamix line is the inclusion of wireless connectivity in the Ascent Line as well as some of the other newer Vitamix blenders. With built-in blue tooth connectivity, you can connect to your blender via the Vitamix Perfect Blend app. Through the app, you can expand the functionality of your blender by uploading up to 17 different preset programs with the touch of a button. Though the app was frustrating to use, and it didn't seem like it had been updated to fit my new iPhone 12's screen size, it was a really convenient piece of tech, that I look forward to playing around with.
In addition to Bluetooth connectivity, the Ascent line of blenders comes with self detect technology. This new feature allows the blender to automatically sense the size of the pitcher being used and adjust the time/speed for the best results when using presets (A2500 and A3500 only). This also means that some other blender pitchers just wont work with the Ascent series, which is a bummer if you had an old pitcher lying around and wanted to use it as well.
The A2300 is the least expensive of the Ascent line it's still a pretty hefty price tag. Like all the other Ascent blenders the A2300 has a bright digital display, it also has an analog speed selector and count-up timer. It doesn't come equipped with any presets but for many, that's not a deal-breaker, and again thanks to the Perfect Blend app you can upload up to 17 different programs (that you make up yourself) from your phone anyway.
The A2500 is slightly less expensive than the A3300 because of the countdown timer and the touch controls found on the A3300. Personally, I thought the preset functions on the A2500 were more convenient than the count-down timer and touchscreen controls and I would have flipped the pricing here, but for some the programmable timer is key.
Finally, there is the A3500, the priciest of the Ascent Series. With a programmable countdown timer, touchscreen controls, and 5 presents including a self-clean function, this blender can do a lot. With the added functionality of the Vitamix app, it can do even more.
Vs Explorian Series
|Dishwasher Safe Containers||Y||Y||Y|
|Fits Baby Food Container||Y||N||6|
|Fits Food Processor Attachment||Y||N||N|
|Height||17 Inches||18 Inches||18 inches|
|Warranty||10 years||5 years||5 years|
|Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon|
The Explorian Series is a value-priced Vitamix line of blenders. With smaller blender pitchers, simple controls, and a much lower price than the Ascent series, it's clear that this line is meant to be an introduction for customers to the Vitamix brand.
Both the E310 and E320 blenders have a flat black motor base, with an analog control knob, an on-off button, and a pulse switch. While the E320 has a larger 64 oz low profile container the E310 has an even smaller 48oz container. While the E320 will fit under most countertops or cabinets, the E310 has the lowest profile of any Vitamix blender and can fit almost anywhere.
The Explorian series are much cheaper than the A3300 for reasons that should be clear by now. Though the E310 is available directly through the Vitamix website the E320 is only available through 3rd party retailers and I'm not certain as to whether or not Vitamix is going to continue producing this model.
The Explorian series boasts dishwasher-safe blender pitchers, but it's always possible to clean a Vitamix by pouring some warm water into the container with a few drops of soap and running the blender for around a minute. From there you can just rinse the blender with hot water and allow it to air dry.
Overall the Explorian series is a great line of Vitamix blenders and with their value prices and awesome functionality, it's easy to see why they are so popular. But, if you are looking for a digital display, wireless connectivity, and that programmable timer, then the Ascent A3300 is a great choice for your next blender.
Vs Classic Vitamixes
|Container||64oz (low profile)||64oz (high profile)||64oz (low profile)||64oz (low profile)|
|Dishwasher Safe Containers||Y||N||N||N|
|Fits Baby Food Container||Y||N||N||N|
|Fits Food Processor Attachment||Y||N||N||N|
|Height||17 Inches||20.5 Inches||17.25 inches||17.25 inches|
|Warranty||10 years||7 years||5 years||7 years|
|Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon|
These are the Vitamix models I've spent the most time around throughout my career. Almost every kitchen I've been in during the past decade has had a 5200, 5300, or 750 somewhere, some have even had a Turboblend 3 Speed.
The Vitamix 5200 has a 2 horsepower motor, the 10-speed dial, and a pulse button. It's worth noting the pulse button works slightly differently in these older models, essentially taking the blades to their highest possible speed instantly, and until you flick the switch back down.
The 5300 has the same motor base, just with the all-important low profile pitcher compared to the 5200. I have a 5200 at home and one of my biggest complaints about this blender is the tall, narrow pitcher. While I never minded the taller pitcher in a work setting, storage is at a premium in my house and the fact that I can't fit my Vitamix on my counter under my cabinets when it's assembled has always frustrated me. That being said both of these blenders are exception appliances that will blend almost anything you can think of.
With a style that favors function over form, these blenders aren't much to look at but they produce great quality blended products. The 5200 and 5300 last for years, and they continue to do a great job throughout, but they don't have the bells and whistles you'll find on the higher-end Ascent Series.
The Vitamix 750 pro is more expensive than the Ascent A3300 and at first glance, it's hard to see why. the A3300 is much sleeker than the 750 and with mobile connectivity, it can automatically sense the pitcher being used and adjust the blending time/speed accordingly. The 750 on the other hand has the same design as all the legacy Vitamix blenders. None of the legacy models come with any sort of wireless connectivity, but for some that not an issue.
One area where the 750 pro beats out the A3300 is in the preset category. The 750 pro comes with 5 preset functions, 2 more than the Ascent 3300, however thanks to the mobile connectivity feature and the Vitamix app you can upload up to 17 preset programs to the Ascent Series blenders right from your phone.
Blendtec and Vitamix have been adversaries in the high-end blender war for as long as I've been cooking. While I've always connected Vitamix blenders with professional kitchens, I've always associated Blendtec products with coffee shops and smoothie bars. This isn't a bad thing by any means, both of these businesses need high-powered blending equipment that can power through even the toughest smoothies or purees.
Like the Ascent A3300, most Blendtec models come with digital control panels and black motor bases. All these machines come with square pitchers and high-powered motors, but it's worth noting that Blendtec motors technically have a higher horsepower output at 3hp compared to 2.2hp. Does that mean much for your every day blending? Probably not.
To take some specific examples, the Blendtec 575 Classic comes equipped with touch screen controls that handle up to 5 different speeds and 4 preset blending functions. If preset programs are your thing, the Blendtec 575 is a cheaper way to get them, as long as you're ok to give up all the rest of the Vitamix benefits (dishwasher safe containers, wifi connectivity and the count up timer chief among them) in exchange.
While the 575 comes with a 75 oz blender pitcher it only has a 32 oz blending capacity. The A3300 has a 64 oz canister and a capacity of 64 oz meaning it should be able to blend while completely full. I've not been able to test this but considering how well the Ascent line handled crushing 6 cups of ice, I don't see another 2 cups being an issue.
Moving up the price scale at Blendtec, the 625 Designer comes with a 6-speed touch slider that offers fine control over the blender speed. Again both the A2500 and the 625 designer come equipped with digital displays, the A3300 also has touch screen controls. I took a good look at both control panels, and while I appreciate the touch screen controls and slider adjuster on the Blendtec, the controls on the A3300 seem much easier to use. While the A3300 has a touch on-off button and a pulse feature, the speed control kob and timer controls are all controlled by a central knob that allows for much simpler use.