Alton Brown's Blender Tip For Super Silky Smoothies

alton brown smiling
alton brown smiling - Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Making smoothies at home can often be a better option than getting one out. Not only is it usually cheaper per serving, you also have complete control over the ingredients and can tailor your drink to your personal tastes. However, when making smoothies at home, you don't always end up with that super silky texture you normally get in a store-bought smoothie. Even if you have a powerful blender with sharp blades, it can still be hard to achieve the perfect consistency. Luckily, Alton Brown has the perfect solution.

Instead of putting all your ingredients into the blender and then setting the machine to the highest speed, the celebrity chef adjusts the speed throughout the process. As Brown demonstrated on "Good Eats" episode Live and Let Diet, he starts by setting the blender at a low speed, about one-third power. Then, he lets it run for roughly 30 seconds, or until all the ingredients have broken down into similar sizes. Afterwards, Brown gradually increases the speed to the blender's highest setting. Whenever the blades get stuck, he starts the process over until the smoothie is completely pureed.

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Why Your Smoothies Are Turning Out Chunky

green smoothie being blended in blender
green smoothie being blended in blender - Ilona Kozhevnikova/Shutterstock

When you run food through a blender, the movement of the blades creates a vortex. But as Alton Brown explained on "Good Eats," when you crank up the speed of your blender before the ingredients have had the chance to truly liquify, the vortex will start to take in air and a big air pocket will form. This is known as cavitation. Instead of the blades blending up the ingredients in this scenario, they'll try to blend up that air pocket. Sometimes it helps if you shake your blender to pop the air pocket, but you can avoid it from forming altogether if you follow Brown's tip to adjust speeds as you go.

If you find that your smoothies are turning out chunky even though you're gradually increasing the speed, it may not be an air pocket that's the problem. Too many solid ingredients and not enough liquids can also disrupt the vortex, so you may need to adjust your recipe. For best results, you'll need at least a 1/4-cup of liquid ingredients per 1 cup of solid ingredients.

How Alton Brown Makes His Smoothies

purple smoothie being poured into glass
purple smoothie being poured into glass - - Yuri A/Shutterstock

Alton Brown has shared many smoothie recipes on his website and cooking show, but it's not really the combination of ingredients that sets his concoctions apart, but rather the technique he uses. When demonstrating how to make his Buff Smoothie on "Good Eats," for example, Brown revealed that he always pours in the liquid ingredients first because the blades don't have to struggle as much to rotate and can take in more ingredients gradually. After adding the other components, he then lets them sit in the fridge overnight.

It's worth noting that this particular approach is only beneficial because Brown uses frozen fruit instead of ice. The whole reason he lets his smoothie ingredients sit overnight is so that the frozen fruit can thaw slightly, which in turn yields a much smoother smoothie. If you tried to do this with ice, it would just melt, leaving you with an extra liquidy result. Skip the ice in favor of partially frozen fruit like Brown does, and you'll end up with a much smoother consistency.

Read the original article on Daily Meal