How To Crush Ice in a Blender

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Sometimes we are just in the mood for a cocktail.  We know blenders are pretty good at grinding up soft ingredients.  However, can they handle the tough stuff?  Yes, we are referring to ice.  So if you want to get the low down about how to crush ice in a blender.  We tell you everything you need to know below.

Step by Step - How To Crush Ice With a Blender

I don’t know about you but a blender is one of the most important appliances in my kitchen.  So the last thing I want to do is damage my blender by trying to crush ice.  Here are a few step-by-step instructions for blending ice.

  • First thing, read the user manual.  Some blenders have ice-crushing settings while other blenders give you specific instructions about how to blend or crush ice.
  • Check if there is a blade attachment for ice.  Most high-speed blenders don’t need a special blade for crushing ice.  However, some blenders that don’t have a lot of blending power need a special blade to crush ice.  For example, Nutribullet has a blade that is suited for crushing ice.  
  • If you are ready to go ahead and crush ice after checking the blender manual first leave the ice out for a few minutes and let it rest.
  • Check if your blender has an ice-crushing setting.  For example, the Ninja BN701 and the Breville Fresh and Furious models have an ice crush setting.
  • If you feel your blender does not have enough blending power to blend only ice on its own, add around 2 cups of water to your blend.  
  • Fill up the blender with around 60% ice.  As we mentioned above, add water if recommended by the blender manufacturer of the blender or if your blender does not have a lot of blending power.  
  • Press the pulse setting on the blender 6 or 7 times.
  • After blending, strain the water out of the container.  You should now have crushed ice.  You can stop blending when ice pices are around ¼ – ½ inches.
  • If your blender comes with a stir stick use it when making crushed ice.
  • If you don’t have a blender to crush ice you can improvise by putting ice in a bag and smashing it with a mallet.

Which Blenders Are Best for Crushing Ice?

When you are trying to decide which blenders are best for crushing ice.  Here are a few things to look out for.

  • Look for blenders that have ice-crushing settings.  For example, the Ninja BN701 and Breville Fresh and Furious models have ice-crushing settings.  Additionally, you can look for blenders that are marketed as ideal for making frozen treats such as ice cream or slushies.  Blender brands such as Vitamix and Blendtec are ideal for crushing ice.
  • Look for blenders that have a lot of blending power.  The ideal blender should have 1500 watts of blending power or more.  Two brands that readily come to mind are Vitamix and Blendtec blenders.
  • The first thing you should do is check the manufacturers’ instructions regarding crushing ice.  For example, some blender brands such as Nutribullet recommend you add water to the ice and use small ice cubes.
  • If you plan to crush ice you might want to look for a blender that has a stainless steel container since these containers tend to be more sturdy.

How Many Watts Do You Need in a Blender To Crush Ice?

Crushing ice is one of those activities that can definitely stress your blenders.  Keep in mind some blenders simply can’t handle the task.  

This is one of the reasons why motor wattage and horsepower are so important.  If you plan to blend ice regularly look for a blender that has a minimum of 1000 watts of blending power. 

If you want to have regular frozen drinks look for a blender that has 1500 watts (around 2 horsepower) blending power.

Blending Tips for Crushing Ice

When blending ice here are a few tips you can follow to make sure all goes well:

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions about how to crush ice.
  • Leave the ice out for a minute or two.
  • Add water to the ice before blending.
  • Fill the blender up to ⅔ of the blending container.
  • Select the pulse button a few times until you get the desired consistency.  Alternatively, if the blender has an ice crush button use it.

How To Crush Ice With a Ninja Blender

Ninja manufactures a number of different types of blenders.  They manufacture smaller single-serve blenders and also a full-size blender.  Keep in mind the single-serve blenders usually have less blending power.  

However, Ninja does have models such as the Ninja Nutri pro with auto IQ that has 1100 watts.  This single-serve blender has an ice crush function on the control panel.  You will find that larger machines such as the BN701 also have an ice-crushing function.  

When selecting a Ninja blender focus on blenders with at least 1100 for efficient ice crushing power.  When crushing ice in a Ninja blender consider adding some water to the ice.  Additionally,  make sure you only add ice so it is taking up ⅔ or less of the container.

How To Crush Ice in a Vitamix Blender

Vitamix blenders are the Ferrari of blenders.  They can easily crush ice and pretty much any other food item you can think of.  If you want to make crushed ice in a Vitamix simply add ice in the container and press the pulse button a few times.  This powerhouse blender will take care of the rest.

How To Blend Ice Smoothly

If you want to blend ice smoothly consider adding some water to the container and selecting the pulse button.  You can also periodically stir the mixture so it is evenly blended.

Why Does My Blender Not Crush Ice

If you find your blender is not crushing ice more than likely you need a blender with more blending power.


Well, there you have it.  I think we have pretty much covered every method about how to crush ice in a blender.  If you forget everything we have mentioned above, just remember two things. 

The watts of your blender or the horsepower is directly correlated to the blender’s ability to crush ice.  Secondly, if in doubt do not fill the blender to capacity and add some water.  

About Me


Hi, I am Charms, a self-confessed smoothie fanatic!  Here I will share some of my favorite smoothie recipes, tips and guides and gear reviews.   Learn more .