Vitamix 5200 Blender: Is It The Best Blender For You In 2020?

The Vitamix 5200 blender is part of Vitamix’s Classic C-Series line of blenders.

It is mid-priced among all of the Vitamix blenders with a very simple variable speed dial on the motor base but has a powerful motor and blades for doing pretty much everything you’d expect a Vitamix quality product to do.

image of the Vitamix 5200 Blender

Credit: Vitamix

The Vitamix 5200 does just about everything that you’d want a Vitamix blender to do without any timers, attachments, digital displays, or pre-set modes. If you don’t need any of those things then this blender could be a good fit for you. Read on to find out in detail what the Vitamix 5200 can do and how it does it.

If you’re in a hurry and just want to see the Vitamix 5200 model on Amazon now with the latest pricing and discounts, you can see it on Amazon here.

You can use the table of contents below to skip to any part of this review that you need to know right now. Otherwise, just keep reading.

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What Is Vitamix?

Vitamix is a privately owned US-based company that’s been owned by the Barnard family since 1921. Vitamix products are made in the United States in Olmsted Township, Ohio, and has been based there since 1946, That’s a long time for one family operation in one place!

Company founder William Grover Barnard introduced the blender to the company’s product line of kitchen appliances in 1937 emphasizing the health benefits of whole good nutrition from early versions of smoothies.

William’s son Bill is credited as the inspiration for creating the nation’s first infomercial when he suggested that his father pitch their products on television in 1949.

Vitamix continued to grow since then by pioneering new ways to use its products to make soup and ice cream, knead dough, and grind grain.

The company also created a line of commercial blenders for restaurants and the hospitality industry, A Vitamix blender can still be seen today in Starbucks and McDonald’s. Vitamix models are often preferred by professional chefs to use in their kitchens.

The company is now led by Dr. Jodi Berg, the great-granddaughter of William Barnard, and making her the fourth generation of the Barnard family to lead the company.

So What Is The Vitamix 5200 Model All About?

The Vitamix 5200 blender is a classic Vitamix design with a super simple control panel and a powerful motor with Vitamix stainless steel blades. The control panel only has two buttons and a dial for variable speed control, that’s it!

5200 Vitamix Main ImageCredit: Vitamix

The Vitamix 5200 is one of Vitamix’s classic models like the more expensive Vitamix 750, which we also reviewed in detail here. We also looked at the less expensive Vitamix Explorian E310 model here, the Vitamix Explorian E320 model here, and other Vitamix products and other brands in this article.

So What Can You Do With Your Vitamix 5200 Product?

Vitamix designs its products with powerful motors to make a lot of things you might not expect to do in a blender, and more easily do other things that you already take for granted.

Here are some suggestions for what you can do with the Vitamix 5200:

  • Hot soup takes about six minutes on high speed starting with cold soup ingredients. The heat comes from the friction of the blades blending your soup ingredients and transferring it to your broth.
  • Nut butters like peanut butter can be made by grinding any nut you choose with a little oil. You can control the consistency of the butter by how long you run your motor and by varying the amount of oil that you use.
  • Non-Dairy Milk is made with your choice of ingredient, almonds for instance, and some water blended to your chosen consistency.
  • Ground coffee with any coffee beans you want, but beware that over time some kinds of beans may stain the container.
  • Knead dough by adding flour, yeast, and salt and blending them together on “High” speed. Then add some hot water and olive oil and blend on variable speed until a dough ball forms. Know that while the standard wet blade included with your 5200 blender will knead dough, a separate dry blade container will work better and more efficiently. A dry blade container is definitely recommended if you want to use your blender to knead dough regularly, see below for details and purchase options for the dry container.
  • Flour can be made by grinding, or milling, whole grain flour into fine grain, but you should probably use the separate dry blade container for this if you do it regularly, and again see more details below on the dry container.
  • Mix batters for pancakes, waffles, or other baked stuff by blending to a smooth consistency.
  • Milkshakes are a classic blender product, just add milk to ice cream and blend. You can also experiment with a lot more ingredients like fruit, peanut butter, and chocolate syrup to create almost any milkshake flavor you can imagine.
  • Sorbets are also easy to make with fruits of your choice. The consistency will vary based on the time that you run your motor.
  • Frozen Desserts of almost any kind can be made with a Vitamix blender. Frozen desserts are really just any frozen dessert item that you can think of added to some kind of juice, or milk or cream or almost any other liquid.
  • Simplified ice cream can be made with milk, ice cubes, sugar, and some vanilla extract. Experiment with different additional ingredients and motor time.
  • Smoothies are probably the most typical thing to make in a Vitamix product, just add whatever fruit, ice, and other ingredients and blend to make your favorite smoothie. Smoothies can be made in large batches or small since the 5200 has the standard 64-ounce large container.
  • Juicing is what the first Vitamix machines were designed to do, before the smoothie. Blend your favorite fruit, the pulp will be included!
  • Dips are also pretty easy to mix in the blender to whatever consistency you desire.
  • Salad dressing is also pretty easy to make in your machine, add oil, vinegar, etc and blend.
  • Sauces for savory dishes like tomato or pesto sauces are also easy to make in your machine.
  • Baby food can be made with whatever ingredients you choose and the good thing is that you get to choose which ingredients to give to your baby. You can also control how finely blended you need your baby food to be by choosing how long you blend it. Experiment with different run times to discover what works best for you. You can also make large batches of baby food in the 64-ounce container and freeze what you don’t use for later.
  • Food prep is something you can also try with your Vitamix 5200, like mincing garlic or even grating cheese, but for all practical purposes, it will be easier to just chop as you usually would for smaller batches.

Details: How Do You Operate The 5200?

Before you start your machine, make sure that your power switch on the left side of the control panel is set to “Variable” and not “High”. It’s also a good idea to set the power to “1” or the lowest speed on the variable speed control dial when you start it.

Vitamix 5200 Control Panel image

Credit: Vitamix

You want to do this to make sure that you don’t start the machine at its highest speed, which is better for the motor (and your kitchen if you forgot to put the lid on and you’re making tomato soup) to go to High after you’ve started at a lower speed.

The variable speed control dial in the middle of the control panel is where you can choose your motor speed. The variable speed control dial is easy to rotate clockwise to increase speed.

The Variable switch setting (hold the button on the left side of the control panel above down) is Vitamix’s pulse feature. The pulse feature will turn on the motor for as long as you hold the Variable button down and at whichever speed is set on the speed dial.

Vitamix has designed its 64 ounce container with specific angles (see container below) to create a vortex with whatever liquid or, for instance, frozen desserts, that you’re blending to ensure that ingredients are getting to your blades and don’t stay stuck on the sides of the container, the “Vitamix vortex”.

Vitamix 5200 64 ounce blender pitcher image

Credit: Vitamix

After you turn on the machine at low speed, you can easily adjust the power by turning the dial up to “10”. From there you can choose “High” at the highest speed (I guess you could call it “11”) setting.

Vitamix recommends using High speed for ice, frozen desserts, grains, and whole foods (like whole fruits or vegetables).

High speed also maximizes the cooling fan for the machine and is better used for longer periods than slower speeds for longer periods because of the Automatic Overload Protection (see below).

Sometimes while you’re blending, the stuff in your container will get stuck. If that happens you can try to use the tamper to remove any air bubbles or to just push your ingredients around so they start blending again.

Also, use the tamper when you’re working with dense foods, thick liquids or frozen desserts to keep them from getting stuck in the first place.

The tamper is designed for you can use it while the machine is on. Just remove the lid plug in the middle of the lid while the lid itself stays on. Put the tamper in the container and you’ll notice that the tamper is designed with a big disk that will stop the tamper from going far enough into the container to hit the blender blades.

Vitamix refers to this design feature as a “splash disk”, it’s the large round disk near the handle of the tamper illustrated below designed to work with the classic 64 oz container that comes with the 5200.

Vitamix 5200 Diagram with tamper and container

Credit: Vitamix

Vitamix recommends that you only use the tamper when the container is 2/3 full or less and also not use it for more than 3o seconds straight or the machine will likely overheat.

If your blender is still stopped even after you’ve broken up anything that might have stopped the blades with the tamper, then it may have been automatically stopped by the Automatic Overload Protection system.

Cleaning & Sanitizing Your Vitamix 5200: Is It Self Cleaning?

To clean your container, Vitamix recommends adding liquid dish soap to half a container full of warm water. Cover and blend, starting at Low speed, or “1” then slowly increasing to High speed (“10”) for 30 to 60 seconds. Rinse and you are done, make sure you rinse a couple of times since liquid dish soap does not work well in smoothies! So in that sense, it is self cleaning, but you’re basically just blending dish soap and warm water.

You can also sanitize your container by adding bleach. To sanitize, add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of liquid bleach to the container to half of a container full of warm water as you do when you clean it and run for 30 to 60 seconds, starting Low and slowly increasing to High speed as you do above when cleaning. One additional step with sanitizing, after you turn off your motor, let the bleach and water mixture sit about 90 seconds. Then, pour the liquid out and allow the container to air dry. Vitamix does not recommend rinsing after sanitizing.

What Is The Automatic Protection Overload System?

The Automatic Protection Overload system keeps your Vitamix motor from overheating. When your motor gets too hot, the Vitamix 5200 will automatically shut itself off. To restart it, it depends on which version you have.

If you have the 120 Volt version (the most common), you just have to turn off the machine and wait about 45 minutes for it to cool down. Better not to trigger the Automatic Protection Overload system in the first place! At least it’s good to know that your Vitamix 5200 will shut down before it overheats and damages the motor.

The 45 minute waiting period may even take longer if it’s hot outside, but you may be able to speed up the waiting time by blowing cool air into the bottom of the motor base (see the diagram of the bottom of the motor base below with air ducts depicted) using a hairdryer without the heat or just blowing on it.

image of the Vitamix 5200 Bottom with reset button

Credit: Vitamix

If you have the 220 or 240 Volt versions, you can reset them by pressing the reset button (see the grey button above) that’s on the bottom of the motor base close to the front side.

Vitamix 5200 Hidden Feature

The Vitamix 5200 comes with a feature that you might not notice, the power cord cavity. The 5200 power cord is long, which is nice, but in case you don’t need the full length of the power cord, you can wrap it out of sight underneath the motor base, at the bottom of the motor base.

There is a built-in cord wrap cavity that is secured by three plastic retainers that will hold any unused cord firmly under the machine and out of sight. You can see it in the diagram above.

The Vitamix 5200 Motor – Is It Powerful Enough And What’s The Real Horsepower?

The 5200 motor is rated at 2 “peak” horsepower by Vitamix, but peak horsepower is just the horsepower rating measured at the split second that the machine starts. The actual operating horsepower is measured by the watts.

Since the Vitamix 5200 is rated at 120 volts and 11.5 amps, then the watts are 1,380. To convert to horsepower, multiply the watts by the horsepower factor of 0.00134 and you get 1.849 or 1.85 operating horsepower.

1.85 horsepower is still powerful enough to blend almost any food you can imagine, fresh, frozen, or even ice, so yes the 5200 does have a powerful motor.

The Vitamix 5200 2-Part Lid

The 5200 has two parts: the lid and the lid plug:

  • Lid Plug – The removable lid plug in the center of the lid is designed to work with the tamper so you can use the blender while the motor is running without worrying about hitting the blender blades. You can also remove the lid plug to add ingredients while blending. It’s great for adding butter to Hollandaise sauce for example.
  • Lid & Lid Flaps – The lid flaps (they look like ear flaps on a fur hat) are designed to secure the lid firmly onto the container. They work pretty well to keep the it on even at High speed. Good to know if you’ve ever had the lid fly off your container while its running and spraying your kitchen with a new shade of red strawberry.

The Vitamix 5200 Container – Wet Container Versus Dry Container

The standard 64 oz BPA free container that comes with the 5200 is a “wet” container, meaning that it is best used to blend liquids and other things that you normally think of blending.

Vitamix Wet Container

Each of the four stainless steel wet blades in a wet BPA free 64 oz container has sharp ends. You can tell it by the “W” on the stainless steel blade (See picture below) that indicates a wet container.

image of Vitamix 5200 wet blender blades

An optional 32-oz “dry” container can be bought separately and is best used to grind seeds, knead dough, and other less traditional but important blender jobs (some of these were pioneered by Vitamix).

Vitamix Dry Container

Dry containers have two “squared” stainless steel blades and two sharp-end ones and are marked with a “D” on the blade (see below).image of Vitamix 5200 Dry Blender Blades

Credit: Vitamix

image of Vitamix 32-ounce dry goods container

Credit: Vitamix

You can see the dry container on Amazon here with latest pricing, shipping options and any discounts.

Even though you can use your standard 64 oz wet container to knead dough and grind grain, it won’t work as well as the dry container does for those jobs. Grinding grains may also cause your wet container to get cloudy over time.

If you want to do a lot of grinding or kneading, you’ll want to get the additional dry container. It’s also good to have a dry container since the container, wet or dry, will become discolored over time when grinding, so you might as well limit the discoloration to the dry container. Also note that grinding some types of herbs and spices may damage the container over time, just make sure you know your ingredients!

Note that the dry container is not as good at blending liquids as the wet container is, as you might expect. You can see the Vitamix 32-ounce dry container again on Amazon here

Color Options For The Vitamix 5200

The standard color of the motor base is black with 64 oz container, but you also have two other motor base colors (same 64 oz container) to choose from.

Red here:image of the Vitamix 5200 Red Model blender

Or White here:image of the Vitamix 5200 White Model blender

Credit: Vitamix

Really Important – The Warranty!

The standard Vitamix warranty is 7 years. A 7 year warranty is about the best one you’ll get in a small appliance.

Even though you’re prived with a 7 year warranty, you can also buy another 3 year extended term warranty directly from Vitamix to provide 10 years of total protection. If you do buy an extended term, do it when you receive your blender and register it, since it costs more if you buy the extended one after 30 days.

The standard 7 year warranty covers you as long as you use it at home, it doesn’t cover commercial use. It also doesn’t cover cosmetic damage, like that caused by discoloration of your container from grinding herbs, for example.

If your blender stops working as a result of wear and tear or just breaks catastrophically at any time during the 7 years of coverage for a standard warranty and up to 10 years for the extended term, you should be covered.

With the warranty provided by Vitamix, you don’t need to buy an extended one (unless you buy the extra 3-year one from Vitamix directly) since the standard Vitamix warranty lasts far longer than most extended ones you’d find online.

The Vitamix warranty even covers shipping to and from the repair center. So, keep your receipt you’ll need it when you make a claim, just call their Customer Service number: (800) 848-2649.

Vitamix 5200 Specs

These specifications are measured with the container attached to the motor base.

Vitamix Product Line: C-Series

Measurements: 20.5 inches high, 8.75 inches wide, and 7.25 inches deep. At 20.5 inches high, the 5200 is on the tall side, so make sure it fits well with your kitchen cabinets.

Blender Blades: Stainless steel 3-inch “wet” blades are included with each blender. These blades are designed for liquid blending even though they will also blend dry ingredients (including kneading dough) like seeds. The wet container just won’t blend dry ingredients as efficiently as a “dry” container sold separately (see the dry container on Amazon here).

Container: 64 oz BPA free hardened plastic

Horsepower: 2 horsepower “peak”, 1.85 horsepower operating

Electrical: 120 V, 50/60 Hz, 11.5 Amps and 1,380 watts

Weight: 10 pounds, 9 ounces

Design Feature: Radial cooling fan and thermal protection system

Cord Length: 6 feet

Where Is The Vitamix 5200 Manufactured?

Vitamix is headquartered in and manufactures or assembles its blenders in Olmsted Township (Cleveland), Ohio in the United States.

What Comes With Your Vitamix 5200?

Included in the box shipped with your Vitamix 5200 the motor base and 64-ounce “wet” container. It also comes with a “Getting Started Guide”, a DVD and the tamper.

So What Do We Recommend?

The Vitamix 5200 is a full-sized full power blender that priced roughly in the middle of all of the Vitamix blenders. It will do just about everything that you expect from a blender, but without digital displays, timers, or preset modes.

The standard 7 year warranty also means you don’t need to buy an extended one but you can buy one from Vitamix that extends the term to 10 years. A 7 year warranty (and even more so 10) is especially rare among small appliances. Vitamix stands behind their blenders with this extra-long coverage alone.

If you want to compare the 5200 with a less expensive blender, consider how long the lower-priced blender warranty lasts since these terms are a rough gauge of how long manufacturers expect their products to last. Divide the price by the term and you’ll get an approximate idea of how much it costs for each year you’ll be able to use your blender. There’s a good chance that the 5200 will be much less per year since you’re covered by warranty for at least 7 years and regardless, it’s a better blender to use in each of those years!

Customers love their Vitamix 5200 blenders, praising them especially for making the best smoothies with enough power to make them “creamy”. They also like the durability and the many things you can make with the 5200 blender without having to use a complicated interface or program.

Some customers have had failures in the container or motor, which sometimes happens with small appliances, so it’s good to know that you should be covered by the Vitamix warranty if your blender fails during the 7 years (or 10 years with extended) coverage.

We recommend that you buy the Vitamix 5200 if it suits your budget and you don’t care about digital displays or timers.  You’ll be in good company with professional chefs, home cooks, and smoothie-makers who overwhelmingly rate the Vitamix 5200 among the best blenders.

To see the latest pricing for the Vitamix 5200, along with each of the three color options and any discounts on Amazon, click here.

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Vitamix 5200 Blender: Is It The Best Blender For You In 2020?

The Vitamix 5200 blender is part of Vitamix's Classic C-Series line of blenders.

Product Brand: Vitamix

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