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Vitamix A3500 Ascent Series Review: What Is So Special About This New Blender & Series?

The Vitamix A3500 blender is Vitamix’s most advanced blender and is part of Vitamix’s newest blender series, the Ascent Series. Ascent Series blenders allow you to control your blender with an app and automatically self detect the blender jar that you are using.

Vitamix A3500 Ascent blender

Credit: Vitamix

You can use the table of contents below to find any specific topic you may be searching for, or just keep reading through the entire review.

If you’re in a hurry, you can see the Vitamix A3500 Ascent on Amazon now with current pricing, any discounts and free shipping options here now if you’d like.

New Kitchen Life is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission from  qualifying purchases.

What About Vitamix, Where Is It Based?

Vitamix is based in Ohio and has been in the same location for a long time. The original company was founded in 1921 by William Bernard and has remained in the same family ever since.

Mr. Bernard started selling blenders in 1937 and from the beginning, emphasized the health benefits of blending whole foods. This emphasis on health is where the Vitamix name comes from, originally spelled “Vita-Mix” with Vita meaning “life” and also mixing through blending.

The current headquarters facility in Olmsted Township, Ohio, outside Cleveland, was first occupied by Vitamix in the late 194os. Soon after, Mr. Bernard starred in what many consider to be the first infomercial when he advertised Vitamix blenders in a television commercial in 1949. He was a pioneer in demonstrating new uses for his blenders like making ice cream and hot soups.

Vitamix is now a much larger company that makes commercial blenders too. McDonald’s and Starbucks use Vitamix blenders and so do a lot of professional chefs.

Despite all of its growth and product changes, Vitamix is still based in the same Ohio location it has been in for almost 70 years and is now run by Mr. Bernard’s granddaughter, Dr. Jodi Berg.

What Is The Vitamix A3500?

The Vitamix A3500 is Vitamix’s most advanced blender. It may be controlled wirelessly through the Vitamix app and has five program settings that allow you to set them and “walk away” making blending easy. It also has a touchscreen control panel or interface, timer, manual control, and “Self-Detect” detecting of your Vitamix container. With Self-Detect, the blender will automatically adjust blending time and motor speed for the container.

There are five different Self-Detect container types: a 48-ounce medium size dry container, a 48-ounce medium size wet container, a blending bowl set, a blending cup set, and a 64-ounce large size low profile container that is included with the A3500. Each of the Ascent containers is sold separately (the 64-ounce Ascent container comes with your purchase).

image of Vitamix A3500 Ascent blenderCredit: Vitamix

Also, very important, the A3500 comes standard with a 10-year warranty (see What Is The Warranty For The Vitamix A3500? section below), no other major blender comes close to giving you that long of a warranty period.

The Ascent Series blenders, including the A3500, have a new blender container design than older Vitamix series blenders like the classic Vitamix 750 (you can read our review of the Vitamix 750 here. You can also see our reviews of the A3500 reviewed with other blenders in this best blender reviews of 2020 article and reviews of less expensive Vitamix models here in the Vitamix 5200 or the reviews of the Explorian 310 here and the Explorian 320 here) and these new containers are not compatible with the older series, and neither are the older container compatible with Ascent Series containers.

The 64-oz full-sized A3500 blender container is a “low-profile” container. It is wider and shorter than the traditional 64-oz Vitamix container that you will find in the older Vitamix series and is designed to fit better under cabinets.

The low-profile container blender blades that come with the A3500 are stainless steel “wet” blades. These blades are designed to create the “Vitamix Vortex”, or a vortex that will pull all the ingredients that you are blending into the blender blades to blend them smoothly according to the program you’ve chosen.

So now you need to know what you can make with the Vitamix A3500.

What Can You Make With The Vitamix A3500?

These are some ideas of what you can make with your A3500 “wet” blade container:

  • Smoothies – Smoothies are a morning ritual for many and Vitamix-made smoothies are said to be the creamiest best-blended smoothies by many. Fresh and frozen fruits and/or vegetable-based smoothies are based on some kind of juice as a base. Many people have other ingredients too like vitamin supplements, protein powder, oils, and grains.
  • Milkshakes – Milkshakes are a blending staple and easy to make. Add ice cream, ice, and milk as a base to almost anything, A lot of Vitamix users love the way Vitamix blenders make milkshakes either manually or with the A3500, with the Frozen Desserts program. Here’s a good milkshake recipe to start with by chef Bobby Flay.
  • Hot Soups – Start with the cold ingredients from your favorite soup recipe, including the broth, and choose the Soup program to let the A3500 make hot soups that are made hot through the friction of the blender blades.
  • Sauce – Sweet or savory sauces like homemade caramel or Hollandaise sauce are a Vitamix blender staple.
  • Ice Cream – Add milk, vanilla extract, and sugar to ice cubes to make easy, simple ice cream with the Frozen Desserts Progam. Blend until you reach the consistency that you prefer. Experiment with fruits, candies, nuts, and any other blend-in that you prefer.
  • Sorbets – An easy sorbet can also be made with the Frozen Desserts Program by starting with your favorite fresh or frozen fruit, a sugar or sweetener, some ice cubes maybe add some lemon juice to taste, and lots of flavors to choose from.
  • Juice – Juices were one of the first things made in Vitamix blenders from the very beginning in the 1930s. Just remove the non-blendable cores, rinds, or other non-blendable parts of any fruit and blend.
  • Salad Dressing – Start with oil and vinegar as a salad dressing base and mustard, anchovies, lemon juice, strawberries, and many other ingredients that you prefer. Pulse until the ingredients are blended to your satisfaction.
  • Baby Food – Baby food is great to make in your blender since you can choose each ingredient and know what’s in each batch. Choose the Puree button to blend carrots, squash, and other foods to the consistency that makes sense for your baby’s age.
  • Dips – Start with some mayonnaise, sour cream, dill weed, salt parsley, and onion, then blend for a great dip. Alternatives are avocado-based dips or really any other fat that your imagination or recipe book can provide.
  • Salsa – Start with onion, tomato, and cilantro, for fresh salsa, add peppers, hot or mild.
  • Food Prep – You can also just throw your onions, carrots, or other ingredients into your blender and pulse a few times to chop them to your preferred consistency and an easy way to chop.

What About Blending Dry Ingredients In The A3500?

The Ascent A3500 comes with a 64-ounce “wet” container which can also handle dry ingredients like dough, whole grains, and coffee beans, but not as well as a “dry” container.

If you are going to be working with a lot of dry goods like flour, grains, or nuts, or like milling whole grains or making dough every day, then you should probably buy the 48-oz Vitamix Ascent Dry Grains Container.

Also, know that some dry ingredients like spices and coffee can stain your container over time and even wear your wet blender blades faster, so it’s a good idea to blend dry ingredients in their own container.

The 48-ounce Ascent Dry Goods container has blender blades that are marked with a “D” in the picture below. These blades are specifically designed to process dry foods with blunt-ended blades and configured at a different angle than those in the wet container. It is also a good container size for dry goods (older model dry goods containers are only 32-ounces).

image of Vitamix Ascent Container Dry Blades

Credit: Vitamix

The standard wet blade container will still work for blending dry goods, but just not as well as the dry container does.

Vitamix Ascent Series 48 Ounce Dry Goods Container

Credit: Vitamix

You can see the Vitamix Ascent 48-Ounce Dry Grains Container on Amazon here with current pricing.

These additional dry goods blending ideas, whether you are using the dry or wet container should help.

  • Dough – Make a rough ball of dough when you blend flour, yeast, and salt at the highest speed with the Pulse button. Then add oil or water as appropriate for the flour that you’re using (take the small lid plug out of the larger lid to pour the oil and/or water into the container) on slow speed with Pulse until a defined dough ball forms, let it rest and its ready to bake.
  • Flour – Blend whole grains or nuts with the Pulse button at the highest speed until they are finely ground. Experiment with different ingredients to make almond flour or flour out of almost any grain or nut.
  • Nut Butter – Add at least a cup of peanuts, cashews, almonds, or almost any other nut, with your choice of neutral oil to your blender container. Pulse or blend manually to make nut butter to your preferred consistency. Have your tamper ready unstick and ingredients and keep blending until you reach your preferred consistency.
  • Ground Coffee – Start with whole coffee beans of your choice, and use the Pulse button to control how finely you want your coffee to be gr0und based on the machine you’ll be using to make your coffee, the filter, etc. Note that coffee beans and certain herbs and nuts can stain your container over time.
  • Non-Dairy Milk – Make almond milk, cashew milk, and many others easily, just Pulse the raw nut or other ingredients to your preferred consistency. A simple recipe for almond milk is here.
  • Ground Spice – Wholes spices with the Pulse button can be used to grind spices as finely as you need just like coffee. And just like coffee, be careful and know about the spices you choose to put in your blender, some will stain your container pretty quickly or over time and some can even damage your blender blades.
  • Batter – Make pancake and waffle batters others too with your basic batter ingredients (flour, eggs, oil, etc) and Pulse to your preferred “fluffiness”.

How Do I Use My Vitamix A3500 Ascent Blender?

There are five Programs, a Timer, a Variable Speed Dial with manual speed control, a Pulse button, and Start/Stop on the interface of the Vitamix A3500 and a separate On/Off on the bottom right side of the blender base.

Vitamix A3500 Ascent Series Review: What Is So Special About This New Blender & Series? 1

Credit: Vitamix

Programs – There are five automatic program settings that will run your Vitamix A3500 motor at the best speed and for the best time for each one. These programs are: image of Vitamix A3500 Program SymbolsThe Programs are easy to use. Press the program symbol that you want on the interface and the Start/Stop button. The blender will run through the program if an Ascent container is detected and stop when it’s done. You can press the Start/Stop button to interrupt any program, after which you may finish it with manual speed control.

image of Vitamix A3500 interface

Variable Speed Dial – This dial is used to manually speed control your blender anywhere from low or “1” and up to “10”, the highest speed. Always start the blender at speed 1, then rotate the dial clockwise to higher speeds.

Timer – Use the timer only with manual modes, the Program settings cannot be used with the Timer. Set the time to blend and the Timer will count down until it’s finished and stop the blender. Note that a maximum blend time for the container cannot be exceeded for safety reasons so if you set the Timer to run beyond that time, it will stop automatically when the maximum time is reached.

Pulse – Use the Pulse button to run the blender at the speed that you’ve set on the Variable Speed Dial for as long as you press the button.

On/Off Switch – The On/Off Switch is on the bottom right of the blender base, see the picture below.

image of Vitamix A3500 On/Off

Credit: Vitamix

How Does The App Work With The Ascent Series Blenders & The Vitamix A3500?

Download the Vitamix app from the AppStore or from Google Play and then open it on your smartphone.

The app is designed to control your blender, give you hundreds of recipes, sync with different fitness tracker apps, and shopping lists, all in theory.

Here’s a brief description of the app from Vitamix:

Credit: Vitamix

As of this review, however, there are a lot of otherwise happy Vitamix blender customers who are very frustrated with this app. The app design is pretty basic, not easy to use, and buggy. When it works it’s great, giving you a way to break down recipes, operate the blender, and even create shopping lists, but the connection to prone to failure and can be frustrating to use, so be forewarned when using it, hopefully, Vitamix will update its app soon.

How Does Self Cleaning Work In The Vitamix A3500?

To clean the Vitamix A3500, you can use the Self-Cleaning Progam on the interface, it’s the last program symbol.

Start with a container half-full of warm water, press the Self-Cleaning button, and then the Start/Stop button. The blender will then run through the program and automatically stop when it’s done. All you have to do now is rinse.

You may also use the Self Cleaning Program for more thorough cleaning or sanitizing by adding about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of liquid bleach to the warm water used in cleaning. After the blender runs through the Self Cleaning Progam, allow the mixture to sit in the container for about 90 seconds, then empty the container without rinsing.

What Is Automatic Overload Protection In The Vitamix A3500?

Automatic Overload Protection will automatically shut down if the motor gets too hot and prevents your blender motor from permanent damage if it’s running too long.

Vitamix blender motors are designed to cool themselves through vents in the motor base. Cooling works better at higher blender speeds, so the source of overheating is often running the motor at low (not high) speed for too long. Another source of overheating is stuck ingredients.

After Automatic Overload Protection is activated, you will have to wait for up to 45 minutes for your blender to cool off before it will allow you to turn it back on again.

Use the tamper included with your Ascent Series A3500 (and only that one) to break up any stuck ingredients and don’t let it run too long (especially at low speed).

What Don’t They Tell You About The Power Of The Vitamix A3500?

Vitamix describes the horsepower of their blenders in “peak” horsepower, or the power in theory based on the watts and amps just as you turn it on. But this rating doesn’t mean much because it won’t operate at “peak” horsepower when you’re actually blending, for that you need an operating horsepower. For the Ascent Series A3500, Vitamix rates it as having 2.2 peak horsepower.

The A3500 blender has a power rating of 1,440 watts (120V and 12 amps), so what is the operating horsepower?

Horsepower is calculated by taking the watts of the blender and dividing by the constant for mechanical horsepower which is 746 watts. Or another way, one horsepower equals 746 watts.

So, since the A3500 is 1,440 watts, the mechanical horsepower is 1,440 watts divided by 746, or 1.93 hp motor, the same as the Vitamix 750, and plenty of blender power.

What Colors Are Available For The Vitamix Ascent Series A3500?

The Vitamix A3500 has more colors than you can find in the older Vitamix series blenders. There are six colors: Graphite Metal Finish, Copper Metal Finish, Candy Apple Red, White, Black Stainless Metal Finish, and Brushed Stainless Metal Finish.

These colors are just in the blender base around the control panel, and not the face or control panel, or the container.

You can see each of the colors here and use the link below each one to check the current pricing and availability of the Graphite Metal Finish A3500 on Amazon and for each of the other colors on the Vitamix site, which is the best option for finding these other colors.

Graphite Metal

Vitamix A3500 Black

Candy Apple Red

Vitamix A3500 Candy Apple Red

Credit: Vitamix
Copper Metal
Vitamix A3500 Copper Metal Finish
Credit: Vitamix
Vitamix A3500 White
Credit: Vitamix
Brushed Stainless Metal
Vitamix A3500 Brushed Stainless Metal
Credit: Vitamix
And you can check the availability and pricing of the Brushed Stainless Ascent Series A3500 here on Vitamix’s site here and find the color icon for Brushed Stainless.
Black Stainless Metal
Vitamix A3500 Black Stainless Metal
Credit: Vitamix
And you can check the availability and pricing of the Black Stainless Ascent Series A3500 here on Vitamix’s site here, and choose the color icon for Black Stainless.

What Is The Warranty For The Vitamix Ascent Series A3500?

The Vitamix A3500 Ascent blender comes with a standard, 10-year warranty, the longest warranty of any Vitamix blender, and much longer than the warranties from other brands, which in some cases are only 1 or 2 years.

A warranty is generally a gauge of how long a company expects its products to last and Vitamix certainly goes the distance with the A3500 warranty. The Vitamix 750 standard warranty is 7 years, for comparison. To get to a 10-year warranty for the Vitamix 750, you would have to buy an extended 3-year warranty from Vitamix, so keep that difference in mind if you’re considering that model too.

The warranty is generally good for protecting you if the blender breaks during the warranty period. They will repair it or replace it. The good thing about Vitamix warranties is that Vitamix pays for your shipping costs to and from their repair center.

What is not covered under this warranty is cosmetic damage to the container through regular use and damage to the blender blades caused by the oils “certain herbs and spices” as Vitamix defines in the warranty that causes the blades to “wear prematurely”. You warranty is also voided if you use the A3500 in a commercial setting like a smoothie shop.

Vitamix Ascent Series A3500 Specifications

Dimensions Including The 64 Oz Low Profile Blender Container: 17 inches high, 11 inches deep, and  8 inches wide

Container Material: BPA-Free hardened plastic (trade name is Tritan)

Blades: 4-inch stainless steel “wet” blades designed to create the “Vitamix Vortex” or a vortex where ingredients spin into it from the sides of the blender and into the blender blades.

Horsepower: 2.2 peak horsepower (when it starts) and 1.93 operating horsepower (when you’re actually using it).

Electrical: 120 V, 50-60 Hz, 12 Amps

Weight: 14.92 lbs

Made: Cleveland (Olmstead Township), Ohio

What Comes With The Vitamix Ascent Series A3500?

The Ascent Series A3500 comes with the blender base, the two-part lid, 64-oz low profile container, S2 low profile tamper, and cookbook.

The Vitamix A3500: What Do We Recommend?

The Vitamix Ascent Series A3500 is Vitamix’s most advanced blender and also one of its most expensive. But it also provides a 10-year warranty. Nothing else really comes close to that long of a warranty. The Vitamix 750 comes with a 7-year warranty, other brands have warranties that may only last for 1 or 2 years, so consider that with the cost. That is, how many times will you have to replace a cheaper blender over 10 years? If it’s a lot, then you may end up paying more over 10 years to replace cheaper blenders than you would to buy the A3500.

The A3500 also supports multiple container types that will adjust the preset blending programs for the correct container, a nice feature. The Vitamix app also allows you to control your A3500 from your smartphone, and connect to your fitness tracker, your shopping list, and recipes, but the app needs an upgrade and should get better over time. The wireless connection built into the A3500 is good to have but you don’t need it, at least not immediately.

You also have your choice of up to six colors with the A3500, more than almost any other model.

So if you value a Vitamix blender with advanced technology built-in with a clean look and color options, along with Vitamix’s most powerful motor and customary Vitamix “smoothiness”, then the Ascent A3500 should be your choice.

Check the latest pricing and free shipping options for the Vitamix A3500 on Amazon here.

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About the Author Sabrina

Sabrina is our head writer and expert researcher. She spends countless hours of research on each topic or product she writes about. She also tests products and recipes when she can and is known as a kitchen appliance junkie who is always trying new gadgets. Plus, she's a fairly decent cook above all else!