The NutriBullet has long been lauded as a high-powered blender for the smoothie- and homemade sauce-loving crowd. Sleek and handy, you can whip single-serve dishes quick and simply and even better: It takes up minimal countertop space. But the more popular it becomes, the more reports have surfaced about the blender causing injuries after unexpected explosions.
In a recent segment on Today Tonight Adelaide in Australia, several people shared that they were making recipes from the NutriBullet manual, using room temperature products, when the contents of the blender became so hot that the container burst off; they were splashed and received what appear to be terrible burns on their faces, neck and hands.
For instance, London film director Richard Moore claims he was blending a peanut butter smoothie when he noticed the blades started spinning faster than usual, and the machine exploded. "It felt like my hands were on fire," Moore told Today Tonight Adelaide about the accident, adding that he spent multiple nights in the hospital and has faced sleepless nights due to pain.
Another man, Pete Damiano, claims he was injured while making a mango sauce for his family. While it's unclear whether the sauce was hot or not before Damiano put it into the blender, he did suffer second-degree burns that almost left him blind.
NutriBullet's manual does specifically warn users not to use hot liquids when blending ingredients, and also notes that over-blending can heat up your contents to an unsafe degree. "Do not put hot liquids in any of the blending vessels before blending. Start with cool or room temperature ingredients. Heated ingredients can create internal pressure in a sealed blending vessel, which may erupt on opening and cause thermal injury," the manual reads. "Friction from the rotating blade can cause ingredients to heat and generate internal pressure in the sealed vessel. Do not continuously operate for more than one minute. If the vessel is warm to touch, allow to cool before carefully opening pointed away from your body. Never permit any blended mixture to sit inside a sealed vessel without first releasing internal pressure."
Most people use their NutriBullet for smoothies, sauces and other room temperature dishes, but the brand does promote recipes for soup — though only certain models can make them. The NutriBullet RX has a "seven-minute heating cycle that creates fresh, piping hot nutrient-extracted soups and beverages," according to marketing claims. This kind of heating is not uncommon in new, high-end blenders, but if you're worried about safety or think it's going to take more than a minute to blend, a safer choice for making and blending soup may be an immersion blender, says Betty Gold, Senior Product Analyst in the Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab of the Good Housekeeping Institute.
"All you have to do is lower it into your pot to blend vegetables with the broth — no need to dump everything into the blender and get a whole other bowl or dish dirty," Gold explains. She adds to always read your appliance manuals carefully. Don't use a blender to blend hot liquids, if advised not to, and always remove or leave open the opening in the lid to let the hot air escape.
NutriBullet has not publicly responded to the recent reports yet, but this story will be updated with more information as it becomes available.
[h/t Metro, Today Tonight Adele