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Instant Pot to offer the Ace, a blender that also cooks – CNET

Instant Pot, the company known for its electric pressure cookers, will venture into the world of blending. As previously reported by The Kitchn, Instant Pot has started to accept preorders through Walmart for the Instant Pot Ace Multi-Use Cooking and Beverage Blender. The Ace will be widely available Sept. 25, according to the Walmart product page.

What makes the $99 blender stand out from similar products is its ability to cook foods that you mix with the machine. The Ace's four hot blending programs "provide you the ability to cook fresh ingredients combining boiling and blending for one-pitcher meals" such as soup, soy and rice milk and heated purées, according to the Instant Pot website. This is made possible by a concealed heating element in the base of the 60-ounce glass pitcher in which you put your ingredients. An LED display on the blender's base will display the temperature. 

Other features on the Ace include three manual blending speeds and four cold blending programs -- smoothies, ice cream, crushed ice and nut or oat milk.

Based on its price and advertised abilities, the Ace sounds like it could be a cheaper alternative to brands like Vitamix and Blendtec, but a step up from budget blender brands. The Ace's ability to heat up foods reminds me of the Thermomix, the $1,300 countertop multicooker that did a little bit of everything from cooking soup to kneading bread. The $99 price on the Ace makes it much more attainable if you want a blender/cooker hybrid. 

The Ace could be useful to home cooks who want devices that complete more than one task. For example, you could throw all the ingredients to a tomato soup in the Ace, cook them down and combine them all in one container, which is more convenient than cooking soup in a pot and using an immersion blender (or dumping the contents into a blender). 

With this venture into blenders, I'm eager to see what other products Instant Pot will make next. The company's huge internet fandom will secure customers no matter what the appliance based solely on the brand name.