The Magic Bullet does NOT work for me!

That’s strange; I thought Works-for-Me Wednesday this week was supposed to be a “What’s not working for you?” edition, but the hostess has explained how to make a burlap wreath that apparently works for her, and now that I think about it, last week she explained why online calendars don’t work for her.  I must have gotten the dates confused.  Well, anyway, here is something that’s not working for me:

The Magic Bullet is a blender/chopper system that supposedly “does ANY job in 10 seconds or less.”  Seriously, any job?  Really, they mean only food-cutting jobs, like making smoothies, dicing vegetables, grating cheese, chopping nuts, crushing ice, pureeing beans, etc.  Still, that sounds good!  We bought one on special at Costco almost two years ago.

Our conclusion, after trying hard to learn its ways, is that the Magic Bullet does a few kinds of jobs in 10 minutes or less and is annoying, if not incompetent, at all the other things it claims it can do.

The basic idea of the Magic Bullet is that you screw a blade assembly onto a cup with some food in it, and then you press the blade assembly into the base that holds the motor, causing the blade to rotate in quick pulses.  Sounds reasonable.  The trouble is…

  • Only the food right around the blade gets cut.  In order to get the rest of the food to the blade, you have to shake the cup in such a way that the cut food falls off the blade and lands in the opposite end of the cup, while the rest of the food moves around it.  The instructions make this sound easy.  It isn’t.
  • Lining up the tabs on the blade assembly with the notches in the base is difficult.  They’re really small.  If they don’t align perfectly, the thing won’t run.
  • You’re supposed to run it in pulses, just a few seconds at a time.  But once the tabs and notches are engaged, they tend to jam together, such that releasing your pressure on the cup doesn’t necessarily cause the thing to stop.
  • The motor overheats really easily.  If you accidentally run it for 10 seconds straight, it starts to smell bad.  A few seconds more can overheat it to the point that its safety feature shuts it off, and then you have to wait at least 15 minutes before it will run again.  This makes it not very convenient for quick ingredient preparation!
  • It doesn’t dice or grate anything.  It tears everything to bits.  Instead of pretty grated carrot, you get carrot that looks like it’s been chewed and spat out–okay for making soup but not for topping salad.
  • If you want to make a full cup of something–for example, a smoothie–you cannot put in all the ingredients at once; it works best if you puree one ingredient, then shake it to the other end of the cup and add the next ingredient, puree that, shake it off, add the next. . . .  This is a real hassle because you have to unscrew the blade assembly, take it off (dripping food), and then screw it back on.  It’s much more complicated than a regular blender, where the lid is easily removed and you don’t have to handle the blade until you’re done.
  • Leaves and tough fruit peels (like apple peel) get cut very unevenly, usually leaving a few awkwardly huge pieces.
  • Forget about kale.  You might get away with a few pre-torn smallish bits in a smoothie, but if you try to shred a handful of kale in the Magic Bullet, it winds around the blade and jams the motor.
  • The motor is very loud and obnoxious.
  • It’s no easier to clean than a standard blender.  It seems very time-consuming to clean because, almost every time we have attempted a job with the Magic Bullet, we’ve ended up also using a knife and cutting-board or our food processor so had to clean those as well!

These are the only tasks for which we’ve found the Magic Bullet works pretty well:

  • Grinding flax seeds.  As long as you fill the cup less than 1/3 full, it does a really nice job.  (But not in “10 seconds or less” because you have to stop and shake it several times.)
  • Making a smoothie from mostly soft ingredients, such as banana, melon, and berries.
  • Pureeing soft, non-sticky foods such as cooked vegetables.  (Beans are too sticky.)

We do have one nice thing to say about the Magic Bullet: Its user’s manual + cookbook is unusually well-written.  It not only avoids that “translated from another language, possibly by robots” style of many appliance handbooks; it’s actually written in a pleasant, enthusiastic tone that is fun to read.  We’d be happy to have the author over to dinner and find out if he or she actually was able to make the machine perform as described or was simply doing the job well!

29 thoughts on “The Magic Bullet does NOT work for me!

  1. So I have a pretty hilarious story about the Magic Bullet. Actually it is my college roommate’s story, but worth sharing nonetheless.

    So my roommate had never heard of Magic Bullet the blender. She had, however, heard of Magic Bullet the vibrator (which apparently is a thing). This led to the following phone conversation with her mother:

    Mother: “Have you heard of the Magic Bullet?”
    Roommate: “…Yes.”
    Mother: “Well, your aunt got one for your cousin, and she loves it! I think you should get one.”
    Roommate: ???

    My roommate said that her aunt was the kind of person who would buy a vibrator for her daughter, so this did not surprise her very much, but her mom’s enthusiastic encouragement caught her completely off-guard. Eventually she figured out that her mom was talking about a blender. 🙂

    I never really saw the appeal of the Magic Bullet blender, and if you’re saying it’s no easier to clean than a standard blender (which is really the only potential complaint with our blender, and I don’t think it’s that bad), then there’s definitely no reason to get one. Thanks as always for your thorough explanation!

    • That’s really funny! I had a vague idea that there might be a vibrator called the Magic Bullet. Well, I guess that, like my article “Swinging for Fitness”, this one may help to bring in readers who meant to search for something else!

      Definitely, the Magic Bullet is no easier to clean than a standard blender, which is what we plan to get to replace it. We already have a food processor, which does grating and slicing very nicely and purees foods like beans, but if you mix something very liquid like a smoothie, it is hard to pour out of the food processor.

  2. I feel that either the reviewer here is impaired in some way or has purchased a faulty unit and has chosen to just live with it for two years. I use my Magic Bullet for everything in the kitchen and have never struggled with aligning tabs or having it shut off for over-use (probably why the reviewer is also getting mushy, pre-chewed-looking veggies, leaving it in too long).

    Loving my little blender, sorry this reviewer had a different experience with it, but I wanted to at least present a counterpoint here. Of course, it does not do “everything” in the kitchen, but it does tons of job quickly and easily, making this mother of two a happy home chef!

    Bon appetit!

    • I had been considering buying the magic bullet and decided against it since the reviews I read on Amazon pretty much confirmed everything the reviewer is saying. Then my father got one. It seems that the only thing is good for turning foods to complete mush or liquid. If you attempt to do it only in short bursts in order to keep the food from turning into complete mush, you will get uneven results with some of the food as liquid and other food still solid, which is completely unworkable. This is not a machine that chops food or grates say carrots or cheeses in a nice presentable form or even in any form. The best you can get are uneven chunks. If you think about it, you would not expect it to, because it’s really hard to get a machine to do different jobs with just two blades. That’s why food processors are powerful machines with multiple blades and the bottom line is there is no real substitute for a bulky and expensive food processor to really save time in the kitchen.
      I don’t have to unscrew the cup and shake it, if I have a full cup I just run it in short bursts until the bottom food is liquefied and goes on down the line. I can confirm that the machine does stick often, which makes it run continuously. That scares the heck out of me and I have to unplug it to get it to stop. I think this product is unfortunately another example of grossly false advertising. I would like to see someone from the company prepare all of the foods using this machine as described in their cookbook. It’s a shame that millions of people bought this product, found out that it was complete nonsense and were too lazy to return it.

      • Yeah, actually, now that I have had a regular blender for a few years now, I still think a food processor is much more useful. Our Magic Bullet is long gone, and I have not missed it at all.

  3. I just got one for christmas and have only used it once. I had the exact same problem this reviewer had. I tried to make a sorbet and I had to pulling of the container and shaking it since the bullet will only cut frozen fruit that is right next to the blade. It was a hassle to use. A blender does a much better job.

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  5. I bought one, tried it, and returned it a few days later. I was really excited about it from the infomercials and really disappointed in its performance. However, I was back to the infomercials a few years later and saw the nutribullet which is made by the same company. They convinced me again!! I bought it at Kohls on a huge sale and 30% off coupons on a whim.The Nutribullet is somewhat better and it’s been convenient for my smoothie. I like it because it’s so much smaller than my Vitamix and I drink right from the containers. I’m not sure if it would do much else.

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    • It’s been about 3 years since we got rid of the Magic Bullet, but when we had it, yes, we were using the blades that came with it, and using each of the two blades for the kinds of cutting it was supposed to be able to do.

  8. I can’t believe you guys have such bad experiences! I used my magic bullet all the time. Actually just grated some parm cheese in it! I never have a problem with smoothies. I mean I use it at least once a day. We also have a nutribullet for my grandparents who need some foods puréed such as meats and works well for us! Maybe something was wrong or you aren’t doing something correctly. I don’t know. But I feel bad you can’t reap the rewards of this little machine!

  9. Well this is late, but I got a magic bullet in college. Never used it much and the few times I did I suffered through it because I was in college and had no space for a real blender. After that it was stuffed up in a cabinet at home and forgotten. I pulled it down when I wanted some garlic minced – because pre-chewed looking garlic hardly matters in a soup. I then thought ‘a smoothie would be nice’. And that was a mistake on so many levels. I ended up taking about 45 minutes to make a smoothie out of two cups of frozen strawberries. At the end it was all mush except for a few chunks of strawberry that looked like someone had regurgitated them. And it didn’t even begin cutting the strawberries until about 15 mins in, when they’d begun to thaw. The blades were ‘stuck’ on strawberries. STRAWBERRIES for crying out loud. What kind of blade can’t get through a frozen strawberry?!

    At least this reminded me why it was stored in the back of the cabinet. Still good for mincing/chewing up garlic quickly though.

    • I don’t think I ever tried mincing garlic with it. Good to know there is something it does well!

      “A smoothie would be nice” is the sort of thought that has often led me into some sort of nightmare of malfunctioning appliance, mess, and frustration!

      I now have an immersion blender, which works at least as well as a standard blender and much better than the Magic Bullet, and it’s very easy to clean!

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  11. You literally sound like the most incompetent person ever. It’s a blender, not rocket science. Difficult to line up with the notches??? A 1 year old could figure that out. I feel sorry for how challenging life must be for you being so dumb.

    • I’m not dumb=stupid (or dumb=unable to speak)—I’m physically uncoordinated. You’re right, it totally sucks. Some 1-year-olds could figure it out, but some of us are not so blessed.

      • I doubt you’re even physically uncoordinated. This machine is just flawed and low powered. I’ve never struggled with kitchen appliances/tools etc. etc. aside from this one. This thing honestly just sucks. Also anyone who would flame someone online and insult them in such a childish way just because they’ve had trouble using a poorly made product, clearly has something wrong with them.
        There’s never any reason to personally attack someone over something so trivial. Don’t let it get to you. There are a lot of mentally ill people on the internet.

        • Thanks for the support! I do sometimes struggle with physical tasks that are easier for most people—for a few years in elementary school, I went to remedial PE to learn things like dribbling a basketball and jumping with both feet at once—but I’m efficient at a lot of kitchen tasks and usually do well following written instructions, which the Magic Bullet had in abundance.

          My partner is extremely well-coordinated and is a trained engineer. He was very frustrated with the Magic Bullet, too, and horrified at the times it would jam and have to be unplugged. So although I’m willing to accept that my struggles with this machine might be related to my own abilities or lack thereof, I know that’s not the only reason!

  12. I know this article is old but I have this issue too. I’ve had this thing for around 3 years now and I honestly want it to work and I want to love it, but it sucks and I am always let down. I make hummus very frequently, and have tried many, many times to make it using the magic bullet… But it takes foreeeeever to do it because it just does NOT work correctly.

    As this article stated, it only blends what is right around the blades. I have to blend, then remove it from the base, unscrew the cap, mix it with a spoon, put it back on, blend, shake it around, blend, shake again, stir again. It seems to be very low power. Pulsing it does not help. If you are making smoothies you need to have a LOT of liquid and blend a little bit at a time.

    Forget putting frozen strawberries or anything of that sort in it. No matter how many times you blend it there are always big random chunks left over because it just is not powerful enough to actually blend everything smoothly. Maybe I got spoiled by my ninja blender, but I honestly didn’t expect this thing to be such a struggle. It just isn’t powerful enough to blend much of anything unless it is very watered down. My first blender, a cheap ass little $14 hamilton beach blender was significantly better than this.

    I bought this for convenience (my ninja blender is big, bulky and a pain in the ass to clean. But it works though.) It has not been convenient at all.

  13. I love the magic bullet. Ive had it for years save so much time. I just got the larger version and not impressed in the least. It’s big bulky and a pain in the ass. I recommend the small version.

  14. Well, it’s good for making baby food. That’s all I use it for though, due to the convenience of the cups. Anything else I use my actual blender for.
    Although since I’m learning about how bad plastics are for our health (spoiler, they’re pretty bad! :o), I’ll probably be moving the baby food over to my actual blender, as well (it’s an old model with glass container).
    What I dislike the most is the sad little motor. Since I can let the baby food be completely pureed it would be nice if I could set it going and do something else, like I do with my big blender. Not to mention the trouble it has with thicker or sticky baby food (like rice pudding).

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