For many years the Vitamix brand was considered one of the best in the business, yet one of the most inaccessible to the average home blending enthusiast.
Built to last, and capable of demolishing just about anything, they’ve always represented a hefty investment in exchange for that power and quality.
Although the Explorian blenders lack some of the advanced features found on more expensive machines, you still get the same powerful blending capabilities at a more affordable level.
In my review of the E310, I’m going to take a detailed look at this very popular entry point into the Vitamix world.
- Variable Speed Control: Ten variable speeds allow you to refine every texture with culinary precision,…
- Pulse Feature: Layer coarse chops over smooth purées for heartier recipes, such as chunky salsas or…
- The 48-ounce container is ideal for blending medium batches for small family meals. Cutting blades…
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About The Vitamix Explorian E310
The Vitamix Explorian E310 is positioned as an entry-level blender for those who want to start exploring the world of Vitamix blending at a more affordable price point.
You get the same super-powerful motor and blade set you’d expect from the range, at a lower cost.
This lower cost means you lose some of the more advanced Vitamix features, like pre-programmed settings for common blending tasks.
You can still, however, blend absolutely anything you want!
The E310 features 10 variable speeds, which can tackle everything from baby food to really hard ingredients like ice.
There’s also a pulse switch. Hold this down and the E310 will blend at the speed you’ve selected until you let go of it.
The 48 ounce jar is smaller than more advanced machines, but it has a very welcome low profile container design that makes it much easier to situate beneath kitchen cabinets.
Who’s It For?
If you’re an individual, couple or a small family then the E310 model represents a very cost-effective way of exploring the Vitamix world.
If you’re making average sized meals, morning smoothies and so on, this is a very convenient – yet still powerful – blender.
Who’s It Not For?
If you have a larger household, you’ll likely find that 48 ounce container to be just a little too limiting.
Likewise, if you do a lot of entertaining then the container might be too small for preparing a wide array of dips, sauces and salsas.
There are no pre-programmed settings on the E310 either. These presets automatically handle things like timings and speed adjustments, and are only found on more advanced Vitamix blenders.
In this case, you might like to consider one of the Vitamix Ascent machines instead. They don’t cost a huge amount more, but they are much more convenient to use.
- Extremely easy to use with simple controls.
- High-performance motor that obliterates anything you throw at it.
- Dishwasher-safe container and blades.
- Self-cleaning function if you don’t want to run it through the dishwasher.
- Incredibly versatile: makes smoothies, soups, frozen desserts, nut butters and more.
- No pre-programmed settings for handling the more common blending tasks.
- 48 ounce container is smaller than most Vitamix blenders.
- Separate “dry blade” container is recommended if you want to work with spices, coffee beans, nuts and so on.
High Performance Motor
Vitamix blenders are well known for the sheer power of their motors.
The Vitamix E310 model features a 1380 watts motor, which is more than adequate for handling everything from soft fruit and vegetables to huge chunks of ice.
It’s not as powerful as the motor you’ll find on more expensive Vitamix blenders, but for the average home cook 1000 watts is more than enough for the toughest jobs.
The motor also features something called Automatic Overload Protection. As the name suggests, this feature will actually shut the machine down if it’s in danger of becoming damaged.
It’s quite difficult to work the E310 so hard that this will ever kick in, but if it does the machine will be out of use for around 20-45 minutes.
As I say, it’s not something that will happen very often – if at all – but it’s an important part of protecting the E310, and a welcome feature.
Stainless Steel Blades
The E310 features the same high quality stainless steel blades found in more expensive Vitamix machines.
There are four 3 inch blades built into the unit in total. Together, they work to create what’s known as the Vitamix Vortex.
This clever design pulls the food away from the sides of the container, into the blades, and then pushes them back out again.
This is how the E310 achieves such a consistently smooth blend, as everything gets worked into the mix evenly.
The blade unit is built into the container itself, and so can be put through the top rack of the dishwasher. That’s helpful if the self-cleaning function hasn’t quite managed to shift the most stubborn bits of food.
Although the blades can technically be removed from the container, don’t do this! If you do, you’ll void the 5 year warranty.
Variable Speed & Pulse
As I’ve already mentioned there aren’t any special features like pre-programmed settings on the Vitamix E310.
What you have here is a very simple variable speed control system that’s also very easy to use.
In the center of the blender base you’ll find a dial. Turn this to select one of the ten variable speeds that go from low to high.
To the left is the pulse function.
Hold this down and the E310 will blend at whatever speed you’ve selected on the dial for as long as you hold the button down.
This is really helpful when you want to just roughly chop vegetables as part of your meal preparation.
I also find this pulse feature useful for making salsas and baby food, and where you want really close control over the texture and consistency of the final blend.
The other button? An On / Off switch!
So, a very simple entry-level machine, but one that doesn’t compromise on the kind of power Vitamix has become renowned for.
48 Oz Container
The E310 Explorian model blender is supplied with a 48 ounce container jar. It’s made of BPA-free plastic, features integrated stainless steel blades, and has clear measurement markings on the outside.
Let’s talk about that size for a moment though.
Most Vitamix blenders feature a larger, 64 oz container. The extra size means they’re trickier to situate beneath typical kitchen cabinets, but you do need to consider the volumes you’ll be blending in.
If you’re a couple or a small family, I don’t think you’re going to have a problem here. Anything more than that though, and I think you should at least consider some of the higher-capacity options (see the Alternatives section further down the page for inspiration).
The lid itself seals tightly onto the top of the jar, so you don’t have to worry about holding the thing down when it’s operating at high speed.
There’s also a secondary lid built into the center of the main lid as well. If you need to add ingredients at a later stage, all you need to do is take this section out, then use the included tamper to feed the produce in.
I think it’s quite clever that this central lid also doubles as a small measuring cup too! If you need to add liquid to the blend, you can clearly measure out a 0.5 or 1 ounce serving with it.
Optional Dry Goods Container
The 48 ounce container that comes with the Vitamix E310 is known as a “wet blade” container.
As the name suggests, it’s designed primarily to handle liquid blends. Think smoothies, soups, frozen desserts, baby food and so on.
You can use this container to occasionally tackle dry produce like coffee beans and spices, but I don’t recommend making heavy use of the E310 for this kind of task.
First, the container stains very easily when you blitz this kind of ingredient. It’s also easy to overwork the motor this way, and if the overheating shut-off mechanism kicks in the E310 might be out of action for up to 45 minutes.
You also don’t get a very efficient blend this way either.
To create that vortex effect you really need the ingredients to cover the blade unit entirely. Dry goods are typically ground up in smaller batches, so it can be tricky to get an even blend.
If you’re going to be blending a lot of dry ingredients, it’s better to pick up the 32 ounce “dry blade” container which is sold separately.
The blades are specially designed to tackle very hard dry goods. It’s an extra expense, but you might find it worth the investment.
If you think you’ll make a lot of these items, consider buying this upgrade along with the E310:
- Nut butter
- Ground spices
- Ground coffee
- Non-dairy milk (think almond milk, for example)
All Vitamix blender have a sort of “self-cleaning” function built in, and by the nature of how they work.
The vortex that does such a good job of pulverizing ingredients can also be used to send warm water whooshing around the container and blades to help with the clean up operation!
All you have to do is fill the container to around the half way mark with warm water. Add a few drops of standard kitchen dish soap, then secure the lid.
Put the speed dial down to the lowest setting, then slowly increase it while holding down the pulse button. After around 45-60 seconds, you should have a sparkling clean container jar!
After that, just turn it upside down on a rack and leave to air dry.
If there’s anything still stubbornly sticking to the blades, the container jar is dishwasher-safe. As with all these things though I’d recommend running it through the top rack to avoid the risk of scratching the container.
The design of the E310 doesn’t deviate at all from the classic look that Vitamix has established over the last few decades.
It’s a sturdy, durable and well-made blender made of metal and thick plastic. It feels like an appliance that’s going to last at least as long as the warranty provides for – and then some.
In terms of colors, you can choose from a black, grey or red finish. Just be aware that this coloring only applies to the base itself. The jar lid and control panel are the same color in each case.
The E310 blender is powered by a cable that’s around 1.2m long. That gives just enough reach to make situating the machine easy, while any excess cable can be stored away in a dedicated section of the housing.
Here are the full design specs
- Dimensions: 11 (D) x 18 (H) x 8 (W) inches
- Colors: Black, Slate (Grey), Red
The jar itself has a surprisingly low profile for a Vitamix blender, and will fit under most kitchen cabinets. Do measure up carefully before ordering it though.
You get a few extras out of the box as well. Here’s what you’ll find inside:
- Vitamix E310 blender base
- 48 oz jar
- Jar lid with central lid that also doubles as a measuring cup.
- Recipe book
In the next section of my E310 review I’m going to explain how the blender holds up when it comes to tackling specific tasks.
Soups from the Explorian E310 come out extremely smooth, and you can go from raw vegetables to a piping hot bowl of soup in around six minutes.
There isn’t any kind of heating element here. Instead the ingredients are pulped and then heated through nothing more than the heat friction generated by the blades.
The recipe book that’s included with the E310 should provide plenty of inspiration, as well as timing tips for adjusting the speed settings to achieve that temperature.
I won’t be using the Explorian to replace my ice cream maker any time soon, but it is possible to create some more than passable frozen desserts with the E310.
Throw in some milk, sugar and ice cubes to create your base, then use whatever ingredients you like to bulk it out.
It does take a little bit of time to get the flavor proportions, quantities and timings right. Again the cookbook that’s included with the E310 will give you a good enough grounding.
Smoothies and Juices
It’s important to understand that when you make a juice with the Vitamix E310 you’re really just pulverizing the fruit – pulp and all.
A dedicated juicer will actually separate the pulp from the juice for a thinner result, but no blender on the market can handle that kind of precision extraction.
Instead, what you get from the E310 is a slightly thicker juice that’s nevertheless packed full of fiber.
As for smoothies, the E310 works as well as any other blender. Even if you’re working with very tough ingredients, the motor on this thing will make light work of them, and the end results are incredibly creamy.
I don’t like any kind of grit in my smoothies either, and I think the E310 does a really good job of blitzing even berry seeds.
Dips, Salsas and Sauces
If you’re going to be making things like peanut butter, then it’s probably worth picking up the dry container along with the E310 itself. Do so, and you’ll find it very easy to make all kinds of nut butter.
As for salsas, you always want a little bit of bite left in them. With the pulse feature you can start at very low speed settings and then work the texture down until you’ve got just the right consistency.
My days of making baby food are thankfully behind me!
I do remember, however, just how fussy my kids could be at that age. More often than not the problem was the texture, rather than the taste.
Again, that pulse feature can be used to help you find just the right consistency that works.
It’s also a really nice way of taking total control over what they’re eating. All you need is some fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, and you can be sure they’re eating well.
Any blender with a motor this powerful is going to make a bit of noise!
With that said, I have to say the E310 is slightly louder than other Vitamix blenders like the 5300, or the more recent Ascent series of machines.
It’s not a deal-breaker, but if you’re really worried about making noise for even a brief amount of time then you might want to explore the Ascent range.
These blenders have some extra “stealth” tech built in, which shaves a few decibels off the overall noise level.
Vitamix is well known for its generous warranties, and for the most part it’s good news for the Explorian E310.
Why do I say for the most part? Well, the E310 warranty lasts for 5 years, and that’s slightly lower than the standard 7 year warranty the manufacturer offers for its more advanced machines.
It is, however, considerably longer than the warranty you’ll receive on pretty much any other blender at this price point.
That warranty not only covers you for complete mechanical failure, it also applies to wear and tear (assuming you’re not using the thing in a commercial environment!)
If anything goes wrong with the E310 during the warranty period, Vitamix customer service will not only replace the machine but will also pay for shipping both ways.
Suffice to say, Vitamix is very confident in the build quality of its blenders.
If you want a slightly longer warranty, you can purchase an extra 3 years. It’s best to do this shortly after buying the E310 though, as this extension becomes more expensive over time.
All in all, I think 5 years is a perfectly fine warranty period. These things are built to last, and I think you’ll get much longer than that out of this model.
No one single blender is designed for every home kitchen, so here are some other Vitamix models you might like to look at alongside the Explorian E310.
The Vitamix E320 is going to be the better option for you if you think that 48 oz container is going to be too limiting for your household.
- E320 Machine with 2.2 Peak HP Motor
- 64 oz Low Profile BPA-Free Tritan Container
- 10 Variable Speeds + Pulse Feature
The E320’s is quite a bit larger at 64 oz. That’s much more in keeping with other Vitamix blenders, although it will obviously take up more space in your kitchen.
Apart from that, everything’s the same! The motor, speed settings, pulse mode and so on are all identical to what you’ll find on the E310.
The A2300 is the first of the Vitamix Ascent machines, and represents the next logical step up from the Explorian blender series.
- You’re in Control: Variable Speed Control and Pulse feature let you manually fine-tune the texture of any…
- Built-In Wireless Connectivity: The motor base will automatically adjust the maximum blending times for…
- Pair with the Vitamix Perfect Blend AppUnlock your blender’s full potential with 17 programs and 500+…
It features a 64 oz container, which is larger than the E310’s but has been designed to have a fatter bottom. That means the capacity is up, but not necessarily at the expense of a more imposing blender.
It doesn’t feature pre-programmed settings per se, but you can sync it up with the Vitamix app on your mobile phone. That gives you access to around 500 recipes, as well as a selection of presets that will take care of each job.
The Vitamix A3500 is the next step up in the Ascent range of machines. It features everything found on the A2300, but with a few extra handy pre-sets too.
- Program Settings: Five program settings (for Smoothies, Hot Soups, Dips & Spreads, Frozen Desserts, and…
- Touchscreen Controls give the machine a sleek silhouette and are easily wiped clean.Electrical Ratings -…
- You’re in Control: Variable Speed Control and Pulse feature let you manually fine-tune the texture of any…
These cover some of the most common blending tasks from smoothies to hot soups, and will automatically control the speed and timings of each stage of preparation.
It’s much more of a “fire and forget” blender and adds a lot more convenience to the equation – albeit at a premium.
If you want an entry level Vitamix – with none of the bells and whistles of more expensive blenders – then I think the Explorian E310 is a very good option.
You get all the benefits of the Vitamix brand, without paying for unnecessary features. If you want a completely smooth blend, it’s more than up to the job. You also get a lot of manual control when it comes to working with rougher textured foods.
The container size is a bit of a double-edged sword. It’s smaller at 48 oz, but that means the blender is easier to keep out on the countertop. As long as you’re not planning to blend massive batches I think it’s fine.
If you’re going to do a lot of blending with dry goods, I’d also recommend picking up the smaller container that’s purpose-built for the job.
Click here to find out more about this popular blender, and see how its many owners have been getting on with it!
Frequently Asked Questions
I wanted to wrap up my review of the Vitamix Explorian E310 by answering some of the most common questions people have about the brand.
Is The Vitamix Explorian Any Good?
If you’re part of a small household and you won’t be blending in massive batches, the Explorian is as powerful as you need it to be, and without breaking the bank.
If you’re working with a lot of nuts, beans and other hard ingredients though, I recommend buying the smaller dry goods container along with the machine.
You’ll get much better results, and you’ll put less strain on the blade unit as well.
Which Is The Best Vitamix For Home Use?
As much as I like the Vitamix E310, the new Ascent series of machines is well worth looking at.
They’re more expensive than the Explorian models, but include more features like pre-programmed settings.
It’s hard to pick out one single Ascent machine, but the A3500 is considered by many people to be one of the best home blenders – and from any brand.
What’s The Difference Between The Vitamix E310 And E320?
The main difference between the E310 and the E320 is that the latter has a larger container size at 64 oz.
You also get a slightly longer 7 year warranty with the E320 as well.
Apart from that though, there’s really nothing in it! If you’re content with the smaller size of the E310, there’s no need to spend more money on the E320.