Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK Blender review – for smoothies, milkshakes, pancake batter and even hummus

The Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK Blender is a brilliant personal blender for making smoothies and other drinks, with Auto-IQ settings that can power through fresh and frozen ingredients with ease
  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • There’s no doubt that the Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK Blender is one of the most powerful and intelligent blenders you can buy. If you want something to make your morning smoothie even smoother, it’s a must-have.

    I put the Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK Blender to the test for a few weeks, making smoothies, milkshakes, pancake batter, and even hummus to see how capable it really is. The truth is, even the best blenders will struggle to create roughly chopped salsas or pulverize exclusively solid ingredients, but that’s rarely why we buy them. We buy a personal blender because they offer compact convenience and can make our fresh and healthy (or all-out indulgent) drinks quickly.

    When reviewing the Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK Blender I tried a mixture of the included recipes, and when I had more of a sense of what it could do I used it to make my own dips and morning smoothies. To see how it performed, keep reading.


    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    You’ll love the Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK Blender, but your neighbours may not. It’s a noisy blender, but it pulverizes even frozen ingredients seemingly effortlessly.

    Reasons to buy:

    • Modes for different tasks
    • Easy to clean
    • Countdown timer
    • Makes amazing smoothies
    • Comes with two cups and carry lids
    • Blitzed through ice and frozen spinach easily

    Reasons not to buy: 

    • Not the best for chunky spreads 
    • Only one capacity
    • Noisy

     

    ninja personal blender

    Image Credit: Ninja

    Product Specs:

    Weight: 2.97kg
    Dimensions: 38.7 x 17 x 15.9 cm
    Power: 1000W
    Programs: Pulse, Blend, Max Blend
    Cup capacity: 700ml
    RPM: 21,000
    Cleaning: Dishwasher safe
    Colour: Black and silver

    What’s it like to use the Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK Blender?

    The Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK Blender is nearly 3kg. It’s not heavy, and I was able to store the base on top of my kitchen cupboards when I needed to clear some space. This is a bulkier base than some of the blenders I’ve used – the Nutribullet is smaller, for example. This is justified by the power that’s packed into the base of the Ninja Auto-IQ. It has three programs to choose from, and each is useful for different tasks. It also has a display that indicates how much time is left on your chosen blend cycle, and this automatically lights up when you insert the blend cup into the base. 

    I’ve yet to encounter a quiet blender, but the Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK is louder than most I’ve tried. That’s down to the 21,000 RPM and astonishing 1000W of power that blitz up your ingredients quickly and efficiently, but still, the noise is a downside if you live with people who like to sleep in, or are scared to wake up kids and babies from a nap.

    What do the different Ninja Auto-IQ programs do?

    Most personal blenders come with one setting only. The Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK comes with three, and a Start/Stop button for using as you would a conventional personal blender. When you press the Start button, it will set off a 60-second timer of continuous blending. 

    The Pulse setting is fairly self-explanatory. Pressing it will blend your ingredients for as long as you hold the button down, and the display counts the number of seconds you blend for with each pulse. You can use this to shift more solid ingredients that may get stuck towards the blades of a normal blender. 

    The Blend setting is a pre-set mode that blends your ingredients for 50 seconds. It is one of the Auto-IQ modes offered with the Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK, combining pulsing and continuous blending to make sure every last piece of fruit or cube of ice is blended completely. 

    Max Blend is the final Auto-IQ mode. It is designed for seriously tough tasks, like cutting through frozen fruit and tricky stems. The setting lasts for 70 seconds and also combines blending and pulsing. Because continuous blending can force some elements to the top of the blender, pulsing allows them to fall back down to the base of the blender, meaning you’ll have an equally smooth texture throughout your drink.

    How good is the Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK Blender?

    Ninja blender

    The Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK is a top notch blender for those who like a morning smoothie. Because the blender runs on preset cycles I really enjoyed how easy it was to turn the Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK on and leave my drink to blend while I made a start on my breakfast or took care of other tasks. Especially in the morning, this can really streamline your day and buy you a few minutes to get ready. I was able to add some tough stuff to the Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK, including frozen spinach and frozen berries, and every time my smoothie was incredibly smooth and well mixed. It can handle lots of frozen ingredients in one go which makes the Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK well suited to smoothie bowls. 

    One of the recipes I followed said to add a slice of lemon with the skin on, which is something I’d never have done in my old blender. Sure enough though, the smoothie was completely smooth and with no hint of peel, which saved me a job and reduced food waste. This even applied to some accidental remnants of pineapple core, which is notoriously tough and unpleasant to bite into. When testing I found that my food prep could be less meticulous, because any skin or core I left on my ingredients would be gone when I poured out the smoothie. 

    The cup capacity is 700ml, and I found that it filled up very quickly when I added fruits and vegetables. The serving sizes are definitely suited for making a large smoothie for yourself, or a smaller glass for yourself and a friend or partner. Because of the drink lids, which can be easily attached to the cups and come included, you can take your drinks on the go as and when you wish. They’re very sturdy and didn’t spill even when I tipped them to the side, perfect for walking to the office or taking to the gym. If you want to blend something in bulk though, I’d go for something with a larger capacity.

    Can it make dips?

    The blender could be more versatile. This isn’t so much a critique of the Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK blender as it is a criticism of personal blenders as a whole. While the best food processors can power through all manner of dry ingredients, a blender will always fare better with wet. I was able to use the blender to blend oats into flour for some oat pancakes, but it did require a bit of shaking to make sure all of the oats were finely blended.

    I also used this blender to make some guacamole and hummus. I prefer my guacamole chunky, which is far more feasible when it’s done in a food processor, but following the included guacamole recipe yielded some tasty and smooth guacamole that went well in fajitas and as a dip. Because it was blended so finely the dip did discolour the avocados from a creamy green to a green-brown, the same colour your avocado goes when you cut it in half and expose it to air. This didn’t disrupt the taste, but it didn’t look as good as the guacamole I’ve made in my food processor before. 

    The Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK is best for when you want your ingredients blended smoothly, so I was excited to make hummus in it. I’ve made hummus in this blender a few times now, and it’s not the easiest process. The dip has a very thick consistency compared to the smoothies I’ve made in the Ninja Auto-IQ, and it did struggle to pull through the ingredients from the top as it blended the bottom elements, due to how viscous the mixture was. Adding some more oil made this slightly easier, but I still had to go in and mix the tahini, garlic and other ingredients together to make sure they were all blended, which took longer than I had hoped.

    This was a very smooth hummus, smoother than some supermarket brands I’ve bought before, and it tasted delicious. It did require a lot of effort compared to a food processor though, so I’d recommend this blender for those who want to make smoothies and other drinks, but who already have a machine that can chop and mix thicker ingredients.

    Keeping it clean

    The Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK is very easy to clean. The base obviously doesn’t go in the dishwasher, but everything else can. Even if you do wash by hand, the blades on the blending attachment aren’t so fiddly that a good brush won’t dislodge any remaining greens or sauce. 

    The blending cups do have ridges on the inside. I found that with thicker dips it was best to rinse immediately after use before giving them a proper clean. This way no remnants dried in these harder-to-reach spots.

    Should you buy the Ninja Auto-IQ BN495UK blender?

    Ninja blender

    Image credit: Ninja

    If you’re a smoothie lover looking for your next personal blender, this is the one for you. It’s super powerful and easy to use, and because of the Auto-IQ settings you’re able to do other things while your drink is blending. The blender was able to cut through the skin of a lemon, seeds in raspberries and apples, and even the center of a pineapple when I made a range of drinks in it. This means your prep doesn’t have to be meticulous to still get great results and you can cut down on food waste.

    For larger tasks such as family-sized drinks, the 700ml cups will be a little small for your needs. This blender also struggles to make dips. So if you want something that can do it all I’d suggest a food processor that also has a food processor attachment. Ninja also makes one of these, called the Ninja 3-in-1 Food Processor with Auto-IQ BN800UK. 

    About this review, and the reviewer

    Millie Fender heads up all things small appliances at Future. There’s nothing she loves more than testing out the latest and greatest cooking gadgets, for indoor and outdoor use, from toasters to air fryers. Millie lives in South London and is constantly squeezing more appliances into her modest kitchen. If it makes it onto the kitchen counters full time, you know an appliance is worth the hype.

    All the latest from Ideal Home