I have been making my own hot sauce and usually do it in small batches with some standard kitchen appliances. I have found a great recipe and want to make large batches to give to friends as gifts, bring to parties and sell as a legitimate hot sauce business. It is time I upgraded my equipment. Where can I purchase a commercial grade blender?
A commercial blender that can blend 1 to 6.5 gallons of hot sauce at one time and will cost between $200 and $2,000, depending on the capacity. Professional quality blenders will be closer to $1,000. These blenders are available at restaurant supply stores, online stores and through restaurant supply reps. Buying used equipment can offer significant cost savings.
I am NOT going to continue using my Magic Bullet to produce 200 bottles of sauce in one day. I want to purchase some equipment for making and bottling several cases of hot sauce at one time, but I have a relatively small budget. This article presents and examines the best low budget commercial grade equipment for continually making a large batch of hot sauce. Keep in mind that your recipe will change slightly as you make larger batches of hot sauce. I weigh all the ingredients and use a ratio to keep it consistent.
Restaurant equipment is very easy to find both new and used. Scrolling through websites like Alibaba and Made in China.com can offer equipment that will perform the duties but seeing the equipment in action would be best for purchasing.
Noncommercial counter top blender
You can make hot sauce with a standard counter top blender and I do it all the time with my Ninja. Many of these benders are anywhere from 6 or 7 cups to over a quart and there are many advantages to using equipment of this size. I have some top quality, low capacity blenders listed below.
- Small batches are easy to clean
- Easier to contain and control
- Less expenses costs up front for products
- Lower startup costs for equipment
- Great for hot sauce recipe experiments
- Excellent investment for a startup business
Is a blender all I need to make hot sauce?
I have posted articles examining the simplicity of making hot sauce and also exploring the kitchen equipment needed. The answer is…maybe…if you want to leave the seeds in and stems on. A blender is the most important piece of equipment you will need but if you are processing hot sauce to be sold there are other apparatus that will fall into several categories.
There are essential 4 categories of equipment that is used in commercial kitchens and I have narrowed it down to the process of making hot sauce. A blender would fall into the category of Process but keep in mind the other categories as it could affect your blender purchase.
- Storing – This is equipment such as walk in coolers and freezers. For hot sauce it could be boxes and shelves.
- Preparing – Knives, cutting boards, trash / recycling bins. Counter space.
- Process – The Blender! Strainers, cooking equipment.
- Package – Funnels, bottles, boxes.
For this article we will focus on the process of making hot sauce with the highest quality equipment at the lowest cost, specifically the best commercial or industrial blenders for a startup hot sauce business with a very low investment. There is a definite range of pricing, but you should review the research and recommendations below before you do.
Before you purchase
If you are intending to upgrade the size of your operations than you have certainly considered the space in which you are operating. You can certainly operate on a small scale and still produce a lot of product continually. This is especially true if you are aging your peppers. They will be stored and used at a later date. Many hot sauce companies such as Huy Fong that make Sriracha and Tabasco® brand, first grind their peppers into a mash or paste and store it to be fermented and used at a later date. The equipment to create pepper mash may not necessarily be a blender in the traditional sense, but equipment made for raw produce and meats.
- Measure your kitchen – You will need to know where you will be storing and using your blender. Commercial grade kitchen equipment will always be larger and will require more space. This piece of equipment will be installed permanently or will not be pulled from a cupboard and placed on the counter as a countertop blender would be.
- Preparation equipment – If you are planning to purchase equipment for a larger operation than you will also need the prep equipment to go along with it. This could include larger counter space, bigger containers and an overall larger square foot area.
- Power – Where are your power outlets? You can have a great space but if you do not have any power for your equipment than it is useless. All the equipment in this article uses a standard 120-volt outlet.
- NSF – Look for the NSF Certified logo (National Sanitation Foundation) on the equipment if buying new or used equipment. This means its guaranteed regulatory equipment in North America and improved acceptance worldwide.
- Warranty – I almost always purchase an additional warranty if it is offered. Some used equipment may have an extended warranty as well.
Additional considerations before you purchase
When making a purchase on an item that costs hundreds of dollars, I have always used the philosophy that the more money you spend…the higher the quality. I believe this to be true when purchasing a commercial blender for making hot sauce.
Usually these items are constructed with heavy duty materials and these materials alone will cost more. Also, the means and methods of putting them together to ensure the product will endure the high volume of product you are producing will cost more as well.
However, keep in mind the amount of time you will be using the equipment. Blenders will get a lot of time when you are making hot sauce but perhaps you are only making it once a year for a promotion for other products you sell. If you plan to produce hot sauce regularly use high end, well-built equipment.
The return on investment will be higher for a product that costs more and is assumed to be of a higher quality. There may be a time when you are looking to upgrade and don’t have the additional space for several pieces of equipment, so you are forced to sell before you upgrade. There is a market for used equipment so remember that as you are using it.
If you have a thriving hot sauce business, you are going to depend on your kitchen equipment, so compromise is out of the question. Spend the maximum amount of money you have in your budget on a blender or pull money from another allotted amount. In other words, skimp on a knife set or build your own countertop instead of buying one.
Amount of use
The blender will get the most use in your hot sauce making operation so you will want to ensure it is the highest quality and durability. Although most commercial blenders are built to blend a lot of product quickly and efficiently, there will still be a lot of time spent with the blender.
Decide on Buying new or used
Buying used equipment can save a lot of money especially if you find an appliance that has been used very little. Also, depending on where or who you purchase the equipment from you may be able to get useful information on how the appliance functions from the person or company selling.
Buying from businesses
Buying used equipment may be a great option for someone starting their own hot sauce business. It can be less expensive and has already proven to function for the needs you have. Perhaps there is a hot sauce company that is ready to upgrade of have decided to leave the business.
Purchasing from websites
I love Etsy! Blenders on this site are usually labeled vintage or classic but you can find some super inexpensive but reliable appliances. Believe it or not there are also hot peppers available on Etsy. Sounds like an all in one shop.
Everyone knows Ebay! Here you will find complete sets, parts or pieces of used or preowned blenders. Most of the blenders on Ebay will be counter top but that is a great start for your hot sauce business.
Great site! You can find some real high quality but affordable commercial kitchen equipment with a huge selection of blenders. This site includes Waring Immersion Blender with options for a 3 year or 5-year warranty. More information on the immersion blenders below.
Locally through Craiglist.com
I have used this site for a lot of transactions by mostly advertising free tools, equipment and appliances. Once you have made communication with someone your transaction is made offline, but you can find a lot of inexpensive used items here.
Purchases from this website do not need to be local if you are willing to travel. Just be 100% certain you want to purchase the item, so you are not traveling for no reason. Sometimes a seller may be willing to meet you halfway. Review it thoroughly before purchasing.
There auctions held across the globe that provide online bidding on used restaurant equipment. Set up like Ebay these sites are very easy to bid on equipment. Just search for the desired equipment. There are many of these auctions held although out the US so I may have to make a blog post on these auctions alone. Here’s a short list!
Find local auctions here!
As mentioned previously in this post there are certainly many web sites and stores to purchase new commercial quality equipment for your hot sauce business. The restaurantdepot Has over 80 locations in the US. I found one 20 minutes from my house and was able to browse, handle and talk to sale people about some great equipment.
Etsy and Ebay
As listed above you can find great blender deals from reliable sources. Always read the reviews and thoroughly research the product before purchasing.
What CAN’T you find on Amazon? The commercial quality blenders from Amazon will be counter top or handheld immersion blenders. Most appliances available here will be under a gallon but you will find top name brands. See the reviews below with links to specific products.
Products at Walmart.com are similar to what you would find in their stores. You can always find affordable products and check out the refurbished equipment here. My top pick from Walmart is the Ninja Professional 1000 Watt BL 610.
Pro equipment from Waring, Hamilton Beach and Vitamix to include countertop and immersion blenders. Tons of other great appliances for making hot sauce such as bowls, strainers and knives. Remember this site when you are ready to upgrade.
This is a huge site that offer equipment for delivery services, health care and specific industries like Mexican restaurants. They have a great selection of immersion and counter top blenders.
Search for a local store where you can touch, feel and operate the equipment before purchasing. This is a membership only site but the staff is very knowledgeable. This would be a great place to establish relationships with store operations to get good deals for future purchases.
Food Service Representative Firm
If you are spending over a few thousand dollars on startup equipment you may want to consult a company that knows the industry standards and can help with long term purchases. There are companies that specialize if focusing on the buying restaurant and food service equipment through manufacturers and can guide you the process.
I used the following criteria: Size of motor, Size of container, cost, cleaning capabilities and where it is available to review the flowing top commercial quality blenders. These size was used to further break down the type into Counter Top, Immersion Blender and Commercial 5 Gallon Blender.
The size of the blender you purchase will depend on the size of your operation or the physical size of the space you are operating out of. I broke down the equipment into 1-gallon size, 5 gallon and over 10 gallons and these criteria will have a direct correlation of the cost.
If you don’t know what size blender you may need for you operation refer to this simple chart.
|½ HP||Light food preparation. Up to 50 bottles in one day|
|1 to 1 ½ HP||Medium food preparation. Up to 75 bottles in one day.|
|2 HP||Medium to heavy food prep. 75 to 100 bottles in one day.|
|3 ½ HP||Heavy food prep. Over 100 bottles a day.|
Counter top blenders – under 1 gallon
Investing in a blender should not be a make or break decision on the start up of your hot sauce business. If you are making sauce and are ready to move on to professional quality equipment than you have most likely budgeted for a blender and have researched equipment. Here are the top beginner blenders with a capacity less than 1 gallon.
These are some great, high quality and easy to use blenders but produce a low quantity of product. These are excellent for experimenting with recipes but if you want to mass produce, move on to at least a gallon or more. Immersion blenders are perfect for large quantities.
These blenders pack plenty of power to turn your peppers, pepper mash or other ingredients into a liquid hot sauce but are usually not producing more than ½ gallon at a time. Although they may be efficient, if you want to up your game and produce mass quantities see the full immersion blenders below. Most immersion can produce a minimum of 2 ½ cases (10 oz bottles) at a time.
Blendtec Classic 575
|90 oz||3 HP||$259||Amazon|
Purchase here from Amazon
Counter top blenders – 1 gallon or more
If you decided that your sauce is where you want it and you are ready to make larger amounts the commercial equipment would be the next step. Thousands of dollars can be spent on this equipment so you will want to make sure you are making a purchase that will last for many years.
If you are producing hot sauce in 5 to 10 oz bottles a 1 gallon blender will produce a sufficient amount of sauce for a one person operation. However, making hot sauce to be bottled and packaged for sale is going to need more than a 6 quart counter top blender.
Skyfood LAR 10 MBS
|2.5 Gallon||.5 HP||$464||Katom|
Purchase here from Katom
Hamilton Beach HBF 900 S
|1 Gallon||3.5 HP||$1,289||Amazon|
Buy here at Amazon
Hamilton Beach Expeditor 1100
|1 Gallon||3.5 HP||$1,350||Amazon|
Available here at Amazon
Waring CB 15 1 Gallon
|1 Gallon||3.75 HP||$1,375||Amazon|
Get it here at Amazon
Axis AX – PF 15 Food Processor
|1.5 Gallon||3.75 HP||$1,023||USA Equipment|
Buy it at USA Equipment Direct
Vitamix XL Programmable Blender
|1.5 Gallon||4.2 HP||$1,575||Amazon|
Purchase here from Amazon
Commercial Floor Blender – 5 gallons or more
The term commercial blender usually refers to any heavy-duty countertop blender. Although everything about these types of blenders to include motor size & speed and container size are larger and more powerful than a standard kitchen blender, it still may not be what is needed for large scale operations.
Omcan LAR 15 PMB
|4 Gallon||1.5 HP||$939||Amazon||Spec|
Get it here at Amazon
Onmcan LAR 25 PMB
|6 Gallon||1..5 HP||$1,668||Amazon|
Purchase here from Amazon
International Commercial Tilt Food Blender
|4.49 Gallon||1.5 HP||$2,129||Equipment Direct|
Available at USA Equipment Direct
Immersion blenders – over 10 gallons
Immersion blenders are held in your hands with the mixer submerged in a bowl or bucket. These range in sizes from 12” to 29”. They are great because you can blend the product in a five-gallon pale (or larger with some models) and cover it without the transfer into another container.
This is a review of immersion blenders that are powerful enough to blend up to5 gallons at a time. Some immersion blenders are only about a foot long and would serve much purpose for a larger operation.
Waring WSB60 16” Big Stik Immersion Blender
Get it here from Amazon
KitchenAid KHBC 4200 B 400 Series
Get it here from Amazon
Waring Commercial WSB70
Purchase here at Amazon
Robot Coupe MP550 Turbo Immersion Blender
Purchase here from Amazon
Additional semi-automated machinery that you may need for future operations or want for your hot sauce business is a bottle sanitizer, bottle fill machine, bottle cap machine, label machine or an all in one Bottle Fill, Cap and Label Machine.
This is what the pros use, and this machinery can add up to be tens of thousands of dollars. Think it through thoroughly, determine a budget and consult with a food service rep before making any purchase like this over a few thousand dollars.
Don’t buy without knowing what you want
Don’t go buying expensive equipment before you understand the process that YOU are going to use making hot sauce. Maybe you don’t need to produce cases of sauce in one day or you are possible only making small batches so a counter top would be fine for your at home operations.
Don’t buy cheap low-quality equipment
If you are serious about producing hot sauce for sale (if you have made it this far down the article than you must be) than invest a good portion of your budget into equipment. This can be a one time start up cost so higher quality equipment may last longer and not require as much maintenance either.
Don’t buy equipment if you don’t have the space
Don’t go buying thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment if you don’t know where you are going to set up operations. Smaller blenders are very portable but anything larger than a counter top piece of equipment may need permanently mounted.