Is the Vitamix dry container worth it?

Updated May 27, 2017

Vitamix dry bladesThis is a common concern when buying a Vitamix machine. Do you really need the Vitamix dry container? The dry blades are shaped to push ingredients up, in order to minimize packing into the bottom corners. The dry container fits C- and G-Series Vitamix machines. That includes almost all of the current machines, but note that this container does not work with the personal size S-Series, and it does not work with the Ascent Series. (A dry container for the Ascent Series rumored to be in the works.) For more information about the different models, see my comparison page.

I’ve heard salespeople selling Blendtec machines say that an advantage of the Blendtec is that it does not need a separate container to grind dry items, whereas with the Vitamix you “need to buy a second container.” It turns out that this is not true, and it’s just a sales tactic. The standard Vitamix container will do a perfectly good job of grinding grain, as I will show in the video below.

The real reason to get a dry container is that grinding very hard items like grains will pit and scratch the inside of the pitcher near the blades. In addition to the aesthetic “cloudy” marring of the container, the scratches make the container more likely to hold smells. You can get rid of lingering odors by running the machine with vinegar or a few drops of bleach in water, but it’s nice to not have to worry about that. I’ve never run anything garlicky in my pitted up dry container, but I did grind cinnamon in it a while back, and I can still faintly smell it.

Having a second container is also convenient because to grind grains the container needs to be totally dry, and if you made a smoothie in the morning the container might still be wet. Sometimes I end up using both containers for a single recipe, such as mega muffins.(Although if you just had one container you could dump the dry mixture into a bowl and then re-use the container.) If you are going to get a second container, it might as well be one with blades optimized for dry ingredients.

For these reasons the dry container is worthwhile, as long as you plan on grinding dry things like grain. But if you’re on a tight budget, you can get away with just using the single container, and possibly deodorizing it when needed. (Over time, depending on what you blend, your wet container will probably get scratched up as well, just not nearly as fast or as much as with grinding dry grains. I suspect that things like chia seeds in smoothies can scratch it, but I think that the scratching is reduced if you do not put the seeds at the very bottom, so I now generally add chia seeds to the middle of my ingredients instead of the bottom.)

I’ve always used the dry container for grinding grain, but this past weekend I decided to test a wet blade. I was surprised at how good a job it did of grinding 1-2 cups of wheat berries at a time, which I used to make pancakes and bread. The only difference I noticed was during the bread kneading I found the dough did not “lift” off the blades as much, but it still worked.

For the video I ground one cup of wheat berries for one minute in a container with the standard “wet” blades, and then pushed it through a sieve to see if there were any unground bits. There were a few, but they were small enough and few enough to not be a problem for my purposes. (In fact, when I used the same strainer on flour I ground for the same amount of time with my dry container, there were actually slightly more unground bits!) If you are looking to make a really fine flour you could stop the machine and stir the flour packed into the corners back in using a chopstick, and blend a bit longer; if you want it extra fine you could sift it.

Vitamix warns that you should not blend dry ingredients for longer than 2 minutes because the heat could damage the container. 1 minute to 90 seconds is generally all you need. I further avoid heating by storing the grain in the freezer so it starts the grinding process cold.

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Is the Vitamix dry container worth it? — 238 Comments

  1. if i only have the wet container can i use it for the following:

    crumble topping
    grated cheese
    grated carrot
    grated courgettes
    cheesecake filling
    cake batter
    chopping chocolate

    • Yes to grated cheese and chocolate, but start with them very cold to reduce chance of melting. Hard cheese will work best. Yes to carrot and cheesecake filling. I haven’t made cake batter, but I’ve made pancake and muffin batters, so I’m guessing it would work. Not sure about crumble topping or courgettes.

  2. Thank you for post. I am looking to invest in a dry blade container just to knead dough. Have you ever tried doing it in the wet blade container? Does the dough come off easily?

    • I did try kneading dough in the wet container once. It worked, but not as well as the dry container. The dry container forms a dough ball that ends up sitting on top of the blades, whereas the wet container continued to pull it down into the blades, so it was more of a pain.

  3. Was thinking of getting a Grain Mill for milling Einkorn berries, until I realized that I had a Vitamix dry container (it was given to me and I have never used it). After seeing how expensive grain mills could be, the Vitamix dry container is looking more and more appealing by the minute (lol). But, will this work on Einkorn berries?

  4. ground my xtra hard parmesan last night. Some got a bit wet before grinding. Both ground well in the dry blade. My first time using my dry container too. I love making multi seed/grain bread. I may try it in this container as well!

    • All of the containers can grind nuts. If you want to make nut butter, a wet container plus tamper is best. If you want to grind nuts into a flour, the dry container is best.

  5. I just want to chop nuts and seeds with the Pulse Switch. I don’t want to grind to flour. Will the wet container work for that?

  6. Thanks for your post! I have wet blade and was thinking of buying dry blade, as I was not able to grind my canned chickpea with very less liquid to make chickpea burger. I must be doing something wrong.. I have to go back and try it again

    • Yeah, you should be able to grind canned chickpeas with the wet blade. Increasing the batch size might help. And make sure you use the tamper.

  7. What would happen if I use a dry container to make a smoothie?? Would the blend be different when making it with Ice???

  8. I tried grinding granulated white sugar in dry container in my vitamix total nutrition center 3 and it cannot come out to powder sugar consistency. The sugar was more fine but never it could reach powder consistency. Vitamix should not claim it can do powder sugar. Very disapointing. Anybody know a machine that could make granulated sugar into powdered sugar but really like powder not just fine sugar. Because I can still feel the grainyness it is definitely not powdered.

  9. Hi, I love your pages, thanks so much for spending time writing and replying. I use to have a Vitamix 5000 from approx 12 years ago. I also got the dry container with that, which is about 10yrs old, and which I’ve kept. I now have the E320 Vitamix, can I use the dry container with this new model. It seems to fit, but I don’t want to risk turning it on and damaging the engine or the container. Many thanks, Emma (UK)

  10. excellent explanation! thanks! would this be a good choice to make powder from nuts?
    in the wet container would make butter. but maybe here it will make it powder. better for some choices. or maybe I can also make powder in the wet container with variable 3 maybe?

    • You can powder nuts in both, but the dry container will work a bit better and let you do a bigger batch before it turns to butter. (You still have to be careful of over processing, even with the dry container though.)

  11. “The real reason to get a dry container is that grinding very hard items like grains will pit and scratch the inside of the pitcher near the blades. In addition to the aesthetic “cloudy” marring of the container, the scratches make the container more likely to hold smells.”

    I own a reconditioned Total Nutrition Center with a 64 oz wet container. Since I’m gluten sensitive I don’t consume gluten grains (and go easy even on non-gluten grains), so I saw no need to invest in a dry container. I recently ground a total of 2 cups uncooked rice (in smaller batches) to make crumbs for frying fish fillets. I didn’t notice at the time, but yesterday I realized that grinding the rice just that once resulted in scratching / pitting the bottom sides near the blade, as you described. Boo hoo!

    Does this pitting / scratching weaken or damage the container in any way (like, it’s time to buy a new container) or it it only an aesthetic consideration? Yikes, had I known this would happen I would not have made the rice crumbs . . .

    Love your website for many reasons, but I have posted on other of your articles that this is one of the few “NO banana” smoothie websites! Keep up the good work!

  12. Hi there,
    I am thinking to get one of the dry container of vitamix a2300i to blend dried turmeric roots that cut into slices.
    Would you think it will work the same as other grains? Turmeric will be stain the container?

  13. What is difference between using Vitamix 5200 and Vitamix E320 Explorian Series? Do they each come with same blade or blades?
    I’m interested in starting with millet seeds, grinding into flour
    adding other grains or flour with all other ingred & pouring into waffle iron.

  14. What is the power difference between Vitamix 5200 and the E 320 Explorian Series? Thank you. I appreciate your help

    • It has a wet blade. The wet blade can still blend dry items, as discussed above on this page. (And note the added benefit that the stainless steel will not become scratched/pitted by blending grains.)

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