Posts Tagged ‘blender’

A Simple Way to Clean Your Blender

A Simple Way to Clean Your Blender Tips from the Kitchn | The Kitchn.

Remarkable.  Does work!

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Make Butter in Your Blender – Videos – CHOW

Butter and a butter knife

Ever wish you could have just a LITTLE butter around, like for making herb infused butter to rub on a steak, without having a pound of it sitting in the fridge calling your name?

Make Butter in Your Blender – Videos – CHOW.

Here’s how to make just a little.  I know, you have to have whipping cream sitting around, and that’s it’ own distraction.

Honestly we just thought it was an interesting thing to mess around with.

Buttermilk and apple butter in the Related articles if you’re so inclinded.

Can we please have one kitchen appliance motor that powers several things?

Some day it will happen. But not yet.

For quite awhile we had an Oster Kitchen Center:

It had attachments for everything imaginable you can do to food.  It did everything, though nothing it did was very well.  Each additional attachment cost less than buying a single-purpose product of that category, so it was pretty OK.  It was my friend through thick and thin, as long as not too thick to seize of the motor and not so thin that it spewed out the top of the blender.  It’s no longer available, though the parts are easily obtainable on eBay..
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There is a new entry in the field of everything-machines. Bosch, a very respectable company in the home food preparation industry, has its Universal Plus Kitchen Machine.  It’s sleek, attractive, and expensive.  It also has attachments for every imaginable thing, but the attachments cost a bunch.  A BUNCH.  Though they look pretty sturdy in comparison.  Might be worth a look if you’re just starting out and don’t already have separate products.

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I’m sorry but I just have to — this topic reminds me so much of this classic TV bit, I just can’t resist: 

We’ve been off for the last several days calling friends and consulting a plethora of online information, reviews, and comparison videos.

Here’s my bottom line.  If you make a morning smoothie from yogurt and fruit juice with some powder or another in it, anything will do. If you are slushing up ice, you’re immediately up in the $100 range. And if you’re incorporating a lot of plant matter, it’s one of these two blenders.

Here’s what we recommend.  First, invest in a $50 Ninja Pulse or a comparable blender to make sure you like to juice things and drink the whole juice including the fiber.  That will let you know if you’re more a blender person or a juicer person.  Leaving the fiber in is definitely the way to go.  Now — if you like the whole juice but  don’t want any chunky parts at all, consider this:

1. If you have standard 18-inch kitchen cabinet clearance, or a small kitchen, score a point for Blendtec.  Whenever you read Blendtec here, think, Blendtec with the 4 inch Wildside jar.  The other one, not so hot.  The wildside jar replaces the need for a tamper quite well.

2. If you want a tamper, score one for Vitamix.

3. If you want to make nut butter it’s a wash.  Either the Vitamix plus the dry grind jar or add $119 for the Blendtec Twister jar, or learn to be patient with the stop/start/push down drill on the regular Blendtec.

4. If you like to set it and forget it,  Blendtec.  Though you may have to hold it down anyway, because any blender will walk around a bit when it’s chopping away.  If you like to play around with it throughout the process, Vitamix.

So our personal choice, since our cabinets are standard and I didn’t want to put it on our mobile island, is the Blendtec.

The real, real bottom line:  The real, utter bottom line is the end product you get is going to be identical and you’ll get many years out of this blender.  You can’t go wrong with either.

Ninja Prep review

As promised.

I’m a big fan of blenders. But I’m not a fan of some of the downsides:  food well-blended only on the bottom, chunks of ice in my smoothie, and time-consuming cleanup.

Having seen these little dealies on TV and in stores, I just had to have one of my own … the one pictured is mine, currently going for $72.50 on Amazon.com (transparency alert, we did buy this product ourselves, it is not a vendor demonstration unit), including the parts you see here  plus one more… one large jar, two small jars, a chopper jar, and a separate cutting assembly for the small jars.

PROS

1. It does indeed turn ice into snow. This is a non-negotiable feature for me.

2. Tons of power here.

3. Since it works on your manual presses of a Pulse switch, you have easy control of the process.  That’s really important for guacamole, salsa, soups and everything else you want blended together but not totally liquified.  There’s a newer model that looks more like a juice stand blender, but it only has the one jar.

4.  You get lots of jars so you can make several components of a meal without having to wash everything in the middle.

5.  It has multiple levels of cutters, so you’re getting cutting action every 2-3 inches all the way up the jar.

 

CONS

1. This is is just me, I’m sure, but putting the parts together is not a 5:30 AM thing, it’s got sharp blades and the parts have to go together in a simple but early-morning-baffling way.

2. You do have to learn to use it.  It pulses, and the maximum pulse without getting the motor overheated is 15-20 seconds, so the first few times you use this fellow you’re really in learner mode.

3.  The cutters sit pretty flat, so it’s possible to have areas of your food that get missed; if so you can take of the top and stir them down easily.

 

In summary …. nothing to ditch your current best-friend blender for if you have one, but if you don’t have a blender or the one you have doesn’t make smooth smoothies, this non-traditional entry into the blender space is a worthy contender.

 

Lots of us have lots of blender love to give — protein shakes and smoothies are much more enjoyable when made with a good blender.

The important thing, like any other appliance, is to match the good qualites of the type of tool you’re using with the particular use you want to make of it right now.  A tool is only a good tool when it does a good enough job of what you’re needing it for.

Here are the basic blender applications, along with the type of tool that’s made for it.

1. Turning undifferentiated raw, solid vegetables into refreshing, pulpy juice.  For this you may as well go directly to the  $400, turn-a-tree-limb-into-juice machines, because nothing else will do this.  I say pulpy because if you don’t want the pulp you may as well buy a juicer as try to extract the juice from the pulpy mix a blender is going to give you.  In that $400 category you’ll find the VitaMix and a couple of other competitors that will do anything you might ever want done as far as blending, and will spin the liquid fast enough to warm it up for direct use as soup.  But do consider if you’ll be getting your $400 worth … that’s 100 large bottles of pre-made vegetable juice from your grocer.  If you decide it’s worth it, here’s my big cash savings tip of the day.  You can sign up for Bed, Bath and Beyond’s email list and receive a 20% off coupon right now, and when you use it, they’ll send you more coupons, and if you use them, they’ll send you *more* coupons.   I am a major fan of BB&B and you’ll never see me buying there without a coupon or price match.

2. For the rest of us who aren’t going to sink a college class tuition into a blender, there are good, general purpose blenders available in the $40 range … Consumer Reports has a crush on Oster in this category, and I pretty much agree.  They’re probably not going to turn ice into snow, and they tend to be a little on the disposable end of things.  If your freezer makes crushed ice, this is going to be a great smoothie machine.

3. There’s a hybrid between disposable and tree stump grinders — represented by Cuisinart and KitchenAid.  If you’ve been following me for awhile you’ll know these are the only brands you’ll find in my kitchen, because they are sturdy and will have replacement parts available for a long time.  These will set you back about $100 and will indeed turn ice into snow.

4. If you’re the kind of person who makes several different shakes all through the day, the more personal-sized machines with multiple cups are nice.  Speaking of Cuisinart, BB&B has $20 mail in rebate on a 15 piece example of this genre, which you can use above-mentioned 20% off of coupon on, and thus for the list price $60 item you’re down to $32.  Glory.

5. If you sometimes wish you could blend something up directly in the cooking or serving vessel, you may like a stick blender.  It’s going to be irritating for any other use, though, so think about how often you’re going to use it.

6.  Then there’s the interesting space age gadget category.  Run away.

7.  And finally, there’s the one-motor, many-items category.  I find this hugely appealing, logically beautiful (why buy 4 very similar motors to spin 4 different devices?) and just totally unworkable, after trying twice. I want this to work, I really do.  Maybe someday. But right now a motor with continuously adjustable RPMs, with enough gumption to juice carrots but enough gentle mixing love to make creme brulee, remains evasive.

There’s a brief rundown of the available choices, and a few representative manufacturers in some of the areas.  Happy blending!