Product opinions - who can recommend a good blender/food processor?
June 18, 2005 12:53 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for MeFi recommendations on a good blender or food processor...

A few months ago, we bought a blender so that we could smush up food for our baby. We got a Black & Decker - it seemed to have a reasonable amount of power, had a good number of settings, and it was a known product name.

Trouble is, it kinda sucks.

It doesn't seem to have enough torque to move around more than a cup of food (especially when there is potato or cheese involved); it gets bogged down easily and you can smell motor burning (phew!). Also the way it's designed, you can quite easily get a pocket of air around the blades, which then swing free and don't do anything. You have to stop every two minutes and get rid of the air pocket.

We'll keep using it until it dies/until our child is chewing food, but we're going to need something better for the next one when he/she comes along. Anyone have any recommendations?
posted by Fozzie to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
Cook's Illustrated recommended the Braun PowerMax MX2050 recently. It's $49. All the parts are dishwasher safe.

They tested it making pesto, smoothies & crushing ice and it won in all categories.

In their previous testing, a few years ago, they picked the $40 Oster Osterizer 6663.

Generally I find their equipment reviews to be the cream of the crop.
posted by bcwinters at 2:10 PM on June 18, 2005

I use a blender every day to make breakfast smoothies with frozen fruit, so I have gone through several blenders until I purchased a Waring Pro PBB Series. It has a single two speed toggle switch, low for initial chopping, high for blending. I can make a smoothie from 1 cup of juice, 1 cup of yogurt and 1 cup of frozen fruit within 15 seconds, smooth and no chunks. It should do baby food with no problems.
posted by seymour.skinner at 2:12 PM on June 18, 2005

Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus. I use it everyday for baby food. Of course I like to add some olive oil or even water or sometimes milk to make blending easier. It makes two cups of mush easily. I got no problem with potatoes, carrots, chick-peas and meat. Does not hurt to steam veggies well before you blend them. Occassionally I would also get the burnt smell, but it's gone with time.
For bigger jobs I like the Cuisinart Smart Power Duet.
But, really, check
posted by carmina at 2:39 PM on June 18, 2005

I have a 20 year old Cuisi that still works fine. AAAA++++ would buy again!
posted by Doohickie at 5:51 PM on June 18, 2005

What carmina said. I have one. It rules. I got it from Williams Sonoma, so it's got the stainless steel housing (easier to clean, no liklihood of staining, compared to the plastic housing). 50 bucks; you can get the plastic one, or brushed metal, from amazon for 40 bucks.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 6:31 PM on June 18, 2005

Love our Kitchen Aid. Usually ain't cheap but we've never had any problem with any of our KA stuff. Blender, small proccesor, mixer with a dozen or so attachement, hand blender, coffee grinder have all worked flawlessly.
posted by Mitheral at 8:57 PM on June 18, 2005

Seymour is right. Waring makes the best, most durable blenders around. I'm sure the KitchenAid is great too, and I love me my KitchenAid mixer, but Waring has a lot of power and can take a beating.
posted by lackutrol at 9:55 PM on June 18, 2005

I've been researching blenders because my mid-range blender just pooped out. Unfortunately I haven't found a blender that is both reliable and powerful, but I can tell you what I've ruled out. This KitchenAid model caught my eye in the store - Amazon is coy about the price but they sell it for $90. According to their reviews, though, it has a fatal design flaw. The rubber teeth that interface between the motor and the blender blade tend to shear off quite quickly.

I also looked at this Cuisinart, but it sounds like that one won't last long either.

For those who have a powerful blender that you recommend, I'd love to hear how long it has lasted you.
posted by rhiannon at 10:36 PM on June 18, 2005

I have a Waring, and I love/hate it. It's very powerful, well made, washes up more easily than my Cuisinart, but it can't handle dry mixtures very well, and mixes in a lot of air. It's good for mixtures with a bit of liquid in them, but chickpeas are a nightmare. I have never enjoyed cleaning Cuisinarts. After using a friends immersion blender (blendstik or somesuch corny name), my next blendery thing will probably be a Bamix. Yes, they are expensive. Seems like it would be great for small quantities, cleaning doesn't get much easier, and storing and blending in the same container sounds like a great idea.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 10:41 PM on June 18, 2005

I might add, the Waring can't handle dry mixtures because of the blade and jar design. It has the 50+ year old star shaped blade at the bottom design, and if the stuff can't flow, it's not going to mix. It seems to me that any blender with that design is going to have the same limitations.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 10:44 PM on June 18, 2005

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