“ Brand: Braun / Blender Type: Handheld / Speeds: 15 Speed „
I got this originally as a cast off for my sister (she was given a new one as a gift).
And I LOVE it.
One of the main reasons I hate cooking is all the fiddly chopping, blending, mixing etc. so I was chuffed when she gave it to me, but didn't expect to get that much use out of it while frozen pizza, fresh(ish) soup and premade pasta sauce were still available in the supermarkets in such abundance.
I had underestimated how much easier it would be to use and clean on a daily basis compared to a food processor. Being able to put all the bits easily in the dishwasher made a world of difference. Not to mention not having to lug huge things out of cupboards and dust them off. I started off using it for novelty value, but noticed after a few weeks that it was in daily use.
The ability to quickly whizz small quantities meant my cooking got more exciting cos typically I'm too lazy to chop by hand, so I used to avoid all the interesting ingredients or extras that can lift a dish or a dinner.
The family made nice noises about the improved offerings which got me enthusiastic about trying even more "exotic" things. Like tins of white beans whizzed into a pate with garlic and spring onions on the side for lunch.
Now I'll add in fresh herbs and "just ground" spices automatically because I don't have to plan to do huge batches in advance and freeze them or listlessly bash small amounts with utensils that were never meant for that purpose and make everything messy and hard work. A quick sauce from a bit of broccoli with a dash of milk with the whizzer takes no effort, whereas by hand it is a real pain and not something I'll willing to do.
It's not made of magic though, you do have to take into account the density and hardness of food, a big lump of cold, cheddar like cheese stuffed in the small bowl will make it groan and damage the motor, but a bit of rough pre cutting is no hardship when you can let the whizzer finish things off finely.
The biggest bonus for me is improving the diet of my veggie avoiding son. Daily I can finely whizz or puree several tablespoons of mixed frozen veg (defrosted, if not cooked) to surreptitiously add to soup, sauce or mix in with anything that can hide it and he is now pretty much assured of his five a day by stealth.
I had tried this trick in the past but doing it by hand got me caught since the bits were too big and the food mixer wouldn't do piddling amounts on demand.
I killed my original whizzer by overworking it (note, mash potatoes a bit by hand before attacking them with the whisk, you'll get a lovely creamy texture if you don't burn the motor out by asking it to take the entire strain of the operation) and rushed off to get another one the same day.
The silver lining is that now I have two of everything (expect for the motor) and most nights my dishwasher has the bulk of the accessories sitting in the top basket. Mine are all still unscathed despite pretty much constant use, but should the worst happen you can buy spares.
Which I might do anyway, cos I had to wash one of the small bowls by hand this evening, having used both of mine for dinner and I was in the mood for fresh ginger tea.
Every wedding list should have one of these on them. Posh plates are optional, this is an essential bit of kit.
EDITED TO ANSWER QUESTIONS IN COMMENT BELOW
Q1 what do you actually get with this hand blender?
A What you see in the piccie, a mini chopper (plus blade), a whisk, a stick blender and a beaker. Plus the motor of course.
Q2 Clearly there's a small chopping bowl with a lid, but are there any shredder/slicer plates?
A Not on mine, you'd have to upgrade to the new model with the scaled down miniature version of a full sized food processor for that.
Q3 If not then can it be assumed this isn't really a food processor but just a hand blender with an extra chopper?
A Just ! JUST !! such sacrilege ! It processes food so how can it not be a food processor ? The benefit of this is that you can process very small amounts, which a full sized food processor won't do (well mine won't). For daily use I find that aspect a godsend because I'm not organized enough to buy in bulk, process en mass and freeze in small portions. This little darling lets me chop and whizz as the mood takes me despite the teeny portions I need. And there is a whisk too. Which I'll admit I use exclusively for making mashed potatoes fluffy rather than the traditional use for cream or eggs.
Q4 What's the other jug for?
A It's a beaker, mine is in my bathroom holding the toothbrushes because it was the only thing big enough when I broke the toothbrush holder. I use the blender or whisk directly in whatever pan I'm cooking in cos I never really saw the point of making something else dirty. But that is cos I am probably one the laziest people you'll find in a kitchen. My sister used the beaker to pre whizz tomatoes, eggs, cream and I think she made soya milkshakes in it too (blergggggg !)
Q5 How many speeds does this machine have?
A It has a scale on top with numbers(my replacement motor has up to 15). Mine just lives at top speed unless I'm doing "fly round your kitchen" stuff, like soup in a very small and overfilled pan. There are two buttons on the body, one normal speed and one turbo. Pretty much, aside for "fly round the kitchen" situations I use the turbo button. Patience is not a virtue I possess. Serious cooks would probably get more out of the variety of speeds than I do.
Q6 Is it noisy in use?
A Not so you'd notice. But this is a noisy house with six dogs, seven cats, a home educated child who always has hoards of former school friends round to play\charge round the house, an antique restoring husband who bangs and crashes all day and a wife who can't be in the kitchen without her iPod blaring on speakers. So it is kind of subjective I suppose.
Q7 Hard on the hand or comfortable?
A A lot more comfortable than trying to hold my huge food processor in place. Infinitely more comfortable than trying to chop, mash and blend by hand. The operations tend to be so quick that I don't think there is much time to get hand ache.
Q8 Detachable foot or all in one machine?
You slot the blender, whisk and chopper under the motor and click them in place. Have a look at the piccie at the top of the page, do you see that wavy grey line between the motor and the blending stick ? That is where the two parts detached and attach. Which makes storing easy cos the bits are so small when separated.
I have had one of these for about 3 years and use it frequently, most days at the moment as it is great for breakfast smoothies.
I have mainly used the hand blender type attachemnt (for blending soup) and the container with the blades for smoothies, houmous, pesto and grinding chickpeas for falafel (among other things).
I;ve used the whisk once or twice but that part is a bit pointless for me as it is less hassle to just use a hand whisk, IMHO.
The blender is extremely quick and easy to clean and does anything I have needed it to, including nuts, oats and soaked but unboiled chickpeas.
My only criticism is of the size of the plastic container part with the blades - it could do with being twice the size at least. It is fine for making a smoothie for one person but not quite big enough for two if you both like reasonable sized smoothies.
At around £60 it is relatively expensive for what it is but in my opinion is well worth it as it does what it does extremely well and is easy to keep clean.
Im not normally a fan of kitchen gadgets as the novelty soon wears off and Im left finding somewhere to store them. But this Braun hand blender is the only gadget that I use on a regular basis. It doesn't cover off everything a professional food processor would but isn't as bulky either. It fits in the kitchen drawer and I store the attachments in a cupboard as they don't get as much use. The main advantage I believe is the ability that you can use the main blender in the pan and don't need to clean extra containers which makes hand blenders better.
It has a stainless steel heat proof shaft with an anti splash back guard, this slots onto the handheld motor section, you can then simply slot on the whisk or it connects directly to the mini herb chopper which can be used to chop other small items such as nuts etc, then finally a larger container which includes an ice crusher - for those mr frosty syle drinks or cocktails.
This is a powerful 600W blender and makes light work all jobs Ive used it for. It has two buttons on the front which automatically start the motor when pressed and cut off when you take your finger off - so it's easy to control, the second button is the turbo button and this gives you even more power. Finally on the top a swivel dial allows you to control what speed you want from a slower speed for jobs such as whisking to the faster jobs.
It's not as loud as main food processors and its simple click on and off attachments make it an ease to use. A banana milkshake can be made in less than 30seconds and all that needs to be cleaned is the main stainless steel blending shaft and beaker and these rinse under the tap easily. Its not to heavy and fits in your hand well with easy access to the buttons, the two power buttons are covered over with rubber so the main unit can be cleaned and no awkward gaps for food to get stuck in.
It comes with a large beaker and I this is great for making quick banana milkshakes. All the items (apart from the handheld motor unit) are dishwasher proof.
I picked mine up for about £50 at John Lewis a few years a go, and whilst cheaper models are available it's a worthwhile investment as it will hopefully last you a long time. It does come with a wall mount but as mentioned before it fits in a kitchen drawer.
The picture linked to this review is a different model and has a plastic shaft which I guess isn't as hard wearing as the metal shaft version model Braun MR 6550 M which this review is about.
I had a food blender before and it was frustrating using them. I could never blend chillies into a paste, the blender I had didn't blend the chillies evenly and it was an untidy chore.
I was determined to find a blender that will serve my purpose, I have decided that it must be
Easy to hold
Blend very well without leaving bits and pieces
Easy to use
I was glad that I have found the blender that meets my requirements, the Braun MR 6550M.
The Braun MR 6550M with a power output of 600 watts blends food in a matter of seconds. There are two switches with the option of soft speed. I would usually used the soft speed as it is easier to handle the power output which could otherwise be quite powerful and sudden. There is also a 15 speed dial which give additional flexibility to the blending and chopping speed.
So far I have only used the machine for blending, the braun MR6550 M also come with a stainless steel whisk, a vegetable chopper known as CA chopper and a beaker.
The blender is a detachable stainless steel shaft with ultra hard blades. The blender have an anti splashing design, it is a joy to blend chillies within seconds without any spills.
The blender, the chopper and the whisk are separate components and it is attached easily to the soft grip power gear. I like the ease of attaching the blender to the power gear, the design of the two component make using the blender effortless.
Nowadays when the temperature is getting cold, the blender is now used often to blend vegetables for soup. After simmering the vegetable soup for an hour, I simply whisk out the blender, plug in the power and blend the vegetables and my soup is done.
Next I will detach the blender from the power attachement and washed the blender in the sink. Cleaning is easily as there is hardly any groove or hidden corners that could store food remains.
Everytime when I use the blender, I never fail to tell myself, this is the most useful kitchen appliance for me.
Update: The blender is dishwasher safe. Bought this a couple of years back, can't remember the price and strangely couldn't find the price over the internet.
Short name: Braun MR 6550 M