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I'm not a heavy duty cook. More a dabbler in the kitchen. I try to avoid too many convenience foods, but most of the time my cooking is purely one of those necessary functions that must be performed to prevent starvation.
Now and again I get the urge to be a little more creative. In these odd moments I fancy myself as some sort of culinary artist. Not Picasso, you understand - more Gerald Scarfe, I suppose.
It is at these times that I realise a potato masher and a sharp knife constitute a limited range of kitchen utensils and I know I need some sophisticated technology. I couldn't justify going out and buying one of those food processors that chop, mix, blend, slash, slice and kneed your food and probably cook it as well. Realistically, I'm only going to make smoothies, soups, shakes and sauces.
So a few years ago I decided that I could use a blender and the one I chose was the Kenwood BL335. It has proved to be a good buy and the other day I was impressed to see that this model is still on sale.
The 350w motor is housed in a white, plastic base that is easy to keep clean and looks good. The one litre jug is clear, plastic and graduated, as you would expect and it has a removable filler cap, allowing for the addition of oil or other liquids during the blending. It took me ages to work out what that was. I couldn't understand why you would make a lid with a hole in it, but there you go.
The blades are stainless steel and will only rotate when the jug is properly in position on the base and the unit is switched on. This is a sensible and useful safety measure.
The switch is a simple, one-touch, one speed, rocker button. There are no complicated controls at all. The blades go round: the blades stop going round. Simple. This is my kind of technology.
In addition to the jug, there is a smaller mill which is great for chopping stuff like nuts, coffee beans or herbs, but also for doing small amounts which would be lost in the main jug. This smaller unit comes with a lid so that you can store what you've produced and this lid has an integral shaker cap - handy when you've ground spices, for instance.
CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE
The outside of the motor base can be wiped over, while the blade bases of both the jug and the smaller container can be removed for ease of cleaning. Everything else washes up.
I've never had anything go wrong with this blender. Like a lot of these things, they either work or they don't and if it's going to go wrong it will likely happen while it's still under warranty. If the motor goes, you're probably looking at buying a completely new machine - doubtless the most viable option at these prices.
USEFULNESS AND RELIABILITY
Sometimes, if I've asked it to chop and blend too much fruit, for example, it has stalled the blades and I've had to take some out, or add more liquid, but this has never been a great problem and I have learned to feed it sensibly.
If you accept that this is designed for fairly light jobs, then you'll have no problem. What it does, it does well. For me, with my soups, shakes, smoothies, and the occasional dip or sauce, it has been ideal. The smaller unit is very handy too.
The acrylic jug and small container are tough and have shown no signs of cracking or leaking and the blades have remained sharp.
I have seen this recently online for as little as £22.99 and I would certainly regard that as good value.
If you're a dabbler in the kitchen, too, then this might be the blender for you.
Recently me and my boyfriend have been trying to eat a bit more healthily, and we decided to invest in a blender, to make up smoothies, so we can get more of our five a day. We bought this smoothie maker off amazon, after seeing it rated as four star, we thought it would be decent enough for what we wanted to use it for.
We only used it for the first time last weekend, to make a smoothie. When we got it out of the box, we were a bit disappointed in how cheap it looked. It is make of white plastic, but I suppose you get what you pay for. We paid £20 for this blender, and having never used one before we didn't really know whether it was worth paying a lot more or not.
I found it a bit confusing to set up, my boyfriend took over and set it up pretty quickly. Once set up, it didn't look like a blender I would have out on show in my kitchen, as it looks too cheap. However, I was disappointed in how this blender performed too. We put in kiwi, strawberries and blackberries for our first smoothie, which was really nice, it blended these fruits really well and it was really nice. But the next day when we tried to make a banana smoothie, it did struggle to make this smooth enough to drink.
We started again with another few bananas, and cut the pieces up quite small which did help the blender, but I was a bit disappointed with it, as it did still have lumps in it.
I also couldn't believe how loud this thing was! I was expecting noise, but this was really loud! You wouldn't want it on for long, it is too noisy.
I don't think I would purchase this blender again, as it looks cheap, it didn't blender all the fruit as well as it should have done, but for the price, it was ok. I think if you are looking for a blender to use regularly, I would spend a little more, for a better one, which isn't as noisy!
In January I was looking for an inexpensive blender to make some soups and milkshakes when my hand blender wasn't cut out for the job. I spotted this one on Amazon reduced from £99.99 to £24.69, which seemed like a great deal.
Taking it out the box I was immediately confused how this is valued at £99.99. It is made of cream plastic, and has a very basic finish. There is only one speed, although there are a couple of attachments. Turning it on was the biggest shock though, its incredibly loud! The cat shot up the stairs and stayed there crying for half an hour, while my brother came running through thinking the hoover had sucked up rocks.
For the first few times it worked okay. It blends frozen banana to a smooth milkshake in about 3 minutes, which feels a bit long to me, but at least it does it in the end. However after 3 washes it has now failed. Putting liquid into the jug it immediately pours through some kind of faulty seal between the jug and the cream plastic ring under it, not even the place where the jug meets the base stand.
I am very dissapointed with the product, and even without the failed jug and subsequent leaks, I do not think it is worth even the £24 price tag, let alone the staggering £99.
The BL335 from Kenwood has a 350 watt motor with a simple-to-use one-touch control / The compact 1 litre graduated acrylic goblet is suitable for left or right handed use with a comfortable-grip handle.The Stainless Steel blades provide effortless and consistent results and the base dismantles for easy cleaning / To ensure maximum safety Kenwoods range of Blenders come with an interlocking system / The blades will only rotate when the goblet and blades are correctly positioned / The removable filler cap with oil drip feed is ideal for creating mayonnaise and dips allowing the addition of ingredients mid-blend.An acrylic mill attachment is also included with a storage lid and sprinkler cap / The mill attachment is perfect for small quantities making time-consuming processes much easier such as blending baby food or dips / The sharp blades of the mill attachment make it the perfect mini chopping tool / Additional features include cord storage and rubber feet for stability / / Short name: Kenwood BL335