“ Brand: Kenwood / Blender Type: Handheld / Speeds: 1 Speed / Jar Size: 16.91 oz. / Pulse Feature: Without Pulse Feature „
I recently bought the Kenwood handheld blender HB150 and what a great buy! Both my partner and I decided that we would like to try make some smoothies as a way to get more fruit into our diets. At first it was used for just smoothies but now we use it for so much more, I have been making some fabulous soup and cooking sauces (if I do say so myself haha) it has completely changed my diet also as I am using so many more fresh fruit and veg and the Kenwood blender gets the smoothies, sauces and soups to the perfect texture.
As it is a handheld blender you must be patient with it as it will not blend food as quickly as a normal blender but what I prefer about this is you have complete control and you blend it to the way you like it. One thing I would say to watch out for is if you are new to hand held blending, start small! My partner and I made that mistake put the blender in and fired away.... Messy business, we laughed but the cleaning up was no joke it went everywhere. So be gentle when putting into the pot or tub and remember be patient, if you do this you will get fantastic results.
So if you decide to get the Kenwood blender, I truly hope you benefit from it as much as I have.
In our kitchen the name which springs to mind for any small kitchen gadget brand is Kenwood. We have the table mixer, the food processor, the hand mixer, the can opener and the electric knife- all of them are Kenwood branded products but then again aside from a cheapy Prima and a Morphy Richards hand blender which I bought for myself late last year (and is still going very strongly, I may add) the local town electrical stores had this Kenwood model or the cheap Prima on offer. Mum loves her Chef and her food processors liquidiser jug but sometimes its handier to have a hand blender rather than transferring constant food to the jug which creates mess if not handled properly as well as cutting the process of cooking particularly where soups and sauces are concerned.
** Nar's Quick Skip Product Spec **
180 watts of fixed power: not too noisy.
Stainless steel blades: not serrated however.
500ml graduated open plastic handle-less beaker supplied: dishwasher safe.
Optional screw in mount hook.
One speed button but it only pushes in and locks in when activated: rubberised and soft in feel.
Price on average: £14-99 high street or cheaper online: My price: £9-99 from private high street electrical store. Well it pays to shop around!
** Out of the Box/Setting Up **
One of the first aspects which I was really surprised about with this Kenwood is the fact that it doesn't have a detachable foot which means the unit is all in one and can be used straight away. However, there is a soft feel plastic hook which comes with the unit which can be fitted to the top rear of the hand blender which allows the cord plug to be snapped and tidied away after use as well as a novel top hook fitted at the top which allows the Kenwood to be hung up after use - now that's what I call a novel design; I really wish my Morphy Richards metal hand blender had this facility! The hook is also supplied with a cross head screw in case you want to permanently fix the hook mount to a wall, which is another simple yet thoughtful design.
** The HB150 in Detail **
I suspect firstly that this may well be the baby in terms of hand blenders made by Kenwood. I know from my own experience when I bought my Morphy Richards (and this model wasn't available at the time) that the Kenwood was consistently out of stock in all of its hand blender ranges even though my Morphy Richards 48473 hand blender has 120 watts more of this little Kenwood but this Kenwood is a lot quieter than my own hand blender as a result.
But what a cute little design! Measuring 32cm which is three less from my own hand blender it is dressed in that typical white Kenwood plastic which adorns the rest of all our other Kenwood products saved only by a beige darkish brown rubber mount with a rubber power on button bang in the middle and indeed the whole top being rubber means the hand blender is very easy to grip onto - something which my so called MR professional hand blender lacks and badly needs.
The fact that this little Kenwood is an all in one unit with no detachable foot means that unfortunately with the motor on tow there is no way the HB150 can be put in a dishwasher or if it had two detachable parts it would be a lot easier to clean. It can however be washed if you fill your sink with hot soapy water, or as the fairly basic manual enclosed reveals, filling the plastic beaker with hot water and washing up liquid to ensure the whole unit and blade is clean. In some respects I know my mum will love this but I'm a bit of a traditionalist at times and prefer a detachable foot for optimum hygiene.
At the bottom of the Kenwood's foot, the blade is served by air hole fins which can be clearly seen; this isn't just part of the design but it also helps to mould and blitz food together using whisked air whilst it is drowning in most liquids. These fins are more evident when blending milk products such as milkshakes or fruit juices as a lot of froth can be built up - as with most other hand blenders anyway.
** Using It **
Firstly the good news; the HB150 is much easier to hold than my heavier metal Morphy Richards model but then again it really impressed my mum because the quality of the Kenwood is great but it is also very lightweight - essential when she has Athritis in both hands. It isnt overly noisy either even though it has a 180 watt motor, more of the time being noisy in the way it slices and blends rather than the actual buzz of the motor.
It is a breeze to control because of the rubberised top and the natural design of the hand blender's foot which is more tapered than my MR model though. Splashes of food can be simply wiped down with a damp cloth if they get onto the body of the Kenwood too.
There is only one speed available on the Kenwood and its fast or nothing; it is after all a basic low priced hand blender; the button has to be pushed to activate the blender but it stays in with the only other task you need to do is hang onto the Kenwood as it pulverises and blitzes.
In soups the Kenwood managed really well with cooked potatoes which were surprising as I didn't think it would cope with only 180 watts of power, but in general whatever soup, light drink or liquids you are preparing and need a quick blend this little Kenwood will probably fill most requirements.
I made ice cream milkshakes using the Kenwood and as the manual suggests, the closer you push the blender to the bottom of whatever you choose to use it in, the less splashes of food will occur. Also as the manual suggests, "stabbing" food that needs to be blended also works well with the HB150 although you can certainly hear the motor protest as it lowers its power. It is this stabbing method that we have successfully managed to pulverise thick chunks of Pumpkin pieces for our yearly Pumpkin, Carrot and Coriander soup!
One of the tasks which the Kenwood also surprised us with was mashing up carrots or indeed any other vegetable such as cooked strips of Neeps (turnip for the rest of the UK) which came in handy when Haggis was served.
** Downsides **
The stainless steel blades cannot crush ice; they would need to be a lot thicker and since the edges here are sharp enough for most foods and drinks, they would need to be serrated at least to cope with ice. Ice smoothies would have to be done by other means I'm afraid (but if you have a Kenwood Chef with the liquidiser jug, that can crush ice!) but on the upside this hand blender can purify fruit and yogurt together and quickly to make a thick and healthy milkshake.
Since it is a steel blade the Kenwood is essentially a blender first and foremost and anything you need to purify, the HB150 will happily comply! But it cannot whip cream; you would need a mixer or a whisk attachment for that and this does not come with the unit.
One aspect which is probably one of the reasons to why this model was so cheap to buy at the time is the disappointing fact that it doesnt have a pulse ability. I thought initially that I would be able to trick the HB150 into pulsing through food simply by resting my finger on the control button lightly, but unfortunately the nature of the button means you have to press it in firmly to activate the motor. What a pity then that despite its excellent nature and ability it lacks something as simple and basic as a pulse facility; cheaper brand hand held blender products have it, and so should this Kenwood.
** Other Aspects **
The most important task in any cook's kitchen where a hand blender is concerned is judging how long it will last before it cuts out. We've used the Kenwood for most things coming up to Christmas and New Year and found that although the motor could cope easily it will cut out after 5 minutes if it is used continually. Luckily the speed of the motor ensures quick blending and we've only used it for no more than 3 minutes at a time. My mum's best friend has this model and she reports that it does cut out after 5 minutes! However for safety's sake there are a few things to remember;
1) The HB150 is an all in one unit so if you use the 500ml beaker you need to be careful not to overfill the plastic beaker, otherwise liquid can travel up towards the motor and you may get an electric shock. It is however common sense to read the user manual which in this instance is a fair blck and white printed representation of the machine, drawn and suitably diagrammed to locate the features on the machine itself.
2) Never put your fingers near the spinning blade whenever the unit is used.
3) Never immerse the whole unit into water as this will damage the Kenwood - it isn't overly waterproof despite the rubber control grip at the top.
The 500ml graduated beaker cup is a frosted plastic affair but has dark graded decals up one side. Whilst it may well be basic, it is quite wide to accommodate the Kenwood and it is dishwasher safe which is usually unheard of these days when a cup like this comes free with a back to basics budget hand blender.
And if you don't want to hang the Kenwood up, it can stand up on its own foot without falling over, although I also found it can sit in its own beaker out of the way if hanging space at the time is limited.
** Conclusion **
All in all the Kenwood HB150 proves that not everything that is cheap to buy won't work and it's another thumbs up to this model alongside our excellent little hand mixer. The HB150 is a relatively fuss free, easy to clean (once you've taken into consideration its design) and efficient hand blender. But the only downside is the lack of a pulse facility. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2007.
This single speed hand blender is perfect for mixing, blending and pureeing / The soft texgtured grip allows comfortable handling, while the convenient rear cord grip and hanging hook mean the blender can be mounted on a wall or hung from a rail / Short name: Kenwood HB150