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I bought this smoothie maker a few years back, when I was very into the whole smoothie craze. I don't remember how much I paid for it, though I remember it was quite reasonable. I understand that you can now get this model for as little as £5 on ebay. The machine is quite bulky though not excessively so, about average when compared to other smoothie makers. It looks quite modern and fit in well with the other appliances in our kitchen. In terms of functions there are pulse, smooth and mix buttons depending on what you want to do. I tend to just use the mix and smooth buttons in order to try and get the smoothest texture from the fruit. In terms of the performance of the machine, it is quite large, it holds over a litre in the jug, which means that you can make a large quantity of your smoothie in one go. The tap at the bottom of the jug means that it is easy to pour into your glass. The machine will mix almost any type of fruit and I have also tried a few vegetables as well, it is also great for making milkshakes using milk or ice-cream and real strawberries, bananas etc. The main problem I have with the machine is the difficulty in cleaning it after use. The individual components come apart quite easily however the strainer can be very difficult to keep clean to ensure that you don't leave a residue every time you use it. The tap can also be difficult to keep clean as even though you can rinse it, I still found that after frequent use it tended to clog a bit. The noise is also very off putting, however I believe that this is a general problem with these machines and not specific to this model. Overall it performs well, even if it does take a lot of effort to clean
I had one of these machines up until about 6 months ago when it was replaced with a Kenwood Smoothie to Go machine. I cannot recall how much we paid for it as it was quite a while ago when Smoothie makers were just becoming common place in people's homes, but a quich search on Amazon will bring you one for sale for £15 plus P&P. As I said, this was probably one of the first smoothie makers available for people to use at home, and it is evident that the design of these machines has moved on a lot since this machine was introduced. The most obvious thing you notice about the SB200 is it's size - it is absolutely huge. Thankfully we have a large kitchen so it never really bothered us, but if you had a smaller kitchen it would quite possibly look ridiculous. Unusually for Kenwood appliances, the SB200 looks quite cheap and nasty - maybe this is due to it's attempts to mimic a "New York Smoothie Maker." The outer case of the base is made from a very cheap and nasty looking plastic, which is coated in a reflective chrome style cover. After a while of constant use this gets easily scratched and looks awful and cheap. Because of the size of the machine, it makes large smoothies and the blending jug will accommodate all but the largest items of fruit. The fruit is loaded into the top of the jug - which has measuring points on it's outside - and there is a drainage tap on the bottom of the jug for draining out the fluid once completed. If you prefer, you can remove the whole jug. On the base there are 4 buttons; 1 for the pulse function, 1 for turning it off and 1 each for the mix and smooth texture functions. In terms of performance, the SB200 is good - it will easily turn all your large items of fruit into a perfect smoothie, which is exactly what it should do. Durability wise, as with all Kenwood appliances the SB200 is very reliable. We had ours for about 5-6 years before one of my children got hold of it and blew it up! Overall, a good machine which is available very cheaply now - not the best looking but it does what it is supposed to very well.
There was a certain point when my dad brought home two types of juicer and a smoothie maker. Since we didn't have room for a jug type blender as well as a smoothie maker, it was retired to the extremely messy confines of our garage....until recently, after the blender broke (it had cracks in it that we tried to ignore - that didn't make them go away). Aesthetically, I think the smoothie maker is very good - I have it in a silver colour but it is also available in white. The contents of the box were: stirrer cap lid goblet tap assembly sealing ring blade assembly power unit instruction manual Putting the smoothie maker together is very easy, as is taking it apart (although I always forget which way to twist the blade assembly to remove it, even though it has arrows ant text to tell you which way is 'tighter' and which way is 'looser', and the sealing ring could get lost quite easily if not careful). The instruction manual deals with how to do this with clear diagrams and text. The jug part has markings for every hundred mls from 200 to 1500ml. It also has raised text in plastic which says 'liquids', 'frozen ingredients', 'serves 2' and 'serves 4' to indicate how much of each should be used for the appropriate number of servings. I used this at the beginning but now I just add whatever I have at the time and fix the texture to suit. The power unit has 3 buttons on the right hand side ('smooth' 'mix' and 'off') and one button on the right ('pulse'). I'd never actually noticed the pulse button before writing this review! The 'smooth' button, when pressed, grinds the ingredients to make the smoothie and the 'mix' button, mixes them so there is an even texture when dispensed from the tap. I've found that whenever I press the 'mix' button, there seems to be a weird burning smell. I think this smoothie maker performs really well - when I used to make smoothies in a normal blender, apples etc used to still be in crunchy little chunks and I would have to peel them, but with this machine, ingredients like this are smooth, though there are still tiny bits of peel dispersed throughout. I actually like that though. I also like the fact that the blade assembly is removable - I think this is much more hygienic as it can be thoroughly washed and there will be no little bits that I can't get to. I would have preferred the jug part to just have a spout shape at the top instead of a tap, since the smoothie comes out of the tap quite slowly, especially if there is not much smoothe left in the jug. Also, it is difficult to was the little indentations where the tap part screws on, as well as the inside of the tap mechanism. The stirrer is quite fun to use to stir the smoothie the opposite way that it's being blended (or is that just me? Simple things amuse simple people after all!). I'm not sure how effective it is though! The smoothie maker is quite loud when being operated (I always feel as if someone's behind me when it's on). None of the parts can be washed in the dishwasher, and the instructions (and me) recommend that the smoothie maker is washed immediately after use to avoid it drying on (it means you can relax and enjoy your smoothie with no thoughts of washing up too!). I've found that if I haven't washed it properly, the next time I use it, it smells of vomit. Ugh. So I would recommend taking it apart and washing each part properly (including the sealing ring) every time it is used. This is a bit of hassle but doesn't take very long. Instructions or cleaning each individual part are given in the manual. Overall I would recommend this if it's something you would use regularly and have the space for (it can be awkward to store, or even keep on the work surface due to the shape) The smoothie maker generally sells for between £20 - £30. There are lots of models of smoothie maker from Kenwood though, and a lot of them seem quite similar (I think the latest is SB206)
The Kenwood Smoothie Maker has an easy grip stir stick for maximum mixing efficiency / Its specially designed to make and serve cool, refreshing smoothie drinks with a 1.5 litre graduated acrylic goblet with indicator marks for 2 and 4 servings / The specially designed blades make consistent smoothie texture and the powerful motor blends ice, fruit and ice-cream into refreshing, healthy smoothies / The positive push button controls make use very easy / It also includes a funnel shape goblet to ensure ingredients are drawn into the centre for optimum blending results, rubber feet that provide good grip and stability on the work surface, and a powerful motor that serves up smoothies quickly and cleanly / Short name: Kenwood SB200