Product Type: Kenwood blenders
Newest Review: ... to blitz up things like oats and even nuts such as peacans and cashews even though this is not not actually marketed as a food process... more
fruit tastic machine.
Kenwood SB277 Smoothie Maker
Member Name: reddanni
Kenwood SB277 Smoothie Maker
Advantages: Easy to use
Disadvantages: Very tall.
PACKAGING AND PIECES
On unpacking after washing all the parts I realised just how much space this item was going to take up in my kitchen. It is very tall and did not fit in the cupboard I was hoping to keep it in. So word of warning really think about where you will keep this if you brought one, note if its a lot of hassle to get in and out of your cupboards you will probably lose enthusiasm for it quickly, which is what happened to me after 3 months.
USING AND RECIPES
Included in the box was a simple instruction leaflet on the usual how to assemble/take apart/use information including a very handy diagram and 18 recipes. This is all great to get you started but I was pleasantly surprised to find a colour smoothie recipe booklet also included citing 27 different recipes most with a colour photo of the final product. The photos are great not only to see if they look appetising, something a lot of my own 'chuck it in' recipes don't look, but also shows how to serve them looking great to guests. I'm not going to start listing loads of recipes but just to give you an idea of how this is for the whole family you can have various recipes aimed directly at adults or children, as well as the normal healthy smoothies. Children's recipes include thick banana milkshake using 3 medium bananas, 500 ml semi skimmed milk and 6 scoops of vanilla ice cream. A great way to get them to have fruit without them feeling it's a chore. My favourite adult recipe is summer fruit crush, 300ml cranberry juice, 75ml cherry brandy and 200g frozen summer fruits. Both these recipes make 4 glasses.
A tip I didn't pay attention to at first is to put liquid ingredients in first, then fruit/vegetables and finally ice or frozen ingredients. The reason this is important as I found out, the mixture gets stuck at the nozzle when dispensing and needs dislodging a couple of times before the mixture will flow easily into the glass. The black stirrer that slots into the lid is great for doing this and general stirring, I thought this was an excellent idea of Kenwood's.
The 4 buttons on the side are for pulse, smooth, mix and off. The recipes tell you to press various buttons for different amounts of time. The pulse is a high speed option which controls the texture of the smoothie. The mix button does exactly what it states, mixes the ingredients together. The smooth button then allows the ingredients to blend together until smooth. I can hear a change in the speed / blade operation for each option but I am really not sure whether these different buttons are just a gimmick as after experimenting with them I haven't noticed any difference in the mixture after using certain buttons.
There are smoothie makers that you can put the whole fruit/vegetable in the machine so no need to peel/skin. This unfortunatly isn't one of them but after looking at the price, between £100 - £300 I felt this was too much for a machine I wasn't sure how much use I would get out of it. However if money was no object I would go for one to save time.
The only real downside I have to say is that only my shorter tumblers fit under the nozzle. For taller glasses I have to place blender at the edge the kitchen counter to dispense holding the glass. However the nozzle does occasional drip so I can't leave it there or it will drip onto my floor. In Kenwood's defence there is no way round this as the item is so tall already they can't increase the height any more.
Once I have enjoyed my smoothies washing the pieces up isn't difficult. I find all the pieces undo easily and quick to clean. The nozzle needs the most amount of time as you need to run water through it a couple of times to ensure its clean. The cleaning has never put me off using it as some pieces of other kitchen appliances can take longer to clean than to use. I wash them all by hand which as I said I don't find a problem but just to warn you the pieces are not suitable for the dishwasher.
Overall I am very impressed with the quality of the machine, ease of use, cleaning, and smoothie results. Although I go through phases of using it I would miss it if it broke and would replace with the same model again. The only reason it doesn't get 5 stars is because of the height of the item, occasional dripping nozzle and buttons not showing different liquid results.
I have seen them available at approx £49.95 from Amazon and electrical department stores.
Summary: Great product.