Product Type: Magic Bullet blenders
Newest Review: ... Wish it would have had the quality stainless steel look, but that wasn't to be. Will prepare your food in approx. 10 - 15 seconds, one si... more
The Truth Behind The Magic Bullet!
Magic Bullet blender
Member Name: Nar2
Magic Bullet blender
Date: 29/11/10, updated on 29/11/10 (880 review reads)
Advantages: Compact size, lightweight, many attachments.
Disadvantages: See review!
Whatever price you pay, the Magic Bullet is a really good idea based and taken from a standard food blender or liquidiser but "minified," to a small size. Kenwood copied the idea with their "on the go" mini smoothie maker a few years ago and the design is a motor on the base with a compacted jug on the top. But! Before you buy, consider the following information - the commercials you see on TV are nothing like the experiences I've had. The power on the Magic Bullet is a meagre 250 watt sealed motor against what the company call "High Torque," for example and included with the machine are three sizes of goblet cups that you get such as small, medium and large goblet cups with two types of slicing and whipping blades, or the "cross blade" for processing and the "flat" blade for whipping and grinding on offer. The blades screw onto the bases of the goblet before being pushed onto the base of the Magic Bullet and when switching on from the plug, a series of spring activated locks ensures that the motor is engaged and all you do is push the cup downwards to get the motor going. This immediately gives you a manual "pulse" action although the machine does give you the facility to jam the cup on and push slightly clockwise so that the motor keeps going without pulsing all the time. Sadly there is only one speed offered on this machine, which is why the pulse function is very important and needed. The cups and lids are however air tight and fairly well made so that no leaks ever happen. They are easy to screw on and to take off too thanks to their all plastic design and can also be used in the microwave but only with the perforated "shaker" lids screwed on to release air during cooking or warming up.
Alongside the reasonably well made metal bodied Magic Bullet with a plastic base to give it a level base, you also get a set of five different coloured plastic rings which can fit onto four additional large dishwasher and freezer proof "party mugs" that have handles set on them individually. The red, blue, green, black and yellow bands just clip onto the tops and ensure a smoother lip when drinking out of. Nothing new here and fairly similar to the kinds of rings that you'd find on Braun's Oral B electric toothbrushes but I like the idea and their function all the same. The party mugs are designed primarily to offer the function they are so aptly named for, even though they can also handle hot drinks and are made out of thick clear heat insulated PVC. Apart from the cups you also get a perforated lid for supposedly shaking freshly grated parmesan cheese out of, or anything else such as ground chocolate, coffee or cinnamon and two spare lids for sealing up food, fit for storing in the fridge. All of the 3 goblet cups and the 4 party mugs have screw threads on them, making them fairly versatile on the basis that they can be used straight on the machine and transferred to the desired customer for consumption or owner for versatile prep work. This is the most versatile part of the purchase. Lastly you'll also receive a one litre blender jug which is perfect for blending soups and a removable optional juicer which mimics a design that Philips have been using for years of pressing fruit downwards through a mesh filter that doesn't spin. You are left with the pulp inside the plastic chamber and the juice on the outside which makes pouring out the actual juice quick and efficient and only leaves you to deal with cleaning out the filter and the pulp inside the middle chamber.
So when all is ready to go, things aren't as they appear. For a start you really need to read the user manual because, whilst the attachments and fittings look the same, unless you have ever used a MB machine before, you'll be quite kept in the dark to get the best performance out of it. Sadly this is where the first downside comes in - there is no user manual with this machine - I had to download mine off the Internet in Adobe PDF format and since it includes "10 Second Recipes," you're looking at printing out (optionally of course) 53 pages in total! Message me if you need the manual sent to you, by any means!
My first prep test was to see if the Magic Bullet could do onions. I hate cutting onions and up until buying my Argos Value mini chopper, didn't think that a machine like the MB would fail - according, again to the commercial. I had no interest in the blending side of liquids since I have a hand blender already and it does a great job without ever being messy but don't think I didn't test the blending action, regardless! On with the cross blade then, cutting the onions in half and taking the tip from the user manual that suggests the skin has to be taken off completely (when the commercial clearly showed a garlic or onion skin could be left on since the MB appears to leave it behind, magically without slicing or dicing through it) before inserted into the small cup and the base cross blade ring screwed onto the base. This is fairly easy to do since the cups have permanent plastic feet ridges on the tops so that the cups can be placed in reverse with the food prep sticking out before the blade is screwed on. Then you're supposed to fit both the goblet cup and the desired blade together before transferring the complete locked unit into the Magic Bullet before pressing down to get the motor going. This is not a problem since the engaging locks that the blade meets are fairly easy to do - it's the desired result that is disappointing.
The desired effect of onions diced and done in seconds turns to mush. I wasted an onion that was not left in the fridge and then wasted an onion taken from the fridge - both in equal measure - but no difference in the mushy, lumpy consistency that has been left behind. So much for diced onion! Now the user manual does warn this - true to the brand - but unless you press down in milliseconds, the ferocious speed of the blade is enough to turn onions into mush without really chopping or dicing them. Tomatoes were also put into the small goblet with the likewise cross blade and these didn't turn out any better, with only a few tomatoes diced swimming about in a lot of juice and lumpy tomatoes; not my idea of Salsa dip! The noise of the motor is also loud and has a high whine when in operation. The machine can only be used for a minute at a time before it cuts out: not my idea of reliable machine for long term blending.
Thinking however that I may have got it wrong through reading the heavily worded user manual, I took a look online to several review site videos including one company that I have seen before for watching and gleaming info from American owned products that have been sold on UK network shopping channels. Even their test reveals poor onion "dicing," and as the user manual also points out, the less than a kilogram Magic Bullet can be shaken whilst in use! This is something that admittedly I never tried, but really wouldn't do because one hand has to be pressed on the goblet cup when dicing onions - and how you can do that when the machine needs to be shaken in the air at the same time when it is switched on is like employing the use of three hands instead of two - not my idea of safety!
In terms of grinding or whipping, the Magic Bullet does a better job but it is here that the whipping blade really remains true to its word - partly. When making home made mayonnaise, the blade turns the prep into thick cream that won't fall out of the goblet cup. Making a smoothie is also fun using either the 1 litre total capacity plastic jug blender or trying out one of many drinks recipes from the user manual such as a frozen margarita. Like a standard blender, you get gradients in litres as well as an open central top pusher cap to insert ingredients on the go when the blender is in use. When it came to blending yogurt or ice cream based drinks in the summer, I wasn't surprised to find different results - one drinks mug I tried that had previously been used for a hot drink didn't seal properly putting all the drink all over the worktop when reversed onto the machine! This was not just because the party mug had been used previously to carry a hot drink but also as I realised when looking at the blessed user manual yet again, that the cups and lids are top rack only in a dishwasher. Oops!
At least the blender jug is a better bet in this respect. Choosing smooth ingredients means a smooth result but choosing chunky fruits with yogurt for a healthy drink turned out to be a disaster with water based fruits being the worst of the Magic Bullet's problems - it just won't break down the fruits properly when a smooth cream base is added - unless you go over the "holy one minute" use time and then the motor cuts out! When it comes to crushing ice, it fairs better in the blender for a better balanced result but done in one of the cups it isn't uniform and no surprise to find that the cross blade did poorly in this respect leaving a chunk like bit of ice at the top of the cup in use whilst giving a snow like effect of crushed ice where the turning blade is located. How do you serve that in a cup to someone successfully?
The problem with the Magic Bullet is that it is a small mini blender which tackles liquids very well and feels well made for the price of $40 and then realise that UK buyers are nearly being charged £80 for the privilege. Granted whilst I managed to get a £40 "half price," from an Ebay seller and despite it being reasonably well made, it does seem strange that the fittings, accessories and blender jug seem to be better designed than the motor it is supposed to be used with. Lousy at chopping yet fine at blending, the only additional fun factor are the party mugs, coloured rings and juicer with the additional blender jug. If you can look past that then you've got a good drinks smoothie maker that handles just enough drink amounts for one or two people. But! On the basis that it cuts out or overheats after a minute means it is not suitable for the party of five who hope for a smoothie or cocktail at the same time and coupled with shaking the machine for better performance means it simply isn't as reliable as a standard smoothie maker or as safe. Nice idea but when it comes to actual performance for all round food prep, the only magic factor the Magic Bullet seems to possess is being small enough to fit into a kitchen bin and this is exactly where mine went into! Thanks for reading! İNar2 2010
Summary: Not a good blender when it can only last a minute in use before it cuts out. Useless at chopping.
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