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WHAT IS IT?
A large table top blender for making soups, sauces and baby food.
HOW DO YOU USE IT?
You put the jug onto the base and turn it clockwise to lock it in place, then put food in up to the line that is printed onto the jug and turn it on. This is very easy and the only thing that you have to be careful about is that the jug and the lid also are locked because if they are not then the blender will not work, I didn't know when I first had it and just pushed the lid down and thought my blender was faulty but it wasn't and when I checked the instruction book I found out that the lid had to be turned to lock it.
My blender has got 2 speeds and a pulse that you use when you do not need to blend food very strongly or for a long time. The blade in the bottom is very sharp so it is good that you cannot use it unless the lid is on. I like the top part of the lid because you can pull it off without taking the lid off and put extra food inside while it is still blending, do not ever put spoons or anything in this hole though just tip the food in because the blades are still going round and you could have a bad accident.
You work the blender by turning the knob either to slow or fast blend or if you want to use the pulse you select an option that looks like a spiral circle. It is very easy and you cannot do anything wrong because you can tell when it has been blended enough.
WHAT I THINK
I am happy with my blender even though my husband keeps telling me that I should buy one that does more. I do not see why he thinks this because I want a blender that will blend food only and do not need anything else. I like that this is so easy to use and would not wish to complicate things with a blender that has more settings.
It holds 1.5 litres but I do not know if that is the measurement before or after blending. I fill my blender to the maximum line only and it has never overflown or caused pressure on the lid even when I am blending for quite a long time.
I use my blender a lot to make meals for my daughter who is 15 months old because a full blender of puree will make meals for several days and the meals can be frozen also to make dinner time a little bit easier. I make fresh pasta sauce a lot because I am Italian and do not think sauces brought in the shops are authentic or as delicious as home made, these can be frozen as well until I need them.
There is only one problem that I have with this blender and that is that it has problems with pulling the food that is at the top down to the blades so halfway through blending I have to turn it off and stir the food to make sure I do not have half of the jug pureed and the other half still lumpy. I do not know why this happens but it does not make me happy and adds time to cooking for me.
It is very easy to clean and does not ever need to be scrubbed only rinsed under the tap and wiped with a cloth that has detergent and got water on it.
This is quite a cheap blender and costs only about £20, that is value if you want a blender that will blend food only but if you need something that is more effective for some reason then you would need to look at a more expensive model with more functions.
4 Dooyoo Stars.
I've had this blender for around three years now, only actually rediscovering it when we moved house a couple of months ago - the poor neglected blender had been languishing in a little used cupboard just waiting for me to get into soup mode again, which recently I have so a quick spruce up and it's looking (and acting) as good as new again.
It's a very basic blender which I seem to recall cost around the £20 mark; the design is a nice crisp white and although the blender doesn't look like it has any of the bells and whistles you'd expect from a more expensive appliance, it looks clean and tidy sitting on my kitchen shelf awaiting its next outing. The blender comes in three pieces and comprises the base unit, a 1.5 litre jug and the lid - it all locks together in order for you to start your blending process, with the usual safety element of the machine not working until everything is locked into place.
There are just two speeds on the Russell Hobbs blender, plus a pulse option which in my opinion isn't very good at all. The actual speed settings are fine with there being a distinct difference in the texture of the blended food after using them, I can also feel from the blender while it's whirring away that the fast speed is much more energetic than the slower one and hence more useful for chunkier foods such as if you're blending meat based dishes. It's ridiculously easy to select the setting you want as the large dial at the front is so simply designed; move it one notch to the right for the 'slow' speed, two notches for the 'fast' speed and then all the way back to the left if you need to use the pulse function. Easy as pie. The blade circle at the bottom of the blender is made up of four relatively small blades, two of which are angled sharply downwards to ensure all of the food is blended and there are no clumps left in the very bottom of the jug - this is important as my previous blender had straight blades and I was forever finding bits of unblended food as I was scraping Hollie's baby food or whatever out of the jug, I've never encountered this issue with my current Russell Hobbs blender and for that I'm hugely grateful as there's nothing more likely to send me running to the loo with a hand clapped over my mouth than having to use my fingers to remove a chunk of semi-blended chicken from the jug!
It copes pretty well with everything I've thrown at (and in) it, my two main uses for this blender have been pureeing baby food when my son started the weaning process and for soup making as I prefer a smooth soup to a chunky one. Admittedly it has struggled at times but over the years I've learned what I can and can't blend using this basic appliance, funnily enough there has never been an issue when blending whole cuts of meat but it refuses to blend down mince even if it's in a rich sauce or gravy - this was a bit of a nuisance when David was small as he always enjoyed his dad's uber-rich cottage pie but the slivers of mince as bought from the butchers were just too stringy for him to cope with, I had the bright idea of blending so that the mince would form smaller bits but unfortunately this didn't work out and after a few turns of the blades the blender just switched itself off with a small sigh and it was back to the drawing board for me. Also I tried blending canned sweetcorn a few weeks ago for a soup recipe and that was a total disaster, the kernals just kind of cramming up against the blades until I was left with a bizarrely hard lump of yellow 'stuff' which I ended up having to remove with the hosepipe outside as I simply couldn't get rid of it all using a spoon and my fingers! Two days ago I had a rather expensive blending disaster when attempting to 'lightly blend' some cod fillets and raw king prawns for a fishcake recipe - the slop produced by this blender was reminiscent of wallpaper paste and NO WAY was I eating that even combined with potato and baked in the oven, eight quids worth of seafood wrapped in newspaper and taken over to the park to throw down for the (obviously lost) seagulls which have taken up residence over there.
This blender saved me an absolute fortune when my son was a baby, when I decided I wanted to add to our family my partner read me the riot act about having to learn to cut corners (something I've never done before with any of my previous babies) and the one cost saving thing we agreed on was that I was to make my own baby food rather than buying expensive jars and pouches of baby food. The blender coped admirably (mince issue aside) and I was able to blend down jugs of vegetable and/or meat puree with ease; his favourite dish of butternut squash, parsnip and leek being blended into baby suitable mush within seconds and the freezability of the food allowing me to batch cook and blend for him once a week and pop it all into the freezer in ice cube trays. I don't think it failed for the baby food at all, even when David started eating meat at around seven months old - I did notice that harder meats such as beef blended into small pieces rather than a true puree but at this point that wasn't a problem as David was quite capable of doing a little chewing by then.
Soup-wise I can't recommend this blender highly enough, and in all honesty if soup is all you use a blender for then I really can't see the point in paying more. I only tend to blend vegetable based soups as if I'm adding meat this is when I usually opt to leave the soup in its chunky state, this week I've made a leek and potato soup plus last nights batch of butternut squash soup and both have blended down fabulously not leaving so much as a speck of unblended vegetable in the jug. When I'm using soft vegetables like these I'll often overfill the blender as I've learned from experience that this will work as well as if I'd stuck to the 1.5 litre line on the jug without any of the splatters you might expect from adding too much of anything to this style of blender. It has the requisite 'adding hole' cut into the lid but it's very narrow and to be honest I find it easier to remove the lid completely to add extras rather than try to squeeze it all down this hole and invariably make a mess of the whole blender!
My only complaint really would be the fact that the power cord is strangely short, to the point that in our new house I simply haven't the room for it on any of the work surfaces without moving other appliances around so I'm forced to lug the (pretty heavy for the size) blender over to the table and do my blending on there. This isn't ideal as our kitchen table is pretty shiny and while there are rubber feet on the bottom of the blender this doesn't stop it slipping completely - you may only understand what a pain this is if you have a grabby inquisitive toddler around, it's turning me into a nervous wreck and I really must prod Mark into adding a plug extension on one of the work surfaces. But then I shouldn't really have to do this, Russell Hobbs have enough experience of making kitchen items to realise that a short cord on a blender renders it as useful as a chocolate teapot!
Aside from this issue I'm more than happy with my choice of blender and can't see any reason why I'd need to replace it (unless it breaks, obviously) - if you're a more ambitious cook than me I suspect you'd need more than the two speed settings, but for my purposes it's ideal. Even the cleaning process is so much easier than on my previous blender, whatever I've used in this Russell Hobbs has been removed with a quick soaking and the briefest of scrubs - what more could I ask for?!
I've read some terrible reviews of this Russell Hobbs blender on other sites, but it works well enough for me for the price I paid for it. It carries a retail price of around £25, though I got it from Tesco for just under £20 a few months ago. For the price I paid, it does what I expect it to do.
The blender doesn't boast any fancy attachments, so if you're looking for more of a kitchen hand number, then this probably isn't the model for you. What it does boast is simplicity, and that's the attraction for me.
This blender just blends. Smoothies, soups, baby food even! You chuck stuff in the jug, turn it on (choosing from the straightforward options of turning the knob to speed one or speed two) and watch everything get blended around inside. The blades don't look like they'll do much good, but they are positioned well to suck everything in and get it nicely blended into the mix.
When you're finished, the jug doesn't need to be taken apart and you don't wind up with lots of little sharp or fiddly bits to wash up either. You can just wash the jug as one piece, and the blades are easy to clean with a long-reach washing up scrubber. The only things that need to come apart are the jug from the base, the lid from the jug, and the cap from the lid (if desired). The cap is handy if you're blending hot soup and want to give steam an escape route 'just in case' I find.
The finished results are blended better than if I'd just gone at my food with an electric hand blender in a bowl, but I do confess not as good as I'd expect from a multi-functional up-market blender from the price ranges above. For winter soups and smoothies, the final texture is perfect. If I wanted to make something finer like a gravy or a milkshake, the texture isn't quite what I would want it to be.
The noise from this blender isn't too bad, it's definitely quieter than the last one we had (which this was bought to replace). The feet hold it well on the kitchen side too, so there's no shifting or jumping around while the motor is running. I notice that the jug is fairly thick too, and the solid build over all suggests to me that this is a machine that will continue to run for many years to come.
For the price, I'm happy with this. I can see why some people would want to spend more and get more options, but if it's just a standard, easy-to-use and easy-to-clean blender you're after, then this is one worth considering.
Short name: Russell Hobbs 14449