Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Blender Review

March 22nd, 2010 by Jayson Miller No comments »

Click Here To Learn More About The Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Blender

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 3.75 x 3.75 x 12.5 inches
  • 14-ounce blending jar
  • 175-watt motor
  • Model No: 51101

Pros

  • Price
  • Convenient size for small servings and small kitchens
  • Relative power compared to price
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Ill-fitting lid sometimes leaks
  • Struggles with large ice cubes and large frozen fruits
  • Not dishwasher-friendly

Ratings

Score (Rank)
Value: 9/10 (1)
Performance/Ease of Use: 7/10 (5)
Quality: 9/10 (1)
Size/weight: 8.5/10 (3)
Overall Rating: 9/10 (1)

Review

Hamilton Beach Single-Serve BlenderThe Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Blender is a small, 14-ounce mini blender designed for single serving and small portion blending tasks. It features a plastic blending jar, stainless-steel blades, and a white base that takes up less than 4×4 inches of counter space. This mini blender stands 12.5 inches high.

Its plastic 14-ounce blending jar doubles as a travel cup and fits into most car cup holders, although the cup may feel a bit wide for some users and could benefit from a travel handle. The jar comes with a travel drinking lid that works well for portability purposes but can sometimes leak during blending.

This mini blender features durable stainless steel blades that fit into the bottom of the cup, which Hamilton Beach says leads to easier storage and clean-up. It is not dishwasher-safe, but owners report that the cup’s small size and lack of additional pieces still makes it more convenient than dishwasher-safe larger blenders.

The Hamilton Beach mini blender features one-touch operation, as its 175-watt motor works at a single speed. This motor power is fairly generous relative to the blender’s size, and works especially well for liquid smoothies and shakes. It is not designed with a specific ice-chopping attachments, but it can typically handle smaller ice cubes or pre-broken ice chunks fairly well. The blades do sometimes struggle with larger chunks of ice and large frozen fruits (such as strawberries).

Because of the blade’s angle, some foods may ‘hide’ under the blades and stay un-blended. A quick stir, or inserting foods in a different order, seems to resolve this problem without issue.

Hamilton Beach includes a complimentary blender recipe book along with the purchase of their single serve mini blender. The blender is also covered by a 3-year limited warranty from the manufacturer. This personal mini blender is the smallest in Hamilton Beach’s blender lineup, which includes numerous blenders with both glass and plastic jars, single or multiple speeds, plastic and stainless steel bases, as well as double-blenders for dual blending of separate recipes.

Bottom line: The Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Mini Blender is affordable, convenient, and relatively powerful for its size. It features a 14-ounce plastic blending jar plus travel lid, and fits in most car cup holders. The 275-watt motor has one-speed and one-touch operation. Its metal blades may struggle with ice but work well for fruits, smoothies, and shakes.

Click Here To Learn More About The Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Blender

Tribest Personal Blender

March 21st, 2010 by Jayson Miller No comments »

Click Here To Learn More About The Tribest Personal Blender

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4.8 x 3.5 x 6.5 inches
  • 200-watt motor
  • 16-ounce blending jar
  • Model No: PB-100

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Blends well and consistently
  • Blends hard foods like ice and coffee beans
  • Air-tight jar doesn’t incorporate air into mixture
  • Variety of available cups and lids
  • Replacement parts available

Cons

  • Some owners report compromised longevity from frequent use

Ratings

Value: 6/10 (4)
Performance/Ease of Use: 8/10 (3)
Quality: 8.5/10 (2)
Size/weight: 9.5/10 (1)
Overall Rating: 8.75/10 (2)

Review

Tribest Personal Blender PB-100The Tribest Personal Blender is a small-size blender designed for high quality blending performance, effective design, and convenient storage and cleaning. It comes with a wide array of available blending cups and lids, for both storage and travel purposes, and is widely credited for being one of the few mini blenders that effectively blends ice.

The base of the Tribest mini blender features a single-speed, 200-watt blending motor that can be pulsed manually or locked into place for continual blending. Its standard 16-ounce cups come with lids and can be put directly into storage without transferring containers. The blending cups are not dishwasher-safe and must be hand-washed. The cups also feature measuring markings, which are helpful but can be hard to read.

This mini blender is largely effective in blending ice cubes into smoothies and shakes. With the correct blade, it can also be used to grind coffee beans, nuts, and other hard items. Users report very consistent and effective blending of fruits and liquids into shakes and smoothies.

It also excels at effectively incorporating numerous health powders and oils, with minimal pockets of stickage along the sides of the container. Adding ingredients in the right order (liquids first, powders last) helps things blend better. Because of the Tribest Personal Blender’s air-tight lid and small blending cup size, it incorporates significantly less air into the mixture than do some other blenders.

Some users report that despite the blenders effectiveness, it has a tendency to need repair or replacement in under two years of ownership with frequent use. The Tribest owners manual recommends using the blender for up to 60 seconds at a time (with 45 second intervals in between) for optimum performance and longevity.

The Tribest Personal Mini Blender comes with different accessory packages. The most popular, the PB-100 set, includes the blender itself, two 16-ounce blending jars, two storage lids for those jars, and a four prong blender blade.

Additional add-on accessories include larger (24 oz.) blending containers, smaller (8 oz.) grinding containers, a two-prong blender blade, Mason jar attachments, spill-free sip-friendly travel lids, a mini blender carrying case, as well as a variety of replacement parts (such as the o-ring seal).

Bottom line: The Tribest Personal Blender is one of the strongest mini blenders on the market. Its 200-watt motor effectively crushes ice and frozen fruits, grinds coffee beans and nuts, and blends mixtures into a uniform consistency. Plastic blending jars come with lids for storage and double as travel cups.

Click Here To Learn More About The Tribest Personal Blender

Sensio Bella Cucina Rocket Blender

March 19th, 2010 by Jayson Miller No comments »

Click Here To Learn More About The Sensio Bella Cucina Rocket Blender

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 5.33 x 4.5 x 11.57 inches
  • 300-watt motor
  • 12-piece set
  • Model No: 13330

Pros

  • High power motor and blades lives up to multi-task promises (incl. crushed ice)
  • Easy clean-up
  • Stylish appearance
  • Simple, push-down operation

Cons

  • Too noisy for some users
  • Occasional complaints of leakage
  • Frequent use may shorten longevity

Ratings

Value: 7/10 (3)
Performance/Ease of Use: 8/10 (3)
Quality: 7.5/10 (4)
Size/weight: 8/10 (4)
Overall Rating: 8.25/10 (4)

Review

Sensio 13330 Bella Cucina Rocket Blender Platinum EditionThe Sensio Bella Cucina 12-piece Rocket Blender Platinum Edition is a style-minded high speed mini blender set designed to perform multiple blending tasks. This blender takes up roughly the same counter space as a coffee cup (5.33 inches x 4.5 inches) and stands under a foot tall (11.5 inches).

The base of this Sensio Bella Cucina mini blender is covered in a brushed chrome finish. The blending cups are made of durable plastic that Sensio says is particularly clear for easy viewing of the blender’s contents. Like most other mini blenders, it is recommended that owners refrain from placing any parts in the dishwasher.

Versatility (especially when compared to its price) is one of the Rocket Blender’s strongest aspects. The mini blender’s manufacturer says it fulfills a number of different tasks, and is designed to “chop, mix, whip, blend, and more.” This includes beverages with ice and frozen fruits—items which often give mini blenders a tough time—and owners report that the Bella Cucina is successful in this claim. Owners found that for best results, crushed ice is preferred over whole cubes, and an adequate ratio of liquids to solids is required to allow full incorporation of frozen items.

Other tasks performed by the Bella Cucina Rocket Blender include grinding coffee beans and nuts, mixing party dips and salsas, and helping with food preparation. Its versatility means that it can effectively replace the need for coffee grinders, and reduce the need for full-size blenders (and full-size cleanup). However, a some-what predictable (yet still notable) downside is that increased daily use of the blender seems to correlate to a decrease in longevity.

Some owners complain that this mini blender is noisier than appropriate for an appliance of its size, although the under 30-second blending time for most tasks seems keeps the noise to a minimum that most owners find tolerable. Others report minor leaking during the blending process, although such complaints are not unanimous.

Included in the 12-piece set are the high powered motor base, 2 stainless steel blades (1 cross blade and 1 flat blade), 1 tall blending cup (12 oz.), 1 short blending cup (6 oz.), 1 party cup, 2 color-coded lip rings, and 4 lids (2 for storage, 2 with holes for shaking).

Bottom line: The Sensio Bella Cucina Rocket Blender is a competitively priced mini blender that performs well and lives up to the manufacturer’s promises of versatility. It’s one of few mini blenders that successfully blends chopped ice, and although some owners complain of excessive noise and occasional leakage, most find it satisfactory and commend its style.

Click Here To Learn More About The Sensio Bella Cucina Rocket Blender

Back to Basics Blender Express

March 18th, 2010 by Jayson Miller No comments »

Click Here To Learn More About The Back to Basics Blender Express

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 6 x 5.5 x 13.2 inches
  • 350 watt motor
  • 24-ounce blending jar
  • Model No: BPE3WHITE

Pros

  • Superior ice- and frozen fruit-crushing performance
  • Easy to clean
  • More power and settings than competitors
  • Extra mugs can be purchased separately
  • Leak-free travel lid

Cons

  • Travel lid opening is awkward for lefties
  • Cups develop hairline cracks after prolonged ice blending

Ratings

Value: 8/10 (2)

Performance/Ease of Use: 8.5/10 (2)

Quality: 8/10 (3)

Size/weight: 7/10 (5)

Overall Rating: 8/10 (5)

Review

Back to Basics Blender ExpressThe Back to Basics Blender Express is an aptly named mini blender designed for individual serving sizes and on-the-go blending jobs. Its simple, basic design helps it take up minimal counter space and makes clean up very easy. Its ‘express,’ 350-watt motor is more powerful than most competing blenders of this size, and blends drinks quickly and effectively.

The major design appeal of the Blender Express mini blender is its easy-to-use blending cup, which features a handle and doubles as a travel mug. So rather than transferring from the blender to your mug, you simply turn the mug upright, unscrew the blade attachment, and go. It also comes with a leak-free travel drinking lid that seals better than many competitors’’ lids, and features an opening for drinking or inserting a straw. Left-handed users will probably want that straw, as the lid is aligned for right hand use of the mug.

Power-wise, the Back to Basics Blender Express is stronger and more diverse than many other mini blenders. Its 350-watt motor has three settings: high speed, low speed, and pulse. Other small blenders typically have one speed, and you can pulse manually, but the Blender Express has a pulse setting that does it for you.

This mini blender receives consistently high reviews on its ability to thoroughly blend all types of mixtures. Most users of the Back to Basics Blender Express report exceptionally consistent texture for frozen smoothies, frozen blended coffee drinks, and protein shakes.

Blending ice is often a big challenge for blenders of this size, and the Back to Basics mini blender does quite well with both ice and frozen fruit, as long as they are crushed or small cubes; full size cubes still present a bit of a problem.

The few complaints that owners voice generally concern the right-handed dominance of the travel lid (which is otherwise well-received and notably leak-proof) and the development of hairline cracks in the blending cup after weeks or months of blending ice.

Notably, this mini blender has a good reputation for lasting a long time. Due to their size and strength, many such blenders will die out after a year or so of frequent use, but the Back to Basics Blender Express will often last two years and longer.

Bottom line: The Back to Basics Blender Express is one of the more consistent mini blenders on the market. Its insulated blending cup has a handle, comes with a leak-proof lid (with drink/straw opening) and so doubles as a travel mug. This 350-watt blender has 3 settings (high, low, and pulse) and a reputation for successfully blending ice, and for lasting longer than competing blenders.

Click Here To Learn More About The Back to Basics Blender Express

Ten Great Uses For Mini Blenders

November 2nd, 2009 by Jayson Miller No comments »

Mini blenders really can do a lot of things around the kitchen. Whether you received a mini blender as a gift, or are just curious about whether you should buy one, here is a list of ten great things you can do with them, which should help you get an idea of other roles they can perform as well.

  1. Thickening soups. Soups made of  vegetables and meat in a broth (such as beef stew) may seem a bit watery. You don’t have to add cream to thicken them. Use a hand held immersion mini blender to puree even just some of the ingredients; this will thicken the broth and do wonders for the soup’s color and texture.
  2. Making pesto. The darling of pasta, pesto is a simple blend of basic, pine nuts, olive oil, and sometimes other flavorings. Use a mini food processor style blender to make a fresh batch on the spot.
  3. Salsa. Simply add chunks of tomato, onion, and your favorite pepper to have quick, fresh salsa on hand, even in single servings!
  4. Whipped cream. Immersion mini blenders often come with whisk attachments, allowing you to whip up fresh whipped cream in no time.
  5. Powdered sugar. Did you know that powdered sugar is just regular sugar cut very very fine? Use a mini blender to grind up regular sugar; it’s easy, cheap, and saves space in your drawer.
  6. Salad dressing. Why buy salad dressing when you can blend your own? Throw some oil, vinegar, and seasons into a mini blender and you have fresh, emulsified dressing in seconds.
  7. Chop nuts. Durable mini blenders can grind and chop tough things like nuts, so they’re instantly ready for salads, baking, and other recipes.
  8. Smoothies. If you always make too much smoothie or milkshake in the full blender, use the mini blender for a more appropriate size.
  9. Hummus. This classic blend of garbanzo beans and tahini is exceptionally simple in a mini blender. Dip with pita chips and enjoy!
  10. Chopping. Mincing onion, garlic, and other soft vegetables is a breeze in a mini blender. Don’t was time (and tears) –just throw in some chunks and you’ll have tiny pieces in no time!

The Benefits Of Using A Mini Blender

October 23rd, 2009 by Jayson Miller No comments »

When you set out to buy a mini blender (which is probably more like a mini food processor since it can be used as a fruit juicer or carrot juicer, but the result is the same: well chopped and blended food with minimal effort and time), you will be faced with quite a bit of selection. The basic role of a miniature version of the larger food processor is to do the same thing its greater-capacity counterparts do, just in smaller amounts.

These are convenient products for a number of reasons. For one thing, it is simply easier to use a blender that is the right size for what you are blending. You wouldn’t use an extra large mixing bowl to blend a few teaspoons of dried seasoning. Similarly, you don’t need a 14-cup food processor to blend together a cup of salad dressing.

The by product of using a mini blender for mini tasks is that you are not left to wash huge dishes for a small task. A 1.5 cup blender bowl is much easier to wash out than a 14 cup bowl.

Also size related, a mini blender takes up much less space in your pantry or on your counter. Say you regularly blend up a small batch of salsa or pesto, or a single meal’s worth of salad dressing. It is a pain to constantly lug your full size blender out just for these things, but it also takes up more space on the counter than you’d like for keeping it there all the time. A mini blender works well either way: it takes up minimal counter space, and is easy to take out if you would prefer keeping it in the cupboard.

Another benefit of mini blenders is that they come in a couple different styles. While the mini food processor style is simply a small version of the larger food processor (such as a Braun food processor), the immersion mini blender actually serves a purpose all its own, which larger blenders cannot replicate. It allows you to blend food (namely soups, sauces, and gravies) in the same vessel you cook it in; no need to transfer it to a separate pitcher or bowl, and much easier to clean up!

Shopping For The Perfect Mini Blender

September 12th, 2009 by Jayson Miller No comments »

There are many reasons to buy a mini blender (or two, of different styles). The biggest reason is that these small kitchen appliances offer an excellent way of chopping and blending food, yet do so without taking up the space (or dirtying the bulky dishes) that larger blenders do.

If you need to blend moderate or large amounts of food, it is probably more worth your money to get a full size blender. But even so, a mini blender is great to own in addition to a standard sized blender. Or if you have small kitchen space or a small budget, you can buy a mini blender and blend larger recipes in multiple small portions.

There are several different styles that make up the mini blender market. Here are a few of the most popular:

  • Mini food processor/blender. This is more often a food processor, but people often refer to it as a “mini blender” so we will address it here. Food processors can often hold quite a bit of food, with at home models built as big as 14 cups. But mini food processors can come as small as 1.5 cups, so that you can blend small batches of spices, or oils for a salad, without dirtying a huge appliance.
  • Immersion blenders. These hand held blenders are quite small. Instead of pouring your food into a blender, you simply immerse this hand-held appliance into the blow or container than already houses the food. Excellent for soups in particular, this simplistic style of mini blender is easy to use, quick, and very easy to clean up.
  • Non-electric “mini blender” bottles. A portable alternative ideal for smoothies and health shakes, these bottles give you the option of blending your beverage on the go without electricity. Often a durable plastic bottle with a wide mouth for easy drinking, blender bottles usually have a solid wire ball inside that smashes and blends the contents when you shake the bottle.

These are three different ways that you can blend food or beverages, all for very different purposes, without the use of a full size, traditional blender. Most of these will not work to replace such a blender, but can be a great alternative in certain uses.

Mini Blender Bottle: The Ultimate Convenience

July 23rd, 2009 by Jayson Miller No comments »

If you like smoothies or health shakes, you probably have wished that you could blend one up without dragging out your full size blender and having to wash blades, pitcher and all. One of the most clever inventions in recent years (for smoothie loving folk, at least), has been the mini blender bottle.

The premise is simple: look at what people use already, figure out what they want changed, and combine the two for a better product.

The mini blender bottle starts with the plastic sports bottle that most people put their shakes and smoothies in to take them on the go. (It only takes one cold spill in the car to stop taking a smoothie in an open glass or cup.) So we know that portability (and a secure closure) are important.

The second thing is the convenience of making the smoothie. As mentioned at the beginning of this post, lugging a full size blender out every day can be a pain, not to mention time consuming. People want to have daily smoothies without devoting extra time to it.

The mini blender bottle is a combination of these two needs. It combines a sturdy plastic sport bottle (with a wide lid and secure seal for drinking and shaking) with an internal blending tool. This tool is nothing fancy—it’s not even electric—it’s usually a sturdy, stainless steel ball. Shaking the bottle will jumble the ball around, causing it to break up bits and evenly distribute your different ingredients into a blended smoothie.

This makes it easier to get that shake without using extra time or equipment. You will probably find that some shakes or smoothies will work well in the mini blender bottle, while others will not. You should not count on this bottle to crush ice like your full size electric blender can. However, it should have no trouble mixing juices, yogurt, and soft fruits. It should also do a good job of making sure that protein powders and other vitamins do not clump up, but are well mixed in. Then, you just drink your smoothie in the very dish that blended it –no extra cleaning!

Useful Attachments For Mini Blenders

July 17th, 2009 by Jayson Miller No comments »

Size isn’t everything, so don’t go thinking that mini blenders are limited to fewer functions because of their size. In fact, these more approachably scaled kitchen appliances do many more things than you would expect. And since they are small, it’s easy to change out a portion of the tool and have something that serves an entirely different purpose—without taking up much more space (or money) to do so!

Here are some of the top attachments for mini blenders that allow you to diversify your skills and revolutionize your kitchen:

  • The whisk. Immersion mini blenders are a hand blender intended for immersion in soups, sauces, and smoothies. Replace the blending attachment with a whisking attachment and you have the perfect tool for beating eggs, whisking flour, whipping cream, and making meringue. The best part: your arm won’t get tired.
  • The chopper arm. The blending arm of an immersion blender is generally intended for relatively soft foods and liquids. But some higher end models can be quickly converted into a food chopper (like a food processor). The chopping attachment fits on in lieu of the blending attachment, and usually comes with a lidded bowl or container in which the vegetables are contained while being chopped.
  • The chopper blade. Standing, food-processor style mini blenders usually have a single, lower blade, but for slicing and dicing vegetables, it comes with a higher blade specifically meant to slice more cleanly.
  • The food chute. Higher quality food processor style mini blenders will come with a chute that allows you to gradually add food to the running blender. This is particularly useful when paired with the chopper blade.
  • Storage containers. Many mini blenders come with specific storage containers, matched in size to their capacity. This means you can easily make a batch of pesto, salsa, hummus, or even salad dressing and easily store it; no worry about finding the right size container to do so.
  • Blending containers. Immersion mini blenders can be immersed into an already-in-use container (such as a big soup pot). Or, many come with blending-specific bows (often with high sides) that work perfectly with the appliance.