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Hands-on Gear Review
BEABA Babycook Review
Price: $150.00 List | $149.95 at Amazon
Pros: Dishwasher safe parts, safety lock
Cons: Higher price, had to clean steam tank, poor puree quality
Bottom line: Harder to use option that requires food transfer and may hide rust or mold you can't see
The BEABA BabyCook is a steam and blender baby food maker with two containers for cooking and pureeing. This product scored below average and disappointed in key tests like puree quality and health and safety. While the idea of an all-in-one product is attractive, this option requires transferring the food from the cooking to the pureeing containers. This means an extra step for parents that is similar to stove top cooking and transfer, which means parents can save time and money by cooking on their stove and using a product like the Sage Spoonfuls Puree and Blend that offered quick and easy pureeing with a smooth consistency. Not only does this save you money and cleaning trouble, it also decreases some of the health concerns related to cooking in plastic and being unable to see inside the steam tank. For these reasons we do not think the Babycook is the best use of time or money.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Baby Food Maker Review
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
BÉABA (pronounced bay-ah-buh) is an international company that creates products for the juvenile industry with technology and design in mind. Started in 1989, BÉABA has created products with safety, functionality, ergonomics, and parents needs in mind. In 2012, formed the Peek-A-Boo holding company and began acquiring other baby related bands. BÉABA is now expanding into other categories of the juvenile industry.
This comparison chart includes the overall scores for each food maker we tested including the Babycook (in blue).
The sections below provide details on how the Babycook performed during testing for each metric. Individual metric scores were used to determine the overall score with an emphasis on puree quality and ease of use.
The Babycook earned a 5 of 10 for puree quality. This score is equal to that of the similar Baby Brezza Complete, but it can't come close to the top scoring Baby Bullet with a 9.
The puree consistency is where many of the food makers struggled and the Babycook also had difficulty. For many of the food products, we tested the Babycook managed a smooth puree or only smaller bits and some skins still intact. This would be acceptable for slightly older babies but might cause problems with first timers learning to eat. It did struggle with some of the food like kale, rice, and pasta. It seems like pasta should be soft enough to be easily blended but it still had fairly food size pieces in the final product. The Babycook did its best work with fruits but oddly not bananas and avocado which are already pretty soft and should, in our mind, blend smoothly with ease.
Ease of Use
The Babycook earned a 6 of 10 for ease of use. This score is second to the lowest in the group with both the Baby Bullet and the Sage Spoonfuls Puree and Blend earning the high scores with 8s.
The Babycook has two settings, steam, and blend. The product has 6 parts and it takes an average amount of time for the food to be processed and ready to eat compared to the competition. it can make up to 4.7 cups at one tie which is nice and means you will have meals for the future.
Unlike the Baby Brezza Complete, this food maker requires transferring the food from the steam to the blender when it is done cooking. This is an extra step similar to the Babymoov Nutribaby. After the food is done cooking you transfer it to the blender container along with the liquid remaining after steaming. The process isn't complicated but we had trouble getting the blender to sit on the machine consistently. It took us several tries every time which grew annoying.
Blending is done by twisting the knob and is a 5-second pulse on and 5 seconds off process. Much like other blenders, we reviewed with this same method we feel confident technology has come far enough for a blender to run consistently without fear of motor overheating and wish all the food makers allowed this.
Health and Safety
The Babycook earned a 5 of 10 for health and safety. The directions for this product indicate it should be run three times through the steam cycle before use. We assume this reduces the occurrence of artificial tastes being introduced to food. We followed the directions and had no problems with plastic, chemical or metal after taste that we found on some of the other steamers. The Babycook has a stainless steel water reservoir and the containers are BPA, lead, and phthalate free. However, we caution parents that even BPA-free plastic has been shown to potentially leach chemicals into food, especially when the plastic is heated. We would prefer the containers be made of glass, but we do like that the reservoir is stainless steel instead of plastic.
There is some concern about mold or other problems related to inaccessibility of the water tank which you can't even really see into much less clean properly. Amazon reviewers reported a brown film developing inside the chamber that they could not clean or even verify that it had been thoroughly cleaned given the limited access of the small water hole. This feels like a design error and indicates that at some point you may need to toss the product due to lack of cleanliness.
The Babycook has some features for safety, but given that you need to transfer food from the cooking container to the blender there is still a chance of burns from the steam that escapes upon transfer. You can wait until the food cools, but most parents will probably want to transfer and blend right away. The best way to avoid burns is to avoid locking the lid with the palm of your hand, which might be the most instinctive way to operate the container.
Other safety features include locking the bowl in place to operate by pressing on the heat-resistant zone on top of the locking arm. If the bowl is not locked properly the product can't be turned on.
Ease of Cleaning
The Babycook earned a 6 of 10 for ease of cleaning. The everyday cleaning of this unit isn't too bad with all of the parts being dishwasher safe including the bowl, lid, basket, mixing cover and blade. However, BabyGearLab recommends handwashing plastic items to help prevent possible degradation of the plastic that can occur when repeatedly heated in a dishwasher.
The real cleaning issue is the water tank and the small opening that prevents thorough cleaning. The steam tank descaling uses vinegar and water or BabyCook cleaning product when the steam button turns red. Our concern is you can't see inside the tank and you also can't scrub inside the tank, so ensuring it is properly clean will be a challenge.
Last, when we used the BabyCook the first time it leaked out of the bottom near the blade area and it was difficult to clean because the area is too narrow for fingers to fit in.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz
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