Hamilton Beach Food Processor Review
Pros: Large quantity
Cons: Bowl scraper accessory scratches plastic bowl concerns us, larger footprint on countertop
Manufacturer: Hamilton Beach
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|Pros||Large quantity||Quality puree, easy to clean, inexpensive||Minimal, small in size, compact, lid included, easy to clean, inexpensive, portable||Portable, fairly easy to clean, low-cost, free from BPA and PVC||Reasonable price, easy to use, simple to clean|
|Cons||Bowl scraper accessory scratches plastic bowl concerns us, larger footprint on countertop||Does not cook||Below-average puree quality, small amounts, requires effort, lid may pop-off, staining||Does not grind all foods, blade is dull, liquid can leak, and grinds small quantities of food||No cooking feature, black substance under extractor blade, misleading cleaning information|
|Bottom Line||A food processor with smooth purees, but not recommended since the bowl scraper leaves scratches on the plastic bowl||Simple, inexpensive, and versatile, this unit makes baby food in a snap||A travel-friendly, manual food maker that mashes, but does not puree like machines||A no-frills baby food maker that is good for those seeking portability at a low-cost||Despite being easy to use and clean with minimal parts, we do not recommend this blender due to a black residue we observed|
|Rating Categories||Hamilton Beach Food...||Sage Spoonfuls Pure...||OXO Tot Food Masher||Green Sprouts Fresh...||NutriBullet Baby|
|Puree Quality (35%)|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Ease of Cleaning (15%)|
|Specs||Hamilton Beach Food...||Sage Spoonfuls Pure...||OXO Tot Food Masher||Green Sprouts Fresh...||NutriBullet Baby|
Manual states: 2 to 3 cup max for fruits and vegetables, .7 lb for meats
|Not Listed for Food Processor, N/A for Immersion Blender||Not Listed||1 Cup||2 oz Single-Serving Storage Cups, 12 oz Short Cup, 32 oz/4 cups Batchbowl|
|Settings||Chop, Blend, Puree, Slice||Blend, Puree||Blend, Mash||Blend, Puree||Puree|
|Included Accessories||(1) Reversible Slicing/Shredding Disc||HomeMade Essentials Package Available with (1) Recipe Book, (6) Glass 4oz Storage Jars, (60) Labels, (1) Immersion Blender with Food Processor Attachment and Pocket Guide||(1) Lid||None||(1) Easy-pop batch tray with lid, (6) Date-dial storage cups with tip-proof tray, (1) Short cup with lid|
|Available Accessories||Crinkle Cut/Fine Shred Disc||Sage Baby Eco Steamer, Sage Spoonfuls - Simple Recipes, Healthy Meals, Happy Babies; Sage Spoonfuls Pocket Guide, Assorted Storage Jars, Pouches, Snackie and Munchie Bag Sets||None||None||None|
Our Analysis and Test Results
With a mission to provide innovative solutions that improve everyday living, Hamilton Beach Brands design, market, and distribute various branded electric household and specialty houseware appliances, plus commercial products. Today, it is one of the largest U.S. manufacturers of small kitchen appliances.
Each contender experiences the same test of pureeing various foods, including vegetables, fruits, meats, and grains, to examine puree quality.
The Hamilton Beach has the best puree results with banana, avocado, sweet potato, broccoli, pasta, and partially frozen peaches. However, it did not produce ideal results with raw carrots, which appear minced, not smooth, and with uncooked apple and steamed kale, leaving too many small pieces for a beginner baby to manage.
The machine comes with a removable bowl scraper accessory that, in theory, we would consider a selling point of the product. But, during our testing, we observed that the scraper accessory left fine scratches on the plastic bowl's sides after only a handful of uses. This issue concerns us, given our natural fears that plastic scratches might mean that plastic scrapings could potentially be entering the baby food. While we have no evidence that plastic is actually entering the baby's food, or even if it was, that it would result in a health or safety issue, we can't help but feel very anxious about this issue. For us, in our opinion, this issue is a deal-breaker, and prevents us from considering it a product we would recommend to a friend, or use to make our own baby's food. There are just too many compelling competing products that have no similar issue to choose from. Despite some strengths of this product, we are left with anxiety about this issue that prevents us from recommending it.
Ease of Use
The Hamilton Beach scored slightly below-average in this metric. When unboxing, you will notice a fair amount of parts, but the user manual helps outline the set-up, cleaning, etc. You will be using the chopping/mixing blade to puree, not the reversible slicing/shredding disc. The control knob offers three speeds high, low, and pulse, and with a 450-watt motor, there is enough power to get the job done.
The machine includes a bowl scraper, which we consider a selling point of this product. This accessory is optional and operates when the processor is on or off, moving ingredients that stick to the bowl's sides toward the blade.
The manufacturer states the bowl's capacity is 10 cups. However, the user manual explains that for best results, do not exceed 2 to 3 cups of fruits and vegetables and .7 lb for meat. In our experience, due to the bowl's design with a shorter opening in the middle, that liquid will overflow this part soon after exceeding 4 cups, and this is something to keep in mind if you are pureeing food with high liquid content.
The plastic does not feel the most sturdy or durable, but we appreciate the suction cups on the base's bottom that keep the machine in place. This machine is on the larger side, so you will need to spare counter or storage space.
Health and Safety
The Hamilton Beach has an above-average score for health and safety. It has safety mechanisms, does not have any inaccessible areas to clean and dry properly, and has no steam tank to cause steam burns. However, be aware, the blade and disc are sharp, so use caution when handling, inserting, removing, emptying the bowl of ingredients, and cleaning.
Ease of Cleaning
All of the removable parts, like the bowl, blades, discs, and lid, are safe to clean in the dishwasher (top rack). Alternatively, we prefer handwashing parts in the sink with hot, soapy water. However, we do recommend hand washing as it prolongs a product's longevity. In addition, there is no ongoing maintenance besides occasionally checking parts for wear.
Should You Buy the Hamilton Beach Food Processor?
In our opinion, no.As we noted above, we just aren't comfortable with the fine scratches in the plastic bowl that the scraper seemed to have created after normal use. We don't see this in competing baby food makers we tested, and we can't help but have anxiety that there may be plastic scrapings resulting from the scratching that could be entering the baby food. For us, even though we have no evidence that there is actual plastic in the baby food, and we have no evidence that even if there was plastic being introduced into the food that it would present an actual health or safety risk, we are still left anxious by the observed scratches. For us, in our opinion, given that there are so many compelling competing products to choose from that do not have this issue, we do not feel comfortable recommending this product to a friend, or using it ourselves to make baby food.
— Molly Bradac
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