Best Baby Food Maker
Easy to use and clean
The Baby Bullet is a quick and simple baby food making solution with few parts that are easy to clean. The Bullet creates smooth purees and chunkier foods by blending or pulsing as desired. It has few parts to keep track of and everything is easy to clean with no nooks or crannies for harmful bacteria or mold to hide. We like the friendly price and food storage containers that make this an affordable and useful option for most families.
While you do need to cook the food on your stove top before blending, we think steaming on the stove top is just as easy as an all-in-one steam without the plastic-related health concerns and a quicker dishwasher safe clean up. However, if you want one that does it all, then this is not the one for you. Unless you have your heart set on set and forget, we think it is hard to go wrong with the impressive Baby Bullet and its simple setup.
Read review: Baby Bullet
Easy Handheld Option
Sage Spoonfuls Puree and Blend
The Sage Spoonfuls Puree and Blend produced near perfect puree every time with a simple, intuitive interface that can be used quickly right out of the box. We did run into a few hiccoughs with some crunchier than desired carrots while using the immersion blender, but overall its compact size, versatility, ease of use, simple cleaning procedure, and the high-quality puree impressed us. The immersion blender enables parents to puree softer foods to a perfect consistency in a matter of seconds. We found the food processor to be equally effective, quickly grinding brown rice or oatmeal into tiny granules, perfect for baby cereals.
This immersion blender is not equipped to handle hard, raw foods, but the food processor takes over in this category to finish the job. Much like the Bullet, it is not a good choice for anyone who wants a do-it-all machine. In short, this product blends like a dream, has a small footprint in your kitchen, and will definitely remain a useful cooking tool well beyond the time you use it for preparing food for your baby. With a budget-friendly price, it is hard to find fault with this healthy option.
Read review: Sage Spoonfuls Puree and Blend
Best All-in-One Steamer and Blender
Steams and blends
No food transfer
Hard to clean water tank
The Cuisinart BFM-1000 is the highest ranking all-in-one we tested with a simple cooking feature and smoother purees and the other steam and blend options. The Cuisinart is an easy to use steam and cook product that utilizes the same bowl for cooking and blending making it a quicker and easier to use choice than the products that require food transfer. We liked the simple user interface and the ability to do other things while the food cooked.
On the downside the Cuisinart has a hard to clean steam tank you can't see or reach into that Amazon reviewers report can get gross over time. Also, the price is on the high side for families on a budget. However, if the price isn't a factor and you are diligent about cleanliness and routine maintenance, then the Cuisinart might be a good choice for those who want a set and forget option.
Read review: Cuisinart BFM-1000
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Analysis and Test Results
For testing, we consider the following criteria to be the most important when it comes to evaluating how well the baby food makers work: puree quality, ease of use, ease of cleaning, and health and safety.
We tested 7 of the top baby food makers on the market so you can determine which option is right for you.
Obviously, parents want a product that creates high-quality purees for their baby's first foods, but there are other factors to consider that impact daily use and cleanup. The sections below provide details about the results for the food makers in our tests.
Making baby food doesn't need to break the bank. With several top scoring options having lower than average prices, there is something for every budget when it comes to making food for your little one. The Editors' Choice winner, Sage Spoonfuls Puree and Blend, has a cool list price of $40 which is the cheapest we reviewed. Also, you can use this puree machine for smoothies and shakes for the rest of the family giving it even more "Value" for your dollar. The Baby Bullet is the top scorer in this review with a list price of only $60. This unit is small but mighty and can also be used for other things outside of baby food. Plus, either option can be used for more than one child. With list prices under $100 divided over a few years, and several meals a day means it will cost pennies to make delicious food for your little one.
The Baby Bullet consistently provides smooth puree for most food products.
The most important component of any baby food making machine is its ability to puree smooth enough for baby. We considered how well the products pureed, whether or not there were chunks or skins left behind, and how consistent the texture was time after time. We found most of the problems with puree quality typically are blade related, the bowl and blade design that sometimes caused food to move away from the chopping area, the consistency of the food (how well it was cooked and type), and the quantity being blended. Like cooking for adults, you need to be willing to adjust your recipe as you go (such as adding extra water to particularly dry foods) to achieve a quality puree for an infant. Of course, older babies that are more accustomed to eating solids will likely not mind chunkier foods, but you need to be cautious to avoid hard solid foods to prevent choking.
The puree only food makers, in general, created smoother, more consistent puree blends than the steam and blend options. We aren't sure if the products failed to cook the food enough or the blades and product design were incapable of blending as well as the blend only options, but we created smoother food with the Baby Bullet and the Sage Spoonfuls Puree and Blend the only two products we tested without steam capabilities. The Baby Bullet earned the top score with the Sage Spoonfuls Puree and Blend and the Cuisinart BFM-1000 coming in right behind it.
Before committing to a baby food maker of any kind, it is important to determine if you really want to make baby food. There is no shame in feeding commercial baby food products. With so many organic and natural options available you can feel good feeding baby off the shelf and skipping the time and energy involved in making your own.
Ease of Use
Most of the products we tested were fairly easy to use. Naturally, the number of parts corresponded with the difficulty of setup and use, but the user interface varied from one knob to no buttons, to settings that required the manual to decipher.
The Baby Bullet has a safety mechanism that requires the container to be locked into the base before the blade will turn.
All of the blender only options are simple to use, have intuitive interfaces, and require little effort to assemble. The all-in-one machines require more research to operate properly. We also found ourselves constantly turning to the manual to determine just how long each particular food needed to be cooked for some of these options. It would be helpful if these companies could provide a magnet or laminated guide of steam times, so parents are not always flipping through the manuals.
Even though the blend only options require stovetop cooking of food before use, we still think that is easier and less of a hassle than using the all-in-one steamers with the higher learning curve. Once again the Baby Bullet and the Sage Spoonfuls Puree and Blend earned top scores for ease of use with the Cuisinart BFM-100 right behind them. The Babymoov Nutribaby has a complicated setup process and user panel, with two different bowls for cooking and blending making it the hardest one to learn and operate.
The Cuisinart suffered in health and safety being made almost entirely of plastic components that contact baby's food. Studies indicate that even BPA-free plastic can potentially leach into food products, which gives us pause on any cooking vessel made of plastic.
Health and Safety
Health and safety include elements related to potential health concerns or the possibility of injury while using the machines. For the blender only options, the main concern is the blades and whether or not there is some kind of safety mechanism that prevents the blades from spinning when your fingers are in contact with the blades.
With the steamers, we considered the potential for plastic to leach chemicals into food, especially when heated during the cooking process and whether or not the devices had steam tanks that were hard to clean or difficult to see into indicating a potential for bacteria or mold growth that could end up in your baby's food.
The Sage Spoonfuls has limited plastic components, and nothing cooks in plastic making it a healthier option than all-in-one options that heat baby's food in plastic.
The blender only options once again excel with no water tanks or nooks and crannies for things to grow unchecked. This gave the Baby Bullet and Sage Spoonfuls Puree and Blend top scores with the Cuisinart BFM-1000 earning the lowest score thanks to an impossible to see into water tank and a plastic mixing bowl. All of the options have safety mechanisms to prevent blade interaction, but they all make different efforts to prevent burns from steaming. The all-in-one options that require transferring cooked food from one container to the blender container have the highest potential for burns, which really hurt the BEABA Babycook and the Babymoov Nutribaby.
No matter how messy the Baby Bullet becomes, it is easy to rinse clean and is dishwasher safe or hand washable.
Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning food off of any surface is difficult, particularly if it is sharp. Extra care needs to be taken when cleaning each of the products we tested. Cleaning the all-in-one products is a bit trickier, as the water chambers can't be accessed (these need to be cleaned periodically to prevent mineral deposit build-up to preserve the longevity of the machine).
A lot of the machines have top-rack dishwasher safe parts, which is helpful, but we also find the use of a bottle brush really simplifies the hand-washing process, and quick rinsing after use helps as well. Even though many parts are dishwasher safe, we recommend hand-washing whenever possible to prolong the longevity of the product. This will also help prevent degradation of the plastic that could result in potential leaching of chemicals.
If you don't immediately rinse the blades on the Baby Brezza Complete, you will have difficulty cleaning it as the pureed food will dry and stick inside the holes.
The Sage Spoonfuls Puree and Blend earned the highest score for ease of cleaning. With few parts that clean quickly and no small crevices or need for a bottle brush, it is tough to beat this blender. The Baby Bullet is right behind with only two components that also require no special parts or harbor hidden bacteria you can't reach. The all-in-one machines are the hardest to clean with steam tanks that require regular maintenance and some areas you can't see or reach for proper cleaning. The Baby Brezza Complete has a lot of parts and the unique blade with small holes required rinsing immediately after use, or you'll be scrubbing for a while to get the holes clean.
Depending on the product you choose, making baby food can be easy enough for a child to do (with proper supervision of course)!
Buying a baby food maker can be a daunting decision if you have little experience in this arena. Deciding if you need an all-in-one machine or a simple puree device can be difficult. Add-on determining how you plan to use the maker and what is most important to you and your buying decision can become overwhelming. After extensive testing, we think there is an option here for every family with almost any baby food making goal in mind. If you're looking for more advice on making your decision, you'll want to review our buying advice article to help you determine if you need a cooker/blender or if an easy to use puree machine will do.