Thinking about making your own baby food? A top-notch baby food maker can help get the job done. We tested the top 10 options after researching and purchasing more than 19 products since 2012. From all-in-one machines to blenders, from hand-held options to travel-ready products, we did the messy and busy work, so you don't have to. Each contender was assessed for performance, ease of use and cleaning, and health and safety. Let our recommendations assist you in your search, and you will be cooking and blending homemade food in no time.
Mealtime is easier to tackle when you have the right gear. Our list of baby feeding gear includes everything your baby needs to begin eating solids and join the family for mealtime, including top-ranked high chairs, baby-friendly tableware, and other feeding supplies. Making your own baby food? A top-ranked baby food storage system can help keep your baby's food fresh.
Editor's Note: We performed an overview of the baby food maker review on April 20, 2022. This update included a review of products and prices.
The NutriBullet Blender is an all-star machine that produces silky-smooth purees with the capacity to blend large batches of baby food. The container is BPA-free plastic, large (64 oz), and easy to clean. Wipe the motor base with a damp cloth; everything else is dishwasher-safe. However, we recommend hand washing to prolong the product's longevity, and a baby bottle brush, like the OXO Tot Brush, works well to reach nooks and crannies around the blade. We think this machine is excellent for families with multiples or those making extra baby food to freeze and store. The user interface is simple, with a range of settings from low to high that get the job done no matter what the task. This blender wins an award over the slightly higher-scoring option because it can accept hot liquids, and the other option cannot.
The NutriBullet's size takes up room on the countertop or cabinet. It is also not an all-in-one machine, meaning you will need to cook the food elsewhere before blending. However, we think steaming on the stovetop is just as easy as using an all-in-one machine, and it avoids the plastic-related health concerns that come from cooking in plastic. There is no doubt that the NutriBullet produces excellent, smooth purees that are perfect for a beginner baby embarking on a solid food journey. So, if you seek top-notch puree quality and want the capacity to make generous batches of baby food, NutriBullet is the one for you.
The Sage Spoonfuls Puree and Blend produced near-perfect puree every time with a simple, intuitive interface that is ready to use right out of the box. Its compact size, versatility, ease of use, simple cleaning procedure, and high performance of puree quality are impressive. The immersion blender allows parents to puree softer foods to a perfect consistency in a matter of seconds and the smaller size means it can go anywhere and be easily stored. We think the food processor is equally effective, quickly grinding brown rice or oatmeal into tiny granules, perfect for baby cereals.
We did run into a few hiccups with crunchier-than-desired carrots using the immersion blender, so you'll want to double-check purees before feeding. This immersion blender is unequipped to handle hard or raw foods, but the food processor can take over to finish the job. In short, this product blends like a dream, sports a tiny footprint in your kitchen or on travel, and will remain a helpful cooking tool well beyond preparing food for your baby. With a budget-friendly price, it is hard to find fault with this impressive hand-held choice.
Unlike any other competitor in our review, the Oster Pro 1200 Blender sports a Boroclass pitcher. We believe this material has multiple benefits. It is durable, not easily scratched (unlike some plastic contenders), and doesn't stain. We consider this material healthier than plastic as it does not have the potential to leech chemicals into food contents. The blender's puree quality score is higher than most, and considering the product's cost, we think this blender is satisfactory for most blending needs when making homemade baby food. We also appreciate that the blender's parts are easy to disassemble, making the cleaning process significantly easier.
One disappointment with this blender is that small chunks of food can become trapped under the blades. This result isn't ideal when creating smooth purees and requires extra attention to ensure the final product is thoroughly blended (to avoid choking). The Oster Pro is not a high-end blender, but we greatly appreciate its Boroclass pitcher and consider it a plus for making baby food, allowing us to overlook some drawbacks. This glass blender is a good option for parents trying to limit their baby's exposure to plastic.
If you are prepping baby food on the go for your toddler, the OXO Tot Food Masher is a handy product. It is arguably one of the simplest baby food makers on the market and includes a masher, bowl, and lid. With a compact design, the masher can dismantle and nest inside the bowl, plus it is lightweight and small, making it portable and ready for your next adventure.
The OXO is muscle-powered, so reaching the desired consistency when mashing some foods can take significant effort and time. Softer foods like steamed veggies and fruits like bananas and avocados yield the best and quickest results. It cannot remove skins or seeds, so it isn't suitable for younger infants. Considering the consistency, the OXO is best for a child who can manage texture, not a new to food beginner baby. Also, some users report that the lid can come off in a diaper bag, creating big messes. If you are a family who wants an inexpensive baby food maker useful for life on the go or those who frequently eat out, and your baby can manage some chunks or texture (discuss with your pediatrician), then the OXO is a great solution.
With the power, space, and a bowl scraper accessory, the Hamilton Beach Food Processor appears to be a handy machine when making baby food at home. Across the board, it creates smooth purees suitable for most babies, and its container capacity makes it a potential option if you want to make large batches.
This machine has a bit of a learning curve as it has multiple parts compared to others. However, our most significant issue with this machine is that after multiple uses, we noticed fine scratches on the plastic bowl, leaving us concerned that those scratches could potentially mean that plastic particles could be getting mixed with our baby's food. In our opinion, this issue alone left us uncomfortable using the product, and we would not recommend it to a friend, no matter what your blending goals might be. We suggest looking elsewhere with other competing products that both score higher and don't share similar concerns, or better yet, have glass containers.
Thanks to its adorable and child-friendly design, the NutriBullet Baby is an attractive baby-centric option. It has many extras, such as two blender sizes, storage cups, and a freezer tray. Although you will need to house these accessories (and you might lose some), the blender does not take up much space on your countertop. When it comes to puree quality, this smaller gadget did well, creating smooth purees that work for most babies.
While testing, we noticed an unknown black residue underneath the extractor blade, leaving us to worry about what was creating this substance and if it was entering the food. Multiple negative user reviews online also mention this problem. The full gear review contains more details and a response from NutriBullet, which acknowledges the black residue but claims it does not reach the food. While we have no evidence to believe this mysterious black residue presents a health or safety risk, it is nonetheless an issue we don't see on any other competing product. And, frankly, it leaves us uncomfortable using the product to make baby food or to recommend it to a friend. Therefore, considering this issue alone, we do not recommend this product, despite its blending performance.
Tip: We realize that our review includes mostly blenders. Since all-in-one machines have greater potential for mold growth and accidental burns, we think blenders are easier to clean and are the right tool for blending baby food. You can use your stovetop or oven to cook foods prior to blending.
Why You Should Trust Us
We purchased each baby food maker in our lineup to complete hands-on testing and side-by-side comparison, assessing which contenders make baby food suitable for little ones. Our evaluation considered factors we believe collectively contribute to a product's overall performance, and these metrics include puree quality, ease of cleaning, usability, and health and safety. Each maker was tested in 32 individual tests, including 12 different purees using foods like carrots, rice, chicken, and more. We tested everything from durability and puree consistency to ease of use, quality, and more. We used the makers side-by-side to determine the scoring in each metric, overall ranking, and award winners.
At BabyGearLab, we present detailed scientific reviews of baby gear. Leading this review is founder, pediatrician, and mother of two, Dr. Juliet Spurrier. Dr. Spurrier guides our testing metrics and methods and product selection. Also contributing are Senior Review Editors Wendy Schmitz (mother of 2) and Molly Bradac (professional nanny for 15 years), who have extensive experience preparing baby food over the years.
Analysis and Test Results
During testing, we considered the following criteria when evaluating how well the baby food makers work: puree quality, ease of use, ease of cleaning, and health and safety. Below, you'll find the details from our extensive, hands-on testing.
Making baby food doesn't need to break the bank, and our lineup includes something for every budget. We consider the Sage Spoonfuls Puree and Blend to have the most value for your dollar in our lineup. It performs well overall, offers versatility and longevity as you can use it to make smoothies or shakes, and has an affordable price. If your budget is slightly more flexible, the Oster Pro 1200 may also fit the bill. We consider its price reasonable given the blender's Boroglass pitcher, which is durable, doesn't stain or scratch, and offers a versatile capacity to create large batches of baby food or smoothies for all.
The most important factor of any baby food-making machine is its ability to puree ingredients smoothly enough for a baby. We considered how well the products pureed various foods, whether there were chunks or skins left behind, and the overall texture consistency with each puree result. Issues with puree quality can include blade design, container, and blade combination that can cause food to move away from the chopping area, the consistency of the food (how well it was cooked), and the blended quantity. For the best puree, you'll need to adjust your recipe as you go (adding extra water to dry foods) to achieve the right consistency puree for your child's age. Older babies more accustomed to eating solids might not mind chunkier foods, but you'll need to avoid solid chunks to prevent potential choking.
The blenders in this review created smoother, more consistent purees than the machines that steam and blend. We aren't sure if the all-in-one products failed to cook ingredients enough or if the blade and container design were incapable of adequate blending. As a result, we think a blender creates the best puree results. The Ninja BL660 and the NutriBullet Blender rank the highest among our blender contenders, scoring 9.5 of 10 and 9.3 of 10, respectively.
A couple of low-ranking contenders include the NutriBullet Baby and Hamilton Beach, scoring 1 of 10. The NutriBullet Baby produces excellent purees that are smooth enough for younger babies. Still, we significantly reduced the product's overall performance score due to a black residue forming under the extractor blade. This issue concerns us as we are unsure of the residue's source and makeup. The Hamilton Beach also produces decent puree results, but its bowl scraper accessory leaves fine scratches inside the plastic container, potentially resulting in plastic mixing with the food. We don't care for either machine as we believe other products in our lineup do not share these kinds of food contamination concerns.
Contenders that require muscle power to mash food to desired consistency, such as the OXO Tot Food Masher, will inevitably rank lower as it is difficult for a simple option like this to match an electric blender's smooth consistency with rotating blades. Although softer foods yield better results, we believe the OXO Tot is best for a child who can manage texture, not a beginner baby.
Ease of Use
Most of the products we tested were reasonably easy to use. Typically, the number of parts corresponds with the difficulty of setup and use. Still, the user interface varied from one knob to no buttons to settings that required a manual to decipher.
All of the blenders are fairly straightforward, have intuitive interfaces, and require little effort to assemble; however, the all-in-one machines and the Hamilton Beach required more research to operate correctly, with continual reference to the user manual to determine food cooking time. Nonetheless, these contenders ranked low, scoring low 5's of 10. It would be helpful if these companies included a magnet or laminated guide of cook times, so parents don't need to consult the manuals repeatedly.
Even though the blenders require stovetop cooking of food, we still think they are easier to use and less of a hassle than using the all-in-one steamers with a higher learning curve. Often, you can blend whatever dinner you've prepared for the family for your baby, saving time and effort. Among the competition, the NutriBullet Blender and Oster Pro 1200 earned top scores in this metric, scoring 8.2 of 10 and 8.0 of 10, respectively. Although these contenders do not steam and cook foods, they are easy to use out of the box, have user-friendly interfaces, provide high capacity to make large batches of baby food, and with several blending settings, there's bound to be one that meets your needs.
Health and Safety
We investigate each product for elements related to potential health concerns or the possibility of injury during regular use. For blenders, the main concern is the blades and whether there is a safety mechanism that prevents the blades from spinning when your fingers are in the range.
With steam machines, we considered the potential for plastic to leach chemicals into food, especially when heated during the cooking process and whether 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. Steam can also cause burns, and we assessed the machine design and how well it tried to mitigate this potential.
Among the competition, the Oster Pro 1200 scores 9.9 of 10, allowing it to rank the highest. It has no water tank to cause steam-related injuries or nooks and crannies to propagate things like mold or rust. On the flip side, the BEABA Babycook, an all-in-one machine, requires transferring cooked food from the steam container to the blender container, creating a significant potential for accidental burns, causing it to rank low, scoring 4.8 of 10.
Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning food off of any surface can be challenging, especially if it is sharp or strangely shaped. Extra caution is required during cleaning every product in this review, and cleaning the all-in-one products is trickier, as the water chambers can't be accessed (these require periodic cleaning to prevent mineral deposit build-up).
Some machines have top-rack dishwasher-safe parts, which can be helpful, but we find a top-ranked baby bottle brush simplifies hand-washing, and quick rinsing immediately after use is better. We recommend hand-washing whenever possible to increase product longevity. This also helps prevent the potential degradation of the plastic that could result in potential chemical leaching.
The Oster Pro 1200 earned one of the highest scores (9.5 of 10) for ease of cleaning as its parts are easy to dismantle and are dishwasher-safe. 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. Unfortunately, the Baby Brezza Complete did not rank well, scoring 4 of 10. This baby food maker has many parts, and the unique blade with small holes requires rinsing immediately after use, or you'll be scrubbing for a while to clean the holes.
Baby Food Maker vs. Blender
When it comes to baby food makers, we have to admit the all-in-one cookers don't really compare to the puree-only options - plus, they are more expensive and have potential health concerns. As a result, we widened our scope to include other machines that don't cook food but perform better where it counts, making purees. There is no doubt that the results and data show that these machines create smoother and more ideal purees than the traditional baby food makers that also cook the food before pureeing. Our award winners do not cook food. We believe it is easier to steam/cook food on the stovetop before blending than to use the all-in-one machines in this review. Plus, this more traditional cooking method avoids the concerns of cooking food in plastic, which raises health and safety concerns of potential chemicals leaching into food. This is why our award winners include puree devices instead of all-in-one baby food makers.
Finding the best baby food maker for your needs and goals can be more complicated than you think, especially if you don't have experience in this arena (which most new parents don't). Luckily, we've done all the messy and delicious research for you, and our detailed testing and reviews provide the information you need to make the right selection for you and your baby. We are sure there is a product here that will meet your baby food making goals.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.