Friday, August 14, 2015

Product Review: Hamilton Beach Wave Action Blender


This may be the longest I have gone without posting since I first started this blog almost ten years ago.  As happens, life has gotten busy (mostly in good ways) and I haven't had the time that I would like to spend either cooking or writing about cooking. So when Hamilton Beach approached me again with an offer to review their Wave Action Blender I thought it might be a good opportunity for me to do some cooking and to restart the blog.

Since I burned out the motors on the last three blenders I owned trying to make hummus I finally gave up on owning one.  Between my treasured stick blender and food processor I have managed to chop, grate, whip and puree just about anything I have needed. But when I saw the 700 watt power on the Wave Action Blender I thought it might be time to try it again, so I agreed to give it a shot.

I was a little disconcerted when it arrived to see by the packaging and the instructions that it looks like it is being specifically marketed as a smoothie/shake maker.  And I am not a big fan of either.  My perception was further enhanced when I saw that two of the buttons were labeled "Mix - Milkshake - Easyclean (?)" and "Puree - Smoothie - Icy Drink" and the Pulse button said "Dice - Chop Salsa" on one side and "Grind - Crush Ice" on the other.  But I figured it should still work for my purposes so I decided to give it a try.

The first thing I did was chop up tomatoes, cucumber, green peppers, onion and garlic for a quick batch of Gazpacho.  And I have to say, as easy as it is to throw everything into a big jar and just stick in my hand blender and whip it into shape, the blender did it in a mere fraction of the time.  Score one for the machine.
Next, I decided to make my old favorite corn casserole, which calls for a blending together of eggs, oil (or butter) and corn as the base.  I have been making a seemingly infinite number of variations of this dish over the years so I decided to go back to the original recipe.


I combined the oil, corn, and eggs in the blender and pureed it for a few seconds to get started.  I turned it off and checked to see how much more time it needed.








To my surprise, it was completely pureed and suspiciously smoothie-like. I must admit, I was pretty impressed











I regret that my time constraints did not provide a chance for me to test it any further, as I would have preferred to have used it for at least three different purposes, but this is what I can say after these two uses:

Likes:

1.  Glass blender bowl
2.  Power - 700 watts is a lot of power and does the job quickly
3.  Ease of cleaning - the gasket is actually attached to the blade, and that one little detail makes all the difference in cleaning.  Blenders by definition are a little bit of a pain to clean, but this was not so bad and not enough to keep me from using it.  Although I did spend a bit of time trying to get it off when I first opened it, even though the instructions made a point to tell me not to (who reads the instrutions right off the bat anyway?).
4.  Small Footprint.  For having such a powerful motor, it is surprisingly light and not terribly big or heavy.  Since I don't have room to leave it out on the counter top, it is no small thing that it is small enough and light enough to put it on a shelf and take it out to use easily.
5.  The dual blade system seems to keep the liquid from jumping up all over the container when you turn it on.
6.  The lid has a pour spout that you can open without having to take the lid off, so you can pour soups (or yes, smoothies) without having to take the lid off, which you will see comes in handy when you get to my dislikes.

Dislikes:

1.  The lid has a wide plastic rim that fits so closely and tightly into the glass container that it takes a lot of muscle to get it off.  I'm no weakling and it takes me a few tries (and some grunting and groaning) to get it off.  On the other hand, there is little change of spillage once that baby is on.  And, as I mentioned above, you can pour soups and drinks through a spout without having to take off the lid.
2.  The sides of the container cave in on the sides, which makes the it a little hard to clean.  Not terrible, but a little inconvenient.

And that's it.  Given majority of likes over dislikes, I would have to say that I like this product and will be using it often.  I am already trying to come up other uses for it.

Bottom line:  I recommend it.

You can find the original corn casserole recipe here.

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