Excellent Blender - best one I've ever had, and I've had many!
I was ready to write a great review for this blender the moment I got it, but I thought, no, I should test it out, see if it fails to perform over time. It's been months and it's just been a wonderful blender, no problems. The pulse button is a very handy addition, because it modifies both HIGH and LOW buttons with one push, so it's very one-hand-friendly. It's got a strong motor, which is not too noisy ... you can smoothly lift the cups to stop it automatically, which is super smart. Altogether a very neatly designed product.
I use it every day, so it gets a serious work out on a weekly basis. Grinding coffee, making soups, smoothies, chopping vegetables into purees (of course you have to add liquid, it's not a food processor!). Whipping cream, chopping nuts, blending hot soups (careful, only fill it half way and start on LOW), etc...
If you want a compact, super easy to clean blender, that can go in the dishwasher (plastic does get a bit cloudy, but I don't care if it means I don't have to hand wash it!), it's just the best little blender I've ever come across. And I've gone through many 'small' blenders - I had several MAGIC BULLETS, the pro and ordinary, they were good, but they are a poor design next to this blender.
I TOTALLY recommend it :) no hesitations.
Great but must use wisely
I love this system! But I can understand why others have had trouble with it. I like it because it is fast, cuts ice like butter, and cleans up as fast as anything you will find. I too wish the cups were a little wider for easier cleaning, but found that a bottle brush made to clean sigg water bottles works perfectly as does a baby bottle brush. Also, it is very important to put the liquid first and the ice last, so that the ice rests on the blades with the liquid all around before you start grinding. Also, it is very important to pulse first to make sure that no ice cubes are wedged between your blades in the beginning. If they are it jams and hums and you need to stop it and shake it or even unscrew the lid to get the ice out before continuing. But when it starts with liquid and ice, it cuts the ice like butter, no kidding. You turn it upside down, screw off the blade top, rinse it off and go. It's that quick. There is no better, faster smoothie system out there. And although it's not included in this kit, you can get a lid from the cuisinart website that will fit the chopper cup that does not have a hole in it, so it seals it completely. Also, when you first use it please note that the cup should slide into the blender slot. I smashed it down, it jammed and I had a terrible mess. I learned to twist it gently back and forth a little till it dropped down on it's own. Don't force it. I have had this system for about 2 years, and nothing compares to its quickness and ease of use and cleaning. But you have to baby it a little with the tips mentioned below.
1. Make sure there is liquid in the cup around the ice and that the ice is put into the cup last so that when you put the blade on and turn it upside down the ice is closest to the blades.
2. Don't force the cup down into the blender. Twist back and forth until it falls down naturally with gravity.
3. When crushing ice, pulse first and make sure there is liquid around the ice cubes. If the blade doesn't start right away, stop, shake or clear ice out of top before pulsing again.
4. It helps to steady the machine when blending with your hand on top of the cup. It is so powerful, the vibrations are crazy.
5. Use a sigg water bottle or baby bottle brush to clean the cups if necessary.
6. Remember you can order a chopper cup lid with no holes in it from the cuisinart website for about $6.
Good luck with your decision. I love mine.
Perfect Blender Package
I read every word of every review before I bought the Cuisinart CPB-300 SmartPower 15-Piece Compact Portable Blending/Chopping System,White. As soon as it came, I read the instruction booklet (not the 4 page leaflet) then immediately tested it by trying the things that the negative reviews downgraded it on.
I referred to the instruction booklet to crush ice, chop nuts, puree and make smoothies. By following directions, it worked flawlessly. It was easy to clean--even the gasket. The instructions were clear on gasket removal. I did have to do it step by step, but that way was very easy.
The only two negatives for me were the size of the large cup (it could be a few ounces larger to alleviate the necessity of using the 32 ounce container), and the travel lids. The no-close opening and the general design of the lid could be better. Even with the negatives, it's a keeper!
If you take the time to learn how to use it, I think you'll love it too!
Update: Many weeks later and I still love my purchase! I have been able to use 8 ice cubes in my protein shakes, and the poweful motor makes it ice cream thick. It's running as smoothly as the day I took it out of the box. I have put the cups and lids in the dishwasher, and have not seen any clouding in the cup at all. I'm guessing that clouding might come frome certain dishwasher soaps. I can still say that I am still thrilled with my choice. You should give it a try!
This little thing is AWESOME. I've had it for a week now, and have used it every day for making smoothies, and once for homemade hummus. Some notes for those who might be interested in purchasing this:
1) It doesn't take over your counter top - the base is small enough to leave out, which is nice, especially if you use it every day (or would use it everyday if you could only leave it out on the counter :)!
2) It's more for beverages or things you want really, really smooth; it's not for food prep like chopping - you'll end up getting baby food. (Get a food processor if you're looking for chopping.)
3) It's as easy as the ad says: put your stuff into the cups, screw on the blade, put it in the machine and select speed. Voila!
4) Pay attention to the "MAX" line on the cup, otherwise you won't be able to screw on the blade. (And to guarantee it will fit, put the hard items on the bottom of the cup, like ice or fruit, and top with the liquids so you're not fighting ice with the blade. :)
5) The to-go lids screw on tightly, but do NOT have a covered mouthpiece so they are not for those in need of spill-proof lids.
6) This thing is powerful, so start on low pulse. I used high once and it smelled like it was burning so after reading the directions, I learned that it's because it's powerful on low when making something like a smoothie and you don't need high except with thick stuff (like hummus).
7) Read the directions. They're short and sweet: 3 steps for each type of cup/blade.
8) Make sure you use the right blade. (see #7) Otherwise it won't work as well.
9) BUY THIS! YOU WILL LOVE IT! It's so much better than the Magic Bullet - more powerful, more convenient, better cups, and easier to clean.
It comes with a recipe book, which I haven't used at all. My only complaint is in regard to the lids for the to-go cups. I don't know anyone who prefers an open mouth lid on a to-go cup. I'm not sure if they're available for sale or not. I shopped around for a while to find one with similar features, and for the power, what you get and the price, it's totally money well-spent!!
Purees better than anything; convenient
I have really enjoyed using this product. I need to have easy-to-eat foods, so I started using blenders and a food processor to puree meals. What a pain, and the clean-up!! Don't get me started. This Cuisinart has saved the day. I fill it with the food I want to puree, add the liquid (needs more than you think) and then pulse. First on low, then high. I may take it off an shake it, and then run a bit more, occasionally I will run without pulsing for 30 secs. or so. Its fast!! It makes a smooth puree, better than my blender, better than my food processor and much quicker. Then I put the black top on the cup and viola, ready to eat. No other dishes needed. The clean up is easy -- just rinse the blade and put the top and cup in the dishwasher. There are plenty of cups and tops, so if I want to make another flavor or a side, I use another cup. This has been indispensable for me to eat regular food--the same food I make for my family, pureed. When I want hot items, I can put the cup in the microwave before or after blending, which makes it so much easier than a blender. For my needs this is perfect. I haven't used the grinding blade yet.
I'm having fun making great puree recipes...so much so, I'm thinking I should publish a book on them, or at least share with friends who are recovering and need easy to digest foods, or easy to eat foods.
Better than the Bullet or any other small blender
We make a lot of smoothies in our house, 2-6 a day. We have burned through several blenders in all price ranges and brands. We purchased a Bullet last year because everyone was wanting different smoothies at the same time and washing the big blender was getting cumbersome. The Bullet lasted less than 6 months and it NEVER blended as great as the Cuisinart Smartpower Compact has. With the Bullet, I would have to reblend items because big chunks would still remain. The Cuisinart is a POWERHOUSE! We LOVE IT! It blends everything so quickly and completely. Yes, it did stink of burning motor the first few times we used it, but it doesn't now that we have used it many times. We also did have the motor shut down, but that was a function of the machine working like it should. It shut down before the motor was fried. We start all our blends on the low setting now, and after the big frozen pieces are chopped up, we switch to the high speed to completely pulverize our ingredients. I have no more complaining of chunky pieces in smoothies. I am getting more spinach, peas and flaxseed into my kids than ever before. They can longer tell because everything is blended so smoothly! The Cuisinart Smartpower is worth every penny. Another feature we all love is the blend and go lids. Now I just make different smoothies directly into the travel cup. It's Awesome!
Great product!! I use it everyday!
My husband and I drink smoothies every morning however we couldn't make one single large smoothie because we like different things in it, so I had to make his, wash the blender and then make mine, which took me a little too much time in the morning when I was running late. For this reason I though about getting the magic bullet that you see on the informercials but I saw that it had mixed reviews and wasn't sure if I wanted to give it a try. When I was looking at the reviews for the magic bullet this cuisinart came up and I decided to give it a try since it had the $20 dlls rebate and I trust more the Cuisinart brand than the magic bullet. I'm soo glad I did! This thing is awesome. I've been using it every day for the last 4 months to make smoothies with frozen fruit and yogurt and it performs great every time. I have also use the blender attachment to make hummus and it blends it better than my big blender. I've only used the grinder attachment to grind almonds for a cookie recipe and it grinds beautifully, because you have more control over it than if you used the grinder attachment that comes with the big blender (in which sometimes I ended up making it pure). So overall I'm very happy with this product, I even bought one for my dad as a birthday present since he also has a smoothie every day. My only complain is that I wish it came with at least two of the closed caps instead of just one, but I read in other review that your can order them separately, so I guess I can look into that.
Oh! Just a quick note, make sure you read the instructions because it tells you the best way to add the ingredients depending on what you are making. (Otherwise it might not blend as well)
Learn how to use and it's excellent!
Some of the negative reviews about the machine burning out etc. I believe are from people adding liquid then hard frozen fruits
To the cup, sealing it and then blending. For this machine you need to add the hard stuff first, and then add liquid, seal and put
Cup on blender base. So it's e opposite of using a normal blender. If you do it this way yo u can have a smoothie in less than 30 seconds no kidding on high! I make smoothies everyday with almond milk, frozen fruits, almonds and raw carrots and have not had one bit of trouble, as long as I add the harder ingredients first and liquid second. I have also made almond milk with e larger container. I have purchased this for an elderly person who is on an almost liquid didn't and also for one of my siblings who is on the go.
Awesome blender! If you read the directions and follow them, it works perfectly! It is very powerful with 350 watts of power. It seems to me that the guy before with the bad review just doesn't know how to blend properly and probably didn't read the directions. You can't take any blender and fill it full of ice and just sit back and hit the "on" button. You can't fill any blender full of ice and you have to pulse when you are blending something hard, like ice. If you follow the directions, you will love it. We love it, love it. love it!
Works great for protein shakes!
I use this to make 2 protein shakes a day. Previously, I had a blender and placed my protein, water and frozen berries in the blender, ran for 30 seconds, poured into a cup and took a spoon to try and gather all the shake into the cup. Then, I had to wash out the blender for my next shake.
Along comes this blender and my process is simple: Grab a "to-go" cup and add water, 3 scoops protein, frozen berries and another splash of water. Blend for 25 seconds. Unscrew blending piece and wash for 10 seconds. Drink shake. Then, I have 3 more shakes before I have to run the dishwasher to clean the cups.
I don't use the ice attachment so I can't comment there but for protein shakes, this product is great and has really cut down the hassle of having to clean an entire blender cup and blades twice a day. I couldn't be happier (unless they threw in 3 more blade pieces for free :P)