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Cuisinart Soup Maker Plus SSB3U
Pros: Allows user to be in control of cooking process, and with glass jug you can monitor progress
Cons: Requires more user input
There’s a lot more to this product than adding the ingredients, selecting a programme and walking away, which could be considered a plus or a minus depending on your approach to cooking.
There are three main settings. The first is sauté for browning base ingredients such as onion and garlic. These need to be finely chopped as larger chunks can get lodged in the blade if no liquid is added.
There’s a high setting (up to 100C) for bringing liquids up to the boil and a simmer setting which is a lower temperature (up to 80C) and ideal for simmering soups. These settings only provide heat. If you want to stir, you need to press the slow stir button.
Blending can be done once any of the programmes have finished. In addition, you can blend or pulse cold liquids such as smoothies.
As this machine involves more than simply pressing a button, we began with two of the provided recipes. First a curry paste, with the machine having no trouble grinding up ingredients for a smooth result using ‘level 3 blend’ (there are 1–4 speeds available).
We then used this curry paste in the Thai chicken & red chilli soup. This recipe allowed us to throw in raw ingredients and cook on the simmer setting, using the stir button occasionally and adding more ingredients through the feed hole at various points to ensure they didn’t get overcooked.
This machine doesn’t offer manual presets. You need to select the cooking mode and temperature, as well as choosing when to stir. However, this makes it much closer to cooking on the hob and therefore adapting recipes becomes straightforward.
As you can’t blend while heating like many soup makers which offer a smooth setting, it does mean you need to chop vegetables well to ensure you end up with a smooth consistency.
We wished we’d chopped our ingredients for carrot & coriander soup more finely to reduce cooking time and create a finer result.
The recipe booklet offers a good spread of recipes – jam, chutney, risotto, smoothie, nut milk, curries and soups. This is ideal for mastering the equipment. You can strip the process back to basics if you like but we feel the usefulness of this product has the potential to grow and grow as you become more familiar with it.
Cleaning is easy, requiring a drop of detergent and warm water, then running through a two-minute simmer followed by a one-minute blend.
Capacity: Hot – maximum 1.4 litres, cold – maximum 1.75 litres, no minimum specified
Dimensions: 20 x 23 x 46 cm
Power: Heating element 1000W
Jug material: Glass
Functions: Simmer, saute, high, blend, slow stir, pulse
Cleaning: Add warm water and detergent to jug, set to 2 mins on simmer setting, then blend on ‘speed 1’ for a further 1 min
Keep warm setting: No
Removable jug: Yes
Guarantee: Three years
This review was last updated in July 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.