Pros: fast, accurate, small portions, does what claims, consistent chopping, easy-to-clean.
Cons: lots of parts, blender for only softer items, plastic gears
The Bottom Line: The NINJA MASTER PREP actually does what the commercial claims- refreshing, isn't it? A few drawbacks, but an excellent gift and item to have.
We have all done it. Sitting there, enjoying some passive entertainment and then suddenly it happens - the might informercial comes on.
At first you resist- how stupid. NOTHING on TV is EVER THAT good.
The infomercial drones on and just as you reach for your remote to change the channel, something captures your attention. It could be colors, textures, your favorite food or music, and then you watch a little bit longer, until...
You are HOOKED.
How many times have you or others you know been hoodwinked by a TV infomercial only to find that the product being hawked is nothing more than a pile of junk that is useless quick cash for the advertisers leaving the buyer with nothing but a bunch of empty warranty promises or performance fairy tales?
My husband and I were watching an infomercial the other day that put us pretty much through the same sequence of events. The promise was the typical BUY ONE NOW GET ANOTHER ONE FOR FREE...
As an avid product tester and reviewer, however, I went right to the online community to find out what I could about this so called miracle machine- the NINJA MASTER PREP FOOD PROCESSOR.
WHAT IS THE NINJA MASTER PREP FOOD PROCESSOR LIKE?
Most likely you have seen one of these infomercials by now, but in case you haven't here is a summary of what the NINJA MASTER PREP FOOD PROCESSOR is supposed to do: (from the home page)
Product Features Ninja technology has unique processing power for uniform cutting and ice crushing action
The large 48oz pitcher is perfect for making several drinks at a time, featuring an easy flip pour spout and no slip bottom
Following recipes and prepping food become effortless with the 2 cup processor: Minces, Dices, Chops, Blends, and Purees. No soggy results!
The interchangeable motor head allows you to prep appetizers in the processor and quickly switch to activate the party pitcher for drinks, entertaining at its best!
Ergonomic operation with one touch pulsing creates an easy to use and safe product.
Dishwasher and microwave safe parts
Ninja claims to have lifetime warranty
PIECE BY PIECE DESCRIPTION OF WHAT COMES IN THE NINJA MASTER PREP FOOD PROCESSOR
NINJA MASTER MOTOR POD
The motor pod of the NINJA MASTER PREP FOOD PROCESSOR is a rounded unit that is about the size of a large man's hand if cupped around the top of it. Weighing a little over a pound, the motor pod comes in various colors depending on what source you purchase it from. The color of the store version is blue with a gray pulse button that is rounded oblong in shape and very large- easy to use and see.
The motor pod has a cord that is 6 inches high and 4 inches across. The cord on the motor pod is 42 inches long- this is geared to use very near an outlet.
The bottom of the motor pod has a gear shaped hexagon hole in it which is designed to house the gear shaft which is on the end of the blade shaft.
MASTER PREP BOWL
The MASTER PREP BOWL is a 2 cup bowl made from thick plastic. It has a metal spindle in the bottom of the bowl which is designed to keep the blade shaft in place when it rests on the metal spindle. The bowl has a lip on it of about a half inch at the bottom which makes the bowl stay stable on a counter top. This rim has a blue non-slip ring on it which helps keep the bowl from moving around. The bowl is about 4 inches in diameter and 4 inches high.
MASTER PREP BOWL BLADE UNIT
The NINJA BLADE FOR MASTER PREP BOWL is a shaft which is the entire height of the bowl. The shaft has two blades at the bottom molded into the plastic at differing heights. There is an additional shaft that slips over this shaft which has two more blades on it. These blades sit a few inches above the bottom blades. Once in place, these blades lock together.
At the top of the blade set there is a hexagon shaped end which slips into the motor unit once the SPLASH GUARD is in place.
MASTER PREP BOWL SPLASH GUARD
Also made of heavy plastic, the NINJA MASTER PREP BOWL SPASH GUARD fits onto the top of the bowl very nicely. A sealing ring made of what appears to be a silicone type of material makes it so that the liquid does not come out of the top of the bowl at all. There is a molded area of the splash guard that makes the NINJA MASTER PREP MOTOR POD fit snugly onto the top allowing it to move the blade shaft once it fits into the gear shaped area. The hole in the top of the splash guard allows the top of the blade through so that the motor pod fits onto it.
MASTER PREP PITCHER
The NINJA MASTER PREP PITCHER is made of thick plastic with a stable bottom which has a non slip ring on it of blue. The bottom of the pitcher has a metal pin molded into it which supports the blade shaft. The handle has a non-slip section to it and is very comfortable to hold even with weight in the container.
NINJA MASTER PREP PITCHER BLADES
Made from two shafts that slip over each other and lock into place like that for the NINJA MASTER PREP BOWL, the blades for the pitcher are the same just longer. A note on the blades: They are promoted as being VERY sharp, but in reality they are not THAT sharp. They will cut if applied with pressure, but they are still easy to clean without being paranoid. Because the blades come apart, they are easy to clean.
NINJA MASTER PREP BLENDER SPLASH SHIELD
Just like the SPLASH SHIELD for the MASTER PREP BOWL, the NINJA MASTER SPLASH SHIELD FOR THE PITCHER fits in snugly with a sealing ring to keep liquid from coming through the lid. There is a hole in the top for the hex shaped top to the blades to come through to fit into the Motor Pod. The difference with this splash shield is that it has a pour spout to add ingredients or pour through when finished.
QUICK START and RECIPE LEAFLET
Not much, but the recipe leaflet and quick start paper that comes with the machine gets you started with how to use the NINJA MASTER PREP machine.
SNAP ON STORAGE LIDS FOR EACH CONTAINER
These are plastic lids which fit securely on the containers for storage in the refrigerator if you want to use the contents later. I prefer my own storage containers as I want to have these clean for preparation when I need them.
HOW TO USE THE NINJA MASTER PREP FOOD PROCESSOR
The NINJA MASTER PREP is very easy to use. Just put ingredients into whatever container you are going to mix in, with the blades in there already, and then push on the splash guard (making sure it is on securely) and then place the motor pod on top and PLAN TO USE BOTH HANDS, hold down the motor pod and with the other hand will be used to press down on the gray button for brief quick pulses. You won't need too many for most tasks. Learning curve is easy and the motor pod will only fit securely in one direction so it is hard to mess it up.
HOW WELL DOES THE NINJA MASTER PREP FOOD PROCESSOR PERFORM?
Well, one of the questions I get a lot of is "Can I get rid of my blender or Vitamix if I get the NINJA MASTER PREP?"
In one quick answer- NO!
Let me elaborate.
Here is a quick overview of some of the things I have used the NINJA MASTER PREP to do and how it performed.
GUACAMOLE- perfect- just make sure to have it in chunks first. GARLIC- from 3 to 10 cloves perfectly chopped with few pulses. ONIONS- again perfect chopping with several pulses PEPPERCORNS- did not grind fine enough to use for recipes HERBS- 4 pulses gave me perfectly minced herbs no matter how few TOMATOES- great chopped tomatoes with only 4 pulses HARD SPICES- Nope- I found that I had to put these into a coffee grinder to get them fine like I wanted them to be.
BLENDER- smoothies with soft fruits or ingredients were excellent. Smooth- no large pieces.
GREEN SMOOTHIES- FORGET IT- nothing with any crunchy vegetables or fruits will blend very smooth in the NINJA MASTER PREP unit. I had to put our green smoothies and veggie mixtures into the VITA PREP 3 to get it where we could drink it. Crunchy vegetables are left with large pieces in them, and I found that the JUICELADY blender did a much better job as well.
ICE INTO SNOW-However, the blender did a great job with making ice into snow and then adding liquids or soft fruits to it to make icy drinks- great job with that. Be prepared, however, there is a significant amount of resistance at first with the ice- and I used the commercial small cubes, not the homemade large cubes from traditional ice cube trays. You will need both hands to hold down the top on the machine. Again, keep in mind the plastic gears and do not overload or it could strip the gears.
DEHYDRATOR CRACKER DOUGH- I was pleasantly surprised at how well the NINJA MASTER PREP handled cracker dough made from raw seeds and nuts. Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, green onion, flax seeds, garlic bulbs, sea salt and water. I had to chop the flax and sesame first in a coffee grinder to get it fine enough, but the results when used in the larger container were excellent. I had to pulse about 15 times and then run continuously for a minute and the dough was done very nicely- dry ingredients chopped first then adding the water through the cap.
As for cleaning- the NINJA MASTER PREP is VERY easy to clean. I like the set up and ease of cleaning that is possible with the NINJA MASTER PREP. As long as you are reasonably careful with the blades and clean up quickly after using, this food processor is even fast when it comes to clean up!
The NINJA MASTER PREP FOOD PROCESSOR is a fantastic appliance for
-Quick Chopping -Small food prep -Herbs and Hard Cheeses -Icy fruit drinks from soft ingredients that are easy to blend.
The NINJA MASTER PREP FOOD PROCESSOR WILL NOT REPLACE Immersion Blender High Speed Blender (Vitamix Vita Prep 3, Juicelady Blender, Juicers) High capacity food processors Food processors that you can slice with
Is it worth the price? So far, yes.
Is it sturdy? Well, the plastic gears make it questionable. To be safe, do NOT load up the NINJA MASTER PREP FOOD PROCESSOR with really hard items, or really full heavy loads. Make sure that the gear is lined up with the motor pod correctly and take it easy.
The price of the NINJA MASTER PREP FOOD PROCESSOR is quite reasonable if you purchase it at Walmart, BED BATH & BEYOND (use your 20% off coupon and pay only $40), or Sam's Club where you get an additional two small bowls with snap on storage lids for a totaly of only $54 at the time of this review.
The infomercial states that this machine has a lifetime warranty, but I want to caution you that is questionable as some have had a hard time claiming it from the company. Also, if you purchase in stores, it is a 1 YEAR WARRANTY.
For the price it is, don't count on top of the line performance, but do expect good serviceability if you respect its limitations.