STOP SHOVING STUFF IN THE POT!- Cuisinart Smart Stick
Nov 30, 2009
Pros: Versatile, Strong, Efficient, FAST
Cons: Lots of Parts to Store, Chopper good not great.
The Bottom Line: I never saw a need for an immersion hand held blender until now. The accessories with this unit are an added bonus.
It was a sunny day. My little 1 1/2 year old was sitting on the couch blankly watching the television. I looked up to see her program and thought to myself- "OMG that kid will watch anything anyone leaves on there"
I turned the channel to find more kid appropriate programming than the FOOD channel and my daughter began to scream wildly. When I turned it back she was quiet. If I turned it anywhere else, she screamed.
That was the beginning of the gourmet child that I gave birth to. She cried when Martha Stewart went to jail, and the first place I ever heard of Rachel Ray was in the grocery store when my then three year old shouted loudly at the magazine rack "RACHEL RAY- IT IS RACHEL RAY!!!! MAMA LOOK A RACHEL RAY!!!"
I did not have a clue to who Rachel Ray was back then, and neither did anyone I asked for the next few weeks. She was not well known to many outside of the Food Network back then.
At the age of four, I was preparing stir fry and my food channel addicted daughter asked if she could help me chop things. I told her no- and after much begging, finally gave her a dull knife to mess around with while I did my buidness in the bathroom for a moment. When I returned, there was a huge pile of perfectly squared pieces of vegetables of all kinds.
Our daughter is a wonder child when it comes to food.
I was in the BJs wholesale house when my daughter pointed up at the immersion blenders and said,
"You know, Mom, if you would just get an immersion blender, you might find that fixing smooth soups would be a lot quicker and less messy."
I had seen my daughter watching so many cooking shows in the last 9 years (she is currently 10) that I had become used to the hand held blender used on the stove in the soup kettle scene. I decided to buy one.
WHAT IS THE CUISINART SMART STICK HB-154-SA HAND BLNDER LIKE?
The CUISINART SMART STICK HAND BLENDER WITH WHISK & CHOPPER ATTACHMENTS was in a box for $32. Here is what comes in the box:
COMFORT HANDLE This is the handle used for all processes. It is an easy to hold handle with an oblong button that is easy to press in surges with fingers. It seems ergonomic to me and very comfortable. The 200 watt motor is housed in this handle.
There is a cord on the back that is over 5 feet long. This allows for easy use on stoves if not on top of outlets. There is a button on the back that locks the attachments into place. To release, you press and it comes off.
The handle has an area to wrap the cord around nicely making it easy to put away.
DETCHABLE BLENDING SHAFT This is an 8in long shaft made from stainless steel which has a fluted bottom on it that houses two stainless steel blades that are similar to what you find in a chopper blade set up on a food processor, except they are tiny and permanent to the shaft.
There are slats on the bottom of the shaft as well as the wavy bottom edge which allows the liquids and particles to come in quickly and be blended efficiently. This is the only part of the kit that is immersible into the hot liquids on the stovetop.
The shaft attaches to the motor housing handle and snaps into place.
CHOPPER GRINDER This is in three parts- cover, blade assembly, and prep bowl. The capacity is about a cup. There is a spindle on the bowl which allows the blades to set upon it. The cap has nice attachment on it which keeps liquids in pretty well and also makes chopping pretty quick. I do find that the NINJA MASTER PREP has a better chopping action so if you are buying this for chopping as a primary action, you might want to consider the NINJA MASTER PREP for your chopping. If it is your only option, I would say that this is an excellent chopper, although not as efficient as the NINJA MASTER PREP.
WHISK The whisk is in two parts- a gearbox, and whisk beater that goes in the box. This does an excellent job of whipping cream and eggs. It is very handy and although splashing can be a problem, if you plan it right, you can still make good use of the whisk attachment.
MEASURING CUP The two cup measure is tapered and made from plastic.
RECIPE AND INSTRUCTION BOOK Everything is very well laid out in the book. Explanations and illustrations are excellent and easy to follow. No complaints here!
HOW WELL DOES THE CUISINART SMART STICK WORK?
I have -made soups- very creamy -chopped onions and garlic- decent job -whipped cream and egges- excellent quick job -chopped nuts- nice job
As for comparison to other food processing machines, I have to say that the star features of this package are the immersion blending and the whisking. The chopper grinder attachment is similar to the Cuisinart Mini Prep which I find to be inferior to the NINJA MASTER PREP.
I found that soups done in the pot are done to perfection- nice, creamy, and smooth. My husband has also had fantastic results with the immersion hand held blender as well. He loves how smooth it makes soup, but also how strong the motor is.
In fact, I had some problems with my daughter shoving stuff in the pot to see how well THAT would grind. HAHAHa The items have to be cooked of course, or they are not soft enough to pass through the blender slats.
WHAT KIND OF THINGS CAN YOU DO WITH THE CUISINART SMART STICK?
Baby foods Bread Crumbs Chocolate (chopped) Creamy Dressings/Dips Garlic Gingerroot Fresh Herbs Nuts Onion Star Anise, Peppercorns, cloves or nutmeg Vegetables (cooked) Meat (chop beef or pork when cut into cubes)
I have to say that the spices were not so successful in this grinder chopper unit- too coarse. Other than that, everything else I have tried has worked decently.
The CUISINART SMART STICK HAND HELD BLENDER HB154-SA is a wonderful item to have in the kitchen. Storing all of the pieces can be a challenge, but I found that a little plastic milk crate type box is a good way to do that, if you have room on the shelf.
Although I prefer the NINJA MASTER PREP for chopping, I really love the CUISINART SMART STICK for immersion blending and whisking. It is fast, convenient and strong.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
I purchased mine at BJs Wholesale House, but I have seen them at Macy's and a few other stores that sell Cuisinart. You can check their home page for more information, however until you find out where to purchase.