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Braun PureMix JB7130BK review: Braun's PureMix is too weak

This isn't to say smoothies are entirely out of this machine's reach. I managed to cajole the PureMix to produce the drink eventually. I had to remove the jar from the blender more than once and manually mix between my blending attempts.

Whipped cream

When you're blending, subjecting any ingredient beyond 15 pulses feels like an eternity. Unfortunately, the PureMix needed a marathon 22 pulses at its highest speed setting to turn one cup of heavy cream into a credible whipped cream topping.

Pesto ingredients took a while to process properly.

Brian Bennett/CNET

Pesto

The fibrous greens and hard nuts our pesto recipe calls for can be challenging but a blender worth its salt will take 15 pulses to complete the ordeal. Unfortunately after 15 pulses on high only ingredients in the bottom of the PureMix's blending jar were mixed. After two minutes, more of the mixture was liquefied though items in the top half of the jar were still solid. Not much change happened after another minute running at full speed, "liquify" setting.

Running for two more minutes, slowly starting at the lowest speed then gradually ramping up to high, eventually did the trick. That said, a lot of material still stayed stuck to the walls of the jar.

Pancake batter

It took a good two and a half minutes to blend dry pancake mix and water into usable batter for flapjacks. The KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond managed the task in 25 seconds flat.

Shredding a block of cheddar is out of this blender's skill set.

Brian Bennett/CNET

Cheese

One of the worst torture tests we subject blenders to is letting it have a go at an 8 ounce block of cold supermarket cheddar cheese. We understand it's not something ordinary consumers would likely do. Few machines can pass the trial since the gummy substance demands so much of their blades and motor systems.

Sadly the PureMix couldn't mince a block of cheddar cheese after 15 pulses on high speed and remained unsuccessful even when left it running. I had to chop the cheddar block into bitesize pieces for the machine to shred the cheese properly.

Forget about using the PureMix to make creamy nut butters.

Brian Bennett/CNET

Almonds

You can forget using the Braun PureMix to make nut butters. It took a decent 12 pulses on high to turn two cups dry of almonds into powdery flour, and there were a few sizable bits in the jar that were relatively untouched. Even after a full 23 minutes alternating between blending at high speed, then stirring and tamping, the machine could only create a wet mealy paste.

The clean up

I'm not a fan of traditional blender design which typically has a blade assembly detached from its jar and the Braun PureMix is no exception. Not only are this blender's blades annoying to clean and best washed by hand, manual scrubbing increases the risk of injury.

If you don't make sure to properly assemble the blades, jar and base, the blender can leak liquid too. That's precisely what happened to me when a small gap in the gasket caused heavy cream to flow all over my test counter.

Conclusion

While you might be tempted by the $130 (£100 in the UK, roughly AU$174 in Australia) premium look and compact size of the Braun PureMix blender, it's not an appliance I can recommend you buy. Unlike the company's BrewSense coffee maker which I liked, this machine handles its primary mission poorly.

To whip up smoothies, sauces, dips and other blended confections, go with the $149 KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender. It's bigger, heavier, costs a little more and it's styled to match a 1950's diner, but it will get the job done and do it well.

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