Knowing what to look for when buying a soup maker can save you from making a lot of mistakes. This is why we made this review on the buyer’s guide of soup makers. Soup makers, like every other tool, have key features to look for, if you read through this guide, you’d see the key features to look for when you intend on getting a soup maker.
What’s the point of a soup maker?
A soup maker takes the hassle out of making soup. It requires minimal time and effort, which is perfect for busy families and anyone who isn’t fond of cooking. All you need to do is chuck in your ingredients, add the stock and other condiments, sear (if required) and let the soup maker take care of the rest.
Most soup makers have a variety of settings and features to create varying consistencies and textures, or specific recipes, like pumpkin or tomato soup. Basic models typically only have a boiling and blending function with limited consistency settings, which is why most people stick to making soup with a blender.
SOUP MAKER BENEFITS
Compared to microwaves, ovens, dishwashers, and washing machines, soup makers are a relatively small investment. Typically, most are available in the £50-£100 range, less if you’re lucky and get one on a deal or know where to look at the right time.
In general, we always refer people to Amazon. There are a number of reasons for this, but it’s mainly down to good prices, fast delivery, and great service. Service is the big differentiator – if things go wrong with delivery or soon after purchase, Amazon will normally sort it out. That’s all well and good, but why should you buy one?
The biggest benefits you get from a soup maker will vary from person to person, but certain ones are fairly universal, so those are where we’ll focus. While they’re getting very popular, there’s a lot of people that tell us they’ve never actually seen a soup kettle in the flesh, let alone used one, so that’s why we’re talking about why to buy today.
It’s not really about which one you buy, we’re talking here about any and all of them. If you want to learn more about the various models on the market and which we like, you can find that on the home page at our best soup makers table.
What’s the difference between a soup maker and a blender?
Isn’t a soup maker just a glorified blender? Yes and no. While you can make soup in a blender, it typically only does about half of the job of blending, but no heating or cooking ingredients. Some blenders do come pretty close though, as some models have a high enough speed setting, that the friction from the blender can heat the soup slowly.
A soup maker works a little differently. It’s designed specifically for the purpose of making soup (and smoothies) and uses the friction of spinning blades to heat the soup and blend all your ingredients simultaneously.
Soup makers also feature time and temperature settings, so you can set your soup to cook and come back when it’s ready. Some soup makers also come with a full-fledged heating element to sauté foods like onions or meat, a keep warm setting, and pre-cleaning mode.
Types of soup maker
There are two main types of soup maker available, and the price isn’t the only difference between them. Below, we explain more about their benefits and drawbacks to help you choose.
- Look like a normal blender but usually bigger
- Usually more expensive than basic soup makers
- More flexible, especially for blending different quantities
These look similar to an ordinary blender and offer the same kind of blending functions. They can also cook ingredients, either during blending (using heat generated by the friction of the spinning blades) or via a heating plate in the base. Some models can also sauté food before cooking and blending.
Soup-making blenders usually have transparent jugs, making it easy to see your ingredients during blending, but they tend to be bigger, bulkier, and more expensive than both soup makers and ordinary blenders.
Blenders that use the heat generated by the blades to cook your soup, such as the Nutribullet Rx, need to blend on high power for 6-7 minutes to generate enough heat – which can be very noisy.
Prices start from around 1500, with budget-friendly brands, such as Andrew James and Tower, offering soup blenders at this price point. Premium brands, such as Cuisinart and Nutribullet, sell soup-making blenders that cost between 1500 and 5000. Friction-heating blenders can cost considerably more.
- Look like a large kettle
- Cheaper to buy than soup-making blenders
- Usually, have strict maximum and minimum quantities
This kind of soup maker looks a bit like a chunky kettle or Thermos flask. The blending blades reach into the jug from the lid, while a heating element in the base heats the soup.
They tend to make soup in around 20-30 minutes and give you the option of smooth or chunky soup. Most include a cold blending function so you can make smoothies and shakes, too.
You can’t see inside soup makers while they cook, as they have metal jugs. Soup makers are usually a cheaper option than soup blenders.
What makes a good soup maker?
Instruction manual: Helpful, accurate guidance from the manufacturer on set-up, timings, and how to prepare various types of soups was a must. We gave extra marks for a variety of recipes.
- Ease of use: A soup maker should reduce the work involved in cooking. We looked for easy-to-use machines, where we felt confident that the process minimized the fuss of preparing ingredients and cooking them.
- Ease of cleaning: Although we were open to hand-washing (most machines, because of their size and electric output are not dishwasher safe), we still kept an eye out for machines that made life easier when it came to washing-up.
- Aesthetics and size: Soup makers can be space-consuming, so we considered both height and footprint. We favored compact soup makers for ease of storage unless they were enhanced with additional functionality, which justified a bigger size. The attractive design was also taken into consideration
- Versatility: We looked for soup makers that didn’t just stick to the norm and brought other uses where possible.
Soup Maker Buying Guide
The power of the soup maker can be divided into a number of categories and sections. If we talk about the wattage of an appliance, this can vary between 500 and 1000 watts, and choosing between these will rarely affect the final outcome of the soup.
Secondly, and a more accurate measure of power, is the soup maker’s ability to blend more solid foodstuffs such as vegetables, fruits, and even solid ice. Some models may require you to prepare said foods before placing them in the soup maker.
Investing in a more powerful blending mechanism will give you more control of the process and allow you to make a much wider variety of soups, smoothies, and sauces.
Comparing heating plates and elements can also give an accurate reading of a soup maker’s power. Some models come with powerful elements, meaning that processes such as frying can be carried out inside the device itself.
Weaker cooking elements mean that the user must prepare certain food items before using the soup maker, which can also be detrimental to the purpose of buying the soup maker in the first place.
Features on soup makers vary greatly, so it is important to research the market and understand what you want out of your appliance. One of the most common features is the ability to change between smooth, medium, and chunky soup consistency; this is key if you’re looking for variation in your soups.
Safety features are also another key element to keep an eye out for. Most of the top-range soup makers come complete with automatic locking mechanisms which keep the hot liquid from spilling unsuspectingly out. Automatic thermal sensors also monitor soup temperatures and work to switch the appliance off before overheating.
More unique and rare features found in the world of soup makers include slow stir functions for creating risottos, digital countdown clocks to observe timings better, and cold settings for creating iced smoothies.
When it comes to the world of soup makers, there is a vast variation in sizes.
If you want a small soup maker for easy transportation and use, then seek out the non-glass stainless steel models on the market. These pocket-size soup makers are great for making soup on the go or even that healthy smoothie.
From the pocket-size soup maker to the stand-alone giants that sit on your kitchen counter. A handful of models have the capacity of up to 1.8 liters, making it easy to prepare soup for a large number of people.
The liter measurement with many soup makers also differs between cold and hot liquids, where the amount of cold liquid is much higher than the hot.
Buyers should also take into account the weight of the electric soup maker.
Many lightweight soup makers can be purchased and these are perfect for making smaller amounts on the go.
Larger soup makers can weigh up to 7 kilograms or more, and although this is perfect for holding much more soup content, it can often make handling a full soup maker difficult.
- Pricing Range
Prices for electric soup makers range considerably, from the £40 mark right up into the region of £110. This variation in price reflects a range of differences within the products and you will usually get a lot extra from spending a few more pounds.
Buying a cheap soup maker is easily achieved in today’s flooded market. Buyers are able to get many features such as adjustable soup consistency and a heat timer as standard.
Those willing to pay a little more for the convenience of a soup maker can gain a lot with an extra £20. Soup makers in the higher price range bracket include features such as LED touch screen controls or they are made from much sturdier and stronger materials and are more likely to last the distance.
The life of a soup maker can also depend on the amount you are willing to spend on the device. Cheaper makes can sometimes have a lifespan of only a couple of years before wear and tear beings to show. The higher-priced makes can often last a lifetime if shown the proper care and respect.
When it comes to choosing the right soup maker for you, it’s important to decide how you’re planning to use it.
As you will have seen from this review, buyers do not need to pay through nose for a good product when it comes to electric soup makers, but those who do pay a little more get much more than the ability to make soup.