Are you a soup lover, looking to explore various aspects of making soup? Then you might want to read through this guide. We would be discussing ‘what is a soup maker’. Soup makers are great home tools. If you are patient enough to read through this guide, you’d see what a soup maker is.
What Is A Soup Maker?
A soup maker is an easy catch-all term for any product that helps you cook up a batch of soup without having to boil and simmer it on your hob. When you look a bit closer, you’ll see that within that category, there is a big variety of products that fall under that description.
Though not a kitchen essential, soup makers can save a great deal of time, stress, and washing up. Traditional soup recipes call for various stages of preparation from chopping, to simmering for long periods of time and blitzing, which is time-consuming and creates a mess. Soup makers can make light work of the process.
Some are more basic with just a couple of features, while others offer a full soup-making experience from start to finish. The one you ultimately choose will depend on your personal needs and of course, your budget.
Soup makers aren’t always just for soups either. Many can prepare smoothies, cold drinks, batters, dips, sauces, and even baby food, so you can make your investment stretch further.
Soup makers fall into two categories – simple models that require little more than chopping ingredients and pressing a button. Their primary use is to make soup with smoothies as an add-on and are ideal if you’re looking to save time and minimize effort in the kitchen.
Then there are more sophisticated blenders with a range of functions. They will still save time and washing up but require varying levels of user input and creativity. The less confident or less enthusiastic cook might prefer the former.
HOW DOES A SOUP MAKER WORK?
When you run a site like this, it’s easy to forget to include the basics, and this is one of those cases. While we now realize this should have been informed we included from day one, it never really occurred to us until it was pointed out – so here goes!
Quite simply we need to explain how to use a soup maker and how it works! It’s a point that will be really obvious once you own and use one, but a lot of our readers are researching them for buying their first soup kettle, so it’s well worth spending some time explaining.
We’re not talking about how to make soup, just to be clear, we’re specifically talking about the process you need to go through to use an electric soup maker. In turn, this helps you to understand why it’s such a great thing to spend your hard-earned cash on.
HOW TO USE A SOUP MAKER
The purpose of this page isn’t to help you choose a soup maker or to explain the specifics of any given model, it’s to talk more generally about the operation of soup makers. Fortunately, the general concept is consistent across almost all soup makers, so there’s not much to learn once you’ve got the hang of one. With that said, different models do vary, and some have advanced features that go above and beyond those of the cheaper, more basic ones.
The overall idea though is that your soup maker will cook the ingredients inside it, and then give you a blending function. The cooking process is much like heating the contents in a saucepan, but a soup maker differs in that it also has a built-in blade which reduces chunks down as much as you require as part of the process. For a chunky finish, it will blend less than a smooth and creamy soup, it’s simply a case of how long it blends for.
Where you get more choice is in the ingredients you use and what you do in preparation with them. A general rule of thumb is the smaller the chunks that go in, the softer they’ll come out as they’ll cook quicker.
If you like a good bite to chunky soups, start with larger chunks loaded into the machine and vice versa. Cooking times tend to be around half an hour, although some like the Tefal Easy Soup are much quicker, from around 23 minutes.
The more expensive and feature-rich machines will also allow you to keep soups warm for longer too – which is a really convenient feature, both through insulation (like a Thermos flask), and a low heating effect from the heating mechanism (which works in a similar way to a kettle).
HOW TO COMPARE FEATURES
Some people go into the purchase of their soupmaker by just looking at the price. It’s easy to make the assumption that all of these gadgets do essentially the same job. If that were true, then it would be sensible to just pick the cheapest soup maker and buy it.
Because this is a product with so many different variations in capabilities and quality, you should look at the different features to weigh up your options. We’ll take a look at the features in-depth if you read on, but for those of you who are in a big hurry and just want a basic overview, here are the key features to look out for:
- Speed: How fast can the soup maker cook your soup?
- Design: How does it look? Will it suit your kitchen décor?
- Power: How efficient are the blades- can they chop up larger items in your recipe or do you need to do a lot of chopping first?
- Size: How big is the unit? Is it heavy? Will there be room for it in your kitchen?
- Texture Options: How many different options are there for the consistency of your soup?
- Cleaning: How easy is the soupmaker to clean? Is it dishwasher safe, or will you need to wash it up yourself?
- Simplicity: Is it easy to assemble and operate, or is it a complicated appliance?
- Price: How much does it cost? Can you afford it?
The whole underlying purpose of a soupmaker is to save you time, so if you can find a soup maker that can get your meal cooked very quickly then you could be on to a winner.
Most of the soup makers on the market work quite quickly, but it depends on the function of the machine. Some seem fast, but they don’t sauté your onions for you or perform other functions, so they seem quicker but you’ll end up spending time preparing the ingredients to cook.
There are soup makers out there that will do the whole job for you from scratch in as little as 20 minutes, but they will be a little pricier.
When it comes to speed, the gap between products isn’t as large as you might expect. All of the soup makers should produce a batch in less than half an hour, but a faster machine could save you time as your minutes add up in the long run.
If you’re a stickler for style, you’ll probably be looking for a soup maker that fits in with the overall aesthetic of your kitchen. There are some soup makers that are glossy, attractive, and more expensive-looking, while others remember a fairly standard blender.
This distinction isn’t always down to price. You’ll find that the look of the soup makers varies quite a bit so finding the one that suits your kitchen best might be an important component. If you’re more interested in function than style, they can ignore this part and focus on the other features in your search.
Even if you’re not interested in what the soup maker looks like, may want to take the quality of its design into consideration. The various products on the market are made from different materials, some sturdier than others, and you can choose between glass or plastic for the jug material.
The base unit maybe stainless steel or a different material altogether, so keep this in mind when making your decision. Regardless of the aesthetic, better build quality could equate to a longer-lasting, more reliable appliance.
When you make your soup, you’ll definitely want a soup maker that can deal with whatever ingredients you throw at it. The different soup makers on the market all have different power features: some have stronger, more durable blades, while others are a bit weaker. There are soup makers with more powerful motors than others, so check this out before making your purchase.
If you’re only interested in making chunky, thick soups then that may not be a problem for you, but if you’d like a smoother consistency from time to time then you’ll definitely want a machine that can handle it.
A larger soup maker could seem like the best bet as it may have more power, but some people struggle with heavy appliances, especially if they’re not easy to disassemble for cleaning. If you have a small kitchen, a bigger soup maker might also take up more counter space than you’re willing to sacrifice, so a more compact machine might be preferable.
The upside to getting a larger soup maker is that it would have a bigger capacity. Big capacity is crucial if you’re hoping to use your soup maker economically, making big batches at a time to freeze for later. It would allow you to use up your leftovers with no trouble, and make enough to feed a bigger family.
Most of the soup makers on the market make enough for about 4 good-sized bowlfuls at one time, but there are larger options for those of you who want to go super-sized on your soup portions.
How easy an appliance is to clean doesn’t always come into your mind when you’re shopping, but in terms of everyday practicalities, it’s a crucial factor.
One of the main issues that plague most soup makers is awkwardness when it comes to washing up. There are plenty of them on the market that doesn’t come apart easily, aren’t dishwasher safe, and can be a bit cumbersome to clean. Our reviews will tell you just how straightforward each soup maker is to wash up, so you can make sure you save the most time and energy in the kitchen.
Some soup makers also offer a “self-cleaning” function, where you put some washing-up liquid and warm water in the jug and set it on the cleaning option. This is a great feature and definitely one to look out for.
Some soup makers leave this option out, so be sure to rinse the soup maker soon after using it and let it soak to ensure that no food sticks and you’re not left with an extensive scrubbing process. And be careful to avoid the blade with bare hands!
At the end of the day, it’s always great to have a kitchen appliance that’s simple to use. When the instructions are extremely complicated or the assembly process is confusing, it can take all the fun out of the gadget and counteract the whole purpose of the appliance. Ideally, a soup maker should be easy to set up and easy to use, with no confusion or hassle.
Most of the soup makers we’ve looked at are really straightforward to use, especially when it comes to the inexpensive, more basic models. They generally can just be filled with stock and ingredients and then they’re ready to go.
When the functionality increases and you’re presented with more options and choices, you do run the risk of some confusion. Good soup makers should have clear instructions and they should be easy to operate. Assembly should be simple, and the cooking process should be apparent even to those without a lot of experience with these kinds of kitchen appliances.
This is the boring part, but it can’t be ignored. The price of the soup maker will most likely be a major factor in your decision-making process. There are some very good value products on the market right now, so there should definitely be a soup maker that falls into your budget.
There are also a few that are far more expensive, but these do tend to offer many more features and stronger build quality. They also tend to come with more extensive warranties, which is useful if you encounter any problems with the model.
A more expensive product doesn’t always leave you with better performance, so be sure to check through our reviews so that you’re positive you’re making the right choice. A purchase that only takes price into consideration might leave you disappointed.
We believe after reading the above guide, your knowledge of soup makers has been enlightened. Soup makers are great for your home, you should consider getting one.
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