Honey bought a Kogan thermoblend for us to test-drive. Initially I was excited that I could get it in 2 days and it had 5 yrs warranty. However 2 days after ordering the TB Kogan emailed me saying it was on the way. It turned up 4 working days after the email.
We had mentioned to a relative that we were getting a Kogan she laughed and said it sounded like Bogan… she also wondered why I would want a TB when I have a TM, I said it would be handy and I could blog about it. So we christened our bogan “Davo” honey insisted we christen Thermie a good German name like Klaus, to reflect his country of origin. Being a fan of the Vampire Diaries I agreed to name my TM after the evil half-breed. So Klaus Von Thermister it is.
It was a tough decision as to which knock-off to try first. I had downloaded the Choice Magazine comparison of the Chef, Bellini and Mix. I had also wasted hours of my life reading an opinions page between the Chef and the Mix. I recommend taking a look at it if you are trying to decide but there is this sarcastic little man that I think you should just skip over. But your choice…. A writer called Stacelee was very helpful, she owns a chef, mix and a more expensive multi-purpose machine and has outlined the pros and cons of each machine and does a lot of cooking.
From reading the opinions people have mentioned that knock-offs tend to “smell” and I was expecting something akin to running out of the room choking. In-fact honey and I had to get very close to Davo to smell anything which was like (according to Honey) a lubricant-grease on the gears of new equipment. It was not over-powering at all.
So first thing we made with Davo was Yogurt. I nearly had a heart-attack when the degrees mode skipped from 30 to 40 in one go. Considering I had used 37 in my recipes. A quick scan of the internet and I found that you can put the stage 2 mixing on 30c. Being slightly less warm on a freezing night made it more difficult to set. I ended up adding a heat-pack to the esky the next morning and the probiotics did their work.
2 more things you need to bring with you when making yogurt in the Blend is a thermometer and a set of kitchen scales. The Blend did seem to have trouble getting the milk to the 80c mark. I had to put it on for extra time. Next time I shall try it at 90c. The Mix tells you what temp range you are in the Blend merely tells you what temp you are aiming for. It is possible I am doing something wrong though.
Last night I made custard. I was out of corn-flour and had to substitute in plain GF flour but should have used more as it was still quite runny. It may also have benefited from going higher in degrees or even a little longer as the flour had not quite dissolved properly. But Honey liked it… he is always very appreciative of my cooking.
Today I tried to make bread-dough for a pizza. I made a ¼ loaf and was very impressed. The Blend milled like a pro and I used the dough button. It came out pretty much the same as my dough from the Mix does when making a ¼ loaf.
Davo is slightly quieter as he goes about his business than Klaus though I was not looking forward to having to clean the lid. It had waves on it. I found them however to be invaluable in keeping the machine from “spitting” so much. It was quite fun to watch the tornado in my kitchen appliance. Recipe here
Davo has “bitten me” a few times but Klaus seems easier to clean “injury free”. The bottom of the jug is slightly wider on the Mix. There is the saying that good mums let you lick the beaters, great mum’s turn them off first”. I had to trouble giving my TM jug and a spatula to Honey’s nephew (yr 8) to clean the cake dough we made out (with a warning to watch the blades). I could never do this with Davo; the blades are just too sharp.
After making the custard there was the problem that most Chef/Blend etc owners complain of… bits of milk burnt to the jug. I must admit when I first had Klaus cleaning the jug after a cappuccino, custard and yogurt making session was not particularly fun either but the milk sticking to the bottom of the jug thing rarely is a problem these days. I hope Davo will grow out of this problem too.
Too tired to clean the jug last night, I soaked it overnight, gave it a light scrub this morning and popped it in the dishwasher; assuming they meant dishwasher rather than washing machine in the Kogan manual for thermoblends. It turns out I assumed correctly, the jug came out sparkling clean aside from a bit of muck about the size of a finger print which wiped off with a clean chux. I must admit that the Bellini and the blend were more impressive to me than the chef (to try first) as they are dishwasher safe.
We mainly chose the Kogan as it was on special and we thought it too good to pass up.
I give the Kogan an Exceeds Expectations+/Outstanding- overall, it has value for money, does a pretty good job on most of the recipes I have tried. You do need a scale and some recipes require a thermometer too, but it is a very handy appliance to have. Obviously the risotto is one I am putting off due to the blade-covers… but I would love to hear from other Kogan owners how they go with the covers. I didn’t get to meet any alternate mixer owners in person until I was one.
One day I would love to meet a Belini in person and have a play. I like the look of the machine and the fact that you can steam and cook at the same time is a huge time-saving bonus, for larger families. It did not effect me much that I could not use my steamer as I rarely use my TMX varoma for steaming purposes.