Peachick Approved: Simplissimo Chef All-in-One Cook Blender Review
Whilst it is true that I am a kitchen gadget addict (I do own quite a lot) I still have standards and not just any old gadget makes it into my kitchen. For me they have to fulfill a purpose, look good and be REALLY easy to use! So when I got offered the chance to review the brand new Simplissimo Chef All-in-One Cook Blender, I jumped at it. But did it make the grade and gain a coveted spot in my kitchen?!
You’ll just have to read on to find out!
I love the overall look of the Simplissimo Chef All-in-One Cook Blender. Its shiny black/slate grey base and glass jug make for one very pretty gadget. The display is large enough even for Hubby to see and I really like that the buttons only show up when its plugged in. It is quite tall but very steady thanks to its built in mount and has a relatively small footprint on the counter. Particularly impressive with a 1.75L capacity jug. For me the glass jug is a big plus – plastic ones never look at clean and can get scratched. It does however make it fairly heavy especially when full.
Making Soup with the Simplissimo Chef All-in-One Cook Blender
Soup has become a staple in this house, making regular appearances on our weekly meal plans. (Which for someone who ‘Doesn’t Do Soup’* is quite an achievement.) Basically we can’t resist a picnic on a cold, sunny day and a flask of hot soup and warm fresh baked bread is the perfect way to feed Peachicks who appear to be allergic to wearing warm clothes! Its a great option for a day at the allotment and I am making an effort to take lunch to work. The Simplissimo Chef has been a godsend for my work lunches – I have been throwing in whatever veggies I can find and leaving it to do its thing. 30minutes later, I have got me & the Peachicks ready and all I have to do is pour the soup into a flask and run out the door! Lunch done!
*Bear with me but I have this weird thing about soup – is it a meal? Is it a drink? I just don’t know!
The Simplissimo Chef has several auto cooking functions, including a choice of chunky or smooth soup, as well as a manual cooking one. Both soup options take 30minutes with an automatic 20minute keep warm function kicking in afterwards. During the cooking time the Simplissimo Chef periodically blends the ingredients together. Thankfully it will beep before it does it just to give you a quick warning of the imminent noise! We have tried a few different soups over the last couple of weeks and definitely prefer the chunky soups BUT have found that if you are using hard root vegetables like potatoes or carrots you to cut them into small cubes for the best results.
This is our Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup make using 4 ingredients and the smooth soup function…
Being a dairyfree household, I use frozen sweetcorn to thicken soups and sauces. The Simplissimo Chef had no problem and even coped really well when I chucked in a couple of frozen marrow chunks!
Making Smoothies with the Simplissimo Chef All-in-One Blender
We love a smoothie in this house and a great way to get calcium and fruit into kids. One of our favourites is my Black Cherry & Grapefruit. Its a made using frozen cherries and tinned grapefruit segments, the Peachicks love it because it changes colour once its made from almost black to vibrant purple. The best thing about this end of the month smoothie is that it uses very cheap ingredients but is packed with vitamins & minerals.
The Simplissimo Chef made short work of this smoothie, blitzing the ingredients together in no time. I have since tried making banana ‘nice cream’ and again there was no need to defrost the ingredients beforehand. I definitely want to experiment more with different smoothies as they are such an easy option for breakfast. Up at No17 we have a beautiful patch of overwintering Chard and Kale and I am interested to see whether the Simplissimo Chef will cope as well with the fibrous strands of raw kale. From what I have seen so far, I don’t see any reason why it wont thanks to its powerful
As much as I love an auto-function, being able to fiddle and tweak cooking temperatures, times etc is an absolute must in my kitchen. Fortunately the Simplissimo Chef has Manual Cooking, Steam and Blending Functions that mean I can be completely in control of what, how and even when ingredients are turned into yummy dishes! (I am also a sucker for a clever trick so I love that there is a little hook on the spatula for lifting the steam basket out of the blender!)
Using Manual Cooking you can cook for anywhere between 1minute and 8 hours within a temperature range of 40-99C. There is no auto-blend included in this time (you can blend at any time by pressing the blend button) which means that you can use the Simplissimo Chef to sous-vide on top of all the other functions! I want to try melting chocolate in it using a sous-vide bag as I reckon the temperature control would give a more reliable result than using our over-excitable microwave!
Cooking for One
Perhaps the best part of this lovely little appliance is in the ability to quickly and cleanly cook for just myself. I often work from home on a Friday doing paperwork and by using the Manual, Steam or Auto-Soup functions I can chuck in whatever I fancy for lunch, set the cooking time and go and get on with whatever I need too. All I need now is a teasmaid or automated coffee machine and I’d be set! My plan is try quinoa and rice dishes in it next!
The Only Thing…
Well Ok its two things but the first one is me being really, REALLY picky… I am generally left handed, most things I do are done with my left hand. The glass jug on the Simplissimo Chef will only go on one way – its part of the very cool safety feature – as the connectors and pins are only on one side. It mean the handle of the glass jug is on the right hand side of the appliance and I have to make a real effort to remember to use my right hand to pick up the jug – on the plus side The Peachicks have got a lot of mileage out of my comedic attempts to pick up the jug using the phantom handle on the left hand side when making soup before my morning coffee kicks in…
Like I said REALLY picky!
The second thing is probably still me being a little picky but… as someone on a really tight household income, and former zoologist, I do have to question using 1.2L of water during the self-clean programme. That’s a lot of water. Especially as you have to clean around the outside and up the sides first then rinse afterwards. I did find that by scraping the sides down with a silicone spatula when serving meant it was pretty clean to start with so once the programme is finished I could have poured it into the washing up bowl and topped up with fresh hot water to clean the baking trays and saucepans. But we usually have a dishwasher (when its not turning the kitchen into a swimming pool) so maybe I would feel differently if we regularly washed up.
However, I have to admit when using the Simplissimo Chef quickly before work the self clean function has been great and is definitely better than leaving it all to dry on when you don’t have time to clean it out before running out the door!
So did the Simplissimo Chef make the grade? Is it Peachick Approved? and does it have a permanent place on my worktop??
YES! A million times YES!
Honestly, I do not know how I have never had a soup maker before. I use it nearly everyday. Its been a massive godsend and has hugely improved the way I eat in a week by meaning that I actually eat in a week! Before I would go most of the week only eating in the evenings but now I have no excuse! The Soups and smoothies have been amazing, so quick and effortless to make and a great way to get more of my 5 a day. I have only just begun experimenting with all the functions of the great little gadget and I have a whole list of recipes I can’t wait to try it for!
Unlike a lot of other similar appliances, the glass jug is huge and easily makes enough soup for 5 of us plus leftovers for lunches. Ok, you don’t get the depth of flavour that perhaps you would from sweating down the onions and garlic first but unlike a slow cooker the individual flavours and colours of the ingredients are preserved.
But for me the biggest plus of the Simplissimo Chef has been its sheer versatility in a relatively compact appliance – it is truly multi-functional without taking over the worktop! Its RRP of £159 is another plus – you could pay well over double that and not get any more in terms of performance & power so for me its great value for money. Especially when you consider the thoughtful little extras like automatically switching to a keep warm function at the end of cooking and an overflow sensor to prevent any unintentional redecoration of your kitchen!
*The Simplissimo Chef All-in-One-Blender from Scott launches in the UK 1st November from Scott, Amazon & Ebay with a RRP of £159. We were sent one in return for a review but all opinions are my own – just ask hubby! (Besides where do you think The Peachicks get their talent for strong opinions from?! 😉 ) *