Cuisinart SmartPower Duet Blender and Food Processor
Despite its many features and the presence of the word “power” in its name, the Cuisinart Smart Power Duet hybrid blender fails to impress. Although I am, usually, a great fan of hybrid blenders I cannot in good conscience recommend this particular hybrid blender to anyone.
As you will see in this review, the Duet can easily appear to be an impressive machine. However, that is only if you look at what it promises to do, not what it actually does. Trust me – there is a large discrepancy between the two. Although I do not recommend purchasing this particular blender, I do encourage you to continue reading this article so that you can come to better understand the importance of motor wattage to a blender’s performance and the importance of reading consumer reviews throughout your product research.
Two In One
I would like to begin with the most impressive features of this machine, or at least those which lure in potential purchasers. I am doing this because this is the information that first captures the attention of most people – this is what makes you say “Oh, I want to buy that. It sounds neat”. I can’t ignore that this information is floating around out there waiting to grab your eye and lure you in, so I have decided to incorporate it.
I understand how appealing this machine can be to the untrained eye. It is a two-in-one blender and food processor and it’s less expensive than many single versions of either of those appliances. Although this may sound appealing, it is actually what should sound off bells and prompt warning signs to pop up in your head. Sometimes, if something seems too good to be true, it really is.
Unlike some hybrid machines which contain the ability to blend, process, and mix, this particular model will only blend and process. “Okay,” you think, “that is still rather incredible for this kind of price.” You may be impressed by the seven different speed settings. You may be equally impressed that those settings can be controlled by soft touch, no-mess buttons.
As a food processor, this machine offers an average amount of versatility. It includes one processing disc which allows you to choose between slicing, shredding, and fine grating. So far so good, as they say. Let’s continue investigating to see what we find.
This system comes complete with a 40-ounce blending pitcher and a three-cup food processing bowl. Some people many not think that a 40-ounce blending pitcher is small, but others may find it unbearable. For comparison sake, you should know that many blenders offer pitchers as large as 72 ounces.
A three-cup processing bowl means that you may have to perform larger tasks in steps or cut your recipes down in size. As with most things, though, whether or not this poses a problem will be based on your own personal needs.
Low-Power Let Down
So, with all of these wonderful qualities, what could possibly hold you back from purchasing this unit? Why should you look into purchasing some other sort of hybrid or a separate blender and a food processor? The biggest reason is that this entire system is backed with 350-watt motor that, I believe, is insufficient for handling the tasks it sets forth to achieve.
If you do not know much about blender motors, I will include a quick lesson here. For comparison sake, you should know that many other hybrid blenders operate around 1200 to 1500 watts. A good countertop blender (without food processing abilities) usually operates around that level as well. Blenders with 350-watt motors are typically immersion blenders (meant for small jobs) or beverage blenders (meant for simple tasks).
I honestly worry that the 350-watt motor in this machine would overheat and wear itself out soon after your purchase, even if you treat it kindly.
It really is not surprising that much of the consumer feedback I found for the Duet wasn’t very positive. From what I can gather, most of the problems people reported about this blender were centered on its motor, as expected. Consumers reported that motors were overheating and failing completely.
Overall, I think that the tasks this machine promises to perform are just too intense for its low-power motor to handle. The motor may be suitable for blending and mixing soft or liquid-based concoctions, but that isn’t what it is supposed to do. It is supposed to assist you with some of the more difficult kitchen tasks.
I think you already knew that I was going to conclude this review with one or two negative statements. Usually, this is the part of the article where I begin to describe the type of person who would most likely benefit from the product I am discussing. Truth told, I really cannot recommend this product to anyone and walk away feeling as if I did the right thing. I just do not feel that it is capable of blending much more than a simple smoothie without breaking down. Similarly, I am not sure if it can manage to slice and dice its way through any hard, dense foods without putting too much pressure on its small 350-watt motor.
Still, this was a learning experience for myself and, hopefully, for you as well. Do not read the synopsis of an appliance’s capabilities from the manufacturer’s website or the side of the box and expect that the machine will perform in the way they describe. Read the specifications and compare those with the specifications of other similar appliances. Also, take some time to read reviews written by other consumers to see how well the machine actually worked for them.