Cuisinart SmartPower Blender Specifications
In our course of testing, the Cuisinart SPB-7CH SmartPower made a promising first impression. It proved efficient when dealing with dried berries, oatmeal, and almonds, churning out a well-balanced protein shakes that’s really worth applauding.
However, it's not all smooth sailing for this blender. Tasked with leafy greens, it asked for a little bit of patience, taking more than double the average blending time to achieve a nearly smooth blend. This additional time, while resulting in a decent blend, could be seen as a drawback, especially for those with fast-paced routines.
And when it comes to crushing ice, blending frozen fruit smoothies, or making almond butter, this blender's stumbling blocks become apparently pronounced. Here, it struggled significantly, but the final outcomes still left behind a medley of unprocessed ingredients.
Overall, while the Cuisinart SPB-7CH has its merits, it fails to deliver a well-rounded performance that justifies its price point.
Things We Like
- Compact size, suitable for most kitchens.
- Glass blending container can withstand high-heat blending tasks.
- Detachable blade assembly for thorough cleaning.
- Good for preparing protein shakes.
Things We Don’t Like
- The lid is tricky to remove.
- Stiff buttons reduce responsiveness.
- Blade assembly housing lacks firmness.
The Cuisinart SPB-7CH SmartPower prides itself on a gleaming polished chrome finish. Through electroplating, a fine layer of chrome is deposited, lending not only a layer of rust-resistance but also imparting a shimmering appeal to the blender. That said, there's a flip side to that shiny coin. While some may appreciate its bright allure, others might perceive it as overly reflective, suggesting a sense of lower-grade materials. Moreover, the high reflectivity of polished chrome may not align well with every kitchen, especially those leaning toward a more classical or contemporary decor.
Yet the tale of a reliable blender is not solely defined by its look. When we put this piece of culinary machinery through its paces, we found more than we bargained for. Stay with us, as we peel back the layers of its chrome veneer.
The Cuisinart showcased impressive grinding capabilities and skillful protein shake blending. However, it faced difficulties in pulverizing leafy greens and frozen fruits. Crushing ice cubes and preparing almond butter proved to be formidable challenges for this blender, too.
In this test, the Cuisinart SPB-7CH’s performance fell noticeably short in its capability to attract ingredients towards its blades. Despite a full minute of blending, the blender seemed to dance around the core task at hand—as bananas, apples, and kale stubbornly retained their original form.
Another minute of blending tells a tale of two halves. The fruits, for the most part, were successfully transformed into a liquid state. The kale, on the other hand, was still a stubborn contender, remaining virtually unaltered in the blender's whirlwind. As we noticed it was improbable for the Cuisinart to pull food towards its blades to improve on its own, we decided to pause the blender to guide the kale back towards the blades using a spoon. And after this brief interruption, it took this machine an additional two minutes to churn out a final result that was flawlessly smooth and chunk-free.
If a touch of manual intervention doesn't bother you and a bit of extra blending time isn't a deal-breaker, the green smoothie produced by the Cuisinart SPB-7CH may well be worth your effort and patience. However, there are alternatives that work faster yet deliver similar or even smoother results, such as the Oster Pro and the NutriBullet.
FailedFrozen Fruit Smoothie
We conducted this blending process with two criteria in mind: either stopping at the 5-minute mark or achieving a smooth mixture. Eventually, it was disappointing to find that the Cuisinart’s efficiency in handling frozen fruit was not up to par.
Even after reaching our maximum allotted time, the blender still left behind a considerable amount of unblended chunks. Not to mention our attempt to even out the blend during the process like shaking or stirring. It was only when the frozen fruits started to thaw and soften that the blender showed a slight improvement. Prior to this, it seemed as though the blades were engaged in a feeble dance with the milk alone, lacking the power to conquer the solid frozen fruits.
In short, if your intention is to use this blender specifically for icy treats, be aware that this may not be an ideal choice. Its lackluster performance can result in a less-than-desirable texture and frustrating overall experience. We recommend considering other higher-powered blenders like the Vitamix 5200 and Ninja BN701.
In contrast to the remaining tests, the Cusisnart inexplicably outperformed our expectations in this protein shake evaluation. Within two minutes of blending, it managed to blend oatmeal, dried berries, almonds, and protein powder fairly well. The result was a workout drink with a well-balanced texture and a delightful combination of flavors.
What remained was nothing more than tiny sesame seed-like particles. To achieve a smoother mouthfeel and delightfully chunk-free sips, you can remove them by filtering the shake through a mesh strainer. However, even without this extra step, we assure the overall texture was pleasing enough with very little room for dissatisfaction.
In the almond butter test, we do not specify a set duration for each blender. The test concludes either when the machine offers a creamy texture for the spread, or when it is clear that continued operation won't yield any significant improvement. Unfortunately, the Cuisinart found itself in the latter case.
Actually it did perform well in the initial grinding stage, turning 2 cups of roasted almonds into a finely ground texture in only 45 seconds. However, it somehow hit a snag in extracting oil from the almonds, an essential stage for the emulsification process to occur.
Despite operating for an additional three and a half minutes, the interaction between the almonds and the blades was minimal. Occasionally shaking the container caused some almond particles adhered to the container's sides to fall into the blades’s path. Still, it ultimately felt like we were running in circles: the blades kept merely moving the ground almonds around without achieving any substantial progression.
Crushing ice is a tremendous challenge for blenders across the board, and the Cuisinart is no exception. Despite its best efforts and our additional manual assistance, a substantial portion of ice (approximately 8.2 ounces out of 12 ounces) stubbornly resisted pulverization. If you often find yourself in need of crushing ice for your favorite chilly creations, the Ninja AMZ493BRN or Vitamix E310 has proven itself capable of producing fluffy, snow-like ice with ease.
The Cuisinart SPB-7CH SmartPower is fairly portable, yet prone to scratches and smudges on its chrome finish. Its glass container withstands heat and offers durability, but the blade housing and the motor base appear to be of lower-quality plastic. Despite seven pre-set speed settings, their distinctness lacks. Overheating and stability issues, along with a hard-to-remove lid, further add to its drawbacks as well.
In the Box
- Motor base
- 40-oz blending container
- User manual
The Cuisinart SPB-7CH SmartPower is relatively compact so it should easily fit on most countertops, even in a smaller kitchen. Standing at 14.6 inches, it's tall enough to handle various blending tasks, yet the height doesn't overstep the limits of standard kitchen cabinets, making storage a breeze.
At 6.7 pounds, the blender is no heavyweight. This makes it a nice choice for the fluid kitchen, where nothing stays still for long. If you do not plan to keep the blender out on the counter all the time, you'll be able to move it in and out of storage with relative ease.
The Cuisinart's polished chrome finish brings a unique visual appeal. However, through rigorous testing, we've noticed its susceptibility to smudges, fingerprints, and minor scratches. In a real kitchen, this means it could demand more care and attention to retain its pristine, mirror-like shine over time.
The blending container is crafted from thick, transparent glass. The substantial heft and robust nature of this material provide a sense of durability. It stands firm against scratching and holds its own even when tackling high-heat blending tasks like making hot soup and baby purees.
However, the black base of the container, otherwise referred to as the blade assembly, could do with a material upgrade. The plastic employed here lacks the rigidity associated with higher-grade plastics, instead bearing a somewhat flexible character that's more common in lower-quality materials. Under a strong grip, the base could easily deform.
Cuisinart equips its blender with a blade system comprising four curved, hardened stainless steel prongs. Their design means to enhance vortex creation and pull ingredients towards the blades more efficiently. However, we didn’t find it delivered as expected during our tests. Neither blade damage prevention nor jam reduction was observed.
The blade's sharpness is acceptable but falls short when compared to the thickness and size of blades on more expensive models. Its lack of heft and size compromises the blender’s ability to thoroughly handle solid ingredients like frozen fruit and ice.
There are four stability-intended feet on the motor base. Despite this, our Cuisinart was unable to maintain a firm stance on the countertop during high-intensity testing, primarily due to the feet's lack of suction capabilities.
Throughout the test, we noticed the motor temperature rising with extended use. Since the blender does not feature an overload protection feature, it's imperative to stop using it, disconnect the power, and empty the food as soon as any heating is detected. Blending operations should only resume once the unit has cooled down satisfactorily.
The glass container is safe and efficient for blending hot ingredients. Nonetheless, its weightiness over plastic glass may add to the challenge of pouring and cleaning. This is not a deal-breaker, but certainly a detail to take note of.
The container features measurement markings in liters, milliliters, cups, and ounces. While they’re really helpful, the fractional representation of liter measurements could cause confusion for those users more comfortable with decimal units.
The lid of the Cuisinart blender follows a two-part design that is typical among blenders. It consists of a main lid, which creates a secure seal over the jar, and a removable center plug that lets you add ingredients while the blender is running without needing to fully remove the lid.
The friction-based design of the main lid assures a tight fit. However, it misses out on a handle, making the removal process somewhat challenging. This is not a common shortcoming among blenders and could potentially be an inconvenience during busy cooking sessions.
Circling the central display of the Cuisinart blender are seven pre-programmed speed settings: Ice Crush, Chop, Mix, Stir, Purée, Liquefy, and Smoothie. Each button is clearly labeled and equipped with LED indicators that light up when selected. There is also a Pulse function and an On/Off toggle, allowing for further manual control over the blending process.
A small drawback is the stiffness of these buttons. They're not as responsive as other blenders, which can slightly impact your overall using experience. Most importantly, upon closer examination of the presets, we noticed the rough uniformity of the blender's rotational speed across all of its preset options. Each, instead of providing a distinct rotational speed profile, seems to mimic the others. This makes us feel like these presets are nothing more than a marketing gimmick.
The Cuisinart SPB-7CH SmartPower blender does not come with any extra accessories.
The lid's stubborn resistance during removal often leads to unwanted spills and splatters. The narrow space between the blade and container's bottom creates a tight grip on food, demanding extra effort for dislodging and cleaning. Additionally, although the removable blade assembly provides access to hard-to-reach areas, users with small hands may find the design of its housing less ergonomic.
6.0Ease of Blend
There are often occasions where you need to manually intervene with the blending process, particularly when dealing with tough ingredients. Yet, the lid's design, with its strong seal and no handle, makes it a bit tricky to detach from the container. Therefore, any efforts to adjust the contents within the blender might become a light frustration.
Another drawback lies in the constricted space between the blade’s undersides and the container’s bottom. This close proximity creates a strong grip on the food, making it challenging to remove them without exerting extra effort.
The Cuisinart’s noise level of 104 dB is quite loud. It falls within the range of noisy machinery and is louder than most household appliances. Nonetheless, while some individuals may find this noise to be bothersome or even intolerable, others may not be as affected by it.
While achieving proper alignment between the blending container and the motor base is a breeze, the process of detaching and attaching the blade assembly to the glass container is not as easy.
We found the black blade assembly is not ideally ergonomic for those with small hands. This can result in a less comfortable and efficient grip when performing twisting and manipulation tasks.
Adding to these inconveniences is the hard-to-remove lid, which leads to a battle against its stubborn resistance. This, as a result, often led to unwelcome spills and splatters.
The blending container is designed with a slick interior so cleaning is entirely hassle-free. Just a soft water flow can effectively remove most leftover food particles. Similarly, the motor base can be swiftly wiped down without the need for vigorous scrubbing. Still, the inevitability of spills will require additional cleaning effort to ensure thorough cleanliness.
The blade assembly can be detached, making it easier to reach every nook and corner. Despite this convenience, it's vital to be careful due to the blade's sharp edges. To safely deal with any obstinate remnants, a cleaning brush should be available.
About your guide
Tina Pham is a staff writer and reviewer, with five years of experience in the industry. As a passionate amateur home cook, she loves to discover practical cooking solutions, and has made it her mission to bring her findings to every kitchen. Her ultimate goal is making cooking more of a pleasure for all.
Lap is Head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (RTR Team) at HealthyKitchen101.com, where he directs and supervises the testing of kitchen gadgets and appliances.