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iCucina Portable Bullet Blender In-depth Review
iCucina Portable Bullet Specifications
We like the iCucina for its simplicity. The overall design looks ornate yet somehow provides a nice sporty feel. Built quality is standard so there isn’t any unique personality quirk setting it apart here, but this is reasonable given its price.
Regarding its performance testing, this iCucina is relatively nondescript, if not come up a bit short in efficiency. The protein shake it produced was very grainy since an abundance of almonds and dried blueberries still remained intact and that was a bit disappointing considering there were some units in the class that provided us with perfect silky results. Besides that, it also faced tough competition from other mid-range blenders in processing frozen foods and leafy veggies for reasons. After all, this is not a blender that will tackle anything you throw at it.
In conclusion, we can say the iCucina is an average single-serve blender that works finely for simple tasks like making fresh fruit smoothies. When it comes to solid blends, it doesn’t have much to offer nor excel in any particular capabilities.
Things We Like
- It’s good for simple plant-based blends.
- Built quality is mediocre but fine for the price.
- Simple design allows for straightforward use, cleaning, and storage.
- It stands stably, rather than jumping around, while working.
Things We Don’t Like
- The lack of versatility.
- Short power cord.
- Updated Jan 10, 2023:
iCucina is a compact personal blender with a motor peaking around 300-watt. On paper, it’s practical to use, livening up both simple blends and heavy-duty applications. If this bears out, it should be one of the most decent single-serve blenders on the market. But in real kitchens, is 300-watt enough power for a variety of dishes? Follow its performance in our tests to find out for yourself.
iCucina Portable Bullet Performance: Not a Do-It-All Machine
We were more than a little surprised at the results yielded by this iCucina since they didn’t come out as good as we expected. The 300-watt motor and fast spinning blades weren’t enough to help it overcome our challenges.
In the protein shake test, it was among the worst, leaving a mass of partially unblended food chunks. It also failed to power through whole ice cubes or create a smooth mixture of fibrous greens. And as weak as it was in processing frozen fruits, we assure this blender is only suited to blend softer ingredients.
The iCucina may be a good choice for you to prepare any protein shakes that use fresh plant-based food, but if you want to level up your workout drinks with raw nuts and dried fruits, we recommend going with other models, such as the Ninja Fit, Nutri BN401, or the NutriBullet. This blender is inefficient enough to liquify and combine such ingredients fully.
For this test, our protein shake is designed to include oatmeal, almonds, protein powder, and dried blueberries. Throughout the blending process, we noticed that this blender didn’t have much hard time grinding the ingredients; it worked quite smoothly, indeed. All the oatmeal was turned into liquid form in approximately two minutes, which seemed not to be so fast yet acceptable enough. The final drink, unfortunately, couldn’t get the most flavor out of almonds and berries, since about a third of the fruits were still solid.
5.0Frozen Fruit Smoothie
Berries are the favorite superfoods of many people but their skins and seeds are typically a little bit hard to be liquified entirely. That’s why our recipe for this test calls for four berry varieties; we want it to be a practical way to test for the smoothie-making capacity of our personal blenders, including this iCucina, and fortunately, it does.
Preparing frozen fruit smoothies with the iCucina asked us to compromise on texture. This was because while this blender could break down all the fruits in one minute and fifty seconds, after such a duration, the smoothie it delivered did lose its thick, icy consistency we prefer.
Simply put, for an ice-cold treat to come out perfectly, your blender should blend as fast as possible so the frozen ingredients don’t have time to thaw and therefore dilute the overall consistency. But as we learned from our tests, this blender isn’t capable enough in this regard. We recommend using crushed ice instead of freezing your ingredients in advance if you prefer a smoother icy blend.
We blended kale, spinach, and celery in the time benchmark of 20 seconds to see how well this iCucina would incorporate fibers to your meals. Eventually, we found this blender underperformed significantly against top competitors, again. There was a ton of fibrous pulp left behind when we strained the mixture through a mesh strainer. This suggested that our final drink didn’t get the greatest nutritional value.
Perhaps, you might think it isn’t necessary to blend that quickly, blending a little bit longer is concede as long as your desired consistency can be achieved. For the most part, we agreed this is entirely possible with the iCucina.
FailedCrushed Ice Cubes
Typically, personal blenders aren’t designed with a focus on ice-crushing capability, and the iCucina is not an exception. The lack of strength prevented it from powering through the ice. We noticed that the blade couldn't even spin so most of the ice came out virtually untouched. Sometimes we undocked the cup and shook it on purpose to even out the blend, but this still couldn’t help much. If you particularly have a need for this sort of blend, you’d be better served by something that is packed with a higher-powered motor, such as the Ninja Nutri Pro.
iCucina Bullet Blender Design: Simple yet Normal
We aren’t much impressed with this blender’s quality, but overall, built materials are fine for a machine at this price and we really like the simplicity the iCucina provides. Nevertheless, the mid-range segment is a tough market to compete in, simply because there’s so many products to choose from, and therefore it’d be better if iCucina emphasized on eye-catching style. Some improvements on the blade assembly would help increase its appeal as well.
In the Box of the iCucina Portable Blender
- Motor Base
- Blade assembly
- Two blending Cup
- Two to-go lids
- User guide
The iCucina is about one-third smaller than a standard full-sized blender, like the Vitamix 5200 or the Ninja with Auto-iQ technology, so we suppose it’ll fit easily into any cabinet.
The whole construction of the motor base is plastic except for a thin layer on the outer that is made of stainless steel. It’s supposed that the lack of sleekness of this layer somehow causes the blender to feel cheaper. That’s why although our iCucina is rather solidly put together, next to the Ninja Fit or the KOIOS, it just looks less of a bargain.
The blade has four prongs: two are sharps and the others are dull. In comparison with the rivals, it is less refined due to its small-scale and the lack of sharpness. Lackluster performances mainly result from this, we believe.
The base stands steadily on our counter thanks to the four silicone feet on its bottom. Like those of other personal blenders, the motor cannot run for longer than 1 minute to avoid damage caused by overheating, though there is an internal cooling fan designed to ensure proper ventilation and air circulation.
The set consists of two blending cups. They can work interchangeably with the blade assembly and two spout-flip lids that are extra included.
Speed and Controls
The iCucina is a single-speed personal blender with one-touch operation. This means there is a pressing button in the front center that you’ll use to control the motor. More to the point, the button is very clicky so you don’t need much force to press.
iCucina Bullet Personal Blender Usability Review: Less than Intuitive to Assemble
Locking the cup with the blade attached in the motor base may be disruptive and requires a bit of practice. Otherwise, the iCucina doesn’t disappoint too much when it comes to ease of use. Cleaning it is also not much of an issue especially when the cups, lids, and blade assembly are all dishwasher-safe.
We like the smooth and non-intrusive operation of this blender. In particular, your iCucina will blend much more like a full-sized model since it doesn’t require you to press and hold the power button or the blending cup throughout the whole process like many rivals. Most impressively, food doesn’t too often get lodged under the blade and demands your intervention to resolve. Those suggest that you can possibly take your eyes off your blender to do other things while it is operating.
It is very easy to seal the cup with the blade assembly. Just align the grooves on the blade assembly with the appropriate grooves on the cup and then turn one of the two pieces clockwise until you feel they attach firmly together. Attaching the cup assembly to the motor base, on the other hand, takes quite some time to figure out how things work.
Except for the motor base, you can put everything in the dishwasher. The blending cup has a wide opening so you won’t have any difficulty reaching inside if cleaning by hand. Regarding the blade assembly, you have to remove the silicone gasket first. because this part is attached extremely tight, we found it is quite frustrating to get the job done, however. On the bright side, there isn’t much difficulty in wiping the blades’s backsides, especially when you have a bottle brush.
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 Vo is head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (the RTR) at Healthy Kitchen 101. He is responsible for designing and overseeing the testing of kitchen tools and appliances.