Cooks Professional Automatic Electric Soup Maker Machine

cooks-professional-premium-electric-soup-maker-machineIf you’re looking for a soup maker in the mid price range that can blend smoothies and make the process of cooking soup easier and more convenient, the Cooks Professional Premium Automatic Electric Soup Maker Machine may seem like a sensible choice. It does have a few redeeming features, but sadly this soup maker falls short in some crucial areas on closer inspection.

Rating: 3.25

Price: ££

Key Points:

  • large 1.7 litre capacity (4-5 bowls of soup)
  • fairly bulky small appliance: weighs 3 kg
  • makes soup in as little as 25 minutes
  • 800 W heating element with adjustable settings
  • can also be used as a blender to make smoothies or baby food and to grind nuts and coffee beans but doesn’t offer as many functions as competitors
  • ‘keep warm’ and reheat functions
  • unclear instructions in manual
  • difficult to clean, no nonstick surfaces
  • Frequent faults
  • includes recipes

Design and Capacity

In essence, the Cooks Professional Premium Soup Maker looks like a large blender, and not a very ‘premium’ one at that. The design is nothing particularly special although the solid black base does look smart. Overall, this soup maker lacks some of the style and glossy good looks that some of the other soup makers on the market have managed to display. The transparent jug does allow you to see your soup or smoothie as it cooks and blends, but it doesn’t make for a very attractive appliance.

For those that like to make a big batch of soup, this product can certainly deliver in capacity. The Cooks Professional Premium Soup Maker has a sizable 1.7 litre capacity, making it one of the larger soup makers currently available on the market. It can serve a family of 4-5 all from one batch, or cook up soup to be frozen and stored for later.

One important factor to take into consideration is the weight of this soup maker. Unsurprisingly, given its large capacity and size, this is a fairly heavy appliance. It weighs in at 3 kg and can feel rather cumbersome to handle when you’re trying to serve your soup. We’d recommend a smaller, lighter soup maker to customers who may have trouble lifting such a heavy machine on a regular basis.

Multiple Functions

Although making soup may be this product’s primary purpose, it can help you out in the kitchen in other days. You can use the Cooks Professional soup maker to blend up fruit and yoghurt into smoothies, blend food for your baby or grind coffee and nuts. This is a pretty standard feature of most soup makers so shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, particularly if you’ve read our other reviews, but it’s always useful to have an appliance that can be used for several different kitchen tasks in one go.

Unfortunately, unlike some other soup makers, it cannot sauté onions and other ingredients as a base for your soup, so these ingredients do have to be sautéed in your own frying pan before you add them to the soup maker. Given the high price that this product originally retailed at, we were surprised to see that there weren’t more of these useful functions included.

Warming Feature

One handy feature that we were glad to see included on the Cooks Professional Premium Soup Maker is a ‘keep warm’ and re-heating functions.The machine will keep your soup warm for you for some time, and can re-heat soup that has gone below the temperature you wish to serve it at. If you make your soup and then have a few hours to wait until you want to sit down and eat it, you don’t have to worry about it going cold and needing to be re-heated in the microwave later. This is a very convenient feature that not all soup makers have, so we can give Cooks some credit in this area.

Difficult To Use

While the Cooks Professional Premium machine claims to be simple and straightforward to operate, a lack of straightforward instructions in the manual make it fairly tricky to use for many customers. Clear instructions would make the whole process far more enjoyable and prevent customers from giving up and not getting much use out of their soup maker.

Difficult To Clean

Like many soup maker machines, the Cooks Professional Premium Soup Maker can be awkward to clean. It cannot be cleaned in the washing machine so you do have to take the time to clean it by hand. The soup maker doesn’t have a self-cleaning function, so you have to rinse it out (not an easy task with such a large, bulky machine) and then carefully clean the inside of the jug with hot water, soap and a brush.

The cleaning process becomes a lot more difficult if you leave food to settle in the jug after making your soup, so we would recommend rinsing it out straight away to make things easier for yourself. You should also use some kind of butter, oil or spray on the base of the jug before putting the rest of your ingredients in to prevent food from burning to the bottom of the machine. When it comes to cleaning, a soup maker with a non-stick interior surface or self-cleaning function is always preferable.

Faulty Motor

Many people who purchased this soup maker have complained that the motor on their unit burned out quickly after just a few uses, leading us to believe that there may be some underlying design fault in the motor that causes it to break down quickly. This is a frustrating occurrence, particularly when there are positive sides to the Cooks soup maker that could make it a useful addition to your kitchen.

When the motor gives out it becomes impossible to use the soup maker for any purpose, forcing many customers to send their unit back and request a full refund. While this may not necessarily happen to every customer who purchases the Cooks Professional Premium Soup Maker, it is a risk that most people would probably not want to take.

Recipes Included

The Cooks Professional Premium Soup Maker doesn’t come with an entire recipe book included as part of the product as some similar appliances do, but there are recipes for soups, smoothies and hot chocolates included in the instruction manual. Unfortunately, many of these recipes list measurements and ingredients designed for large quantities that don’t suit the capacity of the machine, so you do have to adjust the quantities to get the right recipe for your soup maker.

Should You Buy It?

The Cooks Professional Premium Automatic Soup Maker looks promising on first sight, and we had high hopes that this would be a good quality, multifunctional kitchen appliance that would make cooking for your family that little bit easier. Although it does have a few good features and a large capacity, the Cooks soup maker falls flat when it comes to durability and reliability. Fortunately, there are plenty of soup makers at a similar price available that won’t let you down so easily.