Published on January 25th, 2015 | by Greg

    Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master: An Unusual Multi-Appliance

    When you hear the phrase “combines eight appliances in one”, you probably immediately think about TV infomercials, and television pitchmen trying to sell you the latest crazy gadget. We’ll be honest: that’s exactly what we thought when we found out about today’s device, a piece of gear that might easily be mistaken for one sold on a late night sales program. But one of the weird truths about our modern world is that the kitchen definitely varies widely beyond the basics. Many countries would raise their eyebrows at having a home deep fryer, while many Americans shrug at the thought of having a rice cooker or on-demand hot water dispenser. Crock pots are not universal, and neither is today’s specialty appliance.

    The Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master basically takes a compact food processor and adds a cooking element. With 1000W of heating power and 500W of motor power, you can blend and dice and puree like in a decent blender, but can then have everything cook in the same bowl. This can save both space and time in the right situation, since you don’t need to worry about a stove and can reduce some prep time. Originally designed in Australia, there is a European competitor called Vorverk Thermomix that we’ve heard about- but they are incredibly expensive and hard to find in North America. A company called Cedar Lane took the Australian version and modified it, adapting it for local use, bringing the Bellini to our shores.

    It might appear that the machine is trying to do a lot, and it is- but the functions that might typically be kept separate are ones that can make sense to combine. For instance, to make many soups, you might traditionally dice each ingredient, then combine them in a pot, cooking it all carefully and watching it, stirring it manually. With the Bellini, you can quickly cut a pepper and onion into quarters, take a few small tomatoes and some garlic cloves, add half a chicken breast and some stock, press a few buttons and literally walk away and let it do the rest, changing only the blade when necessary. In the package, you not only get the main body, but a separate kitchen scale (helpful if you don’t already have one), as well as a mixing tool, spatula, a couple of stainless steel blade attachments for chopping or stirring, and a lid (which has a handy measuring cup). The bowl holds about two liters, which is enough for many uses but could feel too small for larger batches (like when making soups). It’s easy to overfill, and we didn’t try the added steamer attachment, but it’s another inclusion that might make it more useful in some scenarios.

    The Kitchen Master is fairly easy to clean, especially in comparison to the multiple implements and utensils and pots that you might typically use in the course of making a meal. It’s a bit noisy, and the base feels plastick-y though, with controls that are simple but fiddly- you’re going to be twisting knobs and experimenting, looking for the right combinations. We were impressed at some of our results, especially desserts like cream cheese and custards that came out creamy and smooth, better than many methods with far less manual labor and hassle. And the “meal in a bowl” concept is solid, especially for singles or couples with dietary restrictions or allergies, who need to cook but don’t love the clean-up and are happy to simplify the process. The Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master is clever and fairly efficient, but definitely a niche product that requires some trial and error and shines brightest in specific circumstances. For us, a stockpot, stove, cutting board and knife are still tried and true- but it was certainly nice to skip watching pots boil, simmer, stirring for long periods. At a lower price, it might be an easier recommendation, but at nearly $600, the Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master is a bit of a tough sell. Still, it delivered on its promises, a compact wonder that’s available now online and in stores.

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    About the Author

    Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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