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Review: The Bosch OptiMUM Kitchen Machine is a Food Processor, Blender and Mixer all in one

REVIEWING THE BOSCH OPTIMUM KITCHEN MACHINE (MUM9GX5S21)

I love multifunction kitchen appliances because I have a really small kitchen and having an appliance that can do three things with means I don’t have to take up more space than necessary.

Which was why I got really excited to try out Bosch’s latest appliance, the Bosch OptiMUM Kitchen Machine (MUM9GX5S21). The brand is known for pushing out kitchen hard workers – versatile machines that do more than one job. This one isn’t any different. It purports to be a food processor, blender and mixer all in one, while also functioning as a weighing machine.

When the review set arrived, the machine took up most of my entryway:

Yep, it was that huge. Here is what’s inside:

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FIRST IMPRESSIONS

  • It was huge and incredibly heavy. The main unit alone weighs more than 10kg. It is most likely designed to be a countertop appliance, rather than one that you store in the cupboard only to take it out when you need it.
  • Like with Bosch’s other kitchen machines, this device has a gorgeous brushed stainless steel shell so it looks really high quality. Every part of the machine felt solid in the hand rather than flimsy, even though some – like the shredder chute – were made of plastic.
  • It took a bit of time figuring out how everything worked and where everything went since there were so many parts to it. I recommend spending a few minutes just reading the manual first.

The top of the machine is colour coded, making it easier to know where each part fits.

For instance, the shredder chute is coded yellow so it fits into the yellow segment.

 

GIVING IT A GO

To test its prowess, I made coleslaw, a smoothie bowl, sweet potato chips, bread rolls and a meringue-topped lemon pie.

 

AS A BLENDER

Too tall
The blender was attached to the top of the machine, reaching up to 62cm tall. It was a little high for my countertop, so I moved it to my dining table to blitz instead.

Glass jar
I like that the blender was made of glass rather than plastic, which not only meant that it was able to withstand a stronger centrifugal force, it also meant that cleaning up was easy peasy.

Powerful blades
Setting it at medium speed (there are a total of 7 speed settings!), the OptiMUM was able to blitz my concoction of frozen bananas, frozen strawberries and coconut milk into a thick, silky smoothie. There were no chunks left behind.

Repeated adjustments
However, I had to stop the blender a few times to readjust the ingredients in the blender.

 

AS A FOOD PROCESSOR

As a food processor, the OptiMUM was useful in reducing the time taken to prep our ingredients. Our prep ingredients were also very uniformly shaped, allowing for more even cooking/baking.

Grating nuts and biscuits
I used the grating disc to grate almonds and wheat biscuits for the base of my lemon pie. The machine managed to turn them into very fine crumbs, and so easy too! No more pounding biscuits in a zip lock bag using a rolling pin!

Some almonds didn’t manage to get grated though, and were left behind in the grating disc.

Slicing sweet potato
I used the slicing disc to make sweet potato rounds. As they were going to be cooked in the oven, they needed to be of similar widths in order for them to be evenly baked.

How rotundly gorgeous are these sweet potato rounds!

The slicing disc is dual side – one to slice thin and another to slice thick. Here’s the difference:

Slaw shredding
I shredded cabbages – green and red – as well as peeled carrots with the shredding disc for my coleslaw dish. I chopped them up into smaller bits first so that they could fit down the chute.

Like the slicing disc, the shredding disc also has two sides. Here’s how they differed for my cabbages:

While the OptiMUM was aced in shredding the carrots, there were a lot of cabbage pieces left behind that could not be shredded. Also, there were a lot of fibrous residues left from my cabbages. But whatever did pass through the shredder were satisfactory and made for a yummy coleslaw, which I topped over sausage buns.

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AS A MIXER

I love to bake, but I’ve never used a heavy duty stand mixer for my recipes as I have a trusty hand mixer that does the work well. But the OptiMUM, as stand mixer, proved to be quite the handy baking tool.

As a weighing machine
I liked that the metal mixing bowl also served as a weighing machine. You can activate the function by pressing the weighing scale button on the small touch screen at the bottom of the machine. While it proved to be useful in measuring ingredients at the start of the culinary process, you can’t really use the scale anymore once you started mixing other ingredients together, so you will still require the use of a separate weighing machine.

**EDIT (16/08/17): I just found out from a Bosch representative that the scale of the weighing machine can actually be reset to zero when adding and measuring other ingredients. Couldn’t test it out now, but useful to know!

Measuring my wheat biscuits!

Attaching the attachments
As a stand mixer, the machine came with three attachments: a flexible stirring whisk, a beating whisk and a dough hook. The stirring whisk is used to incorporate ingredients together, the beating whisk is used mainly to aerate mixtures e.g. recipes like meringues or whipped cream, while the dough hook is for kneading dough. They were beautiful to look at but were unfortunately difficult to attach and detach to the machine – I needed quite a bit of elbow grease to lock them in place!

Lots of space
The 5.5-l mixing bowl has a great capacity, which accommodated my substantial dough very well.

Dough master
I used to manually knead my dough, as my hand mixer didn’t come with a dough hook. With the OptiMUM though, I only had to put in half the effort as I watched my dough mixture come alive before my eyes. It was great to be hands-free and I took advantage of the five minutes I had available while the mixer was kneading my dough to wash my dishes. The timer allowed me to monitor the kneading progress, preventing me from overworking my dough.

My bread rolls came out soft, chewy and oh-so-delicious!

Perfect dough

No scrapping down needed
I used the stirring whisk attachment to incorporate my lemon pie mixture, which included lemon juice, condensed milk and eggs. I liked that I didn’t have to scrap down after every few stirs, which I needed to do with my hand mixer. The wide whisk provided an even and consistent stirring motion.

Making the meringue
I also made a meringue topping to go with my lemon pie using the beating whisk. While I liked that the machine helped me to achieve a regular and stable beating, important if you’re making something as unpredictable as meringue, I couldn’t really tell if my meringue reached soft peak levels. Fearing that I had overbeaten my mixture, I stopped the machine prematurely and was left with a less than satisfying meringue consistency (but which still tasted delicious anyway!).

My lemon pie topped with too-soft meringue kisses and a slightly burnt crust, thanks to my uneven oven.

 

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FINAL VERDICT

 

The Bosch OptiMUM Kitchen Machine is a must-have tool for serious home cooks and bakers. It cuts a lot of time in food prep, producing uniformed ingredients that improved the visual quality of my completed dish, and reduces elbow grease so you can use the energy to master your culinary adventures. Clean-up was a breeze; each part washed off very easily with a little detergent and water.

However, it does have a few misses in terms of function. Figuring out how it worked initially also left me frustrated and changing the different parts and attachments required quite a bit strength. It’s a bulky appliance that takes up a lot of space on the countertop. You might want to reconsider if you have little countertop space to spare, since you will most likely keep it there rather than store the machine in your cabinet.

The Bosch OptiMUM Kitchen Machine (MUM9GX5S21) is retailing for $1,899 at Tangs, the Bosch Experience Centre and major electronic stores.

 


Browse through the list of Interior Designers, their reviews and portfolios at http://www.renonation.sg/professionals/interior-designers/

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