Appliance combinations seem to be all the rage these days, and why not? If you can combine several into one, it's cost-effective, saves on storage space, and streamlines kitchen duties. However, in order to be worth it, that all-in-one gizmo will need to function reasonably as well as the individual appliances to be replaced. With this caveat in mind, I set out to test the Ninja Kitchen System 1200 BL700 Series, the latest Euro-Pro version of its blender/food processor combination.
• Powerful 1100-watt motor.
• Oversized 72-ounce pitcher.
• 40-ounce processor bowl.
• Speeds: Dough (1), blend (2), ice crush (3), and pulse.
• 3-tiers of blender blades (6 blades in all).
• Includes whipping attachment, dough blade, dough paddle.
• Locking suction feet for stability.
• Lids lock on so no mishaps when pouring.
• Handle on lid for firmer grip when removing lid.
• Snap-lock cover for pouring spout.
• Fairly quiet for a blender.
• Can grind nuts into nut butter. Handles ice with ease.
• Dishwasher-safe: Bowl and blender in bottom, lids and attachments in top tray.
• Cursory cookbook - 11 recipes included.
• Ninja Website Recipes
• Ninja Helpline for questions: 1 (877) 646-5288.
• No chute or lid opening option for adding non-liquid ingredients - you must stop, remove lid, add ingredient, replace lid, and lock to continue. However, liquids may be added through the pouring spout.
• Blending fibrous greens and some fruits does not completely liquify the food. It is not a juicer that liquifies. It does do an admirable job of pureeing.
• Square sides of blender container trap food chunks that don't get blended. Scraping down of the sides is often necessary for foods without a lot of liquid.
Processor bowl is a bit rounder, thus marginally more efficient than the blender in this regard.
• Food processor chops unevenly, leaving large chunks (corner issue again).
• Blender height (including lid) on the base is almost 17.5 inches. It may not fit under some cabinets to store on the counter-top.
• Common problem/complaint: Machine will not start. Solution: Lids appear the same size but are NOT interchangeable. Luckily, each is marked (processor/blender). If you put the wrong one on the blender or processor bowl, the machine will NOT work. Arrows must match up and handle must be locked down to start machine.
• Lids can melt if stored on the counter under cabinets with lighting underneath.
The Bottom Line
The blender works admirably, but as mentioned above, it is not meant to function as a juicer. The 1100-watt motor is one of the most powerful available in the blender market. It chewed through ice for snow cones in a flash, so it can handle some rock-hard foods. It made scrumptious whipped cream (I make mine with artificial sweetener) in a snap, much faster than the mixer.
Those who are used to adding ingredients through the blender lid on the fly will miss the hole in the top that is found in most blender lids.
The square design of the blender container is somewhat irksome in that scraping down the corners was sometimes necessary to get a smooth puree. You may need to cut foods into smaller chunks. Overall, it's a great blender.
The food processor performance was average overall. It is obviously not meant to be a replacement for a full-size processor. However, I had hoped it would perform a bit better for smaller tasks. Again, the machine left some fairly large chunks when chopping onions. (That squarish design of the bowl is seemingly the culprit again.) It did work fine for pizza dough (recipe is in the booklet), processing beef cuts into ground beef (1-pound maximum), and mixing up a batch of mashed potato puffs.
If you seldom need a food processor, only need one for small tasks, or have storage space issues, this combination is not a bad option.
Otherwise, I'd suggest sticking with your mini-processor and buying the stand-alone Ninja blender.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.