Affordable, functional and dinky enough to live out on the worktop, the clue is in the name when it comes to the biggest selling point of the Blend-X Compact.
With a footprint that's smaller than full-sized machines, the Blend-X still offers plenty of features. These include two speeds for blitzing soups and smoothies, a pulse mode, a good-sized 1.6-litre goblet with a working capacity of 1.2 litres and a respectable 450W motor.
And even though it sits at the budget end of the market, it’s been well designed, with the jug and blades detaching for a thorough clean.
It isn't often that much thought goes into the design of a basic blender, so it’s cheering to discover that the Blend-X Compact has plenty going for it.
Although it’s available in white, the base has been consciously sculpted with a grey trim to match the control dial. Underneath the unit, large sucker feet plant it firmly on the worktop to ensure that there’s no shifting about once it gets going.
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The jug and lid, with integral measuring cup on top, are plastic. That limits the foods you can blend: spices, for example, may damage it and hot food need to be cooled to room temperature before blitzing.
However, it can accommodate some impressive quantities, blending up to 800ml of liquid mixtures, such as milkshakes, batters and eggs. You can get away with 1.2 litres of soups and thicker mixes, as well as three eggs and 450ml of oil for mayonnaise. Markings on the outside of the jug make it simple to measure ingredients as you go.
Inside the jug, the detachable blade unit uses a "MultiZone" design. Each blade has been dedicated to performing a specific task – blending, grinding, crushing and chopping – to help create the perfect texture, while a spacer spreads them over a wider area, increasing their cutting zone.
Putting the blender together is straightforward: the blade unit simply screws into the jug with a sealing ring to keep it watertight, while the whole unit twists (in the other direction) and clicking into the base.
We started by making a milkshake with powdered chocolate and around half a jug of milk on speed 1. We blended the mixture for around 20 seconds. Within that time the volume of the liquid almost doubled, turning it into a smooth, frothy milkshake. Once poured out, a good level of long-lasting foam remained, with no lumps or unblended chocolate.
Next, we tried an adaptation of the solitary recipe in the instruction booklet: carrot and coriander soup. After pan-frying leeks with garlic, we added these to the jug with chopped carrot and cooled stock to the 1.2-litre mark. Blending on speed 2 for around 15 seconds (speed 5 was advised for a coarse soup, longer for smooth), the consistency was still quite chunky.
Further blending produced a more even result, but visible lumps of carrot remained and a little liquid became trapped in the lid – although it didn’t escape from the jug. Cooking it on the hob for half an hour helped to make the lumps less obvious, but the result wasn’t as consistent as we'd hoped for.
Finally, we finished by crushing ice using the pulse option. Adding a handful of ice cubes to the jug, we pulsed the blades in short, quick bursts to achieve a snowy texture – perfect for chilled drinks and cocktails. The sucker feet performed well throughout, giving an extra confidence on the more intense speeds. However, once or twice, the jug became stuck in the base, requiring a firm twist to free it.
Splitting into just four pieces, the blender is reasonably easy to clean, and the lid and jug are dishwasher-safe. The blades need to be washed by hand, however, and since there’s no cleaning brush supplied, it can be tricky to clean around them safely.
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The Kenwood BLP300WH Blend-X Compact is a good buy if you’re on a budget, or want to blitz little and often and need a model that can live out on the worktop. Where this blender separates itself from comparable models is the ability to come apart for thorough cleaning, plus it has a practical capacity. Greater power and more than one recipe suggestion would have been welcome, but it handles everyday tasks well.
As basic blenders go, the Blend-X Compact is better than most, and has size on its side for small kitchens. Keen cooks will find its lack of power frustrating, however.