Hamilton Beach 58148A Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
Unfortunately, this blender struggles with some of the more difficult tasks and can't compete with the top-tier products — but it's also around a tenth of the price of the premium appliances, making it a much more attractive bargain option.
For our first set of blender tests, we made three different smoothies and a malt using the same recipe. We awarded points based on the quality of the finished drink, with our judges taking both taste and texture into account. The Hamilton Beach 58148A performed quite well, earning an above-average score.
This blender did exceptionally well with the Oreo malt, producing a great drink after only a minute of blending. The texture wasn't quite as smooth as the top models, but our judges scored it highly for taste, and the ingredients were well incorporated. However, we had to give it a touch of assistance to get started and also loosened some wedged cookies partway through blending.
The fruit and green smoothies made up the bulk of the smoothie score. This blender's performance dropped overall, but it still did better than average.
It took a little over a minute to successfully blend the green smoothie. It managed to fully incorporate all of the ingredients, but the texture wasn't the best. The Hamilton Beach 58148A couldn't quite pulverize the kale, leading to a rather chunky texture and a smoothie with tons of pulp and kale flakes.
The Hamilton Beach 58148A performed similarly with our berry smoothie. This higher viscosity mixture needed some assistance towards the end, and this blender was struggling a bit — with an accompanying smell — but it eventually incorporated all of the ingredients.
However, it again left plenty of smaller pieces of berry skin unblended and couldn't break down the seeds, resulting in a much grainier overall texture.
This blender struggled the most with our fruit & oat smoothie, a recipe with no liquid. We had to shake the blender pitcher multiple times to get it going, and it took a full 90 seconds before it was even close to being acceptably blended. Even then, it was still very grainy and had unincorporated oats at the end, but we would consider it a successful smoothie.
For our next metric, we scored the Hamilton Beach 58148A on its abilities to both crush ice and to make a blended margarita. It did very well, earning a score well above average and holding its own with blenders that cost significantly more.
The difference between this blender and the top-tier models was noticeable when crushing the ice cubes, but the Hamilton Beach 58148A still delivered respectable results.
It didn't seem to struggle with breaking down the cubes, but we found the bottom of the pitcher would jam up with crushed ice, blocking the unblended cubes from reaching the blades.
However, the performance of the Hamilton Beach 58148A greatly improved when we added in some margarita mix and liquor.
It didn't have any trouble achieving a homogeneous mixture in about 60 seconds, and we found it to be quite pleasant to drink. It has a more granular texture than the margaritas created with the best blenders, but all in all, it created an acceptable blended cocktail.
Most people want their kitchen appliances to be easy to use. In our convenience metric, we awarded points based on the ease of cleaning, the interface, presets, and how difficult it is to remove the lid. The Hamilton Beach 58148A is a bit limited when it comes to some of these features, but it still merited a score just a tiny bit above average.
We appreciate that the pitcher, blade, and lid are all safe to put in the dishwasher. We also like that the blade can separate from the base to make it super easy to clean by hand. This also severely mitigates the chances of cutting yourself, but you need to make sure the lid is securely attached before blending or risk a catastrophe.
However, you should dry the components on a separate dish drainer, as we don't think there is enough airflow to let it dry on its base. It is very well labeled, with large text that is easy to read for its low, medium, high, and pulse settings. Unfortunately, this blender lacks a digital timer or any presets, so you need to judge the amount of blending time independently. We also found that the lid fits very tightly on the pitcher, making it quite difficult to remove, though handy for minimizing spills while pouring.
Back to blending performance, our next metric looked at how the Hamilton Beach 58148A did at pureeing. To assess this, we made nut butter and tomato soup and saw if we could actually heat the soup to serving temperature just by blending. This blender again did decently well, earning a score just above average.
Surprisingly, we found this blender did exceptionally well at creating nut butter — something that traditionally stymied the cheaper blenders. It took a little help to get it started, but it ran for the full 8 minutes, producing a smooth and creamy almond/peanut butter. We also liked that it didn't need any assistance from us once it got going and didn't require any additional oil.
The Hamilton Beach 58148A required a decent amount of stirring and prodding to get the tomato soup started. We ran for 6 minutes on high, but the resultant soup was quite viscous, requiring significant effort to get it through the sieve.
It also left just about all of the seeds intact. On top of that, we didn't register much of a temperature increase at all, and the soup definitely required additional heating before serving.
Our last metric had some of the most difficult tasks for these products. We looked at how this blender did at powdering sugar, grating parmesan cheese, and milling corn kernels. Overall, it delivered a somewhat disappointing result in this metric, earning it a score well below average.
The Hamilton Beach 58148A struggled with the powdered sugar test, failing to do much of anything to the granulated sugar after 60 seconds of blending. A small amount could be considered powdered sugar but the bulk of it was definitely still granulated.
It didn't fare much better with the hard cheese. It grated a small amount, but large chunks remained after 30 seconds of blending.
It did slightly better with the corn kernels, but not by much. The final product was a far cry from cornmeal; most of the kernels would not pass through a fine-mesh sieve after blending. This was even after adding an extra minute to our usual milling time.
Should You Buy the Hamilton Beach 58148A?
If you just need a budget blender and you're looking for a great bargain, the Hamilton Beach is a great option. It costs a fraction of the top models while delivering respectable results. However, if you're seeking the premium performance of a high-powered blender, we'd look elsewhere — just know that you'll have to pay for it.
What Other Blenders Should You Consider?
For a step up from the Hamilton Beach, the NutriBullet is a great blender. It bests this model by quite a bit in every blending metric, and it's the best performing model in its price range. If you can afford something a bit nicer, go with the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, which hovers at the top of the charts in most metrics. And if you want to splurge on a Vitamix brand blender, the Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series is our top recommendation and is an investment sure to last for years.
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