on February 25, 2009
I love this gadget. Compact, all-in-one, easy to use, FOOL PROOF, and ... gives me the CONFIDENCE to make my baby's food.
I've read tons of web reviews and blogs about this product, and detractors seem to miss/misunderstand my 'category' of mom. I cook when I can. I bake when I get the chance but... mostly, I dont have the time or confidence to pull it off anything 'new'... AND clean up multiple utensils!
So many blogs out there chastise the Beaba buyers for wasting money--telling us to buy cheap steamer inserts and dust off our blenders, food processors and food mills... For my first baby, I listened to these moms (and the Beaba wasnt in the USA yet). I bought the food mill; I pulled out the steamer insert... and.. I froze. My baby ate NOTHING BUT JARRED (organic) FOOD! till she could chew the foods in my comfort zone. Baby food, all the prep and the coordination of all these tools was all so daunting. I was terrified I'd get it wrong... or couldnt keep sterile enough... or would get lost in all the piles of things I'd have to clean after each prep!!
THEN THE BEABA! Little to clean, nothing to get wrong, no digging through drawers and juggling appliances in my limited space! I LOVE IT! Call me a slacker mom! But dont call me frivolous with money!! Organic Baby food is $1.10 a jar and my baby would go through 4-6 a day. I've had my Beaba for 6 weeks, and it's already paid for itself.
BTW, you can adjust the consistency to your baby's taste as he grows. I figure soon I'll just be using it to steam, not blend. And... I doubt it will be a permanent fixture in my kitchen! But ... its paid for itself! Carrots smell like carrots!!! and ... its given me a confidence that I hope extends to other culinary projects! Slacker moms, buy it.
PS Careful if you're reading those blogs re: Beaba and BPA. Read ALL the blogs. The most uptodate will lead you to the latest info promising this product IS BPA free. There are blogs that appear current but have not updated this info.
on January 26, 2009
I live in a small apartment and don't have room for lots of gadgets (not even a microwave). I find this appliance to be worth the counter space. I like that you can steam and puree in one appliance, and that I don't have to lug out the steamer and blender to whip up some food.
Some reviewers say your baby will outgrow this machine's usefulness in a few months but I disagree. My baby eats mostly finger foods but still I use the Beaba a lot. I use it to reheat leftovers (again, we have no microwave) and also use it to chop or puree adult dinners that are two hard for baby to eat.
It's not a huge capacity but that doesn't bother me. After spending whole weekends steaming, blending and freezing veggies, just to discover that my kid's taste buds changed and what he once loved he now refuses, I'm over large scale baby food production.
One safety note! There is a little hole that the lid clicks into. That hole leads to the water chamber and I once accidentally tipped the machine over and scalding hot water came out of the hole and landed on my hand. I got a nasty burn. Definitely keep this machine well away from the edge of counters!
on November 8, 2011
I ended up returning this item.
Bottom line: if you buy this item, try running it through to cook pure water only (no food), then taste and smell the water. It should be hot water right? The resulting clear hot water I got smelled heavily of plastic and worse tasted like poison and was shockingly bitter. If you decide to ignore this review and buy a new unit based on all the other positive reviews, just try running it with water yourself, and taste the hot water yourself.
I too wanted to like this product. After all most of the reviews are good and the product is so cute I wanted to like it very much, and the idea of making your own food seems healthier than buying prepackaged.
After purchase, I was thrilled and ready to go, and nearly made a batch of food for baby immediately. I'm glad I didn't. The instruction booklet had an odd suggestion that the user should cycle water only through the machine at least three times with a brand new unit, so I did so:
The first time (filled water to the 3 cup line, poured it in, closed the lid, and turned it on), I had a deep plastic smell in the steam. Still wanted to like it, and figured some smell was unavoidable. (I don't know if the smell came from the boiler, its plastic lid, the plastic steamer tray, or the clear container).
I ended up running it about 6 or 7 times (again water only) and I convinced myself the smell decreased somewhat. I still wanted to like the product. That's when I thought I should taste the water. It was unbelievably bitter. It was so intense I couldn't even hold it in my mouth for more than a fraction of a second. I ended up running the machine about 12 times with just water, and the taste was still just as bad.
Had I run the new Beaba with food and given it to my baby (like I almost did), I would've chalked it up to the baby hating broccoli.
In the end I figured I could run it a hundred times, and even if the smell and taste eventually faded away until I couldn't detect it, I'd still be risking giving chemicals to my baby. After all, you can't taste all chemicals, and there might be other chemicals than BPA in (heated) plastics to be worried about. I went back to steaming in my metal saucepan and whipping up the result in the Cuisinart for baby.
It is possible I had a defective lot or something, so if you do end up buying this product, I recommend running it with water only and tasting it for yourself. Trust yourself, not me.
****If you try running water in a new Beaba machine, please comment to my review and indicate whether you do, or do not, taste the bitterness****
If you find this useful, please click that you've found this review useful, so the review rises higher in visibility for more parents.
on May 26, 2010
This is the first product review I have been compelled to put on Amazon. Bought this because most prepared baby food is disgusting and I wanted an easy way to serve fresh food to our son. This product was highly reviewed and I like gadgets so it seemed like a good fit. It worked well in the sense that it was convenient and cooked baby food, but after about 3 weeks, I noticed that the water used for steaming was brown and sweet smelling. I looked in the reservoir and noticed brown grime on all of the metal and a sickly sweet smell. I assumed (unfairly) that my mother-in-law had mistakenly put food into the reservoir hole and then was embarrassed to say anything, so I cleaned the unit with vinegar as per the instructions and tried again. We've only had the unit since Feb 2010, use it only 2-3 times a week and now had the same problem 3-4 different times. The water used to cook the food is brown and disgusting and I have cleaned (physically scraped) brown grim the reservoir multiple times. I have contacted Beaba and they have suggested that it's a descaling issue and to descale the unit once a month. I completely disagree as we have had the same coffee maker for three years and never descaled it once. I don't know if food is being spun into the reservoir or what, but at this point, we have a $150 baby food maker that we are afraid to use. What's the point of fresh baby food if it's covered in some kind of unknown detritus? Beaba has so far been unresponsive about a replacement/ repair. Will update with any new developments.
Update 2/25/11- this is an update to the review above. I'm not sure, but now think the problem of the brown water had to do with not properly using the plastic cover when blending the food (aka user error) allowing particles of food to enter the water chamber and be subsequently reintroduced into the baby's food. I say this because while no one in my family would admit to not using the plastic screen when blending, as soon as I reiterated that everyone should be using it, the problem stopped and we have used the Baby food maker without incident since. So not sure what caused the problem, but it seems to have gone away recently and we are now happy with the product again. I revised my rating to 4 stars.
on April 20, 2015
Buyers beware, the water reservoir gets moldy even though I've descaled and properly cleaned after every use. I've tried to contact the company but have failed with numerous attempts. If someone knows the best contact, please send. Otherwise, I don't recommend purchasing this product. The cost out weights the purpose of the product, such a shame.
on September 21, 2010
After reading some of the reviews, I almost got scared off this, and am glad I didn't.
I did batch cooking for my first two kids, who are now 3 and 4. When it came time to move my 6 month old into solids, I wanted to home make his food also. But since I have less time and freezer space, batch cooking just wasn't feasible. I wanted to make his foods from the ingredients I was using for the family meals. Trying to puree small amounts in a regular size blender or processor is impossible. I saw this and though it would make meal time easier - and it does!
Now the baby eats what we are eating, just steamed and pureed. I can make 3-4 servings at a time and just put the extras in singe serve containers in the fridge. I cooked a whole chicken, pulled off the meat and out it into small snack sized bags and put them in the freezer. Now while I am cooking for the older kids, I put one serving of chicken, with some veggies and/or fruit in the cooker and it cooks away while I am making dinner for the rest if the family. E.A.S.Y.
-The mold issue other reviewers shouldn't be a problem, if you make sure the reservoir is empty and leave the top off so that it can air dry. Same for the blender/steamer parts. Just dry them between uses. I use water from my Brita to reduce build up between descaling. If your reservoir in a regular steamer isn't emptied all the way, it will do the same thing.
-The counter top footprint is small, about ¾ of the size of my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. It's small and does small amounts, it doesn't say that it does large batches. So I'm confused as to how people are disappointed that it doesn't do large batches. It states it has a 2 ½ cup bowl.
-The Beaba website sells the replacement parts all separately which I liked, just in case something needs replacing. I cook a lot and have has to replace blades on my large processor, so I'm glad that the parts are so easy to get.
-The steamer does shut off automatically and the light goes off, but just like a regular steamer, if you leave food over boiling water, it will continue to soften. The booklet gives you the times for the steamer, so timing it is actually pretty easy. (Level 1 on the bowl is 7 minutes, level 2 is 10 minutes, level 3 is 15 minutes).
-The Beaba website has more free recipes. (My kiddos fav is 2/3 pumpkin, 1/3 pear and a dash of pumpkin pie spice)
-The blender part worked great for my 6 month old, totally pureed the pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato, pear, nectarine, banana and butternut squash that I pureed in there. I thinned with water or pear juice.
-You hold the switch to the right to puree the food. For me, it's not a big deal to hold a switch for 30-60 seconds. So I don't see this as a design flaw.
-The top and bottom don't line up perfectly - they can't or else too much pressure would build up in the steamer and it would pressure cook the food, not steam it.
In short, This is my 3rd baby that I've cooked for at home, and I love this. Some of the design flaws others talked about aren't really flaws at all. I have to cook a meal for the kids at 5 and one for my hubby and I at 7 when he gets home. This makes it easy to make the baby's food at the same time with the same ingredients.
on February 16, 2012
I have been cooking with the Babycook for 6 weeks now, it works fine but not great.
- You can only make small amounts at the time.
- The blender is weak.
- The steamer-basket can only be filled half for most vegetables for proper steaming-result.
- Heats, steams, blends all in one handy tool.
- Easy to use.
- Takes up little space.
- Can easily be taken on a trip.
On some of the issues people wrote.
"MOLD": Water is never completely pure so there will be buildup in the water compartment. SOLUTION: Always open the lid as soon as the cycle is done and store without the lid on. Once buildup occurs, which will happen eventually, put 2-3 teaspoons of baking soda powder into the water compartment, fill up with water, and let stand for a few minutes. Poor out. Put an other 2-3 teaspoons of baking soda into the water compartment, fill up with water, and let stand over night. In the morning rinse out well until the water is clear.
If you have hard water you will have lime buildup. Poor some vinegar into the compartment, shake around and let stand for a few minutes, repeat until clean, then rinse well with hot water.
If all of this seems like to much work, use "baby water" (pure sterile water from the store).
"Steamer-light going on and off": When you steam the water will evaporate, when the compartment is empty the light will go off indicating that the steam-cycle is done. If you leave the lid on the water compartment on, condense water will gather on the bottom starting a new cycle, the light will go on again, this water will evaporate, the light goes off, and so on and on. SOLUTION: Open the lid on the water compartment as soon as the light goes of the first time. This will also help to dry up the compartment better, creating less buildup.
It is a nice tool to have if you cook fresh on a daily basis or have limited counter space. It is easy to use and does a good job on small amounts.
If you have a large kitchen or prefer to cook in larger batches and then freeze, buy separate machines (steamer, blender), the babycook can't handle larger amounts.
I can recommend for people who have a small kitchen, for people who are planning a trip with baby.
I can't recommend for people who cook larger amounts or for more than one baby.
on March 24, 2011
I received the Beaba Babycook as a shower gift and have been using it for two months now. Cooks run in my family (we have chefs two generations back) and I know my way very well around a kitchen. I have the requisite steamer, blender, food processor, etc., but was so relieved (once I trudged through the Babycook's awful directions) at how easy it is to make baby food. I have all sorts of combinations in my freezer: peas, peas/sweet potato (and I can fit two chopped sweet potatoes in the reservoir, not half of one as one reviewer mentioned), butternut squash/corn, blueberries/apples, blueberries/bananas, apples/butternut squash. And yes: I cooked, pureed, defrosted, and steamed all of these foods without a problem. My baby boy is 8 months and there hasn't been one item I've cooked in this machine that he doesn't love. He rejected several of the organic processed baby foods before I started using this, and I'm so happy that he likes the fresh food the best. I always taste-test my food before I serve, and I hated the processed, pre-packaged baby foods you buy at the supermarket. I love everything this machine produces. And I LOVE the butternut squash/corn combination so much that I now serve it as a side dish for my "adult meals."
The prep is insanely easy: 10 seconds - 2 minutes total. The measuring of water. The switch of a button. BOOM.
I read all the reviews tonight that talk about this product "growing mold", and I looked into my reservoir and did notice some brown buildup. But I know what causes mold: it needs a warm, dark place to fester. So I ran the distilled vinegar per the instructions (which is to prevent lime buildup, not mold) and will now always make sure to take off the reservoir lid so that it can air dry. Think about it: we do that with our washing machines to prevent mold, so it stands to reason that you'd have to do this with this product as well.
Hope that helps! I'm a mom that works from home, I prepare three "adult" meals a day, and also make homemade baby food. This machine keeps me SANE and PROUD. I love that I can provide my child delicious, homemade meals!
on May 30, 2010
I have been using this product for about 2 months and was soooo happy with it! I came on here to see if any other reviewers had written recipes, (I think my baby is getting bored with the ones we have been using). Then I saw a couple reviews about mold build up in the water resevoir. So I go over to look in mine with a flashlight and about had a heart attack! There was mold AND the brownish buildup. I cant belive my daughter hasnt gotten sick from the food I have been making her! Of course we are now past the 30 day warrenty and Im stuck with this nasty nasty machine. Please do not buy this product. I use vinegar to de-scale once a week and its still all moldy in there!!
on December 15, 2011
i bought this device over the brezza because the brezza, while able to steam and blend for you, seemed to have a lot of quality control issues. i didn't want to order the brezza and and have to return it because i got a lemon. the beaba is very sturdy and the materials feel durable. it is really easy to make the baby food. i had to spend about 30 minutes reading the instructions and playing around with the clicking lid and bowl just to get comfortable with it.
- the reviews made me concerned about mold but i think people hadn't let it dry out properly. the reservoir is certainly made of ceramic. after washing it out with water 3 times, i'd flip the beaba upside down to get rid of excess water - not even a drop fell out. so just make sure you keep the lid off to dry.
- the blending button has to be manually held down. it's very much like the pulse option on the food processor. it stops blending as soon as you let go. the steam option doesn't turn off on its own. the light simply turns off but you need to turn it off so the heating element turns off. this can be a pain, like some people commented, but steaming on the stove requires the same oversight and turning off the stove, so it doesn't really bother me. the manual tells you the time. when you measure the water to 1 - it's 5 minutes; 2 - 10 minutes; and 3 - 15 minutes. you can set your own timer.
- i diced up about two slices of potatoes and it was not enough food to blend properly so even though the bowl is small, it makes more than enough a few days. i don't like to freeze or make food in batches because i think fresh is best and the baby always eats what we're eating anyway. i actually love that it's small and i can only cook a little at a time, unlike some of the reviewers.
- i find this a bit tedious because you have to wash the bowl, the lid, the mixing lid (so food doesnt get in the steaming hole), the basket, the blade, the gasket (every so often), and the spatula. but every part is necessary and i don't know that it's much different from using a pot/steamer/food processor method. i just like that everything is in one device. i'll be using this for the next year and a half, and after that, to make applesauce and other fruit/vegetable purees that i can sneak into our food.
i really love it and recommend it to people who want to make baby food with one device instead of 3.
after using it several times, it just isn't convenient enough to be worth 120 dollars. i kept forgetting to use the mixing lid (so food doesn't get in the handle or steamer) and the motor is not very strong - it sounded like it was going to break down. i'm just going to use a steamer and a japanese version of the magic bullet, which has a much more powerful motor. also, having to keep checking on it was beginning to be a pain. at least with steaming on the stove, you can hear the lid rattling on the pot :) also, steaming and blending in plastic - no matter how pvc/bpa/pthalate free - made me feel nervous.