When you run a site like this, it’s easy to forget to include the basics, and this is one of those cases. While we now realise this should have been information we included from day one, it never really occurred to us until it was pointed out – so here goes!
Quite simply we need to explain how to use a soup maker and how it works! It’s a point that will be really obvious once you own and use one, but a lot of our readers are researching them for buying their first soup kettle, so it’s well worth spending some time explaining. We’re not talking about how to make soup, just to be clear, we’re specifically talking about the process you need to go through to use an electric soup maker. In turn, this helps you to understand why it’s such a great thing to spend your hard earned cash on.
At the time of writing, there is very little information on Google to cover this topic, so hopefully this will fill in a few gaps for you if you’ve been searching.
How To Use A Soup Maker
Twenty years ago, most of us would buy electrical items in a store, whereas now a huge number of people turn to the internet and sites like Amazon to buy their products like soup makers. When you’re on a site like this one trying to find the best soup makers, you can’t pick up an instruction manual or read a box like you used to be able to and read it there and then. Of course, you will get one in the box when you order, or in some cases a link to read it on the manufacturer’s website, but that doesn’t help you choose which one you want to buy.
The purpose of this page isn’t to help you choose a soup maker or to explain the specifics of any given model, it’s to talk more generally about the operation of soup makers. Fortunately, the general concept is consistent across almost all soup makers, so there’s not much to learn once you’ve got the hang of one. With that said, different models do vary, and some have advanced features that go above and beyond those of the cheaper, more basic ones.
The overall idea though is that your soup maker will cook the ingredients inside it, and then give you a blending function. The cooking process is much like heating the contents in a saucepan, but a soup maker differs in that it also has a built in blade which reduces chunks down as much as you require as part of the process. For a chunky finish, it will blend less than a smooth and creamy soup, it’s simply a case of how long it blends for.
Where you get more choice is in the ingredients you use and what you do in preparation with them. A general rule of thumb is the smaller the chunks that go in, the softer they’ll come out as they’ll cook quicker. If you like a good bite to chunky soups, start with larger chunks loaded into the machine and vice versa. Cooking times tend to be around half an hour, although some like the Tefal Easy Soup is much quicker, from around 23 minutes.
The more expensive and feature rich machines will also allow you to keep soups warm for longer too – which is a really convenient feature, both through insulation (like a Thermos flask), and a low heating effect from the heating mechanism (which works in a similar way to a kettle).
What Are Good Recipes For Newbies?
What to put into a soup maker is the other angle to think about when you’re new to soup making. As with any cooking, personal taste is going to play a huge part in where to start, and that’s why we don’t particularly recommend any specific recipe as a first attempt. Instead, have a look online – there are a huge number of recipes out there for soups.
What we would recommend though, is to choose something with a small number of different ingredients. That way, you’ll get a feel for how your soup maker works without worrying too much about what you’re putting in. It’ll also help you get a feel for how much you need to fill it without too many different foods complicating matters. Something that sounds appealing and online uses four or five ingredients maximum is ideal.
It’s also important to remember that you should only use cooked meats in a soup maker, unless you have a model which specifically tells you otherwise. The temperature soup cooks at may not be high enough for a long enough time to safely cook meat products through, so it isn’t safe to rely on them to cook through. Instead, cook meats ahead of time or use pre-cooked ones from the supermarket if you prefer.
There we have it – a quick run down on how to use a soup maker, and how to get started once you have it! If you haven’t already, take a look at our homepage to help you choose yours now!