I purchased my first Swiss made Bamix wand when I was setting up house in 1981, although they had been manufactured in Switzerland since 1954. At the time, Bamix was a very new concept in Western Australia and every houseproud homemaker simply “had to have one”. It has served me faithfully throughout the past 29 years, without any malfunctions or problems, so I was thrilled when www.everten.com.au offered me the opportunity to review the current Bamix Gastro 200.
My first impression has left me even more amazed than I already was. My old Bamix is only 100 W in power, whereas the new Gastro 200 is 240 W – more than twice as powerful! The Gastro 200 is also built with a 4.5 centimetres longer immersion section of the wand, allowing for improved liquidising to be conducted in deeper mixes.
Using the Wand
The wand is exceptionally easy to use. For those of you who have never used one before – it’s just a matter of putting the appropriate accessory (depending if you wish to mince, beat or whip your food), then immerse the wand into your food and move the Gastro lightly up and down through the ingredients, generally at an angle. The length of processing determines the fineness of the result. To prevent spraying when working with small amounts, hold the container at an angle.
The Bamix is the easiest kitchen appliance to clean that I possess. Simply hold the cutter guard and the shaft with the attachment under running water, hot or cold, and then hang the Bamix on its wall-holder. The Bamix is watertight as far up as the switch, so if necessary, the wand may be immersed in water up to the top six centimetres.
Testing the Bamix Wand
Test 1: Liquidising Beans
My first test was to liquidise a saucepan of cooked Borlotti and Adzuki beans. Previously, the old Bamix produced a mix that was quite gritty and coarse from the same beans, no matter how long I ran the Bamix for. The Gastro 200 produced a finish that was very smooth, and with little running time. Formerly, I had to transfer the beans to my blender or food processor to achieve such a smooth finish!
Test 2: Jam Making
My next test was to liquidise the fruit when jam making. If you like your jam extremely smooth with no lumpy bits of fruit, this is the way to go. In the photo supplied, you will see two jars of jam. One has been liquidised with the Bamix and the other not. The procedure was extremely simple, with me being able to insert the wand directly into the jar and then turning it on. A few seconds and the job was done. I was effortlessly able to cook the jam in the Breville BBM600 Breadmaker (only just reviewed) and now coupled with the abilities of the Bamix, jam-making is a joy. However, being mindful of keeping the jam sterilised, I suggest liquidising the jam before the boiling process is started.
Test 3: Whipping Cream
The test of whipping cream was a surprise. I only had the Bamix Gastro 200 running for a matter of approximately 5 seconds and the cream was thickened. I couldn’t believe it! Although very fast, the downfall was that no additional air had been whipped into the cream, so it was a very solid mass. To be fair, however, I only whipped 300ml whereas Bamix recommend a minimum of 1 litre to be whipped at a time.
Test 4: Cake Making
Although Bamix do not claim that the wand can be used to beat a cake mix, I resolved to give it a try for the purpose of this review. It was a disaster. The mix was too solid for the Bamix to draw all the mix together. With the exception of using the mill, I found the Bamix really does need to be used where some type of liquid is included.
General Assessment of the Wand
• Very easy and simple to use
• The blades are easily removed and changed
• Can use the Bamix directly in the cooking pot or pan, saving transferring the ingredients to a blender or food processor which in turn creates additional washing
• Can blend cold and warm soups and sauces in quantities of up to 20 litres
• Can thicken soups and sauces over 1 litre in quantity – great for pureeing baby food
• Can whip and stiffen at least 5 egg-whites at a time
• Can blend jam mixes
• Can whip more than 1 litre of cream at a time
• Can whip fruit and milk shakes
• Can blend mayonnaise and herb butter
• Can crush ice-cubes and frozen fruits – great for smoothies or cocktails
• Can beat ice-cream mixtures
• Extremely easy to clean
• Not all recipes require a quantity of at least 5 egg-whites
• Do not always require more than 1 litre of cream to be whipped
• Not at all suitable to beat a cake mixture with. Only suitable for more liquid items
• No bench stand accessory available for the longer Gastro 200 model – wall hanging only
• If the operator’s hand suffers a weakness, they may find it difficult to continually keep the “on” switch pressed for the required length of time
Testing the Bamix Dry Mill
Test 1: Milling Linseeds
Linseeds are extremely hard little seeds and for that reason the human body has difficulty in breaking them down, so they need an efficient grinder to pulverise them. Previously I had been grinding them in an electric grinder designed solely for grinding. However, having used the Bamix Dry Mill to do the job, in future I will be using this accessory as it produced a smoother finish.
Test 2: Grinding Nuts
As you can see by the photograph, I successfully made a smooth peanut butter spread, just by adding a little oil to the ground peanuts. It all only took a few seconds. Naturally, the longer time spent grinding, the finer the result.
I also ground up some whole almonds. The result was amazing and unbelievably fast. Such a fine mix resulted (see photo) that in future I will be producing my own almond meal for use in baking.
General Assessment of the Mill
• Ideal for small quantities
• Amongst other items, the mill can mince small amounts of both raw and cooked meat, vegetables and also fresh breadcrumbs.
• Can also grind coffee beans for filter coffee (not espresso), nuts, spices and sugar into caster sugar.
• Can only process very small amounts of food at a time
• Hard items must be pre-cut into to pieces of 2-3cm in length
Motor AC/DC, 50 or 60 cycles
Voltage 230/240 V
Loading 240 W
Speed 2 speed settings:
Setting 1: 10,000 rpm
Setting 2: 17,000 rpm
Switch 2-speed pulse security switch
Insulation double sleeving
Immersion Depth 250mm (extended drive shaft length)
Safety Bamix products are approved according to the Safety Regulations of the International Electrotechnical Commission
Total length 395mm
Weight approximately 1,000grams
Material All parts which come into contact with food are rust-proof, tasteless, odourless and resistant to corrosive ingredients
The Bamix Gastro 200 is a versatile and necessary item for any kitchen. It is ideal for liquidising soups and sauces, as well as pureeing baby food. To be able to perform this function in the same pot the food has been cooking in, saves on much time and unnecessary washing up. At RRP of $395, it is a little expensive but the additional power and quality of the product is well worth the extra.
The mill is a terrific accessory and adds a whole new dimension to grinding and mincing small amounts of food. At only RRP of $72.50 AUD, I think readers would agree it is a cheap accessory and worth every cent. A comprehensive list of Bamix products can be found at www.everten.com.au.