If you love the features and capabilities of those hi-tech blenders but yearn for an appliance that looks a little less industrial, the SMEG ‘50s Retro Blender ($249.95) will take you back, in style.
This new blender combines iconic mid-century style with modern features for smooth, powerful blending and ice crushing. It has four speeds and three preset programs: smoothie, ice crush and pulse.
The die-cast aluminum powder coated body comes in red, cream, black, silver and pastel blue, with a shapely base that resembles grandma’s vintage mixing machine. While it churns with power that rivals the super blenders of infomercial fame, the SMEG’s only aesthetic nod to modern times is the backlit chrome knob, simply fixed on the side, an homage to manual control, thought this blender is completely automated.
The canister is a 48-ounce (six-cup) Tritan BPA-free jug with a transparent lid with measuring cup. The stainless steel dual blades are detachable, and a safety lock engages when the user removes the blender jug. Another safety feature is overload motor protection that stops the blender if the contents are not blendable.
While its looks are old-school, this blender’s motor is new-fangled, with a 600 W of power that starts smoothly and runs surprisingly quietly compared to other in its class. For convenience it has a built-in cord wrap, and to prevent falls it features anti-slip feet.
As impressive as its styling is the SMEG’s origins. The SMEG company was founded in 1949 by Vittorio Bertazzoni, Sr. from Guastalla, a town near the city of Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy, and is today one of the country’s leading home appliance manufacturers. SMEG launched one of the first gas cookers in the 1950s with automated features, followed by many innovations in home appliances, including their introduction in 1970 of the first dishwasher.
SMEG’s simple but full range of functions is a fine example of how it often takes an experienced master to improve upon what’s new.