Choosing A Soymilk Maker: Buying Guide
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a soymilk maker. These innovative appliances offer more features than ever before, allowing you to make soy milk and nut milks, and in some cases, hot soups, cold smoothies, and other healthy meals and snacks. The newest automatic soymilk machines eliminate the mess and labor associated with the old-fashioned methods of making soy and nut milks using the blender or stovetop. They put you in complete control of what goes into the beverages you make, helping you to avoid unwanted additives, GMO ingredients, and extra sugar.
This buying guide provides in-depth information about the features that are most desirable to have in a soymilk maker. In addition, it provides some information about several of the most popular automatic soy milk makers on the market. It has been written to make the task of choosing a soymilk maker easier and help you make an informed purchasing decision.
What is An Automatic Soymilk Maker?
Before we get into choosing a soymilk maker, let’s take a moment to talk about soy milk maker basics. An automatic soy milk maker is a kitchen appliance that allows you to make soymilk, nut milks, and other foods at home. Many of the most popular models are similar in appearance to large thermal containers, heavy-duty blenders, or coffee makers. Most machines have a grinder, a water heater, a strainer, and a carafe built in, however a few models deviate from this basic design.
The process of creating soymilk sometimes starts with the soaking of dry soybeans in a separate container, although some machines allow you to soak your beans right in the chamber, eliminating the extra strep of outside soaking.
Once the beans have been soaked, a bit of water is added, and the machine is activated. It cooks the beans and grinds them into a fine pulp, extracting the milk inside and releasing the nutrients into the water. The beans are then strained, and the milk can be enjoyed warm or stored in the refrigerator for later use. The remaining pulp, called okara, can then be used to make tofu, or it can be added to other recipes to increase fiber and protein content.
The process for making nut milks, soups, and other foods with a soymilk maker is much the same. Some machines have different settings for making different foods, and your ability to make a variety of recipes is partly dependent upon the machine’s features and partly dependent on your own desires and imagination. Make your choice carefully to ensure you get a machine that does everything you want it to do. The following tips will help make your decision easier.
Start By Deciding What You Want To Make
There are a few soymilk makers that don’t do much more than cook and process soy milk, but the majority are multi-functional machines. When choosing your soymilk maker, consider whether you are only interested in making dairy-free milks or if you are also interested in choosing an appliance that will allow you to make breakfast porridges, smoothies, hot soups, and even homemade baby food. A multi-function soymilk maker like the Soyajoy G4, which is equipped with cold processing functions as well as hot ones also allows you to make smoothies, raw juices, and raw nut milks. This machine is one that gives you the option of starting out with soaked or dry beans, adding to its convenience.
Is A Built In Filter Important?
Do you want a soymilk maker with a built-in filter, or would you rather strain your soymilk and nut milk by hand? Many top soy milk machines are filter free, giving you the opportunity to make chunky foods as well as smooth tasting nondairy milks. An exception is the Tribest Soyabella SB-130 Soy Milk Maker, which has a built-in filter, which allows you to speed up the process of making certain foods.
Does The Soymilk Maker Come With Attachments?
Some soymilk makers come with attachments, adding value and allowing you to take even more control over what goes into the foods you are putting into your body. The Tribes Soyabella SB-130 is one of these. It comes with different accessories that let you use it for a variety of kitchen tasks. One of the most innovative is the milling attachment, which lets you grind fresh coffee and make your own flour from soy, nuts, seeds, wheat or other grains. The grind function is also good for milling spices.
What About Ease of Cleanup?
Some soymilk makers – particularly the ones that have built-in filters – require a little more scrubbing on your part. A benefit of filter-free soymilk makers is that cleanup is a bit easier, particularly if you use a few layers of cheesecloth to strain the okara or nut meat out of the liquid and then use that cloth either to discard the solids or to keep them moist and fresh for use in other recipes.
The Joyoung CTS-109 is one of the easiest soymilk makers to clean. It has a smooth stainless steel interior and very few moving parts, meaning there is virtually nothing to scrub especially if you run the automatic cleaning cycle right after you finish processing your recipe.
Speedy Operation: Does It Matter?
Some soymilk makers deliver product in about 30 minutes, while others take a little longer or a bit shorter to run through their cycles, depending on what it is you are making. If you like hot, fresh soymilk for breakfast, speed might be a deciding factor in the process of choosing your soy milk maker. One of the fastest machines on the market is the GJC Gourmet Automatic Soymilk Maker, which also has the advantage of doubling as a juicer / smoothie machine. It takes just about 15 minutes to process hot soymilk, and it offers a convenient self-cleaning cycle as well.
Price As A Factor
Most soymilk makers are less than $200, and all of the models mentioned as examples here are between $99 and $150 although you may find yourself paying more in a specialty shop than online. Definitely keep your budget in mind, but remember that having your own soy milk maker will help you save quite a bit of money at the supermarket. Your savings will vary depending on what raw ingredients you use and where you purchase them, but you can expect your soymilk maker – no matter which you choose – to pay for itself fairly quickly.
Be Sure To Read Reviews
One of the most important steps in choosing a soymilk maker is to take a little time to read user reviews and find out what people have to say about the models you are considering. Some tips for reading reviews follow:
- Look for reviews that talk about the soy milk maker’s features, not general reviews that simply say the unit is good or bad, or makes tasty soymilk. You want to learn as much as you can about the machines you are considering.
- Pick a few different models from different manufacturers to compare. Making a few comparisons, even if you think you have your choice narrowed down to a single favorite, can give you a solid feel for what is available and help you confirm that you have make the right decision.
- Recognize that with all appliances, manufacturing defects are possible, and the same defects are likely to be repeated across the spectrum. Even the best soy milk makers sometimes fail right out of the box due to a defect. Do not let a few bad reviews detract from the overall picture; instead, be sure to read positive and negative reviews.
Where To Buy An Automatic Soy Milk Maker
Very few brick and mortar shops carry a selection of soymilk makers, so you are likely to find it easiest and most convenient to do your shopping online at sites like Amazon. Remember to consider cost, ease of use, features, and of course quality as you make your decision. After all, an espresso machine is a wonderful addition to your kitchen or office. The right one will meet your budget, deliver marvelous drinks, and pay for itself by keeping you from paying steep prices for coffeehouse beverages for a long time to come.