GJC Gourmet Automatic Soy Milk Maker – Full Review
The Gourmet Self-Cleaning Automatic Soy Milk Maker and Juicer is a nice little machine with tons of uses, and though it’s at the low end price wise, it is a good soymilk maker for the money. The biggest benefit is that this model pays for itself really quickly, meaning you get to benefit from huge cost savings on dairy free milks, juices, and other homemade goodies faster than with soymilk makers that cost more. It makes rice, cooks beans, and like comparable machines, it makes bean paste and porridges. The recipes that come with it aren’t the greatest, but I was quickly able to figure out what to add by referring to online recipes as well as some others I have on hand.
The self-cleaning feature is pretty nice, but if you’ve managed to forget to run the clean cycle immediately after removing beverages or food from the pitcher, you’ll find it’s a waste of time to try using it. Luckily, the smooth interior is very easy to clean with a scrub brush, a little soap, and some running water, meaning if you forget to run the self-cleaning cycle right away, it’s not hard to get rid of the mess the old-fashioned way.
Great-Looking Stainless Steel Design
I make a lot of juices and soymilk, and I don’t normally feel like putting my machine away in the cupboard. There are some designs that aren’t all that attractive, but this isn’t one of them. The smooth stainless exterior looks nice on the counter-top so you don’t really have to find a home for the machine in the cupboard if you don’t want to.
All the parts that come into contact with the foods you’re making are stainless steel, so no potentially harmful chemicals leach out. This is something that can’t be said of all soymilk makers, and it’s something I appreciate. There are no tubes or other obstructions inside for things to stick to, so cleanup is quick whether you use the special cleaning cycle or not.
This is a filter-free soymilk maker, meaning you don’t have a fine mesh filter to scrub, but also meaning that it does take a little bit of effort on your part to strain whatever it is you’re making, push it through some cheesecloth, and either discard or save the fiber that’s left over. I’ve found that I have had to use a coffee filter or a couple of layers of cheesecloth to get all the tiny bits of sandy-feeling fiber out of milks made with other machines that have filters, so this does not seem like a real problem. I happen to like saving the leftover fiber to add to other foods, but I’ve read reviews in which the user didn’t like the filter-free design. It really boils down to a matter of personal preference rather than functionality. This machine comes with a strainer, so don’t worry about buying one if you don’t have one on hand already.
Lots of Flexible Functions
There are a lot of soymilk makers that do more than just make soymilk, and this is one of the better ones I’ve tried. I have made mushroom soup, corn chowder, lots of different fresh juices made with soft fruits (apricot and peach is really nice), and of course, nut milks, rice milk, oat milk, and soy milk. Everything I made turned out well, including the tofu, which I made by putting some fresh soymilk and coagulant into a tofu press.
This machine makes quite a bit of finished product (around 1.5 liters) which is great for my family as there are four of us. I’ve heard others complaining that it makes “too much” which makes me wonder why they don’t just cut back on the amount of ingredients they use if they want smaller batches. I personally appreciate the machine’s capacity.
Quiet and Simple to Use
Besides being a nice multi-purpose soymilk maker, the Gourmet Self-Cleaning Automatic Soy Milk Maker and Juicer is not at all difficult to use. It took me a few minutes to figure everything out, run some test cycles with just water (which is kind of needed anyway to get rid of any germs leftover from the factory) and familiarize myself with all the buttons. I notice that this machine is a bit quieter than some others I’ve tried, maybe due to the all-stainless steel construction. The beeps at the end of the cycle aren’t obnoxious, in fact I found I have to pay attention to the time if I’m not right there in the kitchen with the soy milk maker.
I like how fast the Gourmet soymilk maker works. It takes just about 15 minutes to make hot soymilk and other heated items, which is a bit less than some other machines I’ve reviewed.
“Does the soy milk maker get hot during the cooking cycle?”
Yes, it gets hotter than some others, but not so hot that it seems dangerous. I would definitely keep it (and other kitchen appliances) out of reach of small kids.
“Can I use this machine to make homemade tofu?”
Yes, you will need to learn how to make tofu first if you don’t already know how. It’s a process that uses the fresh soy milk the machine makes, and it does not take place inside the machine itself. You need some supplies including a tofu press, coagulant, and probably some cheesecloth depending on the kind of press you get.
“Is it cheaper to use this machine than to buy nondairy milks at the supermarket?”
Yes, remembering that it first has to pay for itself (something that happens quickly if you’re like me and use a lot of soymilk, eat a lot of soup, etc.) It costs me about 40-50 cents to make 1 ½ liters of nondairy milk using completely organic ingredients. That’s around a tenth of the cost of the stuff from the grocery store. Also, I think you should take into account that there are no additives in the soymilk, etc. that you make. You are in complete control of the ingredients and get to customize as you like.
“I have seen some awful reviews about the Gourmet soymilk maker. Are they based in fact?”
My experience is that this particular machine does what the manufacturer says it will. That does not mean that there are no duds out there, because I doubt people would take the time to write negative reviews just for the fun of it.
“Does one have to soak nuts, beans, rice, etc. prior to adding them to this machine?”
There’s a dry bean option, but I personally think it’s beneficial to soak things before adding them to the machine. I think the flavor and texture is a whole lot nicer when you soak first, but that could be just my own personal preference. Do note that your body can’t digest raw soybeans. They have to be cooked in order for digestion to take place.
“How does this machine compare to a centrifugal juicer or a press-type juicer?”
I have had quite a bit of success using soft fruits and vegetables, but I found you can’t make carrot juice, you just end up with little shreds, I had to make carrot cake with them as I wasn’t sure what else to do. Juicy stuff like watermelon, peaches, strawberries, oranges, etc. does well in here. You have to strain the juice yourself, just like with a blender, and you can use the leftover pulp to add moisture and nutrition to other things.
The Gourmet Self-Cleaning Automatic Soy Milk Maker and Juice Maker is a versatile kitchen appliance that’s easy to use. You can make all sorts of healthy food with it, saving what might add up to a vast amount of money over time. It is almost ridiculously priced, and though the cheap price tag made me wonder whether it would work well, I have to say I am pleased overall. Don’t expect it to behave like a centrifugal juicer, as it operates in a totally different way. If you like having total control over what goes into your food, this is a fantastic machine to have on hand as you can completely avoid all the additives that go into many commercially available nondairy milk products. With the exception of a couple of minor issues, this is a great little machine that does what the manufacturer says it’s going to do.
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