The Affordable Yet Durable and Versatile Blender
The Oster Pro 1200 blender comes with a single cup attachment, which can be used as an on-the-go tumbler. This isn’t a new blender perse since it was introduced in 2015 but it has gained a loyal following! The buyers are attracted to its affordable price, durable construction and versatile uses, the latter of which are surprising considering the under $100 price.
At first sight, it’s an unassuming blender that won’t catch your attention so easily in a sea of sophisticated blenders. It doesn’t have the attachments and blades of more expensive blender systems, as well as the shiny control panel. It’s as simple as can be, almost like a throwback to the old-fashioned blenders except for the brushed nickel base and small buttons.
But its beauty lies in its simplicity, too! It’s the type of blender that suits an on-the-go lifestyle or a person who wants a no-frills yet effective blender.
Base Unit and Motor Power
The base unit itself is made of sturdy plastic with a brushed nickel finish, an easy-to-clean material. But since it isn’t too heavy, it can slightly skitter across the countertop when in operation. You may want to place it on top of a rubber mat to keep it in place.
The Oster Pro 12oo’s motor is fairly powerful for its price range. The 1,200-watt motor decreases to just 900-watt processing power with a 19,000 revolutions/minute (rpm) blade speed, a combination that suffices for more household blending tasks. When these technical specs are compared with high-end blenders, these aren’t impressive but for its price, these are more than satisfactory.
Plus, look beyond the plastic base unit and you will be impressed by the all-metal connections and drive shafts.
The 48-ounce pitcher is made of heavy-duty, stress- and temperature-resistant, and easy-to-clean Boroclass glass. Indeed, we like it because it’s significantly sturdier than many plastic containers, not to mention that it doesn’t leach undesirable odors and chemicals into the food.
The smoothie cup is made from BPA-free polycarbonate, also a durable material. Don’t worry about the plastic breaking under the pressure, so to speak, for as long as you don’t throw it around.
The stainless steel blades have six points and measure 3.5 inches, and these are about 50% larger than older models. These are extra-sharp blades so careful handling is a must for safety purposes. These are corrosion-resistant, too, which means years of use in cutting through and blending fruits, vegetables and nuts, among others.
The feature that sets the Oster Pro 1200 blender from other budget-friendly blenders is its dual direction blade technology. It’s just fancy speak for blades that rotate clockwise and counter-clockwise at regular intervals. The forward-and-reverse action not only contributes to a stronger vortex for a smoother blend but it also prevents jamming of the blades.
Control Panel and Speed
There are nine buttons on the Oster Pro 1200, and these buttons are arranged in four rows. You likely won’t mistake the buttons’ functions, too, as these are clearly labelled while the buttons themselves are easy to press.
The three pre-programmed settings are Milkshake, Food Chop/Salsa and Green/Frozen Smoothies, which makes it easy to just press on the specific button for a specific task. The speed modes, namely, Pulse, Low, Medium and High, works in both blade directions. To stop the speed mode, just press the stop button while the pulse mode will continue for as long as the pulse button is pressed down.
The base and blender have a combined height of around 14 inches, just the right height to fit in standard kitchen cabinets. Even its base dimensions, about 7 by 8 inches, are compact enough for the blender to be used in small kitchens. In fact, we recommend it for apartments and condos, even tiny homes, where space is a premium.
For these modest homes, the blender and its smoothie cup can even be placed on a kitchen countertop instead of inside a cabinet. It should ideally be placed near an electrical outlet since its cord length, about 16 inches, isn’t too long.
Functionality & Versatility
Don’t dismiss it as a budget-friendly blender that will deliver satisfactory performance on soft fruits and vegetables! You will be surprised that it’s a useful appliance for making smooth, creamy and delicious smoothies from fruits and green vegetables. Many blenders in the under-$100 category cannot make smooth green, leafy vegetable smoothies but the Pro 12oo blender does the job well.
If you’re into smoothies made with berries, then it’s a great choice, too. The skins and seeds of blueberries, strawberries and other berries are finely pulverized that you won’t taste them on the smoothie.
Take note that the Pro 1200 isn’t a juicer per se. As such, it isn’t effective in making juices but it’s quite effective in separating the liquid part of fruits and vegetables from their fibrous part. You will end up with so-called whole juice, a thinner version of creamy smoothies.
The extra-sharp blades coupled with the dual direction technology makes quick work of ice cubes and other hard ingredients used in making frozen desserts. The ice cubes don’t have to be crushed beforehand since the blades will shave them into a snow cone consistency, a must for shaved ice desserts. The glass jar will not crack from the ice cubes hitting hard against the sides, and cracks, dents and scratches are rare on the glass jar with proper care.
Place raw or cooked food ingredients into the blender, choose the speed and mode, and turn it on! Within a few minutes, the solid ingredients with a little liquid become smooth puree. You can make baby food, sauces and dips with it and the smoothie jar allows for making these food items in smaller batches.
Soup/ hot ingredients:
Unlike many high-end blenders, the Pro 1200 blender will not heat up the food during the blending process so it isn’t such a great tool for making soup. But if you want to make soup for heating up later, then it’s a great tool! It transforms solid food into a soupy consistency within minutes, thanks to the extra-sharp blades, and the glass jar can handle hot food.
Use either the pulse mode or the low speed mode when chopping food for coleslaw, hummus and salads. The chopped food should be the right size for a wide variety of food preparation purposes.
As with chopping, we recommend using either the pulse mode or the low speed mode for grinding herbs, milling oats and chopping nuts. But for milling baking flour, the blender isn’t an effective tool.
Batter can be mixed in the glass jar but dough is a different matter.
Tip: Place the hard and/or green leafy vegetables first into the blender since these will require more processing. Once these are in the right consistency, the rest of the ingredients can follow.
Despite its smaller size, the Pro 1200 can be fairly loud when it’s in operation. The noise level, which can reach as high as 85 decibels, is more pronounced when hard ingredients, such as ice cubes, apples and carrots, are being processed. This can be slightly irritating when the blender’s being used in a small kitchen.
Like with most blenders, the common solution to the noise is to place this blender on top of a rubber mat. Not only will the rubber mat decrease the noise, it will also decrease its shifting movement.
Ease of Using, Cleaning
This is an easy-to-use blender since there are fewer parts to assemble and disassemble with each use. Just check that the glass jar’s bottom is securely attached to it, the glass jar itself is securely placed on the base unit, and the plastic lid is in place. You can add as many ingredients as the glass jar can hold but keep it to about ¾ of its capacity to prevent spills.
There are two ways to clean the blender itself. First, pour tap water up to ¾ of the glass jar and a few drops of dishwashing detergent. Turn on the blender at high speed and let it run for 30-45 seconds. Pour the contents into the sink and wipe the blender, lid and base unit. Do these steps after every use.
Second, disassemble the blender, place the glass jar, blade and lid into the topmost rack of the dishwasher, and wash it there. Then, let it air dry before assembling and placing in the cabinet. Do this on a monthly basis.
Warranty and Customer Support
The blender comes with a 10-year limited warranty on all-metal parts and a 3-year warranty on all parts. The Oster customer service is highly satisfactory with the replacement parts promptly delivered and other issues satisfactorily addressed.
The Final Verdict
The Oster Pro 1200 blender with a smoothie cup is a budget-friendly appliance that college students, homeowners and cooks will find useful in their kitchens. While it has a smaller jar, it’s sufficient for most residential uses, from blending smoothies for 2-3 persons to making batter for pancakes and crepes. Its glass jar is a relative rarity in a world where plastic jars are the more common ones, too.
In conclusion, we highly recommend it for people who want a versatile and practical blender that will not make a dent in their budget.