Russell Hobbs Desire 3-in-1 blender full review
Price & availability
The Desire 3-in-1 blender has an RRP of £39.99. However, if you shop around, you may find it for a few pounds less. It’s available from a number of retailers including Russell Hobbs and Currys PC World. Currently, we think Littlewoods has the best price, at £37.99.
Design & build
As the name suggests, this is a multi-functional kitchen tool. For your money, you’ll get a 500W hand blender with two speed settings and a pulse function. (Pulse is a handy feature that allows you to chop up chunky vegetables and the like without turning them into puree.)
The blender head swaps out for a whisk attachment. The blender leg also fits into the top of a sealable 500ml chopping bowl, so you can whizz a tin of tomatoes without turning your kitchen into a crime scene – complete with realistic blood spatter. It also comes with a rubber lid so you can store leftover prepared food. Finally, there’s a 700ml measuring jug.
The accessories are all dishwasher-safe and attractive enough. However, this is not a kitchen device of great beauty, like the Smeg stick blender (which, at £120+ for the full set of accessories, is a bit more of an investment). The plastic of the accessories also feels a bit thin.
Features & performance
Unlike more powerful and expensive stick blenders, the Desire 3-in-1 only has two speed settings. This won't be a problem when you're making something smooth like a batter or a puree but could prove more challenging when you want to roughly chop ingredients. This is where the pulse function comes in. It allows you to give a quick burst of slicing and dicing power to your ingredients, without turning them into baby food.
The pulse function also allows you to protect the motor. This is a useful thing to know if you're thinking of purchasing a less powerful blender. If you have something very tough to blend, like frozen fruit, it's a good idea to use the pulse function. In these situations, people instinctively put as much power into it for as long as they can, and this is a good way to damage the motor. By using short bursts of power – pulses – you are much less likely to cause the motor to overheat.
Incidentally, the product manual does say that the appliance is not suitable for crushing ice. A bar jug blender, which is designed to handle iced beverage making, will usually have a higher wattage and a toughened plastic jug that can take a hammering.
The blender has other limitations. One of these is size. The chopper bowl has a 500ml capacity, so if you planned to chop a large number of vegetables, you'd need to do it in several batches.
Nor can it do much with a very small volume of ingredients. If you wanted to blend a little bit of garlic or guacamole and you're not adding it to liquid, the blades in the chopper bowl won't reach the ingredients. Nor will the blender blade.
After reviewing the Breville HeatSoft, which cleverly fits into a storage container that houses all of the accessories, we were hyper-aware of all the accessories that come with this blender. The chopper bowl and jug are too big to fit into a drawer. The other bits would get lost in a cupboard. Ideally, we'd like to see a way to store all of the accessories together for easy access.
One note of caution. Be careful when removing the contents – the chopper blade has no protective cover. When I opened the box, the chopper blade had become trapped in the bottom of the bowl and I sliced open my thumb trying to remove it.
The Desire 3-in-1 will give you a lot of bang for your buck. It’s a no-nonsense, budget-friendly item that can handle most of your food preparation. It's not the best option for big families or large households but for everyone else, it'll prove to be a useful kitchen appliance.
Bear in mind that thoughtful use will keep it working as long as possible. Don't try to use it to crush ice. Use the pulse function when blending tough ingredients.