This vegan milk maker changed the way I consume plant-based milk
Is this non-dairy milk machine too good to be true?
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Though I can eat cheese and ice cream in small quantities without having issues, dairy milk doesn’t always agree with me as I’m slightly lactose intolerant. My body is much happier when I consume plant-based milk options like oat, almond, and soy milk. And since I spend so much time in my kitchen, a DIY approach to plant-based milk definitely appeals to me.
My mother swears by her soy milk maker, which she’s found uses for beyond soy milk—she also makes tofu and porridge in hers. However, old school plant-based milk makers like hers come with a few caveats: They require pre-soaking of ingredients, draining, and hand-washing, which discourages people like me from using them on a regular basis.
Then I found out about the ChefWave, a vegan milk maker that can not only do its job quickly but can also self-clean. Intrigued by its bells and whistles, I decided to give it a try.
About the ChefWave Milkmade vegan milk maker
This machine comes fully assembled with a helpful user manual including instructions on how to start making my first batch. Its size is comparable to a Keurig Mini, and is sleek enough to stay on your kitchen counter. There’s a 20-ounce water tank on the back of the machine, which needs to be filled up prior to use. You’ll find a grinding chamber on top of the machine, which is where you add the dry ingredients. And finally, there’s a pitcher for dispensing nut milk on the front of the machine.
When plugged in, the machine’s touchscreen display will activate—it’s relatively responsive and the menu is easy to navigate. There are six presets to choose from: Almond, Soy, Oat, Cashew, Macadamia, and Coconut. All you need is to choose the type of milk and the volume (10- or 20-ounce), and then press start.
The program for 20 ounces of soy milk ran for 16 minutes and for 20 ounces of almond milk it ran for 12 minutes. Once the milk is done, the machine alerts users by beeping continuously. The machine will start a self-cleaning cycle once the pitcher is removed.
How I tested the ChefWave Milkmade vegan milk maker
Since I keep soybeans on hand, I followed the soy milk recipe to start. Plus, I was intrigued by the claim that this machine doesn’t require pre-soaking, so experimenting with soybeans sounded like a good idea as these typically require the pre-soak for most machines.
To get a better feel for the six presets, I also made almond, oat, and cashew milk using the recipe book. Then, I assessed the machine based on speed, clean-up effort, noise level, and most importantly, the quality of the plant-based milks it produced.
What I like
Yield and ease of use
The machine can make 20 ounces of milk using approximately one tablespoon of nuts or oats, which is a decent yield. I like that I can customize the milk based on my preferences. In the past, I’ve tried almond, cashew, and oat milks from the store but didn’t fall in love with many of them. Using the ChefWave, I can finally tweak the flavors in my favor.
Further, it’s nice that no pre-soaking is required for the nut milks, which was a pain every time I tried to make soy milk in the past.
The machine cleans itself! After running a milk preset and removing the pitcher, it automatically starts a cleaning cycle so you don’t have to worry about the mess. Be sure to open up the grinding chamber once cleaning completes to release any moisture.
This machine is programmable
It’s programmable, so I can set it up the night before just like a drip coffee maker. If I make soy milk, I like it hot and fresh alongside breakfast in the morning. While this machine can get the job done in 15 minutes, I still appreciate the convenience of not having to fiddle with the machine before my first cup of coffee.
What I don’t like
The ChefWave produces plant-based milk that’s grainier than the nut milk I normally buy from the grocery store. Therefore, if I want the milk to be of a smoother and silkier texture, I’d need to put it through a mesh filter, which I happen to have because of my old nut milk maker. Ideally, a nut milk bag (like this one) would be included with the ChefWave.
Should you buy the ChefWave Milkmade vegan milk maker?
Yes, but only if you're okay straining your plant-based milk. If, like me, you prefer the milk texture to be on par with the store-bought version, you may want to consider buying a set of nut milk strainer bags to improve the mouthfeel. Or, you may want to check out this plant-based milk maker that doesn’t require additional straining.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.