You know what they say — if you want a job done right, do it yourself! While the fact that an ever-greater variety of cannabis edibles is hitting legal dispensaries (hopefully) near you can only be celebrated, cooking and baking at home from scratch gives you full creative control.
Heck there are even ways to make 100% vegan weed oil if that’s more your thing. The point here is, pretty much any time you want them, and any way you want them, there’s a way to bake up your own custom edibles at home!
Just like the standing mixer, slow cooker, juice maker, and countless other kitchen gadgets made preparing top-notch recipes from scratch much easier before, cannabis decarboxylation and infusion gadgets can now help you expand your creativity when you’re preparing edibles!
Because not every cannabis enthusiast likes edibles and not everyone likes cooking, it is, of course, best to “try before you buy”. Play around with less high-tech tools you already have in your kitchen first.
Once you know that you’re going to be enjoying edibles on the regular, though, “edibles machines” can save you a lot of time and effort.
Who should get a cannabis-cooking appliance? Which of the current market leaders is best for your personal needs?
What Are the Pros of Cannabis-Cooking Machines vs DIY Cooking?
Just why would you buy a cannabis-cooking appliance when you can also simply prepare delightful edibles perfectly fine the old-fashioned way — with the help of a stove top and a nice heavy-duty pan? This particular debate doesn’t really differ from discussions about cooking gadgets that focus on other ingredients.
Take rice, for instance.
You bet that you can cook rice flawlessly on a stove top in a pan. Hell, you can even do it over an open fire. Once you master the technique — that is, once you figure out what the right temperature is, how long to cook the rice, and what water to rice ratio you need, this old-fashioned way works every bit as well as a rice cooker.
With a dedicated rice cooker you can, on the other hand, not just cook rice to perfection every single time, but also wind up with the ultimate bowl of rice without ever thinking about it. A rice cooker is a handy kitchen gadget that makes your life just a little easier.
That matters a great deal if you eat rice nearly every day. Many folks appreciate that. Some don’t, and prefer to cook without gadgets. Some people, of course, like rice — but only so occasionally that they don’t want to invest in an appliance, and might even prefer to simply order takeout when they do fancy a steaming bowl of egg-fried rice.
The very same story applies to cannabis-cooking gadgets, with the notable difference that these gadgets, like the Magical Butter Machine, the Levo, and the Ardent all cost well over $100, while you can pick a rice cooker up for less than $30.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the key benefits of investing in an edibles machine, cannabis infuser, cannabis-cooking appliance, or whatever you prefer to call these neat gadgets:
- Because edibles machines (usually) take care of decarboxylation and infusion in one handy dedicated package, you’ll be saving time, space, and clean-up efforts.
- These features make edibles machines perfect for people who will be using them often.
- Edibles machines can limit the odors produced while you prepare your favorite edibles, something that your neighbors may be thankful for if you’re an apartment dweller.
- Thanks to a good edibles machine, your batches will come out just right every single time.
Although each cannabis-cooking appliance comes with its own distinct set of pros and cons, the only con we can think of that holds true across the board is very simple — price. If you want a high-quality cannabis infuser, that will set you back at least $170, with some costing as much as $500. (They do go on sale sometimes, so keep an eye out if you’re looking for a great deal.)
With that in mind, the big boys in the cannabis infuser playground are, without a doubt, the Magical Butter Machine, the Levo, and the Ardent. Whether you just love shiny new kitchen gadgets (even if you use them only occasionally), or you’re a veteran edibles chef and want to gift yourself a gear upgrade, which of these edibles machines is best for you?
Let’s dive in!
Meet the Magical Butter Machine
The Magical Butter Machine — which bears the full name Magical Butter MB2E Botanical Extractor — is by far the cheapest of the three cannabis infusers we’re looking at. It’s designed to help you create cannabutter, cannabis-infused oil, cannabis tinctures, or even canna-booze.
Unlike its competitors, this cannabis appliance does call for the use of pre-decarboxylated bud, as it strictly functions as an infuser that also grinds your bud. That means you’ll either have to buy your cannabis that way or additionally invest in a decarboxylator, making the Magical Butter Machine seem like less of a great deal.
The Magical Butter Machine comes with:
- The appliance itself, which somewhat resembles an electric kettle and has a cool, vintage-looking, aesthetic.
- A cookbook that sets you up with some inspiration to get started.
- One heat-resistant glove.
- A filter that will help keep most of the plant material out of your end product.
The Magical Butter Machine has a capacity of two to five cups, functions even at high altitudes thanks to its microprocessor, and comes with a one-year warranty (so long as you buy it from an authorized seller).
Thanks to this machine’s stirring mechanism, your buds will be distributed perfectly evenly — arguably its best feature. The Magical Butter Machine also has a handy self-cleaning feature.
Some people don’t like the fact that the Magical Butter Machine does call for users to grind their cannabis and any other plant materials they’ll be adding very finely. Yes, you can filter that stuff out later quite easily, but the flavor is affected in the process in a way that some people don’t appreciate.
Who’s the Magical Butter Machine for? It’s a great starter appliance for folks who want to experiment with edibles without breaking the bank, and who have ready access to decarboxylated cannabis.
Say Hi to the Levo II
The Levo II is a stunning appliance that won’t look out of place next to your espresso machine. Made mostly to create oil infusions, it’s also suited to people who want to make cannabutter. This cannabis kitchen appliance will decarboxylate your bud for you automatically, and allows you to infuse, at most, 16 ounces of oil or butter at a time.
When you buy the Levo II, you’ll get:
- A beautiful and durable infuser that’s even manufactured in a range of colors to match your kitchen décor. Among its key features is that the Levo II has, unlike the original Levo, both dry and active modes to bring out all that goodness.
- A power pod to boost the flavor of your product.
- A ceramic coated reservoir.
- A silicone stirrer.
- The machine also comes with a handy app.
Although the creators of Levo II advertise this appliance as being super easy to use, “all with one simple button press”, that’s not entirely true. The Levo II has a slightly higher learning curve than the other machines we’re looking at, and some also complain that it’s harder to clean. (Unlike the Magical Butter Machine, the Levo II doesn’t have a self-clean setting.)
The main problem, however, is the fact that you’ll only be able to make smaller batches of cannabis-infused oils and butters in the Levo II — 1/8th of an ounce unless you get the special add-on that expands your capacity to 1/4th of an ounce.
On the other hand, the Levo II absolutely rocks if you simply want to make small, but super potent and pure, cannabis-infused oils that you can also sprinkle a bunch of other herbs into to your heart’s content. Another bonus lies in the fact that your oils won’t need to be strained, as the Levo II makes sure that there’s no particulate matter.
The final verdict? The Levo II is best for people who:
- Primarily want to make potent cannabis-infused oil.
- Don’t mind cleaning up after themselves immediately after they’re done with their cooking projects.
- Value quality over quantity.
- Absolutely have to have the prettiest, niftiest, edibles gadget on the market, and who don’t mind paying a little (OK, maybe a lot) extra for them. Do you already have a KitchenAid standing mixer? You’ll probably want the Levo II, as well. Also yes, your relatives will probably think the Levo II is some sort of coffee maker.
Become Acquainted with the Ardent
The Ardent FX is by far the most versatile cannabis cooking appliance on the market today — this purple beast of a machine will decarboxylate your bud for you, take care of the infusion process, and then… get this, even cook a variety of edibles.
The Ardent FX comes with the main unit and a power base. It has a modern tubular design with a beautiful carrying case for additional portability.
True cannabis enthusiasts will also most definitely appreciate the fact that the Ardent FX features three distinct settings that allow you to work with CBD, THC, or CBG. Want to learn more? Here’s what you can do with the Ardent FX:
- The Ardent FX cannabis-cooking appliance lets you decarboxylate as much as four ounces of bud in a single session, making it more suited for folks who require a larger capacity.
- The Ardent FX is absolutely unique in that this machine isn’t just a decarboxylator and infuser, but also a baker. Yup, you can cook your edibles right in the gadget! Muffins or other cakes can be made very nicely at a temperature of 300° F, and that also makes the Ardent FX wonderful for people living in small spaces, including RVs!
- Thanks to its multiple settings, your product will be decarbed just right every single time! After road-testing this device, you’ll quickly find out that the temperature range is on point.
- As a bonus, the Ardent FX is airtight. That means that you can use it in small spaces very discretely.
- The fact that the chamber is completely dishwasher safe means that your cleanup will be easier than ever before.
Note that Ardent Cannabis’ previous model, the Ardent Nova, remains on the market and may also be a very viable choice for you. The Ardent FX is bigger and more versatile, but its “little sister” is still a great cannabis decarboxylator and infuser. This model will serve your needs wonderfully if you’ve got an oven and don’t need the Ardent FX’ baking and cooking feature, and if you don’t mind a smaller capacity of up to an ounce.
Which Cannabis Infuser Is the Best?
The Ardent FX has got to be the absolute winner here for us. This cannabis kitchen gadget allows you to prepare larger quantities to perfection. It’s not just portable, but this true edibles machine can take care of the entire process, from start to finish. The only thing it doesn’t do is eat your edibles by itself.
That doesn’t mean the other two cannabis-cooking appliances don’t have anything going for them, though!
The Levo II might be the best choice for you if your goal is to prepare smaller batches of Michelin-quality cannabis oils regularly, you really value beauty in your appliances, and you don’t mind some extra cleanup.
The Magical Butter Machine will win out over the Ardent and the Levo if you’re looking to work with larger quantities and just want a workhorse that won’t fail you — and you already have a dedicated decarboxylator. This appliance also wins if you’re on a budget.
If you’re looking for commercial solutions, like huge industrial decarboxylation ovens or are looking for more volume for your R&D edibles brand there are more professional grade decarboxylation solutions out there as well.
Conversely, if you’re a broke mofo like us you can always decarb your weed the old fashioned way with an oven, some low temps, some patience, and a glass mason jar.
All in all, every single one of these machines will take your culinary adventures up more than a few notches, though!