Without getting into the whole "delaying solids vs rice cereal" debate, we delayed solids with Pickle until she was six months old. We did mostly baby-led weaning, but she became anemic due to only being breastfed and not being particularly enthralled with food, so we did end up having to do some baby food with iron-fortified oatmeal mixed in to raise her iron levels around 9 months or so.
I wasn't particularly excited about giving her the baby foods on the market, though - mostly because they overall sort of smelled and looked like vomit. I mean that in the nicest way, but if it makes me want to gag to open it, I can't imagine it was going to make her MORE excited about eating when she was already just so-so on the concept of solids.
I did some research (shocking, I know), and had found the Beaba Babycook Food Maker (LINK), about $120 on Amazon:
You'll notice that this is not the cheapest option - items like the Baby Bullet are cheaper. I am not a good cook (that's an understatement), so I really liked that this one had a steamer where you could first steam the food you were making (apples or broccoli or whatever), then purees it. You can also reheat or defrost food in here, if need be.
I really liked this. It was incredibly easy. I would just clean some fruits or vegetables (it also does meat, but that sort of grossed me out) into there, steam it, and then grind it. We had little storage cube things, and put the food in there to freeze. (You can get them through Beaba, but theirs are super-expensive, so we didn't do that.) We then brought them back out, put them in here to defrost, and were good to go. As I mentioned, I can barely cook mac and cheese, so the ease of this was crucial, since I made all of the baby food.
It comes with a little recipe book, which was kind of neat, but I mean, how hard is it to just put apples and bananas in together and puree them? But it was still a nice idea, and what was more helpful in the book was that it told you for how long you needed to cook everything (there are little dials on the top of the device, it would tell you to do two or three "clicks" or what-have-you).
Cleaning it was a little bit of a pain, just because I didn't feel very comfortable putting the blade or the cooking cup thing in the dishwasher, but it really wasn't too bad. I just have this innate fear of slicing my fingers open because I don't know what I'm doing - since my husband stabbed through his entire finger with a fork two days ago, this is a valid concern.
The plastic was BPA- and PVC-free, if you're into that sort of thing. I think most things these days are, but it's an extra little pat on the head.
Anyway - I got this about 2.5 years ago, but I see their line has expanded a lot since then - there's a "Pro" model that can cook more food at a time, and also a Pro2X that has two blending cup areas. The small amount of food you could cook at a time would actually be my only complaint on this item - you'd get, like, half a mango in there and have to do a new batch. So I think those might be worth the extra money.
For us, this was a great purchase, since I probably wasn't going to go and figure out how to steam food outside of this thing. It was helpful to do it all in here - I'll even use it still just to steam some broccoli or something for dinner. If you have that sort of knowledge, however, it would probably be a little cheaper to steam it some other way first and then either get a stick blender or a Baby Bullet. This was very good for the cooking-illiterate, however, so I feel like we have gotten our money's worth.