Written on: 13/07/2007 by SpeedDemon (10 reviews written)
Easy to use
Loads of accessories
Will last a lifetime
Could be quieter
Flex is a little on the short side
Everyone I know that's had a Kenwood has raved about it. I always fancied one but always found an excuse not to buy one. Eventually I bought one as a housewarming present when I moved house.
The big choice was Kenwood or Kitchen Aid? I opted for Kenwood on the basis of looks (OK it may not be on the cutting edge of high tech but it's not the 50s retro of the Kitchen Aid) and the fact that all the sales staff I spoke to that only sold Kitchen Aid seemed more eager to talk down the Kenwood rather than talk up their product. So, having decided on Kenwood it was then a choice of Chef or Major? I plumped for the Major because of the higher capacity and more powerful (1300 W) motor.
Short of actually doing the cooking for you this machine will take the sting out of almost any job you can think of in the kitchen, it whisks, beats, blends, needs dough, chops, slices, liquidises, grinds, minces, makes and rolls pasta, makes ice cream, makes sausages and more depending on the attachments you get for it.
The machine itself and any accessories you buy come with a detailed and comprehensive set of instructions, not that you'll probably need more than a casual glance as these machines couldn't be simpler to use. The operation is smooth and, perhaps more importantly, controllable and the results consistently excellent.
The machine is solidly built and if my Nan's 30+ year old Kenwood Chef is anything to go by (still going strong) will give years of service without any problems at all. In the unlikely event of anything going wrong there are Kenwood servicing centres dotted around the country and plenty of places on line to buy the spares if you'd prefer to do the job yourself.
On the downside the machine is quite large so, unless you're going to make a feature of it in your kitchen, finding somewhere to store it and the attachments may pose a few problems, depending on the size of your kitchen. Also you have to use it fairly close to your electrical outlet as the flex fitted to the unit is a bit on the less than generous side. This is a powerful piece of kitchen machinery and, as such, it isn't silent in its operation - true, it's quieter than some of the older (less powerful) Kenwood Chefs used to be but don't expect to be able to whip up a batch of scones for the church fete while listening to The Archers unless you've got some fairly powerful speakers on your radio or some headphones.
I bless the day I bought this machine and my cooking has benefited no end for having bought it. I now make my own bread as a matter of course rather than as an occasional treat, I make my own sausages (some fairly exotic ones too) and my dessert repertoire has grown beyond measure. When the sun is shining I'll use the Kenwood to knock up sausages for a BBQ, ice cream for dessert and frozen margaritas for afterwards and that's barely scraping the surface of what this machine can do - No passionate home cook should be without one.