Newest Review: ... it's also excellent if you have trouble using your hands and find manual chopping difficult. Historically the thing that has put me off... more
Small, but mighty
Kenwood CH180 Mini-Chopper
Member Name: Lynda_Mck
Kenwood CH180 Mini-Chopper
Advantages: Small, fast, dishwasher safe
Disadvantages: A little noisy, can be difficult to clean
Whilst I don't use the Kenwood mini chopper at home, I am probably better acquainted with it than a lot of people who do, because I use the Kenwood mini chopper on an almost-daily basis. In my job as an assistant scientific officer I work mainly with food products, and I have at some time in the past used one of these to blitz up all manners of weird and wonderful things that I won't go into; it is almost dinnertime after all. The only differences between you using it and me using it is:
1) YOU can eat what you make in it, and
2) We call it a homogeniser, but then we're scientists. We're paid to use long words.
Because of the fact that I only use this in my job, I can't rate the chopper on its ability to chop breadcrumbs or herbs, but if you want to know what it can do to pretty much ANY type of meat (that's no exaggeration) and a large selection of vegetables I can help you.
The mini chopper is designed for chopping small amounts, not the feeding of the five thousand. It would be perfect for couples, or people who just wanted to experiment with making their own sauces etc, without having to go to the expense of buying a large food processor. It's also rated as a Delia Cheat! (apparently that exclamation mark has to go in there) Gadget, so it must be good.
* 300w Power. This isn't big compared to some blenders etc, but it's more than sufficient for the job.
* The capacity of the bowl is 350ml and the box states that it has a 150g chopping capacity. This means that you can basically half-fill the bowl and the mini chopper will be able to deal with it. I know for a fact that you can exceed that amount, though it can result in some of the food not being properly blended up, the result being that you will have lumps in whatever you're making. This can mean blending your food in a couple of steps, which isn't really any extra work.
* Dishwasher Safe.
* The unit comes in two mains parts: the clear plastic bowl (consists of lid, bowl and detachable blade) and the main unit which is brilliantly sealed to prevent damage by leaks.
* One touch control. There is one large button that only depresses when the bowl is safely locked in place. There are two speed settings which are controlled by pressing the button half in for the lower speed setting or fully in for full power.
The best thing about the mini chopper is its size. Its dimension are 19cmx 11.8cm x 145cm, which you must agree is pretty dinky for a food processor. Other than a hand-held blender, you'd be hard pushed to find something as small that does the job so well. Plus the mini chopper has the advantage above a handheld blender for the simple reason that it has a lid.
The blade consists of a plastic cylinder with a slightly curved blade on either side. This simply lifts out when the lid is off, making cleaning easy... to a certain extent, which I'll come back to in a second. The bowl, the lid and the blade are all dishwasher safe, allowing you to save time and effort.
The mini chopper will only work if the lid is safely locked into place, which is a great feature, meaning that your fingers stay away from the blades. This is a clever safety device, and would be particularly important if you had children in the kitchen with you.
As for the cost, the mini chopper is online at Amazon for £13.90. If you want it today however, Tesco's is currently selling them for just under £19.
The reason that I said that cleaning is easy "to a certain extent" is often food has a way of sneaking up inside the blade cylinder, or around the seam where the blade comes out of the plastic cylinder. What's more, when you use the mini chopper its imperative to wash it right away. Woe betide you should you leave food to dry on.
The blender has two speeds: fast and very fast. This is grand for us because all we need is the higher speed, but if you wanted something which was capable of going a bit slower, then you might have to get something else. What's more, it's actually not the easiest to get the lower speed, you have to push the button in just right otherwise it stops, or goes too fast.
The mini chopper can be really noisy, but this happens with a lot of blenders I suppose. Fortunately it's so quick that the noise is soon over.
Getting the lid to lock in properly can be quite tough at first, which is a little annoying as the mini chopper won't work unless it's locked in perfectly. It is a safety feature however, so I don't mind too much and you do get the hang of it eventually.
Finally, and I know it might sound very obvious but, be careful what you use to clean the mini chopper. If you hand wash it, use a soft sponge. We have about 3 of these mini choppers in work and two of them are scratched to pieces because they used a scrubbing brush of some description, and now it's scratched to pieces. Now the bowl looks bad, and you can't see what's happening inside it either.
The Kenwood mini-chopper is compact, but clever. If you want a food processor, but don't have a lot of room, this is probably the best solution for you. Like I said, we have three of them in our lab, and there are two more in the lab next door, so that shows that we like them and keep buying them. We use them in the lab practically every day, and I've never yet had a problem with one of them... other than the last person not cleaning it properly. I must say that I love this product, and if I didn't already own a blender that I really love, I would buy one of these for my house as well.
Summary: A neat little gadget for your kitchen.
|Ease of use:|
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