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Make your life easier in the kitchen!
Member Name: redhead78
Date: 18/01/12, updated on 13/03/12 (54 review reads)
Advantages: Compact, lots of useful tools, clear instruction book
Disadvantages: No storage container for all the tools
I had wanted a food processor for a while with vague ideas of not having to chop vegetables anymore and it taking away that tedious part of the cooking process. So when my hours at work increased my husband decided to "treat" me to one to make life a bit easier and as this was on a very good offer at the time (they retail at £129.99 but can often be found on offer and he got it for £45 plus cashback which was a fab deal so it's worth shopping around) it was this one that we decided on. As most of my kitchen knowledge comes from my mum and she has never had one of these I didn't really know what I was looking for in a food processor or what I expected from one apart from chopping up veg and maybe blending a few things too, and this one seemed to tick those two boxes.
Whilst I wasn't too bothered about what it looked like as I assumed it would spend most of its time in my utility room rather than on display in the kitchen this one (the main unit of it anyway) is an unassuming white plastic contraption which, although it doesn't go with the other mostly silver appliances that I have, doesn't look bad...which can only be a good thing as I soon realised that I use this processor so much that there's no point putting it away between uses and so it stays permanently on my kitchen counter!
It's nice and compact, doesn't take up too much counter top, less than a foot squared. The base is white plastic, as mentioned, with a pulse button and a dial for you to select the speed you want to use if running for a while and the jug part on top it a clear, blue tinged plastic, handy for seeing what state and stage the food inside is at. Because there are so few knobs and dials on the processor it is very simple to use and not at all intimidating (as I thought when we first opened it and pulled out piece after piece and started to get a bit panicky about having to use them all!). I'm not really one for pouring over instruction books, I leave that to the husband, I just like to get on with things and mostly I have been able to do that, only having to refer to the booklet provided to see which slicing disc to use for which effect. (As I said, I don't spend long with instruction books but this one seems to be good enough, describing each utensil and how to use them, how to put the thing together, how to care for it all. It's nothing special, only a paper booklet, but it's more than adequate for me!). There is also a little hole in the back where you can store the wire and plug when not in use.
There are many many attachments that come with this food processor, some of which I use all the time, others that I'll more than likely never use! These include; 3 slicing discs (thick slice/grate, thin slice/grate and julienne) and a little container to hold them, a juicer, a spice grinder, a blender, dough tools, whisking tools. The main bowl and blender simply twist slide into place, locking securely so there's no chance of it whizzing off mid-process and both have a 1.5litre capacity (around 4-5 medium courgettes grated!). In use the Kenwood is secure and doesn't move around on the counter as I suspected it might, although it does make quite a bit of noise...but I don't mind this, I use it as a way of getting back at our very noisy neighbours at 7am J
All told, this food processor really has made a difference to me. It's made my life much easier and has helped me become more adventurous in the kitchen, increasing the number of dishes I now feel I can tackle. Although I love cooking, I don't really like fiddly faffy things so, despite loving crumble and bread, I never made them as rubbing the butter into the flour and kneading the dough wasn't a pleasant part of the process for me. So for me it's great having a machine that can do all the little annoying but necessary jobs!
It means making vegetable soup is no longer half an hour of veg preparation, it's a 5 minute job, peeling them then whizzing them through. It means I no longer have to get my hands and worktop covered in flour and soggy dough to make bread. It means I can use fresh breadcrumbs. It means I don't have to get lemon juice in papercuts when juicing them! The list is neverending!
Everything comes apart easily to make cleaning it a much nicer process than I was expecting. Obviously you can't submerge the base unit in water, but that wipes clean with a damp cloth, the rest can be washed in warm, soapy water. I struggled with the blender attachment the first time. I'd made salmon pate in it and just could not get it clean. I moaned and groaned to the man who does read the instruction book and he (very patiently!) explained and demonstrated that it actually comes to pieces too! So whereas I'd been trying to get my hand right down into the base and was worried about cutting myself, the base actually unscrews...so even that part is easy to clean!
So, anything negative to say? Well, as much as I love it, yes, there are a couple of niggles for me. Whilst I do appreciate all the little gadgets it would have been useful if they'd come with a storage box to keep them all in one place. There is a holder for the 3 sharp cutting discs but everything else is loose and with there being approximately 14 different items they tend to end up everywhere rather than kept neatly together. Another slight issue is that the thick slice disc and the thin slice disc don't seem to be much different and I definitely wouldn't class the veg that's gone through the "thick" slicer as thickly sliced, it's definitely thin! Another point which may be an issue for some people is that the flex on it isn't overly long, maybe 75cm at a guess. This isn't a problem for me as I have plenty of accessible sockets in my kitchen but if you don't this is something to bear in mind.
All in all this is a great food processor. I've never used one before so don't really have anything to compare it to, but it definitely does everything and much much more than I ever thought or expected/
Summary: A fab little processor that puts the pleasure back into my cooking
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