I have an autoimmune disease which leaves with a lot of pain in my hands, as well as difficulty standing for any period of time. This means we have made do with quicker options where dinner is concerned - but the simple fact is potatoes just do not freeze well. I've tried every type of frozen chip going and nothing tastes like a real chip, so we started looking for something to help with this. There are several devices where you push a potatoes through an attachment, but they all require some strength in the hands - which I do not have. When I found out this food processor had a " french fry" blade, i decided to take the plunge and try a food processor. It isn't perfect, but it has made life easier.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX
All sorts of things - this is a big box and it has a lot of parts. The first is the motor section. This is listed as space saving model - claiming to use up to 30% less counter space than traditional models. This is my first food processor so I can not really compare, but it seems pretty large to me. It is certainly much larger than our old blender was. This set will require a lot of cupboard space as well. It says it has non slip feet, and they aren't kidding here. You can not push or slide this on the counter. It stays put. The electric cord is quite long, allowing me to set this anyplace I like on the counter. This unit is listed as having 500 watts in the main description, but 900 watts in the specs, so I'm afraid I honestly do not know the energy consumption. It has 8 speeds and a pulse button. The pulse button just means you can give ingredients short bursts of chopping. This is handy when you want food to keep some chunks, rather than end up pureed.
This machine comes with a large main bowl ( 1.5 litre operating capacity wet or dry - you can stuff more in but this is the amount that is meant to fit in the machine). You also get a blender attachment (1.2 liter) and a small mill. In addition to this, there are a number of different blades. The main reason we bought this was the french fry blade. It also has a mixer attachment for cake mixes, a dough blade, and a number of other tools which they call reversible thick slice / coarse grate 4mm, reversible thin slice / fine grate 2mm, a rasping disc and a maxi blend canopy. I'm afraid I would just name these as chopping and cutting things.
WHAT'S NOT IN THE BOX:
Some sites list a blade storage device, a spatula, and a recipe book as meant to be included. I did not receive these items, and it appears that other customers have not either. Apparently Kenwood will ship them too you if you write and ask. i don't really feel I need them and I haven't bothered.
USING THE KENWOOD FP582 :
Naturally the moment this was unpacked we set to work making chips This does chop up spuds in seconds, but they are thinner than I would like. It appears the name the French Fry blade is now called a Julienne disk, but this is meant to cut French Fries, and that is basically what it does. These are about as thick as McDonalds French Fries. I would dearly love an attachment that cut proper British style chips, and there appear to be some available separately, but at a cost higher than this entire machine. The chips may be thin, but my children prefer thin chips anyway, and they are at least real fresh potatoes, and so much nicer than frozen. I love this feature, but were it not for the trouble with my hands, I really don't think I would bother with it. This will just hold enough chips for a family of four.
The next thing we used this for was milkshakes. You can fit enough fruit milk and ice cream to make lovely shakes for four, and my whole family has really been enjoying this function. We have had the most delicious desserts ever, and while they do contain ice cream - they also have milk and fresh fruit so I feel it a reasonably healthy choice for a dessert. Our old blender had died, so these were really a welcome treat.
Another thing I was anxious to try was the dough attachment, and I can only say this had mixed results. I put in a batch of bread dough for cinnamon rolls. Gradually adding flour, it did seem that the motor was straining and hot. I left the dough a bit sticky, let this give a good kneading, and then after rising let the kids work a bit more flour in. It does work - but not perfectly.
I used this for a cake mix as well, but in all honesty, if it were not for the fact that the children love using this machine, I'd have just used the hand mixer. This is slightly quicker, but clean up is longer. I haven't tried all the chopping blades yet, but these are the most simple function for this type of machine, so I can't see a problem. I'm sure this will make it easier to make foods like soup over the winter again, but I just don't make stews and soups in the summer. I can't see ever using the mill, but it would have been wonderful when my children were younger as I made their baby foods in a blender.
The parts to this are all dishwasher washable which makes clean up a but easier. You do need to make sure no chunks of food are left in the blade, and the whole system takes up so much dishwasher space, I often end up rinsing out quickly by hand. The blades are very sharp though, so you need to be careful cleaning. I've already badly sliced a finger.
I only have one problem with this machine. While the bowl must locked in place with the lid too work - the blender will work without the lid. I only noticed this as I took the lid off and was just ready to push a chunk of ice cream down a bit when my youngest turned on the blades. Naturally I pulled my hand out very quickly, and we have been more careful after this incident. I do feel that the blades should not work with the lid open though, as most blenders have this as a safety feature. I am deducting one star for this issue.
Anything chopping is going to make noise. I do feel the motor is less noisy than most.
I am very happy to have this. Is does make my life easier, and with my problems, it is a real blessing. The chips may not be perfect - but they honestly do make tis machine worth buying - anything else is just an extra. If I did not have any disabilities though, I can't really say that I would bother with this machine. A simple blender is much less expensive, and I would just soon cut my chips and vegetables by hand if I could. Still it does make a cooks work easier and quicker. If you have mobility issues then this gets my full recommendation. For everyone else - it just depends on if it is worth spending the money to save a bit of time. If you love have every gadget in your kitchen then this is probably worth buying. For many working Mom's, time is at such a premium, that this might well be worth buying as well - assuming you do cook enough foods that require dicing and chopping. But for most families, I think this is an optional item - it is not something most people really need - but it can be nice to have.
I bought this on special for £74.99 at Argos on special. Argos still has them at this price, but they are significantly higher with most retailers. This is more expensive than most food processors, but this was the only one that said it could do chips, so we took the plunge.
I have not owned this machine long enough to give a fair assessment of reliability. The problem with electronics today is that by the time you have owned something like this a few years and can give a fair assessment on how reliable it is - it will be replaced by a newer model. I do promise to update immediately should this product present any problems, but for the moment I have no issues with it other than the problem with the blender operating without the lid.
Short name: Kenwood FP582