* Prices may differ from that shown
BACKGROUND TO BUYING THIS:-
A few years ago we decided that to save money and to eat more healthily we would prepare our own meals rather than relying on pre-packaged ready meals and as I've always enjoyed cooking it was mutually decided that I would put my quite basic cooking skills into practice. We had an old cheap hand mixer but it was very basic and I thought that if I was going to prepare the wonderful dishes that I had in mind (as it turned out 'wonderful' was to be a slight exaggeration) then it was time to invest in a better mixer. I couldn't decide whether to buy another hand one or an all-singing all-dancing counter top mixer, but eventually decided that a smaller one would suffice for the time being.
Knowing that I would probably need to delve into the terrifying worlds of things like bread dough, butter cream and yorkshire puddings, I wanted something that was going to be powerful but substantial. Our old mixer was plastic and although it was OK for the price, I didn't think that it would be able to cope so out came the Argos catalogue. One mixer immediately caught my eye and that was the Kenwood KMix. The first thing that grabbed my attention was the retro-look of this mixer. Most of the other ones that I saw looked modern but with no character. Being made by Kenwood, I thought this would be a quality product, and also it was on sale, so we decided that this would become part of the family.
ABOUT THE BRAND:-
Kenwood Ltd was originally Dickson & Wood who sold and repaired radios and early TVs. It was founded by Kenneth Wood (hence the name) and started making kitchen appliances in 1947 and the famous and popular Kenwood Chef first saw light of day in 1950. In the 1960s Kenwood became part of the Thorn EMI group of companies, and following the demise of that group was bought by De'Longhi in 2001. It still has its headquarters in Hampshire, and although it's products are now made in China, it still known for the manufacture of quality kitchen products.
BUILD AND DESIGN:-
We chose the almond one, although you can buy it in coconut, raspberry or peppercorn (white, red and black), but Kenwood are bringing this out in more colours later this month - yellow, green, magenta, blue and orange.
They all have a grey handle and a metal tab down both sides of the mixer showing the brand name and model. As I've mentioned, they do have a retro-look about them, almost a 50's kind of style - and I think it's quite a classy look and adds a bit of character to the kitchen.
As soon as you take the mixer out of the box you can feel that it's going to last a long time. It's heavy - and I mean 'heavy' - but that is probably because it's made of metal and not cheap plastic, and also it has a more powerful motor than most other hand-held mixers which I would imagine increases the weight. It has a set of regular beaters - and what I like about these is the fact that they are not made of thin wire but substantial metal - and a set of dough hooks. It has a 400w motor which is very powerful for a small mixer (150w or 250w seem to be the norm) and 5 speeds together with a 'pulse' setting.
It's quite compact as the mixer sits upright in it's neat stand which has slots for the four beaters. The power cord is a little over 45 inches in length and winds around the base of the mixer to keep it neat and tidy (I found, though, that once I'd unwound it I couldn't wind it back is tightly and so about a foot of wire is left free). The handle is very comfortable to hold - it feels thick and substantial and has a slight rubbery feel to it and as such you won't find it slipping out of your hand. It comes with fairly comprehensive instructions and includes a guide as to the recommended speed for the beaters. The instructions also include one token recipe - for white bread dough. I have no idea why they would just include one recipe and why they would have chosen bread - I personally would have liked to see a small booklet with maybe 20 or 30 recipes.
Using the mixer is simple. You just slot the two beaters into the mixer, turn on the power and mix away. The range of speeds makes it very versatile but speeds 4 and 5 can see the contents of the bowl being distributed around the kitchen if you're not careful. I always start off with the lowest speed and gradually build up. The switch to change speeds is in just the right position so that you can pull it back with your thumb and just in front of this is the pulse button which, I must admit, I have not really had to use. I have found that because the wire is wrapped around the base for storage it tends to stay curled up and if you're careful when you stand the mixer on its end while you're using it, the wire does sometimes get in the way, but that's just a minor inconvenience. I can't give an opinion as to the effectiveness of the dough hooks because I've not used them. I do now make bread but I knead the dough by hand, a much more satisfying experience I think.
Cleaning is easy - the beaters can be washed in soapy water, and the mixer itself just needs a wipe down with a damp cloth. There are no angles or nooks and crannies on this mixer - everything is curved and smooth, so when you wipe it over you don't need to dig around to get out any stray splatterings of food.
This mixer is a little noisy especially on the quicker speeds, but that's only to be expected from a motor of this size and power. As I've mentioned above, it is heavy and if you are using it for any length of time it could make your arm ache and so it probably is less suitable for an elderly person or someone with arthritis in the hands and fingers - if unsure then it's probably worth visiting somewhere like Debenhams or Currys and feeling the weight to see if it would be suitable. On a positive note, you could always use the mixer as part of your weight training routine.
AVAILABILITY AND PRICE:-
The mixer can be bought from many stores in the UK and online including Kenwood's own site. The recommended price is £59.99 but Amazon are currently selling the peppercorn and raspberry colours at £47.99 and Currys have them at the same price right now.
If you want a powerful, quality hand mixer, I really don't think you could better the Kenwood KMix. I've had it for nearly 18 months and I've had no problems whatsoever. It is one of the more expensive mixers on the market, but I think this one will last us for years.
My husband was dispatched to buy probably our fourth beater in a two-year-period. I was a little nervous about this, as in the past he has adopted a boy racer attitude to kitchen appliances: speed and power matter most. Well, speed and power *are* sometimes useful, but if you're beating a pancake mixture, too much early speed will decorate your kitchen ceiling before you can say crèpe.
So when I saw a Good Housekeeping Institute sticker on this hand mixer I felt more confident. The first thing I did was test out the slowest setting with the whisk attachments on some icing sugar and softened butter I was using to make buttercream. Would the slowest setting be gentle enough to ensure that the icing sugar didn't coat the kitchen worktop and cupboard?
Reader, it was! Once my butter and icing sugar were incorporated I whizzed through the higher settings. There are five settings on the KMix hand mixer and the 400 watt motor can easily handle a mixing bowl full of hard work. It will certainly be able to manage the Christmas cake mixture I'll throw at it later in the year. The result on my first testing was a lovely, light, fluffy buttercream. Other experiments with pancake batter and beaten eggs were equally felicitous: no 'decorated' ceiling and kitchen cupboards. I actually had the feeling this gadget had been designed by someone who bakes and cooks themselves and knows what is required in a mixer.
The KMix comes with two dough hooks and a neat little stand. The flex can be tidily wound round the base of the mixer so that when it's on the stand there are no loose ends trailing. As we have a bread maker I haven't needed the dough hooks yet, but these will probably be useful for making up small quantities of pizza dough.
Usually I'm pragmatic when it comes to kitchen appliances. I cook a lot and performance is the most important thing for me. But the retro appearance and feel of the KMix is a real pleasure. I have the vanilla-coloured mixer, appropriately, given the number of cakes we bake, and it has a slightly squared-off design which is rather Nigella-ish and makes me think of the 1950s. It is a little heavier than some other manufacturer's models. I find this makes it easier for me to handle slightly hard butter, for instance, where a bit of force is helpful (and it will definitely help with heavier mixtures, such as the Christmas cake mixture mentioned above), but people with arthritis, or smaller children, might find that they can't use the beater for long periods.
More importantly, the mixer is easy to keep clean. I hate models that have too many nooks where bits of cake batter can fly in and fester.
All in all, for a mixer you can keep in a cupboard, out of the way, and bring out to tackle cake baking, pancakes, egg beating, etc, the KMix is a winner.
Are you like me, hiding a dream of becoming the next Nigella Lawson? Well, I know I will never reach that level of amazing ability, but I love to bake cakes and whipping up things in the kitchen in general, so when it was time for me to invest in a new hand mixer, I decided to go for Kenwood, as this is a brand I`ve put trust into before! And it didn`t let me down!
First of all, I noticed that the design and look of it was very modern and stylish, and I thought to myself that Kenwood really had risen to the occasion and gone all out in terms of good design! There are five speed settings on this mixer, so whether you just want to carefully blend the ingredients for a cake batter or whipping together eggs and sugar in a haste, this handy hand mixer really gets the work done without problem! To me, the highest level of speed goes by a bit too fast, and I end up looking a bit messy on my clothes, so I usually use setting 1-4 the most... Also, at settings 2-4, the mixer can be a bit noisy, it does make quite a irritating sound, but that`s also the only disadvantage I so far have noticed about this product. If you don`t count the mixer itself, all parts are dishwasher safe, so the hazzle of cleaning is none existing... The product is made up of very sturdy nature, and with two very solid dough hooks, you can even make doughs for pizza, bread and such, which to me is impressive coming from such small equipment!
I paid 44.55 for my Kenwood Hand Mixer, and with that I was awarded really good and long lasting quality! The mixer is easy to use, efficient, and apart from the noise level, this is a mixer that really doesn`t bring with it anything to complain about! A great hand mixer!
I chose this over the Dualit hand mixer when I saw it in the store becasue it felt more robust and quite a bit heavier and now I have it I love the peppercorn black colouring and prefer it to the chrome of the Dualit.
Its ideal for me - a weekend baker who likes to impress guests with home baked bread and cakes - and the addition of the 2 dough hooks has certainly made my bread making a lot easier!
There are multiple speeds which I've found useful when I've been making different recipes. Another feature which I really like is that fact that you can stand the mixer on its end next to the mixing bowl without it toppling over - helpful when you have more ingredients to add.
If I had one minor complaint, it would be that the wire doesn't seem to wind away completely when I put it back on the storage rack - but that's minor overall!
Perfect for keen cooks looking to add a touch of style to the kitchen the kMix range from Kenwood has been designed for when food preparation becomes more than just mixing and chopping.The sleek range of kMix kitchen appliances not only offer unique design and functionality but can brighten up any kitchen with the exciting range of colours. For those small every-day kitchen tasks the compact new kMix Hand Mixer is an essential kitchen accessory. Simple to use and easy to clean this space-saving appliance is available in Almond and Peppercorn to match the kMix range. The stylish design features unique compact space-efficient storage simple-to-use thumb controls high-quality durable stainless steel beaters and kneaders and integral cord storage with handy grip clip.