Product Type: Kitchenaid mixers
Newest Review: ... I`ve tried out most functions that this KitchenAid comes with; I`ve chopped fruit and vegetables, made cold soups, smoothies, gravys, c... more
Kitchen heaven at last, for a man who's been to hell...
Member Name: Alfettaman
Date: 29/07/09, updated on 29/07/09 (650 review reads)
Advantages: Terrific build quality; powerful and effective; simple to use; quiet
Disadvantages: Price; heavy, so needs to stay put on your worktop
If you've read my review of the flawed Kenwood FP615 food processor on 'dooyoo' you'll already know why we bought this. Suffice to say that I use a food processor every day for making bread dough (a demanding task for any machine) and our FP615 had such intractable problems that we ended up throwing it away before the warranty had run out.
But there was actually one crumb of comfort to be had from our otherwise unhappy experience with the Kenwood: it taught us - once and for all - that you get no more than you pay for, and that realisation certainly influenced our decision about a replacement. Don't get me wrong, though: I'm not a 'brand victim' (although I'll admit that we placed more faith in the Kenwood name than it deserves) but as a trained engineer I like to think that I recognise and appreciate genuinely functional and industrial design.
Researching online reviews, articles and comment led us to three commercial-grade "bomb-proof" food processors - from Cuisineart, KitchenAid and Magimix. All of them seem to be established and well-regarded machines, although a friend who cooks professionally told us that the Magimix isn't their favourite of the three, or the easiest to clean.
In the end we settled for the KitchenAid for its reputation (especially in commercial circles), high capacity and broader range of standard accessories. A ninety year-old American company, KitchenAid seems to have an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, approach to product development, and spares availability seems to be good.
This machine looks good too, and I'd argue that appearance matters more with a heavyweight food processor like this one, because it will probably need to live on your kitchen worktop rather than being lugged in and out of a cupboard every time you use it. Mrs Alfetta is very keen on the retro styling, which she says is "much better than the tacky, pseudo brushed-stainless-steel look" of many of the cheaper food processors on offer.
The KitchenAid 770 comes in a range of colours including black, red, white, cream and metallic grey. We ordered an Almond Cream 770 from Cook-In-Style for £245, minus a 4% discount by going to their site via topcashback.co.uk
My only (very slight) reservation was that most of these commercial grade processors - including the KitchenAid - have fixed-speed synchronous motors and I'd been used to using multi-speed machines in the past.
User manual and set-up:
Lifting the base/motor unit out of the box fills you at once with hope and confidence; this is indeed a heavy machine, with its high-torque induction motor housed in a substantial cast metal body, and fully-sealed wipe-clean buttons for start, stop and pulse.
Getting going with the KitchenAid 770 was the work of about five minutes: remove the packaging, fit the bowl and blade, plug in - and off you go! Of course, you should really read the manual first (it's in 14 different languages, so doubles as a free primer in Finnish, Greek or Icelandic for those with linguistic as well as culinary ambitions) and you probably ought to wash the bowls and fittings before you use them for the first time - but what the heck...
The KitchenAid has a relatively modest footprint for a machine of this capacity, occupying a piece of worktop about 210mm wide by 270mm deep. There's a handy lidded box (300mm x 220mm x 110mm) for all the accessories.
Switching on your 770, you'll be struck by how much quieter it is than most food processors. The induction motor makes an agreeably purposeful hum, but certainly not one that you'll need to shout over if you're talking to someone nearby.
Doughs & pastries:
Don't be fooled into thinking that that quietness means you've bought an under-powered machine: my first task for the new food processor was a batch of bread dough, which took just one minute to mix using the special dough blade supplied.
I left the KitchenAid running for another three or four minutes in order to achieve a really smooth and elastic dough - not something I would have risked with the Kenwood 615 which always looked, sounded and smelt as if it was struggling. In contrast, the KitchenAid seemed happy enough to mix my dough for as long as I wanted, and I didn't feel that I needed to stand and watch it either.
Chopping and mixing:
The 770 makes a fantastic job of this, partly because you get three different bowls with it, so can choose the right one for the job. The "work bowl" is a bit less than 3 litres, the "Chef's bowl" is 2.4 litres and there's a really neat 950ml "mini bowl" with it's own mini blade - perfect for chopping an onion or two, or for herbs or nuts. The 'three bowl' system also mean you can prepare several things (e.g. cake mix, icing, chopped nuts) in quick succession, without necessarily having to wash out a bowl between each.
In use (not just for storage) the three bowls all stack inside each other, a bit like Russian Dolls and - cleverly - the smallest bowl can also fit directly into the largest.
Blending and whisking:
The standard blade fits in either of the two larger bowls, and is terrific for cakes and other soft mixtures. There's also an egg whisk attachment that ingeniously gears the motor down to the optimum speed for this task: whisking several egg whites for a meringue mixture takes less than three minutes, and whipping cream is the work of just thirty seconds.
Shredding and slicing:
The 770 comes with everything you'll need for grating and slicing. Some processors grate too finely for my liking, but the 4mm KitchenAid disc is just right for most jobs. Couple this with a choice of slicing discs and you'll be able to do pretty much whatever you want: the 2mm disk makes perfect julienne potatoes and the 4mm one is spot-on for things like carrots. This machine can grate industrial quantities of cheese in a very short time!
The extra large feed tube has a safety interlock that means you must put the 'pusher' in place before the motor will start, and it can take quite a big peeled potato without the need to pre-cut, which saves time.
Inside the main pusher is a smaller (50 mm diameter) cylindrical feed tube: no motor interlock needed on this one, as it's not big enough to accidentally get your hand inside. It's great for smaller fruits and vegetables, and has its own little pusher. This small feed tube is also good for adding liquids to a recipe, and you can even make perfect shredded cabbage by rolling the leaves up like a big fat cigar and posting it down the feed tube!
I've used some food processors that seemed fine until the moment came to clean them, when I belatedly realised that most of the time I'd 'saved' was now going to be spent cleaning up. The 770 has strong fittings and bowls that can all go in the dishwasher, and smooth, well-designed surfaces with few traps - so washing-up by hand is quick and easy too.
Any initial fears I may have had about the limitations of the KitchenAid's fixed-speed synchronous motor were immediately dispelled when I started using it. This is indisputably a very high-quality, commercial-grade food processor and any serious cook will undoubtedly get real pleasure and great results from it.
A quiet, smooth and deceptively powerful motor takes everything in its stride and is potently matched to a classy cast-metal body, durably moulded bowls, and a range of thoroughly practical tools and accessories. The absence of overly-complex electronics, controls or other unnecessary features bodes well for the longevity of a machine that I think will be with us for very many years to come.
Even if - like me - you're a bit cynical about food processors, the KitchenAid 770 will win your heart with its astonishing combination of performance, practicality and good looks.
Summary: I'll bet this is the food processor they use in heaven...
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