Kenwood Cooking Chef – A Magic Monster
I didn’t have a kitchen machine/food processor/mixer for years, but have wanted one for a long time. No room, no justification for the expense as a student etc. However, last year, after having handed in my PhD I thought I deserve a REAL treat. Like one, that will last the test of time. So I bought My Magic Monster. Here I would like to tell you how it faired in the last 9 months, the things I learned and whatever I did not know at the time.
In summary: IT WAS SOOO WORTH IT – every single bit of it!
I LOVE IT TO BITS (not quite, I actually want to keep it in one piece…!) 😉
As always, this is my experience, my (re)view, for the Kenwood Cooking Chef. I tried to be as objective as possible, but honestly, you can never be, when you are convinced of something. Either way – here you go!
To get or not to get the Cooking Chef – that was the question!
If I had to decide again, I would ALWAYS buy it again. I really love it and have come to rely on it. I make smoothies in the morning, make some nut meal a little later, grate cheese as if it was no big deal (OK – I HAVE to clean the items afterwards, but that’s mostly easy), slow cook, make pasta, bread dough, soups, stews, curries, ice cream – lots of ice cream (come to think of it I’m low on it, may have to make some more). It’s brilliant, I wouldn’t want to miss it and I think I sound like a Thermomix-convert, but that’s OK. As long as I tell you honestly what I love and don’t love about it and you decide yourself then 🙂
For an in-depth review and more of my ‘opinion’ on it please read here.
Here we go – with additional comments:
Cooking Chef KM080 core machine
Upsides: Still a fantastic machine. It’s good to cover it with a tea towel (or a nice cover, if you can), just to keep the dust and other items from settling on it. Otherwise robust.
The top part under the cover is scratch-and-spot sensitive chrome. So is the lid. I thought brushed stainless steal would be better, but it doesn’t change the function, just the optics. It’s a bit annoying to polish it to keep it shiny, so I mostly don’t, it lives with water stains. Not major thing at all, but it could be done better. However, it’s good enough. Make sure this part does not get flooded in liquid or powder – some of the corners are hard to clean and there are mechanics underneath, which you don’t want to be affected. I haven’t had it yet at all though, you have got to be reasonably careless to get large amounts there. Also, keep a tea towel in reach when lifting the arm when cooking – it helps to wipe off the condensation before it runs into the (reasonably well covered) open part of the uplifting arm of the machine.
Also, there is a little pin on the backside of the machine in the middle of the arm that lifts up. This has come out after several uses of bread kneading and other stuff. Not sure if that’s supposed to be. If it comes out again, I’ll ring the service and ask them. I carefully pushed it back and so far it seems to stay in place. I’ll keep an eye on it.
The design-flaw I found first is still a little bit annoying. When you take out the bowl (to get the dough out, serve soup etc), the tool still attached to the machine spills liquid over the thermosensor and heating module. Even though they are apparently not prone to any major damage by liquid, I always place the heat mat over them and use another coaster to put the actual bowl on, for the mess alone. The locking mechanism of the bowl is also not easy to clean, so keep that as clean as possible.
You COULD get the tool out first, then hands are dirty and you need to put the dripping tool somewhere. Thus, placing the heat mat to cover the bowl-position is the easiest.
Still wishing it would freeze and cool, especially for ice-cream making 😉 Also often enough wishing for a second Monster, but so far I’ve managed without *lol
Replacements: The third model, I have is holding up. Read more for the previous (solved) problems.
Cooking Bowl 37575
I need a second one at some stage. This holds still true!
It’s great, easy clean (really) on the inside. I keep the outside out of water, dough or any other dirt as much as possible – the locking mechansims is hard to clean (but you rarely get stuff there anyway). My IKEA pot lid fits nicely, so I just put it on top to keep things clean. It’s a little difficult to pour out of it, a silicone spoon/spatula mix helps me a lot there. Nice enough for friends-serving as well, but a bit high on the table 😉
K-Beater (a beater attachment, with a “K” shaped centre)
Does the job (cake doughs etc), cleans easy, only got good experience with it.
Creaming Beater (previously called Flexi-Beater)
Has flexible lips attached to it, which scrape the liquid or dough from the surface to prevent sticking on the sides and burning. Mostly good experience and does the job (HOLLANDAISE!!! *yum), unless it gets too hot for too long or too quickly. Need to keep a little bit of an eye on it, when an ingredient-mix is not yet homogenous, or you are heating it. Cleans really easily. It does squeak a bit when in action and there’s not much oil.
The most fluffiestestest egg-whites and other things. Wonder how I did without before!!!! However, cream doesn’t like a set time. Some days, the same brand and type of cream likes more whipping, other days much less und you’d get butter if you don’t keep an eye on it. So KEEP an eye on it 😉
Brilliant to slow-cook or make soup. Chunks that are hard can get trapped, but bite-sized or a little larger meat pieces just swirl through. Awesome.
Professional Dough Hook
Having made several breads with it now, it really only struggles with doughs that are too dry to start with. The drier the dough, the more it sticks to the dough hook. Mostly it travels up and then folds down again. No more problems with doughs of the right moisture content. The machine REALLY has some work to do sometimes. It gets a little noisy. Cleans super easy. Happy with it.
Folding Tool AT512 (for Major)
Works, but slowly. Best, if the consistencies of the folded in parts are similar. Struggles with folding of very liquid things (but so do I by hand). Works a charm with respect to keeping the ‘bubbles’ and airiness.
Splashguard and Heat Guard
No news. The opening is a bit small, but otherwise all happy.
Steaming /Steamer Basket
If you don’t need the monster for other things or want to make sure you don’t over-steam – works like a treat. Just a reminder – I took me about 3 months to figure out that I could clip-in the wire-hangers. Sweet little item. Second Monster (aka Cooking Chef) would be appreciated though.
Spatulas and Heat Mat
Also nothing new. They do their job and they do it well.
It helps you to get started and get ideas. It helps you with times and type of tools and which ingredients would work. Compared to the Thermomix it’s nowhere near as comprehensive, but I honestly rarely cook from just one cookbook anyway. I use it for the pasta, hollandaise and other ‘things’. Great little book – and there are more and more recipes online (try other country’s pages for more ideas – and google-translate them 😉 ).
I’ve got lots and due to a lot of other commitments I have not used all of the attachments I actually own. I will update, when I know more in the original blog post and will occasionally write a new review like this one. Here the news for my experiences.
No guarantees, but I tried to put the compatibility in, so Cooking Chef is abbreviate “CC”, Major with “M” and Chef is not abbreviated.
Some compatibility is found on the Australian Kenwood webpage on the specific items page now!
Food processor AT647 (fits CC, M and Chef)
By and large the most used item. I LOVE it. Cheese, mixing pastry crust and Swedish Knäckebröd, along vegan cheesecake variants. I may actually go back here and link all the recipes I’ve made with the individual items *lol.
ThermoResist Glass Blender AT385 (fits CC, M and Chef) and
Stainless Steel Blender AT339 (fits CC, M and Chef)
I own both, since I wanted a way to crush ice. I have read the manual in-depth now and it says this one actually CAN crush ice. It is not evident from the webpage. I have tried it for the Swedish Knäckebröd and it worked a charm!
Due to the leaking (it IS a used item, but I have spare seals and a motor and it still leaks) and that I can acutally crush ice with the Thermoresist Glass Blender, I have stopped using this one. If anyone wants it for spare parts, I’m happy to part with it! It’s not a bad blender as such though.
The new “kid” (blender) in town, which I mentioned in my first review, is still not to be seen on the Australian page. Coming with the KM09X series in Germany, it looks familar from the Thermomix desing. It specifically mentions swapping from hot to cold and ice-cube crushing in the description of what it can do, but the other I have can do this, too. I DO like the paddle though, but this is not ‘yet’ a reason to buy it.
Mini Chopper/Mill AT320A or B (fits CC, M and Chef)
I love it. It’s small, it’s easy to clean, it works a treat real quick. If you don’t like grated, but crumbled Parmigiano Reggiano for example. If you want a small portion of nuts turned into meal. If you want to mix up a pesto, ‘grind’ spices and so on. If the mix is just the wrong consistency, it won’t work, but reasonably dry and reasonably liquid always does. Sticky-gooey in between may not. Excellent tool all up!!!
Metal Juice Extractor AT641 (previously Continous Juicer) (fits CC, M and Chef)
Still absolutely happy with this one. The opening could be bigger and sometimes an apple gets a little stuck. This can be prevented by chopping them up, but sometimes you just judge the size wrong and add the apple. Easily solved with a little patience. Thumbs up for this one!
Major Sized Frozen Dessert Maker AT957A (fits CC and M)
One of the items I used most. The ice cream is delicious! I still have to learn how to add guar gum, xanthane or something else to make it creamy AFTER it has been frozen for a couple of weeks (I dt use eggs, thus no salmonella problems). However, I can just wait and thaw the ice cream just a tad and then it’s just PERFECT! I wish it could cool itself. Like a cooling device IN the bowl or something. To make ice cream quicker *lol
Pasta Maker AT936A (plastic, not the Metal AT910)
Only made the pasta once, but I remember the taste and will make it again. It was THAT good. Just a matter of leaisure time and other things I like making. Disks where really nasty to clean, but I used all of them to try out, ONE is probably not anywhere near as annoying.
Metal Fruit Press AT644 and Metal Roto Food Cutter AT643 (joint in pack AT642)
(fits CC and M)
Not used yet.
Continous Slicer/Grater AT340 (fits CC, M and Chef)
Not used yet.
Food Mincer AT950A (the small one, not AT955) (fits CC and M)
Not used yet.
Cream Maker A927 (better named emulsifier I think) (fits CC and M)
Old, discontinued attachment, available on ebay. Not used yet. But this is what I’d like to use it for: Make thick cream or pouring cream out of butter (unsalted) and milk, desalt butter and margarine, make ice-cream (recipes included), or make my own healthy, natural facial and body creams and lotions out of your choice of watery and fatty ingredients (recipes on the web, it’s the same principle as cream making). If anyone is a bit weirded out of putting face-cream stuff into a food thing: If it’s too toxic to eat in residual cleaned-out quantities, I should very much likely not put it in my face in the first place! Just imagine what happens if it gets on my lips and I lick it? Or I scratch my leg and then eat an apple?
Bean and pea slicer and peeler A932 (fits CC and M)
Old, discontinued attachment, available on ebay. Not used yet.
Again – I would always buy it again. It suits my needs and I still have room to explore. I may have more room than I need right now, but I’m happy to have My Monster in the kitchen with all that I use and more for the future!!!