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Kenwood Cooking Chef


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#1 annachan

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 11:28 AM

It looks like I may be getting a Kenwood Cooking Chef (http://www.kenwoodwo...kingChef/Home1/) for Xmas. Before I commit to it, I like to hear from folks who have used it.

Here are a few things I want to know about this machine before spending this kind of money on it:
* Can I use this for sous vide? More specifically, can I make sous vide eggs in it?
* Do the attachments work well? I'm mostly interested in the blender, food processor (some concern of its size) and pasta roller/maker. If you have used others, I like to hear about them as well.
* Would it work with the candy pan designed for Kitchen Aid?

#2 Dave the Cook

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 12:24 PM

A glance through the manual reveals that 1) it uses an induction loop, which is pretty clever; and 2) the following: "When heating liquids or food with a high water content, the accuracy of the temperature reading is usually within +/- 5°C. The accuracy of the temperature display and control will vary depending upon the consistency of your bowl contents, the volume of your bowl contents, the frequency of stirring and the bowl tool that is used. Again this is similar to cooking on a hob, for example, where a large quantity of food in a large saucepan is heated but not stirred thoroughly. The food will be hot at the base of the saucepan, or even burnt, whereas the food near the top will be much cooler."

That's way too variable for something as sensitive as eggs. And since it requires stirring to even attempt maintenance of an even temperature in the vertical plane of the cooking bowl, it seems impractical for most other sous-vide applications as well.

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#3 annachan

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 12:28 PM

Thanks Dave! That's really helpful. If I can't do sous vide in this machine, maybe I should just invest in a sous vide set up since I do already have a Kitchen Aid. Though being able to make marshmallow in one machine is nice....

#4 IndyRob

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 01:10 PM

I wouldn't give up on sous vide without a try. I use a Presto Kitchen Kettle without any circulation and don't measure variations of more than one degree F with a thermapen (once the temp stabilizes, which is the trick). If you do the same thing every time you should be able to find some measure of repeatability. You may find you have to set it to, say, 60 degrees if you want 56 degrees, but that's something you can experiment with.

This thing looks like it would be fun for things like hollandaise and choux paste.

#5 annachan

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 01:19 PM

It's not that I don't want to give it a try, but it will be an expensive experiment ($1600) if it doesn't work. I mean, it can still do a lot of other things, but I was hoping that there are things that I can do with it that I can't with the Kitchen Aid (with additional steps of course).

My husband and I are just in love with sous vide eggs and I really want to get something that I can make that at home.

#6 IndyRob

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 02:29 PM

Oh, okay. I thought you were getting one anyway. In that case, I would assume that sous vide wouldn't work. Like Alton Brown, I'm a big fan of multi-taskers (like my Kitchen Kettle), but am not a big fan of combination products. I got a Cuisinart combo Blender/Food Processor once. It was merely adequate as a blender and inferior as a food processor.

#7 annachan

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 04:32 PM

Oh, okay. I thought you were getting one anyway. In that case, I would assume that sous vide wouldn't work. Like Alton Brown, I'm a big fan of multi-taskers (like my Kitchen Kettle), but am not a big fan of combination products. I got a Cuisinart combo Blender/Food Processor once. It was merely adequate as a blender and inferior as a food processor.


I got one of those Cuisinart combo too! It just been sitting there since it had a hard time dealing with pesto.

The Kenwood Cooking Chef is a beautiful machine. But I really don't want to spend that kind of money right now if it really can't do much more than my Kitchen Aid.

#8 Miranda

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 05:12 PM

I'd suggest a Thermomix, which I gather are hard to obtain in the US. It's around the same price.

You can do eggs in it, as well as grind, puree, cook, steam and make sorbet and nearly cleans itself.

Here's some comparisons from an Australian forum.

http://www.forumther...hp?topic=3761.0

If you have a Kitchenaid, then I don't think it is worth getting the chef.

I also bought a SousVide Supreme a few months ago, and it is a heap of fun

#9 annachan

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 05:37 PM

I'd suggest a Thermomix, which I gather are hard to obtain in the US. It's around the same price.

You can do eggs in it, as well as grind, puree, cook, steam and make sorbet and nearly cleans itself.

Here's some comparisons from an Australian forum.

http://www.forumther...hp?topic=3761.0

If you have a Kitchenaid, then I don't think it is worth getting the chef.

I also bought a SousVide Supreme a few months ago, and it is a heap of fun


I looked at the Thermomix and was excited at first. However, I decided that the Kenwood fits my needs better than the Thermomix. First, the Thermomix is just too small. I tend to make large batches of stuff (soup, stew, rice, cookies, etc.) and it just doesn't have the capacity to do so. Also, yes, it can hold the temperature, but the settings only allows you to go in 10 degrees increments. I like that you can be much more precise and go to higher temp with the Kenwood.

Still, I think a SousVide Supreme or the like is what will most likely be the next big purchase for the kitchen.