Whilst browsing Dooyoo for something to review, I found my trusty old food processor, and to my horror it has only received one review, and it's a bad one! I have had mine for almost 2 years now, and I have been really pleased with it. Perhaps I only use it for basic things, but I have no problems, so here is my review to bump up its star rating.
The Kenwood FP610 I presume is just a basic food processor, judging by previous reviews, but I actually thought it came quite well equipped, especially for my needs. Along with the processor you also get a liquidiser plus various accessories. The actual processor section comes with a knife blade, twin beater geared whisk, a shredding/grating disc and a spatula. The liquidiser comes as it is with the blades attached, but this unit can be taken apart for cleaning. You also get a plastic storage bowl for storing all the attachments for the processor.
I won't pretend that I am some sort of culinary genius when it comes to kitchen matters, I do enough to get buy, I don't tend to buy too much pre-prepared food, so I do use my processor fairly often, but it's usually for very basic needs.
The main processor has a 1.5 litre capacity, and is fairly easy to use but and has a number of safety features that must be in position before you can use it. This is something I figured out after getting very annoyed with it on my first use (and through not reading the instructions properly). The liquidiser part of the unit has to have the safety cover locked into position and the lid of the actual processor has to be snapped tight into position also before you can even set the blades going. This is very simple to do and once you know that it has to click into position then you are away. Once you have sorted this out, then you can select your speed, there are no bells and whistles on this processor, there is just one dial and 3 speeds - 1, 2 and 3. I usually opt for speed 2 for most things as this is just about right. There is also a 'pulse' option which is where you turn the dial and hold it there, or pulse it on a off as many times as you like.
The main tool I use is the knife blade; I have used this for various things. The first thing I ever did was make breadcrumbs, and at first I thought it wasn't working properly because I was still left with large lumps of bread. But once I realised I needed it on the highest speed, and I needed to leave it going for a few minutes, my breadcrumbs came out fine.
The blade also chops up vegetables in no time at all, I often use it to chop an onion when I am making things such as stuffing, burgers, or savoury loaf because I find doing it by hand never quite gets it fine enough, but a quick blast in the processor and it's perfect. I also add the meat and other ingredients straight after I have chopped the onion, and despite it being a thin sharp blade, it does tend to blend all the ingredients together really well, and it saves my arms from aching trying to mix together a huge pile of meat.
Something else I used the blade for was pastry, and this really surprised me. My mum assured me that I could make pastry in my food processor using the knife blade, and I really wasn't convinced but I gave it a go anyway. And it just works like magic, you obviously have to do the preparation by hand at first, but then when you are at the stage where you need to add the water, you can just put it all in the bowl, set it going, and amazingly it just turns it into a ball of dough.
The only thing I have used the whisk for, and I have actually used it this morning, is for making cakes. Now I don't often get the processor out for making cakes, but there have been odd occasions where I have used it to save my arm from aching trying to beat together the margarine and the sugar. It works better than elbow grease and my cakes this morning have come out with a nice smooth texture. The only problem I see with using a processor for cake making is that really (if you follow the recipe correctly) you can only use it for the first section of cake making, once you have beaten the margarine and sugar together, and added the eggs, then you have to transfer it into another bowl to fold in the flour. Which creates more mess and washing up, and you can never quite get all of the mixture out of the bowl, but the end result is worth it I suppose.
I'll be honest and say I have never used this disc - I have a normal grater and can quite easily grate vegetables and cheese manually if I need to.
The liquidiser also has a 1.5 litre capacity, and I have only used it a few times, and the main reason for this is because to use it, you have to unclip a safety lid, then slot the liquidiser onto the processor, and once it is all locked into position you can set it going, but when you use the liquidiser, the food processor is activated as well - and that just terrifies me! Both sets of blades spinning at once makes an awful lot of noise, and I just don't like seeing the processor section going at it with nothing in the bowl. I would have liked to have some sort of feature where you could deactivate the processor section if you are using the liquidiser.
However, when I have used the liquidiser it has performed as required. I think I have used it maybe 3 times in total, twice for making a smoothie and once for soup. Both times it liquidised everything I put in there really well, and the soup I must say was delicious!
**Noise and Vibration**
The unit I have to admit is quite noisy, and it scares my kids if I have it on the highest speed, but to be honest I don't mind the noise because I only use it in short bursts anyway. The vibration from the unit is minimal, and the rubber feet underneath ensure that any vibrations do not cause it to vibrate off the worktop. One thing that has just sprung to mind is that it used to smell of burning when I first got it, and I think it is only recently that this smell has gone away, or rather I haven't noticed it recently. The instructions did say there may be a strange smell at first.
The entire unit is very easy to clean; everything comes apart so each individual item can be cleaned separately. I hate cleaning it, but that is probably because I hate washing up in general, but the fact that everything can be removed makes my life a lot easier and it means that there are no nooks and crannies for bits of food to get stuck in. I have only managed to slice my finger once whilst cleaning the knife blade, which is surprising because it is extremely sharp.
The unit is rather a bulky item so if you are short on space then perhaps you should think whether you really need one. But it does come with a storage bowl so you have somewhere to keep the accessories, which is quite handy, especially since it slots quite nicely inside the processor bowl. There is also a cord storage on the back of the unit so you don't have cords dangling everywhere when it is not in use.
I have been really pleased with my food processor, as I said above; I don't use it for anything major but it serves its purpose really well for what I need. And to be honest I'm not entirely sure what else you would need a food processor for, and what other accessories or controls would be required, perhaps I am just uninformed about what delights can be created in the kitchen with the correct tools! But if you are a basic cook like me, then I highly recommend the Kenwood FP610 because it is reliable, easy to clean and functions brilliantly.
**Price and Availability**
Currently available on Amazon for £91.28, and on Ebay for around the £50 mark.
The Kenwood FP610 is a durable product. Weighing in at around 4kg, for it's size it isn't the heaviest food processors on the market, but not the greatest either.
What I found is when using anything of substantial substance, like hard vegetables, it never seems to do anything right. For the money, you get some attachments can that be used for slicing, cutting / chopping and liquidising but none of these really worked well, and I ended up getting out a knife and cutting or slicing it myself.
Even with the processing quality of poor value, it is still reliable to this day and works when switched on. Cleaning has been designed in mind with it being easy to clean. The body is plastic so it is wipeable and generally most of the parts are dishwasher safe. Now noise, it's not loud and it's not quiet, it is somewhere in between. I would say it sounds like having a whisk on low settings.
The interface is easy to use. Having three speeds which are low, medium and high makes it easier than having loads of dials and wondering what to do with them.
One thing it is good for is making lovely smoothies. More soft fruit like strawberries and it seems to cope well and the 2 to 3 litre bowl capacity is a generous size to make up several glasses of smoothie (depending on how thick you are making it). But for the price there are so many better and cheaper processors on the market, that I wouldn't recommend this one.
Short name: Kenwood FP610