Kenwood KMM021 Chef Major Review – The Best Stand Mixer Ever Built?
The KMM021 continues Kenwood’s tradition of unbeatable quality at an almost affordable price.
There’s an old truism that quality tools do only one thing, but they do it exceptionally well.
For Kenwood, the British kitchen appliance manufacturer, that statement has never been more true than with their excellent Chef and Chef Major range of stand mixers, which deliver uncompromising power, versatility, and lifespan.
The thing that they do so brilliantly?
Power delivery. The Kenwood Chef stand mixer is a machine for converting electrical energy to mechanical through a intricate and hard-wearing drive train that has to be experienced to be believed. All of the Kenwood Chef’s other talents – from its ability to knead even the toughest dough to the patented planetary drive system stem from that incredible piece of engineering
That’s why I’m going to come straight out and say it. The Kenwood Chef and Major Chef is the best range of stand mixers ever devised by the mind of man (In this case the man was Ken Grange who invented the machine for his boss, Ken Wood). I’ve been cooking and baking for a long time, and I have never, ever seen a Kenwood fail to do what has been asked of it.
And the Kenwood KMM021 is no exception to the long-standing Kenwood legacy, pairing gorgeous steel lines with easy-to-use controls, a range of accessories for anything you could dream of creating, and the kind of longevity which could see your KMM021 being passed down to your great-great-grandchildren as an indestructible heirloom.
What we love about the Kenwood KMM021 Chef Major
- Gorgeous looks
- Easy to use controls
- Supremely powerful 800 watt motor
- Accessories for everything
What we didn’t like so much
- Expensive compared to the competition.
- Accessories are not cheap
What you need to know about the Kenwood KMM021 Stand Mixer
Here at ObeyYourHunger, we don’t just write about products we test them, we live with them, and we give you our honest opinions based on our experiences.
Taking delivery of the Kenwood KMM021 is a task in itself. The machine weighs in at almost 30lb – and that’s before you take into account the packaging and the accessories. Pity the poor FedEx girl who needs to deliver these all day!
Strip away the cardboard and the annoying clear plastic bags which, for some reason, surround every single item in there, and you’ll find the KMM02 itself. It’s possibly a little smaller than we expected, but it’s still going to need a dedicated home in your kitchen.
Separate from the stand mixer itself (and almost as large) is a 7 quart solid stainless steel mixing bowl which can be detached and carried thanks to its well thought out and placed handles.
Inside the mixing bowl, you’ll find three attachments which have come as standard with Kenwood mixers since the 1970s
These are K-mix balloon whisk, the K-Beater, and my own personal favourite, the dough hook.
The bowl, the attachments and the Kenwood KMM021 all give the impression of exceptional build quality.
The first impression is of the sheer quality and solidity of the Kenwood. This stand mixer wouldn’t be out of place either in an industrial restaurant kitchen or tucked discreetly in the corner of a classy dinner party as the mechanical work of art it so clearly is.
Ease of Use
For all its industrial techno aesthetic, the Kenwood KMM021 is surprisingly intuitive and easy to use.
On the right side (as you face it), you’ll see a wheel and a latch. The wheel adjusts the power eing supplied to the motor and governs the speed in which the tools turn in the planetary drive (more on that later). At zero, no power is being supplied, but if you dial it all the way up to max, you had better be sitting down. In our time with the Kenwood, we never really fond a use for any setting over midpoint.
Flip the latch and don’t be surprised as the entire top section tilts backwards.
This allows you to change the whisk attachment and remove the bowl. Simple.
There are more, hidden sections which allow you to use attachments – again, more on these later.
We put the Kenwood KMM021 to the test with all three of its bundled accessories. This is what we found out about the
K-mix balloon whisk
The k-mix uses eight wires to achieve maximum coverage and thorough action, With a semicircle wire frame construction, it is suitable for heavier loads such as light cake mixes and mashed potatoes as well as other types.
In the interests of experimentation , we chopped up and boiled a pan of potatoes until they were soft. We drained them int the bowl and added a couple of big butter knobs.
Starting off gently is the key here, as the Kenwood will quite happily demolish your potatoes on full power – covering your kitchen walls and ceiling with savoury lumps. We kept the power below ‘1’ until the potatoes were a messy mulch and then progressively moved it up as the mash became smooth and more consistent.
The end result was smooth and creamy fluffy mashed potatoes.
We didn’t dare to take the power up beyond 4.
This accessory is a surprisingly solid lump of steel cast into the shape of the letter ‘K’ in the middle of a not-quite-circle. The K-Beater is designed so that no areas of the mixing bowl are inaccessible to it – so you won’t end up with lumps of flour stuck in the corner.
Naturally, after all that mashed potato we were quite hungry for dessert, and used the K-beater accessory to whisk together our eggs, flour, butter, and sugar.
The experience was… uneventful. The K-beater seated in the KMM021 Chef Major did exactly what it was supposed to do and all of the ingredients were absorbed into the mix leaving nothing unmixed in the bowl.
The Dough Hook
Confession time. The dough hook is my favourite of the accessories which comes bundled with the Kenwood. It’s a lump of wrought aluminium and everything about it screams serious business.
To put it to the test, I decided to make a couple of different types of dough.
First on the menu was a pastrami empanada. The way I make it requires a runny(ish) dough which is poured onto baking paper, before the pastrami is added and more dough poured over the top. Don’t judge me – it works.
And boy, did it work. The consistency of the mix was perfectly smooth and gloopy and just about thick enough to allow gas bubble to form.
Next, I went all in to make the stiffest pizza dough I could managed. It was a tough, sticky, heavy dough and dragged against itself and the edge of the bowl – ts density approaching that of a black hole. Other mixers I’ve used have had trouble with dough of this consistency. Some failing, breaking, or burning out completely. Not the Kenwood though. It didn’t slow down; it didn’t get hot. Like the terminator (another piece of exquisite machinery), it just kept on going. A satisfactory dough was reached within a couple of minutes and left in the bowl to rise. We hadn’t even needed to turn the power wheel up beyond 3.
Value for money
The Kenwood KMM021 Chef Major is expensive. There’s no getting away from that. Right now, it’s priced at $479 reduced from $695. It’s not pocket money even at this reduced price.
For the same money, you could buy 10 generic brand stand mixers from Amazon. We’re sure they’re OK, but without even testing them we’re 100% certain that they don’t even come close to the build quality of the Kenwood or its unbeatable 800 Watt motor.
We would be willing to bet that by the time those 10 generic models have died of exhaustion the Kenwood KMM021 is still going strong.