Best Food Processor Guide


Kenwood FPM250 Food Processor

The Kenwood FPM250 Food Processor is one of the most popular food processors sold in the UK. It’s a mid-range, mid-capacity food processor with a particularly smart cosmetic touch: instead of plastic, the base is made out of brushed aluminium. And that’s not the only difference in comparison to some of Kenwood’s similarly sized plastic models, such as the FPP225 – the FPM250 comes with several additional attachments.

Kenwood FPM250 food processor review

First impression

The FPM250 has a brushed, die-cast aluminium base with a grey plastic trim. It looks smart and stylish, and will suit almost any kitchen. It will fit in well with any other metallic appliances on a kitchen worktop, and its sleek appearance is particularly well-suited to more modern, contemporary kitchens. Its silver and grey scheme means there is no danger of this food processor acquiring that washed-out, faded yellow tone which white plastic appliances tend to acquire. It’s a very polished design, especially if white kitchen goods aren’t your cup of tea.
In the centre of the front fascia is the control knob, with the Kenwood logo set into the grey trim of the lower base. The control knob is also made from brushed aluminium, showing that Kenwood haven’t cut any corners. Another nice touch is that the bowl fits flush with the base. Both bowl and blender have measuring units on the side, allowing you to measure directly into them. There is a cord storage at the back of the base.

When in use, four plastic suction feet keep the food processor stable on the work surface. They are far more effective at keeping the food processor in one place than rubber feet, and even more so when the worktop is damp. However, they can make it a little trickier to move the food processor once it’s been set in place. They also give the food processor its slightly elevated appearance, which is important as the ventilation grills for the motor are on the underside.

While aluminium is a light metal, it is inevitable that this food processor weighs more in comparison to a plastic equivalent, such as the Kenwood FPP225. At 4.1 kg, it’s certainly a robust bit of kit. Having said that, it’s still a compact design, and can easily be stowed away in a kitchen cupboard when not in use. However, you may find it easier to simply leave it out on the kitchen worktop against the wall or in a corner so it’s there when you need it. At just 20 cm x 36 cm x 20 cm and with a base that barely extends much further than the bowl, it’s much less bulky than larger 3 litre food processors.

This pretty much sums up the target market for the FPM250. Kenwood have designed it to fill the gap between consumers who don’t have the biggest kitchens in the world, but still want a premium food processor.

In the box

You’ll find quite a lot in the box of this food processor. There’s a setup leaflet, a bowl, a blender, a drive shaft, a dough tool, a geared whisk, a pair of knife blades, three metal disc attachments, and a plastic spatula for scraping out the contents of the bowl, and for scraping the contents down towards the blades if it works its way up the sides. There’s also a registration card if you want to take advantage of the included 1 year warranty. The FPM250 runs on 220-240 volts and is supplied with a 3 pin UK plug, so you’ll have to get a suitable adaptor should you ever need to relocate it abroad.
The food processor itself has a 750 watt motor, which is controlled via two speed settings and a pulse mode. These speed settings and the pulse mode in particular ensure that the user has precise control over the processing of ingredients, preventing them from accidentally becoming over-processed.

Attachments

The set of attachments included with the FPM250 is a significant improvement in comparison to the set included with the plastic Kenwood FPP225. Instead of a whipping tool known as an ‘emulsifying disc’, which is a plastic disc that rotates within the fluid, you get a proper geared whisk attachment. This consists of two interlocking wire whisks which spin together in much the same way as the beaters on a hand-held electronic whisk. What’s particularly clever is that only do the whisks themselves spin, but the attachment itself rotates around the bowl. It’s rather like the planetary mixing action of a Kenwood Chef, and is the perfect attachment for making meringues and whipped cream.

The dough tool is also an extremely welcome addition. It’s just like the knife blades in shape, except that instead of stainless steel blades, it carries a pair of shortened, blunt plastic spurs. It moves the ingredients around the bowl without slicing into them as harshly as the sharp steel blades, and will allow you to make the dough for pizza and pasta.

Both the knife blades and the dough tool have a rather curious design: one of the blades or spurs is curved, and the other is straight. Take a quick glance, and you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s unbalanced and will make the food processor vibrate, but that’s obviously not the case at all. It’s actually a clever bit of engineering: the asymmetric shape ensures that food particles are struck from all different angles. In the case of the dough tool, it ensures that all of the ingredients are incorporated and kneaded properly.

Of course no food processor would be complete without a bowl. The FPM250 has a 2.1 litre plastic bowl, which has a working capacity of 1.2 litres. This is a massive improvement in comparison to other, similar food processors, and not simply because the bowl is physically larger. This food processor has Kenwood’s ‘Sealed Bowl Drive’ technology, which means that there is no central drive shaft pillar. In food processors with this traditional system, the contents of the bowl is not allowed to rise higher than the driveshaft, as otherwise the bowl will leak. However, the Sealed Bowl Drive technology means that more space in the bowl can be used, allowing for an extra 20% working capacity in comparison to a food processor with the same size bowl. And when compared to a small capacity food processor such as the Kenwood FP120, this is a massive 50% increase. Plus, there’s another great benefit: it’s a lot easier to clean.

One of the most useful attachments included with the FPM250 is the 1.2 litre blender. This blends and chops things much more finely than the knife blades, and is brilliant for making soups, milkshakes, and nutritious smoothies. It’s made out of plastic though, so soups will have to cool to room temperature before they can be blended. Kenwood advises against blitzing rigid things like coffee beans and spices in the bowl or in the blender, as they may damage the plastic. However, a glass blender can be bought separately for the FPM250, and is actually included in the box with the Kenwood FPM260 and FPM270, so if you like the brushed steel look of the FPM250 but want a beefier blender, these may be better choices.

As for disc attachments, the FPM250 comes with three: one for coarse slicing and shredding, and another for thin slicing and shredding. There is also a third disc for extra fine shredding, which is intended for rasping vegetables and firmer food items, such as chocolate and hard cheeses.

Unfortunately there isn’t a grinder included with the FPM250, however, you can buy one separately. It has a glass jar which means it’s perfect for grinding coffee and spices, and chopping portions of herbs and individual items which may be too small for the food processor bowl. A glass grinder is included as standard with the Kenwood FPM270.

But that’s not all. You can also purchase a citrus juice press for citrus fruits, and also a centrifugal juicer, which grinds up fruit and vegetables into a pulp, and extracts the juice using the power of centrifugal force.

Use & Operation

Food processors and blenders generally require different drive systems due to the fact that a blender’s blades spin much faster. However, the FPM250 is one of several Kenwood food processors which has Kenwood’s patented Dual Drive system, which allows both food processor and bowl to run from the same base. The food processor is driven by a geared wheel in the base. Situated in the middle of that wheel is a geared plastic spindle, which drives the food processor. As you would expect, the FPM250 has an interlocking safety mechanism which prevents any bowl attachments from spinning if the lid isn’t securely fastened. Turn the lid anti-clockwise to open it, and turn it clockwise to close it. A couple of small arrow shapes indicate the correct closed position on both bowl and base.

Operating the FPM250 is extremely simple. Turn the aluminium handle clockwise to select one of the two speed settings, and turn it clockwise from the ‘Off’ position to select the pulse mode. The pulse mode will be engaged for as long as the control knob is held in that position. The knob has a slight indentation to indicate the selected setting. It’s a nice stylistic touch that the control knob is also made out of aluminium, although greasy or arthritic hands may find it a little trickier to operate in comparison to a rubber one.

Cleaning up the FPM250 is very easy, as all of the parts are dishwasher safe. Be extremely careful when handling the knife blades or cutting discs, as the sharp edges are extremely sharp. Even the slightest accidental contact can be enough to cut the skin.

What can I make?

The selection of attachments included with the FPM250 ultimately amount to an extremely versatile food processor which can help prepare a huge range of dishes. You can slice and shred vegetables for soups, salads and curries, and blend ingredients for dips, sauces and dressings. The blender can also be used to make milkshakes, cocktails, delicious nutritional smoothies, and to crush ice. Amazing desserts become a breeze with the geared whisk, allowing you to make meringues, mousses, custard and whipped cream without any of the tediousness, and you’ll be able to knock up the batter for pancakes or Yorkshire puddings in a flash.

In addition to chopping and slicing, the knife blades can be used for making pastry and cakes, and breadcrumbs for food coatings. Although the texture won’t be quite the same as a mincer, they can also be used to chop meat, allowing you to make your very own burgers and sausage meat from scratch – delicious barbeque food which know exactly what’s inside. There’s more to the dough tool than just bread: you can make pizza and pasta dough too. And don’t forget the garlic bread to go with them!

Verdict

Kenwood have combined the best of two worlds in the FPM250: it’s a robust, premium food processor without the physical size or price tag of a large 3 litre model. If you are looking for a mid-range metal food processor from an established manufacturer of kitchen appliances, it is the obvious choice. By including a geared whisk and a dough tool, Kenwood haven’t cut any corners on a great selection of attachments either, and there is even the scope to add a glass blender or grinder. Whether space on your kitchen worktop or funds from your bank account, it doesn’t ask for much – but at the same time, it has a lot to offer.


Posted on April 2nd, 2016. Tags: , , , ,