Worth the dough?
The Kenwood kCook is a combined food processor and cooker, which is suitable for chopping, steaming, making sauces and cooking one-pot meals such as risotto.
It's a curious machine that is excellent at some things, and very poor at others. It can't directly compare with all-in-one kitchen machines like the Thermomix, as it simply isn't capable of handling heavy or intensive tasks such as dough and cake mixes. Batters and dough mixture got stuck under the blades, causing the blades to jar and the jug to lift up. We didn't want to damage the blades or underlying mechanism by continuing with these cooking tasks. It also has a smaller cooking capacity at 1500mL, and you can't fine-tune the temperature settings as much you can with other all-in-one machines.
Our home economist Fiona Mair tested some of the things it's supposed to be capable of, but was disappointed in some areas. For instance, we found it was very poor at whisking egg whites and incapable of emulsifying mayonnaise, despite following the supplied instructions. She also thought the surface area of the pot wasn't adequate enough for tasks like sautéeing. And, despite following the supplied recipe, our risotto was unevenly cooked, and needed an extra ten minutes' cooking time. She also had to scrape down ingredients quite regularly when chopping and mixing.
Yet on the other hand, it is excellent at steaming broccoli, melting chocolate and making mashed potatoes, and very good at sorbet. It's also easy to assemble and clean, with a clear digital display.
Overall, the Kenwood kCook is quite capable of steaming, chopping, light mixing, one-pot meals, soups and sauces. But we don't think it's an adequate substitute for separate steaming, food processing or mixing appliances, and it can't handle thick batters or dough. If you really want an all-in-one experience, you may want to check out our all-in-one kitchen machine review.