I own and use both of the Kenwood stand mixers mentioned in the title. Based on the firsthand experience I gained over the years, I’ll do my best to point out the differences between Kenwood Chef and Kenwood Major.
Kenwood stand mixers are extremely useful for making cakes and cookies, and they are also invaluable for kneading bread and making homemade pasta. They knead different types of dough much faster and more thoroughly than we can make by hand. I use both mixers during everyday food preparation and also on larger festive occasions.
The main difference between the Kenwood Chef and Major is their size, capacity, and power. • The Kenwood Chef has a 750W motor, while the Major has a 800W motor. • The Chef's mixing bowl has a capacity of 4.6 liters (5 quarts), and the Major's bowl has a capacity of 6.7 liters (7 quarts). • The Kenwood Chef is smaller, so you can easily keep it on your kitchen counter for everyday use. The Chef XL is suitable for those who need a larger capacity stand mixer. Kenwood Major was the name of the older large mixer series. Newer ones manufactured in the same size as Major are now marketed under the name Kenwood Chef XL.
What accessories are Kenwood stand mixers equipped with?
Both machines come with three attachments by default:
- The K-beater is suitable for kneading shortcrust dough, cookie dough, and homemade pasta.
- The whisk is suitable for whipping butter, cream, and meringue.
- The dough hook can be used to make yeast dough and phyllo dough.
The Major’s beaters are made of stainless steel, while Chef’s beaters have a non-stick coating. Along with the Kenwood Chef, I also received a plastic spatula, which is useful for scraping the sides of the bowl.
Both the Kenwood Chef and the Major (also known as Chef XL) make kitchen work a lot easier, even if you only use the three beaters that come with the machine’s basic equipment.
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1. The K-beater
When making shortcrust pastry and flaky pie crust, the great advantage of a stand mixer is that the dough does not heat up during mixing, as it does when kneading by hand. Shortcrust and flaky doughs should be made with cold ingredients and should only be kneaded for a short time. If the butter melts from the warmth of our hands, the dough will not be of adequate quality.
Homemade pasta is also made using the K-beater. I use it most often when making lasagna. it’s much tastier than store-bought pasta, and I can make it in just a few minutes.
I also use the K-beater when making Choux pastry, such as eclairs, which is a tedious task by hand or with a small-capacity hand mixer. Using the Kenwood Chef, Choux pastry will be smooth and elastic, with little effort.
The K-beater is perfect for quickly and easily mashing boiled potatoes. Mashed potatoes are also the basis of some types of bread dough, spritz cookies, and savory scones.
2. The Dough Hook
The dough hook is the right attachment for making all types of yeast dough. It perfectly kneads bread, pizza dough, and desserts made from yeast dough, such as donuts or bundt cakes. The Kenwood Chef comes in handy, especially when preparing a large batch of dough.
I also use the dough hook when making phyllo dough, which is the basic ingredient of some oriental sweets, such as baklava. I use the same attachment when preparing the base dough of the homemade puff pastry.
3. The Whisk
I use the whisk mainly for making desserts. It whips eggs, cream, and butter well. A whisk is essential for making sponge cakes and various icings and frostings.
With the whisk, you can easily whip egg whites for sponge cakes and meringues. You can safely add hot sugar syrup to the meringue while mixing because the stainless steel bowl and whisk can withstand the heat.
Attachments available for the Kenwood Chef and Chef XL/Major
Additional attachments are available for Kenwood Chef machines in addition to the three basic beaters. Always check if the given accessory is compatible with your machine before you purchase it. You can do this by checking the number on the bottom of the machine.
Attachments expand the areas of use of the Kenwood Chef and Chef XL and you don’t need to buy completely new appliances for each purpose. This is also a more space-saving solution, especially for people living in smaller apartments.
These accessories usually don’t cost as much as buying a completely new, separate piece of equipment for every operation. If you already have a Kenwood Chef or Major/Chef XL stand mixer, it is probably more economical to buy some attachments instead of separate machines.
There is a plastic cover with the Kenwood logo on the front of the Chef and Chef XL/Major. Under this cover, you can find an attachment outlet.
The other attachment outlet is located on the top rear side of the Kenwood Chef and Chef XL, also under a plastic cover. The manufacturer offers additional useful accessories you can install, including steel and glass mixing bowls, food mincer, blender, slicer/shredder/grinder, and pasta attachments which can be purchased according to your needs.
After kneading the homemade pasta dough with the Kenwood Chef or Chef XL, the pasta attachments can help you roll it out for lasagna or cut it into fettuccine.
What do I like about Kenwood Chef and Major machines?
I like Kenwood stand mixers mainly because they are sturdy and durable. I have been using the Kenwood Major for over 25 years and it still works well. I bought my other mixer, the Chef, two years ago and it has been working perfectly ever since.
One of the things I like about using stand mixers is that, unlike hand mixers, I don’t have to stand next to them while they work, but can do other things.
3. They make my work physically easier
It’s often tiring for me to knead large amounts of dough by hand, and I can’t always achieve the right consistency and quality. In contrast, the Kenwood easily does this for me, and the result is a smooth, well-made dough, whether it’s bread, scones, or pizza.
4. Planetary mixing
Planetary mixing means that the beater not only rotates in one place, but it also revolves inside the bowl, enabling thorough mixing. This function can provide us with truly professional quality products.
5. The new Kenwood Chef is not too noisy
A common inconvenience with mixers, especially large ones, is that they are loud. While my old Kenwood machine is quite noisy, the new Kenwood Chef is especially quiet; I don’t find it disturbing at all.
6. Easily adjustable speed
For both mixers, the Chef and the Major, the speed can be easily controlled by turning a circular switch, which is also the start button.
The Kenwood Chef thus has seven levels of speed, and the Major has nine. The speed control button of the newer Kenwood Chef also has a function that enables pulsating mixing.
7. Both mixers come with a splash guard cover
Since both machines have a protective lid, flour, powdered sugar, and similar powdery ingredients do not splash during mixing. In the case of the new model, this lid is made of transparent plastic, with a door through which you can pour additional ingredients into the mixer bowl during operation.
8. Easy maintenance
The stainless steel mixing bowl is easy to wash, as are the beaters. These parts are also dishwasher safe.
If the stationary part of the mixer also needs cleaning during work, it is best to rinse it immediately with a damp cloth and dishwasher soap, if needed.
What do I dislike about Kenwood mixers?
- The new Kenwood Chef can be turned on even when you open it up, so you have to pay close attention to this. If there is butter or some kind of cream left on the beater, it will splash it onto you. In addition, it can be dangerous to come into contact with rotating parts.
- With my older mixer, the splash guard cover can be placed on top of the mixing bowl. But since it is not completely closed, the flour sometimes comes out during mixing. For the newer Kenwood Chef, the splash guard cover can be attached to the stationary part of the mixer, but it’s difficult to install.
Final thoughts on Kenwood Chef vs Major
So, the difference between the Kenwood Chef and Major is their size, capacity, and power. The name of the Major-sized but more recent line of mixers is Kenwood Chef XL.
It is hard for me to imagine working in the kitchen without my Kenwood stand mixers. They are invaluable to me both in everyday life and in the preparation of festive dishes and desserts.
They speed up and greatly simplify kitchen work. In addition, I can make much better quality dough with them than by hand or with smaller capacity hand mixers.