A food processor is a great small kitchen appliance for anyone looking to spend more time at the dinner table and less time on tasks like chopping, slicing, dicing, or emulsifying ingredients to make meals. Food processors can handle tasks such as chopping vegetables for salsa, creating a creamy pesto, mincing herbs for custom seasonings and even pureeing fruits and vegetables into baby food. Plus, so much more.
You may be asking yourself, why not just use a mixer or blender to cut up food to save space and money? If you use a blender to dice fruits and veggies, there’s a good chance the food won’t come out in the small pieces as you intend. With mixers, they’re designed to use blade attachments with a bowl to mix ingredients so it wouldn’t produce your desired result either.
Choosing the best food processor for you.
When selecting the best food processor for you, there are a few key design elements to consider. They include weight, width of feed tubes, safety features, versatility, capacity and speeds. Including design elements, if you’re a new parent and the primary use is going to be making baby food, consider opting for a specialized baby food maker.
You’ll want to choose a design with a heavy base and gripping feet so when the blades are spinning, the food processor won't "walk" on the counter. Also, make sure it has a wide feed tube so you don’t have to stop to cut up food before it goes in. This allows you to be even more efficient with your food prep. Lastly, select a food chopper with a safety lock feature that ensures the bowl is secure at the base, with the cover on and locked in position before the blades are turned on.
Food-prepping devices range from mini food choppers that are handy kitchen gadgets with only a few cups of capacity to large, 20-cup professional-grade units that also have additional speeds, functions and attachments. Most food processors have one, two or three speeds as well as a very helpful pulse function. This function helps ensure that you don't over-process your food by letting you control the chopping one push at a time. Some people see a need to have a small food processor handy for everyday use and a larger device when making multiple batches of a recipe.
Getting the most out of your food processor.
Whether you picked out the best food processor after extensive research or receive one as the perfect foodie gift, you’ll have fun seeing how versatile your new kitchen toy can be. Take time to learn what each blade and attachment does and start planning the new recipes you’re going to make.
One thing to note about blades is that most models include several different blade and disc designs, which are made of either metal or plastic. Metal blades are generally used for vegetable chopping, while plastic attachments usually assist in mixing ingredients and kneading dough. The S-shaped blade, also known as a Sabatier blade, is for chopping and mincing food. Shredding discs are used to shred vegetables and even blocks of cheese. Slicing discs consistently cut vegetables in a circular shape. A Julienne cut makes them into matchstick portions, which is ideal for making homemade French fries. There’s also the dough paddle, egg whip paddle and citrus juicer attachments. After using your food processor, you might find yourself enjoying cooking and baking so much more that you’ll need an extra freezer to store all your delicious creations.