What sort of controls should I look for in a food processor?
Most food processors offer a limited number of controls. There is generally a low and a high speed setting, as well as settings for grating and chopping. Some very basic food processors will only have an on/off setting and an optional “pulse” setting. Generally, these are all the control you’ll need in a food processor.
Are straight or sloping sides better for a food processor?
Whether the food processor has straight sides or sloping sides on the bowl will affect the quality of the food processor’s performance. Look for models with sloping sides, which will chop food more evenly and reduce the chance of food getting stuck to the sides of the bowl during processing.
How big of a food processor do I need?
Food processors can generally hold between 7 to 14 cups of dry ingredients; how big of a food processor you need will depend on how many people you plan to be feeding with it. If you plan on hosting large parties and like to cook big meals, get one of the larger models with between 11 and 14 cups; for a typical family or small household, 7 cups should be fine. Some Breville models offer both large and small processing areas so you can use as much or as little space as you need. If you want to use your food processor mainly for small tasks like chopping onions, consider getting a small chopper which generally hold between 3 to 5 cups of dry ingredients.
What are some good features to look for in a food processor?
Some good features to look for in a food processor include a wide feeding tube, interchangeable blades, touchpad controls, a cream attachment, automatic scrapers, and a clearly marked fill line.
What are the benefits of a wide feeding tube?
Having a wide feeding tube can save you a lot of prep time; you won’t need to cut up larger, bulkier foods like potatoes, tomatoes, and onions before chopping them.
What are the benefits of having interchangeable blades?
The more interchangeable blades your food processor comes with, the more you can tailor the experience to your needs. Usually, food processors come standard with a slicing blade and a chopping blade. However, high-end models will offer many different blade types such as a French Fry cutting blade, a julienne blade, a shredding blade, and a whipping blade. Because different types of food require different types of blades, having a large variety of options makes it easy to chop, puree, and blend food like nuts, meat, garlic, herbs, cheese and other food items.
Do I need touchpad controls?
While touchpad controls aren’t a necessity, they do increase how user-friendly a food processor is and make clean-up easy because you can just wipe a wet towel or rag over the front to clear any debris or grease, instead of having to worry about getting into nooks and crannies.
What does a cream attachment do?
A cream attachment, available on many Braun models, makes it easy to whip your favorite foods so you can make whipped cream, whipped butter, mousse, whipped yogurt, and other light, airy foods.
What is an automatic scraper, and why is it beneficial?
Because a food processor works using high-powered circular motions, a lot of food can get flung to the sides of the bowl and won’t be blended or chopped as well as the food that remains in the center. If you have an automatic scraper, it will clear the sides of the bowl, forcing the food back to the center; otherwise, you’ll have to stop periodically and use a spatula to clear the sides. Automatic scrapers are available on some Hamilton Beach models, among others.
What is a fill line, and why is it beneficial?
A fill line gives you an exact measurement of how much food you can put in your food processor without overfilling it or creating spillage; it’s especially helpful when it comes to liquids, which can be hard to estimate how much a processor will be able to mix or whip without spilling.
Can I use my food processor as a juicer?
Depends. Some models come with a juicer attachment that turns your food processor into a multi-function appliance capable of juicing fruits and vegetables.
Can a food processor knead dough?
Certain high-end food processors are capable of kneading dough and will even have special blades and attachments specifically for dough, include duller blades and dough hooks. Breville and Cuisinart both make food processors that can knead dough.
How much space does a food processor take up?
How much space your food processor will occupy in your kitchen will depend on the model you buy; if you don’t have much space, opt for a smaller 7-cup model rather than the larger, bulkier 14-cup models. If you live in an apartment or have an extremely small kitchen, consider getting a small, portable chopper.
Is a food processor loud?
A food processor can be very loud depending on the model; some are loud enough to disturb conversation in the next room. However, you generally only need a few seconds for most tasks like chopping and slicing so it won’t be a prolonged disturbance. Also, some higher-end, more expensive models offer quieter operation that will reduce the noise level significantly. The noise level is also dependent on the speed and blade you are using; chopping garlic will be louder than kneading dough, for example.
How is clean-up?
Clean-up on most modern juicers is very easy. Look for models made of stainless steel for easy cleaning, and look for dishwasher safe bowls, blades, and attachments.
Does wattage matter?
The higher wattage a food processor has, the more heavy-duty operations it can sustain and the faster it will work. Food processors generally range in wattage from around 400 watts to over 1,000 watts for very high-powered models. Low-powered models will not be suitable for jobs like kneading dough and chopping certain nuts or meats.
How much do food processors cost?
A food processor can cost as little as $30 or as much as $400. The more basic your needs, the less you can afford to spend; a basic $30 model won’t stand up to tough jobs and will probably have a shorter lifespan, but it will be fine for the occasional user who wants to chop vegetables quickly. More expensive models will offer a greater range of custom options and more power, as well as longer lifespans even with regular use.
What can I make with my food processor?
You can make guacamole, salsa, hummus, mayonnaise, or pie dough or filling. You can also chop or dice just about any sort of fruit, vegetable, or herb, and you can grate cheese. Soups, stews, dips, or just about any sort of recipe that requires blending or mixing can be done in a food processor. Look for food processors that come with recipe books, or look up recipes online to make the most of your food processor. Anyone on a raw diet will find that a food processor soon becomes their most important kitchen appliance, and anyone with arthritis will appreciate not having to chop vegetables. A food processor has so many uses that it’s a welcome addition in any kitchen.