Food processors have been a mandatory appliance for professional chefs and serious cooks since their introduction in the late '60s and early '70s. Originally, their cost and size built them into unappealing to most people, but today's food processors are affordable, relatively compact and obtainable in a number of sizes and colors. Not just that, but modern food processors have started out a single-function appliance to some jack-of-all-trades kitchen necessity. Whether you need to stop the tears when chopping onions or your carpal tunnel symptoms won't allow you to knead bread dough, there is a food processor out there that can get the job done.
Food processors come in a number of shapes and sizes. From 3-cup bowls which make short work of dicing carrots, onions and celery for soup stock to 20-cup bowls that turn this summer's crop of tomatoes into marinara, there is a mixer to fit your cooking lifestyle.
Among the first questions you need to think about is whether you're purchasing the mixer for everyday or occasional use. They are not a monetary investment so much as they are a space investment, so be truthful about how exactly often you are going to use it and base your choice on bowl size accordingly. Seven-cup food processors would be the average, but if you're short on counter or storage space or cook for three or less people, you might do better with a three- to four-cup bowl. Smaller models are a good choice should you get returning it to the cabinet rather than leaving it around the countertop. If you regularly cook in large batches to freeze ahead or do lot of entertaining for groups, a 20-cup mixer could save you time. Larger-capacity models often come with an accompanying smaller bowl (up to 4 cups) that helps with multi-tasking.
All food processors carry out the same functions, but they do vary in power in wattage. High power, fast speed and low noise have long been the standout qualities of the best food processors, and nearly all available on the market offer 400 to1,200 watts. If you are seeking a good, one-wattage-fits-all-your-cooking-needs model, shoot for an electrical rating of 600 watts. Machines with this wattage have sufficient power and speed to deal with most everyday jobs like slicing, dicing, chopping and pulverizing.
Functionality and Attachments
Most food processors come standard with three operational settings: low, high and pulse. If you have watched any cooking shows on the Food Network, you've probably heard tell of the control the heart beat feature gives you within the ingredients you're working with. Should you choose encounter a model that doesn't provide the pulse feature, skip it and discover one that does.
You could also think about a food processor that has multiple feed tubes to deal with a variety of different-sized items. Larger feed tubes can hold carrots, celery or cucumbers without needing to cut them into smaller pieces first. Regardless of how many feed tubes yours offers, they must be positioned well to guide the food easily to the blades without copying. If you have concerns, save your valuable receipt and know the return policies before utilizing it.
Next, you need to evaluate the blades or discs. After all, blades are what give the food processor its functionality. They come with a variety of interchangeable disc blades, the most typical being the "S," which is used for chopping without chance of pureeing, and another for shredding or grating. If creativity and flexibility are driving you buy the car, look for brands like Cuisinart that provide specialty blades, purchased separately, to slice at different thickness, come out square julienne cuts or shred ingredients super finely. When reviewing standard or specialty blades, choose those produced from long-lasting stainless.
In terms of other attachments, the overall rule is the larger the model, the greater you get. Attachments available today include whisks, beaters and citrus juicers along with a host of others. Some may be incorporated with higher-end models, so make sure to read what's included. If the specialty attachment does not include the model you have in mind, it may be sold separately. Finally, if you're considering making use of your mixer cooking out pizza and other dough-based products, most high-end models include the kneader attachment. Some slightly more expensive models feature specific dough-making speeds, but we discovered that many online reviewers think they don't add much benefit dough can nonetheless be kneaded while using basic pulse speed.
It was once that that which you saw usually white, gold or avocado green was what you got, also it was usually clunky. Today, you'll find food processors in sleek designs that match your rest of your kitchen decor. With bases which come in stainless steel along with a rainbow of colors, you're sure to locate one that matches your chosen color scheme or even the coffeemaker and toaster you already have.
There's a lot of discuss just how much food processors weigh and how awkward some people think they're to take in and from the cabinet, but the truth is that the heavier the base unit is, the more stable it's. Stability is really a key element when it comes to safety. The food processor is going to pack a few pounds which weight is really a benefit, not a detriment. Pick one having a variety of built-in safety features like non-skid legs. Nearly all food processors have a mechanism in place that stops operation when the bowl, blades or lid aren't attached or secured properly. Some users find this inconvenient, but same with a trip to the emergency room.