Food

My Favorite Kitchen Tools: The Food Processor

I admit I don’t use mine nearly enough. I know some folks who have never used one and aren’t really sure if they need one. I know some folks only pull it out during the holidays.

It truly has become a work horse in the kitchen, tackling chores that used to be done by hand or maybe with other machines.

What is it? The food processor.

I bought my first one years ago after watching one of the PBS chefs use it to make biscuits and pie dough. I figured if she could do it, so could I. I’ll be honest, I have yet to try either one in my machine but knowing it can be done lends an air of possibility.

Not sure what you can do with one? Check this out:

Possibilities!

If you are looking for an excellent book filled with tips, tricks and recipes, check out The Food Processor Bible by Norene Gilletz. The 30th anniversary edition is available on Amazon, among other places.

America’s Test Kitchen has compiled a book of their tips, tricks, and recipes in addition to what to look for and consider when buying a food processor. You can find “Food Processor Perfection: 75 Amazing Ways to Use the Most Powerful Tool in Your Kitchen” on Amazon.

Why Have One?

I love to cook, but there are some tasks that I simply do not like. For example: Grating anything. Every grater I’ve ever owned has rusted, taken more of my skin than is reasonably necessary and basically made the job more of a hassle than it is worth. Solution: The grating discs that come with the machine make grating everything easier. Cheese, vegetables, you name it. Simple.

The slicing blade makes prepping potatoes for fries easy, tomatoes might be a bit more difficult – depends upon the ripeness of the fruit and the sharpness of the blade.

Food for Thought

If you aren’t sure about spending a lot of cash on a machine you might not use a lot, do what I did. Once the first machine left the kitchen, I picked up a much less expensive model that I am quite happy with. I don’t use it a lot, but it has all the same features as the more expensive models and is the same size (11 cup) bowl so I have a lot of flexibility. Should I decide I need to move up once again to a higher end model, I can do that, but for now, I’m happy with what I’ve got.

While you might be tempted to go the less expensive route, I do suggest you consider what you might be using yours for. If you are thinking bread or cookie doughs check the reviews Very Carefully. Some machines simply can not handle them.

Also, I would caution to not go for a smaller machine. The standard 11 cup machine allows you a lot of flexibility where a smaller one just doesn’t have the capacity. You end up working harder, which defeats the purpose of the machine, right?

If you want to make meal prep easier and faster, the food processor is the machine to consider. You will be amazed at the range of foods you can prepare in the machine, too.

  • Slicing, chopping or shredding fruits or vegetables
  • Grinding meat
  • Making pie or biscuit dough
  • Making cakes
  • Pureeing fruits or vegetables
  • Making breads
  • Making sorbets or soups

I hope this has helped if you are considering a machine. If you are a user, I’d love to know what you use yours for.