How To Choose A Food Processor

Food processors are irreplaceable in the kitchen. Whether you are a professional chef, or you cook a whole lot of foods right in the comfort of your home, you really do need a food processor.

While some cooking methods and techniques require food processors to simplify them, others do not.

Therefore, take a look at this article before you choose a food processor for your kitchen.

Do I Need A Food Processor?

It is important to do a brief analysis of your kitchen activities, the kinds of meals you cook and for the number of people, you cook for.

This will help you decipher if you truly need a food processor or not. It will also help you know the type of food processor you need.

If you are still not sure if you need a food processor, this should straighten things out for you.

Baking Prep

While a food processor can in no way replace an oven or even a microwave, it is the ideal tool to help you prep your recipes and mix your dough before you place it into the oven to bake.

Food processors have attachments that help mix dough efficiently and whisk eggs. If you love to bake but do not always have the energy to carry out the tough steps involved, a food processor just might be right for you.

Slicing

A lot of dishes require a lot of slicing, mincing, shredding, and chopping of vegetables and herbs. If you regularly make salads, food processors are indispensable.

No one enjoys chopping vegetables for over a long period of time, and the processors can help eliminate the hassles of chopping and mincing.

Factors to Consider While Choosing A Food Processor

VIDEO:

This video explains the functions and advantages of the best food processor of 2019.

Here are things to look for when trying to purchase a food processor, this would help guide your purchase:

Dishwasher Safe

Food processors have a lot of accessories and washing each one of them properly can prove to be quite a hassle.

So, when thinking of getting a food processor, you should consider if it is dishwasher safe. With a dishwasher, cleaning these accessories would be very simple.

Some brands of food processors cannot be used in a dishwasher and so for ease of convenience, choose processors that are dishwasher safe.

For example, the blade of a food processor is quite sharp and is better washed in a dishwasher for your safety.

Storage Space

Most food processors have a large size and are quite weighty. When getting one, you would need to consider storage space.

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From your cabinets to your countertop, you will need to check if you have enough space to place the processor without making your kitchen unorganized.

You wouldn’t need a very large one if you only make small portions of food and in the same way, you wouldn’t need a small one if you make large food portions.

Basically, all food processors are the same because they perform the same functions (they process foods continuously and quickly).

Control

Simplicity is convenient. A food processor should have user-friendly controls. Basically, they have three controls- off, on and pulse.

The use of the pulse button varies sometimes, it could be used to check if the food has been pulverized to an acceptable degree.

It is also ideal for giving off small bursts of power especially for quick and rough chopping of vegetables.

Some advanced processors usually come with functions for speed. This is optional but it doesn’t hurt to get one designed with such controls.

Also, controls usually displayed on a smooth touchpad are usually better than those with raised buttons as the former provides an avenue for easy cleaning.

Power

The capacity of a motor is greatly dependent on how big the food processor is. So, it is safe to say that the size of a food processor determines the strength or power of the food processor.

Food processors come in a variety of sizes ranging from small to large. The small and medium processors usually have a power range of 400-700 watts.

They can grate hard cheese, chop nuts, knead the stiff dough and perform other primary functions.

A large food processor can perform more advanced functions and can work continually and consistently for long periods without the motor getting heated up.

When choosing a food processor, it is important to go for brands that do not overheat often. Good food processors are designed to work for long periods without getting overheated.

Brands that get overheated too quickly are not very good ones and as such, they cannot be as effective as they need to be.

Overheating causes damage to the motor and other parts of the food processor.

Overloading the food processor is a sure way to get it overheated. A five-minute break between each batch of processing would help prevent overheating.

Capacity

Food processors come in two basic sizes and the size you choose is highly dependent on the number of people you cook for and the type of recipe involved.

Mini Food Processor

The mini food processors have small bowls and for this reason, they can only process small portions of food at a time.

Their functions are not particularly limited because they are small, you just process the food in small batches.

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The power in the mini processor usually ranges from 400- 600 watts. Mini processors have a bowl measuring three to four cups and so it is ideal when preparing a meal for a very few numbers of people.

Full-sized Food Processor

This is mostly used by chefs since they have several people to feed. The bowl in the full-sized processor would measure at least 14-20 cups.

Due to the size of the processor, the motor is more powerful than the mini processor and so it can work for longer periods without overheating and it can contain a large portion of foods.

Design

Body

Several operations carried out using the food processor usually cause vibrations especially if they are heavy load operations.

When choosing a food processor, it is very important that you choose a sturdy shaped one with a wide base.

The base would serve as strong support and would help prevent the processor from vibrating and moving all over the table when it is being used.

Lid And Feeding Tube

The lids should be tightly closed, or they would create an avenue for food to spill while it is being processed. The feeding tubes must be as wide as possible.

Always ensure that your processor has a wide feeding tube because narrow feeding tubes would make you have to pre-cut the foods before entering them into the tubes.

Components

Bowl

The bowl is the largest component of the food processor. It is the part that the food is put. It is mostly transparent to allow the operator to see the rate at which the food is being pulverized and it helps determine when to stop it.

The size of the bowl determines the size of the food processor. A small bowl goes for the mini food processor and a large bowl is for a full-sized processor.

Accessories

Food processors have several accessories. You would need to choose the accessories with functions you mostly require.

As there are a lot of accessories, you might be persuaded by the salesperson into getting all of them, but you only need to get the accessories you need.

Dough Blade

As the name implies, the dough blade is designed for the efficient and rapid mixing of the dough. The blade is usually flatter than the S-blade and it could be plastic or metal depending on the brand of the food processor.

Egg Whip

The egg whip has two wide arms facing upwards and it is also designed to be shaped like wings. They are suitable in whisking of eggs and are also used for soufflés, whipped cream, and mousses.

Citrus Press

If you love making smoothies, a juicer or citrus press would be an indispensable accessory in your food processor. For soft fruits like citrus, a single press would help you extract all the juice from the fruit in very little time.

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Blender Jar

This is designed in the shape of a jug or a jar. For hard fruits, you would need to attach the jug blender to help you extract the juice. It is also used to blend hot liquids as well as cold ones. It is very ideal for blending ice cubes too.

Dry Grinding Jar

This is used for the production of dry flour but great caution should be taken when using it because prolonged use without break causes the blender to overheat sometimes.

Dough Maker

This is part of the dough functionality in the food processor. It helps to mix and prepare dough from flour.

Attachments

Blade

A food processor is never complete without a blade, particularly an s-shaped blade.

The blade is designed with one part higher than the other to allow the lower part sweep food contained in the bowl to allow for easy chopping and slicing.

It is made from stainless steel and is used to chop, mince, mix and beat the food.

Discs

The discs are very efficient in producing foods with different textures ranging from medium to thinly sliced foods and they come in a variety including:

Slicing Disc

This is used to slice fruits and vegetables.

Julienne Disc

This blade is very similar to the slicing disc except that it cuts fruits and vegetables into very thin slices.

French Fry Disc

For French fry lovers, this is a must-have. It cuts chips for frying.

Warranty

The standard warranty for food processors and other electrical appliances is one year. Some brands offer longer warranties and longer warranties are usually indicative of good and quality appliances.

When picking them out, if you can find processors with longer warranties, such processors are highly recommended.

Practically, food processors with extended warranties are usually more expensive than those with standard warranties.

In the long run, you would find that the few extra bucks spent would have saved you a lot more than if you had gotten one with a very short warranty.

Price

Let’s not forget the most important determining factor. The thing about these processors is that those cheap ones can be very frustrating to use and would cost extra cash to get them repaired when they eventually fail.

While you are not obligated to purchase very expensive food processors, you should be ready to spend a reasonable amount of money into selecting one with a high standard and quality that would last long.

It’s better to go all out and buy a very good food processor than be thrifty and buy a substandard one.

The business of the day drains us of so much energy so much so that we have a hard time carrying out all the chopping, slicing, mincing and shredding we need to do.

This is why a food processor is an indispensable tool in the kitchen. They help process foods faster and make it very easy to prepare dishes for many people.

When choosing these processors, you must ensure that you pick out accessories that are the most useful to you.

As soon as you make a choice and bring home your food processor, the hassles of the kitchen would only be a thing of the past!

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