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What's in a food processor?


When you take a step back and look at all the things food processors are capable of, it’s no wonder that people feel a bit out of their depth when they start looking for one, after never having owned one before! Although food processors can feel big and bulky, their functionality more than makes up for their awkward shape and the counter space real estate they need.

What’s for dinner?

Start with determining what you like to cook, how much of it you normally cook in one go, and what tasks you normally perform while cooking. If you opt for a more powerful food processor, it will be strong and fast in its operation. If you often cook with high liquid volumes, you will need a processor with a greater capacity.

What does it do?

Top of the range food processors can handle everything, from blending, beating, chopping, grinding, slicing and puréeing. It is a guaranteed way to speed up food preparation, making everything that you would normally have done manually, a breeze, completing the job in a mere matter of seconds.

Large fruit and veggies will require an extra-wide feed tube, unless you don’t mind cutting your ingredients into more manageable sizes. Before buying, check if your food processor comes with any extra discs or attachments. These expand upon your food processor’s basic capabilities, by allowing you to do more things, like kneading dough.

But wait, there’s more

Of course you can knead dough by hand, if you have about 8 minutes to spare. A stand mixer makes things much easier, by cutting that down to 5 minutes, but I figure, hey – you might as well use a food processor, right? In goes the flour, sugar, and yeast. 5 pulses later, you can add ice water.

Process that for 10 seconds, or until all dry flour has been absorbed. (Yes, I said 10 seconds!). Leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes, and after letting it proof in the refrigerator (24 hours to no more than three days), you are ready to use it!

What other advantages make food processors so smart?

Either buying a fully-equipped model, or one that can be expanded upon, will allow you to hand more and more labour-intensive jobs over to the machine. Picking one with a large bowl will let you prepare frankly enormous servings in one go. From soups to salsas and more, you will be blown away by the range of functions!

It helps to have the texture you are aiming for in mind before you start. If you need a very liquid consistency, rather use a blender. But if you need something more textured or thicker, a food processor is perfect. Some manufacturers even make blender/food processor hybrids which saves counter space and cash!

Most common food processors range between wattages of 300W up to 2000W. A higher wattage doesn’t make the machine better. If you are keeping an eye on your budget, rest assured -in my experience, I have found that any food processors over 300W do a great job.

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