Top Ways To Select And Buy The Right Food Processor

Select And Buy The Right Food Processor

Food processors are a popular kitchen appliance and can be a mighty useful machine for repetitive activities while preparing a meal. A food processor can help slice, dice and process ingredients at high speeds. Although modern appliances feature an electric motor, there are manual processors available as well.

While you may think that you can use the everyday kitchen appliance and a blender interchangeably, both products are quite different. Plus, they have different functionalities. It can be a conundrum, not being able to decide which appliance to buy.

That is especially true if you don't have enough space to accommodate both products, which is where you determine the frequency of use of either of the product and what will add to your convenience when preparing meals.

You Buy The Right Food Processor

A food processor shares a couple of similarities with a traditional blender. The major difference between the two appliances is the fact that processors come with independently and interchangeably usable blades in the form of attachments.

Blenders feature a single blade. Moreover, processors are designed to have wider bowls to mince and dice dry ingredients without the use liquids properly. Blenders have a shorter space and require a bit of liquid to blend ingredients adequately.

Food processors are also quite effective at chopping, mixing and mixing dry food ingredients. You can also have your vegetable chopped in a processor before putting them in your favorite soup.

These products have wider and flatter bladed and a shallow container, which is perfect for mixing the dough to make some pie. You can also knead bread in it and shred hard dairy items such as cheese.

The Golden History Of The Modern Food Processor

Starmix was the very first electronic food processor that was designed back in 1946. A German company, named Electrostar, manufactured the device. However, the basic model was quite similar to a blender in shape and form. The company launched plenty of accessories that included a blade for automatic bread slicing, a milk centrifuge as well as different sized ice cream bowls.

Understand that this was an era where electronics were pretty pricey – the company also designed and manufactured a piccolo for the processor. You could easily operate a vacuum cleaner with this attachment at the base of the processor.

A decade and four years later, the world saw the evolution of the modern processor, which was known as the Starmix MX3, a creation by Albrecht von Goertz.

The 60's was a great era for food processors as French companies also began to manufacture these processors after the concept of food ingredient being easily processed and prepared became popular, which was all thanks to Pierre Verdun, who worked as a salesman for a catering company.

He came with up with the idea after observing just how much time it took his clients to slice and dice vegetables, mix ingredients and whatnot.

What he did brought a revolution in France. He proposed and designed a very simple and easy to use solution – a giant bowl with an electronic, revolving blade to chop and mix food at the base of the bowl.

History Of The Modern Food Processor

His invention is what evolved the world of food processors in France and Pierre was able to establish a company called Robot-Coupe, an organization made primarily to design and mass-manufacture commercial and home-based food processors.

Towards the end of the 1960's, advancing electric technologies and innovation gave birth to induction motors, which became part of commercial-grade processors. Thanks to induction motors, the company was able to produce the famous Magimix processor, which they exported to the UK somewhere in the early 70s.

After that, Kenwood, a popular UK-based electronics company designed their line of food processors known as Processor De-Luxe. They launched the product in 1979.

How Food Processors Function

The food processors you see today come in multiple sizes – small, compact and large. But regardless of the size you get, the components, accessories and the functionality of the products are the same. They come with the same motor, bowls, feed tube and other attachments.

The heaviest component of a processor is the motor. It is what keeps the machine balanced and prevents from tipping or sliding when in use. The weight keeps the machine stable.

High-speed blade rotation helps mince and grind ingredients into fine powders. You can easily control the amount of speed you need via the control panel.

Using the machine's different speed functionalities, you can easily allow all the food inside to process easily, and it will always fall back down to the bowl from the top or the sides, allowing for more consistency regardless of whatever you are slicing.

Food Processors Function

On the other hand, modern food processors also come with fail safe mechanisms. You will never be able to operate the machine unless the bowls and other essential items are properly attached and seated. It is a pretty awesome setup and also eliminates the possibility of any damages or injury.

The Motor Inside The Processor

The high power motor is designed to turn at a vertical angle at top speeds – which is what helps puree different food items and ingredients. The same mechanism helps blend as well as chop food easily. You can even mash or mince boiled meat in a processor without breaking a sweat. The machine also houses sharp cutting blades fixed on top of the motor shaft. The food bowl sits right on the shaft.

Motor Inside The Processor

So whenever you start the machine, the blades revolve at high speeds cutting and chopping food ingredients – which can be anything from hard veggies such as carrots to cucumbers, cheese, onion, garlic, ginger and a variety of other items.

You start and pulse the ingredients and then stop – do this repeatedly till you get the consistency you are seeking. The lid helps keep everything inside helping you avoid a mess on the counter.

If you want to add more of any food item, you can just slide or pour it in via the feed tube.

The blades are positioned low. They utilize the force of gravity to chop and slice thick pieces of meat or any other food item or ingredient in large quantities. You can tuck any ingredients that you've already chopped on the side of the food bowl. If you continually and consistently grind the ingredients, you will pulverize everything forming a puree.

Other Important Food Processor Accessories, Attachments And Their Functionality

  • Blades for Slicing and ShreddingThese components enable you to slice meat or shred ingredients effectively. Based on the speed of the processor, you can either cut or slice them in thick, medium or small sizes. You can also give the ingredients a coarse texture and finish.
  • Knife Blade: People also refer to this blade as a multi-purpose knife, and the primary function of the blade is to chop ingredients, mince them, mix them, mash them and to puree.​
  • The Spatula: This is a nifty component that will help you easily slide off the paste from the sides of the bowl. You can use a regular kitchen spatula as well.​
  • The Blending Canopy: The canopy is a large, revolving disc that is designed to be used interchangeably with the multi-purpose knife to blend your favorite soups efficiently effectively.​
  • Dough Hook or Blade:  The component is mainly designed to help you knead dough to make bread or other yeasted delicacies.​
  • Blades for Shredding and Slicing: You can use these bladed to shred and cut different types of ingredients as per your desired consistency and thickness.​

Food Processor Vs. Blender

You have to understand that blenders are better suited and designed to work for very soft ingredients or liquids. Food processors, on the other hand, work well to grind, cut and chop thicker and harder ingredients. Moreover, you have to chop thick pieces of food items into smaller pieces for blending. You don't have to this with a processor.

Blenders and processors are designed to make repetitive kitchen tasks easier and less time-consuming. Both can help prepare your favorite culinary delights easily and without breaking any sweat.

Food processors are more functional and versatile than a traditional blender. The main reason for this is that modern processors offer more functionality than older models. You can just liquefy things in a blender.

These are some of the most common kitchen tasks you can do with a food processor:

  • Vegetable slicing and dicing
  • Chopping meat, fruit or veggies
  • Grinding dried fruits, seeds, meats, nuts and spices
  • You can easily grate cheese or shred it
  • You can grate vegetables
  • You can knead dough to prepare yeasted food items

Also, when you process ingredients, you don't need to add water or any other type of liquid to ensure consistency and texture. Blenders, however, require liquids to blend semi-hard or thick food ingredients such as strawberries, apples, etc.

Blenders are more suited to emulsify ingredients or to prepare purees. The product is designed to have a long jar that is slender in shape. There is a blade fitted right at the bottom of the jar. The blade can rotate at high speeds with the help of a powerful electric motor. In light of this, mentioned below are some common kitchen tasks you can accomplish using a blender:

  • Dissolving solid ingredients into liquid
  • Blending different spices, granules, seeds to make powdered herbs and spices
  • You can emulsify mixtures
  • You can prepare smoothies
  • Some blenders come with powerful blades that can easily crush ice, help you prepare your tropical drinks such a frozen margarita
  • You can prepare purees using semi-hard or solid food items like soups, pastes, boiled, or semi-cooked meat

Food Processor Vs. Juicer

The average juicing machine has also become quite popular in the last couple of decades. However, a juicer is what you think it is – you can juice stuff in it. Using it for anything else is not worth it. You can prepare fresh and yummy juices. Juice machines include a powerful, electrical system that effectively separates all the fiber content in fruits and vegetables, extracting all the tasty juice. Moreover, these machines also leave the nutrients and vitamins in the fruits and vegetables intact.

However, when it comes to juicing thicker ingredients, you will have to either chop them down to small pieces or process them.

A food processor is not designed to separate fibrous content from fruits and veggies, which is why it makes no sense using a processor to make fresh juice. They can't entirely break down every ingredient. You can only chop, dice, mix and mash fruits, herbs, veggies, meat and leafy greens into little portions.

Juicer

But this does save you a lot of time. Instead of slicing and dicing using a kitchen knife, you can put everything in the food processor and chop away. Plus, you can also prepare large volumes of stuff like sauces, salsas, soups, and whatnot.

Plus, you can also use the processor to mix and mash onions and tomatoes if you’re preparing spaghetti sauce. A juicer will never give the consistent, richness and thickness you need for a proper tomato sauce or puree.

As you can see, both machines have a set of varying functionalities and applications. You can't replace one product for the other. So, it is better to have both a juicer and a food processor to complete your cooking task with ease and efficiency.

However, if you don’t have enough space or the budget – the best thing you can do is jot down the number of times you will require a food processor compared to a juicer.

Food Processor Vs. Smoothie Machine

The primary feature that makes a smoothie machine more preferable than a blender is the fact it can easily and effectively crush ice. Most blenders cannot do that – and neither can food processors.

Even though it is possible to crush ice separately in a blender, you will just be increasing your work load. Plus, blenders are not designed to crush ice as adequately as smoothie machines are.

Smoothie Machine

Smoothie machines are also suitable for emulsifying ingredients and food items. You can make tasty, creamy and smoother fruit drinks in a smoothie machine. Food processors are completely different, which both in functionality and design. Again, it is preferable to have both items you cannot say you can substitute one product for another.

Functions Of A Food Processor

Food processors are designed to easily handle a majority of preparation activities that will otherwise take a lot of time to be done. For example, cutting and dicing vegetable and meat can take plenty of effort time. You have to clean chopping board. First, you have to cut everything individually, mix everything and then put the ingredients in a blender.

Why do all this when you can buy a nice, compact food processor? Or you can also opt for large processors based on your needs and frequency of use. If you run a restaurant, you can go for commercial-grade products cutting prep-time by more than half. Apart from that, you can use a processor to effectively prepare individual portions of the dish if you’re cooking for two people.

In light of everything, listed below are some of the most incredible functionalities of a top quality food processor:

Functions Of A Food Processor

Chopping Ingredients

The primary blade fixed in the processor is S-shaped, and it chops and dices ingredients at high speeds. No matter how big or small the ingredients are – you can easily put in a mix of the components and give them a good chopping.

The processor spins the S-shaped blade at a very high speed, slicing every ingredient to a fine paste or powder – well, that depends on the type of consistency you seek. You can easily adjust the speed.

You can control the amount of time the blade runs, if you want extra small pieces or a fine, thick paste, keep the blade running for an increased period. If not, you can start and stop the process as you please. You can also chop onions and tomatoes to make different types of puree. The blade is also capable enough to grind lean and thick proteins.

Slicing Everything

Food processors also come with slicing blades that are also S-shaped. The food bowls they fit into are small but deep. You can run ingredients down the feed tube, and the blades will slice them into fine or thick pieces. Some products enable you to adjust the consistency and thickness of the slicing process.

Slicing Everything in the food processor

You can slice a wide variety of fruits and vegetable such as carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, avocados, eggplants, pineapples, pumpkins, etc. You can even slice cheese in a food processor. Plus, you can also prepare desserts, like an apple pie or crumble, with relative ease.

Grating

Grating cheese can be daunting – not to mention you can even injure your finger if you aren't careful. Well, with a top notch food processor, you can very easily grate a thick, cold block of cheese without wasting any time. Plus, you can also grate different fruits and vegetables such as potatoes and apples. Preparing hash browns have never been this easier before!

Preparing A Puree

Pureeing ingredient is quite easy with a processor. You can puree anything you like – from kidney beans to chick peas and tomatoes. You can easily prepare spaghetti sauce or a creamy mushroom soup as well.

The only thing to consider while you puree away is that if you fill the bowl with too much of the ingredients, the processor will start to leak from the top and the sides. So, opt for a product that does not leak.

Preparing Doughs

The chopping blade fitted in the processor can also help mix butter with the flour to make the dough. You can also use it to knead the dough. All you have to do is use the ‘pulse' option on the machine a couple of times. You don’t have to cut and mix butter with the flour manually anymore.

A Great Food Processor Recipe You Should Immediately Try

There are a variety of recipes that can push the pedal to the metal in your food processor – here are is one that is very easy to prepare:

House Truffles

All you need to make this delicious dessert is the following:

  • Egg yolks – 2 large (make sure the eggs are at room temperature)
  • 1 Dark or bittersweet chocolate – get one that has 62 percent cacao
  • Unsalted butter – about ten teaspoons, cut the butter into little pieces
  • Sea salt – 1/8 teaspoon, you can also use regular table salt as well

The Equipment You Need:

  • A good food processor
  • A mesh strainer
  • A baking pan (8 inches) – be sure to line the pan with foil, cover every inch

Preparation

Beat the egg yolks and pour them in a heatproof, stainless steel bowl and keep the bowl atop a large container, which you place in hot water. This step will keep the eggs yolks lukewarm.

Mix the chocolate with the butter and the salt and keep put it in stainless steel container. Put the container in atop a skillet burning at low heat. Keep stirring the mixture. The ideal temperature of the mixture should be 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Preparation in the food processor

Boil half a cup of water; you can do this in the microwave as well. Pour the hot water into the mixture; remember to take the mixture off the stove first. Mix it with water using a rubber spatula.

After you have manually blended the eggs, the temperature should be about 160F. Pour it into the food processor through the mesh strainer and process everything for a round 20 seconds. Take everything out, let it cool and shape it into truffles.

Refrigerate for an hour and voila – instant snack!

Bottom Line

Apart from what you can prepare using a food processor, it is imperative to go for the best of products in the market. Never compromise on quality – but don't overspend. There are plenty of products that are budget-friendly and can last a lifetime.

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