You’ll find a food processor in most kitchens, but usually it’s hidden in the back of a cupboard. If you ask me, this is a huge waste of the machine’s potential.
A lot of people haven’t figured this out yet, but a food processor makes cooking much quicker and easier. Nobody likes manually chopping up vegetables, and I’m here to tell you that you never have to again.
There’s a lot of different ways you can use it, and all you have to do is master the machine itself. It’s not complicated, and literally anyone can learn to use it within minutes.
So, let’s get the basics out of the way and talk about the machines power settings.
Most machines only have two. There’ll be an ‘On’ button and a ‘Pulse’ button.
The On function spins the blade continuously and is useful for standard blending. This is of course the same function as a regular blender but those simple machines lack the other useful functions of a food processor. If you’re not looking to blend, and want to use the machine for chopping, then Pulse is the option to use.
This is also a function not exclusive to food processors as a machine known as a ‘chopper’ does a similar job. But again, the chopper is a one-use machine – unlike the food processor.
That’s pretty much all you need to know about that. Easy right?
Let’s talk about the blades and discs.
Blades & Discs
The standard blade you’ll find in a food processor is a sabatier blade, which is usually just called an S-Blade.
The S-Blade is what you’re going to want to equip when you’re blending or chopping. It’s a trusty attachment that’ll cover the basics of the machine. The two main discs that you’ll have gotten with your food processor are a ‘Shredding’ disc and a ‘Slicing’ disc.
Unlike the S-Blade which is inside the work bowl, these two discs sit on top of the bowl. Just connect the disc to the stalk and twist that into place. That’s where the upper-bowl comes in. This second bowl will have an in-built tube, through which you will feed whatever food is being processed.
There will be two options in two bowls here. A narrow tube that takes the food vertically, and a wider tube for food that needs to be entered horizontally.
Simply equip the appropriate disc, feed whatever your cutting through the tube and the result will fall into the work bowl.
The Shredding disc is a pretty menacing name, but it’s great for preparing cabbage for coleslaw. And there’s nothing menacing about coleslaw.
It’s great for a whole lot of stuff actually. Got a block of cheese you want grated? Why waste time doing that by hand when the food processor will do it in a matter of seconds?
The Slicing disc is useful for slicing courgettes, Brussels sprouts and various other vegetables that would not be suited to the shredding disc due to their texture and consistency.
Another advantage of a food processor is how easy it is to clean. There is very little, if any, elbow grease required.
The work bowl, upper bowls and the blades and discs are all dishwasher friendly. In the case of the increasingly popular small food processors, they are especially convenient to clean. To clean the motor just wipe it down with a damp cloth after each use and it will be ready to go.
While the machine has been well-designed to prevent danger while the motor is running, those blades are sharp. So do take caution when removing or cleaning the S-Blade.
If you’re using the processor to grind meat, it’s probably best to wash it by hand as opposed to sticking it in the dishwasher.
When it comes to deciding on a product, the Cuisinart is the most reliable option.
The original food processor, their model is a sturdy, well-designed workhouse of a machine, which is constantly being updated with new features.
Recently, a spinning whisk attachment has been made available which can be plugged into the stalk inside the work bowl. This allows for the processor to whip cream, beat eggs and make fluffy mashed potatoes.
In short, a food processor has a plethora of uses and it shortens and simplifies a lot of the more tedious jobs in food preparation.
Your food processor should spend less time taking up space in the back of a cupboard, and more time on the kitchen counter where it’s always available for use.