Have you ever found yourself wanting to make this delicious dish but then decided against it because chopping the vegetables or pureeing the soups and dips took too much time? That’s when a food processor comes in handy.
It’s a versatile kitchen appliance that allows you to prepare your food in a variety of ways: from chopping to slicing to shredding and even mixing dough. It can handle many various tasks that would take you much longer to prepare if you were doing it manually.
A food processor is worth purchasing, as it makes cooking easier for you. You can use it for multiple purposes such as chopping, slicing, shredding, grinding, blending, and more. It does come with a few trade-offs though: it’s noisy, relatively hard to clean after use, and sharp blades aren’t a pleasant thing to clean by hand.
What can you do with a food processor?
There are different types of food processors that suit different needs and expectations. Below are two of the best food processors within different price ranges:
Breville Sous Chef BFP800XL
Buy on Amazon
Best on a budget
Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus DLC-2A
Buy on Amazon
With these food processors you can do a little bit of everything, as long as it involves some type of chopping, mixing, grinding, or crushing.
This video perfectly showcases 6 delicious items that you can easily make with a food processor. In summary, the food processor is a perfect companion for those who want to make their own meals from scratch in stead of relying on store bought foods.
Some of the things you can do with a food processor includes the following activities:
- Chopping and slicing
- Grinding and blending
- Making purees, soups, and sauces
- Kneading bread dough
Chopping and slicing – A food processor is perfect for all the chopping, mincing, slicing, and dicing you need to get done. From onions and garlic to nuts and other vegetables, all you have to do is toss in what you want to cut and let the food processor work its magic for you.
Shredding – If you’ve got meat or cheese you want to be shredded into tiny pieces, you’ll be surprised at how much time a food processor saves by cutting large amounts into tiny bits in just a matter of time. A food processor is also perfect for making a quick and easy homemade coleslaw recipe. All you have to do is drop the chunks of cabbage into the food processor and let it take care of shredding it for you.
Grinding and blending – Sometimes, you want to go healthy and eat almond butter or cashew butter instead of peanut butter. Let’s face it though: store-bought almond butter or cashew butter can be really expensive, and you might not always like the ingredients added to improve shelf life. A food processor, however, not only lets you chop nuts. If you grind them longer, it will blend them into the perfect almond/cashew butter mix for you.
Making awesome purees and sauces – Now is the time to make all those delicious (and creative) salad dressings, hummus, and other kinds of dips and sauces. With a food processor, you can quickly make a dressing to go with your salad or a sauce to go with your meat. A food processor also helps blend and emulsify the ingredients together smoothly and perfectly.
Kneading bread dough – If you don’t have a mixer, a food processor can help you need your bread so you don’t have to use your hands. Food processors usually come with a dough blade that you can use to knead the dough before popping it into the oven. Others opt to use the regular metal blade, however, because it kneads the dough in a better, more effective way.
What are the benefits of a food processor?
A food processor has a lot of benefits that are interesting to those who want to make their meals from scratch and stay in control of what ingredients are used. This allows you to make healthier choices for yourself and your family, and a bigger part of your meals will be freshly made with a better taste and more nutrients kept intact, according to Harvard Medical School.
- Quick food preparation
- Large meal preparation
- Healthier meals
- Easy chopping and slicing
- Great-looking food
Quick food preparation – One of the challenges of preparing meals at home is having to chop everything: from herbs to vegetables and fruit to meat and more. If you have a full-time job that takes much of your time, preparing healthy meals for your family can be a bit challenging. With the help of a food processor, you can shorten the meal preparation time and spend enjoying the meal with your family.
Large meal preparation – If you like to regularly entertain guests or go on a potluck picnic or two, you know how difficult it can be to prepare the ingredients for large meals. All those chopping, blending, grinding, and cooking will keep you in the kitchen for hours. A food processor, on the other hand, can help you cut and prepare a huge volume of food in no time at all. Instead of feeling exhausted after a long day of cooking, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the meals with your family and friends.
Healthier meals – When you’re in the midst of an extremely busy schedule, it can sometimes be hard to give yourself the healthy diet you need. It’s a lot easier to buy frozen, pre-packed food or even to order takeout from the nearest fast food. With a food processor, however, you’ll be able to whip up a salad or even add some extra vegetables to your meal in a very short time.
Easy chopping and slicing – Slicing vegetables, fruits, and other food can be a real chore when you have a lot to prepare and a lot of other things to do aside cook for yourself and your family. With a food processor, you’ll get this done in no time. What’s even better yet is that you won’t have to worry about the more difficult foods to cut—like onions that make you tear up when you slice them. Just pop them into the food processor and it will do the cutting for you.
Space-saving – As you’ve seen earlier, you can do countless things with a food processor. Having one will let you discard smaller kitchen appliances with only one purpose, allowing you to save on both counter and storage space.
Great-looking food – Because of the way a food processor slices everything in perfect proportion, your dishes will come out more appetizing and picture-worthy.
What are the disadvantages of a food processor?
There are of course a few disadvantages of owning a food processor, and some of them could be dealbreakers if you live in a small home or some members of your household are sensitive to noise.
It isn’t the easiest kitchen appliance to keep clean either, but for most people this is a very small trade-off considering that it enables them to make delicious foods from scratch instead of relying on store-bought items.
- Stuck food
- Lack of control
- Somewhat dangerous to clean
Noisy – Like many other kitchen appliances, food processors make a lot of noise when you use them to chop up your ingredients, especially nuts. If you live in a house with infants or elderly people who are sensitive to noise, it might be best to keep your food processor to a remote part of your kitchen where you can operate it as quietly as possible.
Stuck food – There’s a chance that some tidbits will be left behind in the machine when you’re done chopping your ingredients or making your purees and dips. When that happens, you need to take apart the blade carefully so you can wash and soap any remaining food from the blade and container.
Lack of control – When you’re having the food processor cut, chop, grate, or blend your food, there’s the risk of this kitchen appliance overdoing it, especially if you’re not too careful. While you get to set the size of cuts you want, if you get distracted for a minute or push the button for too long, you could end up with a lot tinier pieces than you hoped for.
Somewhat dangerous to clean – Anything with a blade is dangerous, whether a knife or food processor. Always be careful when you take the food processor apart to clean it as the blade can be very sharp. The good thing, however, is that most parts of the food processor (except for the base) are dishwasher safe.
3 chefs weigh in: Is a food processor really necessary?
You’ve seen how a food processor saves on time with how quick and easy it is to prepare the ingredients of the food you will be cooking. Unless you’re a trained chef with awesome knife skills, a food processor will save you a lot of time when it comes to preparing your meals.
As a matter of fact, even trained chefs embrace and use kitchen appliances that help them prepare their food efficiently. The food processor is one of those appliances that noteworthy chefs have praised through time.
We selected a few chefs who praise the features and functionality of food processors and shared their thoughts:
- Julia Child, American chef and cookbook author
- Gabriel Medina, executive chef and co-founder of Click Virtual Food Hall
- Nicki Sizemore, food writer and recipe developer
Julia Child: “One of the greatest breakthroughs since the mixer”
Take, for instance, iconic American chef and cookbook author, Julia Child. She was one of the chefs who were quick to adopt any appliance that made her work easier. She is known for praising the food processor by saying, “This thing is one of the greatest breakthroughs since the mixer.”
Gabriel Medina: “Saves time if you have to make bulk items”
Gabriel Medina, executive chef and co-founder of Click Virtual Food Hall, believes that the food processor is one of the best kitchen gadgets. Not only does he use it to dice potatoes and slice carrots, but he blends batter for cakes in it too. He says, “It really saves time if you have to make bulk items.”
Nicki Sizemore: “I use my food processor more than any other tool in my kitchen”
Food writer and recipe developer, Nicki Sizemore is a huge fan of food processors too, so much so that she wrote “The Food Processor Family Cookbook”. She declares the food processor as her chief assistant in the kitchen: “It became my sous-chef, and I use my food processor more than any other tool in my kitchen.”
Are food processors better than blenders?
One of the most common questions people ask when considering buying a food processor is, “Which one is better—a food processor or a blender?”
Lance Nitahara, an Instructor from the Culinary Institute of America, recommends getting both as they each have their own unique functions.
However, If you ever find yourself hovering between those two kitchen appliances and needing to choose only one, it’s best to get the food processor.
A blender is great when it comes to making dips, soups, and purees, while a food processor can do that for you, as well as cut, chop, slice, shred, and grind food too. A food processor is a long way ahead of the blender when it comes to performances, because of the many functions that come with it. Think of it as having three or four kitchen appliances in one.
A food processor can make soups and dips and blend almond or cashew butter, but a blender cannot chope carrots and cabbages or mince garlic or grind nuts.
What are the alternatives to a food processor?
In case you can’t get a food processor at the moment, here are some appliances you might already have in your kitchen or might consider getting. They can’t do everything a food processor does, but they will be able to do some of the functions just as well.
- Blender – Great for making smoothies or blending soups and sauces.
- Hand immersion blender – It is a stick with blender blades at the end of it and is used for blending soups, sauces, and other liquids.
- Stand mixer – A kitchen device that rotates a set of beaters in a bowl containing food or liquids as a way of mixing them (often used for baking).
- Hand mixer – It has the same function as a stand mixer, but instead of being stationary over a bowl, has to be held by hand.
- Mini chopper – A device used to chop up vegetables, herbs and can also be used to prepare some dressings and sauces.
Conclusion: Yes, a food processor is worth it
When it comes to food preparation, you know how you do it best. Whether you want to prepare quick, healthy dishes for the family or lots of food for big groups, you want something that will help you do your cooking in the best way possible.
If you weigh all the benefits and consider how professional chefs view the food processor, you’ll find that the pros far outweigh the cons. In case you do indeed find yourself buying and using a food processor one day, chances are, you’ll wonder why you took so long to get one.