What is a food processor?
A food processor is a fast and efficient way to chop, dice, or slice foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, breads, etc. It is also great for mixing doughs of all sorts (doughnuts anyone?), grinding grains into flour, and even making pesto and salsa.
Who made the Food processor?
The history of who made the first food processor is quite hard to find. But according to available information, history loosely goes like this.
The first electric food processor was the Starmix by German company Electrostar in 1946. It was considered the first machine to “breadcrumb” and “pulse.” Albrecht von Goertz was the mastermind of Starmix.
The machine chopped and mixed food using a rotating matrix similar to a primitive egg beater, making dough for bread or biscuits. Goertz approached Electrostar management with his idea since they were the largest producers of kitchen equipment. An agreement was made in 1948 and the machine went into production the next year.
Then comes the name of Pierre Verdon. He came up with his processor idea in 1954 while working as a catering salesman. Robot Coup was the name of his machine. It was a big heavy machine for commercial use. Verdon later made a home version of it and it was named Magi-Mix.
American engineer and inventor Carl Sontheimer noticed the Magi-Mix in a French homeware show and made a deal to make the US version of it. Which later became the famous Cuisinart.
Cuisinart went onto become the first food processor to be sold in supermarkets and department stores in The US and, within a few years, it replaced all other brands of food processors. Hundreds of thousands of food processors were sold in the late 1970s because of the success of Cuisinart but Cuisinart has remained an iconic household appliance ever since.
It is safe to say that most home cooks today would not think of making a sauce, chopping an onion, or dicing a potato without using one.
The magical combination of fresh ingredients and the motorized blade turns a cooking project into something effortless and (dare I say) fun!
Difference between a Blender and a Food Processor?
As with most kitchen tools, there are many different uses for each. A food processor is typically used to chop vegetables and nuts into tiny bits or shred cheese. Because of the disc shape inside a food processor, you can also use it to make dough. The blades themselves come in different forms as well. The most common food processor disks are an S-blade and a chopping blade. The S-blade is used to make things like dips in your food processor because it chops quickly but thinly and smoothly, making for a creamy texture.
A blender typically has two different blades: a flat blade on one side (for blending) and a cross blade on the other side (for chopping). A blender makes smoothies, juices, soups, and even meals.
Size: The most significant difference in size is that blenders are smaller than food processors. Food Processors typically hold about 8 cups of food at once, where blenders usually contain only 4 cups.
If I already have a Blender, do I need a Food processor?
Blenders are only good for blending, not processing. Blenders can make purees or smoothies, which is used in cooking, but food processors can do all that a blender can do and much more.
Food processors are separate kitchen utensils specially designed to process food. They can :
- Chop vegetables and fruits into the perfect size
- Mash potatoes,
- Mix dough for bread or cakes or pizzas
- Kneading doughs and grinding nuts to make butter.
- Blend meat into savory sausage patties and much more.
- Make hummus, cheese spread, salsa dip, and mayonnaise
- Puree entire vegetables or fruits.
- A food processor can even be used as a juicing machine if you purchase the attachment.
Food processors are significantly better than blenders when it comes to processing foods.
Food processors come in different sizes and shapes, with many other options for attachments. These attachments can be made of plastic or metal, depending on the user’s preference and budget. The most common attachment is a plastic one for kneading dough and grinding nuts into butter.
The price of food processors depends on size, attachments, the material used to make it (metal or plastic), brand, warranty, and other factors.
What is the perfect size for a food processor?
When choosing a food processor, it is important to consider the number of people that will usually use it. If you live alone and rarely cook for more than one person, then a small-sized food processor would be ideal for your needs.
The size of the working bowl in most mid-range food processors is usually around 3 ½ cups (960ml). For small families who usually serve 2-3 people, this would be an ideal food processor.
The mid and up-scaled food processors have a working bowl capacity of 10 cups (about 3520 ml), which is perfect for medium to large families.
Bigger-sized working bowls in the 15 cup range are best suited for businesses that cook for many people.
The working bowl size of a food processor directly affects the power and speed of its motor (FPM). For example, when processing soft foods such as potatoes or eggs, a smaller-sized working bowl has less resistance to cope with because there is less food in it to process. Larger bowls would have more resistance due to the extra food to be processed.
Therefore, in general, the working bowl size of a food processor is directly proportional to its motor power (FPM). The more power a processor has means, the bigger it is and thus the higher the price. But some smaller-sized powerful processors can handle all kitchen tasks like these KitchenAid KFP0711CU 7-Cup Food Processor and Cuisinart DLC-2009CHB Prep 9 9-Cup Workbowl Countertop Food Processor.
It is recommended to choose a big food processor from the get-go for large families or commercial use. Or you can find a higher-powered processor that has a bigger-sized working bowl. KitchenAid KFP0711CU 7-Cup Food Processor (Platinum Edition) is an example of this. It only has a 3 ½ cup working bowl but still comes with 700 watts and 4-speed settings, making it suitable for even large families or commercial use.
What major things to consider when buying a Food Processor?
Food processors are expensive kitchenware. So it is important to consider the following when choosing one for your needs:
– The working bowl size:
Mid-sized models have 3 ½ cup bowls, large can reach up to 14 cups. Consider how much food you usually make or plan on making at once before buying one. If you are cooking for a big family, you will need a large-sized food processor.
A bigger working bowl size also increases the motor power and is more expensive than smaller models with an equivalent amount of energy. However, it’s important to note that larger bowls are not always better because they require more counter space.
– The material used in the attachments: Plastic or metal?
This is a personal choice. Many people prefer plastic attachments because they are affordable, lightweight, and don’t break easily. On the other hand, Metal ones are more durable and usually come with a lifetime warranty. If it’s made of Plastic, make sure to check out it BPA-free.
– Motor Power and Speed:
To get the most out of your food processor, you need to consider its motor power and speed. A low-powered processor can only dice onions or grate cheese but cannot handle mixing dough, chopping vegetables, or kneading bread. Mid-range models have enough power to knead the dough, chop nuts into butter, and slice vegetables
Different types of food processors have varying speeds. The speed of a food processor motor can be measured by cycles per minute, or “CPM” (revolutions per minute). The higher this number, the faster a processor’s blades cut and chop food. Faster models are more suitable for preparing the dough, kneading bread, or shredding hard cheeses. On the other hand, lower-speed processors are better for cutting soft foods like tomatoes and mayonnaise.
-There are three main types of food Processors: countertop, bowl-lift (stand model), and immersion.
As the name suggests, the countertop models are those you set on the kitchen countertop!
And they usually have a larger base for stability. In contrast, the bowl-lift type sits in a cabinet under the kitchen sink and stores parts separately. Both types come with different motor powers and attachments to choose from.
The immersion food processors are those that have blades that can be plunged into food while it’s in a pan or bowl, usually with an S-shape handle. These are the smallest and cheapest models you can find because they don’t have bowls for storing parts; most parts are immersed directly in the food. If you are in a pinch and need to process food while cooking, investing in an immersion food processor can be a good idea quickly.
-All-in-One or Stand Alone?
Some food processors combine the stand mixer and the food processor into one product like KitchenAid KFP0711CU. These models are more expensive than those with separate attachments, but they are also better because they are versatile. One model is enough for almost every kind of food preparation you need to do.
The advantage of buying a stand-alone product is that it comes with an array of different sizes and types of working bowls and attachments to choose from. For example, KitchenAid KFP0711CU 7-Cup Food Processor (Platinum Edition) comes with an 11 cup mixing bowl and a pulse motion feature that enables the cook to chop or knead all kinds of dough.
The disadvantage is that you will have to buy each piece separately and might end up spending more money than you initially intended.
If you need a food processor that does only one job, it will most likely be cheaper to buy an attachment for the mixer or stand-alone model. If you want a more versatile product that will do many different things, it would be better to invest in all-in-one models like
-Controls and Features:
Food processors come with many features that make them more or less convenient to use. They can vary from simple stand-alone products to having electronic controls and touchpads that help you prepare food faster. While most people will find these additional features excessive, they can be pretty useful for some individuals.
Some models have an electronic pulse button. When you press the button, food processor blades will cut the food using a constant speed and pulsing motion until you release the button. These buttons can be helpful if you want to vary the texture of your dish or don’t know how long to blend/chop food.
On some models, it is also possible to use preset functions.
These functions are beneficial if you want to save time and don’t have much experience with food preparation tools.
Power usage is measured in Watts or Amps; the higher these numbers are, the quicker a processor will chop your ingredients. It’s difficult to say which power amount is the best without knowing the purpose for which you will be using the processor. Usually, 200W to 1200W is the range. For instance, if you are planning to chop a lot of meat, power usage must be sufficient enough to do so without straining the motor. However, most food processors only come with 450-500 Watt motors and can work well for all but the toughest ingredients. If you are planning to do a lot of chopping, I would recommend getting one with at least 550-650 Watt power.
–The Lid size, Does it matter?
The lid size may not be important to some people, but if you’re looking for something that is going to hold a full squash then this might be an issue. You don’t want the lid coming off and all of your hard work spilling out onto the floor! The ideal food processor should have at least one large lid that spans the whole diameter of the bowl so you can easily fit large pieces in and it’s easy to clean.
Keep your eyes peeled for a lid with an “anti-splash” ring, these rings are great because they help reduce splattering when chopping food items like onions or peppers! The best part is, most manufacturers offer a lid with an anti-splash ring as a standard feature on most of their products.
-Food Preparation Features:
While the most common feature is the feeder tube that helps cut down on preparation time, processors also come with other interesting features.
A built-in timer can keep track of cooking times and help you do things in the proper sequence. Some models also include a bowl ejector button that helps you get rid of unneeded attachments easily with just one touch. An automatic cleaning system gives you the ability to clean your processor by running specialized cleaning programs. A juice spout can be useful for cutting down on preparation time because the juice can be poured directly into a glass without having to drain it first.
The feeder tube usually measures 3/4″ in diameter and is located in the center of the processor bowl; however, some models include a shaft with multiple small feeder tubes. These can be useful if you’re cutting many ingredients or using a lot of food at once.
-Sizes and Number of Bowls:
Stand-alone models usually come with three to four different bowls, each of which has a different capacity. This allows you to chop ingredients in small batches or mix ingredients together before processing them all together; however, it can be challenging if the measurements of your bowl don’t match those of the recipe.
The number of bowls can also affect the amount of power a processor requires, so keep that in mind when you make your purchase. Food processors with multiple attachments usually come with three to four different bowl sizes and up to three different cutting blades. This gives you control over blending/chopping ratios and allows you to prepare all kinds of ingredients in the same machine. It’s a good idea to buy a processor that comes with at least three bowls and blades because having more options encourages you to be more creative with your food preparation
-Performance of Blades:
Food processors come with different blade shapes and sizes, determining how powerful the product is. Most blades are made of stainless steel or carbon steel and have different functions. You should always check if your model comes with a pusher to feed food into the blades because this tool makes it easier to process solid foods like potatoes and carrots without loss of control.
If your food processor doesn’t have a pusher, you can use the feed tube instead. Some models also come with a reversible blade that has different functions on each side; these blades can help you in many other cases when making something like dough or mashing fruits and vegetables
Some blades are serrated for chopping, but they aren’t very efficient and rarely come with a pusher. The most common blade is the dough blade that you can use to knead, mix, or otherwise process soft food like cakes and pizza dough.
Blades come in different variations, like the following:
S Blade: This is a basic blade. It will do the job for small mixing jobs.
The S Blade allows for chopping and pureeing but not shredding or grating. It can be used to chop small pieces of vegetables in a food processor.
Dough Blade: The Dough Blade is used for making dough. It can be used in the food processor to make pie dough, bread dough, or pizza dough. It has a straight edge instead of the usual serrated edge and it is used for kneading the dough.
Slicing Disc: This is used for slicing different kinds of food. The Slicing Disc has a single blade. It can be used to slice meats, cheeses, and vegetables into small slices.
Shredding Disc: This disc is used primarily for shredding. It grates and slices food into thin slivers.
Grating Disc: This disc is used for grating larger quantities of food because it has a large blade in comparison with the Shredding or Slicing Discs.
Julienne Disc: This disc is used primarily for shredding. It grates and slices food into thin strips.
An interesting fact about these different blades is that they can be interchanged in case one break.
Food processors come with different attachments for different purposes. The blades we just mentioned are also a variation of attachments.
Some models are simple stand-alone devices, while others have a wide range of attachments that allow cooks to use them for many various tasks.
A food processor can do many things other than processing food. It is possible to use it as a grinder or mincer, and some attachments let you make a pie or pizza dough, slice vegetables, and chop nuts and meat. You can even use a food processor to process fresh herbs for your recipes.
-Is it good to have Food processors to be dishwasher friendly?
One advantage to owning a dishwasher-friendly appliance is that it often makes cleanup after cooking easier. There will be less time spent scrubbing the blades down by hand, and you’ll also save on having to purchase soaps or detergents to use in the dishwasher.
One downside is that you might find yourself having to replace a damaged machine sooner than if it wasn’t dishwasher friendly and could withstand more manual washing before breaking down. Another potential drawback is that food processors not made with this feature may be less expensive.
Here are some other tips to keep in mind when researching dishwasher friendly food processors:
-If the blades are too delicate for a dishwasher, you should be able to tell from looking at the product before buying it or by reading reviews.
-Dishwashers often have strong enough water pressure that can break blades that are not made to withstand dishwasher use.
-Dishwashers often have a high heat setting, which can warp plastic or break down the sharper metal parts of kitchen appliances.
-If you don’t want any hassle but still want clean dishes, there are plenty of handwashing-only food processors on the market for low prices.
Your food processor should have a warranty that is enough to cover defects and malfunctions. This way, you will know that the manufacturer covers any replacements or repairs your product needs.
How to know when to replace a Food Processor
Food processors often come with a long lifespan but can break down after many uses.
Food Processors are prone to overheating if they are used for too long. If your product doesn’t cool down fast enough or makes unsound noises, you might want to consider replacing it before it breaks down completely. The same goes if the blades aren’t sharp enough to cut food properly, it doesn’t work at all, or you have problems cleaning the different parts. In general, there is no need to replace a food processor just because you have used it for a long time. The best way to tell if your product needs replacement is by checking how well it performs and whether or not its parts are still sharp enough to cut food without losing control over them.
If you notice that your food processor requires frequent cleaning or repairs, you might want to replace it with a more durable model.
Food processors often come with some additional accessories and may need replacement parts over time.
The most common things people replace regularly are blades, discs, and bowls that can become worn or damaged after regular use. These parts are often inexpensive and easy to replace, which is why so many people choose to do so
Most food processor brands offer replacement parts that can be purchased separately. This way, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on an entirely new product if you need one part replaced.
But why would you want to replace parts instead of buying a whole new food processor?
One reason is that replacement parts are often cheaper than the price of a completely new unit. Ask for help from your local appliance store if you are unsure about the correct replacement part you have to purchase.
Many food processor brands are popular due to their high-quality machines that can be used for many different cooking tasks, but these products may be too expensive to replace and their parts too difficult to find.
If your model is too old or outdated, it might be better to order a new food processor than spend too much money on replacement parts that just won’t fit.
If you are unsure, ask your local appliance store for help with replacements and repairs of your product.
An excellent way to get help is by looking at your unit’s user manual, as most brands have online manuals where you can request the use of a specialist.
If you aren’t sure about your machine, you can ask some friends or relatives if they know anything about repairing these products. You may also find some helpful information online and consider asking for help from experts on social media.
Most companies will offer assistance with their food processor models, so it is worth checking out what they have to offer.
When you replace parts, you make sure that your food processor is ready for some long-lasting use.
Again, if you are unsure about what you have to order, it is best to ask for help from someone that knows how to repair these products. Everyone wants a durable food processor that works well and can be used for many different tasks.
Try keeping your machine in good condition, and it should last as long as possible.
Please keep Note: To get good value for your money, pay attention to the details of each model and make sure it offers everything you need at a reasonable price.
We have tried to provide the best information available for you to make your research a bit easier. If you find anything that’s not making sense, please feel free to let us know and we will definitely update and republish. We can’t thank you enough for traveling all the way down to here and we would be happy to get your feedback if this Food Processor Questions and Answers article helped you in any way.