When it comes to kitchen appliances that have been proven to be most useful, the food processor usually comes among the top choices. This versatile appliance allows for a lot of convenience to its owners. The thing about food processors is, they are not the most affordable appliances one can get for the kitchen. A passable model can already cost a lot, so much more more if the shopper is looking forward to owning the best food processor model? Thus, selecting a food processor that would really serve its purpose is the goal, so that the money spent on buying one would be considered an investment that yields a lot of benefits.
The first thing to do when shopping for food processors is to set minimum expectations. What should an owner expect from his or her food processor?
• It should chop dry ingredients with its pulsing action. This means the unit should have a motor than can start and stop with a turn of a knob or a pressing or de-pressing of a button.
• It should puree fruits and vegetables with remaining tidbits for things like dips, rustic soups, and marinades. The rough pureeing action should be something a food processor must have as opposed to producing full purees with no chunky ingredients for smoothies, which is something blenders would be good for instead. Factors affecting this would be the shape of the bowl, the design of the blade, and the power of the unit.
• It should be able to produce emulsions and make sauces such as a vinaigrette or mayonnaise. The ability of the processor to mix the liquids for the right consistency of emulsions would depend on the design of the bowl.
• It should grind meat without difficulty. A food processor would be next to a dedicated meat grinder in the quality of ground meat it produces. For this action, the key qualities include a powerful motor and very sharp blades.
• It should efficiently knead flour and other ingredients to produce bread. Motor power is very important in this, as bread dough kneading is one of the heaviest of tasks that a food processor is expected to accomplish.
Next factor to consider is the capacity of the food processor. The bare minimum that a competent food processor should be able to hold is 9 cups. It would be impractical to buy a unit that could hold fewer than nine cups because it would mean doing more than one batch or manually chopping things to complement what the small-capacity processor produced. That is not the most convenient way of owning a food processor. As a rule though, it would be ideal to look into models that have an 11- or 12-cup capacity. These models allow for enough dough to produce two loaves weighing 8 oz or to grind 0.5 lbs. of meat. That said, there are models that have a mini-prep bowl that feeds into the main bowl. Considering the space they take up and the effort it would entail to clean and wash them after use, it is impractical to go with models that have these.
A constant trouble faced by food processor owners is when their equipment gets jammed after only seconds of use. A unit that gets jammed or gummed up once sticky dough or a hard nut gets into it most probably has a weak motor. Processors that have motors that are mounted on the side are prone to fail in the power department. When looking for the best of food processors, models that have motors that can be attached to the blade shaft directly and does not require a chain or belt are ideal Although they would be a bit taller as the motor is directly below the processor bowl, it is fine considering the guaranteed power it brings.
Other important considerations that contribute to the efficiency of a food processor include the design of the blade and the bowl. Some blades would have some sort of serrations that would be more effective in cutting compared to blades that have edges that are smooth and razor-like. When using a food processor for producing dough, a model that has blades that are more on the blunt side would be ideal. As for the design of the bowl, a bowl that has gently sloped sides that inwardly taper to its bottom would not be effective at chopping food evenly. On the other hand, a bowl that has edges that would encounter at the bottom in orthogonal angles would have ingredients splatter on the walls, but would drip to the bottom fast, which allows for consistency in the ingredients’ textures.
Considering these factors would hopefully lead the shopper to what food processor would be best for his or her needs. But of course, along with looking into these factors, always thinking of where the processor would be used is ideal.