When it comes to multi-purpose kitchen appliances, the food processor is supreme. Its ability to perform a wide range of food preparation tasks sets it apart. It is a must-have culinary workhorse for anyone who loves to cook.
Because of the long list of ingredients and the need to prepare them well, vegetable dishes can be intimidating. Fortunately, a good food processor lets you put down your knives because it will ease your work.
You will achieve more consistent results while preserving your sanity, time, and energy. This article will discuss how to use a food processor to complete everyday kitchen tasks.
What Food Processor Size Do You Need?
A standard food processor has a big work bowl that can hold anywhere from 2 to 14 cups (see 7 cups food processors). Larger models with a capacity of 12 to 14 cups are also available, and they are more versatile. The bowl's bottom has an S-shaped blade that can be plain-edge or serrated.
For chopping meat and most vegetables, the plain edge blade is better. The serrated blades are better for pureeing nut butter and frozen ingredients. Most food processors have a single speed, but some can be high, medium, and low.
When making smooth purees and working through tough ingredients, the highest setting is best. The lowest setting is best for processing softer ingredients. You can use a pulse setting to finely chop small amounts of food such as homemade baby food and control the blade to avoid over-processing. It is excellent for achieving a uniform chop.
The stop-and-go motion allows unprocessed items to fall from the top onto the blade for processing. Otherwise, items near the blade continue processing, resulting in a finer bottom layer than the top layer. You can also manually pulse your appliance if it does not have a pulse setting.
How to Assemble a Food Processor
You must clean well and assemble the parts of the food processor before you can begin using them. Electric base, a plastic work bowl, a blade shaft, and multiple blades are standard features of most food processors. Also, a work bowl lid, a feed tube, and a plunger. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to assemble your food processor.
Put the Work Bowl on Top of the Base
Make sure you fasten it to the electrical base before plugging it back in.
Plugin the Blade Adapter
Attach the vertical blade adapter to the center of the work bowl if it isn't already there.
Attach the Required Blade or Accessory
It is best to use the standard S-blade that comes with your appliance for most chopping and pureeing. Attach the soft dough accessory for kneading dough. Also, attach the circular slicing blade to the work bowl's top for slicing or shredding.
Attach the work bowl Lid
Before using the food processor, put the lid on your work bowl to prevent food from splattering. Also, to make the process as safe as possible. Depending on the recipe, you can add ingredients directly to the work bowl before covering it with the lid. Also, you can use the feed tube to do so.
Plugin Your Food Processor and Get To Work
Start chopping and dicing with your food processor once it's all put together. Always unplug your appliance before cleaning or changing the blade while the work bowl is in position.
What Is the Best Way to Use a Food Processor?
Food processors are valuable for more than simply dicing vegetables. Here are a few simple kitchen tasks that your food processor is more than capable of handling.
Using a food processor's dough attachment can speed up making bread dough, pizza dough, and pie crust. With the standard blade, you can easily make a crumbly crust for a dessert such as cheesecake.
When making mayonnaise or creamy Caesar salad dressings, food processors have special chutes. The feed tubes are ideal for slowly incorporating olive oil into the work bowl. Besides making chimichurri, use a food processor to make a variety of dips and sauces.
Mixing Cookies and Light Butter
In a food processor, you can easily make simple cookie recipes that don't use a lot of butter or flour. Alternatively, you can use your appliance to shred carrots for a carrot cake or shred cabbage for slaw.
Grating Parmesan Cheese
While micro planes are excellent for garnishing dishes, they are fast for pasta that requires more than a half cup of finely grated cheese. Just slice your wedge in half and put it in your food processor with the standard blade. You will have what you need in a matter of minutes.
Pulsing will allow you to fine-tune the final product's texture. Remember, it also applies to other types of cheese, as we already shared in our 'How to Grate Cheese in A Food Processor?' post.
Food processor blades can mince herbs like parsley, cilantro, and basil. It can do it without causing much of the bruising they might get from chopping them on a cutting board with a knife.
How to Chop Raw Vegetables Using a Food Processor
Food processors come with over seven different blades for various cutting styles. With the help of processor blades, you can mince, chop, shred, and dice vegetables. Attach the blade you want to use by following the instructions in the owner’s manual while the processor is off.
You can either feed the vegetables through a chute or drop them into a bowl. Here are various cutting methods on how to prepare vegetables for the cooking process.
How To Use A Food Processor To Mince Vegetables
For soups, sauces, and purees, minced vegetables are a great addition. To mince vegetables like celery or carrots, you may need to chop them into small chunks by hand before placing them in a food processor. It is possible to peel and drop vegetables, such as onions and garlic, directly into the bowl. Secure the lid and pulse a few times to mince.
How To Use A Food Processor To Slice Vegetables
Fit the slicing disc into the food processor and, if possible, select the thickness. Cut large vegetables in halves, such as potatoes or beets. Make sure the chute is in place and that the lid is tightly closed before moving on. Start slicing potatoes and other vegetables by pressing them through the feeder tube.
How To Chop Vegetables In A Food Processor
Before placing them in the food processor, try chopping vegetables into large pieces by hand. It is a method that works well for potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and a variety of other vegetables. Fill the food processor bowl halfway with the chopped pieces. Check that you fastened the lid before using the pulse button to chop.
How to Shred Vegetables in a Food Processor
Before slicing the vegetables into thin strips, first cut the vegetables in half by hand. It works best for large vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, and more.
There is no need to cut slender vegetables in halves, such as carrots, celery, or zucchini. Add the chute to the food processor. Remember to fasten the lid well. Gently but firmly push the vegetable down the chute, allowing the shredding blade to do its work.
Can You Use a Food Processor to Chop Onions?
Using a food processor to dice an onion is nearly impossible because of the onion's many layers. Do not slice the onion in the food processor because the layers may break apart.
It results in more work for you and unevenly sliced pieces. Using a knife or a mandolin will give you the best results when dicing an onion.
Mistakes to Avoid With a Food Processor
Although high-quality food processors are durable and versatile, they can't do everything. To get the most out of your appliance, avoid these common mistakes.
Adding Whole Hard Vegetables
When prepping food for chopping, cut it into 1 to 2-inch pieces, especially for hard vegetables like carrots or potatoes. For best results, place soft meats and cheeses in the freezer for at least 20 minutes before processing.
Ignoring the Pulse Control
You get more consistent results if you press the pulse button while the processor runs. Pulsing is a great way to make bruschetta without destroying herbs or onions.
It also works well for grinding meat without liquefying your ingredients. Press the primary control repeatedly if your food processor does not have an automatic pulse function.
Applying Excessive Pressure
Allow the food processor to do most of the work when slicing or shredding. Use the pusher to guide the ingredients into the work bowl gently. To get the most consistent results, keep the pressure constant.
Leaving the Feed Tube Unpacked
The best way to get even slices with vegetables and meats is to squeeze them into the feed tube. Next is to lightly press on them with the pusher. If your feed tube has different sections or sizes, use the section that fits your ingredients.
Substituting it For a blender
Not sure if you should use your food processor or blender? If you prefer a coarse texture, a food processor will work well. Blenders are more effective at fine grinding and pureeing liquid mixtures.
Leaving the area
Don't leave the food processor running unattended. If the processor falls off the counter, it can cause an enormous mess and damage the appliance.
The Bottom Line
Food processors are useful in the kitchen to chop veggies since they make food preparation easy. While many food processors cannot perform all the functions of a knife, such as dicing, they can speed up the process.
When using a knife or food processor to chop or dicing vegetables, be sure to practice proper safety procedures at all times. These are all sharp objects that can cause injury if not handled well. When you learn how to use a food processor, nothing will stand in the way of your culinary prowess.