Food processors have truly revolutionised cooking, achieving in seconds what would take ages by hand. These electrical gadgets can chop vegetables, mince steak and pulverise soup. A food processor can turn oats into flour, bread into breadcrumbs and even cream into butter. They truly are the Swiss army knife of the culinary world and once you’ve chosen one, you’ll wonder how you ever coped without one.
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What is a food processor?
A food processor is an electrical appliance that can prepare food in a variety of ways. It is powered by a small motor that turns the blade located in the base of the top-set container. The container has a removable lid, commonly has a capacity of between 2 to 2.5 litres and can be removed for cleaning. Food processors usually include a variety of differently sized blades and attachments for various functions, such as grating, slicing and whipping.
What can I use a food processor for?
These gadgets are incredibly versatile and act like your own personal plug-in sous chef, capable of grinding coffee beans, pulsing nut butters and kneading pastry. They are ideal for cutting up large quantities of vegetables, mixing up cake batters and blitzing grains into powder. Depending on your attachments, your food processor can do the work of a pestle and mortar, mandolin, whisk and serrated knife all at the flick of a switch.
How is a food processor different to a blender?
A food processor is more geared towards food preparation such as chopping vegetables and mixing dough, whereas blenders are more focused on creating wet recipes such as smoothies, sauces and juices. This is because blenders typically have a jug container and a single blade that rotates very quickly to pulverise any contents. Food processors on the other hand tend to have wider bowl-style containers for breaking up dry or moist ingredients into increasingly small particles and mixing them together with the larger blade. While you can make smoothies and juices in a food processor, the end results will likely be less smooth and pouring out is a messier process.
Can I use a food processor to make pastry?
Yes, your food processor’s multi-purpose blade will combine fat, flour and other ingredients quickly and evenly, melding the components together until they form a lovely buttery ball. While they’re typically associated with savoury food prep, food processors are incredibly useful for baking, breaking up biscuits into crumb, whisking up creams and frostings and even blitzing granulated sugar into its caster or icing alternatives.