FOOD PROCESSOR PRIMER
Food Processors Make Life In the Kitchen a Little Easier
What Does a Food Processor Do?
Simply put, a food processor will automatically slice, chop, grate, or grind many food items you used to do by hand, and in a quick and efficient manner. The finished product is usually more uniform in size than what you can do by hand, and a food processor will cut food preparation time down considerably. Some food processors even mix cookie and bread dough as well. If your family enjoys homemade cookies and but you don't often make them because it takes too much time, perhaps one of these models will be one to consider.
Sizes, Styles, Prices and More
Food processors come in size ranges from the mini-processor (3 cup capacity) all the way up to a large, 14 cup capacity, with plenty of sizes in between. If you don't do a lot of food preparation, or if you routinely prepare for only one or two people, you can probably get by with a mini-processor. If your family is large or you frequently entertain or cook for large groups, of course you'll need something larger. And for everyone else, the "in-between" sizes should work for your needs. Here are a few choices to consider in each size range
- Mini Food Processors commonly have a 3-cup or less capacity. They're good for quick, small jobs, although not suitable for mixing dough. If you are cooking for a small family or just yourself, this is one to consider. Top brands include Kitchen Aid's Chef Chopper KFC 3100, which runs from $35 to $50. This model gets the top rating in its class from Consumersearch.com. Another consideration is the Cuisinart DLC 1SS Mini Prep processor. Prices range from $28-43 on this processor, which has a capacity of just under 3 cups. This model also gets excellent reviews.
- Large-capacity Food Processors go all the way up to 14 cups for capacity. These models have the capability of mixing dough and doing other heavy-duty processing. Cuisinart's DLC-2014 Power Prep Plus is the largest capacity model on the market at this time. This can process up to 14 cups of food. If you regularly mix 3 cups of cookie dough or grate a lot of cheese, this one's for you. It's expensive though--at right around $300. It does come with a 3-year warranty, however--something that most other models don't offer. Other slightly smaller models (around 12 cup capacity) include KitchenAid's KFP760 12-cup processor, which runs a close second in the ratings behind Cuisinart's model described earlier in this paragraph. This one costs a little less, prices range from $179 to $209. Cuisinart also makes a couple of 11-cup processors, too.
- Something In Between. These would be in the 7-cup range. Top rated on the Consumersearch site is Cuisinart's DLC-10S processor. This is a 7-cup capacity model, and costs right around $100. It's rated to do small batchs of bread and cookie dough as well as chopping, grating and slicing other foods. Recommended for most families since it's right in between the two size ranges. KitchenAid's KFP710 7-cup food processor also gets top marks in the ratings. This model also mixes as well as chops, grinds, grates and slices. It also runs right around $100 price-wise.
Where To Buy
These food processors should be available at any store where small appliances are sold, such as Home Depot, Best Buys, Kohls, Target, or Walmart. If one of these stores isn't conveniently located to you, try these online sites: Amazon.com, NexTag, Cooking.com, or the online sites for the above-mentioned stores.