Food Processors come in various shapes and sizes and can be used for a variety of tasks. Choosing the right Food Processor can be tiresome, considering you would want to get your money’s worth. However, it does not have to be such a titanic task. To make your work easier we have divided the food processor into different categories based on their features, power consumption, capacity, brand etc.
What specifications does the right food processor have ?
A regular food processor has mostly three controls- on, off and pulse; on and off buttons start and stop the motor of the processor. If you want to check whether the food is pulverized enough, you can use the pulse button. You can hold it down for a few seconds and then release again. However, most machines combine the pulse and off button.
Although, the different levels of speed are not required for a food processor, as you can easily control the chopping with pulse button. Some high-end processors still have different speeds. You can then use high speed to get your work done quickly, or leave it at a slower speed.
The design of the food processor is very simple. A basic food processor contains a wide bottom bowl mounted on a motorized unit. The motor rotates a vertical shaft. The blades are attached to the shaft, which then chop, shred, mince and mix food.
Unlike other utensils, food processors are not always dishwasher safe. This implies not all food processors can be put in the dish washer as they might harm the machine and also get ruptured in the rigorous washing movement.
Lid and Feeding tube
Like the bowl, the lid that fits on the top, is also made of plastic. It contains the feed tube which is a very important part of the food processor. It allows food to be inserted into the bowl while the blades are running. The lid with the feed tube ensures safety of the user and also keeps the food from flying out of the bowl during mixing.
The capacity of the motor depends on the size of the food processor. And the size you choose depends on the functions you want it to perform. For example, small or medium sized food processor can mix stiff pastry dough, ground or chop hard nuts, and grate hard cheese, besides performing the basic functions. The power required for such work is anywhere between 400-700 watts. The bigger, more powerful ones can run for longer without heating up the motor. They can use up to 1200 watts of power.
Overheating is a problem faced when you try to over work your food processor. Whether you run it for a longer duration without breaks or when you try to use it for functions beyond its motor capacity. Overheating can cause the processor unit to burn and damage. It can also crack the plastic of the bowl.
A food processor comes in 2 basic sizes- Mini and full sized
Mini food processors have smaller bowls and can perform limited functions. Or they can perform the same functions but for small batches. For a family of 2, a mini food processor can be a big help. It can chop, dice, shred, grate, mix, mince, puree etc.
A full-sized processor can perform all the same functions, but it can run for a longer time. It also has a bigger bowl and can work on larger batches of food.
A larger bowl capacity allows more food to be processed at one time. The bowl capacity is measured in cups, which varies between 3-4 cups to 14-20 cups depending on the size of the processor. The bowls with maximum capacity are usually used by professional chefs or in large households.
Since Food processors are used for heavy preparation work in the kitchen, it is important to choose a Food processor that has a solid body made of sturdy material. The food processor bowls are usually made of tough plastic and have wide base. The wide base allows the dry food to move around in the bowl without the need for any liquid.
Every food processor has at least one set of blades which are the S-shaped. One half of the S is placed on top of the other half so as to sweep through all the food materials in the bowl. It can chop and churn and slice and purée.
Attachments & accessories
The work of a food processor is to perform multiple tasks needed for meal prep. To perform complicated tasks such as mixing dough, grating hard cheese (or even soft one for that matter), cutting julienne, making French fries, juicing etc. external help is required. Food processors come with a lot of attachments and accessories.
Discs– for grating, slicing, shredding, chopping; are very sharp and precise
Dough Blade– kneads the dough; the blades might be metallic or plastic but are flatter than the S-blade
Egg whip– for whipping cream, meringues, mousses, and soufflés; has 2 wide arms going up vertically.
Juicer– for citrus fruits, a simple press to squeeze out fresh juice; for hard fruits, a jug blender.
Other than the bowl, a food processor also has a lid with the feeding tube, a pusher to safely push the food down to the blades and a spatula to cleanly pour out the food into the cooking bowls.
The brands that make the best Food processors for the Indian consumer are Philips, Morphy Richards, Bajaj, Prestige, BOSCH etc. Their best models that contain most of the attachments and have separate blender, mixer and juicer jars, along with blades for kneading, grating, and shredding can easily range between Rs 4000-10,000/-
All big brands provide a warranty of at least 2 years on the product and 3-5 years on the motor. To ensure that you get the best worth of you investment, choose a brand that offers longest warranty on the food processor.
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