Probably the most versatile tool found in any kitchen is a food processor since it helps you with almost every food preparation task imaginable: slicing, chopping, pureeing, shredding, grinding, kneading and much more. If you know how to use it, you can use it in almost every single recipe to do all the hard work while you sit back and relax. Most people only use it occasionally when they have to slice a very large amount of vegetables for a dinner party for example. However, if you know how to use it right, it’s helpful keeping your food processor in an accessible location. This way you will remember take it out for your daily recipes to cut down on the time and efforts rather than keeping it safe inside a box in a cupboard only for occasional dinners.
Here are some simple tips which will make your experience with a processor even easier and enjoyable than it already is:
Add ingredients after setting up the machine:
Although it might seem like the most obvious thing to do but if you’re like me you would know just how difficult things become when you first add the ingredients and then try to fit the blade in the bowl and the bowl on the base. With ingredients already inside the bowl, the blades won’t fit properly on the base and you will not be able to process anything until you remove all the contents, set up the machine and then fill it up again.
Know the purpose of each attachment:
You should be well aware of the purpose/s of each of the attachments that are included in the packaging. Typically, a food processor includes a multi-purpose blade for chopping, mincing, mixing and pureeing food and a specialized dough blade for the exclusive purpose of kneading. Both the blades will sit on the base of the bowl while the discs that are present will fix on top of the shaft going through the center of the work bowl. Use the appropriate discs for slicing and shredding vegetables and fruits when you don’t want to waste hours doing it with a knife.
Do not process hot ingredients:
Never process hot ingredients in the food processor since they lose their true texture and color and the resulting output will not be as good as your expectations. Nuts are most often roasted in the oven before being processed inside the food processor. Be careful to leave them out of the oven to cool down a little while after they are roasted before processing them.
Kneading is simple with a food processor as long as you take care of a few things:
- Not every food processor is powerful enough to knead dough. Read the manual to see if you can knead with your appliance. If there is nothing mentioned in the food processor in relation to kneading, you can’t use it for this purpose.
- Use the dough blade for kneading dough rather than the usual multi-purpose blade that you are using for most of the processing tasks.
- Use cold water to knead dough since the rotation of the blades produces heat and if the mixture heats up beyond a certain temperature, it will kill the yeast.
- Do not add the entire quantity of water mentioned in the recipe at once. Add a little bit of water at a time and stop the machine at intervals to see if more water is required of you have achieved the right consistency.
- Avoid over-kneading otherwise the end product will be hard and dry.
Shredding cheese is the easiest when you use a partially frozen block of cheese and cut it in pieces just big enough to fit in the opening of the feed tube. Press down the pusher over it with even pressure to shred the block.
Avoid overfilling the bowl:
Check the bowl to see if there is a fill line on the inside of it. If there is, fill it to a maximum of this level or there is a risk of overflowing of the liquid. If there is no fill line, do not fill it to a maximum of 1/3rd its capacity. If you want to process greater amounts, it is better to do so in batches.