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Considerations for Buying a Food Processor Created to grind, slice, puree, chop and more, food processors are kitchen hard workers that are the closest you can get to food preparation robots ala sci-fi. But until then, you can rely on a handy food processor. But how do you know one when you see one? Size/Capacity
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Buy a food processor with a size or capacity that fits your recipe requirements. But do take note that the listed bowl size of a manufacturer is not necessarily the exact amount of ingredients you can add in one go. Processors often hold one or two cups less, and even less for anything liquid.
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In any case, when you talk about food processors, size always matters. Too small renders the machine useless; too big means it will consume more space on your counter than needed. Shopping around, you will find three groups of processors according to capacity: > Mini prep (3-4 cups) – good for tiny individual tasks, like chopping veggies or making sauces > Mid-size (7-9 cups) – similar to the mini-prep type but larger > Large (11-13 cups) – adequate for a whole family’s needs > Extra large (14-20) – recommended for caterers and other large scale food prepareres Motor Power The motor power of a food processor is the second key consideration you have to make. For an average size machine, look for 400 watts; for anything bigger, power should not be lower than 750 watts. Obviously, bigger jobs require more muscle. Moreover, a heavy base is a great design element as it helps make the processor more stable on the counter while in operation. Controls Because food processors work very fast, you don’t really more controls than On/Off and Pulse. Small choppers may be equipped with high-low speeds as well, while pricier machines can come with a “dough” setting. Other Important Elements Two very helpful design features might want to have are a line on the mixing bowl to help with measurements, and covered touch pads that make for easier cleaning and wipe-down. Probably most importantly, a wide feeder tube – that chute that lets you pour or push ingredients into the processor – is also convenient. The bigger the chute, the less pre-cutting of large veggies you need to do. Also included is a plastic food pusher, otherwise known as a prod. You surely don’t want to use your fingers instead! Because sharp, whirring, knife blades are very dangerous, the best food processors don’t start working until the base and lid have been properly locked in place. In other words, look for locks! Lastly, an S-shaped metal chopping blade is standard for most food processors, but more expensive models could also offer whisks, juicer attachments, a blunt blade for kneading dough and assorted cutting discs, including a slicing/shredding disc.