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What is a Food Processor?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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Creating meals can involve a lot of chopping, grating, and mincing. While all these tasks can be done by hand, there is a handy kitchen device that takes a lot of the work out of each of these jobs. The food processor is an electric kitchen tool that utilizes several different blades and a high-speed motor to handle several different common cooking tasks.

Food processors come in a range of sizes, generally between a two cup to a fourteen cup capacity. A typical one will have a round clear bowl, often constructed of durable plastic, that fits onto a platform and to the motor for the unit. To cover the bowl, a clear plastic cover with a built in food chute locks into place. Within the bowl is a mechanism that allows for several different types of blades to be attached. Each of the blades will perform a different type of function, with one that handles grating, another that can mix dough and biscuit mix, and still another that works for chopping and mincing. Ingredients are deposited down the food chute or tube while the food processor is running. Proper use of the processor will result in food that is evenly and quickly prepared, whether the task is to chop, mince, puree, or blend.

Types of these devices on the market today vary in number of functions and sizes. One of the most respected brands of food processor is the Cuisinart line of processors. Cuisinart is known for the manufacturing of kitchen equipment that is well made, sturdy and holds up to a great deal of use. While their products cost more, they also will last many years. Of course, there are smaller food blenders with fewer functions that cost much less. While a food blender of this type of limited in what it can do, they work fine for basic chopping and blending purposes.

A food processor can speed the process of preparing foods a great deal. For example, hummus has become increasingly popular in North America. With a good processor, it is easy to combine the chickpeas, oil or lemon juice and any seasonings required to prepare a basic hummus recipe. The processor can also quickly chop cabbage and carrots for cole slaw. Dicing onions for soups, salads, and other cooking projects becomes an easy task with this device. As a bonus, using a good processor to chop or dice onions means no watery eyes and less lingering onion aroma on the hands during preparation time.

A food processor is also handy to turn your old toasted bread into usable breadcrumbs, mix dough for rolls, biscuits and other baked breads. Preparing homemade mayonnaise takes just a few moments with a food processor, as does the preparation of fresh salsa. Essentially, a good processor comes in handy for just about any chopping, dicing, or blending kitchen task that you can imagine. With less cleanup around the kitchen and a lot less effort, you will find a food processor helps to make cooking a lot easier.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including DelightedCooking, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By amypollick — On Feb 25, 2012

I bought a Hamilton Beach processor a couple of years ago, and honestly, I don't know how I got along without it, especially for holiday cooking, which always requires a lot of prep!

It is good for chopping nuts, onions, celery, making soft doughs, mixing eggs for a quiche, slicing vegetables, you name it. Best $40 I've ever spent on a kitchen gadget!

By anon204980 — On Aug 11, 2011

you suggested a great idea here. I am using a lumix food processor for slicing and chopping. It works well and it is a satisfying product. I use my food processor for grating vegetables and cheese. It really makes my cooking easy.

By bbpuff — On Sep 26, 2010

Thanks guys! I was debating on whether or not to invest in a Kitchen Aid food processor and I think I'm just going to go ahead and take the plunge. I think that there are some really expensive models out there, but Kitchen Aid seems to be the best one. I absolutely HATE chopping for dinner prep and we eat a lot of veggies and such, so I think it will come in handy.

By win199 — On Sep 26, 2010

@gameaddicted - I'm with you - I really loved to chop and stuff until I bought an electric food processor. I use it all the time and it comes in handy for more than just chopping up things like onions or garlic. It's excellent for quick dips and salsas and things like egg or potato salad.

By gameaddicted — On Sep 26, 2010

I personally love to chop things, but it really is time consuming. On days that I don't have a lot of time I can just throw everything i my mini prep food processor and be done with it. It's great but since I really like to chop things, I don't use it all the time.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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