We all know what a workhorse the food processor is, but it can take the place of several other appliances and devices, when you stop to think about it. Here are seven—though there are surely countless more—reasons I love my food processor.
1. Buh-Bye Box Grater
A good food processor makes food prep go like lightning—especially when you're making large quantities. People usually think about the chopping blade, but I'm especially fond of the shredding disk—I really hate risking my knuckles on a box grater, and I find that standing around shredding a ton of anything by hand is both extremely boring and risky, which is a bad combination for me. Heaps of fluffy cheese shreds for a pizza or souffle? Carrots for a salad? Potatoes shredded for a pancake? With the food processor, it’s no big deal.
2. Stand Aside, Stand Mixer
Pizza dough, as in the recipe for our Thin-Crust Pizza, is ridiculously fast and simple in the food processor. (And because this dough improves as you keep it in the fridge for one to three days, you can easily have it on hand all the time, ready to go. For a quick sweet treat, I like to shallow-fry pieces of pizza dough and sprinkle the tops with sugar while they're warm. My mom used to make these "doughboys" for me, and now I make them for my kids.) We've got lots of recipes for pie crust, bread, and cookies that mix up in the food processor, too.
3. Skip It, Immersion Blender
Homemade mayonnaise is so good that I won't buy the store-bought stuff. Whipping up a batch takes five minutes in the food processor, and unlike using a whisk or an immersion blender, it's all contained in the covered workbowl—no splatters, no mess. Even better, you don't have to have a steady hand drizzling in the oil—dump it right in the food processor feed tube and it will drip in at the perfect pace.
4. Crushing It, Without an Ice Crusher
Toss some cubes in, and get tons of crushed ice (cocktails, anyone?) in seconds.
5. We're Breaking Up, Blender
6. Goodbye, Meat Grinder
7. So Long, Slicer
I really like the slicing disk for making a gigantic vegetable gratin when my farm share is getting out of control, or for producing enough homemade potato chips so you get more than one apiece. Uniformly-cut slices cook at the same rate, so the results will be better than if you sliced by hand, and the processor is even faster than a mandoline for big quantities.
Food Processor PerfectionLet America’s Test Kitchen help you unleash the power of the all-in-one multitasker gathering dust in your cabinet. Your food processor can do the work of a whole set of knives, a meat grinder, a food mill, a box grater, a mandolin, a stand mixer, a blender—and do it all faster—with just the touch of a button.
For recipes to make with your food processor tonight, go here! And for more information on food processors, read these posts: