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How often do you use your Food Processor?

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I'm contemplating shelling out for a Cuisinart food processor, but I'm wondering how often I will actually use it. (I have storage/space constraints.) I cook often but cut my vegetables (and other items) by hand, which I find faster and viscerally more satisfying. I can't think of too many uses that I can't do with a little elbow grease by hand. Maybe grind meat or mix biscuit dough (I do this by hand just fine).

Don't need to know the pluses and minuses of Cuisinart or the actual appliance. Just want to know if you actually use it, how often, or if it just sits prettily on your counter taking up space.

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  1. I'm embarrassed to say this, but I have never used my Cuisinart. Bought it like 2 years ago, glad I got a very good price on it. There's just two of us at home and it just seems like such a bother to take it out for such a little bit of chopping. Even when I've had company, for some reason I prefer to do it by hand.

    BTW, mine is not on the counter, it's in a kitchen cabinet.

    I guess I'm a knife girl at heart. No wonder I have repetitive stress problems in my hands and arms LOL.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sivyaleah

      For some reason the prompt above that is to "post your own" reply - isn't working.

      Well anyhow, I recommend you get the full size Cuisinart with the full set of extra blades and at least one good book on how to use all the attachments with recipes. I've been married 23 years and my Cuisinart wedding present is still going strong, used at least 3 times a week.

      I use it to chop the trinity or a mirepoix for so many purposes. To chop veg. for salads, soups, what have you.
      I LOVE IT!!!

      Cole slaw is made entirely in the one bowl in about 2 minutes for enough cole slaw for an army. Add the dressing ingredients and mix with the metal blade; add the cabbage and onion and chop fine with the metal blade; remove the metal blade and replace with the larger grating blade and grate in the carrots. Plop into your serving bowl, mix and serve.

      Same story for meat loaf, only no blade change. Metal blade: add onion, carrot, garlic, worcestershire, tamari, pepper, crumbs or matzoh meal, egg - process until minced. Add ground meat & pulse until just mixed. Plop into loaf pan and then into toaster oven at 400 for 45 min. Yum!

      When you're learning to use the machine, do more pulsing than just letting it run on. It's so powerful you can easily wind up with sawdust instead of hamburger if you are grinding meat. Also for grinding/chopping meat - it's best to have it half frozen and in 1" cubes. This will prevent mashing or long fibers. It makes great dough of all kinds really easily with the plastic blade - just pulse only until dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

      If there's something a big 'ole Cuisinart Can't do, I haven't heard what.

      1. re: niki rothman

        Niki Rothman...What model is yours? Mine is that old, still going strong despite replacing S blades and plastic, it's a DLC-8Plus. I keep thinking I would like a s/s one to match my kitchen, but this one ain't broke, so I don't fix it!

    2. I'd say that I use it once or twice a week - but, for example, I might use it one meal for several different items - e.g., make pesto, make bread crumbs. I've had mine for probably 10 years now and it has held up well. I use also use it for pie/tart doughs, tuna tartare (when I don't feel like chopping the tuna), slicing alot of onions or potatoes, grating, gazpacho, making chicken liver mousse - those are the things that come to mind. In my tiny kitchen I'm fortunate to have some bookshelves, and all the appliances sit there at about waist height, so I don't have to bend and reach when I move one to put it into use on my tiny counter.

      1. Just about every time I cook. I have a largish processor and a mini chopper. The big processor, which doesn't take up that much space, is always handy. It sits on a part of the counter which also has the mixer, immersion blender and coffee grinder. I used it to puree peaches two nights ago for gelato. I'll make pasta sauce tonight and do a rough chop in it. Over the weekend I'll make more ice cream and use it to chop fruit. And I'll probably make pesto as well. I honestly don't know how people manage without a processor, it's like having a sous-chef (one who doesn't talk back!).

        If you cook in big quantities, it's invaluable. I do this a lot so I don't have to do much during the work week. You can do cole slaw for 12, marmalade 10 quarts at a time (I've done both). I mix pasta dough and pastry in it. This way I can have homemade pasta from scratch to boiling in the pot in under 15 minutes (with the help of my Kitchenaid pasta roller), and I always have pastry at hand in the freezer because I make enough for 4 pies at a time.

        When the bowl developed a crack I was so panicked at the thought of not being able to use it, I bought a replacement bowl and a whole second processor which is in the attic. My unit is about 20 years old and so far the only part that has failed is the bowl.

        The mini Cuisinart is used for chopping garlic and ginger which I do just about every time I stir-fry, also small quantities of herbs, curry pastes and grinding spices. It's a great supplement to the bigger processor.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cheryl_h

          I also have a large processor and a mini one. I use the mini one a lot more... I would say probably 2 or 3 times a week if it's a week where I'm cooking a lot. I use mine a lot for dressings or sauces, where I just want to throw in a whole clove of garlic and a bunch of rosemary or something, and just let it rip. I also use mine a lot for crumbs, i.e. graham crackers, crackers, bread, nuts, etc. I actually inherited the mini one from my future MIL because she never used it, so it definitely depends on what kind of a cook you are. I am a self-confessed very slow cook, so anything that can speed me along is great!

        2. My food processor is one of my most-used appliances. I just got a new Cuisinart (at Costco - with an extra workbowl!) and use it at least twice a week. I grate cheeses like cheddar or swiss, pulverize parmesan, make bread crumbs, hummus, pesto, salsa... I make pasta dough in it before rolling out in my Kitchenaid pasta attachment. Pie crusts come together in a flash. And it's great during the holidays for chopping nuts and certain cookie doughs. I've chopped my own beef for burgers, etc, etc. I keep it in a cabinet but it's easy to pull out whenever I need it. And there are only 2 of us at home.

          By the way, the blades are so sharp in the new machine that I cut my finger trying to clear something from the blade. I'll use a spatula next time!

          1. I'd guess about 1 out of 4 meals. We have an old Cuisinart (when made by RoboCoup), that is the workhorse in the kitchen. We have a mini that gets used about half the time, and three syles of stand/hand mixers that come into play about half of that.

            I think that one's cuisine might dictate their "need" for one, but would not be without all of ours. I hesitated, when my wife paid ~US$300 for the Cuisinart in the 70's, but I became an instant convert. Possibly the best $300 we've ever spent.

            Hunt

            1. In the summer when the CSO veggies keep coming, coming, coming I use mine every other day. Pesto, gazpacho, and coleslaw this week, for example. the rest of the year it hibernates.

              3 Replies
              1. re: The Engineer

                Gazpacho -- that's the word I wanted to hear!

                I've fought off the urge to Cuisinart for about thirty years.
                I'm only interested in using it for three things:

                1) Chopping vegetables
                2) Chopping vegetables
                3) Chopping vegetables

                Can you _really_ use it to make chunk-style gazpacho?
                It takes me hours to chop, chop, chop the tomatoes, cukes, onions, etc. Makes my hands hurt. But I'm afraid that a FP can only make one thing out of veggies -- mush. Trying to use the "mini prep" (the one with the hand attachment) isn't encouraging . I slice the veggies into little 1" cubes, put a few layers in and pulse. What comes out is a combo of shredded, liquefied, and misshapen pieces that got nicked but not chopped.

                I'd like to make lots of chopped-veggie recipes (gazpacho, akroshka, etc.) but I need some convincing that a FP would a) work and b) cut down prep time significantly.

                Thoughts?

                1. re: Tabbycat

                  If you want precisely chopped/diced veggies, the FP will never replace your knife. It is, however, very good at julienning and grating, making doughs, pastas, and purees. I only use mine 2 or 3 times a week, but there are certain things (such as pates and other forcemeats) that I simply wouldn't be able to make at home without a FP.

                  1. re: Tabbycat

                    My gazpacho is a combination of pureed and chopped vegetables. I do both with the food processor. I think it does a great job for that. For me, the food processor does not replace a knife for mincing, slicing, julienne, etc. Besides irregular cuts, the food processor releases a lot of juice which I do not like.

                2. Twice ... in five years ... would you like to buy it? There's an idea for a new board ... chow-bay ... for unused cookware.

                  It depends on how much you cook and what you cook.

                  It was just SUCH a bother cleaning up afterward when for my own purposes I could just run a knife under water.

                  I have a small household and I don't cook that often. When I do get into those occasional cooking binges, it just was more trouble to deal with than personal chopping ... and I chop better, IMO. The time it took to pull it out and clean up the blades and store it back made any time-saving as far as chopping a moot point.

                  It sits under a layer of dust on top of my fridge ... uh, not THAT much dust if you want to buy it.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: rworange

                    Mine's NOT dusty and totally UNUSED if you want to make an offer
                    :-)

                    1. re: rworange

                      I agree here, if you do not cook that much, the food processor is a big hassle. Why bother. It adds one more complication to your life. It takes up space. But if you are chopping up large batches and your hand gets tired, then that is a different story.

                    2. I lost custody of mine when I divorced. I used it often and whined about it for the next 3 or 4 years until someone who loves me bought me a new one. I've used it once in the past 6 years for pico de gallo and was horrified at the texture. I like my knife better. (and my cool new flexible cutting boards from IKEA priced at 2 for 2 bucks!)

                      1. I think the main point has been made pretty clear, if you are regularly cooking large amounts of things, you will use it into submission. If you don't cook for that many people it will take up precious space.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mattrapp

                          Not at all. Most meals are just for two of us. I used mine almost every day when I was single too. It depends on the kind of cooking you do. I make almost everything we eat, all baked goods, all preserves, all soups, sauces etc. etc. We sit down to a full homecooked meal every day. If you cook like we do, a processor will save you hours of dreary labor.

                          I'm not a slow cook and I know how to use a knife and cleaver. But the processor speeds everything up and makes all kinds of cooking more accessible.

                        2. About twice a year. I have a large Kitchen Aid and I really do like it, but I live in an apartment and don't have the counter space to keep it out. So it sits in the box in the bottom of my linen closet and comes out only for holidays when I'm having a crowd over for dinner.

                          My Cuisinart Mini-Prep, on the other hand, gets used quite frequently. I make fresh pesto all summer long in it. I still don't keep it out on the counter, but it's easy enough to take out and put away once or twice a week.

                          1. It's a wonderful machine and does a lot of things very well but, the truth is, most of the time I find I'd rather do things myself and save the wash-up. I've had Cuisinarts for almost 30 years and there are blades I've *still* never used. And a blender does a smoother puree.

                            What I do use it for is when I grate a lot of cheese (like for mac & cheese) or carrots (as for carrot soup). I also use it for pesto — I really *wouldn't* want to chop and grind that much basil myself — and rough purees like hummus.

                            I have a space prob too and I'm also wondering what appliances are essential and which I'd give up. No sure yet about the Cuisinart. It's useful but it's also expensive, heavy and bulky. Good luck in your decision making.

                            1. can i suggest buying the cuisinart mini-chop type of processor. i use mine to make dips, like hummus, with white beans or chick peas, i make pesto, bananas foster ice cream (of course this isn't a staple in everones kitchen, so . . .) if you like to chop your own veggies and the like than this is good for pureeing and such. and its much less expensive. just a thought!

                              1. After many years of pining for one, I finally bought a Cuisinart 11-cup on sale at Bloomingdale's a few months ago. I live alone, cook frequently, and have probably used it about 5 times, maybe once a month. The biggest reason for me to buy one was for pesto, since my blender just doesn't cut it. (I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I once even tried making pesto in my little coffee grinder.) I never use it for chopping garlic, onion, etc., since like you, I like the feel of the knife in my hand. I don't regret getting mine, because I'm blessed with a large kitchen (by NY standards) and my most recent batch of pesto was pretty fabulous, but if you don't have space, and you're not always looking at recipes wistfully wishing for one, then you'll do okay without it.

                                1. Thanks, everybody. Based on your collective answers I will forego purchasing yet another large shiny appliance. (Damn, those suckers have a hypnotizing effect!) I'm sure I'd get some use, but I'm realizing that the fact that I've gone this long without one probably means I'm not in any urgent need. I do have a mini-prep size one that came with my blender and I think I've used it about a half dozen times in the past 5 years.

                                  I really enjoy my knives and the cleaning involved is minimal; I don't think I can truly justify the additional cleaning involved with using a Cuisinart. Trying to keep things simple and the clutter down!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Pupster

                                    I think for me (and I suspect for most), it's something I would use often if I had one, but can get by without. I just don't choose to make the things that require a processor.

                                    1. re: Pupster

                                      You've made a wise choice. Though, I love my FP, I think you could spend your money on something you really need vs. something you want.

                                    2. My wife and I use our Cuisinarts (we too have both an 11-cup and a mini-prep) several times a week. In fact, I just used it to knock out a pie crust that's now chilling in the fridge: making a pie crust in a food processor gives you perfect texture in a total time of about five minutes from taking the flour canister down to putting the completed dough into a ziploc. Also invaluable for shredding large amounts of cheese for enchiladas or any chopping job where a fine mince is required.

                                      1. We use ours about once a week. We use it a lot for recipes that require sauces or for baking. We use it more than our blender. I would not be without! :)

                                        --Dommy!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Dommy

                                          I'm w/ Dommy! I use mine at least once a week. The only time my blender comes out is when I make magaritas, which sadly is just not often enough. ;)

                                        2. I LOVE my food processor. I use it 5x more than my stand mixer. While it's certainly not essential, it makes me more likely to cook certain things, knowing it will make the job easier.

                                          I use it in spurts, sometimes a lot and then not at all. If I didn't have space issues - and it was always on the counter - I'd use it more.

                                          When I do use it, I love it for scones, pizza and pie dough. It's great for slicing apples for pie, potatoes or other vegies for gratins or coleslaw. Unless I'm doing a very small quantity, this is how I grate cheeses, zucchini, carrots, bread crumbs, etc. I generally use my hand blender if I'm doing a puree. My food processor (a KitchenAid 11-cup) came with a mini-bowl attachment that I use for smaller amounts - like ginger or garlic.

                                          It's a bit of a hassle to clean, but I've washed the parts in the dishwasher for years with no problem. Blades are still super-sharp!

                                          1. All the time. But we cook real food mainly from scratch. There are only 2 of us but it gets a workout. I am getting ready to replace the one I have. I cannot imagine not having one and a mini processor too and a grinder

                                            1. I use mine alot even though I am single. I use the slicer attachment mostly since I cook alot of soups, stews and veggie gratins like pommes dauphine. Before I got it I used the slicer of a veggie grater but now I let the machine do the work.

                                              1. I use mine often for short dough, bread crumbs, grating a large amount of cheese and pureeing food. I think when it comes to cutting, slicing and chopping, cooks fall into two camps: "knife" and "food processor". For me, a food processor never cut or slice food evenly the way that I like it. I somehow think you fall in the "knife camp" so you will probably be disappointed by how a processor cut and slice. For few other tasks, it is great.

                                                1. I have a Kitchen-Aid food processor and I tend to use it a few times a week at the most. I could probably get by without it, but it was a great deal ($45 refurbished with a warranty) and there are times when its much easier to just have a food processor.

                                                  A food processor can be very nice if you really like to cook, but many of the jobs can be replaced with either a strong blender or a immersion (stick) blender.

                                                  1. I believe the whole trick is having enough space to have it available. Having to haul it off a shelf and find space makes it annoying. When I had sufficient kithcen counter space to leave it out I used it all the time. Now I only use it for asian coleslaw - lots of choppping, slicing, shredding. Otherwise the trusty knife wins every time.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: madwrk

                                                      Not exactly space. Altho my kitchen's small my Cuisinart is on the counter all the time *and* I cook 70% of our meals from scratch. Still, I'd rather *not* use the C 'cause I don't want to have to wash all those parts.

                                                      I've replaced my old one, but I'm not sure I'd ever buy another.

                                                    2. Now that I've learned how to make bread and pizza dough with it, I use my food processor a lot. The results are so much better than hand-kneading and it is so easy and fast!

                                                      1. my cuisinart is 16 years and going strong. the only casulty has been a cracked feed tube, which was easily replaced.

                                                        like many above, i use it for shredding large quantities of cheese (i.e. for tacos and fajitas), shredding for cole slaw, pesto, graham crackers for cheesecake crust, hummus, and for big quantities of chopped vegetables.

                                                        1. I live alone, mostly cook for myself or just a handful of others, and I use my Cuisinart a lot. It's really not all that difficult to clean (and I say this as someone who doesn't have a dishwasher and hates doing dishes) -- if you stick it in warm water immediately, it's really just a matter of rinsing it off. I use it for quick pestos, sauces, purees, bean dips like hummus and white bean dips, dips for vegetables, etc. I don't have a blender, so mine gets the workout that a blender would. It also helps that I have the counter space for it, so mine just lives on my counter and I can throw stuff into it and turn it on. It's funny, though, because I had it for about a year before I acutally used it, and once I did, it really changed what I chose to make at home.

                                                          1. i use my kitchen aid which also has a mini bowl as a part of it at least 4 times a week. it's a great piece of equipment. i still like chopping though - find it relaxing and therapeutic.

                                                            1. there are things I would NEVER make if I didn't have my Cuisinart: hummus, tabouli, carrot cake, etc. Chop all that parsley by hand for the tabouli? No way. And when I was a kid, my grandmother had me grate the carrots for her carrot cake. I'm lucky I still have knuckles.

                                                              1. I find that I use my stand mixer more then the food processor. But it does get used a couple of time a month. BTW when the Cuisinart died I reppaced it with a Kitchen Aid which I like better and think it does a better job

                                                                1. This is way after the fact, but there were several people up this thread who said they were interested in selling Cuisinarts. My son just went to college and lives in a dorm suite that has a kitchen. I'd love to get thrm one if I could find a good deal.

                                                                  1. I got my KitchenAid processor mainly becauuse I was tired of making pâte brisée by hand and suspected I'd make more tarts if I had the machine. I was right. I also use it for pesto and pasta dough (though I switch to the dough hook of the stand mixer--also KA--for kneading) and brandade and breadcrumbs and a quick Caesar-style dressing. I love the "bowl-in-bowl" feature and I never have a problem with cleanup; the underside of the work bowl traps water after you run it through the dishwasher, but that's the biggest problem and I can live with it.

                                                                    Bottom line: I cooked without one for years, thought it was a frill, then I got one and it rapidly became--not a necessity like my chef's knife, but a trusted regular.

                                                                    1. Back when Cuisinart and Robot Coupe were fighting it out for control, Robot C. was losing, and I was able to buy one cheap, with many disks, etc. The motor is powerful, I think, more then Cuisinart, and have used it for more than 25 years without ANY problems.

                                                                      1. I only have a mini processor. Like you, I have space constraints - my SO gets really annoyed every time I bring something new into the kitchen, so my purchases have to be worthwhile.

                                                                        I use my mini chopper a lot, and find that when my cooking calls for processing large amounts of things I end up using my mini chopper in batches. For all the times I am doing this, it seems a large one would be worthwhile.

                                                                        1. About 6 or so years ago, I bought a Braun K-1000 from a surplus auction site. I think I paid about 60 bucks for it. My Dear Wife, who grew up on the farm with tons of brothers and sisters and no food processor, pooh-poohed the acquisition mockingly.

                                                                          Undeterred, I set about using it regularly. Pretty much any time I make a large meal with fresh ingredients I will put it to work. The thing shreds/grates cheese in seconds, slices potatoes perfectly, purees, mixes and kneads dough, all without complaint. It used to slice tomatoes, but the slicer disk is getting too dull to do that anymore, tempting me to buy a replacement.

                                                                          I probably average about once a week or so in use. Even my wife will use it occasionally! The thing is a rocket. I have never owned a Cuisinart and probably won't so long as I can keep the Braun running.

                                                                          1. I see this is an old post, but these old discussions are quite valuable. I used my food processor for making pasta. It was a life saver for that, but I rarely used it. Then I really ruined the thumb tendon that you use to chop, grate, and do just about everything. So, I bought a fancy food processor to help me. Same problem as in the past. It just will not make little squares of carrots, celery, zucchini, that has to be done by hand. Does anyone know of a mechanical way that this can be done?

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: carol1945

                                                                              Yup - Google "food dicer" - here's one for starters: http://www.amazon.com/Oggi-6014-Multi...

                                                                              1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                Thank you so much!!! This looks like what I want. I do not have strength in my hands anymore.