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Blender/Food processor

I live in a teeny nyc studio and desperately miss my blender and food processor. I've gone through two cheapie blenders in 4 years trying to make hummus with them and am ready to upgrade past the $20 model to something that will handle gazpacho, hummus, the occasional pureed soup, etc. I use the processor aspect more than the blender, but the blender's size/foodprint will fit in my kitchen so..

whats the best ECONOMICAL tool for both? I've been without for over a year so I dont "need" but I miss being able to make basic processor foods, although the actual usage is only about 4-6 times a year. I dont need a beast of a machine and price/footprint is more important than durability and even performance. Basically, I'm looking for a reliable new multipurpose toy! I miss my gazpacho so much in this weather...

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  1. Would a hand-blender be inappropriate?

    1. or one of the smaller volume -- 7 cup or so -- FPs? There was another thread going about best food processor and one of the things I miss about the 1st generation Cuisinarts (which were RobotCoupes) was their small footprint, largely made possible by twisting the cylinder assembly to turn it on, thereby dispensing with the larger footprint required for an on/off switch. I'd at least try to surf ebay or hunt for a late 70s Cuisinart.

      1. "Basically, I'm looking for a new multipurpose toy! I miss my gazpacho..."
        I just posted on another thread, my excitement that my wife just brought home a "Ninja Master Prep Food and Drink Maker." Can't wait to use it. The comments on Chowhound and other reviews around the web are uniformly positive. May take up a little space in an apartment kitchen. (Cost: approx $39.00 at WalMart.) And the Ninja recipe booklet does have a Gazpacho recipe! But I'm posting here because I had a space problem, too, several years ago, and some Chowhounds suggested a hand-held immersion blender. Unfortunately, it turned out to not be very versatile at all and I am just passing on "caution" if you consider going in that direction.
        Good luck,
        Florida Hound

        1. A few months ago, Costco had a Cuisinart multi-purpose thing that had a blender, full sized food processor bowl, and mini-processor bowl that could all be attached to the same base. A friend that bought it has found it to be very useful-- The base has a fairly small footprint on the countertop, but storing all of the attachments takes a bit of space.

          2 Replies
          1. re: chococat

            I bought one of these at CostCo years ago, and it's still a gem. Have ground dried corn in it, crushed ice, and all kinds of basic dough prep, slicing, etc. Great product.

            1. re: chococat

              Just be sure you don't mistakenly purchase the Cuisinart "SmartPower Duet" blender-food processor, which I got from Costco and hate. It comes with only one food processor bowl, which is so undersized I can't fit a pie crust recipe in it.

              The blender is underpowered. How hard can it be to blend a smoothie with frozen fruit, for Pete's sake?

              The motor screams like a banshee and smells like an electrical fire about to happen. I was going to wait for it to finally incinerate itself but I'll probably put it in the donation pile.

            2. I've had good luck with my Cuisinart Mini Prep processor and an immersion blender. Both are close to ten years old. The newer Mini Prep fixed the worst aspect of the original which was removing the blade and flipping it over to switch between chop and grind. It now reverses the blades direction by selecting either chop or grind. The cup size has increased as well as a handle. While it does require loading of food by removing the top it does have holes to add oil etc. The footprint is very small. I've never attempted to chop up ice with my immersion blender but everything else it does very well and excels at hot soups right in the pot. Plus it can store away in a drawer.