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Food processor, kitchen aid, what do you really need?

I used my food processor for the first time yesterday to make matchtick pieces of zucchini to make zucchini pancakes. I have had the machine since my wedding 6 yrs ago! What do you use your processor for and how many times a week do you use it?

What about your kitchen aid? I use the mixer to make cookies a few times a year. Otherwise it sits in the closet.

I use a knife and a cutting board most of the time to do all my prep. I have a favorite wooden spoon and spatula and usually use the same saute pan over and over. What about you? What do you really NEED to cook and bake?

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  1. Depending on the quantity of prepped food I need, shredded or chopped veggies, dips, sauces, salsas, purees, whatever, I find I use the food processor a few times a week. For cutting up a few onions, zucchini or tomatoes, I get the knife out. I really like the food processor, but need the knife and cutting board. If forced to choose, the knife and cutting board are indispensible, the FP is not. I have my favorite wooden spoons and pans, but that what I use has more to do with what I'm cooking rather than that I like that particular pan or spoon.

    As for a stand mixer, haven't had one in years and do lots of baking without one. I do have a hand mixer which sees alot of action. Perhaps you could send me your KA??;-D I think I could find many uses for it.

    1. I use my KA much more than my food processor. I love the KA for baking which I do a lot of but I also have the meat grinder attachment which is fantastic. I love being able to control exactly what goes into my ground meats.

      The food processor seems like more of a pain than it is worth although maybe it is just what I make that makes it seem that way. I have a great set of knives and it seems like less trouble to just use them for my prep. Also the cleanup is easier.

      1. I love my food processor & use it for everything...as much as I like my Kitchenaid, I have a hand mixer that is easier to pull out than the stand mixer so it gets used much more. Give me a chef's knife and a cutting board and I'm good if I need to improvise.

        1. I use both my Cuisinart (about 17 years old) and my Kitchenaid (maybe 7 yrs old) frequently. The main uses for the FP are grating large quantities (if it's just one zucchini, I use a box grater), mixing pie dough, or pureeing large quanties of things that need a uniform texture. I use the KA for whipping cream (hate doing that with a hand mixer for some reason) and mixing cakes and cookies, which I bake a couple of times a week. I usually do bread dough by hand and beat egg whites with a whisk.

          1. keep them out on the counter and you'll find a lot of uses for them. when they're put away, it is easy to just say "to heck with it," i'll just do it by hand or do without."

            5 Replies
            1. re: alkapal

              That is so true. I just rearranged my kitchen cabinets and did put the food processor out on the counter next to KA and I am hopeful that it will inspire me to use it more.

              1. re: baseballfan

                i would've made a nice batch of cole slaw yesterday if i'd had the processor on the counter (i have such limited space). i am going to rearrange things and get my own out on the counter -- that and the blender (fruit smoothies are great for the summer), and i would've had it out for my chimichurri that i want with some beef.

                i use my handy chopper for lots of things, but it can only do a limited amount of tasks for a small volume of food.

              2. re: alkapal

                So true, if I consider buying anything it would probably be a processor which can do things like grate cheese or potatoes/veg. I just think that would really come in handy.

                1. re: alkapal

                  I think you're right; I got along pretty well when I was limited to just 5 items to move around with when I was itinerant, but now that I have a stand mixer, blender and food processor, I only use what's right in front of me. It is only when I am cooking in quantity that I think, "Hmm, this would be a lot easier if I brought the food processor" out.

                  The stand mixer, however, gets plenty of use in cooler weather when I bake more often.

                  1. re: alkapal

                    Agreed. My stand mixer is on the counter. FP is in a cabinet right below where I use it, on the top shelf in the front. The bowl sits beside the mechanical part. Very easy to get out and put away.

                  2. I use the Kitchen aid the most. I use the food processor when prepping large amounts. I use it for slicing and grating. (I would love to have a cuisinart for the new 2mm slicing blade,) I just redid our kitchen a few years ago I was lucky enough to have neighbor build my cabinets. At one end of the kitchen, I made the countertop extra deep to accommodate leaving my appliances I frequently use out and still have my 24 inch work space. I use the Kitchenaid more much more than I used to.

                    1. KitchenAid is dearly loved and adored, but rarely exercised. I hardly ever bake, and seldom nowadays whip cream, but when I do I'm really glad it's there. I do use it to grind meat, though I use the Cuisinart when I'm making meatballs, since those do need to be chopped with the bread and stuff.

                      The Cuisinart is a relatively old one, dating from about 1981 (the K5A, on the other hand, is from about 1953). It was Mrs. O's first major cooking gift to me, and it's been indispensable. It makes our mayonnaise, chops veges for meatloaf, makes breadcrumbs and purées squash or asparagus for soup. It does a quick chop for a very small batch of sausage as well, when I'm making too little to haul out the grinder, and I've learned how to avoid making meat goo that way. It's a lot easier to pull out for use than the KA, and quicker to clean up.

                      There are things neither one can do, that require a blender, and though I have an old Waring I treasure my favorite is my Cuisinart stick blender. No more exploding hot liquid!

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: Will Owen

                        Will: You're certainly lucky avoiding splatter from your stick blender. I've splattered myself many more times with that than with my blender. Maybe it's because I finally learned to (a) start the blender on low speed when it's filled with hot soup or (b) not to fill it to the brim with hot liquid. These safety procedures only took me about 15 years to figure out.

                        1. re: oakjoan

                          I threw my stick out pretty quickly (it was an unasked for gift) , it spattered everytime I used it. I just puree hot liquids in my Waring blender, holding the lid with a towel, so much safer.

                          1. re: coll

                            i'm not seeing how a submerged stick blender is splattering -- unless there is not sufficient liquid.

                            1. re: alkapal

                              I didn't take long enough to figure it out, I gave it to someone who wanted it. I think maybe I used to lift it up a little like I was stirring, but anyway I hated it. Also think it was a cheap brand, so maybe some work better.

                              1. re: coll

                                Mine was the cheaper of the two at Bad Breath & Beyond - under $30. I don't understand how one could make it splatter, unless it were running before it got immersed. I usually run it in either the cup that came with it or my one-quart measuring cup, or sometimes in the two-quart plastic mixing bowl. At no time has it splashed or splattered, and it's always performed superbly.

                                The main reason I got it was to make gravy from the roasting vegetables at holiday meals. No amount of caution could keep hot stuff exploding out of my jar blender, and letting everything cool off took an unacceptable amount of time. The immersion blender did the job exactly as I'd expected.

                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  I have found it to be much safer to use the stick blender on hot stuff-no transfer of hot stuff to blender and no splashing when it is turned on.

                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                    Totally agree. I can't remember the last time I used my blender. No splattering with immersion blender.

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      I use my stick blender all the time (had never owned one, found a Cuisinart model on clearance, and now would hate to give mine up!) -- I use it for spaghetti sauce, fruit coulis and small amounts of whipped cream.

                                      I have a beehive-shaped Oster blender that has a small FP attachment on it -- I use it for homemade salsa when I'm in a hurry, and it's just the right size for a single bowl of salsa.

                                      I had a huge Cuisinart and HATED wrestling it in and out of the cupboard (I didn't have enough counter space in that kitchen to keep it out) -- and it took me three times longer to clean and put it back that it took me to just to do the job with a knife in the first place.

                                      Sold it in the Garage Sale from Hell (the term used when you're relocating halfway across the world...it's amazing how much crap you sell when you have THAT to look forward to!)

                                      But you can have my KA when you pry it out of my cold, dead fingers. Ain't NO WAY I'm giving that up.

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        My stick blender ($30 at Costco and I also bought for my two daughters) has a mini-FP so I now never use the attachment for the blender either :)

                                        It's funny people talk about how hard it is to clean the grinder attachment to the KA but I can clean it faster and better than the FP.

                          2. re: Will Owen

                            Late to the discussion, but I'm with you Will. I don't use my KA much. I've worked out a nice sourdough bread, which I could use the dough hook for, but I really like hand-kneading. The meat grinder is great for making fresh burger meat without having to obsess about E coli.

                            The KA makes fantastic light mashed potatoes for holiday dinners. Forget a ricer. Cut your potatoes into quarters, break them down with the heavy blade. Install the wire whip, add milk or cream or half-and-half, and pre-melted butter, some salt and white peper, set the speed to 6 or so, and quickly take it up to 10 for 60 seconds. FLUFFY.

                            A hand mixer is okay for whipped egg whites and whipped cream, but the KA gives you stiff peaky stuff faster.

                            I use a food processor sometimes. Mostly I hand chop and hand grate, it's often a wash, more time cleaning the fp vs more time working the food by hand.

                            It's hard to control the degree of chop vs. puree with a food processor. I haven't mastered this one.

                            The Shun Pro mandoline I haven't tried. But it surely looks nice.

                            Immersion blenders work well. I got a Bamix on sale, then was watching HSN, and got a Puck. The latter is more powerful, 600w v. 150, , but bulky. I gave it to my son and daughter in law.

                            For serious immersion blending, Hobart makes some heavy-duty commercial ones. $$$

                            Costco has a nice package-of-goodies deal on Vitamix. It's the best blender around. The dry beaker grinds grains to pretty fine flour. It's not a true grain mill, but if you sieve your stuff, it's effective, then regrind the particles that the sieve doesn't pass.

                            1. re: MarkKS

                              Can the Bamix do the same as a regular blender? I need a new blender and was looking at the professional Bamix from WS. I want something that can make smoothies, not just thick soups.

                              1. re: chowser

                                You should ask the WS folks. You'd have to use the right container. A plastic tapered-shape glass might work, I don't know.

                                Another thing is, the Bamix may not be powerful enough. I use a Vita-Mix for smoothies. It's 1200 W or so.

                                1. re: MarkKS

                                  Thanks--I'm wondering if the Bamix is strong enough for what I need. Given that it's close to $200 and the Vitamix is more, I can't justify getting both right now.

                                  1. re: chowser

                                    Just to clarify, I was thinking of frozen smoothies. I think shaving ice might be too much for the Bamix. If you plan to emulsify chilled fruits, Bamix can handle that easily.

                                    If you want frozen smoothies, another method is to pulverize the fruit with the Bamix, using some juicy fruits like oranges or grapes to get some liquid consistency, then put the emulsion into a Cuisinart frozen yogurt maker ($50), and run it just until you get the "thickness" you want. This will have more intense flavors than the ice-cubes-and-fruit in a blender method.

                          3. When you're cooking for one and have never had a dishwasher, a knife and a cutting board is pretty much all you need. I like food processors, but washing sharp blades and the other assorted processor parts all by hand is not fun. I can usually manage cookies, or even a simple cake with wooden spoons and whisks. Kneading bread by hand can be a great stress-buster; take it all out on the dough. :)

                            I do keep a mini-prep processor on the counter, but even that isn't used very often; there is an old Sunbeam mixmaster in the closet that hasn't been out in years.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mcsheridan

                              I rarely put my FP parts in the DW. A pan of hot, soapy water takes care of everything just fine. Drop everything in and they pretty much take care of themselves.

                            2. I have an Oster kitchen center, which uses the same motor to operate blender, mixer, and chopper attachments, but it rarely leaves the cabinet. The Cuisinart food processor sees a lot more use. I also use a hand mixer and an immersion blender. Wish there were room to keep the Oster on the counter, where I'd use it more. Most use of all are the V-slicer and the trusty bowl/spoon/whisk trio.

                              1. My mini food processor gets alot of use. I use it for small quantities of purees, mayo, flavored oils... just about any recipe that calls for blending I'll use my small food processor, to avoid the hassle of bringing out the blender and whatnot.
                                My large food processor is just about useless, I only have one cause it was free. I use that for grinding breadcrumbs and crackers, and shredding mass amounts of food. I never understood why so many people on tv use one, it's so much easier to do most tasks by hand.
                                My kitchen-aid is really useful. I use it for cookie batters and meringues and icings... lots of baking stuff. I also use the add-ons for meat grinding and ice-cream making.
                                I use a stick blender only for tomato sauce, and a regular blender only for soup and smoothies.

                                All in all though, I do most things by hand. Bread dough, pie crust, cutting vegetables etc. It's just so much easier by hand; I get a better product and less cleanup too. I could survive with just my mini-processor for most additional tasks, the kitchen-aid for baking, and a regular blender for soups/smoothies.

                                1. I really don't use a food processor that much. I use my kitchenaid maybe once a week.

                                  I use the hell out of my santuko knife...everytime I cut vegetables.I have a full set of Henckels Pro-S knives but the ones I use all the time are the santuko, the 3.5" paring and the 10 inch serrated bread knife. I don't use my wood chopping board much but I use the flexible ones all the time.

                                  I use my collander a lot.

                                  I use my Peugeot Pepper grinder all the time. As far as pans, I use my all clad skillet and 3 qt saute pan with lid. I use the 1, 2 and 3 qt saucepans with lids. I use the 8 qt stock pot with lid and the 5.5 qt Le Creuset dutch oven a lot. I use the the two non stick 8 inch and the 10 inch non stick fry pans for eggs a lot.

                                  I use my foodsaver a lot. I am always using part of a chub of hamburger or breakfast sausage or a block of cheese and resealing them. I freeze with the fodsaver a lot because I get no freezer burn and whatever i freeze thaws quickly in a sink of water.

                                  Last things last. I have a very expensive set of Pro-s steak knives that I never use but I use the all stainless steel serrated steak knives I bought at a garage sale all the time.

                                  1. I use my food processor all the freaking time. I would be lost without it.

                                    The one thing I need it for is pie crust. So easy and so good.

                                    1. I NEED my kitchen aid - ok well maybe not need since I lived without before but it helps when making pizza dough, sweet and savoury bread and pastry doughs, whipping up complex cake batters or beating eggs/whites or whipping creams, cookie doughs, frostings, butter cream..etc.
                                      I've got a mini processor and I use that mostly for making a paste out of aromatics for my rice mixture when stuffing grape leaves or cabbage rolls.
                                      I've used it for making pesto and hummus too.

                                      Other than that I like my knife and cutting board too, can't be bothered to haul out the equipment most of the time.

                                      Another piece I like is my mini smoothie blender, it's good for things like salsa, pureeing sauces or soups and making crepe batter smooth.

                                      Most of all I NEED my dishwasher to throw everything in it !

                                      1. I use my food processor all the time, either grating/chopping large amounts of vegs or cheese, or for making dips like guacamole or hummus or tapenade. Potato pancakes are a breeze when you grate them with the machine. My Kitchenaid is indispensable for baking, but I also use it for mashed potatoes as my husband likes them whipped. For whipped cream I have a small Kitchenaid hand held, it was a housewarming gift that I'm embarrassed to say I have no idea who actually gave it to me. Everytime I use it, I wonder where it came from.....

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: coll

                                          My first Cuisinart was purchased in 1979 but eventually I burned the motor out doing volunteer things like grating an entire wheel of cheddar cheese so the church volunteers could make mac & cheese. I use it weekly in summer to make large amounts of cole slaw for the church suppers. I garden and even 2 hills of zucchinis are a lot so this morning I shredded zucchinis and my DIL has come over to shred zucchinis for relish. I used to use my Cuisinart for baking but DH gave me a Kitchenaid stand mixer a couple of Christmases ago. It's really much easier to make cookies with the KA. I now bake more. I prefer making my own salad dressings so the Cuisinart is great for that. I'd say I use the Cuisinart several times each week. Last summer I found a terrific gratin recipe that required very thin slices of potatoes and zucchini. I borrowed my DIL's mandolin and ended up buying my own. I rarely use it but I'm glad I have it. I have an ulu knife and cutting board that I bought on our first visit to AK and that is something I would recommend to everyone. It does such a great job at mincing garlic and herbs. OK, so maybe I need better knife skills but I find the ulu easy and relaxing to use. Now if I could only find my recipe for salted herbs that I made back in the 80s.

                                          My box grater was used when I got it back in the 70s and is still decent but I recently purchased a nice Pampered Chef grater that is perfect for fresh ginger and also fresh parmesan.

                                          Don't forget a whisk. I don't know why it took me so long to learn to whisk my dry ingredients when I bake.

                                          Decent knives and a decent knife sharpener.

                                        2. "Need"? Knife, fork, cutting board. That's what I used in grad school. Then I graduated to a whisk which made some things so much easier. Next was the hand mixer which was so much better for making cookies, etc. I was given a cuisinart and found how much easier it was to make things like tarts over using two knives, so quick and easy and I could cook/bake in so much less time. Stand mixer? I can make dough when I have very little time and energy. I can have cookies and cakes ready for the oven before it's finished preheating.

                                          So, with the progression, I can make what I used to, in much less time. Things I do regularly:

                                          food processor: hummus, crusts, pureeing, chopping cookies, bread etc. into crumbs, making panade (though hand works just as well with this)

                                          stand mixer: cookies, cakes, other baked goods; bread, pizza, other dough; ground meat, whipping, pie crust

                                          1. i use my knife and cutting board a lot. mostly because i don't want to do more dishes.

                                            that said, i love my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer for baking. for whipping -- including mashed potatoes at thanksgiving.

                                            also have uses for my hand mixer, esp if i want to control splashing or flow rate differently, i.e. macarons.

                                            my food processor i use for chopping larger volumes, mostly for soups and crock pot recipes. i actually wish i had gotten a larger volume one, so i didn't have to do some things in batches. i've also used it to par-puree things like fruits for jam.

                                            my food mill is great for taking skins off of things (though i do this rarely), and for a rough puree.

                                            my immersion blender... a new addition to the line-up, with which i am still experimenting and trying to find new uses/recipes. it was on sale. a lot.

                                            need ANY of these? yes.
                                            need ALL of these? no.

                                            i could be happy with:

                                            -KA or hand mixer - like the former because i can walk away from it for a moment, like the latter for the control
                                            -food mill or immersion blender - former is more work and not as "thorough" maybe, and the latter, less "diverse" maybe?
                                            -food processor or not - this was a gift and i have this weird perception about it being a pain to clean, even though it's not -- and i might feel differently if it was a larger volume

                                            ...just my experience!

                                            ETA: oh and my favorite tools? my whisk, my spatula, and my knives

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Emme

                                              Food processor - especially great if you are cooking for a family. Will instantly cut and grate mounds of food, make sauces, pesto, process herbs and a myriad of other things. It is amazingly fast!

                                              I cook for two but it still makes my life a lot easier. Just julienned carrots and made a smoothie for breakfast. Mine came with a centrifugal juicer attachment which I have only used once (not easy to clean the pulp out at the first attempt) and the usual citrus press.

                                              I am a minimalist by nature - but I think I will find growing uses for the FP.

                                              Do you need one --- of course not. It is a nice to have and you can easily use a knife for most jobs but in my case I am working through the recipe book which came with it and thus learning to make a host of new foods which I would not have attempted before. I actually bought it to make pastry - which it does so well. Downside - has to be hand washed - but it is not a huge chore.

                                              For baking one needs a stand or hand mixer .

                                            2. What you really need depends on what you cook most often and your own energy level and preferences. A lot of kitchen appliances are noisy and ugly and awkward to clean, compared to elegant knives and cutting boards. With practice, you can cook almost anything with a good knife, a cutting board, bowls, spoons and spatulas, a good pasta pot and saucepan and fry pan. As a frequent traveler and former gypsy (5 long distance moves in 10 years), I also have some recipes for wrapping foods in foil to steam or bake, and humility for the fact that it's hard for me to cook energetically at the end of a long day. On weekends I go to town, but when my feet are tired, I'm not spending 2 hours standing in the kitchen. Whatever makes your favorite dishes easier ti make is useful; everything else is junk.

                                              1. I have a kitchen island which i use as my counter space... so the rest under the cabinets is dedicated strictly to appliance use. I think having your appliances out is the only way to get use out of them. I know I'm too lazy to lug a food processor out of a cabinet, even if it takes me 10x as long to get the task done by hand. But all my cooking utensils and most my spices are in nearby drawers & cabinets I can't stand to look at clutter.

                                                Daily use that stay on my counters:
                                                1 - Dualit 2 slice toaster - used daily
                                                2 - Vitamix Blender - For Hubby's 1-2x a day smoothies
                                                3 - Magimix Food Processor(16 cup model) - Got it Tuesday, and have used it every day I've cooked since... Sorry but im not the fastest with a knife. Hubby used to complain it took me 30 mins to get everything prepped for tacos. I do not buy my lettuce or cheeses previously shredded. For 2 people, I'd waste too much product going that route. I also have made bread 2x already successfully making the dough in the processor. And I NEVER bake because I always thought it was too messy and took too long. Oh did i mention the perfect omelets it made for me the morning i got it?(used every time i've cooked since I got it)
                                                4 - Pressure cooker - (bought same time as my food processor) Have used it multiple times already I can say, if I had to loose all my kitchen gadgets and pick 1, it would be my Fagor 6 qt pressure cooker. If i didn't have a cabinet right next to my stove with the perfect nook for it...this would be the only item I would contemplate leaving on top my stove. Just ordered the glass lid, pasta insert, and baking dish to turn this baby into my go-to pot.

                                                Honorable mention:

                                                Though not electric, my oxo salad spinner is used so often, It would be good enough to leave on the counter if i had no more cabinet space.
                                                Must have 1 plastic cutting board for meats & 1 wooden chopping block for everything else (but they go in a cabinet slot meant to keep on their side)

                                                8" chef knife - significantly less use after purchasing food processor, but still an essential (sorry santoku, I want to love you but you aren't essential). BTW I need a new one, any brand recommendation from small handed females?

                                                Kuhn Rikon 4" paring knife set - I got a set of 3 pairing knifes from Tuesday Morning for like $8 not expecting much(a relative ruined the tip on my 3.5", grrrr). OMG loving these non-stick Carbon steel bad boys! The plastic handle does not deter from the feel while cutting. Love them so much, I took 3 of my steak knives out of my knife block and placed these in their slots.

                                                Bread knife - Sorry but you just can't cut bread right unless you have a bread knife...mine is an el chipo from LNT, but I couldn't toss it if i tried unless replaced with a better one.

                                                8" lodge iron cast iron pan - Indispensable when i fry my tortillas for taco night (LOL and the grease crock to strain the used crisco)

                                                10" SS saute pan with lid - I use it for everything except omelets(have an old pyrex Visions 10" skillet that does them beautifully).

                                                Completely useless to me:
                                                el chipo hand blender - I'm ready to call my sisters to see if anyone wants it before i send it off to charity. Its too annoying & messy to use.

                                                toaster oven - before my marriage, my husband had one he used on a daily basis. The instant i took over the kitchen, it became obsolete. I'm a minimalist at heart, and seeing this clunker on the counter was such an annoyance... once we moved shortly after, said toaster oven was mysteriously forgotten at the old place LMAO I have been karmic-ally rewarded with 3 convection ovens(1 small/2 large).

                                                slow cooker - I hate waiting, never plan out meals the night before, so this is completely useless. Another appliance hubby had before me ;-P Will keep it just as a food warmer for the holiday mashed potatoes. I can store it under the stairs till then LOL

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: BedazzledLV

                                                  Ditto on the "gotta be on the counter" to use it. If it's out of sight, I could forget I have it, or erroneously believe it's too much of a hassle.

                                                  My hubby just got me a 16-cup Cuisinart Elite food processor, but I haven't taken it out of the box yet. I can't figure out if I should swap it out for the 14 or 12-cup, or replace my 8-year old Anolon cookware instead. I know there's a lot I can do with it, but I just don't know if I'll use it more than once a month.

                                                  I have a Kitchen Aid pistachio stand mixer, and I use it for lots and lots of dough, batter, frostings, and whipping potatoes (tip: the KA-included whipper blade is trash. Get the scraper-edged BeaterBlade instead).

                                                  I've considered getting a pressure cooker -- I do many Indian dishes, and that's one indispensable tool in an Indian kitchen. I also don't plan meals before I get to the store or stove. I could switch from the 8-hour crockpot dal makhani to a 1 hour version. What do you make in yours?

                                                  You might want to look at the Kyocera ceramic santoku -- I got a pink one (it was the last in stock) at Williams Sonoma about 2 years ago and it's my everything knife. It's fantastic with any kind of vegetable (except tomatoes, where I use my 5-year-old cheapo-yet-flawless Chicago steak knives from Walmart), and it's easy with meats and even frozen chicken. It's surprisingly light and I've never had to sharpen it. If it does dull, save your box and send it to Kyocera for sharpening.

                                                  1. re: nocomicsans

                                                    Fun fact: Did you know Kyocera stands for Kyoto Ceramics? Please return to your regularly scheduled program.

                                                    1. re: nocomicsans

                                                      TY for the recommendation. I went to WS to buy a coffee machine(hubby wanted caffeine after 6 years of marriage with no coffee maker LMAO) and instead walked out with an espresso machine(we both love cappuccinos better, and now drink then 2x daily), and walked out with a Wüsthof Ikon Blackwood 8" Hollow-Ground Chef’s Knife...LMAO the sales people were smart enough to hide the kyocera and kuhn rikon chef knives so that i completely forgot to check them out. In hindsight, my bad because i really wanted to check out the ceramics. But comparing the best shun santoku with the ikon chef... I realized on the practice board that I the way I chop is more conducive on a chef knife than the santoku since i really love to rock my knife while finely chopping and the german kife had the smooth curve i love with a fine point, another thing i prefer over the stubbier point of the santoku. I've had it 2 months now, and no signs of loosing its edge whatsoever. Though this could be because i usually use my super thick bamboo chopping block and have gotten rid of my plastic flexi's(though i have a thicker plastic one specifically for meats).

                                                    2. re: BedazzledLV

                                                      There are too many appliances and cookware to be placed in my reasonably sized kitchen and cabinets.

                                                      I have dedicated a room (20x25?) adjoining the kitchen to the left (dining room adjoins to the right) to storage of appliances, cookware, and food storage (bins of flour, rice, beans, etc).

                                                      I have no trouble walking to the adjoining room to get whatever appliance I will be using for that particular dish. It doesn't have to be on my counter to think of using it. I don't care if I don't use it for a week, month or year.

                                                      However, if I had none of the options above, according to size of the appliance or cookware, I would keep the KitchenAid FOOD PROCESSOR and the Fagor Pressure Cooker. I could very easily get along without a mixer.

                                                    3. We have both a KA and a food processor. The KA doesn't get used a ton, but when it does get used it's a godsend, plus I like the attachments.

                                                      The processor, I don't personally use that hardly ever. I find that setting it up & the post-use cleanup takes me just as long as the amount of time it just saved me with the chopping. Doesn't seem worth it unless I've got something that'd be super annoying to do with a knife.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: jgg13

                                                        I wouldn't be able to make hummus or grated cheese as easily. There are a few things (can't think of more now) that I would be lost without.

                                                        The food processor has played a part in my life. In the early 70's living on a little island I was listening late at night (the only way a radio station would come in) to a food program about the Cuisinart. I said to myself, I've gotta get back to civilization. Shortly thereafter, I re-entered civilization. Thanks, food processor.

                                                      2. I've been baking a lot more lately, thus the KA comes out weekly. I mix meatloaf by hand, and prefer to chop nuts and cabbage, among other things, by hand, but you can't beat a standing mixer for doughs and batters. I really hate to clean the FP so I only use it for quantities of veggies if I'm doing multiple dishes. Otherwise, I've got a little Feemster slicer and an inexpensive mandoline. Both big appliances are in cupboards, but the KA is pulled out a lot more often. My KA K5A is from 1975, still going strong. I'd really like to exchange my 1995 Cuisinart for a Kitchen Aid FP, but I just can't justify the expense. I use my old FP so seldom, maybe once or twice a month. One thing I really like that I got last year is a new flat beater called a Side Swipe that scrapes the sides as it mixes, it's totally eliminated the hassle of stopping and starting the mixer. I've got a KA set of grating discs that I originally got to handle beets, anyone used them for latkes? Clean up is so much easier--dishwasher--that I'm tempted to break them out more often.

                                                        1. Need? Why does it have to be "need?" Yes, I could hand-knead my bread doughs, but if I'm going to make bread every week or two, I'd sure as heck rather use my Kitchenaid. I don't need it to knead, but it does make life significantly easier.

                                                          I don't "need" my Cuisinart for most of what I use it for (though it is essential for some things - grating butter into biscuit dough, hummus, pie/pastry dough), but it sure does save time sometimes. And yeah, it does occupy that space in the cabinet sometimes, too. As does the spice grinder, or the mandoline, or the ricer, or the chinoise, or the colander. All essential when I need them, all collecting dust when I don't.

                                                          1. I've had my Kitchen Aid K5A since 1975. I use it about once a week. Bought it because I used to make my own bread and loved the dough hook. I'd like to buy a pasta attachment, also a meat grinder, but alas, not in the budget right now.

                                                            When FPs first came out, Cuisinarts were $99 and I just couldn't justify spending that for something I didn't know if I'd use or not. So I bought a Norelco one for $50. I used that FP for the next 20 years, even replaced the blades once. I wish they still made them, because it was simple and cleaned up quite easily since the cover disassembled. Because it was so easily cleaned, I used it a whole lot more often. So for me, the hassle factor is a major deterrent to regular

                                                            1. A knife and cutting board or two are NEEDS, definitely.
                                                              I've never had a real food processor and don't seem to miss it. Plus I have a small kitchen. However, there's a technique for making pastry crust using a food processor that I'd be interested to try, but I obtain pretty good results with my current technique and so adding one more thing to the kitchen for pastry crust only doesn't make sense.
                                                              I have used a wand blender with whisk attachment for whipping cream and eggs and if I didn't have a kitchenaid stand mixer, that would be a high priority.
                                                              That said, a stand mixer with all the attachments allows me to do things that just would never be done if I only had a knife to wield. I could live without it, but I much prefer to have it.

                                                              1. i love my kitchen aid, i use it for everything baking. i also have the pasta roller attachment and use my kitchen aid for rolling out pasta. my kitchen aid is used weekly.

                                                                my food processor doesn't get as much use as my kitchen aid, but it is used. it comes out when i need to shred zucchini, make pesto, slice up potatoes, and my favorite, to make shredded or grated cheese.

                                                                to bake, i definitely need my kitchenaid. it would be the one thing i would save in a fire (yes i've thought about this),

                                                                1. Even though I may not use my food processor all that often, I wouldn't give it up because it's so good at doing things that I don't like (or don't have time or skills) to do by hand. My favorite things to make it in are shortcake and pizza dough (FP recipes from The Best Recipe); it cuts butter into flour much better and more reliably than I can do it by hand, and it really saves time with kneading. I don't know how I would make certain dips without it either.

                                                                  Similarly, I need a blender because I can't make good frozen fruit smoothies without it. The stick blender is good for pureeing soups in the pot (in a saucepan, I don't seem to have issues with splatter) and for whipping cream while my hand mixer is being temporarily held hostage by the SO.

                                                                  But like a lot of posters here, I often find it easier to use handheld tools for simple tasks that an appliance would merely duplicate. For slicing and grating, I find knives and graters take less effort overall than hauling out the FP unless I'm doing a really big cooking project. For baking, I'd almost always use my hand mixer instead of my stand mixer (except for now, temporarily, I hope; see above).

                                                                  1. You need as much as you feel that you have is doing the jobs you want to do. Knife and cutting board comes first. I got a KA with meat-grinder and pasta-extrucer at WS. I love the wire whip for egg whites and whipped cream. I love making hamburger that you can cook to medium rare without getting pre-ground-burger E. coli. But, I was 52 years old before I got this. Lots of culinary fun before that.

                                                                    For dough-making, I prefer kneading. I don't do several loaves of bread daily. I don't need to knead that much.

                                                                    Anyway, Sunset Cookbook gave away a really amazing secret to making SF-sourdough, even if you don't live there. You take some live-culture plain (lactobacillus bacteriayogurt, mixed with lactose-containing nonfat milk. The Lactobacillus love to generate lactic acid. You can add some flour, or not. Let it sit under a heating 100-watt incandescent lamp at about 85 degrees for 5-7 days.

                                                                    Then mix it in with some bread flour, yeaast , water, and saltlet int rise. Punch it down or not for a second rise. Bake it. I can't give exact instructions, because I'm still experimenting.

                                                                    Like right now, I'm doing 20 minutes in a "pursed" piece of alu foil around my loaves, 450 degrees, to get steam-cooking, then opening it for 15 minutes of crust browning.

                                                                    The cooking regimen may need some improvement. Sourdough starter though is perfect. Lactose in nonfat milk, lactobacillus, time and right temp, makes a great sourdough starter culture that anybody these days can do. In the old days, they did n't have nonfat milk.

                                                                    I don't have Boudin-equyivalent big bubbles/air pockets yet. Flavor-wise, it.m there.

                                                                    It is awesomely tart and tasty sourdough. Try live-culture yogurt in your sourdough starter.

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: MarkKS

                                                                      Here's how one gets nonfat milk nowadays and way back then, too, I suppose.

                                                                      Milk the cow, let the milk sit, take off the cream that comes to the top.

                                                                      The bottom of the jar is close to non-fat milk.

                                                                      I do this each week, with the exception that someone else milks the cow. :-))

                                                                      Perhaps one could call it 2% or 1% if it has some fat modules still in there. But, when we have taken all the cream off, and the milk (without any cream) again sits, we take any tiny line of cream off that has risen to the top.

                                                                      But then again, I'm from a long line of pioneer women :-))

                                                                      1. re: Rella

                                                                        Pioneer women drinking nonfat mil,

                                                                        But are you fertile?

                                                                        1. re: MarkKS

                                                                          I love KA stand mixer and Cusinart. But if you have time, hand kneading bread dough is FUN.

                                                                          Sourdowugh, mix some live-culture plain yogurt, flour and nonfat milk (for lactose which the lactobaccilus can change to lactic acid) five days at 85 degrees. Then put this Starter culture in with flour, yeast and salt. Really good sourdough. Try it, and see if you like it.

                                                                          1. re: MarkKS

                                                                            hand-kneading bread is also excellent exercise for hands, arms, and shoulders (even arthritic ones), and it's just plain good mental therapy! The feel of the dough under your hands is soothing, and it's very affirmative to take flour and water and turn it into something that smells and tastes so good.

                                                                            I used to bake my own bread on a regular basis, and my husband knew that if he walked into the house and found me kneading, it was better for everyone if he just kept walking right on through the kitchen, because I was taking out my frustrations on the dough!

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                              Hand kneading is great! I'm setting up a sourdough. Live culture plain yogurt, flour and water, to make tangy sourdough starter, about 5 days at 85 degres. Add flour, yeast and bread flour, let it rise, knead it, let it rise again. Then into the oven.

                                                                              I went to SF, got Boudin. My bubbles aren't as large, but tastiness is totally on target. Everybody likes it.

                                                                              1. re: MarkKS

                                                                                would you post proportions, please? I used to have a potato sourdough that was the bomb, and have been looking for a good culture that I could start from scratch.