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Nov 20, 2012 04:51 PM

Do I "Need" a Food Processor?

Last year I got my stepdaughters nice food processors for Christmas, and regretted not getting one for myself. That said, I don't even pull out my blender very often, I'm not even sure what a food processor does better than a blender. I am debating whether to ask for one for Christmas this year - on the plus side, it seems like it might save me a lot of prep time, but on the minus side, it would take more time to clean than a knife & cutting board. Another potential plus would be that it might make me more likely to do things like pesto - but a drawback is that it has to be stored somewhere...

So. Do you love your food processor or is it something you really don't use that often? Do you need one in your kitchen? Do I "need" one in mine?

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  1. Do you "need" one? Probably not. But it can make your life much easier. The two appliancess I use the most are my immersion blender and my food processor. Here are just a few things I do with mine on a regular basis.

    -Process bulk cheese. I buy big blocks of cheese and shred it myself. Saves me a ton of $$ and I can package/freeze in the quantities I need.
    -chop onions, carrots, celery etc for a variety of dishes.
    -make homemade breadcrumbs
    -puree things my immersion blender can't, ie: roasted tomatoes, eggplant etc for sauce, tapenade, etc
    -slicing or shredding potatoes for chips, homefries, latkes
    - makes slicing large quantities onions a breeze, like for onion soup, caramelized onions, etc

    Just to name a few. All of these things can be done by hand or by mandolin pretty easily so again do you "need" one? Only you can decide

    4 Replies
    1. re: foodieX2

      I love my food processor and use it for mostly the same tasks. I shred a lot of beets, carrots, onions, potatoes.

      I've used it for pesto, tomato sauce, some soups, hummus, chopping garlic.

      It can also be used for making pizza or tart dough.

      Do you need it? No. Is it a great item to have? Yes!

      1. re: cheesecake17

        oh yes! hummus! garlic! i forgot those

      2. re: foodieX2

        There are few things I find can be done with a food processor that can't be done with a blender + mandolin (both of which I would still own even if I got a food processor); however, the one time I do find myself wishing for one is in the case of bread crumbs. I generally make my own bread crumbs because they're so much tastier and because I bake a lot so I generally have stale bread around, and I find it nearly impossible (and wildly labor intensive) to make breadcrumbs without one.

        1. re: mdzehnder

          FAIR WARNING: one crust of Italian bread was so hard, it broke the plastic part of the metal blade in my Cuisinart.

      3. I am struggling to remember the last time ours saw the light of day. We use a mandoline (Borner V-slicer) quite a bit - way easier to wash up that the FP.

        1. I only use mine a few times a year but it is well worth it for making latkes at Hanukah (no grated knuckles) and for chutneys and relishes. I use my immersion blender for many of the things I used to do with the food processor.

          1. I love my food processor. I use mine for making pasta dough, pie crusts, bread crumbs, chopped nuts. Rarely use it for shredding or grating, though it is wonderful for Morning Glory muffins--makes quick work of the zucchini and carrots. I use my small one for pesto and sauces as well as finely chopped garlic/shallot/onion for particular dishes.

            5 Replies
            1. re: escondido123

              I love the food processor for pasta dough - so easy!

              1. re: justalex

                Exactly. I made my self crazy trying to make the flour volcano with the well to hold the beaten eggs. At some point the wall always broke and then it was a scramble to try and keep it all together. Now, it is so easy. And the same goes for pie crust.

                1. re: escondido123

                  I've never had the courage to make pie crust. You've inspired me to try my hand at making a pie with food processor crust. It sounds fun now! :)

                  1. re: justalex

                    The tricks I learned. Cut butter into smaller cubes and freeze, then dust with flour before adding the FP. Have actual ice water, meaning cup of water with ice in it. Measure out water at last moment. Pulse.

                    1. re: escondido123

                      another trick: cut butter into pieces which fit into the FP feed tube. Grate butter, remove from bowl. Switch to chopping blade before pulsing flour and grated butter. Replace 1/2 of water with chilled vodka.

            2. "Need", no. Love it? Absolutely! Mine really doesn't take that long to clean (it's a Cuisinart Elite)and with it I can do things I would never have done without it..grating raw beets, shredding a whole head of cabbage. Sure, you CAN do that with a V-slicer, but not without risking life and limb. When I got it I cleared out two bags full of kitchen gadgets that it replaced. I never used a blender either, but I use my food processor all the time.