How to choose a food processor
A food processor can be called a compact kitchen. It easily replaces many household appliances, such as a dough mixer, juicer, meat grinder, grater, whisk, mixer, blender, mill, ice cream maker, ice pick, coffee grinder, spice mill, etc., the Combine greatly facilitates the life of a home cook, turning the cooking process from a routine to a culinary art.
And if it is equivalent to so many devices, then how do the combines themselves differ from each other?
The design of the harvester
Combines by design and, accordingly, appearance are divided into two categories – multi-cutters and dough mixers. Each category can be quite diverse up to hybrids.
Multi-cutters usually have a motor block and a transparent plastic bowl containing a knife or grater.
This type of harvester is best suited for those who work a lot with light products of low density: vegetables, fruits, liquids, etc. Additional accessories and attachments, depending on the configuration, can be inserted into the bowl itself or instead of it. Sometimes the design provides for two drives at once and then the blender is installed simultaneously.
Dough mixers. This type is more suitable for those who work with heavy products of high density: dough, meat, etc.This type of bowl is usually metal. All additional attachments are usually stored separately in a container or special case.
In advanced models of dough mixers, the rotation takes place along a planetary trajectory, in which all sections are mixed in the bowl and, accordingly, there are no dead zones and ingredients stuck to the walls. Thus, this type of combine is able to knead any type of dough – biscuit, butter, shortbread, yeast and dumplings.
It should be noted that these two types of combines are almost interchangeable when fully equipped, they only have different specialization, that is, who makes which operations more effective.
This indicator directly affects the efficiency, speed and duration of continuous operation of the food processor without overheating, as well as the ability to cope with difficult and difficult to process products. The capacity must be in balance with the volume of the bowl, that is, the low-power harvester must be equipped with a small bowl and Vice versa.
up to 300 W-compact multi-slicers that can chop, RUB, and chop small amounts of vegetables, fruits, and cooked meat, as well as shake up smoothies and batter for 1-2 servings;
300-600 W-small-sized food processors that can perform most functions in a volume sufficient for a family of 3-4 people, including grinding solid products and kneading dough;
600-1500 W – full-fledged kitchen processors that can perform all the functions necessary for feeding 4-8 people or for one family for several meals;
more than 1500 W-professional kitchen machines or combines combined with a thermal heating unit.
Remark: European manufacturers usually specify the operating/rated power of the device in the characteristics, while Asian manufacturers specify the maximum power at the moment of jamming the shaft, which is usually 3-4 times higher than the nominal power.
The main bowl
The bowl in the combine is the second main element. Its volume and the material from which it is made affect the comfort and durability of the device. Bowls can be plastic, metal, and less often glass.
Plastic. Polycarbonate bowls do not emit any harmful substances, light, unbreakable, withstand high temperatures.
Metal. Stainless steel bowls are quite strong, they can be heated and cooled, but can not be used in a microwave oven. They are best suited for processing meat products.
To reduce the size and increase the compactness of the harvester can be without a bowl at all, for such a model it is necessary to use a kitchen bowl.
Indicators of the total and useful volume of the working bowl differ. For liquid products, the useful volume is 1/2 – 2/3 of the total, depending on the revolutions, and for solid products, it is almost equal to the total.
The required volume of the bowl:
up to 1 liter-for 1
serving of liquid and 2-3 servings of solid products. Best suited for preparing baby food, as well as Breakfast or dinner in a family of 1-2 people;
1-4 liters is the best option for a family of several people;
from 4 liters – best suited for a large family, as well as for receiving guests and home preparations.
What can modern combines do?
They are able to do everything or almost everything that is necessary for cooking homemade food in a modern family. Each accessory or attachment can perform several functions at once. The most common types of attachments:
– Attachment for kneading the dough. It is used for mixing yeast, shortbread and sponge dough.
– Hook for mixing heavy dough and adding ingredients that should not be crushed, such as raisins or chocolate plates. They also mix minced meat with rice, onions, bread and spices.
– Whisk for whipping. It is used for whipping cream, egg whites, and omelets into a gentle light foam. It is also used for making light dough, such as sponge cake.
– Mixing spatula. Used for mixing, for example, salad or pastry.
– Blender. What you had to do manually with a knife for a very long time, the blender will do in seconds. Prepare pureed vegetables and fruits, baby food, mayonnaise; chop greens, a portion of nuts, chilled chocolate and even meat to the state of minced meat; make cottage cheese paste with various fillings; grate garlic and breadcrumbs; chop ice and frozen berries; RUB ingredients for soup, sauce or salad dressing; mix the batter; shake up alcoholic, non-alcoholic, energy, milk, protein shakes, smoothies, and many other operations described in popular and little-known recipes.
It is very convenient to work with a blender, since it, unlike the manual version, does not need to be held with two hands. It is tightly closed, so the spray does not stain the kitchen.
The volume of the jug in blenders is usually about 2 liters, and the working volume of such a container is only 2/3, since the liquid level will rise when rotating.
The body of the jug can be glass, plastic or steel. The plastic does not break when dropped, but may be scratched when crushed ice or other solid products. The glass is not scratched, but it is heavier and more fragile. A steel jug allows you to mix hot ingredients, but it does not show the mixing stages and the ready-to-grind phase.
Sometimes the recipe of a dish requires gradual addition of ingredients, for this purpose there may be a hole on the lid or even two (one in the other).
Knives. Usually put 1 or 2 knives crosswise. They are different in shape-straight, curved, with additional cutting surfaces. The number of knives directly affects the speed of operation. The quality of grinding depends on the form. So, straight knives always have an area in which there is no mixing and grinding, the so-called dead zone. Curved knives and knives with additional cutting surfaces eliminate this phenomenon and all products in the bowl are crushed evenly. For processing very hard products, such as food ice, knives can be Crescent-shaped with notches.
In some blenders, you can remove the knives and then wash the bowl and knife under running water or in the dishwasher.
– Grater discs with a wide variety of cutting surfaces. They are used for grating, shredding, peeling and slicing, as well as slicing vegetables and fruits into thin strips for Korean dishes.
Graters can be either in the form of a steel disk or in the form of inserts in a plastic nozzle
– Citrus press. Squeezes juice from oranges, lemons, tangerines, grapefruits and limes.
– Universal centrifuge juicer. It is used to get juice from all other fruits and vegetables.
– Mash press attachment. It is used in conjunction with a screw grinder to produce mousse from tomatoes and other soft fruits, berries, and rose hips. Simultaneously, it automatically separates twigs and seeds.
– Mincer. Designed for chopping fresh meat and preparing minced meat or minced meat dishes.
– Set of molding discs. Grates with small holes are necessary for making pates and sandwich masses, and with
large holes – for fried sausages, lard, manta rays, Kupat, and dried fruits.
– Devices for stuffing and stuffing sausages (zevka) are used to fill the shells and prepare sausages, sausages, kebbs with a cavity for stuffing, hamburgers, as well as a variety of national dishes.
– Tips-templates for baking. They are used for making homemade shaped cookies.
– Grater attachment for shavings, topping and breading. It is used for grinding nuts (almonds, coconuts, hazelnuts), chilled chocolate and dry bread.
Roller attachments. They are used for making homemade broad noodles, rolling dough into sheets of pita bread, pizza bases, lasagna, ravioli, tortellini or dumplings.
– Template attachments. They are used for making noodles, spaghetti, and macaroni.
– Emulsifier attachment. It is used for mixing thick liquids until smooth: cream, sauces, eggs, mayonnaise, mousse, sauce, pancake batter.
– Cube cutter attachment. It is used for cutting vegetables, fruits, cheese, boiled meat, and sausage. Ideal for preparing Oliviers, vinaigrettes and other salads.
– Attachment-flour mill with stone or steel millstones. It is used for grinding most types of grain crops. The degree of grinding is smoothly regulated (large – small).
– Device-ice cream maker. The container is placed in the freezer in advance to reach the desired temperature, and then it is attached to the combine, the necessary ingredients are added to it and the ice cream cooking mode is started.
Disc for cutting potatoes for French fries. It is used to make long and thin slices evenly deep-fried in the future.
– Coffee grinder attachment. It is used for grinding small portions of coffee or sugar, and it is also indispensable in the preparation of spices from herbs, garlic, onions, nuts, spices (pepper, cumin, juniper, cinnamon, dried anise, saffron, flax seeds).
It should be understood that a specific model can be equipped with only a part of the accessories and, accordingly, will perform only a part of the operations and only in full configuration with all additional attachments can the full range of functions be performed.
Top 5 best food processors
Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper with Bowl Scraper, Stainless Steel (70730)
Cuisinart FP-8SV Elemental 8 Cup Food Processor, Silver
Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless Steel – Silver
Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef Food Processor
Proctor Silex Durable Mini 1.5 Cup Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper for Dicing, Mincing & Puree, White (72500RY)
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