Do I really need a food processor? This is probably the most frequently asked question when someone is considering buying their first food processor. Many home cooks who already have a stand mixer, blender and mandolin wonder if they will really find use for a food processor on a regular basis. Then there are the purists who believe they would be abandoning finely honed knife skills when turning to a kitchen appliance for help.
No one truly NEEDS any specific kitchen appliance, but anyone who is a serious cook or would like to become a serious cook can certainly benefit greatly from the use of a food processor. Each of the kitchen tools listed above have their own benefits and belong in a well stocked kitchen. A food processor also deserves a spot in such a kitchen.
There are tasks a food processor is well suited for that no other kitchen appliance can handle as well. These include chopping, shredding and emulsifying. A blender is great for liquefying soups but can struggle with partially pureed items such as salsa. A mandolin can slice a zucchini with ease but can’t shred through several pounds of cheddar cheese in less than a minute. A stand mixer is the right tool to use when mixing up cookie dough but can be messy and ineffective when emulsifying mayo.
Many cooks find themselves more willing to take on new recipes when they have a little help. That French Onion Soup you’ve been thinking about isn’t as daunting when you don’t have to slice ten pounds of onion by hand. Apple pie from scratch is much more easily attained when you have the proper tool to cut butter into flour for a perfect crust. Fresh salsa takes time when slicing all of the veggies by hand, but only minutes in a food processor. You’ll never have to settle for jarred, pasteurized, processed salsa again! Making fresh butter from cream sounds crazy at first, since you can just buy it at the store. Once you realize all you need to do is dump the cream into your work bowl and let it do the churning, it’s not so ludicrous. And anyone who has tried freshly made butter is unlikely to go back to the store bought version.
I think every kitchen should have a food processor. The right one can cut prep time down considerably and anyone who cooks on a regular basis should seriously consider purchasing one. Even those who only cook on special occasions can appreciate the usefulness of a food processor. Homemade pie crusts are a breeze and fresh breadcrumbs take seconds to prepare. A holiday dinner can take half the time to prep for which makes it worth the cost even if it’s only utilized a few times a year.