Little Big Kitchen Helper: The Food Processor
Think of your food processor as an extra pair of hands that can cut down on prep time and may even inspire you to try new recipes. Here are its main features.
If you make a lot of bread dough, look for a high-wattage model (about 1,000 watts), which will provide the power for extended kneading. Otherwise, 600 watts will handle most daily kitchen tasks.
2. Small Feed Tube
Use this opening for feeding small items, like radishes, or for adding liquids while the machine is running, as when you incorporate olive oil into pesto.
The large and small pushers protect fingers as you pass food through the large and small feed tubes. (Most machines are rigged to work only when the large pusher is in place.) You can vary the thickness of the slices by changing how hard you push.
4. Large Feed Tube
This is the opening through which you push most food for slicing and grating. Look for one at least 4½ inches wide. For nice, long shreds, place carrots and other long, narrow vegetables in the tube parallel to the blade, rather than standing them up on end. Insert the pusher and press down firmly before turning the machine on.
5. Work Bowl
An 11-cup capacity is ideal. Skip the models with nesting bowls (4½-cup inside a 14-cup). To use the smaller bowl, you must fit it inside the larger one, then both get dirty during processing.
6. Pulse Button
Use this to turn the machine on and off quickly. Great for chopping in quick spurts so food doesn’t get overprocessed―think salsas and relishes.