A food processor is a must for those of you who either have too much to do in the kitchen or want to spend very little in the kitchen. It is a blessing as it allows you to do more than one function and saves you tons of time.
However, before you invest in a food processor, think about why you want to go in for a food processor. How much of use it will be to your household. If you have a large household, or you like throwing parties at home, or just plain experimenting in the kitchen, you will make full use of the slicing, shredding, chopping, pureeing, crushing, mashing functionalities of the processor. If you only need the chopper, there's no sense buying a whole food processor for it. Also check the capacity that you will need. No point buying something that is too small. You'll end up wasting more time. Also, there's no point in buying something that is too big-eventually you will realize it is too big for your use, and therefore it will end up in the loft of your house. So just check up on the available sizes and pick the one that will be enough for your family. A food processor will offer functions like mashing, pureeing, wet, dry, chutney grinding, whipping, shredding, crushing, blending, mincing, grating and the like.
FOOD PROCESSOR PRICE AND BUDGET
Depending on the functions you want and the price you're willing to pay, you can choose a food processor. Typicall food processors come in between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 10,000.
FOOD PROCESSOR FEATURES
This indicates that the food processor can operate at more than one speed. Multiple speed levels give you the versatility in using different functions and operation speeds in your machine.
Type of switch
Food processors come with two types of switches-rotary and piano. The piano type switches are the international style push button speed selectors that are convenient to use. These can also give the maximum speed at one go. Rotary switches are the dial switches like we have in our mixers.
Type of juicer
There are two types of juicers available-Centrifugal and Citrus. If you require taking juices only from citrus fruits such as sweet lime, oranges etc, a citrus juicer is the right option for you. A centrifugal juicer also allows extracting juices from hard fruits such as watermelons as well as some vegetables.
Accessories and Attachments
One consideration which can separate a good food processor from the rest of the pack is the available accessories. An ideal unit should contain blades, cutting disks and whisks. The cutting tools should be well-constructed and fit securely in the machine. A generous feeding tube with a plunging device is also a good feature. Small feeding tubes can cause cooks to spend significant time cutting food down to size before processing. A good food processor allows for food to be added while in operation. A blender attachment can save time and shelf space, while a juicer option duplicates the function of a more expensive machine.
Food processors come with a fixed number of attachments as well as extra blades and discs that you can buy along with it. Most processors have sufficient functions without the necessity to buy the extras but depending on your usage you can go in for any of the additional attachments.
More often than not, food processors come with a coconut scraper attachment. This is especially useful for households where coconut is an integral ingredient for most delicacies. A scraper makes the otherwise tedious task of coconut scraping much easier.
Incher or pulse facility
The incher or pulse mode is useful to chop delicate and soft food such as hard-boiled eggs, onions or parsley-this will cut the food rather than mash it. The pulse is also used to carefully fold flour into batter to maintain the creaminess and it can be used to add whipped eggs or cream to more solid food. This is useful for whipping and making milkshakes.
A very useful feature if you have kids at home. The machine does not start till the jar is correctly locked on the basic grinder unit making it safe for operations.
Another important consideration when buying a food processor is power. Larger units naturally require more power to knead bread doughs and break up hard vegetables. Look for at least 400 watts of power for an average food processor. Professional units may feature 750 watts or more, which is more than enough power to handle any food preparation.
Over load protection
Quite a few times, we put more stuff in the jar than is recommended. This can result in motor overload and eventually in a burn-out. Many a times, without realizing it, people tend to put more material in the jar than recommended. This is why the processor comes with a special relay known as a circuit breaker, which works like a common fuse in the house. It is a necessary safety feature both for the shelf life of your processor as well as your home.
Also look out for any special features like bowls, variable speeds, spoons, spatulas that come with the food processors. These aren't very common across, so depending on the feature you want the most, you can make your choice.