Worth Replacing: Food processor

During the last several weeks as I’ve been working to perfect my butter tart recipe, it occurred to me how much use and value I’ve derived from my food processor. This workhorse is 13 years old and, until three years ago when I moved my test kitchen out of my house to its own location, this very unit was used both for personal cooking and recipe testing. The way I figure it, that makes this food processor’s age about 25 years old in domestic use terms.

I was surprised last spring during a recipe tasting for the Bakefest booklet that appears this time each year in Homemaker’s magazine to discover that a food processor isn’t considered a kitchen essential by everyone. In fact, more people at our tasting did not own a food processor than did. I was shocked since I truly would run out tomorrow and buy a new food processor if this one quit working tonight.

What’s the attraction, you ask? Although expensive as an initial investment, my food processor has paid for itself in pizza delivery savings alone. In about the same amount of time that it takes for the pizza guy to arrive carrying a $20 pizza, I can make the dough and shred best quality cheese in my food processor; roll and dress the pizza base and bake up a bubbling pie. I’ve estimated that the cost of the ingredients to make a 12-inch (30–cm) pepperoni and mushroom pizza using my food processor is less than $5. That means that each time I make pizza using my food processor instead of ordering it in that I save $15. Needless to say, if you like pizza (and we do!), it doesn’t take long for a food processor to pay for itself.

I also view my food processor as essential for making flaky pastry; I have warm hands which are great for kneading bread dough but not as well-suited for making pie and tart crust. Since I started making my pie dough in the food processor the quality of my pastry has gone up exponentially.

Do you have a food processor? If not, do you wish you had one? And, if you do have a food processor, what do you use it for most often?


11 Responses to Worth Replacing: Food processor

  1. Fascinating, Dana. I know people that use theirs daily. But when I owned one I only used it in spurts. It got a real workout just before Christmas, but sat idle the rest of the year. It eventually died and since I had a tiny kitchen and was single, I never replaced it. It just didn’t earn its space.

    I still have the small kitchen but have gained a husband. I replaced the food processor with a Cuisinart min-chopper. I have icy cold hands and rarely make dough, so can’t see buying a full-fledged food processor any time soon.

  2. Rosa says:

    I have a food processor/blender/mixer, but never use it when I bake. I like making my own pastries, batters, doughs by hand. That’s just a question of habit… I could not live without it, though! Anyway, I would love to own a KA for making certain recipes!



  3. Cheryl says:

    I probably could live without my food processor, but I wouldn’t choose to. It’s one of those things I use rarely, but when I need it I need it. In fact, my first Cuisinart was given to me by my not-quite-yet but now mother-in-law when I graduated from college in 1992. It literally died 2 weeks ago (that’s a 16-year run). I feel guilty because I replaced it with a Kitchenaid model. So much for customer loyalty.

  4. brilynn says:

    A food processor is definitely a kitchen necessity! My Dad threw mine out last year by accident and I nearly had a fit…

    I’m so glad you got the Doakes reference in my last post, he was my favourite and I refuse to accept he’s gone… But did you watch the fist episode of season 3 last night? Soooo good!!

  5. danamccauley says:

    Oooh! Good news on Dexter Brilynn – I’m saving it for later in the week. I’m the only Dexter watcher at my house so I watch them when I’m on my own. (Perhaps I should write about how my PVR is worth replacing!).

    Cheryl, if you have the same luck with your new KA that I’ve had with mine, it will be a good choice. My mom had a Cuisinart when I was growing up and it was excellent, too.

    Rosa, what do you use your food processor for? Blending?

  6. Cheryl says:

    In the two years I worked for a caterer I used the FP everyday. At the end of my tenure there I begged for a FP for Christmas. I think I may have been the only undergrad with one at the time. I still have it and use it constantly. Pastry, shredding veggies and fruit, breadcrumbs… I also use a mini one for mincing veggies for meatballs, soups, meatloaf, salsa…

  7. Deborah says:

    I only got my food processor about a year ago, and I’m so glad I have it!! I survived without it before, but I don’t know if I’d be able to if you took it away from me today! I use mine several times a week, bot h for baking and for cooking.

  8. Adam says:

    I have lived for 25 years (that’s my age haha) without a food processor, but there has been quite a few times where I wish I had one (see my DB challenge). I’m happy to hear yours lasted forever. Sounds like I’m going to have to get one.

  9. danamccauley says:

    The holidays are coming Adam and a food processor makes a good group gift. So much better than a bunch of sweaters you’ll never wear!

  10. Hélène says:

    Can’t live without the food processor. I was so happy when my daughter moved out, last summer, and I gave her all my old small kitchen appliances. So I bought a brand new Cuisinart food processor at Costco. When I got married, 20 yrs ago, I bought a food processor before everything else. I do make lot’s of pizza & I think, as you said, this had paid for my food processor. I also like to make my hummus in it, pie dough etc.

  11. Rosa says:

    I use my food processor for blending, mainly!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: