Do I want a food processor? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 24 Old 10-26-2009, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm making my Christmas list already

I'm expecting baby #2 around Christmas, and thought it would be nice to get something that would make my life easier. I make a giant batch of bread once or twice a week (makes three loaves at a time) by hand, so I was thinking about a bread machine. But really, the only step that would be particularly helpful for is kneading, and I came across the concept of kneading dough with a food processor so now I'm thinking about all the things a food processor might be wonderful for!

I could chop fruits and veggies.
I could grate cheese and save money that way.
I could grate veggies like zucchini for zucchini bread.
I think I could make sauces in it?
I'd love it if I could grind nuts into flour.
I'd love it if I could make nut butters, which I've never done.
Will it puree, baby food style?
One with a citrus juicer attachment would mean I could get rid of our separate juicer . . .

So, will it really make my life easier? Can a FP for under $150 do the things listed above?

I'd want it to be easy to clean. As I don't have a dishwasher, I'd also like to know if it will reduce the number of dishes I have to clean, or will add to them?

Oh yeah, and will it actually work for kneading my bread dough?

Thanks for any thoughts!

Diana, homebirthing, homeschooling, homemaking wife and mother of two (plus one more coming this Spring)!
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#2 of 24 Old 10-27-2009, 11:19 AM
 
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I guess it really depends if you use it, I used and washed mine three time yesterday alone!
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#3 of 24 Old 10-27-2009, 12:02 PM
 
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I think it depends. I find I don't use mine because I don't want to clean it. Especially if you don't have a dishwasher look for a processor that doesn't have little grooves and hollow areas. Those are a real pain to get into and clean!
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#4 of 24 Old 10-27-2009, 12:25 PM
 
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We rarely used our food processor, so I gave it away. We haven't missed it at all and it has been at least 5 years....maybe 8!

Instead, we have and use our KitchenAid stand mixer (gift) A LOT and we use our Vitamix A LOT!

On your list above, we grate things by hand if we are going to serve them as is. Otherwise, we do all those things (except bread) in our Vitamix, including grating if the end product is going into something else. We use the dough hook on the KA for bread-type items. I love making my own nut butters and flours. I also make my own powdered sugar. I have read the Vitamix will knead bread dough, but I have not done it. DH makes pizza dough and uses the KA instead.

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#5 of 24 Old 10-27-2009, 01:33 PM
 
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I used my food processor all.the.time. for practically everything until I went to replace the bowl and found out that they contain bpa. Now I use it much more sparingly, but I do use it. It is a top-of-the-line Kitchenaid, btw, and I do love it. I would never, however, use it to puree baby food - use a blender w/a glass jar or bpa-free jar instead.

I just wanted to share that most food processor bowls contain bpa (something I didn't know and does concern me) in case that was something that would possibly concern you as well, or even deter you. This information is not openly advertised. Here is a link I found helpful:

http://www.zrecommends.com/detail/bp...-and-blenders/

Maybe not an issue for you, but just wanted to share because most people don't know this.

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#6 of 24 Old 10-27-2009, 03:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allnaturalmom View Post
I just wanted to share that most food processor bowls contain bpa (something I didn't know and does concern me) in case that was something that would possibly concern you as well, or even deter you. This information is not openly advertised. Here is a link I found helpful:

http://www.zrecommends.com/detail/bp...-and-blenders/

Maybe not an issue for you, but just wanted to share because most people don't know this.
Wow, thanks for sharing that! I checked my food processor and blender parts and found no markings as to the number of plastic though, doh!
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#7 of 24 Old 10-28-2009, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MRJmama View Post
I guess it really depends if you use it, I used and washed mine three time yesterday alone!
Therein lies the rub--since I've never had one, it's so hard to know how often I'll use it! I usually wash out my blender immediately when I use it so it's not a pain to handwash when things are crusted on it. This is pretty easy for me to keep up with, and I'm thinking a food processor would be similar, as far as hassle of cleaning. I'm also hoping it will replace most of my blender use!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysandiegan View Post
Instead, we have and use our KitchenAid stand mixer (gift) A LOT and we use our Vitamix A LOT!

On your list above, we grate things by hand if we are going to serve them as is. Otherwise, we do all those things (except bread) in our Vitamix, including grating if the end product is going into something else. We use the dough hook on the KA for bread-type items. I love making my own nut butters and flours. I also make my own powdered sugar. I have read the Vitamix will knead bread dough, but I have not done it. DH makes pizza dough and uses the KA instead.
I can't afford a vitamix, so that one's out--and experiences seem to be mixed as to whether it works for bread anyway. It would be a big boon to me if whatever I get will do my kneading, but I need it to all be one contraption--no room or money for two new appliances...

Thanks for the thoughts and for sharing your experiences! I like to think I'm getting closer to a decision every day!

Diana, homebirthing, homeschooling, homemaking wife and mother of two (plus one more coming this Spring)!
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#8 of 24 Old 10-28-2009, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allnaturalmom View Post
I just wanted to share that most food processor bowls contain bpa (something I didn't know and does concern me) in case that was something that would possibly concern you as well, or even deter you. This information is not openly advertised. Here is a link I found helpful:

http://www.zrecommends.com/detail/bp...-and-blenders/
Thank you--very helpful! I was aware of the bpa issue, but haven't paid much attention to bpas in general because we use hardly any plastic. I was thinking that the brief time food spends in a food a processor would make the danger negligible . . . anyone have any info on whether that is true?

However, above article recommends a bpa-free food processor which looks great and is currently $60 :
http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach-70590-14-Cup-Processor/dp/B00065L68Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1256744148&sr=8-1
I'm just trying to determine if it comes with a dough hook that works well.

And after reading the article my husband searched for metal or glass food processors for me (I'm a plastic hater by nature anyway) and came up with some obscure ideas. Anyone know anything about any of these products:

Indian mixers like this one: http://www.perfectpeninsula.com/EcoChef.html

http://www.robotcoupeusa.com/product...info.php?id=23

And someone said that there is a Bravetti food processor with a glass bowl? I also heard that ancient vitamixes (from the 50s) had metal canisters. But all these products are hard to find or to find reviews on, or specifics about!

Still researching!

Diana, homebirthing, homeschooling, homemaking wife and mother of two (plus one more coming this Spring)!
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#9 of 24 Old 10-28-2009, 02:16 PM
 
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I use my KitchenAid Professional 600 it is the 6 quart model, very pricey I know, luckily it was a very generous gift from my parents. The bowl is stainless so no plastic worry there. Note that in the book they say "NEVER use recipes calling for more that 14 cups all-purpose flour or 8 cups whole wheat flour when using a 6 quart mixer.

I do not have a regular food processor so I can't comment on that, I do have a Cuisanart mini prep that I use it mostly for chopping dates, nuts & chocolate, for my homemade lara like bars, but I also do things like onions in there. It has no chute so I often think about getting a real processor with not only a chute but also a shredding blade. I like the Hamilton Beach, especially the price on Amazon but since you want it mainly for dough needing I did a search to see if it can handle it, I found that it can only do one loaf at a time using the pulse speed only. I found the info here Would that matter to you? Also in the comments on that linked page someone says that it sounded a bit labored during the 1 minute dough kneading. If that is your main use of this machine I wonder if will it hold up?

I wonder what a big Cuisinart processor could handle? Many of them come with a dough blade but don't state how much dough it can handle. I did find this which says it can knead up to 2 pounds of white bread dough. If someone has one maybe they can comment on how much bread they make at a time.

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#10 of 24 Old 10-29-2009, 12:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the Hamilton Beach info. It sort of seems like one of those things that I'd have to try to see if it works. It would be worth making one loaf at a time, and at that price, it might be worth the risk of burning out the motor--afterall, it might not burn out!

I found the Bravetti Food Processor with the glass bowl, I just can't find it for sale anywhere! Maybe it's discontinued. It doesn't seem like it would work for kneading either--too small.
http://tanga.com/products/2483-Brave...ood_Processor_

I might have to give up on the food processor for dough kneading idea!

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#11 of 24 Old 10-30-2009, 11:58 AM
 
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Wow, that looks like a great option, at a great price if it was only available!

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#12 of 24 Old 10-31-2009, 11:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Adasmommy View Post
I might have to give up on the food processor for dough kneading idea!
I use my food processor more for kneading dough than for anything else. I have a 7-cup Cuisinart, which says it can do up to 1.5 pounds at a time, though I usually make 1 pound batches of dough. It's so fast that I don't mind making more batches if I need to. I do sometimes wish I had the bigger one, but for my everyday purposes the 7-cup works fine.

The most important thing to look at if you want to do bread is your motor. Get the most powerful motor for your money. Mine is 600 watts and cost just over $100. It's well worth a little extra money.
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#13 of 24 Old 11-01-2009, 09:17 PM
 
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I borrowed my mother's to make essene (sprouted grain) bread; you grind up the sprouts. Hers would be too small for our family, but it is neat because there is one base you use with either a blender or food processor. I have a mini one I use all the time for things like pesto and other pureed sauce things. I also used my mom's to make Icelandic meatballs (you puree ground meat with flour and an onion).
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#14 of 24 Old 11-02-2009, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Man, I could go crazy trying to find the perfect one. I want to stick with Hamilton Beach because of the BPAs. I want a big capacity, a big food chute (so I don't have to pre-chop) and a strong motor for bread kneading.

I wish the one I found had a stronger motor--this one is only 450 watts. It also doesn't come with a dough hook, though in the reviews someone said it worked for kneading dough. Can dough be kneaded without a dough hook?

I haven't found a HB with all the features I wanted. Oh, a smaller optional bowl for processing smaller amounts would be cool, but it's not a deal breaker!

Well, we'll see!

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#15 of 24 Old 11-02-2009, 11:25 AM
 
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I don't have one and do all the things you mentioned above. I use my blender for most things and grate cheeses and zucchini by hand.
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#16 of 24 Old 11-02-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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I have a vitamix (which I like, but, it is *NOT* a food processor - its a blender. A really, really good blender, but a blender nonetheless) anda kitchen aid stand mixer (which I like more and more the more I use it, I got it with xmas money last january/february). I've contemplated a small food proccesor for dicing veggies up but I'm just not sure its really worth it. I don't mind sitting and doing most chopping by hand, and the only times its really a PITA is when I'm doing a LOT (like for fresh salsa in the summer) and then a little one wouldn't be all that helpful anyhow. So, IDK.
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#17 of 24 Old 11-02-2009, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kwilki8 View Post
I use my food processor more for kneading dough than for anything else. I have a 7-cup Cuisinart, which says it can do up to 1.5 pounds at a time, though I usually make 1 pound batches of dough. It's so fast that I don't mind making more batches if I need to. I do sometimes wish I had the bigger one, but for my everyday purposes the 7-cup works fine.

The most important thing to look at if you want to do bread is your motor. Get the most powerful motor for your money. Mine is 600 watts and cost just over $100. It's well worth a little extra money.
Okay, I realize that I'm posting more on this thread than anyone, and it's actually kind of helpful as I can go back and see my whole thought process . . .

I'm now thinking of not worrying about the bpas. I'm not sure how big a deal that is, but I won't have food in this bowl for long, I don't have a dishwasher so it won't get heated up that way . . .

Because the 7 cup Cuisinart looks awesome. I didn't know how big a processor I would need for my bread dough because I never measure and have no idea how much flour I use, but it seems like 7 cups would do one loaf, and as you said, I'm willing to do one loaf at a time when it's done so easily!

Anyway, this one does knead, which I would love. It has a large feed tube that says it fits a whole potato. And the reduced capacity would fit my tiny kitchen better . . .

I'm also liking the looks of this 9 cup Kitchenaid, but now I'm getting pricey again! http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KFP...=28SEEKF75TJN1

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#18 of 24 Old 11-02-2009, 04:24 PM
 
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I didn't see the watts on the cuisinart that you linked above, did you find it?

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#19 of 24 Old 11-09-2009, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't remember the watts, but I swung back the other way and decided to get a Hamilton Beach after all because of the bpa thing!

I called customer service and they told me that most of their food processors can knead bread, but only one loaf at a time. Good enough! She also said it should be fine for me to do multiple loaves in one day as long as I give it a few minutes in between.

HB doesn't seem to have any motor stronger than 525 watts. If the food processor doesn't last as long as another brand, it should last long enough to give us a good idea of whether I love having one, and whether I want to replace it with the same brand or another, which features I value most, etc.

I've told dh I'd be happy with one of these:
http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach...=28SEEKF75TJN1

http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach-70670-525-Watt-Processor/dp/B000RJTNFC/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I3W1Z30XMYVWOJ&colid =28SEEKF75TJN1


http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach...=28SEEKF75TJN1

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#20 of 24 Old 11-09-2009, 01:16 PM
 
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Have fun w/your new food processor!

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#21 of 24 Old 11-09-2009, 01:31 PM
 
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I'm also still in the process of choosing one for myself for Christmas. Do you mind if I as why the original HB processor not on your list? I think I'm leaning toward it although I do wish they had it in the stainless steel looking plastic. It's also still on back order... I really like how the first one on your list looks & it comes with the french fry cutter which I find appealing since I like to make sweet potato fries but I don't as often as I would because of all the chopping involved, hmm maybe a good choice!

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#22 of 24 Old 11-09-2009, 03:53 PM
 
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I think the first one was only 450watts and the ones on her final list are 525w.

I'm trying to find a real store that carries the HB 70575H. I won't buy from a no-name online store - I've been burned by those!

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#23 of 24 Old 09-25-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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I know this is an older post, but I wondered how the op liked the hb food processor...

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#24 of 24 Old 09-27-2010, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Very timely question, because I just today packed mine up to bring to a friend who's buying it from me! It worked just great, but I found out the answer is "No, I don't want a food processor." I just don't need one. It wasn't a hassle, but neither is hand chopping and grating. I used it to make a single loaf of bread a few times and found out that it's not such a pain to hand knead bread anyway...

Anyway, I give it a good review--no complaints. But unnecessary in my small kitchen. As an added incentive for selling it off, I'm trying to get rid of stuff so we can live in an RV someday soon. So who knows if I would have eliminated it without that ulterior motive...

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