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-   -   Food processor recommendations? (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/low-carb-recipe-help-suggestions/791039-food-processor-recommendations.html)

Mrs S 12-09-2012 05:42 PM

Food processor recommendations?
 
I want to start making my own nut butters, coconut butter, etc... I have one of those 80's in-counter kitchen centers with a food processor but it kinda sucks for anything that has to run 10+ minutes. It starts to smell like something's burning. Yikes.

I'm not sure how many cups I should get. I see them from 7 cup capacity all the way up to 14 cups. I'm also not sure if one brand is better than another for heavier duty use. KitchenAid and Cuisinart seem to be the most popular. All the reviews on amazon are all over the place. My budget is $100 to $150.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks!

dansamy 12-09-2012 05:54 PM

Ooh! I'd like to know too!

watcher513 12-10-2012 05:44 AM

I have a 7-cup Cuisinart that I love.

Mrs S 12-10-2012 05:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by watcher513 (Post 16127661)
I have a 7-cup Cuisinart that I love.

Do you ever wish it were bigger or is it always adequate for the job?

ravenrose 12-10-2012 09:39 AM

I had a very early Cuisinart I'd been using since the early/mid 80s and loved it, but several of the absolutely necessary interlocking plastic parts had broken over the years and it was just getting too expensive to replace them...

So I shopped around and ended up with a Cuisinart Prep 9. It is so far as I can tell every bit as good as my old one, if maybe a cup or two smaller. But the larger units are so ungainly--this one takes up enough counter space as it is.

You can get a lot of alternate blades for it on eBay, pretty cheap since the blades for the old processors which have broken over the years are interchangeable with this one, as long as you have the proper stem which comes with this unit. You have to make sure the blades attach to the stem the right way--just look at the ones that come with yours on the bottom and buy ones that have the same spacing of "holes" to fit on the stem.

I find the 9 cup adequate for things I do, but it's not overly large. If you have the room, the 11 cup might be better.

There is a really sleek looking new Cuisinart, more tubular than the old ones with a bigger base, and I recommend against that one. It is very light weight and supposed to stick to the counter during use by suction. I just can't see that being very good long term, especially for a long use like you want.

Mrs S 12-10-2012 11:19 AM

Very informative ravenrose. Thanks! I saw an 11 cup cuisinart with a bunch of different blades and attachments for $150 at costco this morning. I neglected to write down the model number to research it but I might have to explore it further. Much appreciated!
:)

Charski 12-10-2012 11:40 AM

I have an 11 cup Cuisinart. This is my third Cuisinart. My original was bought probably in the late 80's - it still worked perfectly when I gave it away. The ONLY reason I did THAT was my Dad bought me a new one for Christmas - but 9 cup. I did find that I could overrun it with stuff, most recently a bread dough recipe from the book that was included with that Cuisinart - :annoyed: - so I got an 11 cup. I had bought it last year around this time for $99 on special - do some Internet searching, this is a good time to find things like that on special prices. I'd check Overstock, KMart, WalMart, and just a general Google search.

I will probably never need another one - but if I DO it will STILL be a Cuisinart! :D I love them - they're real workhorses.

miboje 12-10-2012 11:43 AM

I picked up a KitchenAid Ultra Power Plus at the thrift store for $20. It is by far 1000% better than my old Sears food processor. It's very powerful, and the serrated blade is super sharp and excellent at grabbing those nuts and cutting them super fine. I am making my own almond flour with it, which I was not able to do with my old one. Having said that, it didn't have a serrated edge chopping blade. I think that makes a big difference.

Tweaker Geek 12-10-2012 08:15 PM

I have a Hamilton Beach 10 cup processor. I am very happy with it, does everything that I need it to do. Price was around $40, I think, I've had it for a long time.

RVcook 12-11-2012 08:50 AM

Like Char...(:hiya: hi Char)...I too have owned more than one Cuisinart and would easily purchase another again, but from what I understand, they have scaled back the durability from when I bought mine in the 80's...which is still technically under warranty until 3/22/2015!

With that said, I would definitely buy the largest one I could afford with the LONGEST warranty. If this is your first food processor, it may be best to get one that just does the job, rather than worrying about specialty blades and all the 'other things' it says it can do. In my case, even though mine came with slicing, shredding, mixing and chopping blades, in the 24 years that I've owned this one I rarely use the slicing blade, I sometimes use the shredding and mixing blades, but I ALWAYS use the chopping blade (I just replaced it last month for the 3rd time. Hmmmm...3 blades in 23 years...not bad at all!)

I find that the 7-cup work bowl is sufficient for most of my needs, but then there are those rare occasions that I wish I had an 11-cup work bowl. Operative word: rare.

Several years ago, I purchased a flat cover and that changed my food processor usage dramatically. Washing that complicated, wide-mouthed, multi-piece cover was a pain my...backside and even though I found the functionality of my Cusinart to be good, I certainly didn't use it to the extent that I could have because it is almost impossible to wash the darned cover! The flat cover I now use changed all that and now I no longer worry about getting into all those little unreachable nooks.

When I went to visit my daughter last month, I told here that I would buy her a food processor since she didn't own one. She knew how much I use mine and had found a lot of potential use once she discovered that she could actually cook...lol. We checked prices and warranties, and even though I would have gladly purchased her a Cuisinart, she politely declined and accepted a lesser model so that she could get the feel of using one. This may be an option for you if you are the least bit hesitant about spending money on an appliance that you are concerned about using regularly.

HTH.

momacat 12-11-2012 09:29 AM

Do you folks feel like you still need a blender if you have a food processor?

RVcook 12-11-2012 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by momacat (Post 16130274)
Do you folks feel like you still need a blender if you have a food processor?

I do. But I have a VitaMix...like a blender on steroids. Love it!

Charski 12-11-2012 11:39 AM

Like Donna (:hiya: back!) I have a VitaMix also - they do different things. There are things I would ONLY use my VM for, things I would ONLY use my Cuisinart for, and some things that can cross over and be done in either one.

watcher513 12-12-2012 04:33 AM

Yes, you (er, I) need both. I don't have a Vitamix but I want one, lol. Some day.

For me the 7-cup is fine. There are times (pickling season/slicing cukes in 1/4" slices) that I could use a larger one but for the most part, this one is just fine.

momacat 12-12-2012 08:18 AM

What do you use your vitamin for that a food processor can't do? Is a vitamin just a blender? While I have some experience with both a blender and a food processor I'm sure that I have much less experience then you folks. I have often been frustrated when using a blender. I have found it difficult to get everything blended at the same time- it seems to work best when you work in very small batches.

Soobee 12-12-2012 08:25 AM

I use the Vitamix to grind erythritol and flax seed. I make my own peanut butter with it. My husband uses it for quick fruit ice creams.

RVcook 12-12-2012 09:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by momacat (Post 16132272)
What do you use your vitamin for that a food processor can't do? Is a vitamin just a blender? While I have some experience with both a blender and a food processor I'm sure that I have much less experience then you folks. I have often been frustrated when using a blender. I have found it difficult to get everything blended at the same time- it seems to work best when you work in very small batches.

Yes...because of the basic design, blenders do work better using small batches and usually require a lot of starting and stopping to manually move the food around to achieve the correct consistency.

I also have a regular Osterizer from the 60's (chrome base, glass, black and pink paint...really...) that resides in the basement as it just doesn't have the power that I usually require. For example, when I need a really smooth consistency (especially with more liquid), I like to use my VitaMix. Not only would all the liquid not fit int he food processor, but would most likely leak everywhere once the blade starts up.

When I have to do anything with frozen fruit, I ALWAYS choose my VitaMix. Yes...it bounces the fruit around a bit before it pulverizes it, but using the food processor takes longer, and does not break the fruit into powder as well as the VitaMix. Char makes instant ice cream using hers, and of course, you can also make instant hot soup (if you're so inclined.)

Although potato pancakes aren't on the menu much anymore, in the old days, I would just use the recipe from my Osterizer Spin Blender Cookery cookbook. But those pancakes were always gummy and even though the button setting said "grate" those potatoes were NOT grated. For large quantities of grating, you can't beat a food processor. My fauxtatoes is another example of using my Cuisinart rather than VitaMix. Although possible, I find it's just too fiddly in the VitaMix...constantly scraping and tamping to be sure the puree is on the blades. In the Cuisinart, I just pulse it a few times till everything's blended and then let it go until smooth.

I'm also an avid gardener and use my VitaMix to puree fruit, egg shells, coffee grounds and veggie scraps that I pour into the soil hastening composting. I would n-e-v-e-r do that in my Cuisinart!

And of course, a most people purchase kitchen gadgets based on how they cook...(or how they think they can cook...:laugh:), so your needs may certainly be different. My girlfriend has a rotisserie oven, toaster oven and marinator. She uses then once in a while, but I would never own any of them...I would have to ask myself: why? :dunno:

cabrioluvr 12-13-2012 01:53 AM

Long time Cuisinart owner here too. I had my first one in the early 80's and the motor still worked fine but other things had broken. I use the 7 cup one now. Have had several years and love it. I wouldn't have anything else!

Oregon Transplant 12-13-2012 10:53 AM

I love my Cuisinart! It's a 7 cup and probably could be bigger. If I'm doing a big batch, the fill line is pretty low and it's easy to get too much in there. I got it because my mom has had hers for years and highly recommends them, as did my grandma. I also go my Kitchenaide mixer for the same reason, recommended for generations.

dianafoot 12-14-2012 02:59 PM

guess I am in the minority here, but I don't like my 11-cup Cuisinart at all. It just won't grind nuts evenly or finely, you can't buy a fine blade slicer for it (I paid $40 extra to get an "alternate" set of four blades and two of them turned out to be ones that came with the machine) Worst of all, though, is the way that if you put more than 3 cups of anything liquidy like cake batter in it, it overflows the center blade support and comes out all over the machine and counter. I am so glad I kept my nearly 40-year old Braun, and can still use it--it is a thousand times better than the new Cuisinart.

I only got a new food processor for the slicing blades since I can't replace the old Braun center blade holder which is broken. For all other uses the Braun has the Cuisinart beat hands down.

momacat 12-14-2012 03:46 PM

How do you make ice cream using a vitamix?

RVcook 12-14-2012 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dianafoot (Post 16136895)
guess I am in the minority here, but I don't like my 11-cup Cuisinart at all. It just won't grind nuts evenly or finely, you can't buy a fine blade slicer for it (I paid $40 extra to get an "alternate" set of four blades and two of them turned out to be ones that came with the machine) Worst of all, though, is the way that if you put more than 3 cups of anything liquidy like cake batter in it, it overflows the center blade support and comes out all over the machine and counter. I am so glad I kept my nearly 40-year old Braun, and can still use it--it is a thousand times better than the new Cuisinart.

I only got a new food processor for the slicing blades since I can't replace the old Braun center blade holder which is broken. For all other uses the Braun has the Cuisinart beat hands down.

Braun used to make an excellent food processor years ago so it's a shame that parts aren't available anymore :cry:. BTW...what model of Cuisinart do you have now and when did you purchase it? It would be good to know which one to steer clear of.

Charski 12-14-2012 04:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by momacat (Post 16136949)
How do you make ice cream using a vitamix?

What I do - take any frozen fruit you like, you need about a pound (I use the Trader Joe's frozen fruits - blueberry, strawberry, even the pineapple tidbits all work GREAT!) - put those in the blender container. USE THE BIG CONTAINER, NOT THE 32 OZ. ONE! (more on this later....)

Now sweeten a cup of liquid to your liking. For ice CREAM, use cream. Or you can use half & half or almond or coconut milk, whatever you prefer. I also add a dash of liquid vanilla. Make it sweeter than you think you need it - the very cold temperature of the ice cream dulls the sweetness. Each fruit requires a different level too so it's a YMMV/test as you go thing.

Pour the liquid into the pitcher with the fruit. Have the center top taken out of the lid and be at the ready with the tamper. Start the machine on High and immediately start pushing the frozen fruit into the blades, I kind of go from corner to corner towards the center. Let it run til it's all smooth, and believe me, this takes VERY little time, so watch it closely or you'll end up with fruit soup!

It makes a soft-serve type consistency. We love it.

You can also make chocolate or vanilla, which involved freezing the liquid in ice cube trays first, which I never get around to doing, so we only eat fruit ice cream! :D

NOW for the tamper story - I decided to use my 32 oz. container to make some strawberry ice cream. Starting pushing the tamper into the fruit and OOOPSIE, if you push a bit too hard, the tamper can get INTO THE BLADES - which of course ruined my ice cream AND my tamper, and caused a few not-nice words to escape me. So don't do it! (Unless they're making the tampers different now with the current model, can't speak to that.

I called them to order a new tamper and she asked if the old one was broken? I told her what had happened and they sent me a new one, no charge! Gotta love their customer service AND their products.

dianafoot 12-14-2012 08:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RVcook (Post 16136972)
Braun used to make an excellent food processor years ago so it's a shame that parts aren't available anymore :cry:. BTW...what model of Cuisinart do you have now and when did you purchase it? It would be good to know which one to steer clear of.

I bought a Cuisinart 11 cup "Prep 11 Plus" just about a year ago. I am not happy with it at all, but I'm comparing it with the old Braun I inherited from my mother 30 years ago (and I think it was 5-10 years old at that time) I don't know if there are any on the market today that would compare with the Braun, or if I'm just living in the past where things were "built to last" LOL!

momacat 12-14-2012 08:30 PM

Wow those vitamix blenders are very expensive.

RVcook 12-14-2012 10:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dianafoot (Post 16137225)
I bought a Cuisinart 11 cup "Prep 11 Plus" just about a year ago. I am not happy with it at all, but I'm comparing it with the old Braun I inherited from my mother 30 years ago (and I think it was 5-10 years old at that time) I don't know if there are any on the market today that would compare with the Braun, or if I'm just living in the past where things were "built to last" LOL!

70's sounds about right. And yes...your experience is what I have found other individuals opinions have been with the new ones.

You may be able to find parts for your Braun if you regularly check the famous 'auction' site on the web. There are still some great deals to be had but you MUST check regularly. And considering how much you miss being able to use your Braun, it would totally be worth a look.

RVcook 12-14-2012 10:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by momacat (Post 16137232)
Wow those vitamix blenders are very expensive.

You're right, but you may be able to find a good used one for a reduced price. And remember, once you buy a VitaMix, you probably won't ever have to purchase another blender...ever (unless you want to of course!)

Mrs S 12-27-2012 05:20 PM

Just a quick update in case it helps anyone else. I got a KitchenAid 7 cup food processor for Christmas. I already tried a batch of peanut butter in it and basically, it sucks at making nut butter. It doesn't have enough power to get it beyond a crumbly paste. Luckily mom gave me a gift receipt too so I'm taking it back to bed, bath and beyond tomorrow and trading up for a Cuisinart 9 cup for another $60. I think for most other uses, it would be fine but my whole purpose of asking for this was to make nut and coconut butters so it's just not the right one for me.

RVcook 12-27-2012 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mrs S (Post 16156061)
Just a quick update in case it helps anyone else. I got a KitchenAid 7 cup food processor for Christmas. I already tried a batch of peanut butter in it and basically, it sucks at making nut butter. It doesn't have enough power to get it beyond a crumbly paste. Luckily mom gave me a gift receipt too so I'm taking it back to bed, bath and beyond tomorrow and trading up for a Cuisinart 9 cup for another $60. I think for most other uses, it would be fine but my whole purpose of asking for this was to make nut and coconut butters so it's just not the right one for me.

You are fortunate to have had that 'bad' experience. By comparison, I think you will find that the Cuisinart will perform much better. Please revisit this thread and let us know what you think after you've had an opportunity to use it. I'm sure all of us would love to know your thoughts :shake:

miboje 12-27-2012 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mrs S (Post 16156061)
Just a quick update in case it helps anyone else. I got a KitchenAid 7 cup food processor for Christmas. I already tried a batch of peanut butter in it and basically, it sucks at making nut butter. It doesn't have enough power to get it beyond a crumbly paste. Luckily mom gave me a gift receipt too so I'm taking it back to bed, bath and beyond tomorrow and trading up for a Cuisinart 9 cup for another $60. I think for most other uses, it would be fine but my whole purpose of asking for this was to make nut and coconut butters so it's just not the right one for me.

Hmmm...you added a bit of oil, right?


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