Osterize me!

The time has come, Mr. S and I have decided, to buy a food processor. We’d like to use it mostly to help with the seemingly endless chopping and pureeing that come with our increasingly home-cooked, increasingly vegetarian diet.

So what kind should we get? Do you love yours? About the only two concerns we have are price (Mr. S is currently unemployed, so finances aren’t as generous as they once were) and whether we can get one with a glass “container.” All we see is cheesy plastic, and we’re much happier with our glass blender than the old plastic one. And I’d love to be able to make fresh hummus, which chokes the blender.

O masters of culinary gadgetry, I await your pronouncements!

To be perfectly honest, I’ve never really been happy with my food processor (a Cuisinart). I prefer various tools which perform individual tasks better and are easier to clean. I use the blender for pureeing, my mandoline for slicing and matchsticks, and my big cleaver for chopping.

ive never seen one with a glass container. i have a wicked cheap black and decker mini-one, that i dropped some years ago (the container) and cracked. i taped it up with duct tape and it still works. hummus and aioli and thai curry pastes are about all i ever use it for, but when you need one, its awfully nice to have.

Do you subscribe to Consumer Reports? Last December they put together a nice article explaining which appliances are best for what purposes.

Personally, I have a low-end Cuisinart (DLC-5, about $100) that suits my needs just fine. (Part of the reason it was cheaper is that it has a narrow feed tube. I grew up with one that had the huge one that can fit a whole orange or tomato, which is great…if you really need to slice huge quantities of oranges or tomatoes.) It’s perfect for grating, slicing, making spice mixtures, chopping onions and a few other things. I don’t use it all that often, but there are times when nothing else will quite do the trick, at least without taking a lot of time.

I’m a bit of an appliance fanatic, and like essvee I’ve never seen one with a glass bowl. One advantage with Cuisinart is that their plastic bowls are very durable - I know folks who’ve had theirs for twenty years of solid use. They don’t shatter - the most that will happen is that they’ll scratch a bit, if you use your processor on really hard items.

The Cuisinart I have was the cheapest model CR rated “Excellent.” There was a Black & Decker for $67 rated “Good,” but they said it was also very noisy.

Note that a food processor will not replace a blender, especially if you puree liquids a lot. Because of the way food processors are designed, they really can’t handle liquids in any quantity. Unlike a blender, where the base is sealed, a food processor bowl has a tube in the center through which a spindle turns. That tube is only a couple of inches tall - any liquid over that will spill as soon as you lift the bowl off the base. So, if you puree soups, make smoothies or ice-based drinks, or make thin batters (like for crepes), the food processor simply won’t work - you’ll end up with soup all over the counter.

Do you have a Lechter’s Housewares near you? They’re going out of business so are having a sale. Right now the prices aren’t that great yet - “everything 10% off,” yes, but 10% off the highest price Lechter’s has ever charged. Wait a few days for the %-off to go up, and then drop by. Otherwise, these things are constantly on sale, so there’s no point ever paying regular price.

Oops. Missed something on preview. Should read: “Unlike a blender, where the pitcher base is sealed…” Certainly the motor base is sealed on processors.

Oh. For a minute I thought you wanted to…

*… put my tender heart in a blender
Watch it spin round to a beautiful oblivion… *