Shreddin' in the kitchen

Inspired by this post:

  1. Cooking shows I’ve watched usually feature a food processor at some point.

  2. I have a box grater.

See, I reckoned I could use a knife for chopping and the box grater for shredding. Why spend the money? Then three years ago the SO moved in. She mentioned that I should have a food processor enough times that I finally bought one. I’m glad I did.

Before, I’d never have shredded cheese in the fridge. I’d only grate as much as I needed using the box grater. That way is slow, messy, and I always hope that I don’t get some skin in the mix. Hash browns? Fuggiddaboudit! I’d really have to want some has browns befoer I had the food processor. Now we have hash browns every week or so. Now there’s a bag of shredded cheddar in case we suddenly want tacos or a salad. I thank the SO frequently for ‘making’ me buy a food processor.

I confess I almost never use the chopper blade. It’s just so easy to pull out a cutting board and a knife.

As an aside, she’s brought an electric can opener into the house. I’m fine with the manual kind, but she likes to make soup out of several cans of things, and she says the manual can opener hurts her hands. I attempt the electric can opener first. If I can’t get it to work on the third attempt, I just pull out the manual one. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve had food processors since they first became a household appliance. The usefulness was immediately apparent to me as the father of four kids. From mincing onions to making baby food out of leftovers, the thing paid for itself many times over. I’ve had my present KitchenAid for over 20 years now, and while I did buy a new Sabatier blade for it, it wasn’t necessary. The old blade housing was discolored by blending soups with saffron or curry powder in them, so I now reserve that blade just for those items. I don’t use the thing as much as when I had kids in the house way back when, but for grinding up bread for stuffing, pureeing soups, grating potatoes for latkes, or making orange juice, it’s da bomb.

Huh… because I have a food processor - two in fact - and I NEVER use them. My wife does, mostly for chopping nuts when she’s baking. They are the least-used devices in our kitchen, and we have some totally useless things hanging around, such as the slicer to make a stick of butter into restaurant-sized pats of butter.

The thing that I don’t understand is the cleanup. I might save some time shredding cheese or potatoes with the food processor, but I lose it all when I have to clean the thing. My box grater can be cleaned most of the time by rinsing it with water and wiping it down with a towel.

And I’m also opposed to having a bag of shredded cheese hanging around. It goes bad much more quickly, and it’s so freaking easy to pull out the grater and shred a little cheese whenever you want it.

Cleaning the food processor is quicker than grating an equal amount of cheese by hand. I never just rinse and wipe my box grater. It gets cleaned with a soapy scrubber like anything else; so it takes near the same amount of time to clean the box grater (because I have to be more careful) as it does to clean the food processor. Clean right after you use it, instead of letting it sit in the sink, and it’s quick and easy.

We fill a gallon-size zip-top bag with shredded Tillamook Medium Cheddar. We’ve had bags of cheese for a couple of months without it getting mouldy. Maybe we just have a cold refrigerator.

I should look for a food processor because my wife loves homemade cole slaw; with a knife the cabbage comes out too chunky and with a grater too fine.

I disagree. I can have the cheese grated with a box grater in the time it takes me to take my Cuisinart out and set it up. Then I drop the grater in the dishwasher.

I’m with dracoi; I almost never use my food processor. My blender gets a lot more use.

I’m a bit obsessive-compulsive when it comes to dishes. I prefer not to use the dishwasher.

In my defense I didn’t know my Cuisinart was the answer to shredding Brussels sprouts. I thought I’d need to use a manual grater or a knife. Wait, that’s still a hole in my knowledge/skillset, so maybe not a good defense :slight_smile:

I use the food processor all the time for pesto, sauces, bread crumbs, fromage fort. Almost never for chopping. Do I use the regular blade or the shredding blade?

Another vote for Not Worth the Bother, specifically of setting up, not necessarily washing either by hand or machine. And the thing just takes up so much space.

Are we using “Cuisinart” as one does “band-aid”? Because I have some other brand. I ask because I wonder if some are just easier to set up than other.

I never replaced my last box-grater because we use grated cheese so infrequently, we just buy it that way now.

I dice everything, usually with my late mother’s knives.

I read that as “… to make baby food …”.

I wasn’t, but I’m sure some people do. I have a full size Cuisinart food processor that is a real workhorse.

I don’t have much beef with setting it up, but I may have a higher tolerance for assembly than you do.

I used to own a Cuisinart mini many years ago that wasn’t useful for much.

Just curious: Why shred them? If you don’t want to eat them whole, just take a paring knife, cut out the cores, and peel the leaves apart. Then they can be steamed, sauteed in bacon fat, etc.

(I saw Laura Caulder do this on her French cooking show. Laura Caulder … mmmmmmmmmmmmm…! :cool: )

They grew up tough.

I’m interested in buying a food processor. I have a blender, an old Kitchen Aid from the 1960’s that was a wedding gift to my parents…they’ve since upgraded but I still use it a bit and I like it…real glass pitcher, etc.

What is the chief and primary difference between a blender and a food processor? Exchangeable blades for different uses? A flatter “pitcher” for a more even surface area of…processing?

In other words, what can a food processor do that a blender cannot? I’m sure grating cheese is on there…what else?

Sorry if this seems like a stupid question. Just curious. My chef knife does most of my mincing, chopping, slicing, etc around here.

That chopper blade is awesome to slicing up meats for a stir fry. Just stick your chunk of meat in the freezer for thirty minutes; then let the chopper blade have at it.

Delicious, tender, thin slices of meat.

A blender just has the one blade and is more for mixing or pureeing. A food processor can have many interchangeable blades. Mine, for instance, has a fine and course shredder, a chopping blade, a batter blade, a slicing blade (which works really well for scalloped potatoes), and a juicer attachment. It also has a small-chore chopping container, which I’ve never used, as a knife is perfectly fine for those tasks. The tool comes in most handy if I’m preparing a large quantity of something. I would use it if I wanted to chop a large quantity of onions to freeze, for example. It doesn’t get all that much use, as I’m usually cooking for two.

I make hummus with my food processor. I can’t imagine any other way to do it.

That sounds like the top disc, on the flip-side of the grater. By ‘chopper blade’ I mean the double scimitar on the bottom.

I have a grater, food processor, blender and mandolin and I use all of them. I like to shred and thinly slice (for pizza) vegetables, so there’s nothing but the food processor for that. (I put the shredded vegetables in spaghetti sauce.) I also make a lot of hummus in the food processor, and I used to always shred my cheese in the processor, but I got lazy and started buying it already shredded. I need to stop that. And of course making hash browns and cole slaw — it is nothing short of orgasmic to make these things, if you spent half your youth shredding cabbage for your mama. (Well, I did have to do it once, I’m sure.) :smiley:

Speaking of spaghetti, I make it out of zucchini, and for that I use the mandolin. I’ve also used it for slicing onions for hamburgers. The food processor pulverizes it too much. I haven’t used it for much else; after eons of cooking, I only bought one a few months ago.

Probably I use the grater least of all. As far as the blender, it gets used mainly for smoothies and milkshakes. I think I’ve pureed soup in there, but I haven’t made any recently. (I love split pea soup with half the peas pureed.)

My mother is in the “food processors are horrible to clean” camp. She’s so sure of this she never bought one. I throw it into the dishwasher — it is EASY to clean!

A mandoline would make quick work of shredding those brussels sprouts, but be careful and use the guard! Damn thing is sharp! (At least, mine is.)

And thinking about it a bit, brussels sprouts are small enough that shredding them with the mandoline might be tiresome. But it would work.

I’m not allowed to own a mandoline. I cut myself just thinking about one.