Posted: Jul 13, 2012
A commercial food processor is a tool meant to make a cook’s life easier, but picking out the right one may not be as easy if you don’t know what to look for. Fortunately, once the basics of sorting out food processors are learned, the process becomes exponentially easier. Here are some of the basic principles you should look at when shopping for a food processor.
Blender or Food Processor?: Depending on how you will be using your food processor, it may be a better option to purchase a heavy duty commercial blender. Food processors are meant to chop and mix food, and though they can accommodate some liquid, they are not intended to blend heavy amounts. Things like large quantities of dressings should be prepared in a commercial blender or with a stick blender, as the blade in a commercial food processor will not agitate the liquids in a proper fashion to fully emulsify and mix liquid. There are some models, such as Robot Coupe’s Blixer, which can be used as both a commercial food processor and a blender, should it be necessary to find a machine that can perform both the functions of a blender and a food processor.
What Kind Of Lid?: Depending on what you will be using your food processor for, there are several different type of locking lids / feed systems available. Many which feature traditional closed locking lids, however there are models that feature continuous feed systems. These continuous feeds allow food to be added little by little so that it may be incorporated slowly. Continuous feed food processors are great for things like salsas and small batches of vinaigrette or mayo that need to be emulsified (large batches, as previously stated, should be made with a blender).
How Much Horse Power (HP) Is Enough?: As with a blender, the HP represents a measure of how powerful the rotating motor of the food processor is. Traditionally, a 1 - 2 HP motor is the standard. However, depending on what is being put into the machine, a stronger motor may be needed. Since many of the combination food processors / blenders tend to be mixing viscous liquids such as dressings or large volumes of harder food items like ice, they tend to have more powerful motors than traditional food processors. It is important to examine what will be going into your food processor and how often it will be used before determining the proper HP for your machine.
Will Attachments Be Used?: Many food processors have attachments and alternate blades that come along with them. Some will come with vegetable prep attachments that can be placed on top instead of the traditional bowl, and are ideal for slicing or grating things like onions. Others have add-ons like shrimp deveiners, whisk attachments, or slicing and shredding discs. Food processors are extremely versatile, and can be used for a variety of different tasks on top of their primary function. Additionally, a commercial food processor can be expensive, partially because of these add-ons, so it is important to use the machine to its full capacity.