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What size food processor for me?

Posted by cloud_swift (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 25, 08 at 21:28

I thought about hijacking amck's post but it seemed too much off topic. I find my mini-food processor (a 21-oz capacity Cuisinart) so handy that I've been thinking about getting a full-size model. The problem is that I look at the 7 cup, 9 cup ... up to almost as many cups as my mini handles ounces and can't decide which one would be best for me.

We have the Zorjirushi bread machine (two-paddle two-pound loaf model) and a 6-quart Kitchen Aid mixer which I use when doing a dough that's too large for the bread machine so I don't particularly care about how the food processor handles bread dough.

I'm tired of making pie and biscuit dough by cutting in butter with the hand blender. I'd like one that works well for doughs where the butter is cut in. And while I have the shredder slicer for the KA stand mixer, it doesn't work that great - a big flat piece sometimes eludes the blade and comes out the side. And the height makes it a pain - a) to reach since I'm short and b) I have to find a way to prop up the bowl because if it sits on the counter things fall too far and splash. It has to be a really big job to be worth hauling it out since it is such a mess. So I'd like something that cuts and shreds nicely.

While I'm drawn to the biggest ones, a little voice tells me that its overkill for making pie dough and most shredding-slicing I'd use it for. I've already got enough appliances on the counter so a smaller, less heavy model might get pulled out to be used more often.

What size would be best?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What size food processor for me?

No one can answer that but you.

I will tell you I have a 14-cup Cuisinart and 2 KitchenAids with the slicer attachment, and it doesn't matter, they're all going to leave "flat pieces" somewhere along the way.

Most of the time I'll use the KitchenAid because it's there on the counter and it's easier to attach the slicer/shredder than fiddle with another appliance.

I have the biggest Cuisinart (on my second, the first having lasted me 20+ years) because during canning season and holiday baking it's incredibly useful for the big-batch stuff, but day-to-day not totally necessary.

However, I'd rather have more capacity than I use than the inverse and experience the frustration of a machine which isn't up to the task.

It's a philosophical thing. You have to know your style, so to speak.

Carol


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RE: What size food processor for me?

I thought sometimes a big food processor doesn't do well if the batch is too small so there would be some frustration involved with that. If I had a 12-cup or larger model and wanted to do a two crust pie or a single batch of biscuits, would it do okay mixing it or handle it poorly because of being too small a load?

I maxed out on the KA mixer because I didn't want the frustration of a machine that wasn't large enough (and I didn't want the coated mixer blades that come on the smaller ones). But for this, I'm not sure if I'd use it for things that would max it out.


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RE: What size food processor for me?

As Carol said, it's a very personal choice. My dh got me the 14 cup Cuisinart for Christmas last year (such a romantic he is, but he knows me!). I love the large size, and I've not run into anything I can't make in it yet. However, there have been a few times where I was right up to the liquid line and a smaller processor wouldn't have handled the recipe.

If you have the space for it, the larger processors will serve you well, but it's all up to what you want to use it for. Let us know what you end up deciding on!

Bri


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RE: What size food processor for me?

Have you made pie crust or biscuits in it?


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Another question

Oh - another question - what kind of recipes do you make in it that use it up to the liquid line? I have an immersion blender for pureeing soups or things like that though it never gets 100% of the lumps. Usually I'm not trying to get it totally smooth.


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RE: What size food processor for me?

Gotta agree with Carol. Oversized beats under everytime.I have the mini and the 3 cup duet/blender but also the 14 cup which I found to be actually cheaper and on sale more often than the smaller versions. The bigger models not only have more capacity but better motors which will strain far less when dealing with dense materials.Pie dough recipes can be doubled or tripled then frozen...you will definitely find youself baking and enjoying more pies around the holidays. Best of Luck Matt


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RE: What size food processor for me?

cloud swift - I was glad to see your post as the replies are giving me more insight in my own search.

Do you know what brand you'd be going with?


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RE: What size food processor for me?

Bigger is better. (Yep, I admit it.)

I've never had a small one but I think my 14 cupper Cuisinart is just about right.


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RE: What size food processor for me?

amck - I don't know which brand I'll be getting. Since I don't have a driving need for it, I might wait to see what goes on sale. I didn't see any sales on Amazon at the moment. I got a KA hand mixer at a really low price last December and I'm hoping to come across something for a food processor.


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RE: What size food processor for me?

I generally do pie dough by hand, but occasionally pre-holiday I'll do massive amounts of pie crust in the Cuisinart to freeze. It works wonderfully for that.

Normally what I do is use the Cuisinart to "cut in" the fat but don't add the liquid. I freeze the dry mixture pre-measured by crust and add the liquid by hand at the time of use. For me that seems the best combination of convenience and control.

Carol


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RE: What size food processor for me?

cloudswift~
I make pie crusts, biscuits, pizza dough and a bunch of other stuff in it. I was trying to remember what recipe brought it up to the liquid line, but I can't come up with it. I think it was when I was making sorbet, though I'm not sure. End result is I've never had it spill over and make a mess and I've never found myself wishing I had a bigger one (yet). :)

Bri


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RE: What size food processor for me?

Cloudswift, Like Carol, if I use my Food Processor to make pastry dough I only use it to cut in the butter/fat. I never add the liquid. For me pastry is a matter of feel and you can't get that feel with a machine.

Ann


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RE: What size food processor for me?

I do it a bit different for pastry dough. I dump the flour into the processor bowl but then instead of cutting the fat into the flour with the blade...I put on the grating attachment & push the cold fat through the grater into the flour. It produces the perfect size pieces of fat. When it's all through the grater, I dump everything out & lightly toss the grated pieces of fat together with the flour & add the liquid by hand. The reason I put the flour into the processor bowl is because it prevents the grated fat from sticking to the bowl. Using the grater gives me consistent results every time.

/tricia


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RE: What size food processor for me?

I have a 7 cup capacity. It makes bread with 4 cups of flour, 2 pie crusts, pesto with 2 cups basil and 4 oz parm 2/3 cup oil.
It grates 2 cups of carrots at a time and 1/2 a small head of cabbage.
Slices 2 or 3 cukes without dumping, and 3 good sized onions for soup.
It's the size that suits me best. I have cooked at other people's houses who have a larger one, and a larger one won't mix a small amount as well......won't ealily process bread of only 4 cups of flour nor just 2 cups or pastry dough.
( I put cubes of frozen butter into the processor with the flour and salt...mix in bursts and add the liquid too...)
Ideally, I would like 2!! A 14 cupper for big batches of slaw and a double recipe of pesto....but in reality, one is enough and the small one fits the way I cook better than the larger one....and the smaller bowl fits into my dishwasher more easily.
I very VERY rarely use the FP for anything that could be considered "liquid"....for that I use the blender or the "boat motor".
Linda C


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RE: What size food processor for me?

Tricia, Since we moved and I don't have nearly enough counter space, I more often than not grate butter right into the flour for pastry as well as biscuts/scones using just a three side grater. Works perfect and easy to clean up. Also the perfect size pieces of butter. It takes me less time to do it by hand than it does to get out the processor.

Linda, it isn't often that I disagree with you, but I have a 16 cup processor and it handles two cups of flour for pastry and 4 cups of flour for bread without a problem. Made a 4 cup batch of French Bread today. About the only thing I have found that it is too big for is making a small quantity of fresh bread crumbs. It is too big for just a couple of slices of bread.

Ann


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RE: What size food processor for me?

Then.....what was I doing wrong when I tried makign 4 cups of flour bread in my Sister in law's Cuisinart? It wouldn't knead....just spun around the outside of the bowl.
Linda C


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RE: What size food processor for me?

Don't know..........but the Cuisinart that I gave Matthew is a 12 or 14 cup and he uses it to make dough for pizza and never uses more than three or four cups of flour.


Ann


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RE: What size food processor for me?

Linda and Ann, maybe the ingredients were put in in a different order? I know with the bread machine it makes a difference. Or were you possibly using a different blade - is it always the dough blade for yeast doughs? For when I do get mine, I'd like to know the tricks of the trade.

I'll have to try Tricia's suggestion for the butter. Or maybe I'll do what Ann suggested and try grating the butter before I get the food processor. Ann, how fine a grater are you using for that? And do you freeze the butter first or just use it straight from the fridge - it seems like heat from the hand holding the butter might soften parts of it a bit.


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RE: What size food processor for me?

The pizza dough recipe I use is 4 cups of flour and a little under 1 3/4 cups of liquid and my 14 cup does fine with it. I don't use the FP to knead the dough though. I just use it to bring everything together quickly (something it excels at). It does spin the dough around the outside of the bowl if you're using the metal blade. The dough blade is a little shorter and does a little better. YMMV

Bri


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