A little History of the Food Processor and Some tips on How to use it

A little History of the Food Processor and Some tips on How to use it

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Almost any food can be chopped, chipped, sliced, ground and pureed in a food processor.

Some can even help you with citrus juicing, vegetable juicing, mixing cake batter, kneading bread dough and mincing meat.  That makes it very versatile indeed.


Carl Sontheimer spent a year of his life dedicated to coming up with a new device, namely a food processor by taking some of his ideas from the industrial blender. He introduced his idea in 1973 to the North American consumer but it took a while for people to actually realize it’s potential.

So whilst they were a bit slow to catch on, now with modern marketing very few people can say they don’t know what a food processor can do.  We will take a look at exactly what it can do with some recipes included for good measure.

Size matters

There are three basic sizes, full, compact and mini.  They are usually measured in cups; take a look at Hourglass Brasserie website for more information on measurements.

They will all have the same basic components of a motor, a bowl with a lid and feed tube and a set of various attachments.

The motor

The sheer size and weight of the motor makes it heavy and this also gives it good stability

Some can weigh as much as 20 lbs. or 9kg or more

The bowl, the lid, the feed tube

  • The bowl and lid will be made from durable plastic, always have been and probably always will be so you can see what’s going on inside
  • The lid will fit snugly, locking on top of the bowl, in the old days that would have been enough to switch it on but now you will be pleased to see it has an on/off switch
  • The feed tube (may have a narrow tube for small foodstuffs and a wider one as well) will be fitted with a plunger

Bowl sizes

  • A mini-size bowl will fit 2 to 5 cups
  • A compact-size bowl will be for 5 to 7 cups
  • A full-size bowl will be for 9 to 13 cups
  • Some may have large and small bowls for the same base



  • If you want a matching and toning kitchen there will be just the right shade of grey or pink or blue for you even though traditional models would have been white, metallic versions and probably even a vintage look if that is the style you are after


  • Basically the attachments fit over the shaft inside the bowl; mostly they are an S shaped blade called a Sabatier blade and the shredding and slicing discs. These are usually made of metal but can also be made of plastic, metal will stay sharp for longer so maybe preferable.
  • The shredding and slicing discs are metal and sit at the top of the bowl as you push food into the feed tube it makes contact with the discs. Then it will be grated or sliced and can be fine, medium or coarse. The processed food all ends up in the bowl.

More attachments

Of course you may want matchstick thin carrots or not so skinny French fries, you may even want citrus juice or fruit juice and all these attachments can be either bought separately or may be included in the big box of goodies that come with your food processor.

As mentioned above you may find you have several bowls which is really going to be useful and time saving when you have a lot to do and cannot stop for washing up. A quick rinse of the feed tube and you can go from French fries to apple pies in no time.

How are you going to use it?

  • Cheese and carrots can be grated in no time at all
  • Apples and potatoes can be sliced quickly but sorry you will have to peel them!

How about a salsa?

  • Imagine a lovely red spicy textured salsa or a smooth guacamole dip.
  • You do not want to end up with tomato soup or avocado mush so the tip is to work slowly, gradually adding ingredients to ensure it does not turn into a liquid when you want a dip.
  • Start with the foods that need most processing, the garlic and the chillis for instance will need to be very fine to be spread nice and evenly throughout the dish.
  • Using the pulsing setting is a good idea and you can add small amounts of olive oil or lime juice to blend the ingredients.
  • By using quick bursts of one second pulsing the foods will prevent any over processing.
  • To this puree you can start adding other ingredients though the feed tube, put in the onion (scallion), then the tomatoes chopped into quarters and down the tube.
  • Still using the quick one second pulse action you cannot go wrong, finally for guacamole add the avocado.
  • You can always add more olive oil or lime juice if it seems to dry.
  • Don’t forget to wash all your vegetables first!

Not exactly a recipe but still I’m sure you’ve got the picture!

Bon apetit.



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