A food processor is one of the most versatile kitchen appliances. It can be used to blend, grind, shred, chop, slice, and even puree almost any food.
What’s more? It can totally unlock your cooking potential. You can go from spending a lot of time chopping veggies, grating cheese, or making the dough by hand. Simply put, this gadget makes your life a little easier.
The best part? There are so many food processor brands available to choose from. However, they aren’t all created equal.
In this article, we take a look at one of the most popular brands which is Cuisinart. We’ll cover topics like how to turn on the Cuisinart food processor, how to assemble it as well as how to use it.
How to Assemble Cuisinart Food Processor
Every model comes with assembly instructions. Therefore, you should make sure to read all the instructions before you start using the device. Below are some of the key things to look out for.
Fitting the Bowl
To start with, you should put the base near an electrical outlet on either the counter or the table. However, do not plug in the gadget until you’ve fully assembled it. Next up, pick up a bowl and put it on the base and turn it counterclockwise. The bowl will then click into a locked position.
Pick up a metal blade by the center plastic part and place it over the motor shaft. You should be really careful not to touch the metal cutting blades because they are razor sharp.
The blade should drop onto the shaft. But if it doesn’t, it is recommended to twist it clockwise and gently until it does. You also need to make sure that the lower blade touches almost the bottom of the bowl.
Assembling the Disc
You should start assembling the bowl on the base just like we have explained above. Then, place the disc over the motor shaft and make sure it is pushed down as far as it will go.
Worth mentioning is that you should handle the shredding and slicing disc by rims. This is because their cutting blades are very sharp.
How to Turn On Cuisinart Food Processor
Once you are done assembling your processor, you can then add your recipe ingredients. Next up, secure the lid onto the food processor and plug it into a household electrical outlet.
Different Cuisinart food processor models have different operating controls. However, most of them include three controls such as ON, PULSE, and OFF buttons.
For continuous operation, you just need to press the ON button and the motor will start. And to turn the motor off, simply press the OFF button and disconnect the device from the electrical outlet.
If you would like to experiment with the on-off operation, just press the PULSE button repeatedly, then release it. The motor usually runs for as long as you hold the button down and stops when you release the switch.
How to Use the Cuisinart Food Processor to Prepare Foods
Okay, now that you already have your food processor, how do you use it? To begin with, you can try chopping some food just to get a feel of how this gadget works. You may start with a soft vegetable or fruit.
For a coarse chop, it is advisable to pulse just a few times. However, if you want a finer chop, you should continue pulse/chopping until you achieve the desired texture.
Worth noting is that foods with a high water content like onions tend to into a smooth puree pretty fast. Therefore, you should not over chop them. You can avoid doing so by looking at food through the work bowl after every pulse.
Basically, several factors affect the results of the food in the processor including:
- Type of processing you choose- could be continuous or pulse/chopping.
- Size of pieces you put inside the bowl- always try to ensure that they are almost of the same size.
- Amount of food you’re processing- never add too much of it at the same time.
Adding Food While Processing
The Cuisinart food processor allows you to add liquids while it is still running. You can pour the liquid through the open feed tube. This step is useful especially while preparing ingredients like cakes, mayonnaise, and bread dough.
It’s also possible to add small pieces of food like garlic cloves, cheese, and meat through the open feed tube. However, you should not add more than the recommended amount of food in the work bowl.
Chopping Hard Foods
If you would like to chop very hard food like cheese and garlic, you got to remove the pusher first. Small foods like garlic can be dropped in whole. However, large items like hard cheese should be cut at least into one-inch pieces.
On top of that, it’s not advisable to process cheese that is very hard to cut with a knife. This is because it could easily damage the machine or the blade.
Slicing and Shredding Food
The slicing disk is used to slice whole fruits and even vegetables into thin, circular pieces. You can also use it slice cooked meat, loaves of bread, and semi-frozen raw meat.
For large mushrooms, radishes, and berries, make sure to trim the bottom ends flat using a knife. And if you want all the slices to be perfect, you should process one layer at a time.
When it comes to the shredding disc, it is designed to process most firm and hard cheeses into long shreds. Also, it can shred vegetables like zucchini, potatoes, and carrots as well as nuts and chocolate.
Removing Processed Food
Before removing the processed food, you need to wait for the blade to stop spinning first. Next up, remove the lid by turning it clockwise. You should never try removing the lid and the work bowl together as it could damage the work bowl.
When it comes to liquids, you need to remove the work bowl first from the base of the processor. You should do this before removing the metal blade.
To remove the bowl, simply turn its handle clockwise. This will help unlock the bowl from the base. But before tilting the bowl, you should get rid of any food around the blade using a spatula.
Removing Shredded or Sliced Food
Before you do anything, allow the disc to stop spinning. And when it does, get rid of the pusher first and then unplug the unit. Next, turn the lid clockwise to unlock it from the work bowl and place it on the counter space while inverted.
After that, remove the shredding or slicing disc and place it on top of the inverted lid to reduce spills and drips. To remove the disc, simply put two fingers under each side of the disc and then lift it straight up.
Cleaning Your Food Processor
All parts except the motor base are designed to be dishwasher safe. Cuisinart recommends washing these parts on the top rack only.
You see, due to extreme water heat, cleaning the food processor parts on the bottom rack may lead to damage over time. The bowl should be placed upside down.
Additionally, it is advisable to clean and rinse the work bowl, disc, and blades immediately after use. This helps prevent the food from drying on them.
On the other hand, you can choose to wash the blades and disc by hand but do it very carefully. On top of that, make sure not to leave them in soapy water where they could disappear from sight.
Also, you must store the blades and discs in a safe and convenient place. Preferably where you store sharp knives and out of reach of children.
What Size of Food Processor Should You Get?
Generally speaking, it all depends on the workload and the functions you’re going to need. You can choose between three types including large, medium, and small processors.
Large food processors are units with a big work bowl, usually from 12 to 16 cups. These units feature very powerful motors and large feed tubes compared to their medium and small counterparts.
Medium processors, on the other hand, are usually grouped from 7 to 11 cups of capacity. They have all the functions of a typical large processor but have a smaller work bowl and less powerful motor. Basically, if your daily cooking is for one to two people, a medium-sized unit would be the best option.
Also known as mini choppers, small food processors feature a small work bowl. These units have a capacity of under 7 cups and they tend to not have a feed chute.
Generally, they’re designed for simple prepping tasks such as dried fruits, pureeing food, and grinding nuts. Some can also be used to knead the dough. With a good mini chopper, you can even chop and mix at the same time with great speed.
Food processors are pretty handy when it comes to daily cooking. And since most of them come with a wealth of blades and attachments, you can get as creative as you would like. Therefore, it makes sense to invest in one if you’re looking to save time preparing food.