Food processors are quite versatile and for that reason, may be used for several tasks in the kitchen. These appliances can be used to pulse, chop, mince, shred, grind, slice, and puree almost all foods quickly. Some food processor models can also knead bread dough, make juices, beat egg whites, beat cake batter, and grind meats as well as vegetables.
All this makes cooking so much easier. However, if you do not have a food processor, there are other appliances that you may use with certain recipes that call for a food processor.
What should I use in place of a food processor?
If you don’t have a food processor, there’s no need to skip all the recipes that require you to use one. There are a several items and tools that you can use in the kitchen in place of a food processor. These are:
The most common appliance that may be used in place of a food processor is a blender which is way cheaper compared to a food processor. Blenders can handle almost all tasks that a food processor does except for kneading dough. They’re ideal for chopping, mincing, and pureeing as long as you don’t mind working in smaller batches. With just a little patience and practice, you will learn how to process most recipes that call for a food processor in a blender. Pulse the blender severally until it reaches the right consistency.
Blenders are more versatile than just making smoothies. Some blenders that come with an extra jar for blending herbs and fibrous foods like celery.
If you need to whip or aerate combinations of butter, flour, and milk, use a mixer. You can mix the solids and liquids either using a hand mixer or a stand mixer.
Mixers are very useful substitutes for food processors. Just place the ingredients together in the bowl and mix. They also take up very little space compared to food processors.
Grinders are very useful in chopping up nuts, coffee beans, and spices. Put the food that you want to grind in the grinder and pulse it until everything is broken down. The grinder turns the food into a flour-like or rice-like consistency depending on what you want.
Ensure that you clean the grinder well before and after use. Otherwise, your recipe might have the fragrance of spices you had ground earlier on.
4. Rolling pin and plastic bag
If you need to quickly break down food, put it in a re-sealable plastic bag, place it on a sturdy surface then roll the pin back and forth over the plastic bag until it’s crushed to your liking. If you notice any stubborn pieces hit them using the flat side of the rolling pin.
This is a great way to break down cookies, chickpeas, and chips.
5. Cook until soft
Considering that food processors are majorly used to puree food, you can easily get fine-textured food by letting it cook for long. Boil the food until it’s almost falling apart then mash it with a potato masher or a simple kitchen fork.
If you’re looking for an even finer consistency, you can pour the food through a sieve.
This method is great for making homemade tomato sauce.
6. Mortar and Pestle
A mortar and pestle also can also do a good job pulverizing foods for various recipes.
Graters are used to shred vegetables like carrots, potatoes, or ginger into fine pieces; perfect for making salads.
Be very careful when handling the grater so that you don’t hurt yourself while sliding the food back and forth over the holes in the grater.
Lastly, if you don’t have any of the afore-mentioned kitchen appliances, you can use a knife to finely chop your ingredients. Place the food on a chopping board and cut it into small pieces. This method is mostly used to cut garlic and onions.
Remember to be very careful with the knife. Hold the knife firmly with your dominant hand. It helps to slice the ingredients into larger pieces first then proceed to do the fine chopping.
Even though using a blender in place of a food processor requires that you work in small batches, it is still not as slow as doing the tasks by hand. Note that some blender models that have a food processor accessory attachment that’s usually bought separately but is used together with the blender base.
Before you use your blender, check whether or not its motor is strong and powerful enough to handle some chopping and shredding tasks especially when it comes to cheese, grains, and hard cheese. You should also ensure that the blades are sharp before use; check the manufacturer’s manual for instructions on how to sharpen the blades.