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Meet your new sous-chef: The food processor |

Meet your new sous-chef: The food processor

Buy smart. If you’re going to buy a food processor, go big or don’t go home. Small models can be handy for prep work, but to get the most done, try for something that has a capacity in the range of 11 to 14 cups. That means you won’t have to empty the bowl as often, plus you’ll still get the shredding and slicing discs that are so helpful. Bigger machines, in addition to a higher capacity, have strong motors, which is key to such food as pizza dough.

And don’t worry about finding one with tons of features and accessories: As long as you have a process and pulse button, the slicing and shredding discs and the traditional blade, you’re all set. Sizemore said another nice but not make-or-break feature is snap-on bases and lids. Most machines are assembled by twisting on the bowl, blades and so on, but some work with a simple snap.

Then take good care of it — and yourself. It’s fine for food-processor bowls and lids to go in the dishwasher, but it’s best to hand wash your blade. (By the way, here’s your reminder about that Cuisinart blade recall from 2016, if you never took care of it.) Sizemore prefers using a brush, since a sponge can snag on the sharp edge. She also recommends not letting a dirty bowl sit around — it will be easier to clean before food cakes on and dries, and that way it’s not a burden hanging over you either.

Think about how to store your food processor and make it accessible. “I think that’s half the battle for people,” Sizemore says. “Make it easy on yourself to get to it.” In a perfect world, it would live on your counter, but we don’t all live in a perfect world with big kitchens. I divide my food processor to store it, leaving the heavy base in a cabinet under my counter for easy transport and placing the bowl, blade and discs on a higher shelf that I don’t mind reaching up to.

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