Of all the appliances in a kitchen, a food processor is certainly amongst the most useful. A food processor is best known for chopping, grating, slicing, pureeing and kneading.
They can handle foods that are harder in texture better than a blender. If you don’t have a food processor, don’t worry, you will still be able to make a dough, flour, mincemeat, sauces, hummus, mayo and more with other appliances and techniques.
Here are some of the food processor alternatives that you can use:
1. Use A Blender For Your Mincing & Processing Needs
Your blender is more versatile than just making smoothies. If you require a fine mince or soft foods, use the pulse option to reach the right consistency. If you want a puree, run it on low to medium speed for a minute or so.
2. Mix Liquids And Solids In A Mixer
Any kind of mixer whether a hand mixer or an immersion blender can function as an alternative to a food processor. It’s especially helpful you want to mix liquids and solids together such as merengues, dips, and cream.
- A hook attachment can be useful while making dough for bread, pies, and cookies.
3. Try A Coffee Grinder To Chop Nuts And Spices
Coffee-aficionados might have a coffee grinder at home which you can also use to grind nuts and spices.
- Can be used to chop nuts for desserts
- Clean your grinder well though otherwise, you might taste coffee in other foods
4. Use A Food Mill To Process Soft Food
It’s an old-fashioned tool but it serves many purposes such as mashing, grinding, pureeing, and straining soft foods.
It consists of a grinding plate connected to a crank which can be manual or electric. The food is forced down the plate and through a sieve before it passes into a bowl.
- Most commonly used to make cauliflower rice
- Does a good job in making creamy mashed potatoes
5. Use a Chef’s Knife
The most common use for a food processor is to chop or mince food finely. This same function can be done with a good Chef’s Knife although it might take you a bit longer.
Be careful when in contact with a sharp knife and always hold it with your dominant hand. Twist your palm into a bear claw and hold the food you want to cut. Even if your knife slips, it will only brush the back of your knuckles.
6. A grater Can Shred Hard Vegetables
If you have a grater, you can shred hard vegetables like carrots, zucchini or raw potatoes in it. All you have to do is slide the food top to bottom over the holes of a grater.
You may not get the same consistency as a food processor but it will definitely break down vegetables into smaller and lighter pieces.
You can use a greater to make salads, coleslaw and also grate ginger for sauces or lemon zest for drinks. Just remember to be careful and not over the grate and hurt your fingers.
7. Boil The Raw Food And Mash It When Soft
Before there were appliances like the food processor or blenders, one used to puree food with the most basic of tools such as boiling water! To begin with, boil or simmer the raw food in water till it seems soft and mushy. Then use a fork or potato masher to break the food down further.
- For a fine and smooth texture, push the food puree with the back of a spoon through a sieve.
- Perfect for making sauces, jams, and soups
8. Use A Rolling Pin
If you need to need to break down hard or solid food into smaller pieces, put them in a plastic bag on a solid cutting board and glide the rolling pin back and forth over the bag.
If you want fine pieces or powder, you can hit them with the side of the rolling pin to break them up. This method is useful when you want to break down cookies or biscuits to make dessert toppings You can also crush chickpeas to make hummus
9. Knead Dough By Hand
All the best bakers will tell you that kneading dough with your hand does a better job than machines and also is a fun method of stress relief!
Place the flour on a flat and greased surface, make a mountain-like shape with a hole in the center and add the binding liquid in it.
Then use your hands to fold the flour inwards until they are completely mixed. If you want to make a wet dough (cookie batter), use a spoon instead of your hands to knead.
Conclusion on alternatives to using a food processor
While there is no set rule, here is a summary of the food processor substitutes we’ve discovered by experience:
- When you’re looking to chop or mince without a food processor, a blender would be the second-best option
- If you want to combine liquid and solids, for example,
- when you want to mix butter, flour, use a mixer when the recipe calls for whipping or aeration such as in meringues and whipped cream use a blender when you want to puree food