The food processor is among the most versatile appliances in your kitchen, making many different tasks easy, beginning with puréeing and chopping ingredients. A food processor makes quick work of dips, salads such as eggplant caviar, pesto, and duxelles. It grinds bread and cookies into crumbs in seconds, and grinds nuts without turning them to nut butter.

A food processor is also invaluable for easily tackling recipes that are slow and painstaking when their prep is done by hand, such as mayonnaise, or anything requiring the shredding of large quantities of hard cheese or vegetables, such as latkes or hash browns, as well as celery root, carrot, or raw beet salads.

Food processors take the work out of pastry and bread dough by effortlessly cutting in the butter for pie dough and kneading bread dough and pizza crust in a couple of minutes. They also can accomplish tasks for which you otherwise need specialty equipment, such as making your own minced meat for burgers and meatballs. nvcook freezes chunks of beef slightly and pulses them 11 times for hamburgers, explaining that otherwise the meat can turn to mush. However, he finds it “easier than using my KitchenAid grinder attachment.”

What not to do with a food processor: mash potatoes. “Changes the texture and turns them black,” says wincountrygirl.

Discuss: Just Bought a Food Processor

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