Thursday, 26 July 2012

Cooking with Arthritis Gadgets: Kitchen Aid Food Processor Review

We were given a Kitchen Aid food processor as a wedding gift and it is a thing of beauty. It makes the whole kitchen look like it could well be the set of some exciting cookery programme (when it doesn't look like a food bomb has gone off in it). Food processors are a great tool for anyone cooking with arthritis. They can help you get more fruit and vegetables into your arthritis diet without having to struggle with chopping, like in the recent bolognese recipe I posted. However, how easy they are to assemble, clean and use makes a big difference to whether they are truly arthritis-friendly or not. So today 'Arthur investigates' the Kitchen Aid Artisan Food Processor.


What is it supposed to do?
Chop, whisk, mix, blend, knead, slice and grate at the touch of the button. There is a mini chopping bowl included and  mine even has an attachment for juicing citrus fruit. Kitchen Aid state it has a 'clean touch control panel', stable design and quiet motor.


Does it work?
It does a reasonable job of chopping or dicing vegetables. I use it quite a bit for dealing with onions or carrots but I do find I have to open the top and poke things about a bit to get it to chop evenly. Some pieces always seem to get stuck at the bottom no matter how full or empty I make the bowl. I also prefer my hand blender for pureeing as I don't think it gives a particularly smooth finish to soups or sauces.


It grates like a dream and the dough blade is fantastic for making cakes, cookies and pastry. The whisk attachment is ok but I think it takes longer and is less effective than my electric hand whisk. Honestly, I have never tried the juicer and probably never will!


It's fairly easy to assemble although if it isn't aligned correctly it is very easy to crack the bowl and they are hard to replace. The base wipes down very well and the 'clean touch' panel really does mean no bits of carrot stuck around your buttons. The bowl and attachments are dishwasher safe or easy to clean by hand. I can't stand the attachment storage box which is like a jigsaw puzzle with very sharp pieces.  It is also expensive - it is without doubt the most attractive food processor out there but there are certainly cheaper options available.


Does it make it easier to cook with arthritis?
Most of the time I think it does. There is no need to hold anything, the buttons are easy to push even with sore hands and it is relatively easy to operate. When my arthritis is very bad I do find it a bit a hassle to assemble and particularly to detach the bowl. I tend to use my hand blender with the chopping attachment then just because it is lighter, quicker and there is less cleaning up afterwards. 


I think it probably depends on what kind of cooking you do. If you have lots of hungry mouths to feed or make large quantities of dishes, then it will save you work and might make cooking with arthritis easier. If you are cooking for one or two people, then a hand blender with chopper bowl is going to be more useful and a lot cheaper.


Overall verdict?
B+  A stylish kitchen helper for most tasks


Do let me know if you have a food processor, what model it is and how you find it so we can start a few comparisons.




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