People purée food for different reasons. Some do it as part of a favorite recipe such as in preparing fillings for pies. Some purée their way to a healthier diet such as in vegetable smoothies, which dieticians and nutritionists propose as one of the best forms to take in our daily serving of vegetables. Some parents purée to save their wallet — with the increasing cost of store-bought baby food (and other baby needs), making homemade purées have proven and economical parenting choice. Plus, it’s healthier for the baby since parents have more control over their little one’s diet. Lastly, puréeing is necessary for others, such as for frail older people or medical patients who have a hard time chewing or are suffering from dysphagia, that is difficulty in swallowing.
All types of foods can be puréed but one that is particularly difficult to do manually is meat. That’s why it’s wise to employ the aid of a kitchen tool when processing it. One of the best tools you can tap for the job is the food processor. With versatility as its greatest feature, you can be sure to find other uses for it as you work in your kitchen. So how do you use a food processor to purée meat and which one is best for the job?
Which Food Processor to Use
The most important factor to consider when looking for a food processor for puréeing meat is the motor power, although the best choice for you will depend on what other tasks you intend to delegate and the budget you’re working with. Here are some excellent food processor choices to deliver your meat purée and some more.Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor
The Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor is the best food processor in the market. It is versatile, powerful, and sturdy. With a motor powered with 720 Watts, not only is it excellent in puréeing meat, it performs as excellently in a wide array of kitchen tasks. It’s a great assistant more than just for chopping, slicing, and grating; if you need a partner in kneading heavy dough, this model is perfect for you. It’s not exactly cheap at $200 but if you’re serious in the kitchen, then this Cuisinart masterpiece is a great investment that will last you for a long time. A slightly less but still powerful (625-Watt) model with a smaller capacity from the same brand at slightly lower price is the Cuisinart DLC-2011CHBY Prep 11 Plus 11-Cup Food Processor.Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef Food Processor
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty food processor and don’t mind shelling out hefty cash, then the Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef Food Processor may be the pick for you. No task can intimidate this food processor heavyweight with its 1200-watt motor, three blades, and five discs. A must have in the professionals’ kitchens, it will do more heavy lifting than just meeting your meat puréeing needs.Cuisinart DLC-10SY Pro Classic 7-Cup Food Processor
If you don’t need a large capacity food processor, the Cuisinart DLC-10SY Pro Classic 7-Cup Food Processor is a great choice. Powered with a 600-watt motor, it can do more than just puréeing meat; it will also chop, slice, grate, and knead its way to give you great value for your money.
DeLonghi 9-Cup Capacity Food Processor with Integrated Blender
Want more options for puréeing? Get two for the price of one with this model as it comes with a blender. A little less powerful than the other models, it does an okay job in puréeing meat. You may not get the ideal smooth and silky product but if you don’t need your meat to be puréed to perfection, then this product may be a perfect fit for you.
Puréeing Meat with the Food Processor
Generally, a good purée has smooth, silky consistency. Sticky, lumpy, dry, or runny tends to be unappetizing whether for paying customers in a restaurant or an innocent, little baby. However, the specific product chunkiness depends on the purpose of the purée. If it is to be served to adults who have difficulty swallowing, it should be moist, and dieticians suggest it to be spoon-thick or of pudding consistency. On the other hand, if it is for introducing meat to a child big enough to handle a little more chunk, then a few are acceptable.
Here is a quick guide to puréeing meat. Remember: preparing, puréeing, and packing (storage).
The foundation of a good purée is good meat choice. For smoother and tastier purée, choose fresh and tender cuts of meat. If you’re working with poultry, make sure to debone completely to avoid any tiny bones mixing in with the purée.
Cook the meat. The best methods are braising, boiling, or baking. Although you can fry the meat, this won’t be advisable as fried meat is less healthy. Make sure that the meat is cooked through and through especially if no further cooking will be done and most especially for poultry.
While you can purée meat even when it’s still warm, most people suggest to chill (or even freeze) the meat before processing it. The meat processes more finely when it is cooled.
Cut the cooled meat into smaller pieces and then drop into the food processor bowl. Hit the pulse button a few times. After a while, the meat will get “powdery.” You can continue processing the meat, experimenting on different speeds to achieve different fineness.
The initial product will look like grains of sands. To achieve the desired texture, add liquid to the meat. A cup of meat needs roughly 1/4 cup of liquid. You may choose from an array of liquids such as water, meat broth, milk or even oil. However, note that milk may increase the possibility of spoilage, while oil may not be the healthiest choice. Also, consider sterilising the water first before adding it to the mixture to lessen chances of spoilage.
To improve the texture of the purée, you may add stabilizers such as mashed potato or finely crushed bread crumbs. You may also add vegetable, puréed or diced, for a healthier mixture. Adding salt and spices for seasoning is also an option. Just make sure to consider who will be consuming the purée when deciding on additives.
The puréed meat can be stored in the refrigerator for three to four days. Store in an air-tight container. You can also freeze it for much later use. Just make sure to use a freezer-safe container. A really good freezer safe container to keep your puree in are ball mason jars. They are strong, durable and are priced very good.
Warm the purée to room temperature before serving. You may also heat it in the microwave or on the stove if desired.