Many food processors, which are a staple in any good kitchen, come with a variety of removeable and attachable extras. For many people, these get tossed aside and stored away somewhere while they focus on the basics: the bowl, the lid, the normal blades. However, those extra pieces contain an incredible amount of potential to make your processor so much more versatile than it could ever be if you just used the standard blade. These other pieces can be anything from dough blades for mixing and kneading dough to discs with very small, thin blades that allow you to puree with ease. Today, we’re going to take a look at two of these attachments for your food processor: Shredding blades and slicing blades. We’re going to look at what they are, what they do, the differences between them, and which are the best food processors that include them.
What Is a Shredder Blade?
Also known as a “Shredding Disc”, you’ll be able to recognize this one pretty easily. Have you ever seen what a cheese grater looks like? That’s basically what this looks like. It’s a small, metal disc that sits at the top of your bowl rather than inside of it, allowing anything you shred to be caught inside of the bowl for convenience. It works by spinning at the top of the bowl, and you feeding food into it through the feed tube on your food processor’s lid. This allows it to grate and shred whatever you put into it with ease, anything from cabbage to cheese to carrots. Perfect for shredding up ingredients for a slaw, carrots for a carrot cake, or anything else that calls for it!
What is a Slicing Disc?
Very similar to the Shredding Disc, this attachment for your food processor is also a small, metal disc that also sits at the top of the bowl, and is meant for you to push what you want to process through the feed tube at the top of your processor. This attachment thinly slices everything you put through it, and most models work absolute wonders! It’s perfect for thinly slicing things like potatoes, carrots, or any other vegetables for the dishes you’re looking to serve tonight!
A Word of Warning
Obviously, you should take care whenever you switch out your blades, and ensure they are always installed properly and make sure you are only using attachments that are specifically made for your particular food processor. Not installing them correctly, or using items that weren’t made for your processor, can result in you breaking or damaging your food processor at best, and can lead to a serious injury at worst. So, as with anything, always exercise caution, follow the installation instructions outlined in your manual, and double-check that everything is installed the way it should be. That way, you can focus on what you want to make with it, instead of whatever problems might arise from using the improper components for your food processor.
What’s the Difference?
To sum up everything I’ve outlined above, here’s what you need to keep in mind: If it needs to be sliced into chucks that are thin but with a large diameter, such as if you’re planning to deep-fry potatoes to make chips, or if you need vegetables sliced thin for a gratin, shaved for a salad, or anything similar, you’ll want to use the slicing disc.
If you’re looking for something to cut your vegetables into thin strips – like what you would need for a slaw or a julienne, you’re going to want to go for the grating disc.
However, if you’re looking to puree, chop, or grind the vegetables, nuts or meats you have for almost any other dish, skip the attachments and stick to the standard blade you got with the food processor. These attachments are meant to be specialized, and aren’t as suited for everyday use as the standard blades are. So, if you’re going for any of the basic function that aren’t covered by the other two attachments listed here, you’ll probably be perfectly fine to use the standard blades to prepare your food with your processor.
But, with so many options on the market that come with both of these options included, how do you know which ones are worth the money and which ones are going to be a waste? Well, don’t worry! Here is a short list of some amazing processors that come with these options included, along with a list of features of each!
1. Big Mouth Deluxe 14-cup Food Processor with Slicing/shredding Disc
This is a hulking, 14-cup processor made by Hamilton Beach, a very reliable kitchen appliance brand. In addition to having more space than you could ever ask for, this food processor comes with a shredder blade, a chopping blade (Which acts like the slicing blade we covered above), AND a French-fry disc. Not only do you get the full capabilities we talked about above between the two different kinds of discs, you also get a blade that is specifically built for creating the perfectly-shaped French fries for your next cookout! This comes equipped with a powerful motor, a good-quality plastic bowl, and a well-sized feeder tube and handle! As far as food processors go, this machine is an excellent choice.
• Powerful Motor
• Good-quality plastic materials
• Sturdy Handle
• Comes with three different optional blade attachments
• Massive Capacity
2. Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor, with Bowl Scraper
Another model from Hamilton Beach, this one is a slight-downgraded version of the above, being only 10-cups in capacity, but it makes up for that in price and size. It’s much more kitchen friendly than the above version, because of its portability and compact size, and fairly lightweight, due to being made up of durable plastics instead of mostly metal or glass. This version, in addition to coming with the shredding and slicing discs outlined above, also comes with a built-in bowl scrapper, so whenever you use the standard blades to make anything from dips to baby formula, you can always get everything out. In addition, it comes with an S-Blade attachment as well! We didn’t go over it in this article, but S-blades are great for quickly chopping up things crudely, or for leaving your food in the processor a bit longer and pureeing them perfectly!
• Powerful 450-Watt motor
• Two speeds and a “Pulse” option
• Comes with both discs
• Built-in bowl scrapper
• All parts are dishwasher safe
Now, before you faint after looking at that price tag, let me tell you: though expensive, it definitely earns what you pay for it. This is an impressive, 11-cup processor, in beautiful brushed chrome, still lightweight despite its size, and has a wide array of perks to it. For those of you who don’t know, Cuisinart is another well-known kitchen brand who have built a reputation for providing good-quality appliances, although some of them tend to be on the higher end of the price spectrum, as you can see. However, not only does it include THREE of the slicing and shredding blades that you’re looking for, it also includes Cuisinart’s new standard blade, a high-quality piece that will be immensely useful to your cooking. This model also comes with a spatula, so you also get a new tool for the rest of your kitchen as well! While not as good as the bowl scrapper above, it is certainly more versatile, since it can be used for other things aside from the processor. Most importantly, this machine comes with a 5-year warranty, so if anything goes wrong, you can get in touch with Cuisinart and have a new one sent out.
• 5-Year Warranty
• Comes with a free spatula
• Three slicing and shredding blades
• Comes with Cuisinart’s upgraded blade assembly
• Large 11-cup capacity
What Should I buy?
As always, buy what you think suits your needs best. If money isn’t much of an issue, and you want a good-quality food processor with a lot of extras that you can use, an impressive bowl size, a powerful motor and a longtime warranty the Cuisinart model is definitely for you, although it is not very quiet, keep that in mind if you have a small child or live in close quarters, like an apartment.
If you have a good enough budget, want a hulking bowl for your preparations, complete with a powerful motor and a convenient handle, regardless of the noise, because this one is also noisy, the first Hamilton Beach on this list would work for you nicely. Just keep in mind that you probably won’t want to move it around a lot because of its size, and it takes up quite a bit of valuable kitchen space. It’s also a good pick if you’re the kind of person who just loves French fries, since it comes with a specially-made blade for it that can probably be used for many other vegetable, from sweet potatoes to plantains!
Otherwise, if you have a more modest budget and don’t want any of these other massive machines featured, the second Hamilton Beach is more suited for you. It comes with a bowl scrapper, its relatively quiet, and takes up less counter space than the other two options here.
No matter what you choose, happy cooking!