One of the things I’ve learned in my years of canning is that once the produce starts coming on in great waves, it’s helpful to have a small appliance or two in your kitchen arsenal to help break fruits and vegetables down into preservable shapes and sizes. I often use my blender to help soften fruit for jam making (pulse, don’t puree) and often use the grater blade for my food processor to shred all manner of veg for batches of relish or salsa.
Recently, the nice folks at Hamilton Beach asked if I’d be interested in trying out their new Stack & Snap 10 Cup Food Processor. Since I’m always curious about new appliances (particularly ones that can help out during canning season), I said yes. I’ve had this guy in my kitchen for a couple of months now and there are a bunch of things I really like about it.
First off, I really like its general concept. Instead of having to turn and lock the pieces into alignment, the components of this machine simply stack together. Once you’re ready to process, two little pieces click and hold the lid in place. When I first used the machine, I found it a little disconcerting that the bowl doesn’t lock onto the base, but it has proven to be plenty sturdy, so it doesn’t worry me at all.
I also really appreciate the fact that both the chopping blade and the slicing/grating disc fit into the bowl for storage (I’ve never found a good method for storing the accessory discs for my other food processor).
It’s also a seriously powerful in the shredding and slicing department. I have used it to grate many pounds of carrots, cabbage, potatoes, fennel, and very old, hard Parmesan cheese. It’s been a champ with them all. I also appreciate how wide the feed tube is. Makes it really easy to get large root vegetables in there.
The chopping blade is also a workhorse, though I was disappointed to find that it sits up a little too high to be truly useful for moderately sized batches of pastry dough and pie crust. Still, it makes quick work of larger batches of dough and things like these sunflower seed and cheddar crackers.
My one complaint about this machine has to do with the length of the cord. It’s too darn short! Truly though, I find this to be the case with most modern appliances. Because my kitchen is 47 years old (and has never been remodeled), I have just a couple of outlets placed at either end of the room. I either end up positioning the processor at an awkward angle and stretching the cord to its full length or getting an extension cord. If you have a space with more generously positioned electrical outlets, this shouldn’t be an issue for you.
Overall, I’m quite impressed with this food processor. I’ve long used a first generation Cuisinart (my aunt Flora bought it sometime in the mid-seventies) for my processing needs and I was pleased to see that this inexpensive unit could do much of what I ask of my vintage machine.
- Leave a comment on this post and tell me about your favorite small kitchen appliance. Food processor? Coffee maker? Immersion blender? Hand-cranked coffee grinder?
- Comments will close at 11:59 pm on Friday, June 14, 2013. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog over the weekend.
- Giveaway open US residents only.
- One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.
Also, make sure to check back tomorrow, when I’ll be sharing a recipe for fennel relish made right in the Stack & Snap (with action pictures and everything). If you’re a fennel fan, it’s certain to be a new favorite.
Disclosure: Hamilton Beach gave me one Stack & Snap 10 Cup Food Processor for review and photography purposes and they’re providing eight additional units for this giveaway. They did not pay for inclusion on the blog and my opinions remain entirely my own.