How to Use Your Food Processor's Plunger


It’s important!

It’s important!
Photo: Claire Lower

The Grown-Up KitchenThe Grown-Up KitchenWelcome to The Grown-Up Kitchen, Skillet’s series designed to answer your most basic culinary questions and fill in any gaps that may be missing in your home chef education.

If you have a food processor—or even if you don’t—you’re probably aware that it comes with many parts. The bowl and the lid are the biggest ones, then there are the blades, shredders, slicers, the little arm thing that the shredders and slicers sit on (that I am always losing), and finally there’s the plunger—the tube of plastic that helps you shove carrots, cheese, zucchini, or anything else you want to shred or slice into and through the feeding tube.

But your plunger may have a secret: Depending on the make and model of your food processor, your food tube plunger may have a tiny hole in the center, and that often-overlooked hole is extremely helpful when making emulsified sauces.

I call it “the dribbler” even though it doesn’t quite dribble. (It’s just a fun word to say, and one can only say “hole” so many times.) With the dribbler, you can slowly add oil, melted butter, or any liquid to the bowl of your food processor in the thinnest, most consistent stream, without have to worry if you are adding it slowly enough, quickly enough, or accidentally splashing too much in. This is particularly welcome when you’re making sauces that are prone to breaking, or anything that relies on gradually introducing liquid to other ingredients. This hole can help you make hollandaise, is what I’m saying.

Using the dribbler is easy: With the food processor running (and other ingredients already mixed in the bowl), set the plunger in the food tube and pour your oil, melted butter, or whatever other liquid you need to incorporate in a gradual nature. Then step back and watch the dribbler do its thing, without having to worry about adding too much, too little, or getting a hand cramp.



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