Questions for cooks: Storing food processor blades

Reader C submitted the following to Questions for cooks:

I live in a teeny tiny apartment, with a teeny tiny kitchen. One of the problems of the kitchen is that I have very little counter space, and no drawers whatsoever – just cupboards and shelves.

That being the case, do you have a creative suggestion for a food processor storage solution? The blades especially have been a huge storage problem.

Before I offer up some storage solutions, I have a few questions for you. How often do you use your food processor? Do you have other small appliances that can do the same thing? The reason I ask is because I don’t own one and have never had a need for one. Whenever a recipe calls for one, I’ve been able to use an alternative like a mandoline, blender, or a basic chef’s knife. The only time I’ve borrowed one was when making brioche for the first time (using one of the recipes in Cookwise), but since then I’ve just used my stand mixer with the same success.

If you’re regularly using your food processor, and aren’t interested in getting rid of it, I recommend checking with your appliance’s manufacturer to see if they make a storage solution.

What’s nice about storage solutions made by the product’s manufacturer is that the storage device is specifically suited to exactly what you have. In this case, the blades lock into the holder and there is a plastic cover that fits perfectly over the blades, which is incredibly safe.

If your model doesn’t have a manufacturer-designed storage solution, I’d use something like a CD spindle or a paper towel holder. Then, I’d look for a protective covering you can fit over everything (a plastic ice cream tub might work).

Another option might be to store them in a drawer or box with appropriately sized dividers.

Thank you, C, for submitting your question for our Questions for cooks column. Be sure to check the comments for even more ideas from our readers.

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14 comments posted

  1. Posted by Lori Paximadis - 05/13/2011

    I have only the three basic blades that came with my food processor, and I keep them (and the stem you use for the grater blade) in a round Gladware container. Cheap & easy. I store the food processor and the blade container in a cabinet under the counter.

    I’m not sure how a CD spindle or paper towel holder would work, unless your blades had a center hole, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen any that do.

  2. Posted by Gordon Cheng - 05/13/2011

    A storage holder just for food processor blades? But isn’t that a —gasp—unitasker???

  3. Posted by infmom - 05/14/2011

    Our kitchen is very small as well, and we’re so short of storage space that I finally had to hang my pots and pans from shelves that go over the kitchen sink (wire shelves from IKEA just fit the gap between the cabinets, and we hung the pans from S hooks).

    We bought a solid, sturdy wooden rollaround cart (also from Ikea) and keep that in the breakfast nook. The food procesor blades, in their plastic box, sit on the bottom shelf of that cart along with my little dust-buster vacuum cleaner (great for cleaning up after the coffee grinder) and all my mixing bowls.

    The cart gives me much-needed work space and can be rolled wherever I need it. It’s great for serving stuff at holiday meals (the breakfast nook being so small that family get-togethers usually involve moving the kitchen table out into the parlor and bringing in our round plastic table from the patio).

    Erin, you’re missing out by not having a food processor. I didn’t think I needed one either, but the first time I pulsed together pie crust I was glad I spent the money. (Ditto biscuit dough, and pulverizing carrots to add to sloppy joe mix so we all get a stealth dose of vegetables.) I got a Kitchenaid that has a little extra bowl that’s the perfect size for chopping nuts for banana bread and brownies. Yeah, I’m sold on it. :)

  4. Posted by missfitz - 05/14/2011

    I store mine in a bowl and keep them with the cuisinart in the cupboard. The main blade that I use most often just stays in the cuisinart bowl, ready to roll.

  5. Posted by Keter - 05/14/2011

    My simple Black & Decker food processor was designed to stack all of its accessories in the processor bowl. Zero clutter. IMO, any product that leaves one with a bunch of accessories with no place to store them is poorly designed.

  6. Posted by Erin Doland - 05/14/2011

    @Gordon — A unitasker is a product without utility (or with very low utility). A storage device like the one mentioned in the article has utility, and in this case high utility since it protects the blades, protects the user from the blades, and also provides an organized storage solution.

    Products like toilets, fire extinguishers, shelving, lighting, trash cans, brooms, etc. are not unitaskers even though they only have one purpose because of their valued utility.

  7. Posted by Erin Doland - 05/14/2011

    @Lori — I’ve never seen one that doesn’t have a hole. Granted, I haven’t looked a food processor in a decade, but the ones I’ve seen all have a center power drive shaft. What brand do you have?

  8. Posted by Erin Doland - 05/15/2011

    Here’s another one:

  9. Posted by Catherine - 05/16/2011

    I store the blades and disks in a decorative cookie tin that we had displayed in the kitchen. Turns it from a merely decorative object to a useful decorative object.

  10. Posted by Joanna - 05/16/2011

    Not to seem like Captain Obvious, but why can’t you store the blades in the food processor itself? It’s practical, space saving, and doesn’t cost extra.

  11. Posted by RazzBari - 05/16/2011

    When I had a food processor with several blades, I had a rack with U-shaped slots open to the front that mounted on the underside of a cabinet. Each blade had its own slot. It was sort of along the lines of an under-shelf stemware rack.

  12. Posted by Lori Paximadis - 05/17/2011

    Mine’s a Cuisinart, about 10 years old, but they were that way for a number of years before that, and the current ones are the same. The bowl has a hole in the middle of the bottom that fits over a spindle. The chopping blades have a cap that rests on top of the spindle.

    For the grating and slicing blades, you click the stem into the bottom of the blade, and then the stem rests on the spindle, raising the blade to just below the feed tube.

    On the ancient models, each blade had its own permanently attached stem, which was even more of a storage nightmare.

  13. Posted by Nancy - 05/20/2011

    I use a small wire rack made to hold pot lids.

  14. Posted by Bridget - 05/21/2011

    As a single lady with limited space and no kids, I store the blades within the food processor itself. I can see needing alternate ideas if there were tiny hands that tried to play with everything, though.

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