Mini Food Processor for Heavy Use?

Any recommendations for a mini/small food processor for use in prepping a variety of foods for rescue/rehab wildlife?

We create the blends in small batches, tailored to the species, age, and nutritional needs, and make fresh blends each day: the plastic bowls tend to crack with repeated use/sterilizing and, as a non-profit, we’d like to stop having to replace the darn things (or asking supporters to buy them for us!).

We’re thinking we need something that’s commercial grade, but don’t want anything large (the blends are usually less than a cup, sometimes just a couple tablespoons and we don’t have a whole lot of counter space where we can place these).

We’re also discussing an immersion blender but aren’t sure about the sterilization process for that. (We do use separate equipment for the herbivores, omnivores, insectivores, and carnivores.)

Thanks!

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What is the sterilization process? It seems that an immersion blender would be the ideal tool. You could use it in easy-to-sterilize glass or porcelain ware. With my Cuisinart Smart Stik, the blade portion detaches from the motor. I imagine that would be easy to sterilize.

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+1 on the detachable blade portion. I’m guessing the sterilization process is why the plastic bowls of the mini-processors keep cracking.

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Are the blades on the immersion blender strong enough to break down hard exoskeletons of insects, do you think?

Well, the last time I was blending exoskeletons… :laughing:
Might need a commercial grade so the motor doesn’t burn out.

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I have a mini:

And it will chop things into smaller pieces but not really grind them. The immersion blender will puree them into a paste. It has the advantage that you can move it up and down through whatever you are processing. It does better if there is liquid involved so it’s not good at chopping. I’m not sure what texture your final product needs to be. If I had to use my immersion blender on mealworms or crickets I’m sure it can get them to a nice hummus consistency (with the addition of some liquid) :slight_smile:

The cuisinart I mentioned above has a 200 watt motor. There are much larger and stronger commercial models also.

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I have a little Cuisinart also. It’s a tough little machine - I grind a lot of horseradish with it.

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I have a Kenwood stick blender (I think that is an immersion blender) and it works very well with nuts and ice so I would think it works pretty well on insects - they are not really that hard as the birds around my house seem to crunch them pretty easily.

When you say sterilise I assume you mean a good hot wash rather than a session in a autoclave…? The Kenwood came with lots of attachments and the heavy duty blender is stainless steel, easy to wash in very hot water and detergent, but I wouldn’t put it in a dishwasher as I am concerned about getting water trapped in the shaft.

Plastic bowls will always crack with both stress fractures and heat. So a good stick blenders in a metal container should wear well. Maybe look for one used by bar tenders who mix drinks with a lot of ice - if it survives a bar it will be tough.

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Also thinking professional grade immersion blender with detachable part made in all metal.

For very dry crunchy things you will need some liquid to get it to blend, not good to make a dry powders. Look for one with a good warranty from the manufacturer.

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I have the Cuisinart Oscar, which is what they initially called the mini one. It’s pretty powerful. Keep an eye out for these on eBay.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold