Best Food Processor Guide


Bosch MCM68861GB Food Processor

Looking for a 4 litre food processor? Sadly there isn’t one on the market for the domestic kitchen that size – but there is one which comes very close. The 3.9 litre Bosch MCM68861GB Food Processor is one of the most popular Bosch food processors sold in the UK. That capacity is matched by its power and versatility: it has a 1250 watt motor, and it comes with an impressive set of ten different attachments.

Bosch MCM68861GB Food Processor review

First impression

The Bosch MCM68861GB is described as being made out of brushed stainless steel, although that’s not completely true: the front fascia is indeed stainless steel, but the main body of the base is made out of grey plastic, with a dark grey trim. There are two spaces moulded into the lower aspect of the sides – these serve as carrying handles – and there is a cord storage built into the base. It’s a simple, uncluttered design which avoids looking boxy or slab sided, and will suit most kitchens. One of the nice things about grey food processors is that they will not acquire that pale, washed-out looking yellow tone which white food processors and kitchen equipment tend to acquire with age.

The focus point of the front panel is the large control knob, with Bosch logo towards the bottom left. Surrounding the control knob is a dark grey plastic trim, indicating the speed settings. The front of the knob is the same brushed metal as used on the base, but the rim is actually made out of rubber, ensuring that greasy or slippery hands will still be able to operate the food processor without problem.

Instead of non-slip feet, the MCM68861GB has rubber suction feet underneath. These tend to be much more effective than simple non-slip rubber nodules and especially if the work surface is damp, although they can make it a little trickier to reposition the food processor once it’s been set in place.

In terms of a first impression though, the most striking feature regarding this food processor is its stats. At 43 centimetres tall and with a 1250 watt motor, this is one of the most powerful food processors available in the UK. With a 3.9 litre bowl though, it’s not surprising that so much power is needed to push the attachments through a considerable volume of ingredients: the MCM68861GB has a maximum working capacity of 2 kg of dry ingredients, or 2.4 litres of liquids. Incredibly, that’s just over half a gallon, so if you’re a soup fan and like to make large batches in one go, you’d be hard-pressed to find a food processor more suited to that task.

The 1250 watt motor is situated directly underneath the bowl and does not extend much further than the bottom of the bowl; the base of the food processor itself measures 30 x 25 cm. One could only imagine how big its footprint would be if the motor were housed in a neighbouring compartment, but Bosch really have done their very best to ensure a food processor with this capacity takes up as little room in the kitchen as possible. Of course, it goes without saying that a food processor of this capacity is originally designed for larger households and families.

In the box

The other extremely impressive element regarding this food processor is the sheer amount of attachments included. In addition to the knife blades, you get a blender, a mini-chopper, a geared whisk, dough blades, a juicing press for citrus fruits, and three stainless steel discs for slicing, shredding, and Julienne style chipping. There’s also a disc support, which carries the stainless steel discs.

This may sound like a lot of things which will simply take up room in the kitchen, but that’s not the case at all. Included in the box is a specially-designed accessory bag which can safely accommodate almost all of the attachments. And what’s most impressive is that the bag itself can be stored inside the food processor’s bowl. Bosch really have done their homework here.

Finally there’s a stirrer tool and an instruction manual, which unfortunately doesn’t have a recipe section. There is, however, a 2 year warranty for parts and labour.

Attachments

The main tool, the knife blades, do not consist of a single component. Instead, they are embedded into a small plastic collar, which is secured to a plastic pillar. This pillar then slots over the drive shaft. It also accommodates the dough blades, which are secured in exactly the same way.

The knife blades are a particularly mean-looking gadget, and it’s not surprising that Bosch have coined their design as “Supercut” technology. Unlike most food processors, they are serrated, which means that when the blade strikes food particles, the contact area is smaller in comparison to a smooth cutting edge. Consequently, the smaller point of contact means that the food particles are struck with a relatively greater amount of force, ensuring that the MCM68861GB will cut through fibrous vegetables with ease. As for the dough blades or kneading tool, these simply consist of a pair of blunt plastic spurs. They incorporate ingredients together and move them around the bowl without slicing into them as harshly as sharpened blades. They are perfect for making pizza and pasta dough, not to mention the dough for home-made bread. The fact that the bowl can accommodate an incredible 2 kg of dough means that you’re guaranteed good sized loaves (or lots of rolls).

Also included with this food processor is a 1.5 litre blender with a working capacity of the same amount, allowing you to make delicious soups, smoothies and milkshakes with ease. However, it is made of plastic, which means that soups and other liquids must be left to cool to room temperature before they can be blended.

You would be forgiven for thinking that a grinder is included with the MCM68861GB, but it isn’t. That smaller attachment is actually a mini chopper, or universal cutter, as it is styled by Bosch. It’s designed for chopping smaller amounts of food, such as garlic, onion and herbs, and its plastic body means that unlike a glass grinder, it’s not suitable for grinding spices and coffee beans, although it is still suitable for grinding nuts. It doesn’t have quite the same functionality as a specifically-designed mini chopper such as the Kenwood CH180, which has an ‘oil drip’ opening so that you can gradually add ingredients during operation, but it’s still great for chopping individual items and smaller amounts of food which would simply be too small for the 3.9 litre bowl.

As for slicing and shredding, three stainless steel discs are included. These do not fit directly onto the drive shaft, but have to be slotted onto a plastic mounting disc. There’s two reversible discs for slicing and shredding – one fine, one coarse – and another disc for ‘Julienne’ style chipping, which is brilliant for preparing delicious home-made French fries in a matter of seconds. The large 3.9 litre bowl has plenty of room to hold large quantities of processed ingredients without them clumping together, and you won’t have to keep stopping and starting in order to empty it. For parents with larger families who want everyone in the household to eat healthy, home-cooked meals but do not have the time to prepare large quantities of vegetables by hand every evening, the time-saving usefulness of these discs speaks for itself.

Speaking of healthy, the MCM68861GB comes with a citrus press, allowing you to easily prepare freshly squeezed orange juice – or lime juice, or grapefruit juice. Simply push down each half of a citrus fruit onto the rotating press, and the machine will do the rest.

The last attachment in the box, apart from the useful attachment bag, is the geared whisk. This consists of one wire metal whisk that slots over the drive shaft. It’s a bit more intricate than whipping discs, which usually simply consist of a rippled plastic disc. One of its advantages is that the whole attachment itself rotates around the bowl in the opposite direction of the whisk, rather like the planetary mixing action on a stand mixer such as a Kenwood chef. Whipping cream and whisking egg whites for meringues and mousses becomes as easy as turning a switch.

Use & operation

While most food processors tend to have just two speed settings, the MCM68861GB has four – and two pulse modes, too. Operating it is very easy: simply turn the control knob clockwise to select one of the four speeds. Turning the dial anticlockwise from the ‘off’ position to the ‘M’ will activate the pulse mode, which engages the food processor at top speed for as long as the knob is held in that position. However, turning the knob fully clockwise to the ‘Pulse’ mode will activate an automatic pulse mode, which engages the motor intermittently at top speed. Next to the control knob is an LED indicator, which glows red when the food processor is switched on, and flashes if you switch it on without the lid being properly attached.

The food processor is also safe to use. It features an interlocking safety mechanism, which means that for bowl attachments, it won’t turn on if the bowl’s lid is not securely fastened. The majority of the accessories and attachments are dishwasher safe, but some parts such as the blender blades and the whisk’s gear components are not; be sure to check the instruction manual before loading them up, as putting them in the dishwasher may blunt sharp edges and/or damage certain components. Be careful when washing up and handling the attachments, as the cutting edges are extremely sharp.

What can I make?

The MCM68861GB can be used to prepare countless different dishes. The ‘Supercut’ knife blades allow you to slice and shred even the toughest vegetables for delicious soups and curries, and the large bowl means that you can make quantities which simply wouldn’t be possible in a standard, mid-sized food processor in a single session. The same goes for the slicing and shredding discs, which allow you to process foods for soups, salads and curries with ease. And as the name implies, you can also make honest, home-made chips with the Julienne style chipping disc.

The geared whisk can be used to make whipped cream, mouses and meringues, and the dough blades is designed for preparing up to 2 kilograms of bread, pizza and pasta dough. And don’t forget the blender, which can be used to make milkshakes, smoothies and cocktails, and of course, the universal cutter/mini chopper attachment, which will tackle garlic, onion, herbs, meat, cheese, fruit, and vegetables.

While the MCM68861GB can certainly be used for preparing the batter for pancakes and Yorkshire puddings, and of course the breadcrumbs and mixtures for food coatings, it has rather mixed feedback when used for cake mixture (pun thoroughly intended). Several users have reported that cakes were a bit of a disappointment, and that if your niche in the kitchen is baking, then a stand mixer would be a better choice.

Verdict

Minor complaints aside, this is still a food processor with a lot amount of tricks up its sleeve, not to mention the fact that the inclusion of a blender and a mini chopper save you from having to buy such appliances separately. If we were to sum up the Bosch MCM68861GB in one word, then that word would probably be volume. It’s easy to assume that its size and capacity speak for itself, but Bosch actually states in the manual that it can be used for non-industrial, semi-commercial purposes, such as for boarding houses, small hotels, and employee kitchens. Therefore if you are looking for a food processor which will easily help you prepare large quantities of food for big families or small businesses, then the Bosch MCM68861GB is one of very few food processors which can deliver.


Posted on April 6th, 2016. Tags: , , , ,