How To Scrape The Bottom Of A Food Processor Without Ruining Your Spatula

The tale of the spatula and the food processor doesn't always have a happy ending. Blending ingredients in that small appliance is convenient, but food can (and does) easily get stuck at the bottom of the bowl beneath the blades. Enter the handy-dandy spatula. Sure, it seems like the easiest way to scrape food out, but move this kitchen tool the wrong way against the blade or too aggressively underneath it, and you could end up with a ruined spatula that looks like Jaws took a bite out of it.

Cook's Illustrated suggests employing an easy technique to avoid damaging either tool. The cooking site explains your spatula can do its job and emerge free of damage by following this tried and true method. First, you want to make certain the tip of the spatula's head is planted against the bottom of the bowl of the food processor so it can't move and the handle is standing straight upright at attention. Then, notice how the blade curves: you want to push the spatula head against the side of the blade that isn't sharp, and keep pushing. This will move the blade and help to move any ingredients that are stuck at the bottom of the bowl.

Don't use a metal spatula

Of course, as easy as that sounds, there are a few things to keep in mind the next time you make your nut butters or pesto sauces in your food processor and need to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. When choosing a spatula to use with your food processor, one made out of rubber or silicone will serve you better than a wooden or metal variety. These rubbery spatulas are going to be more flexible and forgiving against the plastic bowl and metal blade. Additionally, metal spatulas run the risk of scratching or ruining the blade and bowl of your food processor, so stay clear of these.

And one more note of caution. Don't try and loosen stuck food inside the bowl while the food processor is on. In fact, you probably should unplug it all together to be on the safe side. In addition to potentially injuring yourself, putting a spatula in a running food processor is a recipe for disaster — one that could ruin both tools as well as whatever food you're making. Rubber and silicone spatulas are not expensive and are easy to replace, but if you can avoid this food processor peril, you will be able to save yourself a few bucks and having to prematurely purchase one otherwise.