I love cooking shows, don’t you?
There are a few that I pay more attention to than others, but one thing never fails to impress me – and it’s when someone busts out their fancy schmancy knife skills.
How do they do it? Obviously, practice of course – but I don’t even cut that much stuff to acquire the necessary hours to perfect my rock-chop. And when I do, I’m a klutz by nature, so I tend to bide my time when I’ve got a knife in hand because fingers.
Before Dan and I got married, we weren’t one of those couples who already had their house all geared up with linens and appliances, so a signing up for a gift registry was actually useful in our case. We followed the token “registry checklist” provided by the department store and went over each item one-by-one.
Toaster. Hehe. Check.
We got to food processor and said “nah, I don’t think we need one of those.”
Little did I know, I didn’t think we needed one because at the time, we were childless and had the luxury of spending hours upon hours slicing away at veggies and gourds with good old fashioned knives.
Now, not so much. A few months ago I made G-Ram’s famous Beef Wellington for my parents’ anniversary. You try making a mushroom duxelle by hand. Cause I sure did. That’s right, it took me 20 minutes to mince up those bad boys. Why? Because I didn’t go to culinary school, that’s why. I also had Sweet Pea napping on my back in the carrier because I was alone and only have two arms. If only I had a Sous Chef to help me out…
Enter the Sous Chef 12 Plus #BFP680 from Breville.
This thing is a beast. A sexy beast, which is obviously a plus when you’re looking to hire your sous chef.
It has a 12 cup dry/8.5 cup wet capacity, and the whole thing weighs 16.5 lbs. Sweet Pea only weighs a few pounds more, but at least I can pick her up with one hand and be confident about it. Even the box is big enough to necessitate handles.
You’ll need to wrestle the carton before it hands you over the goodies, though. It’s carefully packed in there between two layers of molded styrofoam and I needed another hand just to slide the box away.
Inside the work bowl is another 2.5 cup nesting work bowl for smaller tasks that don’t need the full 12 cups. It uses a smaller, dedicated blade that fits inside the bowl for storage.
The other blades and attachments are stored in a neatly organized, high quality case.
The hinge on the lid opens smoothly and stops at 90 degrees. It makes you feel like you’re opening a jewelry box, or a fancy box of chocolates. Except instead of diamonds and truffles, you’ll find:
– Micro-serrated S Blade (the small blade with attached spindle is for the small work bowl)
– Dough Blade
– Adjustable slicing disc 0.3mm – 8.0mm
– Fine and coarse reversible shredder
– Stainless steel spindle
I am so glad it comes with the storage box. I was having flashbacks to the time when my mom would take out her food processor, and there would be a mishmash of assorted blades and discs hanging out on the counter because the very thing that was storing them was now in use. I guess companies didn’t care about safety and organization back then? Having the storage box gives me one less thing I need to worry about, i.e.: I don’t need to corral a bunch of
ninja stars blades and discs into a tupperware container simultaneously creating a box-o’death.
Well, maybe “box-o’death” is an exaggeration, Captain Hook made it out alive, right?
For Sous Chef Brevvy’s first assignment (yes, I named him), I decided to make The Balanced Berry’s Guacahummus, or “hummamole” recipe using the Micro-serrated S Blade. I would have done a regular hummus, but came across this recipe and couldn’t resist.
The first step in the instructions said to pulse white beans and olive oil in the food processor. 1) I was using chickpeas in this recipe because I set out to make regular hummus and didn’t have white beans, and 2) the other ingredients included chopped onions, chopped cilantro, and minced garlic.
Listen, I’m not chopping anything. That’s what Brevvy is here for. He’ll take care of me.
I peeled the onion and cut it into quarters, trimmed the ends off the garlic, and dropped the cilantro in, stems and all.
After 5 pulses, this is what happened.
That literally took 5 seconds. Everything is pretty uniform, not that it matters right now since we’re making hummamole!
Now that I did the first step completely out of order, I was torn as to continue with step one, or just jam all the ingredients together and let’er rip.
Go big or go home, right? Note that I also added some jalapeño in there, cause that’s how I roll.
The Sous Chef 12 Plus only has two settings – Start, and Pulse. Which to me, kind of screams confidence – like, “hey, I’ll take care of this. You just sit back. No need to choose between low or medium or high or turbo, I’ll get the job done.”
“Why thanks, Sous Chef.”
I also like how there are only three buttons. Not a menu, digital touch screen, LCD display, timer, or Wi-Fi signal to be found. Ahhhhh, so refreshing. It’s a food processor, not a freaking concierge.
After pressing the Start button and letting it process for about a minute, I scraped the bowl with the included spatula because I realized I never did that after chopping up the previous ingredients. Can I just say that the spatula was made perfectly for the bowl? One swoop and the walls were cleared top to bottom. I was expecting to have to do a few once-overs after that (as standard spatula protocol would dictate) but there was no need and I admit I found myself slightly lost for a split second until I just… put the lid back on. Processed again for 30 more seconds, and this silky smooth concoction was ready for nomming.
Here are some thoughts I had while Brevvy was hard at work:
1) He’s quiet.
Not silent, obviously, but with a 1000W motor and something this hefty, I was expecting something along the lines of “REWWWWRRRRRR! CHOPPY CHOP CHOP!!! VRRRMMMMM!!!”
Nope. Brevvy is sophisticated, like he’s just sipping on a chai latte, crooning into your ear while pulverizing your chickpeas into a billion tiny pieces.
2) He stays put.
This was a big deal for me. Earlier this month I made a delicious smoothie with my
vitami high powered blender, but as soon as that bad boy kicked it into mid range power, you’d think I was hosting the Ice Capades on my kitchen counter. I had to hold on to the base because if I didn’t, who knows where that thing would have ended up. Maybe a triple lutz over there by the coffee maker? Obviously one shouldn’t leave such appliances unsupervised, but it would be nice to think I wasn’t obligated to chase something that didn’t actually even have legs.
So far, Sous Chef Plus is faring well.
For my next trick, I recreated these Paleo Biscuits from Elena’s Pantry to test out the dough blade. I’ve been too intimidated to make grain-free baked goods but this was a good excuse to just get in there and bite the bullet. I knew that almond flour would come in handy someday!
I like cheesy biscuits, so I popped in the fine shredder blade and loaded the medium feed chute with a small block of marble cheese. The instructions suggested to briefly freeze soft cheeses like mozzarella, but I asked myself: “Now how soft is marble compared to mozzarella? This came out of the fridge, is it firm enough to grate?”
Apparently, just firm enough! You can see how the cheese left on the disc is no longer marble-patterned, but a nice “melted marble” shade of peach. That’s how much cheese didn’t make it into the bowl, which seems minimal seeing as I didn’t freeze it at all like I was told. I’d say 98% of the marble made it through the chute, nicely shredded. You can see the little melted bits that tried to shred as well, but inevitably turned into cheese dust.
I emptied the bowl and threw in all the wet ingredients with the dough blade while pouring the dry ingredients through the feed chute. Because the dough blade is short, it’s definitely necessary to scrape the sides of the bowl as it’s processing. I had reservations about making dough in a food processor, but Brevvy steps up yet again.
It looked a little scary and not dough-like at all, but I scooped out a portion to roll into a ball, and it did. Quite easily, I might add. Everything was so well mixed and incorporated. For some reason, I had this vision of a huge chunk of dough jamming the motor, clumps of almond flour and coconut oil living in chunks here and there because it was too far from the blade… but this was obviously just a flashback of my previous dough-making experiences and not a reflection of Brevvy’s skills.
Soo… does this mean a stand mixer becomes redundant? The Sous Chef 12 Plus also kneads bread and pizza dough, so you might be inclined to get rid of your breadmaker if you only use it occasionally.
For Brevvy’s next assignment, I chose Picture The Recipe’s Apple ‘N Cabbage Slaw to test the slicing disc and coarse shredder. I realize I’ve never attempted a coleslaw before, most likely because of all the cutting involved. I also realized that red cabbage is freaking beautiful.
I cut the cabbage into wedges to fit into the large feed chute:
Oh. My. Lanta.
I didn’t know one could feel the feelings I experienced whilst slicing this cabbage. It was like Sean Connery was slicing my cabbage, in a James-Bond-driving-an-Aston-Martin kinda way. If I smoked, I probably would’ve gone for a cigarette.
Those were the results of slicing on setting #4. I thought I could go a little thinner, so I cut the green cabbage on setting #2 + 1 tick.
Loverly! You may notice that there are some bigger pieces of cabbage in the bowl. I realized that something happens when the pieces are too small to stand up for even the small feed chute…
They get are thin enough to skeleton luge their way in between the lid and the disc. Very sneaky, baby carrots.
You might be asking me why I’m shredding baby carrots in the first place? I’d like to ask myself the same thing. I didn’t want a 10 lb bag of carrots (because I don’t own stables) and the selection of individual carrots was surprisingly meagre (on a Saturday morning none-the-less!).
The solution? Don’t shred small things. Like baby carrots.
I (carefully) chopped up the baby carrot halves by hand and tossed them into the bowl.
Did I mention red cabbage is bee-yoo-tee-ful????
And now: for the finale.
Okay okay. But there was always something nagging at me in the back of my mind.
It’s crazy hard to cut – we always need to bust out the extra sharp knife to make a dent in this thing, and all of our slices turn into sodium laden hockey pucks at 1/4″ thick because its simply too risky to attempt anything thinner.
I joked with Dan, saying I should put a chunk of it through the Sous Chef 12 Plus.
“No way. You’ll break it,” he said. “That thing is hard.”
But I was determined, and since the Breville instruction manual said it could, I took that as an all access pass to my very own pepperoni party.
I just popped it in with the adjustable slicer on setting #1, and it was over before I knew it. I was expecting a lot of resistance, but I was proven wrong yet again. This is just a little sample of the sliced lot, but Brevvy devoured that hunk of sausage in seconds. I mean, really, I think I blinked twice and it was over. Now I know that this thing is everything it claims to be.
Brevvy, you’re hired!
You know how you were told never to yank a power cord by its cord? How you have to hold the connector close to the outlet and pull it out that way? And you know how some power connectors are just super tight and won’t come out until you jimmy-jimmy-shimmy-shake until you feel that the wall plate will come along with it?
Check this out:
You’re kidding me, right? Why has NO ONE ELSE come up with this? This is the Breville Assist Plug: it’s the most brilliant thing ever, and needs to be recreated on everything (I’m looking at you, MacBook charger). All you have to do is hook your finger in there, and pull it out of the outlet! Done! No tug-of-war, just the power in your hand. Literally. The cable also just retracts back into the base when you’re done. You don’t need to wrap it up with a rubber band, or have a tail hanging out of the back of the machine while it’s being stored. Just push it in, it knows what to do.
Cleaning the bowl and lid might be the only thing about this unit that will require more than 3 minutes of your time. Because of the interlocking components on these two pieces, they recommend washing by hand. All attachments and accessories are good to go in the dishwasher though, so no need to cry 😉
The Sous Chef 12 Plus is a smaller version of the 16 cup Breville Sous Chef, so although it is big and heavy and tall, there’s bigger and heavier and taller. If you have enough counter space to keep this appliance out, or don’t mind lugging it in and out of a cupboard, then the size and weight shouldn’t be an issue.
This food processor is definitely a high end appliance, with a high end price. At the time of this article, the Sous Chef 12 Plus goes for $399.99 CAD on Amazon, and up to $479.99 at other retailers. However, it comes it a 12 month replacement warranty and a 10 year motor warranty. $400 might seem like a big chunk of change to be dropping on a small kitchen appliance, but considering that this machine can perform as a: stand mixer, bread maker, meat slicer, shredder, meat grinder, blender, mandolin, garlic press, slap chop, magic bullet, and a thousand knives all in one sleek package with Breville’s solid reputation behind it, it actually sounds like this is the one product I should have registered for.
The thing I discovered most about myself while using this is that I realized I actually dismissed recipes that required extensive chopping and prepping. If I can avoid prolonging a session in the kitchen with a toddler hanging off my leg, I’ll take it! With the Breville Sous Chef 12 Plus, I was able to whip up these recipes while saving myself time, frustration, clean-up, and injuries – to make room for playtime, tantrums, toy clutter, and boo-boos.
While cleverly disguised as a simple food processor, this thing has actually inspired me to be more adventurous in the kitchen!
More adventurous = more recipes = healthier food = happier family.
Sounds good, don’t you think?
Full disclosure: I was provided with a Breville Sous Chef 12 Plus in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own! This post contains affiliate links.