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The problem: I'm faced with the challenge of scaling up my homemade hummus production to a larger batch size, aiming to process anywhere from 0.5 to 1kg of raw chickpeas at once.

My Attempts:

  • Using a Consumer Stick Blender in a Larger Pot: I opted for a Bosch (see the picture below) stick blender with a 1000W motor, hoping to handle around 1kg of cooked chickpeas in a bigger pot. Unfortunately, this approach proved inefficient as it took considerable time and effort to achieve a smooth texture. Moreover, the motor began to emit a noticeable odor due to overheating, despite not triggering the protection mechanism.

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  • Using the Same Stick Blender in a Chopper Bowl: Shifting to the chopper bowl, I could only process approximately 250g of chickpeas at a time. While the result yielded a somewhat satisfying creamy texture, the process still required multiple batches and caused the blender to warm up after just two rounds, though not as severely as the previous method.

  • Using a Ninja Blender in a 500ml Chopper/Mixing Bowl: In this third attempt, I utilized a Ninja blender with a smaller bowl, accommodating about 250g of chickpeas per batch. While the texture turned out somewhat runnier than desired, the blending process was smooth, with no overheating issues observed throughout.

-enter image description here

Success criteria:

  • Longevity: Device should endure 5+ years of regular use.
  • Reparability: I want to be able to replace a knife or a bowl if needed.
  • Main task: Making hummus* (1-2kg of raw chickpeas per week).
  • Secondary task(s): Blending hot soup and making ice cream.
  • Easy to clean: Device should be simple to clean, regardless of dishwasher compatibility.
  • Compactness: Ideally, the machine should be small but powerful, and easy to store in the kitchen.
  • Budget: Preferably up to $/€ 500 but open to invest more if needed.

*Side note: My hummus recipe is quite simple, roughly 80% chickpea, 10% tahini, bit of water, lemon juice, spices, salt.

Summary of possible options:

  • Food Processor with Ample Bowl Capacity: Considering options like the Magimix 4200XL with its 3qt/l bowl. While this model boasts versatility with its attachments, it may not be needed. Moreover, it would occupy excessive space and require additional cleaning when opting for a smaller bowl attachment.

  • Entry-Level Industrial Stick Blender with a stainless steel pot: Exploring industrial-grade options from brands like Robot Coupe or Dynamic, which offer models.They would be equipped with a tall 3 or 4L stainless steel pot. The initial investment may be comparable to high-end consumer models, ranging from 400 to 500 Euros.

  • Industrial Cutter, Specifically Robot Coupe R 2: Recognized as a potential optimal solution due to its industrial-grade efficiency. However, the significant price tag of around 1,200 Euros prompts consideration regarding its utilization frequency. An alternative route might a cutter for half the price from OEM gastro manofacturers. However here it's important to consider long-term reliability, limited availability of spare parts, etc.

While there are many food processor options available for consumers, I'm hesitant about their ability to handle tasks like making hummus without oil. While they might be sufficient at slicing vegetables like zucchinis, their performance in processing legumes without extensive usage of added oil might be questionable.

What route/device would you recommend me as the best fit? Thank you in advnace!

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  • It looks like you already answered your own question, and the decision will be either budget or opinion based.
    – Luciano
    Apr 4 at 11:45

6 Answers 6

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Consumer-grade 12-to-14 cup (3L) food processors, such as Cuisinart and KitchenAid, will work fine for a hummus batch requiring 500g of raw chickpeas. I make batches that size all the time in mine, and it takes around 5 minutes and doesn't overheat the motor at all. You can even decide your texture based on the amount of added liquid and they will still work fine, unlike blender-shaped devices.

These fail your storage requirements since food processors are quite bulky, but I'm posting the answer because I expect it's the best one you'll get. Also, you cannot make a 1kg batch in one; you'd need to make two 500g batches. While 3.5L models do exist, they don't add enough extra capacity (or motor power) to do 1kg at once and have it come out well.

Hummus producing companies use commercial-grade nut grinders for making hummus, which can handle very large amounts indeed. However, they are not sized for a home kitchen, and I suspect are fairly hard to clean as well.

Bonus: I'll add another type of appliance that will not work for you based on experience: an Indian Food Grinder. While these have more motor power than most other consumer-grade choppers, they depend on vortex action that is wrong for hummus consistency.

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  • I was going to answer Waring for a food processor - but I see that they are now Cuisinart.
    – bob1
    Apr 2 at 21:07
  • as much as I love indian grinders, and my mom's preethi blue leaf is over a decade old - and you can still get replacement jars, its not really a good tool for 'bulk' grinding. Apr 3 at 8:04
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    I would add that a consumer grade food processor is a very useful thing to have around the kitchen, especially the nicer ones that provide attachments for things like shredding or slicing. It can be used to make many other dips and spreads, and it’s even possible to get decent results for notoriously tricky stuff like basil pesto if you use it correctly. Given the utility for things other than hummus, the storage requirements may be less of an issue. Apr 3 at 11:39
  • Having had a food processor for... quite some time, I find the idea of basil pesto being notoriously tricky somewhat amusing, because I've always used a food processor to make it ;^)
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 3 at 17:47
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    Thank you, @FuzzyChef, for your advice. Ultimately, it's about finding the right balance, and it seems that sacrificing compactness is an easier decision than stretching our budget three times. After reading more reviews, Cuisinart 14-Cup stood out for its excellent price/performance ratio. Unfortunately, this model isn't available in Europe, and newer models didn't do as well in reviews. In the end, I've ordered Magimix 4200 XL. It comes with many attachments that I may not need immediately, but as Austin Hemmelgarn mentioned, they might come in handy in the future.
    – Mizgo
    Apr 4 at 18:37
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I find that the best tool for the job is a masticating juicer. There was a time when I made hummus regularly, and it gave me the best texture. It also works well with large quantities, as opposed to the stick-blender-in-a-big-pot idea.

The blender is the worst, as it's meant for things that are way more liquid than hummus. It can work in a pinch, but not really well. The food processor is also workable, but not really intended for what you're doing. You should really get something that can produce a paste, not a cutting-style device, and that's either the masticating juicer, or I suppose the wet grinder (but I have never worked with a wet grinder, so can't say much about it).

The one drawback to the masticating juicer is the long cleaning process. I used to make 10-15 single portions of hummus at a time and freeze them, then put one every night in the fridge to defrost slowly. This worked really well for me, no trouble with quality.

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  • Link please? To an example model.
    – FuzzyChef
    Apr 2 at 21:22
  • so something that crushes it? I can probably post an answer on a wet grinder - but we don't make hummus so I'm not sure if its the right tool Apr 3 at 6:36
  • @JourneymanGeek this sounds like the perfect occasion for you to try homemade hummus! It's easy, and if you're short on time, you can start from canned chickpeas.
    – rumtscho
    Apr 3 at 7:38
  • @FuzzyChef omegajuicers.com/products/twn30-omega-twin-gear-juicer. I see now that they also have newer, cheaper models, but the twin gear technology is what gives you good quality with hard-to-mash stuff like hummus or nut butters.
    – rumtscho
    Apr 3 at 7:54
  • Huh, so it's like a meat grinder for veggies? That might work.
    – FuzzyChef
    Apr 3 at 20:40
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Apologies for going a little into the 'other' answers - but I suspect a indian style wet grinder is the 'closest' to perfect you'd need. There's a few testimonials for using it - there's a reddit comment that says its possible

I'd note the 'US' market models have a 'safety' timer - which indian models don't have. They work a little different from blenders - they're open topped and crush rather than blend, and don't heat things up since they're less violent than a blender. I think the smallest one I've seen is a 1l model, though I've seen them scale up to 'commercial kitchen' sized ones.

In most models I've seen the wheels don't turn - the drum does, and they're surprisingly safe.

They'll also scrape the edges and mix up things as they grind - so you can just throw in ingredients in order. Assuming availability - its probably the 'right' tool for the job.

Most of what we run through it tends to be a little runnier than hummus (dosa batter), and they do 'prefer' to start a little wet, so you might need to start with more liquid, and adjust as it blends. They also tend to have fairly solid motors and since they're moving a lot of mass, tend to be designed to not overheat. Some chocolate makers run these for days at a time for conching, so overheating is unlikely to be an issue.

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I use a food processor. I have found though practical experience that limiting the amount in the bowl at one time means the whole process is done faster and better (twice as much processed for far more than twice as long is not as good as half as much that's processed more efficiently) so I just sorted out how much goes into the machine at once and do as many batches as that takes, and I'm done faster than when I tried to put more in the processor at once. I typically do hummus with 454-1000 grams of dry beans, and it takes 3 or 4 batches to do the larger amount efficiently in the processor I use.

I presently use an ancient (probably 40 years old) "7 cup" Cuisinart. I previously used a somewhat less ancient and much louder Black and Decker, which was retired in preference to the quieter Cuisinart. Both worked, but the B&D was annoying to share the kitchen with. I've had occasion to use a RobotChef commercial processor and found it to be inferior to the Cusinart; which was a surprise to me. Big honking motor, poor cooling (hit the thermal limit several times), and poor bowl dynamics (meaning a lot of stuff didn't get processed because it didn't hit the blade.)

I don't add oil (other than what's in the tahini, of course) - usually I make tahini sauce (tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and water) and make hummus with some of the tahini sauce and more water as needed. That's more because I have other uses for the tahini sauce than that it's in any way required for the hummus-making to succeed.

Budget-wise, if you're willing to shop used, my most recent 3.5 cup one (to do smaller-batch stuff than the 7) was $10 at a thrift shop. Of course you have to strike while they have one in stock. Spare-parts-wise, I can still get parts for the ancient one, if desired.

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I've been using a Braun stick blender with the food processor attachment for years for my hummus, but this question has me going down a rabbit hole for alternatives. Here are some things that might be promising but that I haven't tried personally.

Reverse the process

First, process the dry chickpeas into flour with a mill, then cook them as a paste by adding water. There seems to be a decent market for home flour mills, so I think there should be good, affordable ones. Cleaning the dry flour residue from a mill should be pretty easy, too.

I don't know the best way to cook the chickpea paste without drying it out, but I would try a pressure cooker, maybe with an inner pot and water at the bottom for steam. It may even be viable to add all the ingredients (oil, tahini, lemon, garlic, etc) prior to cooking. Commercial chickpea flour could be experimented with to see if the results are acceptable before committing to a mill.

I might try this myself with my Instant Pot and report back here in the future.

Colloid mill/Nut grinder

These might make bulk processing of cooked chickpeas very efficient. I'm just not sure how easy it will be to find a decent one in the sub $500 range. I'm also not sure it would be any better than rumtscho's juicer suggestion in terms of effectiveness and price.

Hand-cranked kitchen mill

There are inexpensive food mills that essentially force food through a sieve. Some come with interchangeable disks for different coarseness. I think some common uses for them are mashed potatoes and applesauce. The main thing would be to cook the chickpeas until they are very soft.

This approach might require a lot of physical effort to turn the handle. I'm also not sure how fine the puree will be. If your chickpea skins aren't soft enough from the cooking, then they won't go through and will effectively be removed, which some people like.

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Personally, I found a meat grinder to be my favorite choice. If you're not too picky about the texture of your hummus, you can even just blend in the other ingredients (for falafel batter, I find the texture from the meat grinder to be perfectly adequate).

If you want your hummus to be creamy and fluffy, you can pre-process the chickpeas in a meat grinder to save your finer blender some work (and thus some temperature). Even an inexpensive one can process a lot of chickpeas without overheating.

The biggest advantage of a meat grinder, either as the only tool or as a pre-processor, is that all the peas are processed evenly without the need to add any liquid or oil. So you can add these in amounts that are just for texture and flavor.

A stainless steel grinder is easy to clean in the dishwasher, and if you're not actually using it for meat, you can even clean the blade in the dishwasher (since it doesn't need to be as sharp for cooked chickpeas) - but cleaning the blade by hand isn't much work either.

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