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Whether you are a novice, regular, or hobbyist cook, when you’re preparing meals, it’s always good to have some help. This makes it so you don’t have to spend too much time on menial tasks like chopping or dicing. This is where food processors come into the picture! These little helpers are available in various sizes and can quickly execute a range of functions like shredding veggies, chopping nuts, pureeing butter, and everything in between.
But when you look around the market and try to buy one, you’ll find various options in different price ranges and with various features that may confuse you. To tackle this problem, it’s always better to do some research. Learn about the highest-rated devices available in the market, what features are important in a food processor and what your budget is.
Through this guide, we’re going to simplify the buying process and equip you with the tools that will help you get a food processor that will last you for years to come. Read on to find out more!
Best overall: Hamilton Beach Stack & Snap Food Processor
Hamilton Beach’s food processor is one of the most affordable and easy-to-use accessories available in the market. The machine has a stack and snap design that requires virtually no effort to put together. You can follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble it and begin using it quickly right out of the box. This option has two speeds and a powerful motor for expediting your food prep, saving you both time and money. The accessories available with this appliance include a bowl, blade, and lid — all of which can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher. Plus, they are made of stainless steel, so they won’t rust as long as you dry them off properly. With the S-blade, you can also puree any vegetables or fruits you want. We have chosen this product as the best overall because of the amazing functionality it provides to customers as well as its easy-to-use design.
Dimensions: 16.25 H X 9.55 W X 8.76 D
3 modes: puree/knead, slice/shred, and pulse to chop
Elite design: Ninja BN601 Professional Plus Food Processor
If you want a food processor that delivers professional performance without exceeding budget, this pick is for you! Ninja’s device delivers consistently sliced and precisely chopped ingredients with its sharp blades and discs that come with the initial purchase. You can use the three different speeds for getting your desired prep results. Whether you want to whip up some quick pizza dough or make a smooth pasta sauce, all of it can be done with the click of a single button. All the available accessories with the machine are BPA-free and can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher. For better cleaning results, warm up some water, add a few drops of dish soap and use the water to clean the blades and bowl.
1000-peak watt motor
Dimensions: 9.88 x 7.76 x 16.02 inches
4 functions: chopping, pureeing, slicing, and dough
Manufacturer’s warranty available upon request
Perfect for everyday use: KitchenAid KFC3516IC Food Processor
This lightweight and compact food processor is suitable for everyday use and can be tucked away in a cabinet without taking up a lot of space. You can use it to prepare sauces and dressings, quickly chop ingredients and prepare other food items. The pulse and two speeds of the machine give you fine and coarse results, so you can try out hummus, salsa, pico de gallo, or anything else you like cooking — and more importantly, eating! The stainless-steel multipurpose blade locks in easily with the motor, giving you powerful performance. It’s more challenging to clean than the other food processors mentioned on this list because it requires hand washing. You can place it on your dishwasher’s top rack, but the blade is sensitive, so handwashing is the preferred option.
Best value: Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY food processor
Rated as the top pick in America’s Test Kitchen in 2013, Cuisinart’s food processor has acquired a distinguished reputation in the industry. Its stainless-steel blades make it a durable and efficient kitchen accessory that can accelerate kitchen prep and give you restaurant-ready ingredients. The heavy base of the processor keeps the machine stable on the counter and prevents it from jumping around while it’s operating. A remarkable feature of this machine is that its bowl capacity is 14 cups, meaning processing large quantities of food won’t be an issue. Whether you want to experiment with dips, soups, or sauces, you can go wild with this handy device! With your initial purchase, you will get a recipe booklet, a spatula, and an instruction manual, making the entire process a breeze.
Most compact: Oster FPSTFP1355 food processor
This next option is one of the most budget-friendly food processors on the market. It delivers multiple power modes and accessories, giving you more control over your food prep. Due to its small size, it takes up very little space and is easy to move around and store away. The three types of blades that come with the machine simplify grating, slicing, and overall processing, giving you the desired results when you need them. You will find a user manual inside the packaging that will comprehensively guide you on how to assemble and use this machine, so you can prepare hummus, chop onions, slice potatoes or do anything else you want to make a memorable and delicious meal.
How to find your next food processor: A buyer’s guide
Food processors are a must-have kitchen accessory that makes your cooking easier by slicing, chopping, grinding, mincing, and shredding your vegetables. These devices are kitchen workhorses and the closest thing you can find to kitchen robots. If you’re considering investing in this kind of mechanical help, there are a few things you need to consider before making a purchase. Let’s go through them one by one:
Most food processors have two-speed settings — pulse and on/off. The pulse setting functions for short intervals and offers precise control. You will find both high and low pulse settings for using the chopper. Use the high setting for processing solid food items, such as vegetables and nuts, and the lower speed setting when making emulsions and doughs.
You may think size doesn’t really matter, but you will realize its importance in the long run. Getting the right size food processor can save you a lot of frustration. If you get one that’s too big, it will take up too much counter space and you will have to devote a large space to store it. On the other hand, if you get a device that’s too small, it might take two or three sessions to chop or mince your ingredients. So, select the size that fits your standard cooking routine and you’ll be able to use the machine effectively and efficiently.
The power of a food processor is directly proportional to the quality of its prepping (such as uniform chopping) and cost. Generally, power is measured between 500-1200 watts. If you want an average-size machine, go with 500 watts. For extra-large capacity, you can go up to 750 watts and get good results. Make sure to get a machine with a heavy base, this will help stabilize the processor on the counter while it operates.
If you cook regularly, a multifunctional food processor can prove to be a good investment. A lot of machines include a slicing disc, dough blade, chopping blade, and grating disc. These accessories are more than enough for someone who cooks daily. They fulfill all the basic functions you’ll need. If you want more accessories, you’ll have to spend more money.
Here are some of the accessories that you should look for in a quality food processor:
You will find at least one S-shaped blade in most food processors, but they are available in various styles. Here are your options in terms of blades:
Saw: This blade is suitable for pureeing and chopping frozen products, meats, nuts and herbs
Smooth: This blade is generally used with vegetables and meat
Perforated: This blade works best for mixing sauces, liquids and condiments
Generally, you will find the following types of discs in food processors:
Julienne: Suitable for sticks or straws, like when making hash browns
Slicing: Ideal for creating thin, flat slices or rings of vegetables
Shredding/Grading: Perfect for transforming ingredients into powdered forms, such as shredded cheese and citrus zests
You will find slicing and shredding disks included with most full-size processors. If your regular cooking needs require other types of discs, you can purchase them separately.
Several other accessories are available for food processors. But you need to ask yourself: what do you really need? Get accessories that you’ll regularly use, otherwise they’ll just end up taking up space in your cabinets gathering dust.
Chutes and feeder tubes
You will find a wide chute or a feeder tube included with most large food processors. These are helpful for adding additional ingredients to a bowl as you are processing food. Some machines are powerful enough to process larger pre-cut vegetables, like carrots and potatoes. Generally, a prodder or pusher is also included for inserting food safely into a bowl. If you think you will require these accessories, make sure they are available in the box.
People also asked
Q: Is a food processor worth the money?
A: The interesting thing about food processors is that they give you multiple small functions in one machine. You can use them to chop, dice, grate, or slice vegetables — basically, you get a helping hand in the kitchen. These machines speed up laborious, monotonous tasks and save you a ton of time. If your regular kitchen duties require you to execute these tasks frequently, then food processors are definitely a worthwhile investment.
Q: How much should I spend on a food processor?
A: Going in, you should keep in mind the fact that food processors are expensive appliances. Despite this, you can find machines ranging in price depending on their power, available accessories, and their brand name. It’s up to you how much you’re willing to spend on one. Decide on a budget beforehand and try to find the best one within that range.
Q: Is the blender the same as the food processor?
A: No, food processors and blenders belong in different categories and serve separate purposes. Blenders have an upright design with a narrow bottom and you need to add a liquid ingredient to operate blenders. Food processors, on the other hand, can process dry ingredients and bulky foods, like dough and large vegetables — this is because of their flat bottom and stable base.
Q: What size food processor should I buy?
A: That entirely depends on how you intend to use a food processor. Figure out what you need it for. Do you want to dice and slice vegetables for soups and salads? Do you want to grate cheese? Or do you want to mince herbs? A food processor’s size should depend on how many people you intend to serve.
For instance, if you regularly have to cook for a large family, then an extra-large food processor will work best for you. Also, it’s a good idea to check the manufacturer’s instructions to see how much a bowl can hold. This will help you figure out your size requirements.