We all love a well-made meal, and there is nothing more satisfying than eating delicious, homemade meals. But then, having to chop, slice, dice manually, and puree food materials repeatedly, while cooking, can prove to be quite strenuous; hence, why most of us resort to fast food, and take-outs.
However, if you are determined to make and eat your food, within the comfort of your home, with little or no stress, a food processor is just the appliance you need. A food processor automates the slicing, chopping, dicing, and cutting processes and can even assist users in beating egg whites, kneading dough, among others – all in record time too!
It is to the effect that we have scoured through the food processor market, and made a list of ten of the very best products out there that will assist you in preparing delicious meals.
1. Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY
First up on our list of food processors is the Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY, which is assembled and manufactured by the American home appliance brand, Cuisinart.
This device is a sleek, powerful processor that cuts through food materials with relative ease, in addition to a wide range of other features that make food preparation easier.
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One thing that immediately stands out, at first sight, is the simple, yet sleek and premium design of the DFP-14BCNY. The 14-cup work bowl is made of durable polycarbonate resin thermoplastic, which resists tear and wears, which might result from continuous usage. The work bowl is transparent as well, and you can easily see what’s going on while food is being processed.
The base of the processor is made of plastic as well, but it is coated with rust-resistant stainless steel to give it an elegant look. The stainless steel is resistant to stains, and this means you can clean the product by simply wiping it down with a damp cloth. The cutting blades and all other metallic parts of the processor are also made of stainless steel.
The DFP-14BCNY’s work bowl is large, and it can accommodate up to fourteen cups of dry food substances at once; hence, why it is called ’14-cup.’ Backed by a powerful 720-watt motor, the machine makes light work of food materials, processing them and giving you the required output in a matter of minutes. This massive work bowl and the efficient engine combine to make the DFP-14BCNY some sort of superhero food processor capable of processing food in as little as two minutes and invariably helping you cut down on electricity costs.
If you wish to add extra food materials while blending is ongoing, the small and large feed tubes are made for just that. The large feeding tube is wide enough to accommodate onions, and potatoes, and eliminates the need for you to slice them before processing.
The DFP-14BCNY has variable speed settings to cater to different processing needs. Furthermore, it is quite easy to use, and the processing speed, as well as a host of other factors, can be regulated via the simple push of a button.
- Large capacity.
- Powerful engine.
- Variable speed settings.
- The Cuisinart processor is user-friendly and easy to clean.
- The DFP-14BCNY is quite heavy and takes up a considerable amount of space.
- The non-airtight cover might lead to food wastage.
There is no doubt that the DFB-14BCNY machine is one of the best food processors out there. Its work bowl is one of the biggest, compared to other food processors, and it has a strong engine to boot. These two features mentioned above make the DFB-14BCNY an excellent product for slicing, shredding, dicing, and pureeing your meat, vegetables, and fruits.
2. Braun FP3020
Old is gold, and the Braun FP3020, released by German manufacturers, Braun as far back as 2015, is a proof of that. And while Braun, are renowned for their electric shavers, they are equally as good at manufacturing kitchen equipment.
The Braun FP3020 is rated as one of the best 12-cup food processors in the world, and that much we agree with.
Despite running on a massive 660W engine, the FP3020 is one of the quietest food processors on the market, and it offers users 11 different speed settings, which translates to eleven different ways of preparing food!
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The entire body of the FP3020 – bar the work bowl and feeder tube, which are both plastic – is made of stainless steel 304, which is one of the strongest and most durable food-friendly steel materials out there. Hence, you can expect to prepare delicious meals with this processor for a very long time.
It is no secret that food processors tend to make a lot of noise while working, what with all the cutting, and chopping taking place. However, for those looking to make a quick smoothie in the middle of the night, without waking the entire family, the quiet Braun FP3020 is the ideal partner in crime. This appliance is designed in such a way that it cuts through food materials with little or no noise production, a feature that those who are averse to loud noises will find enticing.
The FP3020 has a power rating of 600W. It is well equipped to carry out a wide range of food processing activities such as slicing, pureeing, chopping, shredding, grating, and kneading with quiet effectiveness and efficiency. Braun also claims that the processor engine can offer up to 900W peak power, although that remains to be seen.
There are also some safety features in place with this food processor. Chief among them is the fact that it won’t start working unless the lid is tightly closed. Secondly, the motor of the FP3020 is designed to shut down if the work bowl is overloaded automatically.
While this processor has allowances for manual cutting speed regulation, it also features several preset processing speeds, which can be activated through the push of a button. Therefore, you don’t have to go through the stress of manually turning a knob, and you can conveniently carry out eleven different food processing techniques. These controls are intuitive and easy to use, and you don’t have to go watching tutorial videos before getting the hang of them.
- Noiseless operation
- The FP3020 has a sturdy body constructed with durable materials.
- The juicer attachment allows a richer extraction of liquid and juices.
- Wide range of food processing techniques available to users.
- It is difficult to get replacement parts for the FP3020.
- The absence of a suction cup to keep the processor steady while working.
- The FP3020 takes up a fair bit of counter space.
The Braun FP3020 food processor is a powerful piece of equipment that is capable of preparing food with super effectiveness. It doesn’t get damaged easily – a fact you’ll appreciate considering the unavailability of replacement parts.
The noiseless operation offered by this equipment is a deal-breaker as well. And while this model is not the cheapest food processor out there, the efficient performance you get in return is more than enough compensation.
3. Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef
If you’re looking for an all-round food processor that is capable of preparing food in any shape, form, or size, then the Breville BFP800XL will appeal to you.
Australian manufacturer, Breville, has churned out excellent domestic appliances for the past eighty years, and the BFP800XL Sous Chef food processor is another one of their outstanding products.
The Breville Sous Chef is an efficient food processor that goes about its business of chopping fruits and vegetables with quiet effectiveness. And backed by a 1200W motor, the Sous Chef is one of the most powerful food processors we have tested.
Our In-Depth Review:
Like most other food processors out there, Breville’s BFP800XL comprises a plastic processing bowl, and a die-cast metal base, complete with steel blades for the primary cutting action. Upon purchase, you have the option of two different sizes of work bowls: a large 16-cup bowl for preparing food in large quantities, and a smaller 2.5-cup bowl for special blending operations. The processor also features an extra-wide chute, which allows you to feed in large ingredients into the work bowl without cutting them up first.
The product pack comes with a set of eight cutting blades and disks attachments for processing food. Each blade is adjustable, and the processor can be set to 24 different cutting thicknesses, which makes it capable of handling different processing techniques. Furthermore, the blades are micro-serrated, thereby enabling the processor to make precise cuts of food materials with relative ease, all in the shortest time possible.
The control buttons on the Breville Sous Chef are easy to use, and respond on the first touch – one feature we find particularly helpful. The machine is set-up in a simplistic form and is quite easy to assemble and dissemble. Clean-up of the machine is easy if you’re picking out bits of fruits and vegetables, but it is a different ball game entirely when it comes to cleaning dough, butter, cream, and the likes. You can wash the Sous Chef in a dishwasher, but continuous usage will wear out the plastic parts.
- Powerful engine.
- The 16-cup work bowl can process a considerable amount of food at once.
- Versatile and can take on several food processing operations.
- Mess-free cutting operation.
- Precise cutting.
- Heavy and space-consuming.
- A short power cable means you can use the BFP800XL over only short distances.
All in all, the Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef food processor is an excellent food processor capable of delivering a high-class performance for those looking to save time in the kitchen. The amount of processing options available with this product is another major positive, and you will scarcely be left stranded cooking with it.
However, the Sous Chef doesn’t come cheap, and you should be prepared to part with a considerable amount of money to buy one. There is a twenty-five-year warranty on its engine, however, and that is the longest offer in the food processor industry.
4. Ninja Food Chopper Express Chop
The first mini chopper on our list of top food processors is the Ninja Food Chopper Express Chop, which is a small, but powerful appliance which is suitably equipped to handle most domestic food preparation needs.
This appliance can cut and chop food in a matter of seconds, consequently leading to meals getting done faster.
Our In-Depth Review:
The Ninja food chopper might be small, but it does pack a punch, and works admirably well when it is used for the intended purpose(s). The work bowl of this equipment is made of high-quality, BPA-free plastic material that can take several hits without damage. The container can comfortably accommodate 16 ounces or two cups of food material; hence, why the Express Chop works best when used for small cooking tasks.
One thing we find particularly impressive about the Ninja food chopper is its 200W rated motor. And while this might not be the highest power rating on paper, the small amount of space available for the motor to work in translates to a practical, more concentrated food cutting experience.
The blades of the Ninja chop are super sharp, and they make cutting through nuts, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and the likes super easy. They are also able to make clean cuts through solid materials without turning them into a pulp – something typical with mini processors.
The Ninja food processor has an only one-speed setting, which can be activated via an ON/OFF pulse button, but that is understandable given that the appliance is intended for small-scale cooking operations. You, however, have complete control over the number of cutting pulses, and how long each pulse lasts simply by pressing down on the button located on the powerhead of the appliance.
Apart from the faults mentioned above, the Ninja Express Chop is one of the best mini choppers on the market and can hold its own against the big boys when used in the right manner.
- Small, compact size.
- Powerful 200W engine makes cutting easy.
- Super sharp blades cut through food material with little stress.
- Anti-spill lid design reduces food wastage.
- It can’t be cleaned using a dishwasher.
- Price is a bit on the high side.
The Ninja express food chopper is undeniably one of the best mini food choppers on the market. And frankly speaking, the few negative reviews we came across – bar faults – were as a result of people attempting to use the appliance for large scale processing operations.
The power performance of the Ninja chop is just right for its size, and you can use it to mince, chop, blend and grind food with little or no fanfare.
However, if you are looking for a food processor that can handle the big tasks, and assist you in preparing meals for gatherings, then it would be in your best interest to look elsewhere.
5. Hamilton Beach 70725A
The Hamilton Beach food processor is a standard fixture in a large number of household kitchens, and it’s not hard to see why.
This domestic equipment, assembled by American manufacturers – Hamilton Beach –, is a small and compact appliance that takes on almost all food preparation tasks that involve cutting of substances into smaller pieces with ease.
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One thing we give big props to Hamilton Beach for, is the impressive and incredibly innovative design on display in the 70725A food processor. To assemble the appliance, all you just need to do is place the work bowl on the base, and snap on the lid to begin using. None of the twistings, locking, and turning of components that is prominent with other food processors are on display here. Also, immediately you place the lid on the bowl, it locks firmly in place to prevent accidents while the engine is running.
This food processor comes fitted with a reversible stainless steel S-blade and a similarly reversible disk which serves as a shredder and a slider. Powered by a 450-watt motor, these blades can carry out a lot of processing techniques on food substances. Some of the processing aspects the 70725A excels at include mixing, blending, shredding, and slicing of fruits and vegetables to make salads, soups, juice, and purees.
The wide feed chute located on top of the work bowl can comfortably take in tomatoes, onions, and the likes, thereby making it unnecessary to cut them into pieces before processing.
This food processor has just two-speed modes for processing food, which is somewhat of a let-down. The rapid method is used to whip up a frenzy, while the low-speed mode works best on soft food substances. Additionally, the 70725A features the Pulse Processing Technology, which keeps the appliance running for as long as you press down on the pulse button.
The overall set-up is lightweight and quite compact, taking up a minimal amount of space. The processor is easy to clean (although this might take time) and features some guide drawings designed to assist users through food preparation.
- Stack and snap design make assembly easy.
- Pour spout reduces wastage.
- Able to carry out a wide range of processing operations.
- Powerful engine and sharp blades.
- Relatively loud engine.
- Some users have reported leakages occurring as a result of the lid not being tight enough.
The Hamilton Beach 70725A is one of the best food processors on the market with a fantastic engine and several amazing features. Its compact design ensures it’ll fit in most kitchens, and to top it off, it is relatively affordable, compared to other food processors. You might want to do your cooking during the day or in the evening with this machine, though, because it generates a fair bit of noise.
6. Breville BFP660SIL Sous Chef
The second Breville product on this list and an equally reliable food processor is the BFP660SIL Sous Chef. It is a powerful, multifunctional domestic appliance that can carry out a wide variety of tasks during food preparation, thereby leading to meals getting done quicker.
And just like its Breville brother, the BFP800XL Sous Chef, the BFP660SIL houses a powerful 1000W engine, although this is significantly 200W lesser than what is obtainable in the former.
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The BFP660SIL food processor is a compact appliance with a simple, minimalistic design that manages to get the work done effectively. Like most other processors out there, this processor is a work bowl sitting on a base containing the motor. However, what sets this equipment apart is the relative ease with which you can fix and remove the work bowl.
Unlike most other models that require you to twist, turn, and latch the processing jug on the engine base, you simply place the bowl on the base and snap it in place for the BFP800XL. This might sound all too easy, but trust us when we say the container holds real firm on the base.
To top it all off, the BFP660SIL has a feed chute on top, which is available in three different width options. The first is the super-wide 5-inch chute, which can comfortably take in a whole potato without you having to chop it into bits. Other options include the 2.75, and 1.5-inch wide chutes. There’s a different feed chute for every food size.
This machine houses a beastly 1000W engine, which is one of the most powerful in the food processing world. It also comes packed with an adjustable sliding disk that has 24 different thickness settings – from as thin as 0.3mm to cuts, which are 8mm thick -, and a micro-serrated S-blade which cuts in both directions. Couple the blades and the engine together, and you have a reliable food processor that chops, mixes, dices, shreds, grates food materials with relative ease.
The minimum expectation would be for equipment with an engine as powerful as the BFP660SIL is to generate a fair amount of noise while working. But, the Breville appliance admirably makes no more than a quiet purr while in use.
However, you can’t disassemble the processor for storage – bar removal of the lid and work bowl – and you’ll have to find a roomy place to store the appliance. A better alternative is to leave the device on your kitchen countertop, but that only works if you have adequate space.
- Easy to assemble.
- Powerful engine.
- Parts can be washed in a dishwasher.
- Pulse technology.
- Quiet operation.
- It is a bit pricey.
- Frequent dishwashing causes damage to the parts.
Well, what more can we say? This product is yet another Breville masterpiece, and it is highly recommended for families looking to get the food done quicker and cut down on the late-night meals. Featuring a compact build, an innovative design, and helpful attachments with a strong engine to boot, the Breville BFP660SIL Sous Chef the trusty right-hand man to help with your cooking.
7. KitchenAid KFC3516ER 3.5-Cup Food Chopper
This KitchenAid KFC3516ER food processor is a compact mini appliance designed to assist users in carrying out the simple food preparation tasks that the big boys would otherwise make a mess of.
Although it might come across as ordinary looking, the effectiveness with which this equipment chops and purees food is enough to rank it among the very best food processors on the market. Consequently, this food processor is rated among the best-selling models out there.
Our In-Depth Review:
Our first impression of this food processor was that it was equipment designed to handle the smaller operations necessary for food production, and we couldn’t be closer to the truth. The minimalistic design of the KFC3516 processor features a simple plastic work bowl on a similarly plastic base housing the engine. As is the standard nowadays, the work bowl is BPA-free, thereby making it safe to prepare food with.
The processing jug of the KFC3516 is a small-sized bowl which can only take 3.5 cups of dry food ingredients at a go. There are measurement markings on the bowl to regulate food preparation, and a tiny spout – similar to what is obtainable in a jug – for pouring out processed liquid food. Additionally, there is an opening at the top of the jug, which enables users to introduce measured quantities of oil for making a salad or dressing food while the blending is ongoing. The processor won’t work unless the lid locks firmly in place, and there’s a trigger on the cover placed conveniently within reach of your thumb for turning the equipment on or off.
Also, when you consider the fact that the motor works within a relatively smaller area, what you get is a balanced machine that delivers impressive results almost every single time. The blade locks in place, so it doesn’t fall off when you’re pouring food.
Kitchen aesthetics is nothing to worry about with the kitchen aid processor, and there are a whopping eighteen color variants for you to choose from. You don’t have to worry about storage space as the processor is a compact, little unit built to fit in the tightest of places. Cleaning and maintenance are easy as all parts of the processor, including the blade, are dishwasher friendly.
- Small, compact design.
- Easy to use and maintain.
- Handles small food prep tasks well.
- Small work bowl.
- Not powerful enough to handle big tasks.
The KitchenAid KFC3516 would make a great addition to most kitchens, and purchasing one is a no-brainer for the casual cook. Use this appliance for its intended purposes, and you are sure to get amazing results. This food processor is also one of the cheapest models on the market, and a 1-year warranty backs it.
8. NutriBullet 1000 Watt PRIME Edition
The NutriBullet brand is renowned for producing domestic appliances fitted with a powerful engine, and Pulse technology and their 1000W Prime food processor fits the bill nicely. This piece of equipment is basically a smoothie maker in the sense of it, but it is equally adept at crushing fruits, vegetables, and subsequently mixing them.
Our In-Depth Review:
Most food processors, and blenders on the market feature an upright jug seating on a motor base, but NutriBullet takes a slightly different approach in the design of its mixers. Yes, the engine base is retained, but it is how the work cup is placed on it that differs with the NutriBullet blender.
Also, there are suction cups present at the bottom of the blender to keep it stationary while it is running. This helps prevent accidental spilling of liquid all over your kitchen floor, and you don’t need to press down on the cup while the blender is running.
One thing for which the NutriBullet prime blender is critically acclaimed is the sheer power with which it blends and extracts juices from food materials. Backed by a high-torque, strong performance 1000W engine, the extractor blade doesn’t hold back when processing fruits and vegetables and can blend them into extremely smooth textures. This blade can crack hard seeds, tear pulp into pieces, and shred fibrous stalks.
Over-extraction is a real issue with this method of blending, but NutriBullet has equipped the 1000W prime with an auto shut-off feature, which activates whenever optimal extraction is achieved.
The NutriBullet Prime blender can process dry food, and users will have to add a little amount of water each time they want to use it. It is useful for making protein shakes, sauce dips, vegetable purees, and a variety of other foods.
The 28oz stainless insulated cup is also a nice accessory for those who can’t finish their smoothie, and need a way to store it while keeping it cold and retaining the flavor. This cup can keep drinks cold for up to eight hours.
- Helpful auto-off feature.
- Simple and compact design.
- High-torque motor.
- Powerful operation.
- Lack of control buttons can pose problems.
- Difficult to get replacement parts.
The NutriBullet 1000W Prime edition is a robust blender, and is a must have for every smoothie lover out there. The sleek, compact design of this appliance is supported by a powerful blending performance, which, more often than not, leaves users feeling extremely satisfied. And we must chip this in, for the features offered by the blender, the price is quite reasonable.
9. BLACK+DECKER FP1600B
The Black & Decker processor is a piece of machinery designed to carry out small food preparation tasks in the most efficient fashion possible. Driven by an average 450W motor, the equipment can comfortably chop, slice, and mix different food materials. However, its performance on high-demanding processing jobs is suspect, and it might not be the best appliance on the market for that purpose.
The FP1600B has more functionality than a mini chopper, but it lags behind the big boys on the food processing scene. It is also an excellent choice for families operating on a budget.
Our In-Depth Review:
The FP1600B comes in a sleek black color, and that might just be what stands out the most when you come across it for the first time. The processor features a fairly-sized work bowl, which can hold up to two cups of liquid, and eight cups of dry food at once. Do note that the work bowl is not shatterproof, and replacing a broken bowl is quite expensive. Hence, you might want to keep this appliance away from the reach of kids.
While these blades are sharp enough, numerous customer reviews indicate that they deliver inconsistent results while processing, and you might end up getting a puree instead of a simple cut.
The 450W engine is well-equipped to handle basic food processing tasks such as chopping, slicing, and shredding, but it falls short when it comes to demanding tasks, such as dough kneading.
The control panel is straightforward and easy to use, and the buttons are very responsive as well. The processor also features a built-in safety lock feature, which ensures the machine does not start unless all parts are properly and correctly fixed together. In the same vein, there are four non-skid suction cups at the base of the appliance that prevents shaking while blending. However, these cups are so strong that you might find it difficult to lift and move the machine.
The FP1600B has a feed chute that is placed towards the back of the lid, but then, we feel it should be wider as it can scarcely accommodate an average-sized onion or tomato. That said, the FP1600B processor is one of the few models out there that allow continuous feeding of food materials into the work bowl while the machine is running.
- Easy to clean and is dishwasher friendly.
- Wide feed chute allows continuous processing.
- Sharp blades.
- The machine is quite loud.
- Limited use.
- Work bowl shatters easily.
While the Black & Decker FP1600B falls short in more ways than one, there is no denying that it is a powerful appliance that carries out the small food prep tasks relatively well. We found the increased dry capacity and versatility particularly impressive, and because this model is not too expensive, it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.
10. Cuisinart DLC-2AYSLT
Rounding up this list of ten of the best food processors on the market is yet another outstanding kitchen appliance from the stables of Cuisinart, the DLC-2AYSLT mini chopper. This appliance might look small, but it packs quite a punch and will improve almost any kitchen out there.
Our In-Depth Review:
For a mini chopper, the Cuisinart blender possesses an impressive 24-ounce work bowl made entirely of plastic, with all parts that come in direct contact with food materials, BPA-free. This bowl can process a fair amount of food, although it is not exactly the best choice when it comes to making large meals.
With a weight of three pounds, the chopper is light, and you can move it around as you wish. Also, the small size of the equipment means it will take up little storage space, and it can as well occupy a section of your kitchen countertop. Cleaning this mini chopper is a breeze as well, and some of the removable parts are dishwasher-friendly if you’re feeling lazy.
- Powerful engine.
- Easy to clean.
- Takes up little storage space.
- Great at chopping and grinding food.
- Can process sizeable quantities of food.
- Non-durable parts.
- Work bowl lid gets damaged easily.
- Noisy operation.
The Cuisinart DLC-2AYSLT is an excellent mini chopper that works even better if you don’t use it as the main food processor appliance in your kitchen. We recommend you use this product along with a bigger food processor, and as it is relatively inexpensive, it is an investment worth making.
Food Processors – Buying Guide
A food processor is a domestic appliance that provides a stress-free way for users to chop, mince, slice, and carry out other small processing tasks that you would otherwise do with a kitchen knife. Seldom will you walk into a kitchen these days and not find one of these devices, be it a blender, mini chopper, or a full-blown processor.
So then, with the widespread popularity of this equipment, and the vast amount of models available for sale on the market, how then do you choose a product to suit your cooking needs, and help you get meals done faster? In this guide, we’re going to walk you through the workings of a food processor, and share tips to help you choose a product you’ll be satisfied with.
What can you do with a food processor?
A food processor is used to carry out a wide variety of food preparation activities, and it is a must-have appliance for every homeowner that enjoys eating homemade meals. And although this appliance has been around for quite some time, it is safe to say most people underuse them.
Apart from the basic cutting, and chopping operations the food processor is widely used for, there are a whole lot of other things you could be doing with this appliance. Some of the most common, and not-so-common uses of a food processor include:
Meat is a sturdy material, and if you’re not adept with a kitchen knife, chopping it up can turn out to be quite messy. However, with a food processor, cutting meat into tiny pieces becomes as easy as pushing a button. The processor blades are sharp enough to handle this, and all you just have to do is toss the chunks of meat into to processing bowl, and leave the machine to do its thing.
Slicing, shredding, and chopping of fruits and vegetables
The most typical use of a food processor, unarguably, is to cut fruits and vegetables into smaller sizes for soup making and preparation of numerous other dishes. This appliance typically has different speed settings for making fine cuts of hard fruit materials, and soft vegetables such as tomatoes, without making a mess of the whole thing.
It might sound strange, but some food processor models can knead the dough for making bread and other flour-based products. However, this process is especially tricky, and only equipment intended for dough-making should be used, as the dough tends to put a lot of strain on the blades, thereby causing them to get damaged easily.
A food processor makes it easy for puree lovers to have access to their favorite drink, any time of the day. Also, having this appliance enables users to experiment with various recipes and try out different flavors.
Making salads and food dressings
Food processors are particularly good at slicing food into thin pieces; hence, they make delicious salads. It is even easier to make dressings with this appliance as all you just need to do is load the bowl with the vegetables, and pulse-cut them – all this in record time as well.
How big is big enough for a food processor?
Food processor models come in different shapes, sizes, and processing capacities. And the size of the product you end up buying should depend on what you intend to do with it, and the storage space available in your kitchen.
Most companies refer to the capacity of their products when naming them; hence, why you’ll see things like ’14-cup’, ‘8-cup’, and so on when shopping for food processors. The consensus is that a full-sized processor is one with a 9 to 14-cup work bowl. A medium-sized processor ranges from 5 to 7-cup capacity, while those that have processing containers lesser than 5-cup are the mini choppers.
The largest food processor we have ever come across is one with a 14-cup work bowl that can comfortably hold fourteen cups of dry food products at once without it spilling over while you’re blending. However, you need to have a fair amount of space available with these, as they tend to gobble up open storage space.
These sizeable food processors are best used for making food for large families and gatherings, as well as in restaurants and other professional settings. If you buy a big food processor to make food for, say a family of three, you will most likely not get the desired results, and end up having to buy smaller equipment.
For those who live alone, or have relatively small families, a food processor with an average-sized work bowl or a mini chopper will get the work done just fine. These models can carry out necessary food preparation activities efficiently, and they are also quite affordable. Besides, they are mostly compact and will gladly occupy a corner of your kitchen countertop.
Attachments for a food processor
It is easy to assume that a food processor is just a jug with blades and an engine. Still, there are several other attachments of this device that work together to make food preparation a seamless operation. Manufacturing companies try to make their products as innovative, and user-friendly as possible; hence, why there are several accompanying accessories of food processors to make them stand out.
However, you should avoid buying a processor based on the number of attachments it has, but go for one with features that will suit your intended cooking purpose(s). In other words, quality over quantity.
That said, typical attachments you’ll find in a food processor kit, and their uses include:
This is one attachment that you will find in every food processing equipment out there, regardless of its size, make, or model. The S-blade is a stainless steel attachment that consists of two curved blades facing away from each other to form an ‘S’ shape.
This blade is typically used for blending and chopping food and is not exactly suitable for making precision cuts. When the blade spins, it destroys everything in its path, and if you’re looking to keep your food solid, it’d be best to run the processor for a shorter period.
This attachment is strongly recommended for those who wish to make and enjoy nutritious fruit and vegetable juices with their food processor. Sure, it is quite possible to make fruit drinks without this sidekick, but the extraction just wouldn’t be as full, compared to what is obtainable when you use a juicer.
The juicer is a powerful attachment that is capable of reducing whole fruits to a pulp, cracking nuts and seeds open to extract fluid, and cutting vegetables to mere fibers. Of course, over-extraction is a possibility; therefore, you need to exercise a degree of caution when using the juicer. If you are only interested in making fruit and vegetable juice, then you might be better off purchasing a specialized machine for that.
Slicing and shredding disk
This is a Frisbee shaped disk with two different faces – one for slicing food, and the other for shredding them into pieces. Imagine being able to chop your veggies and grate your cheese using the same implement – I’d take that, please.
You can tell what you’re getting by merely examining the holes on the face of the plate and then adjust the plate accordingly to either shred or slice cabbages, apples, potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes, and a host of other food. Note, however, that these disks are usually very sharp; therefore, you should show restraint while using them to prevent accidents.
If you’d like to beat your eggs to an excellent, uniform texture, you should purchase a food processor with an egg whip accessory, or buy one separately to complement your appliance. With this tool, you can turn egg whites till they become fluffy, making them perfect for baking pies and desserts. You can also make meringues, and beat up frothy drinks with this whisk.
This tool performs a function similar to what is obtainable with an egg whisk, and it is a suitable alternative should your food processor kit not contain one. With this, you can stir up thick liquids to prevent them from clumping together and forming lumps. You can also use a spatula to scrape off food particles stuck in the work bowl during and after processing.
If you are to knead the dough with your food processor, then you must buy one with a specially crafted blade accessory intended for that purpose. We all know how thick dough is, and if you attempt to knead it using an ordinary cutting blade, you are going to wreck your equipment.
How to use your new food processor?
The first thing to do, upon purchasing a new food processing appliance is, to take time to go through the contents of its instruction manual properly. By doing this, you gain more knowledge about the device, the components, and how each of them works. This extra information also goes a long way in preventing accidents and mishaps while using the equipment.
Once you’ve gone through the contents of the manual, examine each part of the machine to ensure there are no defects or faults. Using defective equipment is dangerous, and it is safer to manually grind food than to do that.
The main components of a food processor are the work bowl, a motor which serves as the base of the appliance, and the cutting blades.
Setting up this appliance is easy, and can be as simple as placing the work bowl on the bottom, and snapping it in place. Some models employ latches, hooks, and screws to hold the jug firmly in place.
Fixing a blade on your food processor is quite easy, and there is a shaft at the bottom of the work bowl built to house attachments. The most common accessories for a food processor are the S-shaped cutting blade, and the dual-purpose slicing/shredding disk.
There are markings on the side of the work bowl, which enables users to know the maximum amount of food the machine can process at once, without it spilling some over. The lids of the work bowl containers are designed to be airtight to prevent food from pouring over while processing. Some models feature a feed chute that is wide enough to accommodate food materials like potatoes and tomatoes without you having to pre-cut them.
Once you’ve gotten your appliance all set-up, it’s time to start the actual processing of food. To prepare food with a processor, all you just have to do is push it through the feed tube, using a plunger, turn the equipment on, and leave the blades to do the rest.
The shredding disc grates common food ingredients such as carrots and cucumbers with quick efficiency, while the slicing disk makes clean, even slices of substances. The S-blade lacks the finesse obtainable with the disk and is better suited for crushing food substances and reducing them to bits.
One reason food that processors have gained such a wide level of acceptance is because of their versatility during food preparation. You can chop, grind, puree, mince, diced meat, fruit, and vegetables using a food processor. Some models even feature these techniques as preset controls that can be activated via the push of a button. Others employ Pulse technology, which gives you complete control over the processing speed, and ultimately, a more significant influence on the outcome of your endeavors in the kitchen.
Often, food processing is done in stages, and pouring all the ingredients into the work bowl at once might not yield pleasant results. Most food processors come with recipe books that contain steps on how to prepare various types of meals. And while we can’t go into full details of food processing techniques here, we’d like to implore you to go through the recipe book, or even watch tutorial videos to aid you in making tasty meals.
Food processors vs. Blenders
With the extensive range of processing techniques a food processor can conveniently carry out, it is quite easy to mistake one for a blender.
Yes, a food processor can blend food materials, but its usefulness goes way above that of a regular blender. And while there are many similarities between both equipment, there are quite some variations as well.
One thing that differentiates a food processor from a blender is what comes out of the equipment after use. Blenders are built with features that make them ideal for making liquid-based food such as smoothies, purees, and smoothies. Food processors, on the other hand, are very good at chopping ingredients into tiny, solid pieces. Summarily, blenders handle liquid materials better than food processors.
While most blenders require that you add in a bit of water with the ingredients to facilitate smooth processing, a food processor can work on dry materials, without you having to moisturize them. Food processors can also handle the large tasks such as kneading dough, while an attempt to do that with a blender might probably lead to it getting damaged.
Food processors typically have more speed settings than a blender, and they, most times, gave bigger work bowls. There is also an option to switch blades to suit different processing needs with a food processor. But the blades in a blender are almost always fixed.
These days, an increasing number of manufacturers are producing food processors that can double as blenders, and vice versa. A food processor can serve as a blender, as long as you can change its attachments, and if you seek an appliance that can both chop and blend foods with ease, these dual-purpose machines are the best bet for you.
Food processor safety and maintenance tips
Food processors are delicate equipment, and to ensure you continue making delicious meals with them for a long time, you have to take proper care of them. Also, as with every machine that uses sharp blades and works with electricity, there is a certain degree of risk associated with using a food processor – even though this might be minimal.
Some of the maintenance acts you should carry out, and safe practice tips to keep at the back of your mind when using a food processor include:
Cleaning your equipment immediately after use
One thing you must do to ensure your processor continues serving you for many years to come is to ensure that you clean the work bowl as soon as you finish making food with it. There is absolutely no reason for you to leave food particles in your appliance, and you risk damaging the equipment if you do that.
To clean your appliance, immerse the components – bar the engine base – in warm, soapy water and wash with a sponge. To clean the base, disconnect the device from the source of electricity, and wipe with a damp cloth.
Some food processors have components that are dishwasher friendly, and this can save you a whole lot of stress. However, take care not to make washing your appliance in a dishwasher a habit, as doing that repeatedly, wears out the parts of your processor.
Tip: After using your processor, and emptying its contents, fill the work bowl with some water and allow the machine to run for five minutes. Doing this will enable water to flush out remnants that are stuck in the nooks and crannies of the blades and work bowl.
Use the right attachment for cutting operations
One thing that will ensure you get the most out of your food processor is by using it for suitable purposes only. You can’t expect to knead the dough with a mini chopper and get favorable results, no. Furthermore, you risk damaging your equipment by overloading it, and that can prove to be quite costly.
To get consistently excellent meals from your food processor, buy one that is suitably equipped to handle whatever plans you have in mind. If you want to make bread, buy a processor fitted with a specialized attachment for kneading dough. If a puree-making machine is what you desire, go for one with distinctive blending capabilities. Doing this not only ensures you get tasty meals, but you’re equally prolonging the service life of your appliance in the process.
Cut the ingredients into smaller pieces before loading the processor
Yes, we get that the work of a food processor is mainly to reduce ingredients into smaller sizes. But you can make its task easier by first cutting the materials into bits before transferring them into the work bowl. This gives you more consistent results and helps ensure that the machine runs freely.
Process food in small batches
By all means possible, try to avoid overloading your processor with food ingredients. Doing this exerts a great deal of stress on the motor, thereby leading to unpredictable results. Overload your appliance a second time, and the engine might become toast.
Each processor out there has markings on its work bowl that indicate the maximum amount of food it can handle at once, and we strongly suggest that you follow those guidelines. If possible, ensure ingredients don’t get to the max level before you start processing.
Make sure the blade spins freely
Before preparing food, rotate the blade to be sure there are no hitches in its movement. A stuck blade is a recipe for danger and can damage the processor’s engine.
Features to look out for when choosing a food processor to buy
When choosing a food processor to buy, there are certain factors you need to put into consideration to ensure you select an appliance to suit your cooking needs. Some of these qualities include:
Size of the work bowl
Who you intend cooking for, should be a significant determinant in the capacity of the processor you go for. If you’ll be preparing food for a large family or you frequently entertain visitors, an average-sized processor, with an 8 to 10-cup bowl, will do just fine. Those who stay alone or have relatively small families will be okay with a mini chopper.
However, if you run a restaurant or cook for professional purposes, then you should go for the largest food processor you can find.
Power rating(Wattage) of the processor
The wattage of a food processor determines the ease with which it can cut through food, and handle the big cutting tasks. Summarily, the higher the wattage of an engine, the more powerful it is.
If you require a machine that can perform heavy-tasks such as kneading dough or bursting nuts open, then ensure you go for one with a power rating of at least 700W. On the other hand, you don’t need as much power if all you want to do is chop tomatoes and slice onions, and a 280W motor is okay.
Number of attachments
The best food processors out there have several accessories that increase their versatility and enable users to carry out a wide range of food prep tasks. Just imagine being able to puree, chop, slice, grind, and mince food with only one processor.
If you seek an all-purpose machine that is capable of handling just about any processing task, go for one with a high number of attachments.
However, if what you want is specialized cutting, go for equipment with no more than one or two blades specially designed to handle those jobs.
Also, the quality of the material used in making the attachments ties directly to their durability. Stainless steel blades last longer than those made with hard plastic, and they cut food with ease too.
Number of speed settings
As important as the number of attachments a processor has, is the variety of speed settings available to use those blades with. Most food processors out there feature a simple ON/OFF button with extra control for Pulse blending, and this proves to be adequate in most cases.
However, if you are looking to go far and beyond, and haven’t exactly mastered pulse blending, there are processor models that incorporate different processing techniques as presets, and those are the products you should go for.
Ease of maintenance
It would be counterproductive if you get the food done in a matter of minutes, then spend the next hour disassembling and cleaning the processor. To make maintenance easier, go for models that have simpler designs, and whose parts are dishwasher safe.
Food processors make a fair amount of noise while in use, and that is understandable because most of them house powerful motors.
However, some newer models address the noise issue, and their engines make no more than a quiet purr when in use. Therefore, if you’re looking to do your cooking quietly, go for one of the noise-free products.
FAQs related to food processors
What food processor do chefs use?
Professional chefs use high-end food processors with large capacities and a powerful motor that can handle the increased demand for food production. Also, a food processor to be used in a professional setting should have more than a few attachments that enable it to perform just about any food preparation task with ease.
Can a blender work as a food processor?
A blender can work as a food processor. In the same vein, a food processor can handle most of the tasks carried out by a blender. However, if you are looking to work on liquid food, you’ll be better off with a blender, and if you need a machine that can handle heavy tasks, go with a food processor.
How do you chop vegetables with a food processor?
Chopping vegetables with a food processor is as easy as placing the ingredients in the work bowl, closing the lid tightly, and then setting the appliance to the required speed setting. However, when putting the vegetables in the work bowl, take care not to exceed the maximum limit.
Can you make soup in a food processor?
You can puree the soup in a food processor, but it will undoubtedly take a lot of time and effort, and that's not its intended use, by the way. A food processor works best when it’s dealing with solids, and a blender is better equipped to make soups.
How many watts should a good food processor be?
Generally, food processors have engines with watt ratings between 400W to 1000W. Anything below that, and you have a mini-chopper. Generally, the higher the wattage of a processor, the more work it can do. Although, you have to be careful not to choose a machine that is neither too powerful for what you intend doing, nor too weak.
Can a food processor chop onion?
Yes, a food processor can comfortably chop onions.
Can a food processor grind meat?
A food processor with a reasonably powerful engine and sharp blades can grind meat with little or no stress.
Can you dice tomatoes with a food processor?
You can dice tomatoes with a food processor. But, the blades need to be sharp enough to make precision cuts as dull edges tend to mash the tomatoes.
What is the standard size for a food processor?
There is no universally accepted size for a food processor, and the capacity of the food processor you end up buying depends mostly on what you intend to use it for.
Can you shred chicken with a food processor?
A food processor with a reversible slicing/shredding disk will shred chicken with ease.