This is the best food processor review and buying guide you’re going to find online. You have to think about so many things when you’re buying a food processor, and it helps to have a website like ours with a how-to guide, a top ten list, and extensive reviews too.
Before you buy a food processor you need to decide first :
- What kind of capacity do you want?
- What kind of feed-tube size does it have?
- What features do you have to pay more for, like kneading prowess and a quiet hum versus a loud roar?
There are a ton of big features and knowing what to pay for them can help you make the right purchasing decision.
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What is the best food processor?
Selecting the right kind of food processor for what you’re going to be using it for can go a long way in offering you a pleasant and smooth purchasing experience. If you get the wrong one, you could end up paying a lot for something that you’re not going to use.
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Factors to consider when buying the best food processor
We get it, a food processor makes life easier, at least in the kitchen! If you are a first-time buyer or your trusty food maker has finally failed you, read the factors you need to consider below to make sure you know what to look for.
Do not settle for cheap processors that do nothing but puree potato soup. Look for one that can handle the tough jobs like chopping raw vegetables (carrots, broccoli, etc.), kneading stiff doughs and grating hard cheese. If you can’t buy powerful enough, you’ll risk burning out the motor when you run it too long or hard. For a full-sized food processor, go for one that has a motor of at least 600 watts. However, if you are not going to use your food processor that often or if you will only use it to chop garlic, onions and whatnot, a cheaper unit will serve you well.
The basic food processor only has one motor speed, and it usually has a small chute at the top that allows you to easily add ingredients. The pusher that comes with the unit fits into the tube and it helps you insert larger items without cutting your fingers. Always choose a model that has a “pulse” button to give a small gush of power. This will come in handy when kneading biscuit dough or when you want a rough chop for your veggies. If you can afford it, look for a modern smooth touch pad for the controls. This is easier to clean than raised buttons.
A 3-cup food processor is big enough for you to make sauces, dips, pesto, purees, and salsa. It can also handle enough pie dough to make 1 to 2 pies. A 20-cup food processor on the other hand is great in a restaurant kitchen. The size that’s best for you should be based on the number of people you cook for and what types of recipe you frequently prepare. A family of four will be well served with an 10 cup or 11-cup.
Attachments and Accessories
Most high-end food processors come with a variety of attachments that will allow you to maximize the use of the machine. Some units include different sizes of work bowls, blades, and disks. The selection of blades and disks can grate food at various degrees of thickness. Some have attachments that will let you use the machine as a citrus juicer. Don’t get too excited with all the added attachments though. It’s still important to consider whether you would actually use them or not.
For some people, the brand of the food processor matters a lot. The three best selling brands are Breville, KitchenAid and Cuisinart. These brands remain popular because of their consistent high ratings. If you go for any of these three brands, you are going to spend anywhere between $50 and $300. For cheaper alternatives, you may want to look at Hamilton Beach and Black & Decker.
What can I make with a food processor?
A better question is what can’t you make! Food processors are ideal kitchen tools because they make tasks like chopping, shredding, and slicing much easier, but they also have a range of other uses. Some come with attachments for juicing, while other add-ons are ideal for kneading bread and pizza dough. You can make everything from soup to guacamole with the switch of a button.
Can I use hot ingredients?
It is always a good idea to skip hot ingredients when using a food processor, as they can easily splash and cause burns. For best results, let items cool to room temperature before adding to the processor.
What speeds do I use for attachments?
Most food processors come with a high and low speed. A good rule of thumb is that high speeds are ideal for slicing and shredding discs, and for attachments meant to liquidize foods. Lower speed is good with tools for mixing ingredients, kneading dough, and citrus juicers.
Can a food processor crush ice?
In most cases, yes! Food processers with steel blades are usually strong enough to handle the demands of crushing ice. Add the ice before you start processing, not while the machine is on.
What kinds of accessories can I use with a food processor?
Plenty! Food processors can typically handle different blades meant for everything from slicing to mixing, and may even fit different size bowls. Keep in mind that you want to buy accessories and spare parts for your particular unit as others won’t work.
Can I puree large solid ingredients?
For maximum effectiveness, you’re better off gradually adding smaller pieces to the unit when pureeing. Larger items can stop the blade.
Can the chopping attachmenthandle hard foods?
Chopping foods that are hard – like frozen foods – isn’t recommended when using a chopping attachment. Coffee beans and ice shouldn’t be processed using this.
What are some tips for slicing/shredding and grating foods?
The biggest tip for getting the best out of your food processor’s slicing/shredding and grating is to use the right speed. Use the lower speed for softer and juicier foods, and the high speed for harder foods.
Does the standard blade on my food processor process dough?
You can use the main blade for mixing spongy cakes and cake dough, but for bread and pasta, it is best to use a separate special attachment specifically for this purpose.
What if the plastic parts of my food processor are stained?
Certain foods – like carrots – can slowly discolor the plastic components of your food processor over time. If simple washing isn’t enough, you can wipe them with vegetable oils before washing.
Can I wash my food processor in a dishwasher?
Some of it! Most plastic components and attachments are safe for the dishwasher. Motorized bases and electronic parts should never be put in the dishwasher or submerged in water, and certain attachments for processes like kneading may not be dishwasher-safe. Always check labels before putting items in a dishwasher.