Whether cooking is your hobby or not, you’ll agree with us that it isn’t a simple task at all!
From chopping to kneading, slicing and blending – a lot of activities must be performed simultaneously.
Thankfully, you can get rid of all the involved hassles with a food processor. So what’s it and what’re the best food processors for your kitchen?
I’ll answer all these questions right here. Let’s get started.
What is a food processor?
A food processor is a kitchen appliance that helps you carry out repetitive tasks like chopping, mincing, slicing, kneading, blending and so on at great speeds.
Food processors are different from blenders. Unlike blenders, food processors are not limited by the use of liquids in order to carry out the processing. Generally, food processors always have a motor installed in them. However, there are some processors that support manual operation as well.
How to use a food processor?
Based on their sizes, there are typically three types of food processors in the market: Full, Compact and Mini.
All these processors come with some basic attachments such as a bowl with a feed tube, multiple blades and other accessories.
Using a food processor is very easy. Here are the steps that you need to follow:
- Choose the blade you wish to use and fit it on the top of the bowl. For instance, if you want to slice potatoes, fix the S-shaped blade in the bowl.
- Close the lid of the bowl and latch it onto the processor.
- Peel off your potatoes. Wash them with clean water and then put them into the feed tube.
- Turn on the processor. Now, use the plunger to push the potato down the tube.
- Slices of potatoes will collect in the bowl below. Similarly, you can use other vegetables and chop or slice them using different blade attachments.
- Likewise, you can use your food processor to make salsa, crush nuts, pesto and hummus, knead the dough, make a vegetable puree, shred cheese, etc.
What to look for when buying a food processor?
A food processor is a versatile and efficient tool for every kitchen. However, to get the most out of your future help, you need to ascertain exactly what your needs are and what kind of a food processor will be a perfect fit for that.
Take into consideration the following factors to find the right food processor.
This is the most important factor while buying a food processor. The capacity of the bowl will determine how much food can be processed in one go.
For example, a family of 4 with regular requirements can work with a bowl capacity of 10 cups. But if you regularly host parties or have guests over for dinner or lunch, you’ll require a bowl capacity of 14-15 cups.
A big part of the effectiveness of any machine is in the way it is built. The same applies to the food processor as well. A food processor with a solid body and a wider base is the ideal fit.
While solid body ensures that vibrations due to the high-speed motor will be felt less, a wide base lends stability to the whole structure. Another important factor is the ability of a food processor to work efficiently for an extended time period.
A good food processor comes with multiple capabilities, such as:
- Various attachments and blades to carry out different activities
- Juicing and blending functions so that you don’t have to buy a separate product
- Dishwasher-safe parts
- Different modes of operation control i.e. On, Off and Pulse mode
- Make sure that the lid has a feeding tube.
Look for brands that rank high consistently for giving the best quality products and offer good after-sales service. There are a few brands that offer some unique product features and accessories.
The best food processor reviews
The best food processor
If you are the one who is not satisfied until you find the best of anything, then Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef Food Processor is perfect for you. With Stainless Steel solid die-cast body and 1200-W motor, it comes with multiple chute options, multidirectional timer and heavy-duty induction motor and easy storage.
The package includes a set of 8 discs and blades to help you with multiple prep options. Its variable slicing disc has 24 different settings, thus allowing you to slice anything as thin as 0.3 mm and as thick as 8 mm.
The wide mouth chute makes processing faster while the mini one is perfect for food items like carrots, radish, etc. The product also features an LCD display with count-up and count-down timer.
- Equipped with five multi-function discs
- Comes along with two BPA-free processing bowls
- LCD display for auto timer
- Design could have been better.
Best budget pick
If you want a good food processor but don’t want to shell big bucks, Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini Prep Plus Food Processor with brushed chrome and nickel look is the best option to pick-up. It has a 250-w processor and a 3-cup plastic work bowl. It includes a spatula and is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning after the job is done.
What’s more is that this food processor comes with some unique features like 24-ounce work bowl with handle, exclusive auto-reversing and smart-power blade for two powerful processing options.
The food processor is easy to use and easy to clean. It is equipped with touch pad controls and is dishwasher safe.
- Stainless steel blade with sharp and blunt edges
- Limited 18-month warranty
- Not as durable as it could be.
Best food processor for kneading dough
If kneading dough is the only reason you are looking for a food processor, then Braun FP3020 12 Cup Food Processor is your best bet. It comes with 600-W ultra-quiet motor and seven attachment blades. It is energy-efficient and comes with pre-set speed function.
Its compact design makes it the right fit for cozy kitchens.
- Performs a range of tasks like chopping, whisking and kneading
- Allows you to set your speed
- Comes with a one-year warranty
- Lid is not dishwasher-safe.
Best food processor for shredding cabbageHamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper is perfect for chopping vegetables, especially cabbage. Its large feed tube can fit in a full block of cabbage for easy chopping.
- Allows you to choose between two speeds: low and high
- Can fit large foods
- Equipped with a generous bowl that has a capacity equivalent of 10 cups
- Durability could be an issue.
Other honorable mentions
Apart from these processors, you can also look at other options available in the market to fit your purpose. Here are a few more to consider:
This is an efficient food chopper from KitchenAid. Featuring a 3.5 cup work bowl, the chopper is equipped with two speeds that allow you to produce results as per your requirements. The pulse operation provides you with precise control.
The food chopper is easy to clean, dishwasher-safe, compact and light. It comes along with the handle, locking blade and pour spout for easy serving.
Powered by a 200-watt power pod, this food chopper from the house of Ninja could prove to be of great help when it comes to mincing, chopping, grinding and blending a range of ingredients. It flaunts an ergonomic design that is easy to handle.
The chopper is the right fit for various everyday essentials like onions, spices, herbs, garlic, chocolate, dressings, sauces and more.
If you’re looking for an ultimate machine which could chop and grind solid items, while also allowing you to crush ice to snow within seconds for those tasty smoothies, this blender/food processor is what you need.
Another product from Ninja, this machine consists of two 16 oz Nutri Ninja cups with lids. The processor is powered up by a 1500 watt motor and is made up of BPA-free plastic. Its dishwasher safe and also comes with a book consisting of 30-recipes to help you get started.
What you can do with your food processor?
Here are five awesome things that you can do with your food processor:
- Grate cheese
Who doesn’t love a dash of grated Parmesan sprinkled over a bowl of pasta? Now, just grating a spoonful of cheese for sprinkling is okay but when you need to grate a bowl of cheese, it becomes very difficult. This is where you can use a food processor to finely grate the cheese to your liking.
- Knead dough
One of the biggest hurdles in any baking process is how to knead the dough. Luckily you can use your processor to quickly knead the dough to ease your baking process.
- Mince parsley
Mincing parsley to add to your healthy bowl of salad or soup will now be easy-peasy.
- Dressings and dips
Food processors revolutionize the preparation of various dressings and dips. You can easily prepare a wholesome serving of hummus, pesto, and salsa to go with your foods or salads.
- Mix cookies
Various cookie recipes, where you don’t have to prepare a batter with a whole lot of flour and butter, can be whipped in the processor for quick turnaround.
Care and maintenance
Like any other machine, you have to take care of your food processor to ensure it helps you in your endeavor. Here are a few tips to avoid frequent servicing visits:
- Do not put food items that cannot be used in the food processor
- Do not fill the bowl up to the brim
- Cut vegetables into smaller chunks before adding it to the processor to maintain consistency
- Use a solution of water and baking soda to get rid of the foul smell from the processor
- Use the feed tube to push in the vegetables for chopping. Pour water through the feed tube while kneading
- Use a nylon scrubber to clean the blades and the attachment.
What is the difference between a food processor and a blender?
While on the outside, these two appliances may appear similar, they are very different. A blender is generally used and is good for liquid items. You can make smoothies and shakes in a blender. A food processor is used for more labor-intensive work such as chopping, kneading, slicing, etc. Some food processors also come with an attachment jar which works as a blender.
How to clean a food processor?
Cleaning up a food processor may seem like a bother, but it is essential for making healthy and delicious dishes every single time. It will just take up 10-15 minutes to properly clean a food processor. Here are the things you will need:
- Mild dish soap
- Dishcloths or sponge
- Baking soda
- Nylon brush
Once you have all the items in place, follow these steps:
- Separate all the detachable parts of the processor
- Wash the blades with the nylon brush
- Clean the removable parts
- Wipe the base with a damp cloth
- Assemble the processor once all the parts are dry.
Food processor is an indispensable part of every kitchen. It saves you time, makes you more efficient, and helps keep your kitchen clean.
Do you use a food processor? Let me know in the comments below: