Food Processor is one of the most essential kitchen appliances that will ease up your kitchen chores. If you want to save time and energy in the kitchen, then you should definitely get this versatile machine. A food processor will shred, puree, chop or make a dough in mere seconds.
If you have never used a food processor before, it might take some time to get hold of this machine. But once you get used to it, you will never want to go back using your hands. A food processor can really reduce the preparation time when you have to cook on the go.
You can prepare healthy and nutritious meals and super smoothies in no time. Whether you are an experienced cook or just a beginner trying to make healthy meals at home, there are various top food processors to meet your requirements. A food processor is a really handy appliance to have in your kitchen.
An Introduction to a Food Processor
In 1946, the first electric food processor was made in Germany. The handiness of this machine didn’t take so long to get popular. It has definitely changed the cooking process for professionals and cooking enthusiasts. A food processor is a small but versatile kitchen appliance that saves your time and energy for the works that require a knife or your hands. It can easily slice, chop, grind, puree, shred, and some models can even make juice, batter, and knead a dough.
Modern food processors run with electric motors. Many compare food processors with blenders however you will immediately know the difference once you use both of them. A blender has one fixed blade while food processor features interchangeable blades enabling you to cut and blend your fruits and veggies as per your need. Also, you do not need a liquid with a food processor, unlike a blender.
Working Mechanism of a Food Processor
The machine has the electric motor at the base that turns a vertical shaft. The shaft has another small device around it. You can fix a bowl, cutting blades and other attachment as per your requirement. A food processor has safety features as well. The motor won’t work until a bowl is properly secured to the base. Also, it has a thermal overload protector to prevent the motor from overheating.
Main Functions of a Food Processor
A food processor can have various features and functions depending on the brand and the model. With the particular types of attachments and blades, a food processor can do following tasks in a matter of seconds:
- Slice and chop fruits, vegetables, and meat
- Shred and grate fruit, vegetables, and cheese
- Puree, mash, and pulp
- Grind nuts, seeds, spices, and meat
- Whip batter
- Mix and knead a dough
Available sizes of food processors
Food processors are available in three sizes:
- Full size (9-13 cups)
- Compact size (5-7 cups)
- Mini size (2-5 cups)
The basics are the same irrelevant of the size. They have an electric motor, a bowl, lid with an opening, and a various set of other attachments. Some models have the base that fits both small and large bowls. You can buy more sizes of bowl separately.
Attachments of a Food Processor
The basic food processor has the shaft inside the bowl that fits the attachments. The regular attachments are S-shaped Sabatier blade and disc for slicing and shredding. You can buy other different discs separately according to your requirements.
A food processor can have the following all or some of the attachments depending on the brand and model:
S-Shaped Sabatier Blade: for chopping fruits, vegetables, nuts, and meat; mince/puree vegetables, salad dressings, baby food, etc.; grate cheese
Reversible slicing/shredding disc: one side is for slicing fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, potatoes, cucumbers, etc. and the other side for shredding vegetables like cabbages, potatoes, carrots, etc.
Julienne Disc: makes the perfect matchstick thin slices of vegetables like carrots, beets, onions, etc.
Juicer: has the knob, which turns to squeeze juice from lemons, limes, oranges, and other citruses.
French Fry Disc: cuts your potatoes perfectly for a French fry.
Dough Hook/Beater: mixes dough for bread or pizza dough.
Egg Whip: the open two-arm paddles create an aerated fluffy egg perfect for meringue and other desserts, also whips cream and other frothy drinks.
Whisk: perfectly mixes ingredients without forming lumps.
Benefits and Limitations of a Food Processor
Understanding the benefits and the limitations will enable you to use your food processor more conveniently and save more time.
The benefits of a food processor:
- It can automate any manual task that involves cutting, slicing and blending. Sometimes, maybe more.
- It shreds, cuts, or dices a large volume of food in almost no time depending on the size of the bowl and the cutting discs.
- You can get perfect slices of meat and cheese, perfectly mixed dough and whipped egg every time if you use the right kind of cutting blade.
The limitations of a food processor:
- Not all food processors can do all functions. Models without cutting disc can slice or grate with precision.
- Cheaper or low-quality food processors have their motor burned after a non-stop use during longer cooking hours. Hence, if you are preparing a big amount of food often then you should opt for high-quality food processors.
- Overloading the bowl is also not a good idea.
10 Best Food Processors
These incredibly versatile machines can chop and mirepoix, slice and shred, puree and even mix the dough. They are available in various sizes and models with different features from different manufacturers. Hence, choosing the best food processor for you can be really bewildering. Here are the ten best food processors that will narrow down your options:
Cuisinart is a popular and trusted name in the kitchen when it comes to the style, performance and the quality. This DFP-14BCNY is one of the most popular food processors from Cuisinart. It is available in different stylish colors. It is a 14-cup food processor and comes with Lexan work bowl, extra-large feed tube with small and large pushers.
This stylish food processor features a stainless steel slicing disc, shredding disc, and new chopping blade. Since it is a large capacity food processor, your cooking process speeds up whether it is a regular meal or parties. This way you can spend more time with your family and friends rather than in the kitchen.
The DFP-14BCNY is durable, dependable and perfect for the larger amount of food. It features 720-watt motor with intuitive ‘on’ and off/pulse’ buttons that allow you to prepare large quantities fast and easy. With durable and consistent stainless steel blades, it does almost everything – mix, chop, slice, shred, knead, emulsify, puree, and more. You will not regret buying this beauty.
Braun FP3020 is the super food processor as there is very less that this amazing machine cannot do. You can use it to chop, slice, whisk, knead and even squeeze the juice out of citruses with the juicer attachment. The 600-watt motor makes it very powerful and strong.
This food processor from Braun features pre-set speed functions as well as allows you to set your own along with pulse mode. It is very easy to clean, as all parts are dishwasher safe except for the motor and chopper bowl. It features two bowls: 12-cups for dry ingredients and 9-cups for wet ingredients.
Another great feature of this amazing food processor is that it is extremely quiet while in use despite being so powerful. It is very easy to store, thanks to its compact design. The safety mechanism is also great. It includes almost all kinds of blades and attachments required to process all kinds of ingredients. It will be one of the best additions to your kitchen.
This 10-cup 70730 from Hamilton Beach is one of the best-selling food processors. This amazing food processor comes with the bowl scraper so that you don’t need to stop and remove the lid to use a spatula saving your time. Moreover, you can use it while the processor is on or off for continuous processing.
Another great feature of this food processor is its large feed chute meaning less prep work. It easily accommodates both large and small ingredients, so you can save your time by not having to pre-cut your ingredients. It offers two speeds and pulse that is driven by a powerful 450-watt motor.
The 70730 food processor includes a 10-cup capacity bowl that is perfect and big enough for most jobs but compact enough for easy storage. Clean up is a breeze with a dishwasher-safe bowl, lid, and blades. It includes a reversible slice/shred disc and S-blade for chopping, mixing and pureeing. Given its features and functions, it is priced pretty reasonably.
KFP1466CU is KitchenAid’s first food processor with hands-free commercial-style dicing kit that slices and dices for effortless processing. The externally adjustable ExactSlice System features optimized speeds and an external lever that allows you to go from thick to thin with one slide of the lever.
This food processor features a medium feed tube, which is 2-in-1 that allows you to use either the large or narrower opening during continuous slicing or shredding depending on the size of the ingredients. It features high, low and pulse speed options that properly handle soft or hard ingredients by a simple push of a button.
The KFP1466CU features the UltraTight Seal that is a specially designed locking system with a leak-resistant ring. This food processor includes 14-cup work bowl, 4-cup work bowl, lid with and without feed tube, adjustable slicing disc, reversible shredding disc, multipurpose blade, dough blade, dicing kit, clean out tool, and storage case. It is the best deal for your buck.
Black+Decker is one of the trusted names when it comes to the home and kitchen appliances. This powerful machine with 800-watt motor eases your food prep with special blades and disks for slicing, dicing, shredding, chopping, and mixing the dough. It will make your cooking look professional by delivering perfectly diced cubes as you can adjust the thickness of slices without taking anything apart.
One of the best features of this Black+Decker food processor is that its lid has an extra wide mouth chute that fits all types of foods. It features a multifunctional 3-piece pusher; large, medium and small food pushers let you efficiently process all kinds of foods. This includes two work bowls: an extra large 11-cup work bowl and a smaller 4-cup work bowl.
Clean up is really easy with all the removable parts being dishwasher safe. Another great feature is that it includes a compact storage case where you can fit all removable parts conveniently and stay organized. With adjustable speed control, you can process food easily and quickly. It will sit on your countertop steady with a heavy-duty stainless steel base and skid-resistant feet. This one is functional food processor to have in your kitchen.
DFP-14NRY is another food processor from Cuisinart that made to our list of best food processors. With its large 14-cup work bowl and extra large feed tube, you can easily prepare any meals at no time. The 14-cup work bowl is able to process large amounts of food and extra-large feed tube eliminates precutting of fruits and veggies.
It features powerful heavy-duty 720-watt motor that allows you to prepare large quantities easily and swiftly with great efficiency. The food processor is known for its versatility; it can mix, chop, slice, shred, emulsify, puree, and even knead a dough. The stainless steel blades are consistent and durable and deliver professional results every time.
Along with being very functional, this Cuisinart food processor is also very simple to use. You can easily control the machine with single-touch experience. It comes with a 14-cup work bowl, 4 mm stainless steel medium slicing and shredding discs, chopping/mixing blade, a spatula and a recipe book. And its compact design and red color will enhance your kitchen looks.
Like its name says, Breville BFP660SIL is the sous chef you need in your kitchen to help you with tedious knife jobs. It does everything from grating cheese and chopping nuts/fruits to mixing batters and pureeing soups. Breville BFP660SIL features a 12-cup BPA-free plastic work bowl.
The large 5”-wide feed chute fit any fruits and vegetables easily so that you don’t have to spend extra time precutting them. The medium feed chute is 2 ¾” that handles medium size ingredients and the mini chute is 1 ½”. It features Safety Braking System, anti-slip feet, and has very powerful heavy-duty 1000-watt induction motor.
This food processor includes a stainless steel spindle, micro-serrated S-blade, adjustable slicer with 24 settings, reversible shredder, and dough blade. The work bowl has a 12-cup capacity for dry ingredients and 8 ½ cups for liquid ingredients. The push-in cord storage and its compact design make it easy to store. If you are looking for some help in your kitchen you can consider this food processor.
Hamilton Beach 70725A is a Stack & Snap food processor, which means you don’t need to twist and turn to lock. The bowl is specially designed to fit directly on the base and the lid snaps securely to the bowl with simple locking clips for safe operation. This handy machine features a simple function guide that shows you which blade to use and which button to press making your work simpler.
Since there is no max liquid fill line on this food processor, you can process liquids without worrying about leaks because the bowl is sealed. It also features a built-in pour spout to reduce messy drops. The large feed chute means that you don’t need to precut your ingredients.
Its 450-watt motor can easily handle chopping, slicing, shredding, mixing, and pureeing just about anything. You can chop, puree and mix with the stainless steel S-shaped blade while shred and slice with the reversible, stainless steel slicing/shredding disc. Clean up and storage is pretty easy with in-bowl blade storage, cord storage, and dishwasher-safe parts. This one is really cheap for the functions it does.
The Ninja Precision Processor features two interchangeable attachments that enable you to prepare a great variety of meals with one base. The 3.5-cup bowl handles everything from chopping and mixing to pureeing and making a dough.
It features the Auto-Spiralizer, which includes spaghetti and fettuccine blade discs to create versatile veggie noodles. This is the best for the vegans who love pasta. The chopping blade does more than chop; it chops, minces, dices, and even puree. The Precision Processor features simple controls with just two buttons including a pulse button.
From chopping to pureeing, every step of meal prep is easier with Precision Processor. It includes 3.5 cup Precision Processor bowl, lid with drizzle hole, Auto-Spiralizer with 2 spiralizer discs, chopping blade, and 30-recipe guide. With this Precision Processor, you can transform any ordinary veggies into lighter versions of comfort food classics.
If you are looking for a mini food processor, then Oster FPSTMC3321 might be the fit for you. This processor features 3-cup capacity work bowl and a lid with drizzle hole so that you can add water, oil, etc. during processing without having to remove the lid.
It features sharp stainless steel S-blade that chops, slices, dices, purees, and more. It is equipped with a 150-watt motor and two large buttons to switch between high and low speeds depending on your requirements. This mini chopper also includes a handy whisk attachment for best whipping results and spatula to scrape food off the sides of the work bowl.
The cord tucks neatly away for compact storage and dishwasher-safe parts make cleanup a breeze. You can speed up your prep time every day with this mini chopper. You can use it for anything from chopping vegetables to pureeing and more. If you are preparing small meals often then this mini processor from Oster can handle all your prep tasks.
Whether you are looking to buy a food processor for the first time or trying to replace your old one, choosing the best one is always confusing. The available brands and models make the hunt really difficult. But understanding some factors like your expectations from a food processor, which function is the most important, your budget, etc. can make it easier. Our guide will help you understand the different features of food processors and to choose the one that suits you.
Your expectation from a food processor
You should consider your expectation from a food processor. What type of help do you want it to do for you? A food processor is best for quick chopping and pureeing job that is tedious to do with hands. Some models have additional features like grating, spiralizing, slicing, etc. Some models can blend and whip soft ingredients perfectly while also making dough for bread and pizza.
How much food do you want to process at one time? How often are you preparing a big meal or a small meal? Where are you thinking of storing a food processor? Answering these questions will help you decide to choose the right size of a food processor for you. If you are preparing smaller quantities but too often, then you might want to get a mini food processor. They will perfectly chop and make a puree. And they are super easy to move around, clean and store. But if you are making big meals frequently then it is a good idea to get a larger model with a bigger bowl. Also, it will handle the task of slicing and grating.
Depending on the brand, model, and features, the prices for food processors vary widely. You can get a food processor at as low as $20 to more than $400. Consider how much you want to spend and get the best for your budget. But choose wisely as some cheaper models deliver weak performance and do not last long.
Features of Food Processor
In general, a food processor has a work bowl that sits on a motorized shaft and an S-shaped blade spins in the bowl to chop things. But there are other features as well to consider while deciding the best food processor for you.
Blade performance – The blades and grating discs need to be sharp out of the box and should remain sharp over the years of use. Only the sharp blades can chop evenly, grate uniformly and slice cleanly. Also, they should be able to mix liquid and other soft ingredients evenly without ‘mixing gaps’ between the blade and the bowl. This saves you from constantly stopping and scraping the sides and blends the mixture perfectly.
Motor strength – The strength of the food processor is determined by the number of watts of the motor. Weaker models tend to seize up and wear out soon when regularly used and can be noisy.
Feeding mechanism – Most high-quality food processors have a lid for the bowl with a feed tube from where you can insert food. Feed tubes with adjustable sizes are great to add any long or large ingredients. You will often need to add oil, water, and other liquids while processing so adding liquid through the lid while the machine is processing is splendid.
Ease of use – An ease of use is a big plus to any appliance. A food processor should have clear controls, bowl/lid locking mechanism, and should be easy to assemble and clean up. Don’t forget to check if the parts are dishwasher safe and the accessories need to be organized neatly.
Safety Mechanism – Since it is a chopping machine with sharp blades, a safety mechanism is an utmost necessity. Many have safety locking mechanism in the lid and the machine won’t start until the bowl is fixed to the shaft perfectly. Some models have gaskets to tightly seal the ingredients inside the bowl. Smaller models have suction cups to keep them still on the counter while high-quality models have strong motors and solid bases to fix them to the counter.
Additional functions – Many food processors offer other additional functions besides single-speed chop. They have pulse buttons or speed adjustments, extra blades to shred, grate, slice, julienne, and spiralize. Some models have nesting work bowls to serve both as mini and full sized in one.
A food processor is a very handy appliance that will obviously save your time and energy in the kitchen. You will not only save time and energy but also save money as you no longer have to buy those expensive pre-cut, shredded, and sliced ingredients. Of course, there are huge varieties of food processors available in the market and you have an overwhelming amount of choices. But once you understand your requirements and features of a food processor, you will get the right one for you. Once you start using a food processor, trust us, you don’t want to go back doing all those tedious chopping and mixing jobs using your hands.