Enormous food chute. Comes with a variety of user-friendly blades and accessories. Very generous warranty. 14-cup bowl. Looks great on the countertop with clean, sleek lines and stainless steel construction.
Heavier than less expensive models, but for most consumers, it still fits on the countertop.
10-cup bowl. Wide large-mouth chute and food pusher included. Powerful 500-watt motor and two speeds. Several blades and slicing disks included.
Design of bowl and lid can make cleaning challenging.
Great for making smoothies, crushing ice, chopping veggies, and more. Inexpensive. Handles frozen blending much better than other similarly-priced processors. Has an anti-spill splash guard and a convenient no-slip base.
At 400 watts, not as powerful as some competitors. Designed primarily for making smoothies.
A little powerhouse that doesn't take much space to operate or store. 3.5-cup capacity. Has a handy drizzle basin for liquid concoctions. Comes in numerous fun colors. Often picked up as a convenient secondary processor for smaller tasks.
Not for large portions, but this is a plus for some cooks. The lid is awkward to take off, put on, and tighten securely.
Professional-grade appliance. Large feed chute. Handy accessory box. 16-cup and 2.5-cup bowls. 3 processor blades provide limitless processing potential. Powerful and reliable, so it's a popular choice for those who intend to get a lot of use out of it.
Not as much speed flexibility as some other models, but a wide array of blades compensate for this.
Food processors are great for chopping, grinding, slicing, and pureeing a wide variety of foods. If you want a single tool that can juice fruits, knead dough, and mix thick batter, you will need to find a food processor with the right amount of power and types of accessories to handle food prep.
Choosing a food processor often comes down to your cooking needs and budget. Small processors, commonly known as food choppers, are good for light food preparation and smaller budgets. If you want a food processor that can handle more prep tasks, you’ll find that a full-size model is a better investment.
We have recommendations for the best food processors you should consider when you're ready to add this versatile tool to your cooking collection. Check out the rest of this guide for information that will help you choose the right one for your cooking needs.
For anyone who regularly cooks at home, a food processor is a great investment.
When preparing meals with fresh vegetables or other ingredients that require chopping, slicing, mincing, or shredding, a food processor saves you valuable time. It’s also handy for making homemade salsas and dips.
A food processor grates cheese, too, so you can purchase blocks of cheese instead of more expensive pre-shredded bags. You can also use a food processor to mix your own mayonnaise, salad dressings, and gravies. In many cases, you can whip up cream-based fillings for desserts, too.
There are two main types of food processors: full-size food processors and small food choppers.
A food chopper has a smaller capacity and less power than a full-size food processor.
As a result, food choppers usually cost less and take up less space on your countertop.
A full-size food processor is probably what comes to mind when you think of a food processor.
It can easily chop and slice vegetables, grate cheese, and purée dips.
Some models have more advanced capabilities, such as kneading bread dough or juicing fruits and vegetables.
The best size for your food processor’s bowl or jar depends entirely on how large your family is or how many people you usually cook for. In general, it’s best to choose a bowl that holds at least nine cups.
However, if you routinely cook for groups larger than four, or if you like to make large batches of food that you can freeze, opt for a model with a bowl that holds 11 to 14 cups. In that same vein, if you’re only cooking for one or using the processor to make small amounts of food, a bowl that holds three cups is usually sufficient.
When you’re looking at food processor bowls, consider choosing a model with a maximum liquid line. This will keep you from adding too much liquid to the machine and causing leaks.
When it comes to chopping, slicing, and shredding, a food processor doesn’t need major power to get the job done. However, if you plan to use the appliance for other tasks, such as kneading dough, you’ll need a motor that’s stronger.
If you only plan to use your food processor for basic tasks, a 500- to 600-watt motor has all the power you need. For kneading dough, grinding meat, and other heavy-duty jobs, look for a food processor with a 700-watt or higher motor.
Food processors typically come with different blades to handle different tasks.
Most include an S-shaped blade for chopping, mincing, and puréeing, as well as a slicing and grating blade.
If you plan to use your food processor to make dough, you’ll want a plastic blade for kneading.
A food processor has a chute that allows you to add food to the bowl while the appliance is running.
Choose a model with a wide food chute. You can put large chunks of vegetables and other foods through a wide chute, and you won’t have to cut your ingredients beforehand.
Most food processors have three settings: on, off, and pulse. The pulse setting allows you to turn on the machine for brief periods so you don’t over chop, purée, or grind your ingredients.
However, some food processors have additional speed settings to accommodate heavy-duty tasks. If you plan to use your appliance for more than chopping, puréeing, and grating, look for a model with extra speeds.
Food processors either have levers, buttons, or digital touchpads for controls.
Levers and buttons are easy to use, though they can be difficult to clean if spills occur.
A touchpad is just as user-friendly, and it’s extremely easy to wipe clean after use. For this reason, it may be worth the extra investment.
Some food processors come with work bowls in several sizes, so you can process different ingredients without having to stop and wash the bowl. Depending on how you plan to use your food processor, you may want a model equipped with a juicer and/or whipping attachment.
For the most versatile food processor, choose a model that has special settings to do blender jobs like making smoothies and crushing ice.
Food processors are available at a variety of price points, depending on the size and power of the appliance.
A full-size food processor that can chop, slice, and shred large quantities of food will set you back between $99 and $380.
You can purchase a mid-size food processor for $50 to $99.
For a small food chopper, expect to pay between $30 and $40.
Don’t fill up the food processor’s bowl before placing it on the base. The blade won’t fit properly. Set the bowl on the base with the blade in place, then fill the bowl.
Always cool any cooked foods before placing them in a food processor. If the ingredients are hot, they can discolor and melt the plastic section of the blade.
Never fill the food processor more than half full with liquid. If there’s too much liquid, it can seep or splash out the sides when you turn the processor on.
For consistency and even blending of foods, roughly chop up food items before putting them in the food processor’s jar.
Remember to scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl when you’re puréeing or chopping. Ingredients can stick to the sides and not get puréed or chopped with the rest of the food, leaving you with uneven results.
While you may think mainly of chopping and slicing veggies in your food processor, don’t overlook it when you need help with sweets. A food processor can break up cookies and graham crackers into crumbs for pie crusts and toppings, whip up cheesecake batter, and chop nuts quickly and effectively.
Don’t fill a food processor’s jar all the way to the brim. Ideally, you should fill it to three-fourths of its capacity and then process.
For the best results, choose a food processor with stainless steel blades. They are the most durable and offer the best performance.
Q. Do I need a food processor if I already have a blender?
A. While there’s some overlap between what a food processor and a blender can do depending on what models you have, a blender is typically meant for blending recipes that contain a significant amount of liquid. A food processor is meant for chopping, slicing, and grating solid items. You can’t replace a food processor with a basic blender.
Q. What determines how well a food processor chops?
A. A food processor’s pulse speed plays the biggest role in how well it chops. The pulse needs to be strong enough to move the ingredients around the bowl but short enough that it doesn’t completely pulverize the food.
Q. How can I tell if a food processor will be easy to store?
A. For convenience, it’s best to keep your food processor on your countertop. However, if you plan to stash it in a cabinet, the size of its base and bowl are the biggest factors in how easy it will be to store.
Mini food choppers are usually the easiest to store. With full-size models, look for one that comes with a case for its blades and attachments so you don’t have to store them loose in a drawer or cabinet.
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