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Buying guide for best Hamilton Beach food processors

For curious cooks and creative chefs, a food processor is an integral part of any functional kitchen. The most basic options allow for easy food prep by chopping and mixing ingredients, though most are loved for their ability to thoroughly purée foods, easily creating sauces, butter, dips, and dressings.

One of the leading kitchen appliances companies is Hamilton Beach, founded by two entrepreneurs in Wisconsin more than 100 years ago. Among their many products are food processors, which range in size, power, and capability to cater to various needs in the kitchen. Notably, Hamilton Beach offers easy-to-use kitchen gadgets and other products at affordable prices. Thus, the company’s food processors are useful for those on a budget as well as frequent cooks.

food processor
The best food processors don’t require much maintenance, but your chopping blade will wear down over time, likely well before the motor. Keep an eye on its effectiveness, but know that blades are sold separately for easy replacement.

Top considerations when choosing a Hamilton Beach food processor

Components

A food processor comprises four main pieces. There is a motorized base that sits securely on the countertop. Next is a plastic bowl that’s BPA-free and locks into the base. In the work bowl is a blade, known as an S-blade, that loosely locks in place. (Food processing will not start unless the bowl is locked into the base.) Lastly, a lid latches onto the bowl. The lids feature a food chute, which varies in size depending on the capacity of the unit. The chute allows you to add food or liquid safely while the unit is operational. It includes a pusher to help guide any additional food into the bowl.

Size

Most food processors have a capacity of 8 to 12 cup bowls. Price generally increases with size. Consider your cooking tendencies as well as how many people you regularly feed. Larger households will want a processor with greater capacity. Keep in mind, however, that a bigger unit requires more space. This could mean leaving it on the countertop permanently.

In most cases, a 10-cup food processor will serve a household well. However, if you like extra-large batches of food, you may prefer the biggest option.

Basic functions

All food processors allow users to chop and purée. These two basic functions cover a lot of ground: prepping vegetables, mixing ingredients, and blending items to create dips, sauces, and pastes that may serve as key components of meals or even as sides in themselves.

Hamilton Beach processors refer to chopping as mixing or pulsing, which is an intermediate operation. They feature two speeds: low and high.

Power

These food processors range in power from 300 to 500 watts. Power typically increases with size.

A more powerful motor allows not only for more items to be chopped and puréed at once, but it also allows the unit to take on harder dryer foods. With a smaller motor, you’ll want to fill the processor slowly and carefully. The reason: if you overfill it, the motor won’t have enough power to mix everything properly.

As power correlates to size, it may be useful to opt for a larger model simply for the added power, regardless of whether you will regularly fill it up.

Dyk1
Did You Know?
For those who enjoy Hamilton Beach food processors, the company offers plenty of other kitchen appliances, including air fryers, bread makers, pressure cookers, and even coffee machines.
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Hamilton Beach food processor features

Shredding and slicing

Most food processors allow the user to shred and slice food. Cheese and carrots are two popular items for such treatment. This is done using a double-sided disc blade that typically comes with the model, but it also can be bought separately. Some discs offer different thickness options for the slices and shreds. One side of the disc allows for shredding while the other side is used for slicing. Discs that create different cuts and reversible slicing also are available and are sometimes included.

Dough blade

Some models include a dough blade or dough hook, which aids in the making of pastries, bread, and pizza dough. The dough blade is blunt and plastic. You can use it to gently pull and knead dough. Newer cooks may find it particularly useful.

Bowl scraper attachment

This clever feature comes in some food processors. The bowl scraper attachment allows you to simply clean the interior sides of the bowl without having to turn off the unit and take off the lid. As items may frequently stick to the sides, scraping them off with a spatula is regular work, but the installed plastic bowl scraper saves time and energy.

Dyk2
Did You Know?
Be sure your bowl is locked into place with the desired blade or disc secure before adding food. The blade or disc may not sit flush if you try to affix it after putting food in the bowl.
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Accessories

Hamilton Beach stand mixer

A stand mixer is a necessity for anyone who enjoys baking. Hamilton Beach offers some great choices at affordable prices.

Spatula

Using a food processor requires scraping the sides and bottom to get everything mixed properly. A quality spatula is always a good addition to a kitchen.

How much does a Hamilton Beach food processor cost?

Inexpensive

Smaller food processors cost under $40. Note that although these items cost less, the best food processor for you depends on your needs.

Mid-range

Most 8- and 10-cup food processors cost between $40 and $60 and may include a shredding and slicing disc.

Expensive

For $60 and up, you can purchase a 12-cup food processor, which likely includes useful accessories. You can also find a 14-cup food processor in this price range. Often encased in an attractive stainless steel housing, these processors are designed to serve multiple functions: food chopper, shredder, dicing machine, and more.

Dyk3
Did You Know?
The food processors made by Hamilton  Beach are exceptionally easy to operate. They feature a straightforward dial to toggle between the main settings or labeled buttons for using a disc or blade.
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Tips

  • Select a food processor that fits your needs. Retailers like Amazon offer a selection of models to choose from.
  • Stay under the limit. Each food processor has a limit to how much the bowl can hold. Exceeding this line will result in items not being chopped or can potentially damage the motor.
  • Shred firm items. The shredding disc does not function effectively on softer foods. Some cheeses, like mozzarella, are too soft at refrigerator temperature — pop them in the freezer for a bit before shredding.
  • Keep hot items, including liquids and anything recently cooked, out of the food processor until they cool. The heat could melt the plastic, affect other ingredients, or even splash up and burn the user.
  • Experiment. Food processors can chop, mix, puree, shred, and slice items in ways that make meals more enjoyable and creative. Don’t be afraid to learn new and clever cooking methods. Use your new appliance to prepare foods like sauces, hummus, whipped vegetables, and more.
food processor
While food processors and blenders share some similarities, there are key differences that influence their best use. Blenders are designed for holding liquids and crushing ice, while food processors are more powerful and able to perform a wide range of tasks with drier and harder items.

FAQ

Q. How should I clean my Hamilton Beach food processor?

A. Most components are dishwasher safe. You can place the bowl, lid, chute, and blade in the top rack of the dishwasher, though it’s recommended to wash the blade by hand to avoid dulling. Dry the blade with a cloth after rinsing.

If you forgo the dishwasher, you can easily wash the lid and bowl by hand. Wipe the base by hand with a damp cloth; do not run under water.

Q. Is there a proper order for filling up a food processor?

A. For the most desirable and efficient outcome, add ingredients in the most sensible order. Begin with smaller ingredients that should be finely chopped or ground, like garlic. Continue to add items increasing in size, maintaining a bit of moisture within the bowl by adding oil or liquids as needed.

Items that only need to be mixed can be added at the end. Add items slowly, regularly checking the mixture and scraping down the sides to make sure everything is mixed or blended properly.

Q. Does it matter which speed I use?

A. Hamilton Beach food processors offer two speeds, either identified as low and high or 1 and 2. The faster setting is ideal for puréeing and mixing items, as it will thoroughly churn ingredients to create a consistent paste or sauce. For chopping, use a low speed or pulse option so the items don’t end up as a purée. The lower speed setting is also recommended when using the disc for shredding or slicing.

 

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