Food Processor Reviews:
My wife recently took cooking lessons/classes and has recently turned our kitchen upside down with new appliances and cooking accessories. The latest product she wanted to buy was a food processor
. I watch the cooking channel quite often with her and see other chefs using them so I agreed we would get one so she could prepare even better meals. Little did I know that food processors
are usually the most expensive small appliance you'll find in a kitchen. A quality food processor should be able to grate, slice, chop, puree, and even knead dough. The smaller, or mini food processors
can be found for under $50 but the larger capacity food processors (16 cups) are $300 or more. The great thing about the bigger food processors is that they can handle food prep for large dinner parties with no problem and save you time. The key features to consider when buying a food processor are capacity, power, attachments, bowl sizes, and safety lock (keep reading below to find out more).
- Capacity for any food processor is always measured in cups (4-16) - the larger models are great for when you have a lot of guests coming over for dinner but do take up more space. The littler versions store easily, take no time to clean, but limit you on capacity to prepare larger meals. Power on food processors range from 500 to 1200 watts - more power equals more money spent but the extra power tends to get you faster and better results. Moving on to bowl sizes - they go from 4 to 16 cups and are often made of plastic (cheaper) or stainless steel (expensive). The stainless steel bowls will last longer so paying more upfront should not be a factor. Look for a food processor that comes with more than 1 bowl size since you'll need a variety of bowls depending on what you are chopping or slicing. Attachments are what will make or break your machine and most processors come with a set of attachments that will slice, shred, blend, mix dough, grind, whisk, or juice. The pricier food processors generally offer more attachments, but if your model doesn't you can always purchase them later at an additional cost. Think about the uses you plan on for your food processor before you purchase a bunch of attachments that may never get used. Some of the better brands will include a storage case where you can place all the attachments when not using them. Lastly, consider models only with good safety locks. The majority of food processors will not start until the lid is locked on properly. The blades in food processors can slice your fingers or hand really easily and children should always be kept away from these machines. The top brand names for food processors are KitchenAid, Cuisinart, Viking, Hamilton Beach, Braun, Magic Bullet, Black & Decker, Oster, Bosch, and Bravetti. Some of these are marketed on made for TV advertising shows and should be looked into thoroughly before buying. Food processor reviews
- There are quite a few excellent resources online to research. Amazon.com is perhaps your best bet when it comes to customer reviews -they literally have 100's of owner postings online with specific feedback and comments on particular models. Also, Consumer Reports
does a great job of testing the latest food processors and their independent results should be consulted. CR tests food processors on their ability to chop, slice, shred, knead, puree, and how quiet their operation is. We will go into the most popular models below with details on what they offer. View the list of best-selling food processors online here
Best Food Processor:
In head to head tests with all the leading brands, the best full size food processor is the KitchenAid KFP750
($175). The KitchenAid food processor features a spacious 12 cup capacity with a 4-cup mini bowl which instantly turns this machine into a mini chopper. There are dual tall feed tubes which work great on both large and narrow food. Reviewers say the powerful motor performs consistently with great results and it's quiet too. Even on larger preparations the motor holds up well and there was no evidence of leaks. You also get 3 slicing discs and a dough blade- plus it comes in 5 different fun colors. With a slightly larger capacity (14-cups) is the Cuisinart DFP-14BCN Food Processor
. Gourmet chefs love the big capacity and the new motor has alternate speeds for "perfect dough mixing, and a rounded housing for easy cleaning and handling". The 3 year warranty is much better than the 1 year offered on the KitchenAid above, but consumer tests show the KitchenAid is slightly better. My wife owns the Cuisinart and says it's a "live saver" for big cooking projects and she loves its durability and stainless steel slicing and shredding discs which are easy to clean. We understand that not every household needs a 12 or 14 cup capacity food processor and in reviews we found that the Cuisinart DLC-10S Pro Classic
($90) is a perfect 7 cup model. Users say making cookies and bread dough is no problem with the powerful motor and the stainless steel chopping blade never seems to dull. Again, Cuisinart supplies a 3 year (entire unit) warranty which can't be beat. The Hamilton Beach 70590 Big Mouth 14-Cup Food Processor ($60) is great for processing whole fruits and vegetables. The Hamilton Beach is a great budget food processor that works great but doesn't come with lots of attachments. Another top food processor manufacturer is Bosch appliances, but we found that their less expensive models performed better overall than the more expensive ones. Oster food processors (what I grew up with) are rated good by consumers on almost all aspects except durability. The motors in cheaper models tend to go out too often.
Mini Food Processor:
We heard lots of news on the Magic Bullet mini food processor that is shown on TV infomercials and we looked into the 2 for 1 offer on their website for less than $100. When compared to more respectable brand name products from Cuisinart or KitchenAid it can't compete. The best mini food processor is between the KitchenAid Chef's Chopper KFC3100 and the Bravetti 2-Cup Quad Blade Mini Chopper. Both retail for around $30-$40 and perform all the basic tasks you would want from a food processor. Users of both machines say they run smooth, slice and shred with no problems, and are easy to clean. Black & Decker has a popular food processor called the Quick and Easy Plus for around $35 and it sells well on the Home Shopping Network but customer feedback was less than enthusiastic on sites like Amazon. You can browse the most popular mini food processors here
(ranging from $20 to $50).
Food Processor Bible:
Ok, now you own a food processor, but how do you actually use it to do all the things you know it can. Many that we saw come with helpful instructional DVDs and videos that will show you how each function works. Most also supply a simple recipe or cookbook with the product. The most popular book related to food processors is one called the The Food Processor Bible
by Norene Gilletz. We read customer reviews of this book on Amazon and it sure seems that it's been helpful to all that read it. There are great tips on creating holiday dishes, international foods, and basic favorites. You can buy it online here
for less than $20.