Food processors are best for tasks that require speed, precision, and versatility in the kitchen. They can chop, slice, shred, puree, mix, knead, and more, saving you time and effort. Whether you want to make salsa, hummus, pie crust, or meatballs, a food processor can help you achieve consistent and delicious results.
How do food processors work?
A food processor is a kitchen appliance that consists of a motor, a work bowl, a feed tube, and various blades and disks. The motor is the heart of the machine, and it powers the blades and disks that perform the cutting and processing functions. The work bowl is where you place the ingredients, and it has a lid with a feed tube that allows you to add more ingredients while the machine is running. The blades and disks are interchangeable attachments that can perform different tasks, such as chopping, slicing, shredding, pureeing, mixing, and kneading.
What are the benefits of using a food processor?
Using a food processor can offer many benefits, such as:
- Saving time and energy: A food processor can process ingredients faster and more efficiently than doing it by hand, especially for large batches or hard-to-cut foods. You can also use a food processor to make dough, which can be tedious and tiring to knead by hand.
- Improving consistency and quality: A food processor can produce even and uniform results, which can improve the texture and appearance of your dishes. You can also control the size and shape of the ingredients by adjusting the speed and the blade or disk you use.
- Enhancing creativity and versatility: A food processor can help you create a variety of dishes, from appetizers to desserts, with minimal effort. You can also experiment with different flavors and ingredients, and make your own sauces, dips, spreads, and more.
What are the best food processors to buy?
There are many food processors on the market, ranging in price, size, and features. The best food processor for you depends on your needs, preferences, and budget. However, some general factors to consider when choosing a food processor are:
- Capacity: The capacity of the work bowl determines how much food you can process at once. You should choose a capacity that suits the size of your family and the recipes you make. Most food processors have a capacity of 7 to 14 cups, but some models come with smaller or larger bowls, or additional bowls of different sizes.
- Power: The power of the motor determines how well the food processor can handle tough ingredients and demanding tasks. You should look for a motor that is strong enough to process the foods you use, without overheating or stalling. Most food processors have a power of 400 to 1000 watts, but some models have more or less power.
- Functions: The functions of the food processor depend on the blades and disks that come with it. You should look for a food processor that has the attachments you need for the tasks you do, without unnecessary extras that take up space. Some common attachments are a metal blade for chopping and pureeing, a dough blade for kneading, a slicing disk for slicing, and a shredding disk for shredding. Some models also have other attachments, such as a grating disk, a julienne disk, a whisk, a citrus juicer, and more.
- Ease of use and cleaning: The food processor should be easy to use and clean, with a simple and intuitive interface, a secure and tight-fitting lid, and a wide and stable base. The blades and disks should be easy to attach and detach, and the work bowl and lid should be dishwasher-safe. Some models also have features that make them easier to use and clean, such as a locking button system, an adjustable slicing thickness, a bowl scraper, and a storage case.
Based on these factors, some of the best food processors in 2024 are:
- Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup Food Processor: (Check Discounted Price Now) This is our top pick for most home cooks, as it has a large capacity, a powerful motor, a versatile blade thickness and reversible shredding blade, and a simple and straightforward design.
- Breville Sous Chef 16-Cup Food Processor: (Check Discounted Price Now) This is our upgrade pick for kitchen pros, as it has a huge capacity, a very strong motor, a mini bowl for smaller tasks, and many accessories and functions, including a dicing kit and a peeling disk.
- KitchenAid 7-Cup Food Processor: (Check Discounted Price Now) This is our compact pick for small kitchens, as it has a medium-sized capacity, a decent motor, a 3-in-1 feed tube system, and a touchpad control panel with an external lever for slicing thickness.
- Hamilton Beach Stack & Snap Food Processor: (Check Discounted Price Now) This is our budget pick for bargain hunters, as it has a large capacity, a moderate motor, a stack and snap assembly, and a bowl scraper that scrapes the sides of the bowl while the processor is running.
How to use a food processor effectively and safely?
To use a food processor effectively and safely, you should follow these tips:
- Read the manual: Before using your food processor, you should read the manual carefully and familiarize yourself with the parts, functions, and instructions of your machine. You should also follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance and cleaning.
- Prepare the ingredients: Before processing the ingredients, you should wash, peel, core, and trim them as needed. You should also cut them into smaller pieces that fit the feed tube, and remove any seeds, pits, or bones that could damage the blades or disks.
- Choose the right attachment: Depending on the task you want to do, you should choose the appropriate blade or disk for your food processor. You should also make sure that the attachment is securely locked in place, and that the blade is facing the right direction.
- Fill the work bowl: You should fill the work bowl with the ingredients, but not overfill it. You should also leave some space between the ingredients and the lid, and avoid packing the ingredients too tightly. You should follow the maximum and minimum fill lines on the work bowl, if any.
- Process the ingredients: You should turn on the food processor and process the ingredients until you reach the desired consistency. You should use the pulse function for more control and precision, and the continuous function for longer processing. You should also use the feed tube to add more ingredients or liquids while the machine is running, and use the pusher to guide them down. You should avoid using your fingers or other utensils to push the ingredients down, as this could cause injury or damage.
- Stop and check: You should stop the food processor and check the progress of the ingredients periodically. You should also scrape down the sides of the work bowl with a spatula, if needed. You should avoid overprocessing the ingredients, as this could affect their texture and flavor.
- Remove the ingredients: You should turn off and unplug the food processor before removing the ingredients. You should also be careful when handling the blades and disks, as they are very sharp. You should use a spatula to transfer the ingredients to another container, and avoid leaving any residue in the work bowl.
A food processor is a useful and versatile kitchen appliance that can help you with various food preparation tasks. It can chop, slice, shred, puree, mix, knead, and more, saving you time and effort, and improving the consistency and quality of your dishes. To choose the best food processor for your needs, you should consider the capacity, power, functions, and ease of use and cleaning of the machine. You should also follow the tips above to use the food processor effectively and safely. With a food processor, you can enhance your creativity and versatility in the kitchen, and make a variety of dishes, from appetizers to desserts, with minimal effort.