A food processor will expedite most food preparation tasks, including grating cheese, kneading dough, mincing meat, chopping vegetables, and making curry paste.
However, with so many functions available, these multifunctional cooking assistants can be intimidating to purchase, primarily if you’ve never owned one. The Good Housekeeping Institute team has tested over 50 food processor models to demystify the shopping process and explain everything you need to know about purchasing one.
Should you buy a food processor?
A food processor acts as an extra pair of hands in the kitchen by combining multiple kitchen tools into a single, ingenious appliance. They are best suited for laborious tasks, such as slicing, grating, and chopping, and can be particularly useful for those with mobility issues. They are excellent time-savers due to their adaptable design.
Here are our top five tried-and-true food processors if you’re ready to jump right into shopping:
What is the difference between a blender and a food processor?
Blenders are superior for liquids, while food processors are superior for solids. The blades on a blender will liquify, but the sharper blades on a food processor can chop finely and incorporate ingredients while retaining texture, which is necessary when preparing sauces like pesto.
As the bowls of food processors have a shallower maximum liquid capacity, it is also best to avoid making soup or anything too liquid in one.
To help you choose between the two appliances:
- Consider the desired texture of the final product.
- Choose a blender if you intend to make primarily smoothies or soups.
- Choose a food processor if you regularly prepare dense foods, such as dough.
Some of the most versatile food processors are equipped with blender jug attachments, saving you both space and money.
Which food processor size do I need?
Our recommendations for food processors have bowl capacities ranging from 0.7 to 3.7 liters. Typically, the larger the model, the more features it will include. However, remember that a food processor that does everything will require more space than one that only chops, grates, and purées.
A food processor with a capacity of 2.5 liters is sufficient for most cooking tasks. If you frequently need to process large quantities for entertainment or meal preparation, choose a container larger than 2.5 liters.
Some models include one or two smaller bowls, allowing you to process various foods without first having to clean the bowls.
What characteristics should I look for when purchasing a food processor?
Most food processors include a grating disc, a slicing disc, a chopping blade, and a dough blade as standard equipment, which is sufficient for daily use.
The more you invest, the more attachments you are likely to acquire. Alternative slicing discs, thick and thin grating sizes, spiralizer discs, baton attachments (for chips), and dicing blades are optional additional features.
A large, multifunctional food processor could prove indispensable if you are an avid cook or frequently prepare large quantities of food. In contrast, a smaller machine will suffice if you only want to make hummus or coleslaw occasionally – those bonus attachments will take up valuable cabinet space.
Consider the number of available speeds. Two speeds are sufficient; anything else is probably excessive. Use the faster rate when processing solid ingredients such as nuts and vegetables and the slower speed when preparing doughs and emulsions.
A pulse function is an essential function. This allows for controlled chopping when the speed and power of the slicing blades are excessive for the ingredients being processed, and you do not wish to turn them into mush. For example, pulse it a few times to achieve the best results when chopping an onion roughly.
Additionally, look for suction-cup or non-slip feet. Even when processing heavier foods, these should keep the appliance stable on the countertop.
What should I budget for a food processor?
We have found two food processors that cost less than £50. Although they aren’t the cheapest appliances available, we have discovered several food processors that cost less than £200 and perform admirably. The best way to determine how much to spend is to set your budget and find the best model within that price range.
Methods for evaluating food processors
The GHI evaluates the ability of each food processor to grate carrots, cheese, and chocolate, as well as slice cucumbers. Our expert evaluators consider minced beef, chopped onions, bread, and whole hazelnuts.
They evaluate the performance of the purée function with chickpeas before whipping cream and blending homemade mayonnaise. They prepare pastry dough and cake batter to determine how well each processor kneads and mixes, then bake both to evaluate the final products’ texture.
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Why Trust Us
You will find what you are looking for at Jody's Bakery. From classic to luxury brands, you'll find both. We will help you to select appliances that fit your needs, budget and lifestyle. Whether you want to stop by to learn more — or plan to make a major purchase — we’ll treat you like family and assist you every step of the way. Shop with us today to receive friendly and experienced help along the way.