Food processors can take the hard work out of kitchen prep tasks, from chopping and grating to blending, mixing and puréeing. A good food processor will whizz through any kitchen prep job, leaving you with finely sliced veg, creamy houmous and perfectly chopped nuts. It pays to choose wisely though, as some can end up being more of a hindrance than a help in the kitchen.
What Should I Look for in a Food Processor?
Since all food processors basically do the same tasks, you will want to find a powerful food processor that can process food quickly and consistently.
A heavy chassis will keep the food processor from “walking” during heavy-duty processing tasks.
A large capacity—at least 9 cups. Keep in mind, if you are processing liquid ingredients, the effective bowl capacity is just about cut in half.
A wide feed tube.
A wider tube lets you push larger pieces of food through.
Safety features. You want to make sure that the bowl locks onto the base and that the top locks onto the bowl and that the processor will not start unless the unit is locked together securely.
Simple controls. Many models offer a wide array of speeds, but since processing takes place very quickly, you really only need On/Off/Pulse.
A large-capacity bowl means you'll be able to make bigger batches. Some models come with a mini bowl, too. This sits inside the main bowl and has its own blade. It's useful when you only want to process a small amount of food, such as herbs or nuts. Some models even come with a third midi bowl so you can pick the best size depending on how much food you're processing.
Make sure the food processor has the tools for the tasks you need to do. It’s worth buying a food processor with a jug blender attachment if you want the versatility of blending smoothies or soup as well as processing food. If you're buying a food processor, but like to bake, you may want to look out for a model that comes with wire beaters and/or a dough blade.
Make sure you have enough kitchen counter space for the appliance you choose – think about the height of any cabinets above where you’ll put the food processor that may obstruct the feeding tubes or lids.