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Taras Evseev
Taras Evseev

How To Buy A Food Processor

3. Puréeing soup: I love creamy, warm soup. Using a food processor to make Cream of Tomato Soup or Roasted Acorn Squash Soup is easy peasy. Impress your guests with these savory soups.

how to buy a food processor

10. Making dough: Using your food processor to make dough is easy. Sure you can make bread dough, but one of my favorite recipes is Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Edible Cookie Dough Bites, a healthy snack my family loves.

1. Using the food processor instead of the blender: When I have tasks that include liquids and sauces, I typically turn to the blender. The blender is taller and there is less chance of the recipe going beyond the fill line and spilling over.

Michael Sullivan is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter and has covered food processors since 2016. He's spent dozens of hours shredding cheese, chopping vegetables, mixing doughs, and whipping up mayonnaise for this guide. This guide builds on work by Wirecutter deputy editor Christine Cyr Clisset.

If you find tasks like chopping nuts, slicing vegetables, and shredding cheese too tedious, strenuous, or time-consuming to perform by hand, you should consider getting a food processor. This kitchen tool is also handy for blending dips like hummus, preparing homemade mayonnaise, and mixing pie or bread dough.

Sharp, useful attachments; few extras: All food processors come with an S-shaped blade for chopping, and most full-size models also include a couple of disks for grating or slicing. In our tests, we looked for blades and grating disks that were sharp out of the box and durable enough to remain sharp over years of use, so that they could chop delicate herbs and tough nuts evenly, grate cheese uniformly, and slice vegetables cleanly.

Easy to use: Most food processors we looked at were relatively simple to operate, with not much more than an on/off button and a pulse button (good for roughly chopping things). But the way the bowl is put together can make a huge difference in how easy a processor is to use. Bowls with fewer parts and accessories are easier to assemble and clean, as are bowls with fewer nooks and crannies between the parts.

Heavy base: A good food processor will have a strong motor and a heavy base that anchors it to the counter so the processor can mix sturdy yeast doughs. Low-quality machines, which are typically lighter, often skid across the counter when processing dough, or the motor may even seize up.

Another drawback to the Sous Chef is that it made a slightly looser mayonnaise than the Cuisinart Custom 14 and the mini processors we tested. Also, its mini bowl insert did not chop almonds evenly, so we recommend using its 16-cup bowl for this task.

Michael Sullivan has been a staff writer on the kitchen team at Wirecutter since 2016. Previously, he was an editor at the International Culinary Center in New York. He has worked in various facets of the food and restaurant industry for over a decade.

To find the best food processor size for you, think of the kinds of recipes and quantities you like to make. Food choppers are best for quick, simple tasks or small portions. Mid-sized to large food processors can handle multi-serving recipes and can offer more versatility like shredding, slicing and julienning.

You can find food choppers and processors from around 3 cups all the way up to commercial 20 cup models with a wide range of functions, accessories and settings. Read our guide to food processor sizes to discover the possibilities they can unlock in your kitchen, and what size is right for you.

These smaller appliances are technically not food processors due to their lack of feed tube and simplified functionality of chopping, mixing and puréeing. They are best used for quick, simple tasks involving food prep for larger dishes or creating smaller amounts of flavorful sauces, dressings, dips, creamy desserts and even entrees for one or two people.

These food processors can hold larger amounts of ingredients than choppers and, thanks to a feed tube, usually have the ability to slice and shred in addition to chop, purée and mix. Some food processors of this size also include a dough blade to help knead bread dough, pizza crust and more. A mid size food processor combines a larger work bowl with more functionality, allowing you to create more complex recipes from start to finish, or simply make larger portions of your favorite dips, sauces, marinades and more.

Do you like to experiment with different dips, sauces and dressings? If so, make sure your food processor has a drizzle basin or oil drizzle opening that allows you to slowly incorporate liquids for emulsification.

KitchenAid food processor models have a sealed, leak-resistant work bowl, rounded corners and smooth finishes which means less food gets trapped in the bowl and lid. The bowl, lid and accessories are also dishwasher safe.

Do you have a smaller kitchen or countertop workspace? Some food processors come with easy to store features like select models from KitchenAid brand that feature a compact design, in-bowl accessory storage and a convenient cord wrap. The smallest models offer a countertop friendly footprint and may be the best food processor for small kitchens.

In general, the larger the food processor, the wider the feed tube or chute options. This can better accommodate larger foods, like whole zucchinis or potatoes which can mean less prep work before processing. A wide feed tube allows you to push larger pieces of produce, cheese and more into the blades for processing and can enable long slices like french fry cuts depending on your blade or disc accessories.

Designed to slice, dice, chop, mince, grind, shred, puree, and more, food processors are kitchen workhorses and the closest thing so far to a science fiction-style robot that prepares our food. Until that time, however, if you need a hand with food prep and are considering investing in a food processor, we've got the guidelines to answer your big questions as well as a few you might not have considered.

There are significant differences between food processors and blenders, even though you can do certain tasks in both. Blenders have a tall, upright design that tapers to a smaller bottom and generally requires adding a liquid ingredient to operate. A food processor, on the other hand, works with dry ingredients and can accommodate bulkier foods (think larger veggies, dough) thanks to a wide, flat bottom.

How big you go depends on what you want to do with your food processor. Do you want a quicker way to dice and slice veggies for salads or soups? Grating cheese? Kneading dough? Mincing herbs? The size, or capacity, of the food processor will depend upon your recipe requirements. A mini food processor, or food chopper, would be perfect for small servings, chopping nuts, or mincing garlic. A large capacity would be more suitable for family size servings, and an extra-large capacity would work best for someone who entertains a lot or caters.

In this instance, size does matter. Too small and you won't be able to use your food processor; too big, and may have an appliance taking up too much counter space. Here's a guide to finding the machine that's just right:

The power of a food processor is a second, important consideration and you should look for 400 watts of power for an average size machine, and up to 750 or more for large to extra-large capacities. The bigger the job, the more muscle required. In addition, a heavy base is a desirable design element because it helps keep the processor stable on the counter when in operation.

Since food processors work very quickly, you really only need controls that direct: On/Off and Pulse. Small choppers may also offer high-low speeds, and high-end machines may come equipped with a "dough" setting.

Perhaps most importantly, a wide feeder tube, the chute that allows you to pour or push ingredients into the machine, is also handy. The larger the chute, the less you need to pre-cut large veggies like potatoes or cucumbers. A plastic food pusher, or prod, is included. You definitely don't want to use your fingers!

An S-shaped metal chopping blade comes standard with most food processors, while higher-end models may also include a blunt blade for kneading dough, whisks, a shredding/slicing disc, juicer attachments or assorted specialty cutting discs.

You should expect a full-size food processor (as opposed to the mini food chopper) to take up approximately 1-to-1.5 cubic feet of countertop real estate. Appliances which are visible and easy to access are the ones proven to be used most often, however, if you have limited countertop space, a food processor that can be stored easily is the next best thing. Scope out your space before you buy.

With the ability to shred and chop ingredients, knead dough, grind spices, and puree just about anything, a high-quality food processor is one of the most versatile and useful tools one can have in their kitchen, with few prep tasks its unable to achieve.

For casual cooks prepping ingredients for one or two dinners, making small batch dips and sauces, or performing minor chopping tasks, a mini processor will likely fit your needs just fine. A major benefit of these more compact processors is that they can break down and stow away easily, leaving your counter space free.

On the other hand, for those willing to sacrifice some space for the sake of a more powerful appliance, a high-quality, high-yield food processor will make you feel like the head chef of your own professional kitchen, ready to tackle any task a recipe throws at you.

For those looking for a classic, mid-sized processor that can handle bulkier items, like pizza dough and big-batch recipes, a standard 11-cup machine like the KitchenAid 11-Cup Processor is a good fit. Most of these machines also come with, or have the option of buying, blade attachments to extend the functions of your food processor. 041b061a72


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