Having a food processor in the kitchen makes cooking much easier. It saves on the tedious food prep work that can often make cooking less enjoyable. Food processors are not for blending and pureeing food as much as for chopping food into a courser texture. Cooks want a kitchen appliance that can dice, mince, grind, slice, shred and knead quickly while making sure there is not much of the food remaining unprocessed. So, what is the best food processor to buy?
When choosing what is the best food processor for your cooking needs, check on the ease of use with the blades, feed chute and lid along with good controls, settings and clean-ability.
The best food processors should be able to process large pieces of food and break them down in uniform pieces quickly. They should also be able to grind hard cheese, knead dough and mix as needed. It should have a pulse setting and large size food chute to make chopping uniform.
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Beyond Chopping and Slicing
When you are choosing a food processor, many can do more than the basics. Choose one that can:
1. Grate cheese – Finding a processor that has a zester/grater that has a microfine plane is great if you often enjoy hard cheese. Grating parmesan for a bowl of pasta or when making lasagna is easy compared to having you hand grate it. You can grate the cheese or use the general blade for thicker pieces if needed. Having both types of blades is great depending on what you are making.
2. Knead dough – Having a blade for kneading means you can do pastry, pizza dough or bread dough easily. Measure the ingredients and then put them all in the bowl and start kneading.
3. Mincing – This will not work with small bits of herbs but if you have larger pieces such as with parsley then you do it quickly and easily.
4. Making mayo – One of the things that food processors have always been good at is making mayonnaise. There is usually a small hole in the lid of the feed tube and when the oil goes through the hole it works perfectly for combining with eggs at the proper pace. It can also be used to make creamy salad dressings.
5. Cookie mixes – While not every cookie recipe works in a processor, the ones that are not mainly butter and flour will work. Processors are also good if you have to grind up nuts for nut butter or chocolate to be added to a separate recipe.
Top Food Processor Picks for Your Kitchen
Our Top Pick: Breville BFP660SIL Sous Chef 12 Cup Food Processor
The Breville Sous Chef is the best overall food processor. It has a strong motor, a serrated S-blade, a slicer that is adjustable with up to 24 settings. The shredder is reversible, it has a dough blade for kneading and great slicing and dicing capabilities. It dices and slices quickly with a uniform outcome. It has more than one feeding tube and can hold a whole tomato or 1 lb piece of cheese. It looks great and works even better. It comes with lots of bells and whistles.
Cuisinart makes a great processor that has interchangeable work bowls. It has 13 and 4.5 cups that can be adjusted depending on what is being prepared. It has an adjustable slicing disc, a shredding disc that is reversible, a dough blade, disc for dicing, blade for chopping, a tool for cleaning and a storage case to keep it all in one place. It is perfect for kneading dough, slicing and dicing as well as shredding cheese.
This is a higher-end food processor but well worth it. Its 14 cup capacity is heavy-duty but looks great enough to stay on the countertop. It has many blades and attachments to offer great versatility. It comes with bowls, 2 lids, a slicing disc that is adjustable, a disc for shredding, dough blade and more. It also comes with a solid storage case to hold all the pieces and keep it neat.
A solid processor that has lots of options when it comes to cooking. It comes with discs for dicing and slicing, one for shredding, another for julienne style and a great storage case to make keeping discs safe and easy. It has a 150W motor for solid performance and suction cup feet on the bottom to help make sure it does not travel with heavy work. The parts are dishwasher safe for easy and quick cleanup.
Once you have chosen your food processor, make sure to be careful in its use to make sure you get the food processed the way you want and without injury. With all the blades, shredders and mixers the processor needs to be used properly. Make sure to:
1. Cut the food into smaller pieces. While many processors have feed shoots that will allow you to put a whole piece of food in such as onion, you should try to cut them into smaller, even size pieces first. It is more efficient and makes sure the processor does not get jammed with a large piece of food and slows down the blade.
2. Use the pulse button. Pulse is great in getting you even results. Just turn the machine on and off if there is no pulse.
3. Use pressure. If you are shredding or slicing food, make sure to put even pressure on the food as it goes into the feed tube. There is no need to use excessive pressure but a constant, even push will give the food uniformity.
4. Do not use the food processor if you want smooth purees and very find ground food. A blender is better for that. Food processors are perfect for courser food.
5. Do not leave your food processor running and go do something else. This is especially important if you are processing something heavy such as dough. Food processors can “walk” if a load is too much so keeping an eye on them is important.