Buying Guide: The Best Food Processors For You

Slice, Grate, Puree and Chop With the Best Food Processor

How to Choose a Food Processor

From beautifully sliced fruits and veggies for a party platter to freshly mixed dough for a tasty pizza, the food processor is the heart and soul of the kitchen. These powerful gadgets can take on some of your most laborious prep tasks in minutes, leaving you more time to handle the other components of complex dishes. Learn how to choose a food processor so you can get the right small kitchen appliances to make prepping your favorite meals easier than ever.

When you're ready to decide which food processor to buy, you'll need to compare models to see which one offers the speeds, attachments and capacity that are right for your cooking needs. With so many different types and brands of food processors on the market, there is sure to be one that is perfect for you. This food processor buying guide will help you to find the right gadget for your kitchen.

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Food Processor Features

As you compare the different brands of food processors, pay close attention to these features. Choosing the right options will help you to choose the best possible appliance for your kitchen.

Capacity

Mini Food Processor

Capacity is an important feature to consider when learning how to choose a food processor. Standard-sized food processors range from 7 cups to 16 cups, and are ideal for prepping large batches of salsas, purees and diced vegetables. If you tend to prepare meals for a lot of dinner parties or large family gatherings, a standard capacity food processor might be best for you. Every food processor comes with a feed tube, and you should consider its size carefully. Smaller tubes require you to cut potatoes, cheese and other larger foods before feeding them into the machine. If you're buying a large capacity appliance, it should come with a wide feed tube for greater convenience so you don't have to prep your food before you process it.

Mini food processors are generally between 3 cups and 5 cups, and are better for making small batches of diced fruit or purees for baby food. Remember that the liquid capacity for your food processor will be less than the solid food capacity. Large capacity food processors tend to take up more space on your counter, while mini food processors are more compact and can often be tucked away in a cabinet when not in use.

Speeds

When you learn how to choose a food processor, you'll need to look at the available speeds on each model. Basic processors come with an on/off feature and a pulse option. The pulse option lets you process the ingredients for a few seconds at a time, which is helpful when you want to treat delicate ingredients with care or you just want a rough chop. Food processors that come with multiple pulse settings are handy, as they allow you to choose between a fast pulse and a slow pulse, depending on the ingredients you're working with. If you want to use your processor to mix dough and tackle other more complex jobs, it's helpful if the machine has settings for the tasks you have in mind.

Accessories and Attachments

Blender and Food Processor

Once you get down to deciding between accessories, you've reached the most exciting part of shopping for a food processor. With the right accessories, your food processor can do many of the same jobs as stand mixers, like and create pie crust and pizza dough effortlessly. Food processors also double as juicers with the right attachments. Interchangeable blades let you choose between sliced, diced, shredded and chopped fruits and veggies, and powerful blades can do tough jobs like turning almonds into a powder for baking macarons. Some food processor manufacturers sell additional blades and accessories separately, so you can upgrade your appliance at any time. You can even opt for handy carrying cases to hold all your blades and attachments when they aren't in use to keep your kitchen neat and organized. As you learn how to use a food processor, don't be afraid to try new dishes using your food processor attachments and accessories.

Food Processor Care

During your food processor comparison, take a look at the manufacturer care instructions. In many cases, the moving parts, such as the blade, the bowl and any other attachments, will be dishwasher safe. Your control panel will need to be wiped clean with a cloth. Flat control panels prevent food from getting stuck in crevices, so consider the ease of cleaning as you shop for different types of food processors.

Food Processor Styles

Steel Base Food Processor

Remember to look at some of the exciting colors and styles as you decide which food processor to buy. Colors range from bright red to sleek stainless steel, so keep an open mind as you shop for colors and styles that speak to you. If you plan to use your food processor for doughs or large batches of sauces, look for one that has a wide base with suction cups to ensure it stays in place during use.

Food Processor Uses

When you're ready to learn how to use a food processor, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the many uses for these versatile specialty electrics. Food processors are great for making homemade baby food without added preservatives or sugar. Use your food processor to make hummus, spinach dip or crab dip for your next party, or use it to make flaky pie crust for a stunning blueberry-rhubarb pie. These gadgets are also great for chopping herbs and grating fresh cheese. When shredded chicken or beef is on the menu for tacos or enchiladas, put your food processor to work to shred the meat for a fast, tasty dinner.

Your food processor is a workhorse that does everything from prepping party food to desserts, and can even replace some of your current cooking tools. Learn how to choose a food processor that can handle all your favorite dishes with ease. Compare speeds, capacities and accessories to get the very best food processor, and cut your cooking time by letting your new machine do all the hard work for you.

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