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Food Processors buying guide

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Introduction to buying food processors

Whether you're a gourmet chef or just occasionally whip together a quick dinner, the right food processor is a tremendous convenience, saving time and producing the desired results. Food processors can replace several different kitchen tools, depending on the number of available blades and attachments.

It can chop like a knife, knead dough like a mixer, blend like an electric blender, or extract juice like a power juicer. Because of the variety of options, a typical home cook could become overwhelmed in the decision making process.

 

Main buying points to consider when buying a food processor

  • Capacity: Food processors can be as small as a 2-cup chopper to a 20-cup professional model. Buy a food processor that matches your needs. For typical home use, a medium food processor (8 to 10 cups) is sufficient. It can be handy to use a mini-processor for some jobs, and some cooks will keep two different food processors for different uses. Keep in mind that with larger capacities, you'll typically have a heavier, more expensive processor.
  • Power: Larger food processors have more power and can knead bread dough and chop harder vegetables. An average food processor has about 400 watts of power, while professional units might have more than 750 watts.
  • Accessories: The available accessories can determine the best food processor for you. Typical units should contain blades, whisks, and cutting disks. Cutting tools should be well-made and fit securely. Another good feature is a large feeding tube, because smaller means you'll have to cut food down before adding to the processor. Make sure that you can add food during operation. Blender or juicer attachments can save storage space and reduce the need for multiple, expensive machines. However, if you are paying extra for accessory add-on packages, or choosing a more expensive model simply for the additional accessories, make sure you will really use them. Many home cooks end up with a cabinet full of unused accessories, mostly relying on the basic blades and disks.
  • Storage: Especially if you are tight on available storage, consider such options as retractable cords or stackable blades and accessories.
  • Speed: This should not be a major consideration. Food processors usually have two settings: On and Pulse, which are the only speeds you should need. Some machines have a few extra speeds (a Dough setting on some high-end processors, for example), but we haven't found that they perform much better.
  • Quiet models are generally more expensive.

Types of processors include choppers and food processors

  • Choppers are less expensive but less versatile. They are best for chopping herbs, onions, and nuts; mincing garlic; and grating small amounts of Parmesan cheese. They can also puree small amounts of soft vegetables. For small jobs, clean-up would be faster with a chopper than with a large food processor.
  • Food processors take up more space and are more expensive, but they provide a greater array of uses. These are best suited for heavier uses, such as chopping and slicing vegetables and grating hard cheeses. Some models can knead bread or cookie doughs.

Summary

Price Inspector has all the information you need to make a reliable decision when choosing between food processors. Prices can range from £20 to more than £250.

Major Food Processor brands include

Buying Guide to Food Processors
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