How to buy a food processor for all your cooking needs

Spending time in the kitchen making healthy, delicious meals doesn't have to feel like a chore. All you need is the right kitchen appliances that help make it easier.

How to buy a food processor for all your cooking needs

What is a food processor?

Food processors are small appliances that make dinner preparation a little less time consuming.

  • They can reduce the burden of menial food preparation tasks, such as mincing garlic and chopping vegetables.

Food processor vs. blender

  • A blender is great for making smoothies and soups, easily turning solids into liquids. For a blender to work properly, liquid often must be added to whatever you’re blending.
  • A food processor, on the other hand, can take over the job of your kitchen knife when it comes to repetitive chopping, slicing, dicing and mincing.

Types of food processors

There are two basic types of food processors: manual and electric.

Manual food processors: This type of food processor acts as a food chopper and is operated by hand.

  • Food is inserted into the processor bowl and a handle is rotated, pushed or depressed firmly to engage the blade.
  • Manual food processors tend to be compact and are great for small chopping or dicing jobs.

Electric food processors: These food processors make preparing ingredients for a large or complicated meal much easier.

  • They typically come with an assortment of interchangeable blades or discs that allow you to grate, shred, slice, chop and mix as needed.
  • Food is inserted through the feeding tube, and a plunger is used to safely push food toward the blade.

Food processor features

  • Bowl: Holds the processed food
  • Lid: Locks onto the bowl during food processing
  • Attachments: Detachable discs or blades with different cutting patterns
  • Motor: Sits in the base of the processor and rotates the shaft that holds the blade attachment
  • Feeding tube and plunger: Allows food to be continuously and safely added to the processor without having to stop the machine
  • Speed settings: Most processors have on, off and pulse settings

What to consider before buying

Volume and frequency of use: Opt for a small appliance, like a mini-electric chopper or manual chopper if your food processor recipes don’t include a lot of ingredients, or if you don’t use a processor that often. Food processor capacity ranges anywhere from four to 16 cups.

Motor: Higher horsepower motors are stronger and can handle higher volumes of food

Attachments: Consider the food type and processing effect you want and make sure the proper attachments are included

Price: Food processors can vary widely in price from $20 to over $200

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