Food Processor Buying Guide

A food processor can be a handy tool to have in the kitchen, particularly if you spend a lot of time chopping, mixing and blending. Tasks that would normally take several minutes can be easily dispatched in seconds with the right food processor. This food processor Buying Guide should help you to find the perfect appliance for your household.

1. Food Processor Capacity

The capacity of your food processor will depend on the type of product you are buying.

Food processor: Multi-purpose appliances, these have powerful motors and large capacities of around two litres.

Food mixer: Mixers with a capacity of around five litres are available, with their larger bowl more suited for specialised high-volume tasks such as cake mixtures, cream whipping and making dough.

2. Food Processor Features

When considering which food processor to buy, you will need to choose the features that best suit your needs. Do you bake a lot? Perhaps you make a lot of soups or would like the ease of chopping and dicing vegetables quickly. Maybe you’ll want an all-round food processor that does everything. Here are a few of the most common features on a food processor:

  • Chopping
  • Slicing
  • Mixing
  • Whisking
  • Pureeing
  • Blending
  • Whipping
  • Kneading dough
  • Grating
  • Shredding

While some food processors will include all of the above features, some food processors will have only a select few – so ask yourself which features or functions you’ll primarily be using on the food processor.

3. Food Processor Accessories

To get the most out of your food processor, you will need to have a number of accessories to perform different tasks.
Some of these will come with the unit itself, although you may need to pay more for specialised accessories.

  • Knife blades – common to all food processors
  • Dough hook for kneading recipes
  • Grating blade
  • Potato rasp
  • Citrus press or juicer
  • Whisk
  • Jug blender
  • Spatula

4. Food Processor Settings

Most food processors will have three settings: on, off and 'pulse'. The 'on' function makes the processor run continuously, while the pulse setting causes it to blend in short bursts for additional control. More advanced blenders may have different speed settings within the pulse feature (high or low), but a single pulse features is usually adequate for most households.

5. Why a food processor?

Blenders, juicers and food processors perform relatively similar functions. Should you buy a food processor, blender or juicer? That really depends on what kinds of things you want to make. A juicer makes homemade fresh fruit and vegetable juices without any pulp, whereas a blender makes smoothies, silky smooth soups, nut butters, dips and icy cocktails. If you’d prefer a fantastic kitchen all-rounder go for a food processor—it grates, slices and chops up hard ingredients like onions, carrots and other veggies, as well as herbs and soft ingredients like tomatoes, avocados and breadcrumbs to save you precious time. Some food processors can also make dough for bread, pizza and pasta, whisks eggs, whip cream and blend homemade dessert, soup and dip ingredients, so you have the benefits of a food processor and a blender in a single appliance.

6. Care Tips

Food processors are actually really easy to clean if you clean them straight away. Just put a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid and a cup of hot water into the food processor and turn on to the lowest speed for a few seconds, then empty and leave everything to air dry completely before putting away to avoid potential mould issues. It’s important to read the manual before use so you know what foods you can and can’t put in the food processor, and never completely fill it up for safety reasons. To get rid of any unpleasant odours, use a bit of water and baking soda. Be extremely careful when handling and cleaning the sharp food processor blades. Some models are dishwasher safe, so you can put it in the dishwasher after use and the dishwasher will take care of the cleaning for you.

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