Food processors are a miracle kitchen appliance—one that reduces ten minutes of chopping to thirty seconds. Their various attachments can slice, chop, grate, grind, mix, and purée foods. Cheaper food processors may not come with the accessories to do all these things. But the most common use for a food processor is slicing or grating vegetables, and even the cheapest models perform those tasks beautifully and lightning-fast.
Most food processor tasks can certainly be accomplished with a cutting board, a chef’s knife, and a grater. But if you’re preparing large batches, a food processor will deliver enormous time savings. The larger your batches, the more value you’ll get from a food processor. If you’re making a stir-fry for six people, a food processor can easily knock twenty minutes off the time you’ll spend in the kitchen.
Vegan cooks rely on food processors to make hummus, pesto, chopped or grated vegetables, and puddings. If all this isn’t enough, many food processors can grind wheat berries and other whole grains into flour. Freshly-ground flour produces unbelievably tasty breads. In fact, breads made from store-bought flour can’t compete on flavor any more than month-old ground coffee can compare to freshly-ground.
Buying Advice for Food Processors
Inexpensive yet capable models start in the neighborhood of $50, while prices for high-end units go up to well over $200. More money gets you a more powerful motor, a more stylish design, more cutting tools, and a metal rather than plastic body.
If a food processor is too much horse for you, consider buying a food chopper instead. Mini-choppers are among the most handy small appliances. They instantly handle small tasks like making salsa or dicing onions for spaghetti sauce, and require minimal counter space. Additionally, cleanup time is next to nothing since there are only a few parts to remove and rinse.
Recommended Food Processor Models
Here are a few leading models, ranging from low-cost to premium.:
- Procter Silex: Mini Processor & Chopper (1.5 Cup)
- Black & Decker: Model FP1600B Food Processor (8 Cup)
- KitchenAid: Countour Food Processor (7 Cup)
- Braun: Model FP3020 High Capacity 600 Watts (12 Cup, Made in European Union)