Let’s face it. After grinding out an 8 hour shift at work or taking care of the kids all day home, the last thing you want to do when dinnertime rolls around is knead a huge hunk of dough or grate up an entire block of parmesan cheese.
But food prep doesn’t have to be a pain. In fact, cooking can be both fun and relaxing– provided you have the right tools. If you head into the kitchen well-equipped, you won’t have to work hard to prepare tasty, healthy, home-made meals.
With the help of a food processor, you can reduce your preparation time dramatically.
Beginning cooks and pros alike can enjoy the many benefits of owning a food processor. The question is– which food processor should you choose? When it comes to food processors, there are so many options out there that selecting which one to buy can be a problem.
Full size blenders are very powerful, but they’re also expensive– and some can be hard to clean. Mini food processors, on the other hand, are great for small jobs like grinding up bread crumbs and nuts. Yet, some are cheaply made and fall apart easily.
If you are interested in buying a food processor but need help narrowing down your choices, you’ve come to the right place. The guide you are about to read is the result of many hours of hard work and research. Enjoy!
Food Processor Basics
Food processors are machines designed to save you time in the kitchen. They perform repetitive tasks and save you from having to chop, slice, grate or knead.
Food processors are kind of like blenders. The main difference between a blender and a food processor is the blades. You can’t switch out the blades of a blender, but food processors come with many different interchangeable blades.
For example, almost all food processors come with a “S” shaped blade that is used for chopping. Another common blade type is the grating blade. Grating blades are circular and contain many holes. Also, many food processors come with a plastic egg whisk blade you can use to prepare scrambled eggs.
Of course, not all food processor blades are created equal. Blades that are made from quality materials tend to last a long time, but low quality blades tend to go dull very quickly. Also, some types of blades are much easier to clean than others.
Why Buy a Food Processor?
- You’ll save time. Imagine having a little robot servant that does all the boring stuff related to cooking for you. That’s what a food processor is! The best thing about owning a food processor is that it saves you time in the kitchen.
- You’ll save money. The money most people spend on food packaging and processing really adds up fast. Once you have a food processor, you can start buying ingredients in bulk.
- Knives are dangerous. Making a mistake while chopping food up the manual way could land you in the hospital. In 2011, MasterChef contestant Kennedy Leitch sliced off the top of his finger with a potato peeler. Things got bloody again in 2013, when cook Jessie Lysiak cut through her fingernail with a mandoline slicer.
- You’ll eat healthier. Everyone knows that food made in factories is bad for you. Over time, preservatives and additives found in fast food and junk food will ruin your health. That’s why more and more people are learning how to cook their own meals. Of course, it takes some extra effort to eat healthier. If you use a food processor to save time when you cook, you won’t have to work as hard.
- You’ll become a more creative cook. Everyone loves to eat good food. What better way to impress your friends, loved ones or coworkers than by whipping up a delicious meal or snack? You can do some pretty amazing stuff in the kitchen with the help of a trusty food processor. Jump down to the next section to get some ideas.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Food Processor
- Price. When they first came out back in the 1970s, food processors were quite expensive. Today, the average food processor costs about 35 pounds– the same price as a high end coffee maker. When shopping for food processors, keep in mind that price doesn’t always indicate quality. Some of the most reliable food processors are actually quite inexpensive.
- Size. Before you buy, take an honest look at your kitchen and decide if you have enough room for another large appliance. Full-size food processors are rather bulky– they’re about as large as most toasters. If you don’t have enough storage space in your cabinets and you have no room on the counter, you may want to go with a mini chopper. On the other hand, if you need to feed a large amount of people you should go with a larger processor.
- Quality. Motors contain many moving parts. Cheaply made motors break down easily. That’s why it’s a good idea to stick to brands that are known for producing high quality gadgets. Whatever brand you decide to go with, be sure to do some research and check reviews first before you buy. Also, only buy food processors that come with stainless steel blades. Low quality blades wear out quickly and require replacement.
- Blade types and attachments. Some deluxe food processors are capable of performing many different operations, but others can only be used on vegetables and soft foods. Also, some food processors can also be used as blenders. Figure out what you need first before you make your purchase.
Which Food Processor is the Best?
As mentioned above, not all food processors are created equal. If you make a mistake and buy a low quality food processor, you’ll get stuck with a broken piece of junk when the motor breaks or when the blades snap apart. Also, some food processors are very hard to clean. Still other food processors are too complicated and difficult to use.
Our Product Research Method
There are lots of different types of food processors out there. To separate the wheat from the chaff, we eliminated food processors that had racked up lots of negative reviews online. Next, we took a look at the specs and eliminated machines with cheap parts. Then, we watched YouTube videos to see these food processors in action. Finally, we scoured Amazon reviews to see how verified purchasers were rating various food processors.
After the dust settled, only 6 food processors remained. Without further ado, we present to you the three best full-sized food processors and the 3 best mini choppers on the market.
The Top 3 Full-Size Food Processors of 2016 (So Far)
All three of the full-size food processors listed below are fine overall machines, but let’s take a closer look to find out what each one has to offer.
1. The Kenwood FPP225: an Awesome All-Around Food Processor
Kenwood is known for making good stuff. The FPP225 is perhaps the best all-around food processor that we looked at. This machine’s sleek design makes it an eye pleasing addition to any kitchen. In particular, we enjoyed the fact that the four suction cups on the bottom of the device keep it steady during operation.
- It’s a great chopper. The FPP225 really shines when it’s time to slice and dice. Most full-size food processors feature a 750 watt motor. However, the FPP225’s 750-watter performs exceptionally well. The FPP225’s secret is its blade design. Unlike most of its competitors, the FPP225 features asymmetrical blades. The uneven blade placement makes chopping more efficient.
- It also functions as a blender. Just switch out the jug for the pitcher and use this device as a blender when you want to make a smoothie.
- No leaks. Some food processors struggle when handling soups or liquids. However, several Amazon reviewers said that they didn’t experience any leakage when using this machine.
- Stainless steel blades. The blades included with this machine are made from high quality steel and should stay sharp for a long time.
- Weak containers. Some people reported that this machine’s plastic containers begin to crack after about a year of continuous use. They are made from plastic, so it’s easy to see how heavy usage may cause them to break. Hand washing the containers instead of throwing them in the dishwasher may extend their lifespans.
2. The Philips Food Processor HR7761/01: Perfect for Beginners
Like Kenwood, Philips is another gadget maker with an outstanding reputation. Like the Kenwood FPP225, the Philips HR7761/01 boasts a 2-speed 750 watt motor, a blender attachment and a large 2.1 liter bowl. If you don’t feel comfortable with kitchen gadgets or cooking in general, this food processor is a good choice. Its many different ease-of-use features make it easy to use.
- Tons of accessories. This is the area where the Philips HR7761/01 really shines. The HR7761/01 comes with even more accessories than the Kenwood FPP225.
- Color coded parts. The color coded parts make this machine super easy to use. That’s why we think that this food processor is the best choice for beginner cooks and technophobes who are slow to adopt new kitchen technologies.
- Philip’s machine didn’t chop quite as well as Kenwood’s food processor. Both machines will definitely get the job done. However, people who bought the Kenwood seemed a little more impressed with its chopping ability.
3. The Kenwood FP120: a Compact, Low-Priced Alternative
The 1.4 liter bowl is a little smaller and its 400 watt motor is slightly less powerful compared to the other full-size processors on our list. However, this machine is also half as expensive. If you have never bought a food processor before and you want to dip your toe in the water, you can’t go wrong with the FP120.
- Great value. Though this machine is smaller compared to the other machines on our list, it’s still a very high quality piece of equipment. The blades are made from high quality stainless steel and the motor is built to last.
- The safety lock prevents accidents. This processor comes with a safety lock, making it safe enough for a child to use.
- Easy to clean. According to many different Amazon reviewers, the blades and attachments of this machine are easy to snap off and clean.
- It’s not for large families. The compact size is a virtue if you are short on kitchen space. However, if you need to feed a lot of people you’d be better off with the Kenwood FPP225 or the Philips HR7761/01.
The Top 3 Mini Food Processors and Choppers of 2017 (So Far)
Mini processors and choppers are great for those who are interested in saving time in the kitchen, but don’t have the space to accommodate a big machine.
After testing out a variety of specialized mini food processors and choppers, we narrowed our selections down to a handful of unique kitchen gadgets. Let’s take a closer look at all three.
1. The Kenwood CH180 Mini Chopper: the Most Popular Choice
There’s a reason why the Kenwood CH180 is Amazon’s number one best-selling food processor: it’s a simply awesome all-around kitchen appliance. If you are looking for a brand name mini-chopper that will make short work of fruit and vegetables, the CH180 is worth a look.
- The most recognizable brand name. With Kenwood, you get high quality customer service and products that you know will last.
- You can clean it in the dishwasher. The entire machine is dishwasher proof, so cleaning it couldn’t be any simpler.
- It’s not for grinding up hard foods or mixing hot liquids. If you want to grind up fresh coffee beans or mix up a soup, you’ll need to go with a different product.
2. The Nutribullet: New Kid on the Block Shows Promise
The Nutribullet is a powerful, trendy kitchen gadget you can brag about to your friends. It’s hard to imagine a sexier mini food processor than this. With its futuristic rocket ship design and ultra powerful motor, Nutribullet looks and feels like the future of food preparation. If you want a small amount of food, soup or juice processed in a hurry, give the Nutribullet a look.
- One of the most powerful mini processors out there. With its 600 watt motor, the Nutribullet is even more powerful than the full-size Kenwood FP120! It can handle all the hard stuff like roots, seeds, stems, etc.
- It’s super easy to use. The Nutribullet spits out whatever you feed into it within a matter of seconds. Because of its small size, it’s very easy to clean.
- It’s pricey. The sleek design and powerful motor is going to cost you.
- Some people say it breaks easily. Either you love this product or hate it, it seems. The vast majority of people who bought this machine loved it, but there were a few that claimed that it stopped working after 3 months.
3. The Duronic CH260: Just Press Down the Top and Grind Away
The Duoronic CH260 is incredibly inexpensive, yet it does its job very well. If you already have a bunch of other kitchen gadgets but you are lacking a food processor, the CH260 is a simple yet smart addition to your cooking toolset.
- Very inexpensive price. This is one of the cheapest choppers we could find. Yet, it works just as well as its pricey competitors if all you want is a basic vegetable chopper. The body itself is plastic, but the motor and blades are made of high quality steel.
- Intuitive interface. You don’t need to be a genius to figure this one out. Just press down on it and– boom! Slice and dice your food instantly.
- Previous versions of this product contained cheap materials. When this product debuted, it was made entirely of plastic. After several people complained about it breaking, Duronic came out with a new version of the CH260. Make sure you get the newest edition if you decide to buy one of these.
- It looks like a coffee maker. There’s nothing sexy or exciting about the design on this one, but maybe that’s the point. It won’t stick out or draw attention to itself in your kitchen.
- Not suitable for liquids. This device is for dry food only. If you’re looking for a combination juicer/food processor, try the Nutribullet.