There are certain appliances which are essential to every kitchen. A good food processor ranks high on the top of that list.
That is because an efficient appliance will assist you with the chores of chopping, mincing, and slicing, enabling you to cook any dish of you choice in a significantly shorter amount of time.
Food processors are the kind of appliances that are a part of almost any kitchen.
The invention of the food processor is not a new one, on the contrary, this little machine was first presented in 1946 by a German company called Electrostar.
However, in the late 40s, electric motors were still pretty expensive and the commercial use of the food processor didn’t start up until the 1970s.
Since then, thousands of catering businesses, restaurants and households have enjoyed the convenience of preparing different meals with food processors.
To assist you in making the right choice and selecting the appliance which is just right for you, we have compiled a list of the ten best options when it comes to food processors and the features that make them stand out.
Criteria for Evaluation
As we already stated, food processors are electric appliances that operate with the help of an electric motor that rotates the blades at high speeds which in turn cut the food into tiny pieces.
They are used for both solid and liquid foods, making them one of the most versatile appliances one can own in their kitchen.
Main functions are as per below:
- Slicing/ chopping
- Grinding foods like dried fruit, nuts, seeds or meat
- Shredding/ grating different types of cheese
- Shredding different types of vegetables
- Mixing/ kneading different kinds of dough
Considering the number of functions and the general use of this appliance, we’ve put together our best food processors review guide.
This review has been prepared by our professional kitchen experts who have tested different food processors through a number of test cases and everyday tasks around the kitchen.
We have picked 4 main evaluation criteria which reflect the quality of the best ones for 2017.
In the sections below we’ll break down the selection process based on the previously mentioned criteria of evaluation.
- Material Quality
- Ease of Use
- Care and Maintenance
It’s important to note that the evaluation criteria aren’t placed in a particular order of importance. We find them equally significant when it come to rating the items in the reviews.
Most food processors consist a plastic bowl that’s closed with an upper lid which prevents the food from splashing outside of the appliance due to the high operating speeds. It is very important that the bowl is made from durable, BPA free, plastic material.
Considering the fact that consumers mix together different types of foods in the processor, BPA free plastic prevents risky food interaction with the internal walls of the food processor.
The upper lid is also an important element. It should be closed tightly to the bowl in order to avoid food release during the processing time. The upper lid, in some types of food processors, is the part where the electrical motor is positioned. Because of this, special attention should be paid to the lid whenever purchasing a food processor.
Almost every food processor on the market comes with a special safety feature which starts the motor only if the upper lid is properly attached to the bowl. This prevents accidents, especially important if you have small children that are curious around the kitchen.
Another vital point when it comes to food processor materials is the blade material. The shredding and slicing disks and the cutting blades should all be made out of stainless steel.
Last but not the least is the element of design. Properly designed food processors provide a fully stable unit during the food processing time. Plus, a good looking one is always desired to complete the look on any counter top.
How the food processor functions is highly dependent on the type of blade or disc you have attached to the bowl. This kitchen appliance is usually equipped with two power buttons which are programmed with a different speed norm.
If you have highly solid food you will need to start with a low speed and further you can proceed with the high one. This is also applicable when you are about to prepare dough. You start with the lowest speed and further switch to the highest one.
The feeding tube is another important element in regard to performance.
The feeding tube is enabling the user to add the food in the bowl. In order for the feeding food to be considered a great one, it should have the adequate size that allows the food to enter the bowl through a “pusher” without risking the individual’s fingers.
As far as wattage is concerned, the food processor works within the range of 500 to 1200 watts. The higher the wattage the higher the processing speed. It is important to mention that the wattage is also directly related to the power consumption norm as well.
With this fact in mind, you should also pay attention to the power consumption rates when looking for the best food processor.
Ease of Use
These are appliances that are generally easy to use, as they’re almost fully automatic. Your work is limited to adding the ingredients in the processing bowl, attaching the blades of your preference and pushing the power button.
Here, the power cord becomes an important point too. One of the main concerns being discovered through user feedback is the length of the power cord. Individuals prefer having food processors coming with a long power cord that allows them to place the appliance wherever they find it convenient.
Stability is also an important factor in this section. Considering the fact that you will be grating or chopping solid foods like nuts, dried foods, etc. the unit might become unstable if it is not properly designed to provide outstanding stability. We need to mention the fact that stability also depend on the place where you settle the appliance.
Another element in terms of ease of use is the measuring line. If the bowl is designed with a measuring line, it becomes easier for the end user to add ingredients at the respective measure provided in a given recipe.
Care and Maintenance
Taking care of the food processor might seem like a complex task. It is an electrical appliance, thus individuals envision that special care should be taken during the washing and cleaning process. As we previously mentioned, the electrical motor is situated within the lid, thus, this is only part that has to be cleaned carefully.
In fact, all it requires is a sponge soaked in water and diluted soap. You soak the sponge in this mixture and start washing the lid. Once properly soaped, you rinse it off with clean water. When the cleaning process is finished, the lid should be left to rest and dry.
As far as the bowl is concerned, it is usually a dishwasher safe part together with the blades, the disks and other detachable parts as well. Each food processor on our list is sold with a detailed instructions manual that explains the right cleaning directions.
When creating this guide, we only included models that are considered easily to be taken care of. We need to emphasize that the lid should never be soaked in water or in a dishwasher.
When it comes to maintenance, being an electrical equipment, the food processor usually comes with a product warranty. This warranty is mostly focused on the electrical elements of the unit, but it does not including possible damages caused by the user.
Q. What can a food processor do?
Most of the food processors are sold as multi-functional appliances. Their functions vary depending on the type of blade or attachment you are using. Some of the main functions include:
They can slice all types of vegetables and grind different food categories, for ex. meat, dried fruit, nuts, herbs, seeds, etc.
Q. What is the difference between a blender and a food processor?
The blender’s only function involves the pureeing or blending of food. This appliance also needs water to work which can be a drawback when a limited amount of water is required. On the other hand, a food processor is capable of processing food without any water and can also slice, chop foods, and even knead different kinds of dough thanks to the various detachable parts.
Q. What should I look for exactly?
Ideally, it should have a safety feature which prevents it from starting without being shut properly or adequately fastened to the base. It should also be quite powerful to ensure it processes your food with maximum efficiency. Also, its controls must be user-friendly to enable you to use it with a minimum fuss.
Q. What other additional functions are they capable of?
Some come with a dough blade which is helpful for baking. There are food processors that also come with leak resistant features which make it possible to work with a full bowl without the risk of creating messy splashes all around your kitchen.
Q. Why is my brand new processor not turning on?
Usually, these appliances come with a dual safety lock for protection purposes. This mechanism initiates the food processor only when the bowl and the lid are placed in the exact matching position.
All the best ones come with an instruction paper which explains and gives a detailed description on how the appliance should be assembled before starting to process food. Only when you are sure that you have followed the instructions but the appliance is not working, you can contact the vendor or manufacturer.
Q. Why did it suddenly stop while I was using it?
This type of device is commonly being provided with a protection fuse. This mechanism protects the engine from overload. Thus, if you were using the food processor and it suddenly stopped, it might have been because of a possible overload. Trying to immediately turn it on will not solve the issue.
That is why it is strongly recommended to turn it off and let it rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, you can try to turn it on and if it is still not functioning, let it cool again.
During the cooling procedure, the power button should be “off.” If even after the second cooling procedure the device will not function, you can contact the vendor or manufacturer to have further instructions or proceed with maintenance.
Q. Is it possible to use the main blade when processing dough or pasta?
Usually, these appliances are equipped with a featured kneading attachment. This one is designed for preparing dough and pasta. It is highly recommended to use this kneading attachment and not the main blade when you are about to process dough.
Q. Does it allow you to process hot food?
With a certain level of caution, you can. It is usually recommended that when you are about to blend hot liquids in it, you have to divide the amount into parts. This should be done even in cases when you see that the appliance can hold the whole quantity of hot food. This recommendation comes because when you process hot foods, the liquid may come up and get out the edges because of the steam. This effect can impact the lid tightness as well.
Q. What is the function of the “pulse” option for?
This function enables the user to chop certain soft food like onions, boiled eggs and similar. Instead of puréeing the food, this option will cut it in pieces ensuring that the whole quantity is equally processed. Apart from chopping, this function allows the user to add eggs to food or flour to the dough. Users should be careful when using the pulse function in order to achieve the maximum benefits.
Q. What is the wattage of the processor?
These type of appliances usually operate with a maximum of 700 watts. This is because the process of chopping, cutting or slicing does not need high amounts of electric power. There are certain food processor functions that require more power. Mixing dough, for instance, requires more power than the other processes.
Q. How should the lid and feeding tube be set?
The lid is very important because it is the part that assures your safety and prevents possible food incidents (spilling). You should pay attention to the lid and seal it right. When it comes to the feeding tube, the main element is width. The wider it is, the better for you. It will allow you to put large amounts of foods without needing to cut them beforehand.
Q. The importance of body stability?
Different functions make food processors prone to possible vibrations. These vibrations become stronger when you are processing hard foods in larger amounts. Because of this, you should always pay attention to the body and basis of the appliance you are about to buy. The best recommendation is to select a reliable body appliance with a wide base that will be able to ensure proper stability.
Q. What is the best approach and practice to smash solid ingredients?
Food processors are a great solution when you need to puree solid ingredients. But most of the users are not familiar with the tricks that make an excellent puree. To achieve a fully smashed amount, you should put smaller amounts of ingredients into the bowl. This process should be done gradually.
Q. Which are the best-recommended practices for slicing, shredding, and grating?
The trick for an outstanding slicing, shredding and grating food delivery stands behind the speed.
If you are about to slice or shred foods that are categorized as soft or juicy, you have to use low processing speed. When you are about to slice, shred and grate foods of hard nature, you have to use high processing speed to achieve the best results.
Q. Is it possible to crush ice using a jug blender?
The blades are made of heavy steel which means that they can crush the ice cubes without being affected from their hardness. The only caution you have to take is to follow the paper of instructions to use the necessarily detachable lid for this purpose.
Q. What does the chopper attachment do?
If your food processor has a chopper attachment, then it means that your appliance can be used to:
You can use the chopper attachment to chop foods such as meats, vegetables, fruits, herbs, and nuts.
Q. Which are the ways to clean stains created in the plastic parts?
Once the appliance has been in use for long periods of time, it will start to get stained. The reason behind this is that some types of food have a discoloration effect on the plastic.
To fully remove these stains, you can use natural cleaners (avoid chemicals). One of the solutions would be to clean the plastic parts with vegetable oil before washing them.
Q. Is it safe to wash the detachable food processor parts in a dishwasher?
Most of the food processors are provided with removable parts. These parts are usually dishwasher safe.
To avoid possible incidents, users should go through the instruction paper carefully. It usually contains all the necessary information in regards to dishwashing safety of the detachable parts.
Q. Which are the best practices for cleaning an immersion blender?
- First of all the appliance should be unplugged from the power outlet
- The second step is to remove the attachment (detachable part)
- The third step is to put the detachable blender part in hot water. It should rest for several minutes for the food particles to be released from the part.
- Last, you should clean the parts with a sponge soaked in the cleaning solution. Let the parts rest to get rid of excessive amounts of water.