Quote: “There has always been a food processor in the kitchen. But once upon a time she was usually called the missus or Mom.” -Sue Berkman
Sure, most of the things that a Food Processor does, you (or your mom) can do, too. The difference is what time it takes. Hundreds of years ago people had more time to spend on food preparation.
Times have changed.
Today’s busy lifestyles don’t give us that luxury any more. The good news is that we have more technology to help us. In the kitchen Food Processors take over. Even though not completely, but for the most labor-intensive parts at the least.
However, before buying a Food Processor, there are few things you should now. And I am going to cover them in this article.
Please note that the list below doesn’t go in any sequential order based on importance. Each thing to look for in a Food Processor is important but can have different weight for different people.
#1 – Bowl Capacity
Selecting the right size Food Processor depends mostly on the size of your Family. For a family of four I would go with any size around 10 cups.
If you cook large meals, have frequent visitors or cook bigger meals for storage then you may want to choose a larger size. A 14-cup Food Processor should be sufficient in most cases. Larger devices are used only for commercial food preparation.
#2 – Blades
A good Food Processor should have several different types of blades for different functions like chopping, grinding, pureeing and so on.
Other thing you should be looking at is a quality of the material. The best blades are made of stainless steel. They offer the highest durability and performance.
#3 – Power (Wattage)
Basic cutting or chopping doesn’t require too much power. However, certain functions like dough mixing will demand more force.
Depending on the intended use choose the Wattage carefully. To be on a safe side, Food Processor motors with more than 700 Watts should be able to accomplish even those tougher jobs.
#4 – Functions
In my previous article I have offered 33 ideas what a Food Processor can do. Some of the ideas will require different Food Processor’s accessories than others.
Good Food Processors should come up with various blades, disks and attachments. Before you buy one, make sure that these things are included or at least that they can be bought separately.
You don’t want to find out later that your Food Processor cannot perform some of your favourite jobs.
#5 – Warranties
Standard warranty for all home appliances is one year. Some manufacturers value quality of their products and offer extended warranties. In most cases these extended warranties apply to the motor.
Some of the best Food Processor offer longer warranties on parts as well. If you find such Food Processor then you can be assured that it won’t stop working one week after the first year. Probably it will cost you a bit more, but will save more money in the long run.
For example, this medium-range Cuisinart 11-Cup Food Processor offers 5 years warranty on motor and 3 years on parts. This makes it a pretty good deal.
#6 – Juicing
For juicing there are separate appliances called Juicers or Juice extractors. If you plan regular Juicing then I would recommend buying a Juicer. Here you can check my detailed Review of 15 Best Juicers.
However, if you plan to make juicing just occasionally then you may consider buying a Food Processor with such capability.
#7 – Dishwasher-safe parts
Most Food Processors these days have dishwasher safe part. But it never hurts to double check, just in case. The last thing you want is to manually clean your Food Processor after every use.
There is one more important thing what to look for in a Food Processor when it comes to parts…
The best Food Processors do not have any sharp edges or hard accessible cavities where food can get stacked. In these cases it can be difficult even for a dishwasher to reach these places. It would then require manual cleaning or brushing.
#8 – Body
Some heavy loads can cause strong vibrations. Stability is an important factor when it comes to Food Processors.
You should choose a Food Processor that has solid-built body and wider bases. Wide bases will support stability and prevent the Food Processor from moving or dancing on your kitchen counter.
Here are examples of two Food Processors with wide basements and solid bodies for greater stability:
There is one more thing to a good quality Food Processor. It should be able to work continuously for extended periods of times without overheating. Off course, this also depends on the type of load.
#9 – Controls
Majority of Food Processors have just three modes: on, off and pulse. In most cases this is more than sufficient.
However, there are few functions that may require more speed controls. For example, different type of dough may require different mixing speeds. Before committing your money to a particular Food Processor brand, make sure that its controls will support the intended uses.
There are few Food Processors out there which have more speed controls. Like this Hamilton Beach 14-Cup Food Processor that offers 3 speeds, plus one pulse option.
#10 – Lid and Feeding Tube
When it comes to Lid make sure that it does tight properly. Loose lids can cause content to spill out.
In case of feeding tube (chute) this should ideally be as wide as possible. Narrow feeding tubes will require the food to be pre-cut which will increase demand on your manual work.
Some of the best Food Processors have wide feeding tubes with an optional narrower pusher inside it. This should make the feeding of smaller items like carrots easier.
I have now covered the ten most important factors what to look for in a Food Processor before buying. But there is one more last, but not least important thing – that is Price.
First of all, you should decide what price range you can afford. Then look for the best price-value ratio.
My recommendation is not to try to save on a Food Processor too much. You don’t usually buy it too often, so buying a better quality product will not only serve you better but also provide longer lasting service.
I have prepared a detailed Review of the 10 most-popular and best-rated Food Processors. To check it out click here.
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