Greatest meals processor – CNET

Best food processor - CNET

A high-quality meals processor is likely one of the most versatile kitchen countertop home equipment. Relying on the attachment, a superb processor with a strong motor can simply shred laborious or mushy cheeses, grind nuts into powder (or make a nut butter like almond butter or peanut butter), knead bread dough or pizza dough, make a pie crust, cube and slice fruit and veggies or make butter and spreads. You possibly can even make emulsions, soups and child meals proper within the working bowl.

That mentioned, not each electrical meals processor is created equal — as with something, there are stark variations in value, motor efficiency and general sturdiness. It is laborious to leap in and determine one of the best meals processor to your chopping, grinding, dicing and meals prep kitchen job wants. From motor energy to capability, attachments and general worth, we’re right here that will help you discover one of the best accessible choices and present you that one of the best meals processors aren’t all the time those with the most important price ticket.

Learn extra: Greatest blenders of 2021: NutriBullet, Ninja and extra

Meals processors are some of the versatile kitchen home equipment. 


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The opposite issue you would possibly need to contemplate — past energy and price ticket — is how straightforward to wash the meals processor is. Some or all of its elements could also be dishwasher-safe. Even when you need to hand-wash the chopping blade or slicing disk, with the ability to toss the feed chute or primary container within the dishwasher could also be a boon.

I examined seven meals processors, representing main manufacturers and greatest sellers in line with Amazon, Goal and Walmart purchaser opinions. You possibly can decide a meals processor up for as little as $25 or splurge large on an costly professional mannequin for upward of $600. The meals processors I examined are within the center, principally within the $100 to $200 vary made for common residence use. There are additionally mini fashions and extra-large meals processors however the ones I examined are all common in dimension — between 10- and 14-cup capacities. You may also put money into a meals processor attachment if there is a specific kitchen job that you simply want it to carry out.

This is the way it all shook out and my advice for the three greatest meals processors accessible, which we replace periodically.

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It is not fairly (not even just a little), however this German meals processor from Braun’s Tribute Assortment gave one of the best outcomes by far when it got here to mixing and chopping. The hummus from the Braun meals processor was the smoothest of any I made in my testing. After I used the Braun FP3020 as a meals chopper to make pico de gallo, it got here out uniform and finely chopped with out an excessive amount of juice pooled within the backside of the bowl.

The 12-cup bowl is massive sufficient for households and with 15 speeds you may have loads of management over your processing. The power to fine-tune the velocity got here in additional useful after I grated a tough block of parmesan. On excessive, the cheese was uncontrollable in most meals processors, however with the velocity at, say, a 6 or 8 out of 15 within the Braun, I might regular the cheese and information it higher via the feed tube whereas nonetheless grating it totally.

You will additionally get seven attachments to assist make being a house chef straightforward. The attachments are useful for slicing greens, kneading dough, shredding, whipping, juicing and mixing.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

We examined a number of Cuisinart fashions and this one wins for its steadiness of efficiency, worth and options. 

Hummus with the Cuisinart FP-11SV was clean and well-blended. 4 pulses was sufficient to cut up my pico de gallo elements nicely and though getting almonds to a butter consistency took considerably longer on this mannequin (about 10 minutes on common), the end result was clean and well-mixed. 

Shredding cheese was a bit tough because the mouth of this processor’s meals chute is small in contrast with different fashions. I needed to trim down my wedge of parmesan fairly a bit to slot in the chute. Nonetheless, you do get considerate extras like a disc with two shredding dimension choices (superb or medium) and suction cups on the underside of the processor to assist it keep regular in your countertop.

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KitchenAid is a traditional model and whereas its stand mixers are beloved, I am unable to say the identical for the corporate’s meals processor choices. This 11-cup KitchenAid meals processor mannequin labored nicely, nevertheless it wasn’t one of the best performer at mixing and chopping. Nonetheless, you’ll get plenty of attachments and it is a good meals processor for shredding and slicing because it comes with a number of discs for various shred and slice sizes. 

Hummus made with this mannequin had a clean, well-blended consistency with even taste. 5 pulses of the chopping blade did the trick as a meals chopper for my pico de gallo greens and it simply processed almond butter, although the machine did warmth up within the 18 minutes it took to course of the almonds into nut butter, leaving me with questions in regards to the motor. This KitchenAid mannequin does have an computerized shut-off to stop motor burnout, however that warmth nonetheless made me nervous. 

Shredding and slicing are the place KitchenAid actually shines. It has a reversible shredding disc choice and an externally adjustable slicing disc that corresponds to a slider on the entrance of the bottom, so you will get actually particular slice sizes. 

There’s additionally a pleasant storage case included, so you do not find yourself throwing all these blades into your bowl when it isn’t in use. It has a traditional fashion and like all good KitchenAid equipment, it is available in a number of finishes. The value varies relying on which end you select.

Different meals processors we examined

Along with the three beneficial above, we examined 4 different meals processors within the $100 to $400 vary. 

Price contemplating, however inferior to the highest picks above:

  • Hamilton Seaside Skilled Dicing Meals Processor: I used to be impressed by the design of the Hamilton Seaside processor, nevertheless it wasn’t the winner in efficiency and I discovered the button labels and noise stage to be a bit bothersome. At $350, I am unable to suggest the Hamilton Seaside Skilled Meals Processor over better-performing fashions. 
  • Cuisinart DFP-14BKSY Customized 14-Cup Meals Processor: This Cuisinart Customized 14-Cup Meals Processor mannequin carried out nicely sufficient, however you may solely get one velocity choice and only one dimension of shredding disc. The meals processors beneficial above provide extra to your cash than this Cuisinart meals processor mannequin.

Not beneficial:

  • Ninja Sensible Display screen Blender and Processor: This equipment comes with a mixing bowl, processor bowl and a journey cup. With a smaller (5-cup) bowl capability, outcomes have been inconsistent and I’d say it underperformed. The Ninja Sensible Display screen is a small meals processor unit that I’d keep away from in case your precedence is meals processing.
  • Oster Designed for Life 14-Cup Meals Processor: This meals processor simply did not carry out nicely. Hummus had a number of unchopped chickpeas in it and the gusty airflow out of the entrance of the machine was sufficient to blow round gadgets on my countertop. One other meals processor I’d keep away from.

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How we check meals processors

Whereas meals processors can carry out many alternative duties, I selected checks that represented the core features of a meals processor. Most individuals use these kitchen home equipment to mix, chop, puree and shred. 

Having narrowed it down to those key kitchen duties, I selected making hummus, pico de gallo, almond butter and shredded parmesan for the check recipes. These recipes contain a mixture of mixing, chopping, shredding and pureeing that will give me a really feel for the efficiency of every mannequin. 

Hummus was a superb indicator of how highly effective a meals processor’s motor was and thus how nicely the equipment might mix elements collectively into one clean substance. Pico de gallo examined how straightforward it was for the chopping blade to create a uniformly chopped dish made up of elements in various textures and hardnesses. 


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Almond butter allowed me to test the food processor’s ability to puree something like a hard almond into a nut butter consistency. It also required me to run the processor for an extended period of time to see if there were problems with overheating or noise and vibration. I used 16 ounces of almonds in each test. 

The shredding test called for a nice big block of parmesan, one of the hardest cheeses. This tests the grating disc performance as well as the usability of the mouth’s width and the food processor’s food pusher.

I repeated each recipe twice using each machine, with the same ingredients in the same amounts across all brands. 

Read more: 6 essential kitchen tools you didn’t know you needed

What to look for when buying a food processor

Picking the best food processor for you means considering all the features you’ll need for your favorite recipes and common home chef kitchen tasks. 

Capacity

Food processors come in many different sizes and volumes. The size of the food processor is based on the size of the work bowl. I tested models ranging from 11- to 14-cup capacity, but you can get food processors that come with mini bowl and mini chopper options and bowls as small as 3 cups. For a household with two or more people, I’d recommend at least an 8-cup model rather than a mini food processor and, if you have the storage space, spring for a large food processor, just in case. 

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Speeds

Most recipes involving food processors specify mixing or chopping at either a high or low speed and for that reason, you’ll want a processor with at least two speeds and a powerful motor. The most common configuration is a low, high and pulse option. There are some food processors with just one speed, but that’s extremely limiting, so look for a food processor with at least some range of speeds.

My top food processor pick, the Braun FP3020, has 15 individual speeds on one dial. That’s many more than most people will ever need, but it permits real precision. 


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Attachments

While your food processor is primarily two spinning blades, there are a host of other attachments that can expand your processor’s capabilities. Some come with multiple attachments like discs for grating, shredding and slicing, dough blades for kneading bread dough and attachments for whipping cream, chopping nuts, juicing fruits or dicing vegetables. If you know what tasks you’ll do most often, be sure to check that your processor includes the blades and attachments you’ll need, such as the right mixing blade, chopping blade, slicing blade or citrus juicer. Some food processor models, like the Braun, come with a lot of these attachments while for others they must be purchased separately, so depending on your food processing needs this may be something to consider. Remember, attachments shouldn’t be difficult to clean and you should definitely check whether they can go in the dishwasher.

Read more: Get a smart kitchen without buying new appliances

Materials

You may also want to consider the materials from which the food processor is made. If you plan to use it often and are perhaps not the most careful chef in the kitchen, consider a sturdy stainless-steel food processor, instead of one with a plastic base that may be less expensive but more prone to breakage. Most food processor bowls are made from a hard plastic that’s easy to clean and dishwasher-safe, but some are sturdier than others. If you have the opportunity to touch and hold the food processor before buying it, make sure the plastic bowl and its lid are tough enough to handle being knocked around without cracking.

Top food processors compared

Capacity

12 cups

11 cups

11 cups

Dimensions (depth, width, height)

14.9×11.3×15.4 inches

8.0×10.5×15.75 inches

10.17×10.04×16 inches

Number of speeds

15

2

2

Weight

9.8 pounds

11.5 pounds

12.4 pounds

Watts

600

550

360

Price

$180

$150

$239

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