When you embark on your search for a food processor it can be pretty intimidating at first. There are four to five major brands, each with a catalog of anywhere between 5 to 15+ options, in all kinds of price ranges, and each unit has a set of features that might look like a foreign language to someone who’s never gone through the process of purchasing one before. We’ve put together a little guide for you to understand the main basic features of food processors, the things you might want to look for, and why you might want them. Keep in mind, not all food processors will have these features, and some versions of them will be different than others, but these are the main staples of these countertop devices, that’ll you’ll want to understand and take into consideration before you go ahead and make your purchase.
The first place people generally get stuck is with the bowl size of your food processor. When they range from 3 cup to 15 cup capacities, it can be pretty confusing. Keep this in mind. The smallest versions of food processors are for things like dressings, pe tos, grinding nuts and herbs, and things like that. But you won’t be making any soups or doughs in them. The largest versions of food processors are for people who are making food for entertaining, people who want to be able to make high volume batches of whatever they’re preparing, whether that be dough, batter, or soup. Most people’s needs will fall somewhere in between, but know what your average order is, so you don’t buy too big, or too small of a version.
Chopping, slicing, dicing, shredding, and more can be done with food processors these days. Try to estimate your needs before you purchase. Do you need multiple blades? Are you going to be slicing vegetables and fruits? Do you want to be able to shred vegetables for coleslaw? Remember, more blades doesn’t always make a unit more functional. With a lot of versions, you can also buy accessory blades in the future if you need them.
Things break. It’s a fact of life. You hope that they don’t, but sometimes they do. Your best bet is to feel confidant in your purchase. In many cases, you get what you pay for when it comes to warranties. Some food processors have just a limited warranty for only one year, while some higher end and more notorious brands have up to a 10 year warranty on their motors. It really boils down to how confidant you want to be in your machine, and how much you’re willing to spend, but be sure it’s something that you ask about or investigate before you make your purchase.
For the most part, you’re not going to find a motor that doesn’t chop up a food item. Food processors are designed to do just that, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find a food product that it can’t handle. However, if you’re going to be doing more taxing, longer jobs, with lots of run time for mixing and more, you’re going to want a more powerful motor. Anything over 500 watts of power is really not necessary, unless you have a big industrial 16 cup version. Know that at the end of the day, the motor is the thing doing the job, so be sure that your motor is up to the tasks you’re going to put to it.
Again, it’s going to be hard to estimate your tasks before you’ve ever owned a food processor, but it’s good to hypothesize and try to project them. Most food processors will have an On button, an Off button, and a Pulse button. Any more buttons than that, and they’re probably making things up. Other options are really just changing the speed of the blade, and you should really be doing that with the Pulse button for most jobs anyway. Be wary of units that have too many buttons and features. They may be overcompensating.
Spinning blades necessitate some safety precautions. Most food processors, or frankly all of them, have safety gadgets in place to make sure no one loses a finger. But depending on your uses, and who you think might be using your food processor, you’re going to want to know what safety measures your unit has. Are your kids going to be helping with the process? Is this food processor safe for usage around kids? Most blades won’t engage in any way if the lid isn’t shut with the feeding tube in place, so you should always be fine, but it’s certainly worth consideration.
Some people hide their food processors in a drawer while some people leave them out on the counter. How your food processor looks in your home might be something you want to think about. They come in multiple shapes, sizes, and colors. And while this is probably not of primary concern, it’s certainly a factor. Do a survey to see how you might want your food processor to look on your counter.
A lot of food processors have some little extras that add just enough efficiency and convenience to be pretty cool. Suction cup feet and back panels for cord storage are just a couple examples. Look for smart extras that might put one food processor a notch higher than a similar competitor.
Does it work? It seems silly, but there are some cheaper, low end brands out there that consumers say, simply don’t do the job you want it too. Sure, maybe it will turn an onion into smaller pieces, but not without liquifying it in the process, or other things like that. Check out all of our reviews. We give you the good with the bad. And if something doesn’t work, we’ll be sure to let you know. But before you pick out something for a variety of reasons, be sure that your investigation is complete, and you know it’s going to do what it says it does.
Do your research, and keep the above features in mind, and you should be ten steps ahead of the average food processor buyer!