This question is one of the best places to start when beginning your search for a food processor to add to your kitchen. It can be a little overwhelming with all the variety of choice available in the industry, especially if you’ve never owned a food processor before, to distinguish what your exact needs are. We’re here to help you with that part of the process, by giving you a rundown of the three general classes of food processors. There’s the mini food processor category, the mid-range food processor category, and the large food processor category. We’ve tried to succinctly break down what each of these food processor categories is really best at or meant for, in hopes that you can narrow down your search for the best food processor for your kitchen.
Mini Food Processor
The mini food processor class features a bowl size from roughly 3-8 cups. Most mini food processor are little work horses that are great additions to your kitchen if you need help with smaller tasks. Most mini food processors are sold for doing a quick grind or chop of one ingredient, and then adding it to a recipe. They can also be great for small dose recipes of things like sauces and dressings or emulsions. Mini food processors are most often marketed for chopping nuts, herbs, or a single onion or related vegetable.
In our experience with monitoring reviews online of certain food processors, many people buy a food processor in the mini category, and then complain that the capacity is too small for the jobs they want to do. If you want to be able to use your food processor for jobs like making doughs, soups, bigger batches of sauces, or salsas, or chopping up multiple different fruits or vegetables at the same time, then a mini food processor probably isn’t for you. If you just want a quick helper in the kitchen to do some of the chopping or slicing for you as you go along your recipe, a mini might just be the perfect little counter top addition to your kitchen.
Mid-Range Food Processor
The mid-range food processor class features a bowl size from roughly 9-12 cups. This range of food processor is where most main stream food processor buyers are going to fall. Not only do you get a product that is still within a fairly inexpensive price range, you also are getting a unit that will accommodate nearly any and all jobs you throw at it. When you’re looking for the highest level of versatility you can encounter with a food processor, this range of units is the best place to look. The mid-range food processor can do all of the things that the mini-food processor can do, but it’s also marketed as just having a higher capacity in general, so more vegetables, higher quantities of sauces, etc. can be accomplished with this unit. You’re also able to get into things like batters, doughs, soups, cole slaws, and more, that you can’t handle with a unit that’s much smaller than this capacity.
If you feel like there’s too many options in the mid-level food processor category, and you really only need a food processor to supplement your cooking process, then the mini might be a great option for you. On the other hand, if you think that you’re going to doing some cooking for large groups, or making recipes for parties, if you do lots of entertaining in your home, or even if you find yourself cooking for the week ahead of time and wanting to make large quantities of recipes, then maybe a large food processor might be the next best choice for you.
Large Food Processor
The large food processor class features a bowl size from roughly 13-16 cups. This is the workhorse class of food processor, and are really tailored to the more industrial home chef, who plans on making big recipes, and generally participates in big quantity cooking. They also tend to have the strongest motors, and the most features, because they’re supposed to be able to accommodate every job from the classes below them, plus more. The first thing to keep in mind when buying a large category food processor is they’re going to be more expensive than the other categories; sometimes by a lot. Keep in mind, these are top of the line units, that have the best motors, the best blades, the most options, and biggest overall presence, so their price is generally deserved, but just know that you’re going to be making a much bigger purchase than the other two categories.
Often large size food processors are actually used for commercial kitchens, whether it be a food shelf, a restaurant, or again, for entertaining large groups of people in a home, large food processors are built for big usage. The biggest percentage of consumers will not have a need for this type of food processor. Just to give you an idea of the difference, a mid-range 12 cup food processor can feed four people roughly 16 ounces of soup, so anything above and beyond that is getting into an area that most families just don’t have a need for in their home. However, the large food processor is definitely a good choice for people who have a need that goes above and beyond the most common, or every day food processor interactions.
In todays market, there will most certainly be a food processor for any and every kitchen, and any and every need. And when you first start looking this can be an intimidating fact. But if you start by examining what you want to do with your food processor, how often you think you’re going to use it, and the types of recipes you have in mind, you can begin to narrow down your search, and pick the best size that won’t take up more space than you need, but will also accommodate the jobs you want to use it for.