It seems like almost everyone with a food processor talks about how much they love them and how they couldn’t cook without them. But food processors can be an expensive investment and are prone to taking up valuable counter and cabinet space when not in use.
So, should you buy a food processor? Are the expensive brands worth it?
Our guide is here to help you understand all about food processors to help you figure out if you should buy one and if you need to invest in a more expensive one.
What You Can Do With a Food Processor
Food Processors are a great multi-purpose tool to have in the kitchen. From grating cheese and mixing dough to chopping veggies and making salsa and hummus, food processors can make sometimes tedious tasks significantly easier.
Most food processors nowadays come with multiple attachments. Most commonly, these attachments include a grater with two widths, a slicing tool, and a blending attachment. Essentially, a food processor automates the work of a cheese grater, and mandolin and dicing. This can not only save time, it can also make the task less labor intensive and the clean-up easier.
What Can You Make With Food Processors
Because food processors are such a multi-purpose tool, there is a lot you can make with them. If you like hummus and salsas, food processors make short work of the tomatoes and chickpeas. Find yourself slicing vegetables for coleslaws or homemade potato chips frequently?
A food processor can make this task easy and almost hassle free. Food processors are also good for making dough. While it sounds unconventional, food processors are actually great at mixing and kneading dough, so if you make a lot of pies or pizzas, you may want to invest in one.
Downsides of Food Processors
Even though they are a great multipurpose tool, there are some downsides to food processors. For one, they can take up valuable counter space. If you have a smaller kitchen, you know that counter space is a valuable commodity.
You have to pick and choose what gets to stay on the counter and in the easily accessible cabinets. Food processors are roughly 15½ inches tall, with an 8-by-9-inch base.
If you have the counter space to spare and will be using it frequently, leaving it on the counter is a good idea. Otherwise, you may want to find a storage space for it in a cabinet or nearby closet.
One other thing about food processors that makes them a little frustrating is cleaning them. There are a lot of parts to food processors. This is both for safety and by design.
When you are making something like grated vegetables, clean up is relatively easy. If you are making pie dough or grating cheese, clean up can get messy fast. It takes careful patience to clean a food processor, so be aware of that before you buy one.
Finally, food processors do not do that same work as a blender. If you want to make smoothies or margaritas, you are better off using a blender. Food processors are not the best at thorough blending so you can end up with ice and fruit chunks if you aren’t careful.
Expensive Food Processors: Worth the Price Tag?
Food processors are kind of like knives as far as price is concerned. You can find a really good food processor that gets the job done and doesn’t cost a lot. Sometimes, this food processor can’t stand up to extreme use and can die quickly if it is used more than once or twice each week.
If you are looking for lasting power, go with a more expensive option. They last longer and can handle doing food processing work almost daily.
In order to highlight what we mean, we have chosen three food processors to compare: a lower priced model, a mid-range model, and a high priced model.
For the lower end of the price spectrum, we chose the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor. Costing just over $36, this food processor has 450 watts of power and 2 speeds plus a pulse chopping blade and a slicing and shredding disk.
Online reviews are generally positive until the product stops working. It has about a 2-year life so if you are going to be using your processor a lot, this may not be the best option.
As far as the mid-range priced processors go, we like the Cuisinart FP-8SV Elemental 8-Cup Food Processor. While it has a slightly lower capacity than the Hamilton Beach Food Processor and slightly lower power but still has all the chopping and slicing parts that the Hamilton Beach one has.
Online reviews rave about this processor. The only slight complaint is from those who want to use it to make doughs because the lid can sometimes fit a little loosely.
Our high-priced food processor is none other than the KitchenAid KFP0930ER 9-Cup Food Processor. Known as the top manufacturer of food gadgets, KitchenAid’s food processor does not disappoint. With a 9 cup bowl, 3-in-1 mouth feed tube, three power settings, and five different slicing and chopping blades, this food processor can do it all.
There are nothing but overwhelmingly positive reviews. If you are going to be using your food processor a lot it’s worth it to splurge on this one.
Conclusion: Expensive Food Processors Can Be Worth It
If you are looking for a food processor to use every day, it is better to go with the more expensive brands; however, if you just need something to slice and dice a few times a month, the lower priced options will get the job done just fine.