Anyone who knows how to cook is aware of the time and effort that goes into preparing for the meal to be made. Things like chopping, mixing and grinding take a lot of time, especially if they’re intended to be finely done. However, this is where kitchen appliances like a food processor come in handy.
Much like other areas of our life, our kitchens, too, showcase smart gadgets. Different types of appliances, including air fryers, microwaves, toasters and grillers not only ease the entire cooking process but act like our personal sous chef. Among all such appliances, food processors are a saviour, unlike any other, for how they help in managing some of the most tedious and time-consuming parts of the cooking process.
What is a food processor?
A food processor is an electric, motor-driven kitchen appliance that facilitates cooking by helping in food prep activities. While they might be similar to blenders and mixer grinders, their functions and usage are multifold. From chopping, slicing, shredding, dicing and grating fruits and vegetables to grinding spices and hard nuts, mincing and blending to make purees, juices and gravies, a food processor is adept at doing all this and fairly quickly. Versatile and multifunctional, it comes with multiple attachments, including jars and blades that help in accomplishing the above-mentioned food chores with ease. All you need to do is attach the right blade to the apt jar to get desired results.
The first-ever food processor was invented in 1971 by Pierre Verdon as a compact household version, which was refined by American engineer and inventor Carl Sontheimer in 1973. What followed was a slew of distinguished models and designs being launched by multiple manufacturers, leading to the appliance’s popularity. Today, there are different types of food processors available in the market, ranging from compact, affordable ones to those with various attachments and smart functions.
How to choose the right food processors for your needs
Here’s everything you need to consider while buying a food processor for your kitchen.
For the food processor to effectively perform tasks, it has to have a powerful motor that can support functions like dough kneading and chopping hard items requiring relatively more power. A 600-watt to 800-watt motor is usually sufficient for medium-sized families.
Ranging from 3.5 cups capacity to 20 cups, food processors come in a variety of bowl and jar sizes suitable for small-sized households and big families as well as restaurants. Choose the capacity according to your family size. For a family of four, 10 to 11 cups capacity is enough.
Attachments and accessories
Food processors often come with multiple attachments, such as jars, discs and blades, to perform different functions. While some are equipped with a myriad of accessories, small and compact ones usually aren’t. Therefore, always consider all the functions you need a processor for before buying one.
If you intend to chop and dice large vegetables in your food processor, it is good to invest in one that features a wide chute to fit them properly.
Cleaning and maintenance
Check whether its parts are dishwasher safe and easy to clean and maintain.
Opt for a processor that has a compact design with a sturdy make (especially the base) so that it can withstand the strain and vibrations without moving across the counter while it’s on and running.
If affordability is a factor, try choosing a model that’s budget-friendly but also delivers high performance. Compare brands and their designs thoroughly before finalising one.
How to use a food processor?
- Set up the base of the food processor on a flat, sturdy counter. It is the heaviest part and contains the motor.
- Attach the bowl or the jar you need to use and secure it properly by twisting it into place and locking it.
- Insert the vertical blade adapter if it comes as a separate and not pre-attached in the centre.
- Attach the appropriate blade (slicer disc, multi-purpose S blade, dough kneading blade and so on).
- Close the work bowl or jar with the lid and secure it. While some models have lids that can be twisted and locked in the attachment jar, others are equipped with a latch to close it properly.
- You can now plug in your food processor and use it.
Mistakes to avoid while using a food processor
Here are some of the most common food processor mistakes that people make and you should avoid.
Not securing the attachments properly
Always ensure that the bowls, blades and lids all fit properly and are tightly closed to avoid the processor from malfunctioning or breaking down.
Loading the bowl before attaching
Only add items to the bowl once you’ve attached it to the base and inserted the blade into the bowl. Not doing so can lead to improper jar attachment with the base. Additionally, it would be difficult to fit and adjust the blade to the jar stuffed with food.
Adding whole hard items without cutting them
Even if you’re using a food processor for chopping or dicing, do not insert whole large vegetables into it. Always cut them up in uniform sizes prior to adding them to the jars.
Forgetting the pulse button
Pressing down the main control button for too long can end up chopping the food into a puree. While this is ideal for blending and making gravies, it is not suited for slicing, dicing and grating. Hence, it is essential to use the pulse button to ensure even results. If your processor does not have a specific pulse button, use the main button intermittently to duplicate the pulse button function.
Applying more-than-required pressure
Applying excess pressure can result in uneven cuts, which makes it essential to use the pusher gently while pressing the food through the chute and let your food processor do the work.
How to clean a food processor?
Cleaning the parts of your food processor after every use is a must to ensure its longevity and maintenance. Below are the steps explaining how to do so in the best way.
- Unplug the food processor and detach the parts carefully.
- With a warm damp cloth, wipe clean the base and the cord followed by a dry soft cloth.
- There are multiple ways of cleaning the rest of the attachments. If they are dishwasher safe, then you can simply place them inside it. Another method is to wash all attachments with warm soapy water carefully with a soft sponge. You can also specifically clean the bowl by filling it with one-third of water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid and running the processor for around 30 seconds.
- Once washed, dry all the parts completely and store them.
Check out the best food processors in the marketplace right now
Jump To / Table of Contents
- Philips Viva Collection Compact Food Processor
- Bosch MultiTalent 3 800 Watts Food Processor
- Preethi Zodiac MG-218 Mixer Grinder
- Hamilton Beach Stack & Snap Food Processor
- Ninja Food Processor with Auto-iQ
- Kenwood MultiPro Express Weigh+
- Magimix 5200XL Multifunction Food Processor
- KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Mini Food Processor
The Philips compact food processor is a multipurpose appliance that your kitchen surely needs. Allowing functions such as dough kneading, chopping, mixing, grating and slicing, this machine makes cooking a lot easier. It is equipped with PowerChop technology facilitating fine chopping and ease of making purees and mixing cake batters.
Powered by a 850 Watts motor, this food processor comes with dishwasher-safe and easy-to-assemble accessories such as multiple blades and leakproof jars. While the capacity of the bowl is 2.1 litres, the appliance features more than 30 functions, two speed settings with pulse and double-sided discs. It takes up less counter space owing to the in-bowl storage facility for accessories.
Image: Courtesy Lazada
Featuring more than 50 functions, including cutting, kneading, grinding, chopping and grating, the MultiTalent 3 Bosch food processor is nothing less than a cooking saviour. Reducing the food prep time to just a few minutes, this appliance, with a powerful 800 watts motor, allows easy handling with two-speed settings and pulse function. This versatile and compact kitchen assistant comes with multilevel six knife blades that make grinding even hard things, such as nuts and coffee beans, an easy chore.
Making up for a smart storage option is the mixing bowl that can also be used for storing the processor’s more than 13 accessories. The material used for the making of this appliance includes stainless steel and BPA-free plastic.
Image: Courtesy Bosch
Powered with a 750 watts motor, this mixer grinder and food processor-in-one make for one of the most popular picks. Known for super fast speed, 3D motor cooling system and safety indicator, this Preethi food processor comes with multi-functional blades and a 2.1-litre Master Chef Plus jar that kneads dough in under one minute. It also features the patented three-in-one Insta Fresh Fruit Juicer Jar that allows pure fruit extraction without seeds and pulp.
The wide feet and sturdy base provide optimum stability to the machine while the control knob in the front offers three-speed settings.
Image: Courtesy Preethi
With simple functions requiring the knowledge of only buttons and blade usage, the Hamilton Beach Stack & Snap food processor is one of the easiest to work with. For that matter, the machine also doesn’t require any locking or twisting to ensure the attachments are assembled securely. With a 450 watts motor, it is capable of performing all the food processor tasks easily and quickly.
The bowls are leak-proof and have a capacity of 12 cups which is sufficient for a family of four to six people. Its Big Mouth chute minimises the task of pre-cutting the items before being inserted. All the parts are dishwasher-safe, and hence, can be washed easily.
Image: Courtesy Amazon
Delivering effortless and efficient performance with a powerful 850-watt motor is this Ninja food processor that’ll make cooking enjoyable and convenient for you. It features the Auto-iQ technology that includes smart food preparation programs developed to provide exceptional results at the touch of a button. The Ninja Blade technology has precision-engineered blades that are durable and built to last. Featuring four unique pause, pulse and process patterns, this model also allows you to take control with manual settings. All the parts are dishwasher safe and the box also includes an Inspirational Recipe Guide to get you started.
Image: Courtesy Lazada
The Kenwood MultiPro Express Weigh+ food processor is an all-in-one kitchen appliance that does the job of kneading, grinding, blending, chopping, grating and slicing in a matter of minutes owing to its Express Serve attachment. Similarly, the Express Dice attachment fortifies the dicing process while the ThermoResist glass blender can even blend piping hot ingredients.
The food processor has an integrated digital weighing scale and variable speed with pulse function.
With a 1,000-watt motor, this food processor promises performance and durability unlike any other. Additionally, all the parts are dishwasher safe and can be stored in the SmartStore bag that comes with the appliance.
Image: Courtesy Lazada
The Magimix 5200XL Multifunction food processor makes for a great pick that’s powered by 1100 watts and features easy-to-use three buttons only to access all functions. Along with a unique three-in-one bowl that can bee used for carrying out several tasks in succession, the set also contains other jars, grating and slicing disks, Sabatier blades and a storage box. Other accessories include dough-kneading blade, citrus press, egg whisk, spatula and a recipe book. It makes food preparation easy, convenient and hassle-free while adhering to all safety standards and comes with a 30-year motor guarantee, three-year parts guarantee and 30-year spare parts availability.
Image: Courtesy Shopee
The KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Mini food processor promises both performance and style, owing to its modish design and the reliable 240 watts motor. Perfect for a single person or a family of two, it is equipped with two speed settings and a pulse function to deliver precise control. While its lightweight and compact design is an added advantage for small kitchens, it is also easy to clean and is dishwasher safe. The parts of this food processor include a BPA-free bowl with a pour spout and a locking blade. You can chop and prepare sauces and dressings easily.
Image: Courtesy Shopee
(Prices of the products mentioned in the story are subject to change.)
(Hero and Featured Image: Courtesy Bosch)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: While a small- or a mid-sized food processor is enough for one or two people, a processor with a capacity of 9 to 11 cups is sufficient for a family of four to six people.
Answer: While a food processor can be used for blending and making purees and gravies, the result would not be as fine and smooth as that of a blender and the texture would be slightly coarse. Hence, if you’re looking to make liquid dishes, such as juices and smoothies, it is better to use a blender.
Answer: Yes, a lot of brands offer a range of replacement parts for their models and even allow free repairs and services under the warranty period as per their terms and conditions.
Answer: No, you should never put hot or boiling food into a food processor. Always allow it to cool down first.
Answer: Standard food processors usually consume 600 to 1,000 watts of power.