When you are looking to buy a food processor, you will be bombarded with so many different colors, bowl sizes, attachments, and accessories your head will spin. With so many choices, the really important ones might get lost in the shuffle. Here are 5 features you need to be on the lookout for.
The most important and obvious item is the bowl size. Bigger is not always better. You can get a bowl as small as 3 cups, called a food chopper, up to a 20cup size! Sure it has the capacity to hold the entire meal at once, but when you aren’t using it you have to give up a LOT of counter space. Unless you regularly hold large gatherings, a 7-11cup bowl will suit most needs.
Along with bowl size, take note of the motor power. What’s the use of a large capacity food processor if the motor doesn’t have the power to cut up a raw potato? The motor or base is the heart of your unit. You want to find the most powerful motor with your desired capacity. This WILL make the unit heavier but that’s ok because that weight will help keep it from walking across your counter, or worse OFF the counter! This shouldn’t be a problem with most of the major brands, but if you are looking at off brands to save some money, this might be an area where they will try to shave off a few bucks.
While we are still looking at the base and bowl, take a good look at the feed tube. This is the vertical tube on top of the bowl where you insert the food to be cut up. You want to find one as large as possible. This is what will determine how much ‘pre’ cutting you will need to do before you can actually use your processor for what it was designed for. Say you need to chop up a large potato. If it won’t fit in the feed tube, you are going to have to slice it into smaller ‘strips’ beforehand. You bought the food processor to make meal prep faster and easier but with a small feed tube it becomes a 2 or 3 step process.
You’ll also want to make note of blades that come with the unit. Most of the time these can be bought seperately if needed, but it’ll save you the hassle and money if you can just get them up front. You will usually get a large steel blade, dough blade, and some slicing/shredding discs. The slicing/shredding disks can be either all metal or plastic disks with metal inserts. You may not need all these blades immediately, but it’s better to have them and not need them. They might even give you more ideas of how you can use your unit.
The last item to look for when comparing models are attachments. These can range from a smaller bowl to more easily chop herbs, saving the cost of a small food chopper, to a continuous feed shredder that bypasses the bowl when you have a large volume to process. This would be useful for shredding lettuce or cheese so you don’t have to keep emptying the bowl. Again, this isn’t a neccessity but it might make your life a little easier when preparing for a big party.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when you buy a food processor . The base, bowl, and feed tube being the most important as you can’t change those without buying a whole new unit. The extras are nice, but they are just that..extras. You can always add those later on if you find a recipe that could be made more easily with your new processor.