This invaluable piece of kitchen kit is bound to save you lots of time and elbow grease, whether you’re blitzing up pastes and sauces or just blending a morning smoothie. We put food processors to the test and picked out our favourite models.
Best for… Small jobs
With a 900ml jug, this has one of the largest capacities of mini food processors tested, but it won’t take up too much space on your worktop. You only get one blade, which is sharp on one side for chopping and pureeing (the texture of my houmous was spot on) and blunt on the other for grinding foods such as coffee beans, which it does a touch coarsely. The bowl and lid click easily into place and the buttons are clearly labelled, although you do have to apply a certain amount of pressure to activate them. The blade also locks into the bowl so there’s no risk of losing the blade when decanting the contents. If all you want a processor for is to chop an onion this is the model for you.
£39.99, available from Lakeland
Best for... Keen cooks
Magimix have a loyal following and chances are if you had one in your family home, you’ve either got one ore are saving up for one. They’re twice the price of most other models on the market, but do they live up to their promises? The answer is an unequivocal yes. This has a mighty 1100W motor, which comes with a 20-year guarantee and automatically adjusts for the task needed. Having said that it's super fast; 10 seconds extra whizzing and you’ll go from chopped onions to onion juice. The wider feed slot is brilliant for slicing things like cabbage for coleslaw, and it also means a lot of things can be sliced in half and popped through, saving time. It comes with a citrus press, which in reality is a bit laborious unless you have 10 lemons to juice! It also comes with a brilliant dough hook, which made the lightest of doughs and a fantastic egg whisk, which is ideal for creating fluffy whites. It's big so you will need the space, however if you want a machine you'll 'grow into' it's worth the investment.
£419, available from House of Fraser
Best for... Baking
Before I begin I should say don’t even think of buying this machine unless you have storage; the amount of attachments is mind-boggling! As well as the usual grating and slicing discs, it comes with a blender, twin-geared metal whisk and folding tool to name but a few. Having said that, every attachment really is brilliant. The metal whisk incorporates more air into the mix (personally I think it's better than a food mixer for this), plus the blender copes with hot food and makes the best soups. As for its basic functions, I found it simple to assemble with an easy-to-operate control dial. It's slightly slower at grating and slicing than other models, even though it has a 1000W motor, but slices evenly and produced the best pastry by far. The integrated scales are a nice touch and save on the washing up, which is always a bonus! It has a working bowl capacity of 1.7 litres so there’s no need to do stuff in batches. A great all-rounder.
£299.99, available from Kenwood
A food processor is like having an assistant in the kitchen. It can chop, grate and slice in record time. But it can also help with a variety of other tasks, from making mayonnaise to flaky pastry. Its primary function is to save you time – chopping carrots and onions for a chilli will take you less than 30 seconds.
What should I buy?
This depends on how much spare work surface you’ve got as to get the full benefit of a gadget like this you need it out of the cupboard and ready to use all the time. Generally, I would say get the biggest machine you can afford as many come with a mini bowl for smaller jobs, like chopping an onion. However, do remember that the bigger the machine the larger the amount of attachments you’ll receive with it and these need to get stored. These tend to come in a storage box but still take up space so look at this when buying.
What we looked for:
Quick to put together: Processors are deceptive, they look really easy to put together but in reality with some models you need a degree and four hours with an instruction book to make sense of what goes where! The final five I picked were speedy to assemble and dissemble for cleaning.
Attachments: The amount of attachments provided will vary according to functionality and model. But some come with everything from shredding blades to citrus presses and integrated liquidisers. I wanted attachments that perform well, are useful and don’t take up precious space.
Power: A food processor’s ability to chomp its way through the job is measured in watts. The more watts a unit features, the more power it will have to offer - ranging from around 600W to over 1000W. I looked for multiple speed settings to suit the food I was processing and a pulse option to give more control.
This review was last updated in November 2016. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.
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