Save yourself time and elbow grease whether blitzing up a sauce, dough, soup or smoothie – we put food processors to the test to find our favourites.
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Best… all rounder
KitchenAid food processor 3.1L
This reliable, sturdy processor has a large and smaller bowl (the mini one easily stacks inside). With a pulse button and two standard speeds, the slower is ideal for softer veg that may quickly become mush on a faster setting. There is also a reversible shredding disk with coarse grates on one side and fine on the other. Both produced consistent results in our carrot and cheese grating tests. We particularly liked the slider control on the front of the machine that safely adjusts the blade setting on the slicing attachment. The slicer is quick and efficient, producing neat and even pieces. The width of the feeding shoot can be adjusted, too, by removing one or two tubes from the food pusher. The narrower width helps keep slender carrots and celery sticks under control, preventing them from toppling and getting trapped under the lid.
Best for… small jobs
Cuisinart compact mini food processor
Best for… keen cooks
Magimix 5200XL Premium BlenderMix food processor
Magimix have a loyal following and chances are, if you had one in your family home, you’ve either got one or 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 30-year guarantee and automatically adjusts for the task needed. It's super fast, too – 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 is a bit laborious unless you have 10 lemons to juice. But it also comes with a brilliant dough hook, which made the lightest of doughs, and a fantastic egg whisk, ideal for creating fluffy whites. It's big so you'll need space. However if you want a machine you'll 'grow into' it's worth the investment.
Best for… baking
Kenwood FPM810 MultiPro Sense food processor
You will need storage space before buying this machine – 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 is brilliant. The metal whisk incorporates more air into the mix (personally we 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, we 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.
Best… budget buy
Rather than the traditional motorised base, this processor has a powered ‘Master Pod’ that locks into the lid of the bowl to drive the blades. To operate, you hold down a large button on the pod, pressing in short bursts to pulse or for longer periods to blend. There are two processor bowls (500ml and 1.25 litres) and a large blending jug (1.5 litres) with a well designed pouring spout. Each have multiple stacked blades for efficiency and speed. The small chopper turned bread chunks into even crumbs in seconds and the blender crushed ice with ease. The pancake batter it whizzed up was smooth with barely any flour left hiding under the blades. It is a basic machine with no feeding tube, grating or slicing attachments, but if you only want to chop and blend then it’s great value for money. The blending jug and bowls are solid and also microwave and dishwasher safe.
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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, we 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 be stored. These tend to come in a box, but that still takes up space so think about 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 we 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. We 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. We looked for multiple speed settings to suit the food we were processing and a pulse option to give more control.
This review was last updated in November 2017. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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