Essential Considerations for Buying a Food Processor Made to slice, chop, grind, puree, and more, food processors are kitchen doers and the nearest thing so far to a sci-fi style food preparation robot. But until then, you can rely on a handy food processor. But how do you know one when you see one? Size/Capacity
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Consider your recipe requirements when choosing a food processor according to size or capacity. But do remember that a manufacturer’s listed bowl size may not be the exact amount of ingredients you can add simultaneously. Processors often hold one or two cups less, and even less for anything liquid.
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In any case, when you talk about food processors, size always matters. Too small means the machine will be useless; too big means you’ll have something taking up more counter space than needed. Shopping around, you will find three groups of processors according to capacity: > Mini prep (3-4 cups) – great for minor individual tasks, such as mixing sauces or dicing veggies > Mid-size (7-9 cups) – a larger version of the mini-prep type > Large (11-13 cups) – enough for an entire family’s needs > Extra large (14-20) – best for catering and other large scale food preparations Motor Power The second most crucial consideration when buying a food processor is its motor power. An average size machine should have 400 watts of power, and anything bigger should be at least 750 watts. Obviously, bigger jobs require more muscle. Furthermore, a heavy base is a helpful design element that helps keep the machine stable on the counter while working. Controls As food processors work quickly, the only controls you actually need may be On/Off and Pulse. High-low speeds may be available with small choppers, and a “dough” setting with more expensive machines. Other Important Elements Two design features that can come in handy include covered touch pads that make wipe-downs and cleaning easier, and a marking or line on the mixing bowl for some help with measurements. Maybe most importantly, choose something with a wide feeder tube, which is that chute where you push or pour ingredients into. A bigger chute reduces the need to pre-cut large veggies such as squash or cucumbers. Also included is a plastic food pusher, otherwise known as a prod. You certainly don’t want your fingers as a substitute! Considering how dangerous sharp, buzzing knife blades can be, the best food processors will never start working if either the lid or base is not properly locked into position. So look for locks! Finally, most food processors come with a standard S-shaped metal chopping blade, but pricier models may offer a blunt blade for kneading dough; slicing/shredding discs and other specialty cutting discs; whisks; and juicer attachments.

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