Fresh vegetables are delicious, versatile and rich in vitamins and minerals. However, peeling, chopping and chipping by hand can be boring and time-consuming. A food processor can speed-up the preparation – but what should you look for?
Finding the Right Tool for the Job
Many processors will slice, whisk and whip according to your needs. There are gadgets to suit every wallet, before you decide what to buy, think about some key questions:
What’s Your Budget?
Processors vary from low-cost mini-choppers to high-tech machines that do all the work for you. The trick is to balance what you want with how much you’re prepared to pay.
Hand-held and multi-functional processors are available for under $50. They can chop, juice, shred and blend your favourite vegetables. At the other end of the scale, advanced processors can turn a whole vegetable into a delicious soup with high-speed blending, weighing and cooking functions.
What Will You Usually Use the Food Processor for?
If your family loves soups and smoothies, then a blending function or a jug attachment will be very important. If you love to indulge into a bowl of gratin dauphinoise, then check that there is a fine-slicing tool. If you like courgetti with your Bolognese, then look for a spiralizer.
Think about which of these functions and attachments are important to you:
Chopping blade: This is the basic blade and is very important for chopping, mincing, mashing and making purees.
Blender: The chopping blade can blend, but if you want a smoother and silkier result look for a machine with a jug
attachment or choose a dedicated blender.
Slicing, grating and shredding: Some machines offer a number of discs so that you can vary the size of the result.
Juice press: Perfect for juicing and sieving citrus fruits for your morning OJ.
How Big Do You Need It To Be?
Size matters, if you’re cooking for a couple, choose a smaller processor than if you’re grating carrots for a large family. Think about capacity, they can vary between a mini 1-3 cup machine to a big 12 cup model.
Some processors offer two bowls, so you can use the smaller size for delicate jobs like chopping herbs. If you’re just planning a little pureeing and chopping, then a simple hand-held device may be adequate for your needs.
How much space do you have?
Think about where you’ll place the processor and store the extra blades and bowls. If space is at a premium, go for something compact and easy to stow away. A small processor or stick blender and chopper may fit the bill.
If you need more information about the best food processors in the market today, check out Prepare Your Food’s food processor buying guides.