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How to Choose the Best Food Processor

Choosing the best food processor for your family is very important. These versatile machines simplify a lot of kitchen tasks, especially if you have one that suits your family's needs.




There are several things you need to consider when choosing a food processor, so do your homework and don't just buy the first one you see.

What You Can Expect from a Food Processor

Even the most basic food processor will shred cheese in seconds, grate potatoes and carrots, mix biscuit dough, puree food for baby, grind spices, slice vegetables and make instant fresh salsa.

These versatile machines can actually do quite a lot in the kitchen, making cooking much faster and easier.

One food processor can take the place of salad slicers, choppers, grinders, cheese graters, and more. Do you rely on any of these other tools? Perhaps a food processor can help empty out your cupboards and take the place of these many different tools.

Uses for Food Processors

If you don't use a lot of extra tools in your kitchen, you may wonder just what a food processor can do for you.

The most typical uses for food processors include speeding up the chopping of garlic, onions, celery, carrots, and other vegetables to be used in soups, salads and other recipes. You can also use them to mix ingredients for a recipe, turning cooked food into baby food, shredding cheese, cabbage or other foods, slicing onions, beets, cucumbers and more for pickles or mixing dough.

Need bread crumbs? Don't buy them, just put some stale bread or crackers in the processor and you have all you need.

Capacity

You can find food processors that handle anywhere from only three cups all the way up to twenty cups.

You can estimate that most food processors will hold a cup or two less than the manufacturer claims, so plan accordingly.

If you have a large family or often host large meals, you may prefer a larger unit. They do tend to take up more space on the counter and may cost more. Most people find that the best food processor for them is a unit that in the middle range.

Settings

Most food processors come with two settings: Pulse and On/Off. Unless you have a fancier machine that also kneads dough, these two settings are usually enough to handle almost any job.

Feed Tube Size

Take a few moments to decide what types of foods you may want to process in your unit. If you want to do potatoes, cheese and other foods that must be cut up before being added to the processor, a larger feed tube may be helpful to you. This can be an important point when looking for the best food processor.

Noise and Attachments

Food processors are noisy. Models that offer quieter operation may cost more. Is it important to you how quiet the processor is?

Special features like kneading dough, multifunction accessories and more speeds may also add to the cost. Different models will come with various attachments ranging from a variety of blades, kneading tools and even juicers.

Weigh your options carefully; will you actually use that citrus juicer to make fresh juice, or will it just sit in the cupboard? Don't pay for attachments you won't use.

Power

Consider the power you'll need in your food processor. You don't want to be in the middle of grating cheese when you burn out the motor.

For any food processor that holds nine cups or more, look for a motor that is a minimum of 600 watts. Using underpowered appliances to do a strenuous job is not safe.

Brand Names

The most common companies manufacturing food processors include KitchenAid, Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach and Black and Decker.

There will be a few more companies you may see while you shop, but these are the most common names you'll see. The first two will feature food processors that may cost over $100, but they frequently rate high in consumer ratings and test kitchens.

The others may be fine for small jobs, but the motors may not be adequate to stand up to hard work every day. The best food processor for you will be the one that meets as many of your needs as possible and still fits within your budget.





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