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How to Choose a Food Processor

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Food processors simplify the cooking process by cutting down on your food preparation time. Unlike blenders, which require liquid to blend, food processors can chop, dice, slice, and blend dry foods. From vegetables and grains to nuts or even dough, a food processor quickly eliminates the tasks that are often the most ​time-consuming during food preparation. Keep reading below to find out the different sizes and capabilities for food processors so you can find the right one for your cooking needs. 
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Capacity / Sizes
Keep in mind the amount of food that can actually be added to the processor at one time is generally about a cup less than the total bowl capacity. 


Mini Processor

  • Also referred to as a food chopper
  • 3-4 cup capacity
  • Great for chopping, dicing, and mincing foods like nuts, sauces, herbs, and garnishes 

Mid-Size Processor (Chef or Pro-Line)

  • Most common processor size
  • 7-9 cup capacity
  • Average-size bowl that works great for most preparation needs 

Large Processor

  • 11-13 cup capacity
  • Great for preparing meals for families or small gatherings


Extra-Large Processor

  • 14-16 cup capacity
  • Ideal for doubling recipes and entertaining large groups 

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Blade Types

Sabatier (standard "S" blade): Ideal for shredding and general chopping. The "S" blade is placed on the bottom of the bowl. 

Slicing Disk: Another standard blade attachment, slicing disks offer fast slicing action from the top of the bowl as ingredients are pushed down through the feeder chute. Available in a variety of widths for desired slicing thickness; look for a julienne or french fry disk for long, thin strips.

Dough Blade: With paddles that are slightly less curved than the standard "S" blade, this one offers a gentler cut for dough making. 

Puree/Juice Blades: Used to liquefy ingredients in conjunction with a blender attachment, this appliance that does double duty.

Egg Whip: These two straight blades with paddles are great for fluffy egg whites and whipped cream. 

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Features

Safety: Look for food processors with a locking mechanism that prevents the blades from moving unless the lid is securely in place.

Aesthetics: Before purchasing a food processor, consider how much counter space it will take up and if you want the aesthetics to match your existing appliances. 

Control Settings: Food processors generally feature two control settings: On/Off and Pulse. Some high-end machines may have a dough setting. 

Feeder Tube and Pusher: A feeder tube offers a chute for pouring ingredients into the machine. Look for a double feed tube or an ultra-wide mouth to easily add larger ingredients like cucumbers or potatoes. A plastic food pusher ensures you can get the food into the bowl without using your hands. 

Always check the manual before washing; most manufacturers recommend only ​washing blades or discs in the top shelf of the dishwasher.

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