The Cook's Small Appliance
This food processor from Cuisinart features multiple bowls for blending and chopping.
For cooks who want to get large jobs done fast, food processors will chop veggies, grate cheese, slice walnuts and more. Food processors are also great for mixing and kneading thick dough for bakers.
When looking at your needs for a food processor, consider how much you’ll be chopping and dicing in your machine. While smaller models are available in six to eight cup sizes, full models and professional grade models range from 9 to 20 cups. Finding a bowl size in the middle—one that holds 11 to 14 dry cups of ingredients—allows for larger mixing jobs without being so large that it becomes difficult to store.
The plastic bowl rests on top of the food processor’s motor, where the metal blade or other attachments go to work. The bowl’s lid often features a feed tube, allowing ingredients to be added with the lid on and while the machine runs.
Like other food prep appliances, the food processor uses more power to process mixing jobs more easily. Processors usually range between 500 and 1200 watts. All models will come with at least one speed, if not more, and a pulse setting for mixing cookie dough and other thick jobs. A safety lock often comes standard on food processors, keeping hands safe when the lid has not been replaced before turning on the appliance.
These attachments from Cuisinart are easily stored in their cubby.
Food Processor Attachments
Plenty of attachments fit over the food processor motor to give a wide variety of slicing, chopping and grating options. Even juicers can be attached to the motor for quick orange and lemon juicing.
Select your attachments based on what your biggest needs are. If you find yourself scraping your fingertips on cheese graters, try a variety of sizes for shredding discs to achieve just the right sized slice of cheddar. Perhaps if carrot sticks or French fries are your thing, a julienne disc will do the job of slicing easily.
Most models will include at least a few of these attachments and a storage case for them. Extra attachments for specific needs can be bought individually.