No matter how good their knife skills, just about every home cook can attest to the game-changing power of the almighty food processor. With one of these babies, all it takes is a click of a button or a flip of a switch to turn a 15-minute, fingertip-risking task into a 15-second dream. And don’t even get me started on the money-saving genius that is DIY hummus.
But while they might be bona fide miracle workers, they’re certainly not the cheapest kitchen tool. Investing in a food processor can be stressful if you’re not sure where to start, so we’ve put together five of the best food processors that pass the bang-for-your-buck test.
Tight on counter space? Pick up one of these adorable two-speed processors and get ready to grind, chop, mix, and pureé your way to happiness without crowding the kitchen. Keep in mind that at just 3.5 cups and 240 watts, it’s definitely geared toward smaller projects like guac, hummus, salad dressings, salsas, crushed nuts, and sauces. But if all you need is a little roadside assistance and not a full auto repair shop, it’s an ideal—not to mention eye-catching—choice.($46; amazon.com)
What you see is what you get with this 500-watt, two-speed option. It can slice, shred, chop, grind, pureé, and mix whatever you drop down its conveniently spacious feed shoot quickly, efficiently, and painlessly. It also comes with a smaller four-cup bowl for all your dip-making needs. Tidy and lightweight, this is a good pick for those who value no-frills simplicity over all the bells and whistles of a heavy-duty machine.($52; amazon.com)
One word: reliability. Much like the rest of its stalwart fleet, this trusted machine gets the job done with pinpoint precision. It gets its higher price point from an extra-large feed tube capable of sucking down entire fruits and vegetables, an upgraded 720-watt power supply, and a sleek, streamlined design. It’s ridiculously simple to use (there are just two buttons), quiet as a field mouse, speedier than Mighty Mouse, and the stainless steel slicing, shredding, and chopping blades stay remarkably sharp and shiny no matter how much you use it.($158; amazon.com)
This compact number earns its keep by being one of the most versatile on the shelf. Armed with a 600-watt motor, a slew of easily insertable blades, and 15 different speeds, it chops, slices, shreds, minces, whisks, whips, juices, and even kneads—the perfect helper bee for renaissance cooks. It’s also lightweight and fits together neatly, making cleanup quick and painless whether you’re prepping some pizza dough or dicing up onions.($159; amazon.com)
Sure, it’s the priciest of the group, but anybody willing to fork over the cash will soon see that this is the Cadillac of food processors. Sporting a 12-cup work bowl, multiple feed shoots, an adjustable slicing disc with 24 different settings, and a whopping 1,000-watt induction motor, there’s little this wonder can’t do. We’re talking everything from velvety pureés and grated cheddar to coarsely chopped veggies, thinly sliced tomatoes, ground cashews, and perfectly kneaded dough. If you’re serious about investing in top quality cookware that’ll last, this one is well worth the money. ($240; amazon.com)
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