Food processor buying guide
We’ll help you compare product features and specs to find a food processor that can chop, slice and mix all of your favourite foods.
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Best Rated Food Processor Brand: ALDI
The name ALDI is almost synonymous with value, and this food processor is no exception. Not only did it score the highest for value for money and ease of cleaning, but it also had the best ranking for performance.
Quick facts about food processors
- A food processor can help you chop, slice, mix, grate and perform a wide range of other food-preparation tasks.
- Prices ranging anywhere from $50 to $700.
- You'll need to consider the size and capacity of a food processor before you buy, as well as the attachments and accessories it comes with.
What is a food processor?
A food processor is a multi-functional appliance that can help make food preparation quicker and easier. Food processors feature blades for chopping, slicing and grating, while some models also come with attachments to tackle tasks like kneading dough and whisking.
Name a food-prep task and there's a good chance a food processor will be able to do it. This includes:
Types of food processors
The most basic food processors are designed to help you chop ingredients for cooking. These mini choppers come with chopping blades, a bowl and not much else, but they also feature budget-friendly price tags.
However, the majority of food processors are versatile enough to tackle a wide range of food-preparation jobs in the kitchen. They feature attachments for everything from shredding to kneading, larger capacities to suit the cooking needs of a family, and powerful motors to handle labour-intensive tasks.
You'll also be able to choose between food processors from a range of major appliance brands, including:
- Russell Hobbs
How to compare food processors
To find the best food processor for your needs, you'll need to compare a range of products and the features they offer. If you're ready to buy, check out our round-up of the best food processors available in Australia.
Keep the following factors in mind when comparing food processors:
Size and capacity
You'll need to choose a food processor that's large enough for your home. Most models have a bowl capacity of between 1 and 3 litres.
It's also a good idea to check the specs sheet for the dimensions of the processor. If you've only got limited bench or cupboard space to work with, size really does matter. The weight of the unit is also important if you'll need to put it away in a cupboard for storage purposes.
Attachments and accessories
Think about the tasks that you want your food processor to tackle – this will help you determine what attachments and accessories you need. For example, are you just looking for something to handle all basic chopping and slicing tasks, or do you want a machine that can help you puree baby food, knead dough and chop nuts?
Check what attachments come with the food processor and how you can use them in your kitchen. Items like S-blades, slicing discs and shredding discs are common, while some models also come with dough kneading tools, citrus presses, French-fry discs and more. Depending on your needs, those extra attachments could be regularly-used essentials or just needless extra clutter in your kitchen cupboards.
Check how wide the feed chute is to work out how much chopping you'll have to do before you can put items in the food processor.
The food processor you choose will need to have a motor that's powerful enough to handle whatever you throw at it. As a general guide, many food processor motors have at least 600W of power, but there are also several popular models with lower power ratings.
Speeds and settings
Most food processors have an "on" setting and a "pulse" function for short bursts of power. High-end models sometimes also offer a wider range of variable speed settings.
Ease of use
Do some research to find out how easy the food processor is to set up and use. Are all the controls easy to understand? Does the manual provide clear instructions? Does it come with a box or compartment where can you store extra blades and attachments when they're not in use? Are there any other features that enhance usability, such as built-in scales or extra feed chutes for adding oil or other small ingredients?
Ease of cleaning
Consider how easy the processor will be to clean. Are there cracks or raised edges where mess might accumulate? Are the removable parts dishwasher safe?
Basic, compact food choppers start out at less than $100, while some high-end food processors can set you back $600 or $700. However, most models are priced somewhere in the $100-$400 range. As a general rule, go for a higher-priced model if you want a larger capacity and the ability to tackle a wider range of kitchen tasks.
Additional features to consider
- Safety features. Does the processor have a sturdy, non-slip base to stop it moving around when it's in use? Does the lid attach and lock securely? Is there a feature to ensure that the motor won't start unless the processor has been properly set up? Is there somewhere to securely store the power cord when it's not in use?
- Customer reviews. Check out reviews from other people who've bought the processor to find out how it stands up to real-world use. You can find reviews on the websites of appliance retailers and independent sites like productreview.com.au.
- Design. If your food processor is going to be on display on your kitchen bench, you might want to consider its colour and the materials used in its construction to make sure it matches the rest of your kitchen decor.
- Warranty. Finally, it's worth checking the length of the manufacturer's warranty and what it covers before you buy.
Food processors vs blenders
What's the difference between a food processor and a blender? Though there are some similarities between these two kitchen appliances, they're actually used for different tasks.
While food processors can tackle a wide range of food-prep jobs that generally require lots of manual labour, blenders are used to blitz and combine ingredients into liquids. So if you're looking for an appliance to help you make smoothies, soups and purees, a blender may be a better choice. Check out our blender buying guide for more information, or you may want to consider a food processor that comes with a jug blender attachment.
If you're interested in making pulp-free fruit and vegetable juices, you might also want to check out our juicer buying guide.
3 things to think about before you buy
There are a few other important factors to consider before you buy a food processor:
- Will you use it enough? A food processor can make a wide range of food-prep tasks easier, but it’s not necessarily an essential appliance. Think about how often you’ll use a food processor, as well as how much time and effort it could potentially save you, before deciding whether or not to buy.
- Compact option. If space is at a premium in your kitchen, you might want to consider a basic food chopper rather than a larger food processor. Some stick blenders also come with chopping tools and bowls, and will take up much less space than a full-size processor.
- Wide chute. One crucial but often overlooked feature of a good food processor is a wide food chute. The wider this chute is, the less pre-cutting you'll have to do before feeding items into the processor. This will help you save time and energy in the kitchen, so pay special attention to the chute size when comparing food processors.
If you decide that you need a food processor for your kitchen, be sure to compare a range of options before deciding on the right appliance for your needs.
Best rated food processor brand award breakdown
|Overall rating||Value for money||Ease of cleaning||Performance||Safety|
Methodology and more info.
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