Food processors.....I think I wants one.

But I know zero about them.

What I do know is that when I’ve bought higher grade appliances I’ve always been happy with the performance.

But, still, I don’t want to screw myself and get a $300-400 model when a $100 model works equally well.

Anything thoughts or suggestions?

A little more info would be helpful. What would you be using it for? Anything specific, or did you just see Alton use his to make hummus and decide that it was time for you to get one? :smiley:

I bought a $50 food processor from Sears more than ten years ago. I use it nearly every day. It works just as well as my mother’s pricey food processor, which came with two dozen blades, most of which have no conceivable use other than to justify the gizmo’s high price.

Since word processors come with spell checkers, can you get a food processor with a recipe checker? Cause, I think that would be really useful.

We got a combo made by Oster for a wedding gift. Put different things on the base, and it was a food processor, blender, or mixer. It worked well, and lasted a long time (over a decade). However, once the base stopped working, everything was broke.

When looking at them, look specifically at the type and number of blades available, and take it apart to see how easy or hard it is to clean. Food processors are definitely an item where little bitty ground up junk gets caught in any crevice.

Well, since no one I know has one and I am not entirely certain what the darn things do outside of slice and dice ( which is the main purpose for soups and whatnot) I would love to have one that can make liquified veggie & fruit drinks. Like a juicer but not.

Am I being unreasonable?

I have a Cuisinart and like it alot. It is a top food processor brand and they come in lots of models and sizes. They aren’t really all that expensive either. Some of the smaller models are around $100.

Make that Cuisinart

I bought a cheapie from Sears about 15 years ago and it’s still working. I never could get any of the slicing attachments to work, but it’s great for needing dough, making pie crust and chopping or pureeing things.

Needing dough?

I think that was a Freudian slip. It’s still three days until payday.

Definitely look at how you plan to use it.

Almost anything would work if you just plan to mix things, but in that case, I would recommend a hand-held blender, like this. This kind of device comes with a small chopper that is good for chopping small things like garlic, but it’s not good if you want to shred things. However, it’s perfect for purée-ing soups, since you can do it in the pot, without having to pour things between the pot and food processor.

If you want something that shreds, almost any food processor will do that, as well as slice and mix. I’ve had a couple of low-end Hampton Beach food processors that have worked well for me, until my uses exceed their capacity. As long as you are only grating softish things like carrots or cheese, a low-end food processor should work. I have one of these that works very well on everything from hummus to carrots to radishes. (Just don’t do anything really hard like celery root.)

You should also look at quantity. I get by very nicely with a small food processor (like this) for most shredding and slicing purposes. It’s particularly good for garlic, ginger, and small amounts of cheese, but it doesn’t really work any better than the grater that comes with the hand-held blender mentioned above.

I use this KitchenAid model. It’s a little expensive, but does just about anything you would want to do with a food processor. It can even grate mozzarella cheese. Everything except the base is dishwasher safe.

I had a $5 yard sale model until about three months ago, when I bought a nice Cuisinart model from Amazon for about $100 (on a big sale–it retailed for something like $300). I love it; the only place I’d mark it down is that it is hard to clean.

What I use it for:
–sauces like hummus, pesto, and various salad dressings
–cutting fat into short dough
–blending dry ingredients for baking
–grating lots of cheese in a matter of seconds
among other things.

When you’re looking around, think about how you’d go about cleaning it, because it can cut into the time you save. (Yes, it will go in the dishwasher, but I find I have to do so almost immediately.) Also remember that one with the motor on the bottom will be more efficient at transferring power from the motor to the blade than one with a side motor. Lots of different blades are nice, I guess, but I find that I use the big main blade 99% of the time.

Get thee a Cuisinart. I have a handmedown model from my Mom. It’s counts 17 years old. I just used it about an hour ago to shred a pound of cheese for enchiladas, then pulsed through some onions and cilantro. It is the best. Kitchen. Gadget. Ever! I use it to make sauces, marinades, and other stuff too. I luff it.

I have a kitchenaid like sturmhauke’s, only in a snazzy red. My recommendation is to not get a small one. They are a pain in the neck not just because they don’t hold any useful amount, but the motor isn’t strong enough half the time. You may not need the giant model, but the 2-cup size is useless for most anything.

Processors are fantastic for making pie crust and salsa. They shred cheese better if it’s about half-frozen-- which is also good if you use it to chop meat to make quick sausage patties. I’ve never tried to make a drink out of processed fruit, but I’ve gotten a very smooth puree out of soft fruit like peaches. That would probably be okay for making smoothies and such.

I use my Cuisinart to puree frozen peaches for home-made peach ice cream.

What everybody else has said: get one big enough, but not too big, they can be a pain to clean if you don’t have a dishwasher, 2/3 of the blades are too specialized for the likes of me. Other than that, I love mine!

Cook’s Illustrated likes this one. They also rate the Cuisinart ones pretty well. Unfortunately, they pretty much say “save your money” when it comes to the inexpensive ones. The rating guide is in their November 2004 issue, if you want to look it up, with an update in the September 2005 issue because the top-rated Kitchenaid is no longer available; they like replacement (linked above) just as well, and it’s cheaper.

I have a Cuisinart, and it does the job. Honestly, though, I don’t use it all that much. For some things, it’s essential. For others, meh.

You say you want to use it for “slice and dice ( which is the main purpose for soups and whatnot) I would love to have one that can make liquified veggie & fruit drinks.”

My experience with them is that I never use it to slice and dice. Unless you’re feeding an army, pulling it out of the cupboard, finding the right attatchment, and cleaning it afterwards is always more work than just cutting everything up with a knife.

It won’t make liquified veggie and fruit drinks. Food processors don’t liquify as well as blenders, and they don’t replace blenders. Buy a nice blender to make smoothies, or a juicer if you want to juice carrots or something like that. Food processors don’t liquify well enough even to make blended soups (like Cream of Asparagus soup) - I use the blender to do that.

What do I use it for:

  • grating cheese for pizza.
  • making pie & pizza dough
  • making pesto
  • making hummus

That’s about it. I supposed I could use it for making homemade salsa, but I tend to use a hand blender for that.

Honestly, out of all the high-dollar kitchen appliances I own - and I own 'em all because I’m a first rate kitchen nerd - the food processor is the one I could most easily do without. On the other hand, the stuff it does well - hummus, for example - really can’t be done by any other appliance.

I use my KitchenAid stand mixer with the various attachment WAY more than I use the food processor. It gets used so much that it lives on the counter. Heck, I think I use my blender about twice as much as I use the food processor. If you really want to drop big bucks on a kitchen appliance, go get a Vita-Mix Blender. It does most of what you want better than a food processor. 'course, it’s ridiculously expensive. But you’ll be the envy of all your friends!

Too bad you didn’t start this thread a couple of weeks ago - I just sold my Cuisinart on ebay. I had it for several years but it never saw much use. I’d have used it a lot more if there was someone around to clean up after me. The things I used it for turn out to be easier to do without it.