Are Food Processors Worth It?

Food processors are similar to blenders but actually are much more useful for creating a number of different things in the kitchen such as chopping, blending, pulsing and grating.

If you like to do a little baking every now and then along with some juicing, blending, and grating, then a food processor would be more ideal for you. A food processor will be able to effortlessly carry out all of those tasks – think ‘jack of all trades’.

In this article, I am going to talk about what a food processor is, what you can use a food processor for and whether I think it is worth buying one or not.

What Is A Food Processor?

The term food processor has been used for a very long time, and it is taken to be an appliance that is used to carry out repetitive tasks in the kitchen. While food processors are most commonly used for blending foodstuffs so that they can be used in sauces and the like, there are other options too.

Often, food processors may have attachments that are used to slice or chop food, rather than blending it until smooth.

Nowadays, food processors are electrical appliances driven by a motor, though there are some manual devices also referred to as food processors. In terms of their appearance, food processors often resemble blenders in a number of ways – they have a large body to which you add food and wait for it to be processed.

The main difference in the appearances of food processors and blenders is that food processors typically have much larger capacities.

What Does A Food Processor Do?

A food processor can do a number of tasks, as they typically come with a series of attachments and options to make them particularly versatile. The thing that makes a number of food processors particularly versatile is that they’re designed around a basic idea: a rotating motor can be used in a number of ways with different attachments.

For example, a spinning blade could be used to chop something, while a flat spinning plane with small holes could be used to easily and efficiently grate cheese or vegetables.

Most notably, food processors usually come with attachments designed to help with chopping and slicing, leaving you with a chunky mixture in the body of your food processor. This is in stark contrast to blenders, which focus on bringing you a liquid that is perfectly smooth.

Food processors can also be useful for occasional bakers. Regular and professional bakers often speak about the benefits of having and using a stand mixer in their kitchen. Those large appliances can be used to knead bread dough for a long time, or alternatively they can beat mixes at extremely high power – as you might need for meringue.

Food processors, while much less powerful than the majority of stand mixers, can be used in a similar way. Their versatility allows for them to be used every now and then to knead dough, or whip up a thick meringue. While that isn’t their primary function, then can function well in that use case.

The reason that they suit occasional bakers best here is that a more regular baker would likely be better suited by a more powerful and dependable stand mixer.

What Can I Use A Food Processor For?

By their very nature, food processors can be used for a huge number of things. In fact, that’s precisely what they’re designed for. You’d be hard pressed to find a food processor out there which doesn’t allow you to pick a few different tasks and select the appropriate attachments.

A surprising use for food processors is making shortcrust pastry. A lot of people don’t like making shortcrust pastry, as the way that it is typically done (known as the rubbing in method) can be quite messy and time consuming. Luckily, a food processor can help you at every step along the way.

Simply using equal parts butter and flour will allow you to quickly make a simple shortcrust pastry. To make that dough, we’d recommend using a blade attachment for your food processor. This attachment will mean that you can rapidly chop and slice the butter into very small pieces, as well as combining it with a small amount of flour due to the rapid spinning motion.

This method makes shortcrust pastry much simpler.

Another great use for food processors is in the spiralizing of food. Admittedly, this is the job of a specialized attachment, but it is typically done so well by a powerful food processor. Spiralizing is the process by which curly fries are made. A strip of the vegetable is removed while the vegetable itself is spinning.

This means that you can get a very long, continuous strip which is typically deep fried or air fried for crispiness. The thing that makes a food processor good for this task is the inherent power behind the electric motor. Often, spiralizers are standalone pieces of equipment which need to be hand-cranked.

This is time and space consuming, not to mention difficult. Using a small attachment for a food processor will allow you to spiralize food much more easily before hiding the equipment away effortlessly as soon as you’re done.

How Much Are Food Processors?

The price of food processors can vary a lot depending on where you buy your equipment from, as well as what brand makes that individual appliance. More expensive food processors likely have a larger capacity as well as more accessories.

At the lower end of the scale, you can buy fairly small food processors for roughly thirty pounds. This is certainly a budget option, however, and it may only have a very basic spinning blade, potentially without the capacity for adding or changing any attachments.

At the highest end of the scale, you can expect to pay up to four hundred pounds for a food processor. This is an extremely high price to pay, but you’re really paying for two things: the life and the quality. More expensive food processors will typically have more expensive and powerful motors in them.

Typically these motors will be very reliable and long-lasting, making them a much more long-lived appliance for your kitchen. The quality of the food processor will also be heightened by forking out for a more expensive motor – it will likely be able to easily chew through nearly anything with no hassle.

On the other side of the equation, a weaker food processor may struggle with harder root vegetables.

It’s worth saying that there may be other costs involved in buying a food processor. Some food processors may come as a very simple base model, and you’ll need to buy a larger bowl or set of attachments, for example. In those cases, you’re essentially building up a large appliance piece by piece.

It is typically not a very economical way of purchasing kitchen equipment, and can result in an exceptionally high overall cost.

Is There An Alternative Appliance That Also Has A Food Processor Included?

The thing is that food processors themselves are typically very bulky items. They take up a lot of counter space, and they really need to. To ensure that they’re suitably anchored and secured for maximum safety, the bases are often quite large. This means that it is very difficult to include a food processor within another appliance.

However, because of their large size, manufacturers have taken to including a number of features within a single food processor. A number of brands have begun making single food processors with very large inner chambers and motors. This size means that a suite of different attachments can be fitted and used for several different tasks.

For example, the Kenwood Multipro sense makes use of a huge number of different attachments, a large number of which some with the machine itself. The machine comes with a suite of slicing and grating discs, as well as a dough hook and a small blender attachment which can be attached to the same base as the food processor.

To ensure that you’re getting the most for your money when buying a food processor, make sure that you buy a food processor which has a number of different attachments included in the box.

Are Food Processors Worth It?

Food processors are worth it if you like to do a lot of varied cooking. Food processors are really ideal for people who want to do a number of different things, but don’t do any of those things enough to need a bespoke machine.

If you were someone who regularly makes a lot of dough in your life, then you’d need to do a lot of kneading as part of the process of making a loaf. If that’s the case, then you might consider investing in a stand mixer which, while expensive, is unparalleled in its ability to effectively knead bread dough.

If you like to do a little baking every now and then along with some juicing, blending, and grating, then a food processor would be more ideal for you. A food processor will be able to effortlessly carry out all of those tasks – think ‘jack of all trades’.