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Food processors & choppers Buying Guides

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Getting started

Which food processor best suits your style and the foods you prepare? Food processors are versatile machines that can chop, slice, shred, and pure many different foods. Mini-choppers are good for small jobs such as mincing garlic and chopping nuts.

Consider capacity

Food-processor capacity typically ranges from about 7 to 14 cups of dry ingredients. (Those are manufacturers' figures; we've found that processors typically hold a cup or two more or less than claimed.) Liquid capacity is much less. Choppers, which are designed expressly for small jobs, hold about 3 to 5 cups.

If you regularly cook for a crowd or like to whip up multiple batches of a recipe, you might appreciate the bigger, 11-to-14-cup units. But they tend to be more expensive and heavier than smaller versions and take up more counter space. Models that hold about 7 cups or so are fine for most tasks.

Note that even big food processors can handle small jobs such as chopping half an onion. But using a chopper makes cleanup easier.

Note feed-tube size

Some processors have wider feed tubes than others, which can save you the effort of having to cut potatoes, cucumbers, and other big items into smaller pieces.

Expect to pay more for kneading prowess and quiet operation

Lower-priced models we've tested have strained and jumped while kneading dough. They also made quite a racket, where most of the higher-end models we tested were quiet.

Visit for our latest information on Food processors & choppers

Copyright © 2006-2012 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.

Getting started

1. Getting started

2. Types

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