Food processors are an undervalued kitchen appliance, something that many of us think of as a tool for little more than chopping. They can actually be used for everything from making homemade peanut butter to whipping up cake batter and even kneading pizza dough. Cook’s Illustrated tested seven models in a recent issue to see which were up to the task and which didn’t make the cut.
The models they tested were pitted against each other, as well as against a pricey commercial Robot-Coupe, a popular food processor used by professional chefs to see how they performed at tasks like shredding, chopping, slicing, and grinding. The ease with which the machines could make pie dough and how well the handled making a bug batch for creamy mayonnaise were also judged. Most of the machines performed well at simple tasks, whether they cost under $100 or over $300, but the test kitchen also took into consideration how easy the machines were to use and clean because often that is just as important for home cooks.
The winning “highly recommended” processor was the Kitchenaid 12 Cup Food Processor. This model also won a previous trail by CI. It is powerful, easy to operate and easy to clean. It comes with a 4-cup mini bowl for small chopping jobs, which is convenient, and falls at a pretty affordable price point. The “recommended” models included the Viking 12 Cup Food Processor, which was a bit pricey but performed excellently, and the Cuisinart Custom 14 Cup Food Processor, which required a little extra vegetable prepping to get the best results.
Baking Bites’ readers can read the full review and test results on the Cook’s Illustrated website using this link for the month of April. The models tested included: Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor, the Cuisinart Elite Collection 14-Cup Food Processor, the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Deluxe 14-Cup, the KitchenAid 12-Cup Food Processor, the 11-cup Omega Professional Food Processor, the Oster 11-Cup Wide Mouth Food Processor and the Viking 12-cup Food Processor.
For the curious, the Robot Coupe did get perfect scores in every category, but with a price upwards of $800, the expense isn’t worth it for home cooks. You can’t go wrong with the test kitchen’s top model if you’re in the market for a food processor, but it’s great to see what to look for – and what to look out for – in the other models on the market.