Food processor reviews: FAQs
Do I need to spend more than £100 on a food processor?
This depends on what type of appliance you want. A decent mini chopper doesn’t have to cost more than £20, although there are Best Buy models which cost around £50.
It’s very rare to find any kitchen machine costing less than £100, so if this is your choice of food preparation appliance, you’ll have to spend around double this to get a good machine. Best Buys start at around £165.
You don’t have to spend £100 to get a good food processor – we have Best Buys costing less than this.
What you get for the extra money, apart from a major brand name, is better build quality and quieter motors, but you won’t necessarily get extra accessories, such as a jug blender.
If it’s more important to have a range of accessories, like a jug blender, and you’re not bothered about noise, then it’s possible to buy a food processor for less than £100 that will do the job.
Use our food processors compare features and prices tool to search by price.
What type of food preparation appliance do I need?
Most people have a budget in mind, but before deciding what to buy you need to have an idea of what are the most important tasks that need doing, and then choose the most suitable machine, with the right attachments.
Think about how much kitchen space you have, so you can choose a food processor that will fit.
There’s no point splashing out on a huge stand mixer if it takes up most of your available worktop.
For more tips, watch our video guide to buying the video guide to buying the best food processor.
Food processors come with lots of accessories, so the type of food processor you buy needs to be based around either the available counter space in your kitchen or your budget.
All will slice and chop, and most will grate, mix, knead, whip and whisk.
A food processor with a jug blender attachment will be able to do a wider range of jobs, such as making smoothies, milkshakes, puréeing food and even making mayonnaise, so if space is at a premium this is a good choice, as a separate appliance isn’t needed.
A stand mixer is a better choice for anyone wanting to make large batches of cakes, batters, dough or pastry, rather than chopping, slicing or grating.
A stand mixer will be able to tackle batter, dough and pastry making tasks a lot quicker and more consistently than doing the task by hand.
And the same applies for kitchem machines; buying an appliance with a jug blender attachment means it can do a wider range of tasks.
If you don't need to process huge amounts of food, and aren't fussed about having numerous other accessories, but would still like a hand when it comes to chopping onions, making dips or even puréeing small amounts of food, a mini chopper is the best option.
It’s also a good addition if you do have a food processor or stand mixer but don't want to have to clean a large appliance every time you need to chop an onion.
See how easy a mini chopper is to use with our mini chopper video guide to making salsa in seconds.
What do the different accessories do?
For more information on what the different accessories do, check out our food processors features explained section.
Does the type of blade make a difference?
A food processor's blade will make a difference to how well it chops or slices.
Things to consider are: how big the blade is, how sharp it is, how far it reaches to the side walls of the bowl, and the distance between the knife blade and the bottom of the bowl. Small blades, or those that don't reach as far to the sides of the bowl, won't be as effective, and food can get stuck underneath, remaining unprocessed.
Can you crush ice in a food processor, stand mixer or mini chopper?
If you want to crush ice, a food processor with a liquidiser or jug blender attachment will be the best option - if it offers this feature.
Some jug blenders don't have this feature, so it's always best to check the instructions first. Crushing ice, if your food processor or stand mixer isn't designed to do it, could damage the blades.
Most mini choppers aren't suitable for crushing ice – check the instructions for yours, before attempting to do this.
Can you grind coffee in a mini chopper?
Not usually. Most mini choppers aren't suitable for coffee beans as they chop, rather than grind. Coffee beans need to be ground in a mill.
If you want to grind coffee, see our guide to coffee maker accessories.
Most mini chopper instructions tell you not to chop anything that’s too hard, such as nutmeg or ice, as this will damage the blades.
However there are exceptions, and we're starting to see mini choppers on sale that can crush ice and grind coffee beans.
To find out which models these are, head to our food processor reviews to read full test results for the latest models of mini chopper tested.
Food processing tips
When chopping nuts make sure the bowl is dry, or lumps will occur
Dried apricots are hard to blend unless the blades are really sharp
Though you can make good smoothies and excellent milkshakes using a food processor bowl, we found the best ones are made in liquidiser jugs
If there is a large gap between the grating blade and the side of the food processing bowl, large parts of cheese will remain ungrated as they’re pushed to the side and down the gaps
Using the knife blade of your appliance to make mayo will give a more liquid consistency. Making mayonnaise in a kitchen machine gives it a more yellow appearance
Are food processor parts dishwasher safe?
Washing parts incorrectly in a dishwasher can cause the plastic to split – it’s vitally important to check the instructions first.
Even parts listed as dishwasher safe, can be damaged by putting them on a washing cycle that’s too hot.
Some manufacturers warn against washing in temperatures above 40°C, and to avoid the drying cycle altogether, which can also cause the plastic to split.
It’s simple to avoid damage - check your instructions first.
What happens if my appliance switches itself off while I’m using it?
Check the appliance is put together properly. Most appliances are designed to work only when all the parts have been correctly locked into place. This can even include different attachments, such as a jug blender.
Most instructions advise that food preparation appliances should only be used in small bursts. They're not designed to be used continuously for long periods of time.
If you’ve been using your food processor for a long time, the motor could have overheated and cut out.
Turn the food preparation appliance off, leave it for a while to cool down, and then try again.
Where’s the best place to buy a food processor, stand mixer or mini chopper?
High street stores, such as Argos, stock a wide range of food preparation appliances and are perfect if you know what product you're after, as you choose from a catalogue. Sometimes the products aren't shown with model numbers, though.
Other stores, such as Comet and Currys, will have models on display for you to look at, as will department stores such as Debenhams and John Lewis.
Supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's or Morrisons also have own-brand food preparation appliances as well as a range of products from brand leaders, in their larger stores,or dedicated (non-food) home stores.
If you're unsure what food processor to buy, check out our guide to the best food processor brands.
Can I buy extra blades, spare bowls or parts?
Check instructions for information on where to buy spare pares, or look on the manufacturer’s website for details of what extra parts and accessories are available to purchase.
You can also search online for websites that specialise in selling spare parts.
Can you make peanut butter in a food processor or mini chopper?
Yes, it's possible to make a simple homemade peanut butter with a food processor or a mini chopper.
Of the two machines we tried, the most successful result came from the mini chopper.
We found the peanut butter was smoother and more evenly processed in the mini choppers, whereas the food processor results didn't seem quite as smooth, or as even - although our volunteers didn't complain about the taste from either.
For this, we used 90g of salted peanuts and one tablespoon of peanut oil as our recipe for homemade peanut butter but you can use less oil if you prefer.
We used a similar peanut butter recipe for the food processor, but had to add a bit more oil.