It’s National Picnic Week, and the weather is due to be glorious, so what better time to rustle up some tasty snacks and head to the great outdoors?
If you’re preparing for a picnic, barbecue or summer party, a food processor can cut down your prep time and help you to whip up delicious dishes to delight your fellow diners.
The right food processor can make quick work of creating creamy guacamole, sizzling salsas and smooth houmous. You can also speedily slice carrots, cucumber and other veg – and create sumptuous sweet treats, too.
That’s if the food processor is any good. A bad one will leave you wishing you’d done the job by hand. The worst models we’ve seen are slow to process ingredients and produce uneven or poorly mixed results. They may also be noisy or a hassle to clean.
We’ve chopped, sliced, grated, whipped and whisked our way through mountains of carrots, cheese, nuts, herbs, fruit, cream and more to uncover the food processors and mini choppers that won’t let you down in the kitchen.
Find our which recently tested model made our recommendation list by heading to our round-up of Best Buy food processors, or read on for more on the latest food processors we’ve tested and how to choose the right one for you.
Food processors put to the test
Models just tested include food processors from Bosch, KitchenAid, Magimix, Nutri Ninja and Tefal – plus a cheaper own-brand option from John Lewis. We’ve picked out a few key models below:
Tefal Double Force Pro DO824H40 – £138
This Tefal has nine attachments, including a separate blending jug (pictured above) and can perform 31 kitchen tasks, including slicing, chopping, emulsifying, whipping, grinding, juicing and beating. Its digital control panel has seven preset programs to take the guesswork out of processing.
It sounds like it means business, but can it live up to its name? Find out whether the Double Force Pro turns out glossy meringues, silky smoothies and perfectly whipped cream for your strawberries in the full Tefal Double Force Pro food processor review.
John Lewis Food Processor – £60
This John Lewis own-brand food processor has two speed settings, a boost button for extra bursts of power, and a pulse function. It’s an inexpensive model, but has some handy features, including a large processing bowl and attachments for chopping, mixing, kneading and fine or coarse grating and slicing. It also has an emulsifying attachment – handy for making vinaigrettes, mayonnaise and more.
This food processor has its plus points, but it’s got some drawbacks, too. To find out what they are – and whether you can live with them for the price – read the full John Lewis Food Processor review.
Bosch Multi Talent 3 Compact MCM3100WGB – £65
This is another cheapish model that can nonetheless tackle a host of food prep tasks. It comes with attachments for 20 jobs, including shredding, slicing, mixing, grating, grinding, emulsifying, kneading, beating and puréeing. You can neatly store the accessories – which are dishwasher-safe – in the bowl between uses.
Can it chop fresh herbs for salad garnishes and mix up dreamy dips? Find out in the full Bosch Multi Talent 3 Compact MCM3100WGB review.
Magimix Le Micro 18112 – £60
This compact chopper from Magimix has been around for more than six years. We recently retested it, as it’s still one of the most popular mini choppers around. It’s also available in black (18113), red (18114) and satin grey (18115).
Designed for smaller, quicker jobs, it has just one speed setting and a pulse function. It can chop food either finely or coarsely, as well as puréeing and emulsifying ingredients for dressings or dips.
The recipe book contains 60 ideas for sauces, dips and dressings. You can also access extra recipes through the Magimix app.
Find out whether we loved this little chopper second time round in the full Magimix Le Micro 18112 mini chopper review.
Food processor or mini chopper – which is right for you?
Food processors are great for chopping, slicing and grating larger batches of food – handy if you want to make your own burgers, prepare a big salad or slaw, or make a quick salsa.
Many can tackle sweet tasks as well as savoury ones, which could be good if you want to whip up a party pavlova, Victoria sponge or fruit coulis. Some can even crush ice for cocktails.
Food processors cost anything from £30 to around £400. Pricier models tend to come with a larger capacity, a wider range of attachments and are made from premium materials.
Mini choppers are designed for quick little tasks – chopping, slicing or puréeing the odd onion, handful of herbs or nuts – or making a simple salad dressing. If you only need to process smaller batches of food, a mini chopper might suit you better than a standard food processor. You can get a cheap and basic model for £10, although some go up to £80. Pricier models tend to have a few more advanced functions and larger capacities.
To see all the latest food processor and mini chopper reviews for 2018, and compare models side-by-side, head to our food processor reviews.
*Prices correct as of 19 June 2018.