Advice -- seeking new food processor.
December 7, 2005 12:52 PM   Subscribe

Food Processors... what can you tell me?

So I took a cooking class and loved it. Then I tried to make some of the recipes at home and my 15 year old food processor couldn't cut it. I'm therefore in the market for a new one. What features should I look for? What brands should I avoid/look at? Good places to buy online?

Not sure if it makes a difference re: your advice, but just in case: I'm vegetarian and am also interested in trying a few raw dishes.

Any links / advice appreciated.
posted by dobbs to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
we have this and i looooove it. ours came in a costco pack with an extra bowl and more attachments, which are pretty handy. before this we had a smaller white cuisinart picked up at a garage sale, but the motor burnt out. the smaller ones are convenient for cooking, but i would recommend a large food processor and something like this.

the only drawback is that the lid of the cuisinart is a bitch to clean.
posted by booknerd at 1:01 PM on December 7, 2005 [1 favorite]

Best answer: No question. Kitchenaid 12-cup wide mouth. It's big enough for the largest jobs, quiet, easy to clean, easy to fill, and does a fantastic job. From what I've heard, Kitchenaid customer support is MUCH MUCH better than Cuisinart support these days since Cuisinart got swallowed by the Conair behemoth. My experience with support for a KA standmixer was great.

Personally, I wouldn't buy a food processor without a citrus juicer attachment, and some of the Kitchenaid models have it included. If that matters to you, make sure you check the model against the Kitchenaid website and see if it includes the attachments you want.
posted by Caviar at 1:08 PM on December 7, 2005 [1 favorite]

I've had a Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus for three years, and I've been perfectly content with it. The only drawback is the small 3-cup capacity, which has forced me in a few instances to grind in shifts. That said, it's $30 for a quality unit that does nearly everything you need it to on a day to day basis.

If you have the bucks to spend, though, I would go up to the big guys. The big Cuisinarts are nice enough, but the latest Cook's Illustrated recommended the KitchenAid 12-cup as best all around, probably the one Caviar suggested (the Cuisinart Pro Custom 11 was top choice for baking, but "the narrow feed tube makes vegetable prep tricky.").
posted by The Michael The at 1:27 PM on December 7, 2005

I love me some fancy kitchen appliances, but I got an inexpensive Hamilton Beach food processor as a gift a few years ago, and it works great! Right now it's $25 at Amazon. I just thought I'd throw my opinion into the ring on this one... if you've got the cash, go for the Cuisinart or KitchenAid. If you just want to cook, the Hamilton Beach does the job well at a (small) fraction of the price.
posted by bonheur at 1:31 PM on December 7, 2005

I have this from cuisinart, which is a blender and food processor combo. It works well as both for me.
posted by sanko at 1:33 PM on December 7, 2005

Having used Cuisinart and KitchenAid in semi-professional capacities and at home, I definitely second the KA.

If it's just for home use for a couple people max, either will suffice. If you intend to make large amounts of food, KA.

Two Xmases ago, Dillards had a sick sale on the 12cup with three different sized bowls and many extra attachments (juicer, blades, shredders, kneaders). I then saw a similar sale last year. I'd just keep my eyes open for a few months around the holiday season and after.
posted by Seamus at 1:35 PM on December 7, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers so far. Anyone know any American online electronics sellers who'll ship to Canada? Amazon won't.

The price difference is ridiculous. All the KA ones I've found online here so far are C$375 or so whereas Amazon offers for lesst than US$200.
posted by dobbs at 1:37 PM on December 7, 2005

posted by sanko at 1:52 PM on December 7, 2005

Best answer: See also consumersearch.
I think you should consider what you want from a food processor. If you do a lot of baking, definately go for the higher end models. If it is mostly for chopping/slicing I would suggest a cheaper brand (I bought a Philips Cucina for 100 EUR, and it works great), and, if you want to do more raw food, add a good quality blender (Vitamix or K-tec). Some food processors also have juicer attachments. That may be useful, but if you are serious about juicing they are probably not good enough.
posted by davar at 2:29 PM on December 7, 2005

Best answer: Dobbs, if you want a KA food processor in Toronto, you want to go to Cayne's. They do ship, but if you have a car, they're just off Steeles, North of Yonge. Those KAs are heavy, though, so it's absolutely not a TTC kind of trip.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:34 PM on December 7, 2005

Oh, and the 12-cup model, which I bought there a few months ago is CAD280.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:35 PM on December 7, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks, jacquilynne, just ordered one. They ship for free if you pay with Visa as well.

Thanks, all!
posted by dobbs at 3:53 PM on December 7, 2005

One of the nice things about the kitchen aid models is that they are really easy to wipe down when you are done with them. Cusinart took a design cue from KA in their more recent designs, their older designs though (like the one booknerd linked) have many more nooks and crannies to get gummed up with purreed gunk/food.
posted by Good Brain at 7:44 PM on December 7, 2005

I have a Braun that has lasted .. oooh, we must be heading on fifteen years with it. Dropped it the other day, forcing me to open it up and remove bits of plastic from the gear. Put it back together... it works better now than before the fall.

So IMO, Braun makes great stuff.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:11 AM on December 8, 2005

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