Equipment Review: Best Food Processors & Our Testing Winner








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Full testing details and ranking chart: http://bit.ly/1NZPa2E
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Here in the test kitchen, we demand a food processor that can handle lots of chopping, slicing, and shredding while delivering professional-quality results, and we think home cooks deserve the same.

We tested 8 food processors to find the best one:
Cuisinart Custom 14 Food Processor
The Breville Sous Chef 12-Cup Food Processor
Black + Decker Performance Food Processor
Cuisinart Elite Collection 2.0 12-Cup Food Processor
Cuisinart Elemental 11 Food Processor
Hamilton Beach Stack & Snap Food Processor
Oster Designed for Life 14-Cup Food Processor with 5-Cup Mini Chopper
Kitchenaid 11-Cup Food Processor with ExactSlice System

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We tested eight food processors with capacities of 11 to 14 cups, rating them on their ability to chop, slice, shred, mince, emulsify, puree, and mix pie crust and pizza dough, as well as perform other common tasks that call for a food processor. We also rated them on ease of use and cleanup.

CHOPPING
Testers chopped onion, carrot, and celery into mirepoix; ground whole almonds; minced fresh parsley; and ground beef chunks and butter into hamburger. This category was weighted most highly in our ratings.

SLICING
We sliced ripe plum tomatoes and russet potatoes, giving highest marks to models that cut crisply and neatly, rendering little to no juice, which would indicate that food was sliced, not crushed.

SHREDDING
We shredded carrots and cheddar cheese, rating models highest if pieces were crisp and uniform with little to no unprocessed, trapped food.

MIXING
We mixed pie dough and a double batch of heavy pizza dough, made mayonnaise (in small workbowls where available), and conducted a timed test using drops of blue and yellow food coloring in yogurt to show how efficiently machines made a uniformly green mixture.

PUREEING
We processed large cans of whole tomatoes in each machine until smooth; high-rated models made velvety puree.

EASE OF USE
We rated each machine throughout testing on its handling, intuitiveness of assembly and controls, shape of workbowl and lid, weight and stability, quality of construction, noise, and other factors relating to its design and ergonomics, including the convenience of any included accessory boxes or other extra features.

LEAKING
We filled each machine to its “maximum liquid fill” line and compared actual to stated capacity; we then ran machines on high for 1 minute, checking for leaks.

Anatomy of a Great Food Processor:

1. WELL-DESIGNED FEED TUBE
Big enough to minimize ­pretrimming and waste but ­narrow enough to hold food upright.

2. MINIMAL GAPS BETWEEN BLADE AND BOWL
The space between the end of the blade and the side of the bowl as well as the space between the base of the blade and the bottom of the bowl should be small. This ensures more efficient, thorough mixing and food that is evenly chopped.

3. SMALL SPACE BETWEEN DISKS AND FEED TUBE
Ensures that all the food gets shredded or sliced.

4. WEIGHTY, COMPACT BASE
Space-saving and keeps machine anchored during heavy mixing.

5. RESPONSIVE PULSE BUTTON
Enables quick stop-start so ­ingredients are tossed around the bowl and into the cutting action.

America’s Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most-foolproof recipe.

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