Finding My Food Processor

After a few months of mashing bean burgers by hand and forcing my immersion blender to make hummus (it hates that), I have decided to purchase a food processor. I began with a Google search and a question on Facebook, and thus began looking at Cuisinarts. Boy, are they expensive! I slashed my summer clothes shopping budget to save up the $200-$300 or more I would need. Now that I’m getting close to my goal amount, it’s time to shop!

I got some good guidelines from this article in Real Simple

Since I don’t make bread dough more than once a year, and when I do I really enjoy kneading by hand, I have determined that I don’t need a 1000 watt motor. Also ruled out everything with nesting bowls.

I have decided I need 11-14 cup capacity in order to make hundreds (ok, dozens) of burgers at once, or at least shred a whole head of cabbage. So this Cuisinart was initially my first choice.  14 cups, 720 watt motor, $200.

Then a good friend suggested this KitchenAid and I started to get confused.  12 cups, 700 watts, closer to $300 unless I get a refurbished model.

So many choices! So much money! What say you, Amazon customer reviews?

The reviews are more helpful in a “what to expect” way than a decisive, what to buy way. I read the best reviews (5 stars) and the worst (1 star), as well as a few in between. Everyone seems to say the same good and bad things about both machines. Pros: Powerful motor, high capacity, variety of handy accessories.  Cons:  Hard to clean by hand (an issue for the dishwasherless), flimsy plastic parts, tricky locking mechanism, takes up lots of space (duh).

Thought I was doing really well comparing the Cuisinart and the KitchenAid, until yet another person tipped me off to Hamilton Beach, a brand I hadn’t considered because it was so very cheap that I assumed the quality would be low.  She says she got hers used from a relative and it lasted her eight additional years.  Not bad, Hamilton Beach! Turns out, the low price probably has more to do with the lower wattage of the motor: 400-525 watts, compared to 700+ watts on the more expensive models. Additionally, from what I can tell, the body of the Hamilton Beach is plastic, rather than metal.  However, all the pros and cons of these cheaper machines are similar to the more expensive ones.

So what’s a poor young cook to do? I might have to make a trip to some kitchen stores to get a better idea of how things work.

Do you have a food processor? If so, what kind, and what do you like and dislike about it?

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5 thoughts on “Finding My Food Processor

  1. Raymond says:

    “Also ruled out everything with nesting bowls”. Good call, bowls are very territorial when they are nesting.
    I have a friend of mine that trolls Craigslist for restaurants that are liquidating. He’s come away with a commercial-grade cappuccino maker and blender, probably among other things. That may be something to look into. You know, as if you didn’t have enough places to look already. That’s what I hate about shopping. You compare, compare, compare, make an educated decision, feel good for about 6 minutes until the first person you tell is like, “oh, well, you should have gone to illegalchinesefoodprocessor.com and gotten one for 8 cents”.

      • Kathi Creed Altobell says:

        So Penny…How do you like your new food processor? i am thinking about getting one! At this point i have a mini one and thinking about getting a 14 cupper! Your friend Amy told me about your blog. It is an awesome blog! going to have to try some of your recipes.

      • pennyparsnip says:

        I LOVE IT! I ended up getting the Cuisinart Custom 14. So far I’ve made hummus, bean burgers, gazpacho, grated and sliced all kinds of veggies, and I’m so impressed. It’s quick, quiet, and pretty easy to use once I got the hang of the locking mechanisms. I highly recommend it. There is also an 11cup model in the same line that is very good if you don’t need something huge (my boss has it, and it’s pretty much the same as mine.)

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