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?