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Sep 9, 2010 08:52 AM

Food Processor Advice Needed

Hi All,

I am an amateur cook/baker who is in the kitchen at home quite a bit. I keep running into recipes that say "in a food processor..." and so far I've gotten by without one, but it just seems like life would be a little easier with one. I'm looking for advice on the best bang for my buck. I found a Kitchenaid 7-cup for $80 but I'm wondering if 7-cups would be too small? I plan to use it for things like grinding graham crackers with other things for pie crusts, mixing up liquid ingredients for desserts, marinades, etc. Thoughts???


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  1. p.s. the next size up is the 12-cup which is nearly $200! This is why I'm so curious...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jackamuffin629

      I am also considering a food processor so I am curious to hear the responses. I know I would freeze a lot of sliced veggies if I could do them in large batches.

    2. I had a small, cheapo Black and Decker for 5 years or so before I upgraded to the 12cup KA. The bigger size lets you make things like pizza dough quite easily. But for cracker crumbs, peanut butters, etc., the 7-cup was fine. I never did a lot of really liquid things, because mine had a tendency to leak--I'd do liquids in a blender.

      The 12cup KA is a lot heavier, so your biceps will get a workout :)

      8 Replies
      1. re: nofunlatte

        Thanks! That is very helpful... now that you mention Black and Decker I'm exploring more options... Anyone else have thoughts on other brands?

        1. re: Jackamuffin629

          I got mine for a few bucks at a consignment shop--probably an unwanted wedding gift or something. Never used. But it was quite serviceable for what I needed (making nut butters, bread crumbs, cole slaw) but not for dough (not powerful enough). But I certainly got my $9 worth out of that baby! It was my first food processor and I even remember that first time I used it--for ajo de blanco (needed to grind the almonds). Now I'm getting wistful :)

          1. re: Jackamuffin629

            Depending on your budget, you might look at Magimix or Cuisinart. Robot Coupe is the professional level one, but all of these are hitting much higher prices. That said, a heavy motor is usually a good sign.

            1. re: Nocturnalbill

              Excellent advice. I still have and use the Cuisinart processor I bought about 30 yrs ago. I still remember standing in front of the display at Caldor, looking at all the brands and prices. I think the Cuisinart was around $80 at the time. The appliance was fairly new to the American market at the time, and everyone knew the Cuisinart name. I hemmed and hawed for a long time, until I happened to lift a few of the models on the shelves, and realized that the Cuisinart had the heaviest motor. Fortunately, that was a good decision. I have read that the stuff made under the Cuisinart name thses days is not as sturdy as the original models.

              If I were the OP, I would go to a large kitchen store/department store, lift the display models, and take notes. Then check online, thrift shops, and tag sales for a good price on a heavy processor.

              1. re: greygarious

                I actually did get one of the new multibowl models, not as pleasant as my mom's 1979 unit, but seems to be doing fairly well.

                1. re: greygarious

                  Wonderful advice greygarious, thank you!

                  1. re: greygarious

                    I also bought one about thirty years ago and I remember the price was more like $130. and it was and is worth ever penny, one of our best kitchen investments. It still works as well as when we first used it. This model was made in Japan and I'm sure it will still be working thirty years from now.

                  2. re: Nocturnalbill

                    Look for a used and possibly damaged (bowl, cover ,pusher, etc. If you can pick it up for a next to nothing price then look at this site they carry repair/replacement parts for most major brands. I almost threw out a KA DLCX MSRP of some $799.00, for a little over $100.00, I know have a great large food processor!!! Good luck!!!

              2. I've used a 7 cup Cuisinart for years and never felt I needed a bigger capacity. I do not use it for bread and any dough, including pie crust, that has more than 3 cups of flour. My other uses: breadcrumb, chopping meat, making pesto, dips such as hummus and baba ghanouj, compound butter, mayonnaise, thick sauces such as romesco. If you are not making huge batches of things, I don't think you need a bigger one. Also, a blender do many tasks such as crepe batter and liquid marinades better than a food processor.

                1 Reply
                1. re: PBSF

                  I inherited a Cuisinart, it must be over 20 years old. It is wonderful. 7 cups is fine for ricotta pie, pestos, strawberry shortcake dough etc. I love it so much, when I saw one a garage sale recently I purchased it for $15. Not that I needed 2.

                2. Cuisinart. I started with the first one many years ago, then went to one that you didn't have to turn the handle and could push a button, then went to the 11 cup. The first one is in the pantry but still works. The second two, one is in FL and the other in MI still going strong. I know that people that have bought the new one's are having some problems with them. Try Ebay for some older used one's. Actually, the first one was a Robet Coupe which became Cuisinart in the states, probably over thirty years ago.

                  1. A few useful bits of info. For most brands you can only fill the bowl (yes it looks big) about a third with liquid - solids 2/3.

                    If you are going to use it for pastry - the smaller models will only make enough for one single crust pie. You might want to bake two pies at the same time - freezing one for later use. I have a medium sized one and wish I had bought the largest in the range.

                    I bought mine for pastry - it works so well - but many of my friends still make theirs by hand. A FP really comes into its own when cooking for a family - its slices and grates in seconds.
                    You can easily manage with a good knife and micrograter - it all depends on your needs.

                    And none are dishwasher safe - most come with warnings about low temp washing and that dishwashers will degrade the parts over time. So I wash mine by hand.

                    I am also using mine for smoothies ( not ideal but it saves buying another appliance) and the orange squeezer attachment (as with most stand mixers) is great.

                    For bread and cake dough mixing I hear a stand mixer does a better job.

                    I bought a French made Magimix ( expensive) to avoid a made in China motor.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Mistral

                      Everyone I know puts their FP parts through the dishwasher and I've never had a problem whether it was large or small, new or old.