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Food processors &
mixers buying guide

A reliable mixer or food processor is invaluable
in any kitchen - save yourself time and produce
consistently excellent results

A red food processor
Blenders smoothie makers and juicers

Food processors

Food processors are versatile machines that can greatly reduce cooking prep time. They’ll chop onions, slice potatoes for gratins and grate cheese and chocolate in seconds. Look for processors with multiple bowls and the ability to work simultaneously if you need highly efficient processors.

Standard food processors work with series motors, while higher priced versions will often have a high-grade and quiet induction motor.

What if I need my appliance to mix batters for cakes?
Processors specialise in chopping, grating and slicing but highly multi-functional processors come with dough hooks and eggs whisks. These help to bridge the divide between processor and mixer.

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Mini choppers

If you irregularly need to chop ingredients, make pestos or guacamole or are only chopping in a small amount then a mini chopper may be a better choice for you. They take up less space in your kitchen and are easier to store. A limited number will whip cream as well as chop and purée. Using with cold contents is advised.

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Stand mixers

Primarily for baking, stand mixers are synonymous with the kitchen. Powerful and practical, these offer a larger bowl than most food processors. Similar to food processors, higher-end models will come with a quieter, more durable induction motor. While excelling at mixing cakes and whipping air into egg whites for meringues these machines often also work with a wide assortment of useful attachments. Enjoy baking, but don’t have much space in your kitchen? Try a hand mixer instead.

What if I want my stand mixer to slice, grate and chop?
You have two options with stand mixers. You can choose to invest in building up a collection of attachments such as ice cream makers, mincers, slicers and choppers. All you need to do is simply lock the attachment into place. Alternatively, kitchen machines often come with an assortment of attachments such as pasta makers.

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Consider the features...

Power

Power can be important when it comes to coping with heavy mixtures. Induction motors are quieter and will adapt to the weight of your mixture. Commercial grade motors are cheaper and rely on wattage.

Capacity

Wide feeding shoots are important for slicing and grating large volumes of cheese, potatoes or onions.

Bowl capacity for stand mixers ranges between 3.5L to 6L. Efficient food processors will work simultaneously and come with multiple bowls.

Usability

This can save you time and energy.

Look for appliances that have dishwasher safe attachments. Stainless steel won’t rust so this is something to consider.

Storage

Food processors and mixers come with lots of attachments. Does the appliance you’re looking at come with a storage container?

Which machine will suit me?

Top attachments explained

This is a basic attachment for stand mixers. Some food processors will have dough hooks to knead and prepare dough

Whisk air into egg whites for light and fluffy meringues and sponges. These come as standard mixers but you may have to invest in a quality food processor for this baking essential functionality

Used to mix cake batters together. These are importantly also designed to encourage air in the mixing process. Knife blades can emulate this function for food processors.

The ability to blend is achieved in two ones. Either by an attachment or a jug that you attach to your food processor.

Pasta makers are a fun and useful addition to any blender. They mainly work by locking in the attachment to your mixer. They make brilliant gifts for the cook who has everything.

Investing in an ice cream maker for your mixer is one of the best ways to maximise your mixers potential while saving space. Watch your concoctions come together all in one place.

Similar to the slicing and shredding blades, a food processor's grating blades can be used for cheese or vegetables.

Blades come in different sizes, so you can shred and slice to a fine, medium, coarse or thick finish. Some models come with a chipping blade to make homemade chips or French fries. Premium models are more likely to come with discs in different sizes (often 2mm and 4mm) for thin/thick slicing.

Plenty of food processors include a simple citrus press - handy for quickly juicing citrus fruits and getting your daily fix of fresh orange juice. if you want to juice hard fruits or vegetables, you'll need a food attachment. You could even invest in a centrifugal juicer. Read our buying guide to juicers for more information.

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