With the right food processor in your pantry, you will be able to make sauces, pesto, hummus, tapenade, pie crust, and a variety of other dishes with ease.
If you only cook for one or two people, look for a small item. Small food processors can usually make enough of a dish or sauce for one or two people. They are also less expensive than larger food mixers so they take up less space in your kitchen. Individuals who entertain frequently might want to buy a larger model so that party preparation goes smoothly. If you have a small processor, you will need to make each dish in several batches. This can waste time. If you frequently cook for a family or for a large group of people, a high capacity food processor will best suit your needs.
Unlike a food mixer, which generally blends larger amounts of food, a food processor can quickly pulverize and combine smaller quantities of food. Before you purchase think about the particular dishes you plan to make with it. If you routinely eat a lot of hummus, this is a dish that can be made quickly and easily. If you eat large quantities of a dish that can be prepared in a food processor, you might want to buy a larger model, even if you do not do a lot of cooking in general.
If you are planning to use your it frequently, look for a higher-end model. A high-quality model will stand up to repeated uses. Lower-grade food processors, which are generally much less expensive, are perfectly fine if you only plan to use them occasionally. If you will be processing a lot of ice, meat, or other tough food items, a higher-end food processor will handle the task more quickly and will provide you with a more consistent food texture after processing than a cheaper model generally will.
Once you determine which size and quality of product will best suit your needs, consider maintenance issues. Check to see if it can be washed in the dishwasher or if it will need to be washed by hand. Many products require you to hand wash some internal parts but allow you to put the bowl and food chute in the dishwasher. Others are completely dishwasher safe. You should also research the manufacturer's warranty. Some companies will service their product for 90 days after purchase. Others offer a longer warranty of up to one year. If you are trying to decide between two similar food processors, choose the one with the better warranty. This will give you extra peace of mind as you bring your new appliance home.