12 Recommended products shine at chopping, slicing and shredding
YONKERS, N.Y., April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the weather warms, fresh ingredients are back on store shelves and food processors and choppers are ready for the summer entertaining season. Food processors can shred fresh veggies, whip up savory sauces, and grind ground beef for burgers without the mystery meat. Consumer Reports found 12 strong performers in its tests of food processors and choppers, starting at just $40.
Consumer Reports testers chopped, sliced, shredded, puréed and grated nuts, herbs, vegetables, meats and more with 45 food processors and choppers and found that a high price tag doesn't guarantee a spot-on slice. The full report is available in the May issue of Consumer Reports available on newsstands April 5 and online at www.ConsumerReports.org.
"Food processors are a summer staple for any kitchen, especially if you want to get more fresh food in your diet," said Home & Yard editor Bob Markovich. "They're also time-savers for prepping many foods for soups, stews and salads. And mini-choppers are good for small jobs such as mincing garlic and chopping nuts."
Testers found that the Cuisinart DLC-2011CHB ($200)—one of two top-scoring models from that brand—has a large bowl and scored impressively across the board with a wide feed tube plus a hole in the pusher for, say, drizzling oil into homemade hummus or mayonnaise.
For less money and very good chopping, shredding and pureeing, try the CR Best Buy KitchenAid KFP715[WH] ($100), the only food processor or chopper that scored Excellent for Noise. The Waring FPC14 ($450) adds commercial features for a bit more cash, including heavier stainless-steel processing disks with metal hubs instead of the usual plastic hubs.
Consumer Reports also tested some food processors that work double duty: converting to blenders, but none were top performers. Subpar chopping and grating kept one DeLonghi model off the list, and although a Wolfgang Puck model has a reamer for juice, it scored only fair for grating.
Test results on a couple "As Seen on TV" products varied. Ads for the Ninja QB1004 ($60) say it incorporates "ancient Asian metal-working secrets." It delivered superb grating and very good chopping and pureeing. But Consumer Reports Best Buy, the Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus DLC-2A ($40), is nearly as good for $20 less.
The Magic Bullet Express ($50) is another infomercial standby but didn't perform quite as well. It struggled with basic tasks, despite promises that it zips through "any job in 10 seconds or less."
Incorporating a food processor or chopper into meal preparation could be a step towards more healthful eating. Some models come with additional features, like a mini bowl, juicer attachment or interchangeable blades. For best results and easier cleanup, keep these tips in mind:
- To prevent spillage pour in less and make soups and sauces in smaller batches.
- Safety locks are now standard on food processors.
- A wide feed tube saves you the trouble of cutting up potatoes, cucumbers, and other large items.
- A liquid "max" line helps prevent overfilling, which can cause leaks.
- Touchpad controls are easier to wipe clean than paddles.
- A storage case keeps accessories organized.
- A dough blade is great accessory for kneading dough for bread and pizza.
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SOURCE Consumer Reports