Here's a little story about finding the best food processor. Imagine this: It’s Friday night and you’re standing in the kitchen.  In less than one hour’s time, twenty people will be showing up at your front door to attend a dinner party you’ve had scheduled for weeks.  Though you’ve prepped and prepared since Tuesday, you were caught at work this afternoon and could not sneak home as early as you would have liked to make your favorite dip.  As you glance at the clock, the thought of chopping and chopping and chopping vegetables makes your stomach knot.  Guess what – it may be time to purchase a food processor.  But before you sprint out the door to purchase your new kitchen toy, pause for a moment and take a few deep breaths.  Food processors are great, but just like any other appliance, no two are exactly alike.  Here are a few things to consider before buying a food processor.

Do I Really Need One? 

While the thought of a putting the best food processor in your kitchen may be alluring, it is important to first ask yourself if you really need one.  This appliance is not a kitchen decoration or collectible gizmo, but a tool.  Just as you would not buy a chainsaw or industrial strength drill gun unless you really needed it, you should first understand whether or not you really need a food processor.  Some questions to ponder:

Do I make a lot of deviously delicious dishes that require a fair amount of chopping or shredding?

Are chips and homemade dip a signature of all my dinner parties?

Do I often dream of grounding my own beef for savory hamburgers?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, this appliance may be just the thing for you.

StorageCuisinart DLC-10S Pro Classic 7-CupCredit: Amazon

Though not overly bulky, a food processor does take up a fair amount of space.  Depending on the make and model, one of these babies can require anywhere from one to two cubic feet of storage space.  Before purchasing, take a look around your kitchen.  Do you have so much open cabinet space that you’ve begun renting it out to friends and neighbors?  Then you’re probably fine.  But if you’re a normal human being like the rest of us, take a moment to assess where the appliance would be stored.

Capacity

Proctor Silex 72500RY 1-1/2-Cup Food ChopperCredit: AmazonWhile food processors come in all shapes and colors, size is paramount for the prospective buyer.  So what size should you get?  Well, remember when you did all that soul searching a few paragraphs back?  Your answer lies in that initial pondering.  Are you just chopping up some tomatoes once and a while?  Do you have a super tiny kitchen?  A mini food processor (3 cups) is probably your style.  Do you make a fair amount of dips for the family?  You probably need a large (11-ish cups).  Are you throwing massive, blow-out dinner parties?  May want to go XL (anywhere from 15-20 cups).  Our recommendation?  Unless you have space constraints in your kitchen, determine how many cups you think you’ll need, and buy one a cup or two larger.

Features

There are a few features worth considering when choosing between different models.  Does the model have a wide mouth feed tube?  This will allow you to feed either larger or more pieces of food into your appliance – think two zucchinis at time.  Pretty cool, right?  How abouBreville BFP800XL Sous Chef Food ProcessorCredit: Amazont a continuous feed?  You know how a wood chipper sucks in branches on one end and then spits it out through a chute on the other?  The continuous feed is your food processor’s version of that chute.  Understand what features come with the model you’re considering.  Quality and brand name aside, the features offered tend to drive the price of an appliance.  Make sure you are not overpaying for features you may not need.  Suggestion: It make be worthwhile to spend a few moments looking through some food processor reviews online to get the low down on different models' cool features.

The best food processor for your lifestyle can make for a great addition to your kitchen appliance arsenal.  If you remember what we covered above, we’re sure you’ll find the model perfect for your lifestyle.  Enjoy!