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Which food processors and choppers work the best?

April 5, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
You've probably seen infomercials pitching food processors and food choppers that seem to make meal preparation a breeze. But when it comes down to it, how well do they work?

As Seen on TV food choppers like the Magic Bullet Express and the Ninja Master Prep and promise fast, easy results. To see if these products can cut it, Consumer Reports tested more than 40 food choppers and processors, including ones from Cuisinart and KitchenAid.

"Food choppers are typically for smaller jobs, so they're smaller and less expensive. They're designed for chopping foods like garlic, nuts and herbs," said Consumer Reports' Dan DiClerico.

You can spend as little as $13 on a chopper or as much as $450 for a commercial-grade food processor. Testers used a bunch of foods to see how well each performs.

Frozen peas size up puréeing; nuts assess chopping; potatoes are used for shredding; mushrooms are used to rate slicing; and cheese challenges grating capability.

The Bullet Express processor left testers with whole peas, not puréed ones. While the Magic Bullet Express chopper puréed very well, but when it came to chopping, it left chunks of nuts and lots of almond dust. However, the $60 Ninja chopper handled chopping and puréeing with ease, and it grated cheese as well as top-performing food processors.

If you want a food processor for bigger jobs, testers recommend Cuisinart's 14-Cup Food Processor for $200.

"Our testers loved the larger bowl, the wider feed tube, and there's even a drizzle hole for making things like pesto, mayo or hummus," said DiClerico.

Consumer Reports also recommends the KitchenAid 7-Cup Food Processor for $100. It's smaller than the recommended Cuisinart, but it' still pretty impressive and it costs half as much.

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