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Consumer Reports rates best food processors

September 23, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Many cooks rely on a food processor these days to handle the prep work. As a home pastry chef, Teryn Beyer saves tons of time by using her food processor.

"If I have a big order for carrot cakes, instead of sitting there with the grater and the carrots, I can just throw them all in here and it grates them perfectly or it can chop nuts, or anything," said Beyer.

In the market for a food processor? Consumer Reports tested 20.

This Breville Sous Chef vaulted past the top-rated Cuisinart processor - acing many of Consumer Reports' tough tests including slicing mushrooms, shredding carrots and shredding carrots.

"And it's relatively quiet, so you can easily have a conversation while you're working," said Dan Diclerico of Consumer Reports.

This Sous Chef has a 16-cup work bowl, a mini-bowl insert, and a case where you can neatly and safely store a ton of blades and accessories. But it's 18 inches tall and weighs nearly 20 pounds.

"This is clearly a high-end product that requires premium counter space," said Diclerico. "It does also come at a premium price - 400 dollars!"

If you can live with less than perfect results, consider this $50 Hamilton Beach - model number 70730. It has a decent-size 10-cup work bowl and is fairly light for easy storage.

And while it didn't do a great job puréeing peas, it was very good at slicing mushrooms and did an excellent job shredding carrots.

"The downside is, it's very noisy!" said Diclerico.

Still, it does a lot really well and at a price that's hard to beat.