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How BIG of a food processor do I need? Heavy duty?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Silly question. Bear with me.

I'm thinking about buying a food processor, because my blender isn't cutting it when it comes to making bean dip, etc., and I'm just wondering....how big of one do I need?

I have a tiny chopster for mincing onions, but I'm looking at being able to pour a few cups of beans in, or doing pie crust, or chopping vegetables and the like.

Is it worth it to get the 12-cup one?
Would the 7-cup one be just fine?

Also, is it worth it to get the Cuisinart/Kitchen Aid processor, or would one of the humbler brands do just fine?

post #2 of 12
Personally I think you want to go for quality here if your pocketbook can stand it. I have a KitchenAid that I love but I think Cuisinart can be a great choice too. I don't know the cup size of my but it's "full sized" and large enough for pie crusts and the like. The only think I wish I had was a dough blade which I may ask for from Santa. I use my processor many times every week.
post #3 of 12
My 7 cup Cuisinart has been great for pie crust, shortbread cookies, icing, or pureed beans, chopping onions, grating carrots or large amounts of cheese, making a small cabbage worth of coleslaw, whipping batter or cheesecake filling really well. The only thing it hasn't been enough for was large amounts of applesauce, and for that I just did a little at a time, poured out and refilled to do more.
post #4 of 12
I'm just jumping in to make a point that is sort of related, though a little off topic... If you use a dishwasher, you might want to pick the size that will fit and that is okay to put in there. My MIL got me a cheap food processor... I fit alright in the dishwasher(handwashing this puppy wasn't doable), but after going through a few times it got all cracked and warped and messed up. Ease of cleaning would be my main motivator in buying one... I think I'd settle for whichever size seemed like it would be easiest to wash. I'd shudder in horror at the thought of using mine, no matter how easy it made things, just because it was a PITA to clean. I got rid of it.
post #5 of 12
I believe i have a 9 or 10 c KA, and it easily handled several cups of beans (enough to make 6c of hummus).

My recommendation is always to get the model with multiple size bowls. I use the small bowl far more often than the big one, for everything from mayo to spice rubs. But i need the big one for things like chopping 5 onions for a day's worth of cooking, making food for a party/holiday, or even just making a batch of pate. Dishwasher safe is a huge consideration though, assuming you have one.

I would stick with the big brands on something like this.
post #6 of 12
I have a Cuisinart 7 cup model. I love it. It's fairly easy to clean (sometimes hand wash, sometimes dishwasher), fast & strong, and came with all the accesories that I need (grater, slicer, dough blade, and metal blade). I can see where the 7 cup model would be too small if you trying to puree soup or make a big batch of applesauce. However, for 95% of my usage, the 7 cup is big enough.

I use mine all the time and certainly would have burned up a cheapo model in about six months--nut butter anyone? Certainly spend as much as you can afford--the holidays are coming up, maybe you can request Amazon gift cards? (my ILs never know what to get us, so that's what we do) I have also seen nice food processors (almost new, still in the box) on Craig's List--people are decluttering and realize they never use it.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Fantastic. Thanks, everyone! This gives me something to start with.

Beans, nuts, vegetables....the possibilities are endless.
post #8 of 12
honestly... I think a smaller one might be better. I have a large one, but find my self not wanting to drag it out. My mom has 3 processer-like items, and she uses the middle one the most. My dad uses the large one to make his 'salad' for the week, so if you have a specific use in mind, that might be good.

She doesn't do any baking though.
post #9 of 12
I believe I have the 9 cup Cuisinart one. I absolutely LOVE that thing. I use it so much that I leave it out on my counter, along with my kitchen aid mixer, but I use the food processor more. It has fit in every dishwasher that I have had (3 different houses, 3 different dishwashers) and is a cinch to handwash, too.
post #10 of 12
I have an old 7-cup Cuisinart that has stood the test of time. I can think of only one time it wasn't big enough to handle a recipe I was making, but it turned out the mixer was a better choice anyway. I do agree that #1 priority should be ease of cleaning/DW-ability. I'd never use mine if I couldn't put it in the DW.

I do have times when I wish I still had the small bowl to fit on my blender base, but if you can afford one with different-size bowls, go for it!
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Oh, my number one priority is that it fit in the dishwasher.

I'm eating less meat and I'm finding that a lot of the recipes in Vegetarian Times call for a food processor: bean spreads/dips, pureed vegetable soups...

I've tried using my blender, but it just seems like it makes everything into a smoothie.
post #12 of 12
I use a cuisinart 11 cup model. I love it. I use it mainly for shredding cabbage for kraut and cole slaw, so I wanted the big one. I think you would be OK with a smaller one, like 7 cup or so. Mine says it's dishwasher safe, but I don't do that. I have a super hot dishwasher and I think it makes the plastic more brittle. I've had to replace my feeding shoot thing once already because it was slowly breaking more and more each time I put a quarter cabbage into it. I had it 3 or 4 years and shred cabbage about twice a month before it broke. Maybe I'm just really hard on my food processor. I also use it to shred a pound or two of cheese at a time.
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