From Season 6: Summer Fruit Desserts
What should a food processor—at minimum—be able to do? For starters, it ought to chop, grate, and slice vegetables; grind dry ingredients; and cut fat into flour for pie pastry. If it can’t whiz through these tasks, it’s wasting counterspace. The cheaper models failed most of these basic tests.
Considering that these cheaper food processors had a hard time with basic tasks, we had little hope that they could manage more challenging jobs, such as kneading bread dough or pureeing soup. Sure enough, the cheaper models lived down to their reputation when it came to making pizza dough. As for pureeing soup, all three bargain machines leaked soup from the bottom of the bowl. (The puree itself turned out OK.)
In the end, then, we cannot recommend any of the three cheaper food processors we tested, and it was clear that more money does buy a better, more heavy-duty processor. The blades for our two favorites are among the sturdiest and appear to be the sharpest. Their motors had more weight, ran quieter, and did not slow down under a heavy load of bread dough. But when it came to pureeing soups, the results were more mixed. Only one model could handle a lot of liquid without leaking. We finally chose two favorites; with our final recommendation being the pricier contender, thanks to its ability with vegetable preparation.
Finally, many food processors come with attachments. As you might expect, some are completely useless, while others are surprisingly well designed. Of the attachments that came with our various models, we especially liked mini bowls and compact covers.
Victorinox (formerly Victorinox Forschner) 6-inch Straight Boning Knife: Flexible
The nonslip grip and narrow, straight blade let testers remove the smallest bones with precision and complete comfort. Perfectly balanced with enough flexibility to maneuver around tight joints. The low price was a bonus.
|★ ★ ★||★ ★ ★||$19.95|
Wüsthof Classic Boning Knife
Hefty in weight, this knife was a solid performer when removing poultry bones, and the handle was easy to grip, even when covered in chicken fat. Piercing silver skin was a challenge since the tip wasnt sharp enough and the long narrow blade produced slightly jagged cuts.
|★ ★||★ ★ ★||$99.95|
|Recommended with Reservations|
Mundial Boning Knife: Flexible
The sharp tip performed well when removing silver skin, but it was too flexible when maneuvering around poultry joints, leaving testers feeling a lack of control. The heavy handle was slightly unbalanced and became slippery once covered in poultry fat.
|★ ★||★ ★||$19.95|
Shun Gokujo Filet Knife
Designed to replicate a samurai blade, this expensive knife was a disappointment. It struggled to pierce the silver skin, although long cuts were smooth and even. Minimal flexibility and extreme curve got in the way when maneuvering around joints. The smooth handle was hard to grip and slippery.
MAC Boning KnifeChef Series
The large, cumbersome handle reminded testers of an outdoors knife for fishing and hunting. The blade was too wide to maneuver around joints and it struggled to pierce silver skin. Unlike other knives, this boning knife could only slice in one direction, making intricate cuts around joints difficult.
Messermeister San Moritz Elite Flexible Boning Knife
The blade was so flexible it led to erratic cuttings; testers said the knife was hard to control. The blade was not sturdy enough to maneuver around joints and the lightweight handle felt flimsy and unbalanced.