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Is the Vitamix Ascent Food-Processor Attachment Any Good?
We love the Vitamix Ascent blender. Is its food processor attachment any good?
What You Need To Know
The Vitamix A2500 is one of our favorite high-end blenders. So we were intrigued when we heard that Vitamix had come out with a food-processor attachment that was compatible with the A2500 and other models in its Ascent and Venturist series. The potential is tempting: Instead of crowding your cabinet space with two bulky appliances, you can have one multitasking workhorse that acts as both a blender and a food processor.
The attachment is essentially a mixing bowl like the one you'd see on a typical food processor, which goes on the A2500’s base. Once the bowl is locked in place, the blender is able to recognize it and automatically put the blender into food-processing mode. The attachment comes with two reversible disks, each having two functions. One disk allows you to either coarsely shred ingredients or slice them into ¼-inch-thick pieces. The other lets you either finely shred ingredients or slice them into thinner, ⅛-inch-thick pieces.
We put it through all the tests we typically use to evaluate food processors, using it to shred cheddar cheese, grate carrots, slice potatoes and tomatoes, dice vegetables for mirepoix, grind frozen meat, and knead pie and pizza dough.
What We Liked
- Good Emulsifying: Its feed tube has a small hole on the bottom, allowing oil to drip in slowly so that we could emulsify mayonnaise easily.
- Uniform Chopping and Shredding: It excelled at simple chopping tasks, making uniform mirepoix and evenly mincing a bunch of parsley. It was also capable of chopping frozen cubes of steak and butter into even, pea-size bits, as we do in our recipe for Tender Juicy Grilled Burgers. And it shredded cheddar and carrots into thin, short strips in the blink of an eye.
- Even Slicing: We were impressed by how well the attachment sliced delicate tomatoes using both of the slicing disks. After trimming potatoes extensively to fit them through the feed tube, most came out in even slices, though potato ends sometimes got shredded as they spun around the tube due to their light weight. Still, since we lost only a small portion of the potato to trimming and shredding, this seemed a minor flaw.
- Saves Space: The accessories and processing bowl can be neatly packed into one compact unit, making it a few inches shorter than a full-size food processor for lack of the base.
- Easy Cleanup: Everything except the base is dishwasher-safe. And all parts were easy enough to clean by hand, too, as a gentle wash with hot and soapy water did the trick.
What We Didn’t Like
- Unresponsive Pulse Button: The touchscreen wasn’t as responsive on food processor mode as on blender mode, taking the ...
Everything We Tested
Recommended with reservations
- Performance: 1 stars out of 3.
- Ease Of Use: 2 stars out of 3.
- Cleanup: 3 stars out of 3.
This attachment can turn your Ascent- or Venturist-series Vitamix blender into a food processor. This powerful device excelled at finely chopping and shredding ingredients into even pieces. It can also turn whole plum tomatoes into slices of identical thickness in mere seconds. Most of the attachment pieces (except the base of the mixing bowl) are dishwasher-safe but each was also easy to clean by hand. Though the attachment comes in multiple pieces, it can be packed up in one large unit, which makes it easier to store than a full-size food processor. However, its touchscreen wasn’t responsive and the motor took an additional 2 seconds to come to a full stop. There are other problems that came with its powerful motor It easily overheated while kneading pie dough. When we used the attachment to knead pizza dough, the machine struggled so hard that the motor nearly knocked the mixing bowl off its base, and we could smell burnt grease from the motor. Another minor complaint we had was the irregular shape of its feeding tube, which required us to trim ingredients especially carefully to get them to fit.
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The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.
Valerie Sizhe Li
Valerie is an assistant editor for ATK Reviews. In addition to cooking, she loves skiing, traveling, and spending time outdoors.