Unless you run a restaurant, you probably do not need a professional food processor for everyday food prep. Rather, a mini food processor offers many advantages and is a more appropriate choice. No matter what the ingredients, the best mini food processors can handle it all.
If you’re having trouble choosing, our buying guide and in-depth reviews should help. By the time you finish reading this article, you should be able to make the best informed purchase for yourself.
Best Mini Prep Food Processor
What is a food processor?
A food processor is a versatile appliance that can prepare any food in a variety of ways. Chopping, grating, mixing dough, and other time-consuming manual tasks can be done quickly with a food processor.
A food processor typically consists of four parts: a base, a clear plastic body, a set of removable blades, and a lid. The speed and pulse controls are located on the bottom of the food processor. The body of the food processor is large and roomy enough to accommodate large recipes. The lid of the food processor is equipped with a high feed chute for mixing while adding ingredients. Unlike blenders, which have only one blade, food processors have a variety of blades to perform all kinds of tasks, such as grating, cutting, chopping, and blending. They can also be equipped with bowl inserts that allow you to perform several different tasks simultaneously in different compartments.
Due to its body shape and the versatility of its blades, the food processor is well suited for processing dry ingredients. It is not so good at mixing liquid ingredients. Wet ingredients that are partially mixed tend to stick to the sides of the bowl where the blades cannot reach. Unlike a mixer, a food processor works properly even when the contents are filled to the brim.
Best Mini Prep Food Processor | Comparison Table 2024
|KitchenAid KFC3516CU 3.5 Cup Mini Food Processor, Contour Silver (Renewed)
|Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini-Prep Plus 24-Ounce Food-Processors, 3 Cup, Brushed Chrome and Nickel
|Hamilton Beach Stack & Snap 4-Cup Mini Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper, 250 Watts, for Slicing, Shredding, and Puree, Black (70510)
|Mainstays 1.5 Cup One-Touch Pulse Stainless Steel Blade Mini Food Chopper
|Food Processor - Cordless Mini Electric Food Chopper 200-Watt Small Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper 2.5 Cup 20 Oz Glass Bowl with Scraper for Blending, Mincing and Meal Preparation
|Mueller Mini Food Processor, Electric Food Chopper, 1.5-cup Meat Grinder, Mix, Chop, Mince and Blend Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Meats, Stainless Steel Blade, Black
|Real Simple Electric Mini Food Processor | Mini Chopper for Quick Food Prep Station, Portable Salad and Minced Onion | Portable USB Charging, 250 ML Food Container | Grey
|Hamilton Beach Electric Vegetable Chopper & Mini Food Processor, 3-Cup, 350 Watts, for Dicing, Mincing, and Puree, Black (72850)
|Zyliss Easy Pull Food Processor - Pull Chopper and Manual Food Processor - Handheld Vegetable Slicer and Dicer - For Travel, Camping, Small Kitchens, and RVs - Dishwasher Safe
Best Mini Prep Food Processor | Reviews 2024
How To Pick The Best Mini Prep Food Processor | Ultimate Guide 2024
It is important to consider what type of cooking tasks a food processor is ideally suited for. Food processors are ideal for quickly chopping and pureeing foods that would take a long time to do by hand. Some models also offer additional features such as grating, spiralizing vegetables, and variable-width blades that mimic the slicing action of a mandolin. Food processors are also ideal for batch blending soft or wet ingredients such as tomatoes to make pasta sauce, pizza dough, homemade mayonnaise or dressings.
The best models have sharp blades that can chop vegetables and herbs evenly without pureeing, grate cheese evenly, slice cleanly, and grind dry ingredients such as bread crumbs and nuts finely. In other words, the blade or grater should be sharp right out of the box and should last for years. It should also have no “mixing holes” between the blade and the bowl, allowing the liquid and soft ingredients to mix evenly, without having to constantly stop and scrape the sides, and without leaving unmixed portions.
Many food processors offer a variety of additional features beyond single-speed increments. Pulse buttons and speed settings are useful for slow, safe chopping to the desired grain size. Additional blades may also be added for grating, slicing, shredding, or spiraling. In addition, some models allow you to adjust the width/thickness of the slices and the shape/size of the grated or spiral-cut vegetables even while processing. Some models also have a nested work bowl that doubles as a mini chopper and a full-size food processor. Some models also have a centrifuge attachment with a work bowl that doubles as a measuring cup and an easy pour spout.
Most high-end food processors have a bowl lid and a feeding tube into which food is inserted for chopping, dicing, slicing, grinding, pureeing, or kneading (for dough).
Long or bulky foods, such as carrots or potatoes, can be easily fed in and placed straight against the rotating blades for clean, precise cuts. The mechanism for adding liquid through the lid during processing is a big plus.
You will often need to add oil, water, or other liquids to the wet or dry mix during processing to achieve a smooth finish.
High-quality food processors have powerful motors and sturdy bases that secure them to the counter, allowing them to mix heavy starch dough and other thick foods without bouncing. Some smaller models have suction cups to secure them to the counter. Many food processors also have safety locks on the lid to prevent the machine from turning on with the blade exposed. Some models also have seals or sealed work bowls to prevent wet ingredients from getting out and onto you or your counter during processing.
The wattage of the motor determines the power of the food processor. When trying to process heavy foods, such as dough or hard cheese, in two batches, weaker models tend to freeze or stop. They also tend to wear out easily under normal use and make more noise during processing.
Ease of use
You want a food processor with intuitive, easy-to-understand controls, simple assembly and locking mechanisms for bowls and lids, and easy cleanup.
Dishwasher-safe components are a must. Also, a cord wind-up device keeps the counter clear.
One of the best ways to gauge the ease of use of a particular model is to read food processor reviews online.
Some sacrifices were made in motor size and power in exchange for a smaller size, so you need to have realistic expectations. As for capacity, it can hold up to 7 cups, which is about right. This may not seem like a lot, but it should still be enough for a family of three or four.
You will notice that the bowl as well as the feed tube are not as wide as you might think. In many cases, foods that don’t fit in the tube are cut into smaller pieces before insertion. But other than that, there is nothing to worry about.
These mini food processors are a good starting point for new cooks who need to practice and get the hang of it. After a while, you will get tired of these choppers and realize that you need something more powerful, like a regular food processor. But that is a story for another time.
Blades and discs
Mini food processors do more than just chop and mince. It can also mix sauces, crush nuts, puree jams, and much more. But unlike high-end food processors that come with specialized blades, mini food processors only come with standard S-shaped blades.
Mini food processors are fine for most foods, but they can take longer to process hard foods. Root vegetables, blocks of cheese, pasta, and hard chocolate do not allow the blades to ensure an even, consistent cut. The cost of running the blades is that the motor can overheat and eventually burn out.
Controls and Speeds
Look for simple controls with large knobs, easy-to-turn dials, and push-down lids. The best models have a pulse function, which gives you more control over chopping and allows you to avoid over-processing the food by rotating it so that the bottom is not chopped more than the top. When working with hard or delicate foods, look for a model that has at least one high speed and one low speed.
Motor Output and Speed Levels
As for motor output, it need not exceed 500 W for small quantities. At the very least, the noise will not go away immediately, but it will be much easier to tolerate.
A typical mini-food processor has two speeds, automatic and pulse, with the latter being more controllable. In addition, some models allow for multiple pulse speed settings, but often up to three.
In pulse mode, the blade runs at maximum speed until the finger is released from the button. Ideally, the pulse should be from 5 to 20 seconds with a short pause in between. This allows for more manual control of the food, determining the consistency of the mixture, the liquid
Ease of cleaning
Regular food processors are often difficult to clean, but not so with the Mini. It is easy to disassemble and clean the parts by hand or in the dishwasher.
Nevertheless, the blades and discs require more attention and care than other parts. Any debris stuck under the rim can be a challenge to rinse out all the nooks and crannies.
In addition, these parts can become less sharp over time due to routine wear and inadequate maintenance. Hard or sticky materials can also exceed the blade’s limits and deform or damage the assembly.
Holding bowls and inserts should be washed by hand, rather than relying on a dishwasher. Also, unless you have small hands, it will be difficult to reach the inside of these parts without a brush.
The mini food processor has several safety features, the most obvious of which is the lid lock. To prevent food from spilling, rubber gaskets and splash guards help keep your kitchen clean.
If individual components are not installed in the correct order or locked in place, the entire unit will not start. The feed chute and push rod also keep the high-speed blades a safe distance from your hands.
Although the S-shaped blade is highly versatile, there are some tasks and ingredients it cannot handle. For this reason, some mini food processors come with a set of special blades. These include serrated blades for ultra-fine cutting, plastic kneaders, and grating and slicing discs for a variety of kitchen tasks.
However, given the overall price, such models are rare. In any case, additional blades and discs can be purchased from official manufacturers or third-party suppliers. However, check the instruction manual or contact the distributor in advance to make sure that the appliance is compatible.
Mini food processors are all commonly found for under $100. They are a quick and easy purchase for cooks who want to simplify the process.
Best Mini Prep Food Processor | Video Explanation
Why do I need a food processor when I have a blender?
There is a big difference between a food processor and a blender, but there are some tasks that can be done with either. A blender is designed to be taller, more upright, and smaller at the bottom, and usually requires the addition of liquid ingredients to work. Food processors, on the other hand, work with dry ingredients and can handle larger ingredients (larger vegetables, dough) because of their wide, flat bottoms.
How many food processors do I need?
A mini food processor or chopper would be ideal for making small portions or chopping nuts and garlic. A large-capacity food processor would be appropriate for family members, and a very large-capacity food processor would be appropriate for those who entertain or cater.
Note that the bowl size indicated by the manufacturer does not correspond to the exact amount of ingredients that can be added at one time. Food processors typically only hold 1 to 2 cups more than the size of the bowl and less (about half) of the liquid contents.
What is the capacity of your food processor?
In this case, size is important. Too small and the food processor will not work, too large and it will take up too much counter space. Here is a guide to help you find the best machine.
Is A Mini Food Processor Useful?
Yes, a mini food processor can be useful for a variety of kitchen tasks. While a full-size food processor is great for large-scale food preparation, a mini food processor is more compact and can handle smaller quantities of ingredients. Here are some ways a mini food processor can be useful:
- Chopping herbs and nuts: A mini food processor can easily chop small amounts of herbs, nuts, and other ingredients for sauces, dips, and toppings.
- Making small batches of pesto, hummus, or salsa: A mini food processor can quickly blend and puree ingredients for small batches of dips and spreads.
- Grinding spices: A mini food processor can grind whole spices, such as peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, and cardamom pods, for fresh, flavorful spice blends.
- Making breadcrumbs: A mini food processor can easily turn stale bread into breadcrumbs for use in recipes.
- Making baby food: A mini food processor can puree cooked fruits and vegetables into smooth, homemade baby food.
Overall, a mini food processor is a versatile tool that can be useful for a range of kitchen tasks. It may not be necessary for everyone, but it can certainly make certain tasks easier and more efficient.
What Is The Size Of A Mini Food Processor?
The size of a mini food processor can vary depending on the model and brand. Typically, a mini food processor has a smaller capacity and a compact design compared to a full-sized food processor. The capacity of a mini food processor is usually around 1 to 4 cups, while a full-sized food processor can hold up to 14 cups or more.
In terms of dimensions, a mini food processor may have a height of around 8 to 10 inches and a width of 5 to 7 inches, which makes it easy to store in a small kitchen or on a crowded countertop. However, it’s important to note that different brands and models may have different sizes, so it’s always a good idea to check the specific dimensions of the mini food processor you’re interested in before purchasing.
What Do Mini Food Processors Do?
Mini food processors are versatile kitchen appliances that can perform a variety of food preparation tasks quickly and efficiently. Here are some of the things that mini-food processors can do:
- Chop: Mini food processors can chop vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, and other ingredients into small pieces for use in recipes.
- Puree: They can puree ingredients like cooked vegetables, fruits, and beans to make soups, dips, sauces, and baby food.
- Grind: Mini food processors can grind whole spices, coffee beans, and grains into powders for use in cooking or baking.
- Blend: They can blend together ingredients like fruit, yogurt, and ice to make smoothies and other beverages.
- Mix: Mini food processors can mix ingredients like dough, batter, and whipped cream for baking and desserts.
- Shred and grate: They can shred and grate vegetables, cheese, and other ingredients for salads, casseroles, and toppings.
Overall, mini food processors are versatile appliances that can save time and effort in the kitchen by quickly and easily performing many common food preparation tasks.
What Is The Difference Between A Food Processor And A Mini Chopper?
The main difference between a food processor and a mini chopper is their size and capacity. Food processors are larger and have a greater capacity than mini choppers, which are smaller and designed for smaller jobs. Here are some more specific differences:
- Capacity: A food processor has a larger capacity than a mini chopper, typically ranging from 7 to 14 cups, while a mini chopper has a capacity of around 1 to 4 cups.
- Power: Food processors usually have a more powerful motor than mini choppers, which allows them to handle tougher jobs like kneading dough or shredding cheese.
- Versatility: Food processors are generally more versatile than mini choppers, with the ability to perform a wider range of functions such as slicing, shredding, and grating. Mini choppers are usually designed for simpler tasks like chopping vegetables and herbs.
- Size and Storage: Food processors are bulkier and take up more counter and storage space than mini choppers, which are more compact and easier to store.
Overall, a food processor is a more versatile and powerful appliance that can handle a wider range of food preparation tasks, while a mini chopper is smaller and more suitable for simpler tasks like chopping small amounts of ingredients.
Can You Make Dough In A Mini Food Processor?
Yes, you can make the dough in a mini-food processor, but it depends on the type of dough and the capacity of your mini-food processor. Mini-food processors are generally not as powerful as full-sized food processors, and their capacity may not be sufficient for larger batches of dough.
That being said, mini food processors can be great for making small batches of dough, such as for pizza or flatbreads. Here are some tips for making dough in a mini food processor:
- Use the pulse function: Start by pulsing the flour, salt, and other dry ingredients in the mini food processor. This will help evenly distribute the ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients: Slowly add the wet ingredients, such as water or oil, while pulsing the mixture. Be sure not to over-process the dough, as this can make it tough.
- Knead the dough by hand: Once the dough comes together, transfer it to a floured surface and knead it by hand until it becomes smooth and elastic. This will help develop the gluten in the dough, which gives it structure and helps it rise.
- Rest the dough: Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out or shaping it. This allows the gluten to relax and makes the dough easier to work with.
Overall, making dough in a mini food processor can be a convenient option for small batches, but for larger batches or more complex doughs, it may be better to use a full-sized food processor or mix the dough by hand.
Can Mini Food Processor Grind Meat?
Yes, mini food processors can grind meat, but it depends on the power of the motor and the capacity of the food processor. Mini-food processors are generally not as powerful as full-sized food processors, which may make it more difficult to grind tougher cuts of meat.
If you want to grind meat in a mini food processor, it’s important to choose lean cuts of meat that are free of sinew, gristle, and bone. Here are some tips for grinding meat in a mini food processor:
- Cut the meat into small pieces: Cut the meat into small chunks or strips that will fit easily into the food processor.
- Chill the meat and the food processor: It’s important to keep the meat and the food processor as cold as possible to prevent the meat from heating up and becoming tough. Chill the meat in the freezer for about 20 minutes before grinding, and place the food processor bowl in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes before using it.
- Use the pulse function: Pulse the meat in short bursts rather than running the food processor continuously. This will help prevent the meat from becoming too fine or overheating the motor.
- Don’t overfill the food processor: Only grind a small amount of meat at a time, making sure not to overfill the food processor bowl.
Overall, while mini food processors can grind meat, it may be easier and more efficient to use a full-sized food processor or a dedicated meat grinder for larger batches or tougher cuts of meat.
What Can I Use Instead Of A Mini Food Processor?
If you don’t have a mini food processor, there are several alternatives you can use to achieve similar results:
- Blender: A blender can be a good alternative to a mini food processor for pureeing ingredients like fruits and vegetables. However, blenders may not be as effective for chopping or shredding ingredients.
- Mortar and pestle: A mortar and pestle can be used to grind spices, herbs, and nuts, but it may take more time and effort than using a food processor.
- Knife: A sharp chef’s knife can be used to chop, dice, and slice ingredients like vegetables, fruits, and herbs.
- Box grater: A box grater can be used to grate ingredients like cheese, vegetables, and fruits, but it may not be as effective for shredding or slicing.
- Mandoline: A mandoline can be used to slice vegetables and fruits quickly and uniformly, but it may not be as effective for other food preparation tasks.
- Hand mixer: A hand mixer can be used to mix and blend ingredients like dough, batter, and whipped cream.
Overall, while a mini food processor can be a convenient kitchen appliance, there are several alternatives you can use to achieve similar results, depending on the specific food preparation task you need to perform.
What Can You Chop In A Mini Food Processor?
A mini food processor can be used to chop a variety of ingredients quickly and efficiently. Here are some examples of ingredients you can chop in a mini food processor:
- Vegetables: A mini food processor can be used to chop vegetables like onions, garlic, carrots, celery, bell peppers, and more. Chopped vegetables are great for use in soups, stews, salads, and stir-fries.
- Herbs: Fresh herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, and mint can be quickly chopped in a mini food processor. Chopped herbs are great for use in sauces, dips, and marinades.
- Nuts: Nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pecans can be chopped in a mini food processor to make nut butter, or to add texture and flavor to baked goods, salads, and more.
- Fruits: Soft fruits like bananas, strawberries, and mangoes can be chopped in a mini food processor to make smoothies, purees, or fruit sauces.
- Cheese: Hard cheeses like Parmesan or cheddar can be grated or shredded in a mini food processor to use as a topping for pasta dishes, salads, or sandwiches.
Overall, a mini food processor can be a versatile kitchen tool for chopping a variety of ingredients. However, it’s important to remember that mini-food processors are generally not as powerful as full-sized food processors, and may have limited capacity for larger batches of ingredients.
Can A Mini Chopper Chop Ice?
Most mini choppers are not designed to chop ice. The blades of mini choppers are typically designed to chop or puree softer foods like vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Chopping ice requires a more powerful motor and specialized blades that can crush and shave the ice.
If you want to crush ice, it’s best to use a blender with a powerful motor and a dedicated ice-crushing setting, or a specialized ice crusher. Some full-sized food processors may also have ice-crushing capabilities, but it’s important to check the manufacturer’s instructions before attempting to crush ice in a food processor.
Attempting to chop ice in a mini chopper can damage the motor or blades and may be unsafe. It’s always best to use the appliance for its intended purpose and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe and efficient operation.
Which Is a More Powerful Blender Or a Food Processor?
Generally speaking, blenders tend to be more powerful than food processors. Blenders are designed to blend, puree, and liquefy ingredients, which requires a powerful motor and sharp blades. Food processors, on the other hand, are designed to chop, shred, and slice ingredients, which may not require as much power as blending.
Blenders typically have motors with higher wattage, which allows them to blend ingredients into a smoother consistency. Many blenders also have multiple blades that work together to create a vortex that pulls ingredients down into the blades, which helps to ensure consistent blending.
Food processors, on the other hand, may have smaller motors and fewer blades, since their main function is to chop or shred ingredients rather than blend them into a smooth consistency. However, food processors can still be quite powerful and effective at their intended tasks.
Overall, while both blenders and food processors can be powerful kitchen appliances, blenders tend to be more powerful when it comes to blending and pureeing ingredients, while food processors excel at chopping, shredding, and slicing.
Can You Use A Mini Food Processor To Grind Spices?
Yes, you can use a mini food processor to grind spices. In fact, a mini food processor can be a convenient and efficient way to grind small quantities of spices quickly and easily.
To grind spices in a mini food processor, simply add the spices to the bowl of the processor and pulse until they are ground to the desired consistency. It’s important to use a dry mini food processor bowl and blade attachment, as moisture can cause the spices to clump together and affect the texture of the final product.
Keep in mind that some spices may be more difficult to grind than others, and may require multiple pulses or a longer processing time. It’s also important to clean the mini food processor thoroughly after grinding spices, to prevent any residual spice flavor from affecting future recipes.
Overall, a mini food processor can be a useful tool for grinding spices, especially if you only need to grind small quantities at a time. However, if you need to grind larger quantities of spices, a full-sized food processor or dedicated spice grinder may be more efficient.
It’s hard to find a kitchen appliance as versatile and space-saving as a food processor. Like the trusty Swiss Army knife, mini food processors are multifunctional, lightweight, and inexpensive. We hope you found both our guide to buying the best mini food processor and our review useful and informative.
Hi, I’m Jennifer Lawrence, Went to Calhoun High School (Georgia) my goal is to make the kitchen fun by providing a mathematical and logical component to our approach to cooking good food. I look not only at delicious recipes but also at kitchen tools and gadgets to give you the tips and tricks we hope you will find useful. Read More Here