Food Processors vs. Choppers – What To Choose?

I cook a substantial amount and really enjoy it. However, the preparation beforehand is something I don’t particularly like and in particular, chopping.  It takes time and can be fiddly. I often have knife mishaps and generally don’t like the whole process. I have often thought I would like a kitchen gadget to take away the pain of this for me…but what to buy…

I would like a machine that can chop and slice food but at the same time I want value for money.  I also, do not have a large amount of space and I know some of these machines can be bulky. Do I opt for a multitasking food processor or go for a dedicated chopper and get a separate processing machine? For me this is where you start to research on the web and look for the spec. of both types and look at exactly what you want.

What is a Food Processor? 

In short, a food processor is an electric chopper.  It usually comes with a large bowl and some interchangeable attachments that chop, slice and grate.

Food processors are versatile and can also be used to mix, whisk, whip and knead dough. Hence the need for a multitude of attachments.

These machines can be quite large, so if you are limited for countertop space, this may not be the machine for you. If you go for a more compact size you usually lose some of the versatility of the machine ie: the bowl is smaller, it doesn’t have a dough hook, has a smaller chopping attachment etc. 

Pros 

  • These machines are usually very large, no need to make food in batches as capacity is greater
  • Comes with variety of attachments as standard for chopping, grating, slicing, mixing etc.
  • Can take on a multitude of tasks ie: whisking, mixing and whipping
  • Pulse Option. Handy if you need to aerate ingredients, like dough, or you don’t want a constant mixer motion, just a quick, short burst
  • Not as messy as some food mixers

Cons

  • Large, need substantial countertop space for the machine
  • When mixing ingredients, this machine can be very noisy
  • Not as good as machines dedicated for each separate task
  • Can produce uneven chopping due to the blades being used for a multitude of tasks and not tailored to one specific task

Multitasking 

Food Processors do carry out a multitude of tasks but don’t always do them well. Uneven chopping can be a problem.  This is due to the blades being used as a multi-use tool instead of being made for one particular purpose.  Some come with a dough hook to mix dough for bread, pizza etc. but in my experience they do not do this as well as a machine created with a specific purpose ie: dough making.

They can be large so take up space, please bear this in mind before purchasing and they can be noisy too.

Food processors’ main selling point is that they are multitasking and could be viewed as money saving, if you want a machine that can do a bit of everything. If you cook a lot and like to create a variety of dishes in the kitchen, then these machines can be invaluable. 

Food Chopper Explained 

A food chopper is generally small in size and holds between 1 and 4 cups.  Food choppers can be used to chop, grind or mix a variety of foods.

It has no attachments, so what you see is what you get. They can be aesthetically pleasing too, usually come in one main piece and they do not take up much room.

These machines are not heavy duty and can only chop small quantities at a time, so for recipes with larger quantities you may need to chop your ingredients in multiple batches.

As this is a dedicated chopping machine, they chop well. Slices are even and choppers tend to whirr, which makes them reasonably quiet.

Pros

  • Dedicated chopping machines chop evenly
  • Small compact size.
  • Usually one piece machines, easier to clean and are more aesthetically pleasing compared to other machines
  • Due to the way they chop, they make a whirring noise, making them more quiet than other machines. 

Cons 

  • Single use, it only chops
  • Doesn’t come apart, can be tricky to clean

Conclusion

What you buy is dependent on your various needs, kitchen size, budget and usage. Processors can be expensive and tricky to clean due to the machine having many parts and attachments but they are multitasking.

If you are a regular cook like me, then a chopper alone may not be for you. It has limited use but what it does do, it does well and it is substantially cheaper in comparison.

You need to weigh up whether the cost of a food processor is worth the usage you will get out of it. Both are good at what they do but also have limitations. Consider what you really need.

For me, I cook regularly and have a very small kitchen, however, I am going to splurge and buy both.

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