Tired of all the chopping but apprehensive of spending hundreds on a good yet low-priced food processing machine? Let us look at some of the top affordable food processors in the market.
You don’t have too much to spend on a food chopper, but you have had it with chopping and dicing. Too much time wasted in food prep. Good. Now let’s get you a low-cost processor.
As much as you are working on a budget, you should not compromise on quality. The market has expanded to include several new brands with some of the best models. As long as you’re willing to take the risk, you may be pleasantly surprised.
However it should meet the bare minimal requirements.
Chopping Wet and Dry Ingredients
This is probably the only reason why you are investing in your machine in the first place. You want one with a set of blades sharp enough to chop vegetable and at least ginger or other hard roots. If it crushes nuts as well, you will have scored a major bargain.
The shape of your bowl, the lid (which prevents leaking), and blades will all contribute to this function. Most reasonably priced processors will not puree to a baby-fine consistency, but they should at least make a rough puree.
Well, while the motor may not be powerful enough for raw meat mincing, you can get away with mincing slightly cooked meat. Any motor will shred fish, though, seeing that it is quite tender already.
Dough making will require a more dedicated motor, one that can handle the changing consistency. It will certainly be high-end, with a bowl holding at least 5 cups of ingredients.
Few things rival the annoying sound of a loud machine. If you have thin walls, neighbors, and a small child, I am afraid you will never use your processor in peace.
Well, the truth is that you’ll be hard-pressed to find one with noise levels lower than 85bB (even the high-end ones). You will contend will halting conversations for a minute or making use of it only when everyone is out of the house.
Cheaper May Be Smaller
The cheaper your appliance, the fewer the options you will have. It will probably have fewer blades and an even smaller bowl. That (compromise) is what you get for working with a budget. The upside is that a small footprint will fit anywhere if you are squeezed for space, or even pack it for your travels.
Manual Processor, Anyone?
Before all the electric appliances came and made us lazy, manual operations did just fine. They still do, to date, but they have evolved.
Manual processors are ideal for campers and those who live off the grid. The downside will be the amount of food they can handle at a time. Naturally, you will work slower and produce less, but you will not affect the quality of your food. Plus you will lower your carbon footprint.
What To Consider For A Low-Cost Food Chopper?
The desired size of the processor depends on the size of your meals. If you only need to whip delicacies for two, no need for a huge bowl.
In connection to size, you may want to check the number of blades. In most cases, you will find two sets of blades to accompany a large bowl, making it easy to chop all the food in there.
Blades will have two sides: clockwise movement cuts and chops, while the reverse is blunt and ideal for grinding. That aside, the blunt side returns tour food to the center where the sharp side cuts them evenly and finely. This (reverse) function is not a deal breaker per se, but it sure does help.
You want a food chopper with at least two speeds; the on and off function, and a pulse. If you cannot pulse, then you are going to end up with pulverized food most of the time. Pulsing gives you the control over how finely you want your food chopped, or how much you want them ground.
Prominent names such as Breville and Hamilton Beach are world renowned, but they are also quite expensive. However, they are worth their cost. Add a long warranty to that, and you will get good value for your money.
Still, those brands carry a few inexpensive food processors, some of which are in this review.
Economical and Budget Food Processors For Any Home
Hamilton Beach 70740 8-Cup – Editor’s Choice
This processor has a large bowl that fits 8 cups of ingredients, it has a wide chute for easy feeding, and the motor is quite powerful at 450 watts. To demonstrate how wide the chute is you can load feed a block of pre-cut cheese.
The material, hard BPA-free plastic is sturdy and enduring, especially when subjected to heat generated during chopping. Although the bowl is spacious and the motor has reasonable ability, it is not ideal for kneading a large batch of dough. The motor would work too hard. Small quantities are okay.
It has one set of blades, which you would want to test before you dismiss. The sharp side chops while the blunt edge of the blade reverses the food, bringing it back to the center for even distribution. The S-blade makes it both a chopper and a puree making processor.
Wash time is sometimes a deal breaker. All the removable parts of this Hamilton Beach 70740 food processor are dishwasher safe; bowl, blade, and lid. If you want to hand-wash them, you will need to soak them in warm soapy water as soon as you are done Dried food is a pain to clean.
Although its measures 14 x 10.1 x 10.1 inches, the lid flips over for compact storage. Currently, it retails as of the lowest cost food processors in the market.
- Shreds, purees and makes dough for biscuits.
- Has enough capacity and a wide chute to reduce pre-cutting.
- The wattage makes it work faster.
- It has two speeds and a pulse to give you all the control.
- A very cheap food processor
- Unfortunately, it does not cube foods.
- It is somehow noisy.
ZYLISS Easy Pull – Top Inexpensive Food Processor
If your hands are sturdy and you do not mind the manual work, this processor would fit ideally in your home. Most people like them for the fact that they give you all the control you need. You will determine how much chopping you need with each pull, and so there are no chances of pulverizing your food.
It features two blades, both spinning in the opposite direction. Even though you will be pulling the ergonomic handle, these blades make it all easy. A half-cut onion needs three might pulls to slice into standard cooking pieces. Same goes for bell peppers.
The main downside to this processor is the work involved. If you need to prep lots of ingredients, it will take you longer, and it will certainly be tiring. Although the bowl is large, you can only manually pull so much.
The other thing you will notice is that you will be using both hands to work this budget food processor; one hand to steady it and the other to pull the handle for chopping. On the flip, cleaning is bliss, and the bowl is not only dishwasher safe but also easy to hand wash. Just rinse the blades under running water and you are done. Also, the BPA-free 25oz bowl serves as storage for our freshly chopped food.
- You have the control over how fine you chop your food. No chances of pulverizing.
- Pack and go for camping because it’s light and hand-powered.
- Not as noisy as electric processors.
- It is too taxing for a person with arthritis.
- It is limiting and time-consuming.
Black and Decker FP1600B
It is heavy duty, all black, and with a large. With reasonable bowl capacity and a powerful motor, you can knead bread dough with this processor. Surprisingly, it is quite a low-priced food chopper that is very affordable for any family.
It measures 11.26″ by 7.8″ by 15.67″ and weighs almost 6lbs. While the dimensions may worry you, they make it sturdy to do more than just puree and chop. The motor, 450 watts, is quite powerful to knead dough too, seeing that the bowl is of sufficient capacity.
The bowl is made of BPA-free plastic, and the blades are stainless steel. The lid is made of material similar to the body, and all the three parts are dishwasher safe. They are also easy to hand wash. Assembly and take down take a minute to master, but then everything falls into place after the first time.
The wide chute allows for whole chunks of food being thrown in without a fuss. It does its work by reducing prep time. What we do not like is the little gap between the chute and rim of the lid. Food goes down there and gets caught, which then becomes a struggle to clean (especially of you leave it to dry).
Although the manufacturer says that the bowl has an eight-cup capacity, it is actually more like 6. Still, that is a decent number epically for a household of four people.
- It has a wide chute and reasonable bowl capacity.
- All parts are dishwasher friendly.
- Has an on/off setting and a pulse.
- The spindle locks on the bowl after continued use.
- The lid leaks when filled.
Ninja Master Prep (QB900B)
Ninja food processors have the signature ergonomic head that acts as the pulse, and they also come in several tiny pieces.
The Ninja Master Prep comes in two parts; the larger blender cum food processor, with a capacity of 6 cups, and the smaller hand-held chopper. The larger container is ideal for vegetable pureeing and making dishes that might slosh. The chopper handles onions like a pro.
The lid is almost perfect for liquids, seeing that it is entirely leak-free and that is the case in both the processor and the chopper. It lacks a small hole through which to pour liquids, and so you would need to open the id for any liquid additions.
The jar is plastic made, but the material is strong enough to withstand blending ice. The two sets of blades alternate to chop, puree, and even mince food, but they do not reverse t place the food back to the center. You would have to push it manually.
The major downside is the lack of reversing blades. They only go one way to chop and puree. The leak-free lid is not so easy to open, and so it becomes tedious, distributing the food evenly for an even shred.
- The 400-watt motor is quite powerful to shred nuts and raw meat.
- The lid is leak-free.
- It has an easy flip pour spout.
- The head is the pulse of the processor.
- The motor is too powerful, and it effortlessly pulverizes food.
KitchenAid KFC3516ER 3.5 Cup
The base is colorful, and the glass-like bowl quite spacious (3.5 cups). The handle is comfortable and the set f blades lined in the middle. The chute is not overly broad, but it fits goods well with only a few slices to reduce their sizes. It has a pour spout, but purees will easily spill over onto the side.
This small-capacity food processor is ideal for everyday use in many ways, among them, the ease of cleaning. All removable parts (and there are a handful; bowl, lid, and blades) are dishwasher safe and equally easy to hand wash.
The stainless steel blade on this machine is not made for grinding, but it does well at chopping (nuts too) and pureeing vegetables. You have two settings, the power button that is conveniently placed, as well as the pulse so that you determine the level of processing.
It is quite easy to use, and the motor chops an onion with only three pulses. The bowl looks glassy but it is plastic, and unfortunately, the material scratches easily (does not break, though).
- It makes hummus and sauces.
- It has a small footprint.
- All parts of this lightweight processor are dishwasher friendly.
- It is slightly noisier.
- Although the bowl is made of BPA-free hard plastic, it looks fragile.
Cuisinart DLC-1SS Mini-Prep Processor
At a rather cheap price, you will get this 4.63″x 8.00″ x 6.25″ machine that chops, grinds, and purees food to your liking. The body is made of plastic while the reversible blades (and base) are stainless steel. The removable parts; blade, lid, and bowl, are dishwasher friendly.
This machine has limited parts, and so it is easy to put together and take apart. The 21-ounce work bowl is not exactly ideal for large families, but it works well when prepping for meals for two. More than that and you’ll have to work in several batches. The only redeeming feature is the motor, which works pretty fast.
It has a set of razor-sharp locking blades that shreds and purees vegetables. Because it has a pulse, you can use it for sauces and nut butter too. You also get to control the size of your ingredients.
It is light, and this is both a good and bad feature; good because you can carry it with ease, even when full of ingredients, and perfect for storage. Bad because it will rattle while you turn it on (weighs 2.9lbs).
- Small footprint makes for easy storage.
- The reversible blade works in various speeds for chopping and grinding.
- The powerful motor works fast ad effectively.
- It rattles when you turn it on due to its weight.
- It is only ideal for small meals.
Oster FPSTFP1355 2-Speed 10-Cup
This big yet low-cost food processor has two main things going on for it; it has a large bowl (10 cups) and a powerful (500-watt) motor. It has two speeds like most machines, and a pulse for control. The handle is ergonomic, and the material that makes it quite hard.
The 5” chute reduces food prep by half. It will not accommodate whole blocks of cheese or entire bell peppers, but you will not need to chop your food too much.
With the reversible shredding disk, you will not only chop your vegetables but also grind nuts to for sauces and butter. Change to the dough blade for baking.
- Has a dough blade for kneading.
- The bowl has a 10-cup capacity.
- The powerful motor and multiple speeds give you control over your prepping.
- The chute is not wide enough.
- It is pretty large and heavy.
Other Related Kitchen Appliances You May Be Interested:
Go Ahead and Invest
You have all the relevant information and a few of the best brands for cheap food processors on the market. You can never go wrong with any other reviewed brands.
If you want me to single out the top one model, I would say go for the 8-cup Hamilton Beach 70740 food chopper. It’s inexpensive, has a wide chute and most importantly it is powerful. It gives you control on how you want to prep your tasks and is extremely easy to use.
Now, nothing stops you from getting value for your money. Cheers!