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Food Processor Buying Guide

A food processor can help reduce prep time and labor costs in virtually any commercial kitchen. Just one processor can puree soups, grind meat, and knead dough with the proper attachments, making it an incredibly versatile and valuable appliance. Be sure to check out our commercial food processor reviews as well!

Types of Food Processors

There are five types of commercial food processors: batch bowl food processors, continuous feed food processors, combination food processors, Buffalo choppers, and vertical cutter mixers. Each type of processor is better-suited to a different set of tasks and level of demand, so consider what you'll be using it for and how frequently you'll be using it when making your decision.

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Batch Bowl Food Processors

  • Batch bowl food processors are great for applications where you'll be working with small to medium-size batches, and you want the convenience of containing all of your finished product.
  • Generally speaking, you have more possible processing options including chopping, slicing, shredding, grating, whipping, and pureeing. Batch bowl units cannot generally make dice cuts of a precise, specified size like 1/2", 3/8", etc. What you can do depends on your S-blade or disc options.
  • These food processor bowls can usually hold between 1 and 6 quarts, which limits the batch size, although there are larger sizes for industrial units. Using multiple bowls in rotation can help increase efficiency and save time during food preparation. Most bowls are made of plastic, but some are made of stainless steel for added durability and strength.
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Continuous Feed Food Processors

  • Continuous feed food processors are great for applications where you will be processing lots of ingredients and a batch bowl would limit productivity.
  • Used for heavy-duty slicing, shredding, grating, and precise dicing sizes like 1/2", 3/8", etc. What you can do depends on your disc and plate options.
  • You can continuously feed product into a chute or hopper while the processor runs, and dispense into a separate container, which saves on prep time when working with large batches of food.
  • A pusher assembly lets you apply even pressure and feed items down into the processing chamber for consistent results.
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Combination Food Processors

  • Combination food processors have both a batch bowl and a continuous feed head, which lets you adapt to different situations and processing needs depending on what your menu demands.
  • The batch bowl is great when working in small quantities or when you need some of the more versatile cut types that a batch bowl can tackle.
  • The continuous feed head is great for when you need to increase production and slice or dice large quantities of produce.
  • Like the other processor types, what you can do depends largely on the types of S-blades, discs, and plates the manufacturer offers.


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Buffalo Choppers

  • Also known as bowl choppers, Buffalo choppers are great for applications where you need to chop up or emulsify lots of heavy or dense items like meats, cabbage, and carrots.
  • They're built with high production use and durability in mind. Heavy-duty knives and bowls let you power through items that other food processors might have difficulty with.
  • Units with a PTO hub add to your versatility by letting you attach and power additional accessories, like slicer attachments.
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Vertical Cutter Mixers

  • Vertical cutter mixers are great for applications where you need to chop, grind, mince, emulsify, or knead large quantities of product at a time.
  • Feature large bowls and heavy-duty motors to process large amounts of food quickly.
  • Include a timer to ensure consistency batch after batch.
  • ideal for cafeterias, dining halls, healthcare facilities, institutional facilities, and food manufacturing plants.
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Food Processors vs. Blenders

Generally blenders are designed to only emulsify foods into a liquid form (like a smoothie or a frozen drink), whereas food processors can completely puree / emulsify and also handle a wider range of tasks like slicing, shredding, chopping, and dicing, too. The key difference is that food processors have a wide range of accessory discs and blades that let them take on these differing tasks, whereas blenders are limited to a blade assembly in the blender jar.

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Food Processor Motors

A food processor's motor is the most fundamental part of the machine. The motor's power is commonly rated in horsepower (hp for short) - the higher the horsepower, the stronger the motor.

  • Higher horsepower, heavy-duty units can handle higher production volumes, frequent use, and more difficult foods like meat, cheese, and very dense vegetables.
  • Lower horsepower, light-duty units let you handle just a few hours of work each day, and trade some performance for affordability. For small batches of prep work, they're a great solution though!
  • Medium-duty units fall somewhere in the middle, giving you a good amount of power without the higher price tag of high horsepower models.


Types of Food Processor Discs and Blades

Every food processor is going to have a different set of disc and blade options, so it's definitely worth seeing what choices you have available before making your final decision. Consider what cuts you need to make now, and which ones you might want to use to expand your menu and efficiency down the road!
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  • Clean cuts, chopping
  • Use for: raw meat, most varieties of vegetables
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  • Chopping, pureeing
  • Use for: frozen products, nuts, cooked meat, herbs
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  • Mixes liquids well
  • Use for: sauces, mayonnaise, aioli, cocktail sauce
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  • Flat, thin slices
  • Use for: cucumber slices, jalapeno rings, carrot slices
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Julienne Discs

  • Long, "straw" type cuts
  • Use for: vegetable "sticks", hash browns, garnishes

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  • Powder, or long/thin cuts
  • Use for: shredded cheese, grated hard cheese, citrus zest
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Brunoise Discs

  • Very small dice cuts
  • Use for: vegetables used to flavor soups and sauces
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Whipping Discs

  • Whips and thickens
  • Use for: Custom whipped cream/butter
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Gaufrette / Waffle Discs

  • Waffle-style cuts
  • Use for: waffle fries, chips, and garnishes
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Dicing Kits

  • Even, dice-style cuts
  • Use for: fruits, vegetables needing precise cut size
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Crimping Discs

  • Crinkle/rippled cuts
  • Use for: potatoes, beets, carrots, garnishes
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  • Long, French fry cuts
  • Use for: French fries, squash, carrots
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