What’s inside this buyer’s guide
- Types of food processors
- Food processors vs blenders
- Food processor motors
- Other features to consider
- Types of food processor discs and blades
- Best commercial food processors
- Used commercial food processors — worth considering?
- Frequently asked questions
- Food processors glossary
- Keep your cash, use ours!
Commercial food processors: the heartbeat of culinary innovation, transforming raw ingredients into masterpieces with precision, speed, and endless possibilities.
From chopping and grating to slicing and pureeing, these dynamic devices automate a variety of tasks that would otherwise require a lot of manual effort.
Our buying guide is designed to help you choose the best food processor for your specific needs.
We review the different features and types of food processors available and recommend the best brands and models.
Types of food processors
In order to make an informed decision and find the perfect industrial food processor for your needs, it is vital to have a clear understanding of the different types available and the features they possess.
Let's explore this topic in depth to ensure you make the right choice!
- Crafted with a large, enclosed bowl, typically ranging from 2 to 5 litres in capacity, industrial food processors are specifically engineered for efficient food processing.
- These versatile machines offer a wide array of cutting options, facilitated by their multiple blade and disk attachments. From chopping and grating to slicing and shredding, they can handle various culinary tasks with ease.
- Renowned for their ability to deliver consistent and uniform results, industrial food processors are indispensable in maintaining standardised quality within a commercial kitchen.
- Well-suited for recipes that require precise processing duration or seamless blending of ingredients, these processors excel in preparing soups, sauces, marinades and more.
- The continuous feed design of a food processor enables simultaneous processing and feeding of food through a chute. This leads to immediate transfer of the processed food into a separate container, thus enhancing and simplifying the workflow.
- These processors are recognised for their rapid processing speeds, ensuring consistent cuts even when dealing with large quantities of food.
- Continuous feed food processors are particularly well-suited for repetitive tasks like shredding cheese or slicing vegetables for large batches, enhancing efficiency in high-volume kitchen settings.
Combination (batch bowl & continuous feed head)
- A hybrid model that combines the benefits of both batch bowl and continuous feed processors, offers the versatility to meet various culinary requirements.
- The flexibility of batch and continuous processing enables efficient handling of different volume needs.
- This type of processor is particularly beneficial for commercial kitchens with diverse menu items that require different types of food processing tasks.
Bowl choppers (Buffalo choppers)
- Featuring a rotating bowl and horizontal blades, these processors are specifically designed for precise chopping and blending tasks.
- Operating at high speeds, they provide exceptional control over the coarseness or fineness of the chopping results.
- With their generous capacity, typically up to 14 litres, they excel in heavy-duty chopping tasks, particularly for meats, vegetables, and coarse spreads or pâtés.
Vertical cutter mixers (VCM)
- Distinguished by a spacious vertical mixing bowl and high-speed rotating blades, vertical cutting mixers (VCMs) are designed for efficient chopping, pureeing, blending, and mixing of substantial ingredient quantities.
- Operating at exceptionally high speeds, they enable rapid processing of large volumes.
- With capacities reaching up to 30 litres, they are ideal for preparing generous batches of various foods, such as salad dressings, or for kneading dough in commercial bakeries and pizzerias.
- Many VCM models provide variable speed options and a "pulse" function, for precise control during operation.
Food processors vs blenders
Choosing the right equipment for your commercial kitchen is crucial to achieve efficiency and precision in food preparation.
While the distinction between blenders and food processors may sometimes be unclear, referring to the table below will offer a comprehensive comparison of their features and capabilities.
This will empower you to make an informed decision and select the equipment that best suits your specific needs, guaranteeing exceptional results every time.
Versatile with a range of functions including cutting, slicing, grating, pureeing, and kneading.
Primarily used for blending, pureeing, and emulsifying ingredients.
Interchangeable blades for different tasks. Some models offer additional attachments for dough kneading or pasta making.
Typically equipped with a fixed blade at the base of the container and a high-speed motor for blending. Some high-end models may have interchangeable blades.
Comes in various sizes, with capacities ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 litres (standard) in most models.
Generally smaller than food processors, with capacities ranging from 1 to 2 litres in most models.
Capable of processing a wide range of textures, from coarse chopping to smooth pureeing.
Ideal for achieving smooth and liquid textures, such as soups, smoothies, and sauces.
Suitable for processing both soft and hard foods, including vegetables, nuts, and dough.
Especially effective for processing liquids and softer ingredients. Not recommended for grinding hard items like coffee or nuts, unless it's a high-power model.
Typically wider and shorter in shape, allowing for easy addition of larger food items.
Generally taller and narrower, designed to efficiently draw ingredients downwards towards the blades for a smooth blend.
Most parts are detachable and dishwasher-safe, facilitating convenient cleaning.
Usually easier to clean due to their simpler construction, although cleaning around the blades can pose a slight challenge.
Food processor motors
The motor power of an industrial food processor is comparable to the engine of a sports car, as it directly influences the machine's efficiency and precision in handling tasks.
In commercial settings, food processors typically have motor power ranging from 0.5 to 2 horsepower, equivalent to approximately 370 to 1500 watts.
Higher wattage indicates greater motor power, enabling the food processor to effortlessly tackle heavy-duty tasks and process a wide range of ingredients with ease.
This table outlines the typical motor power ranges for commercial food processors, expressed in both horsepower and watts.
It can serve as a reference to determine the motor power suitable for your specific needs in a commercial kitchen.
Motor power range
0.5 - 0.75 horsepower
370 - 560 watts
0.75 - 1.5 horsepower
560 - 1125 watts
1.5 - 2 horsepower
1125 - 1500 watts
Other features to consider
To ensure you make a well-informed decision when choosing a commercial food processor, it is essential to carefully consider various features.
These include the bowl material, hopper style, controls and speeds, RPM (rotations per minute), and noise level.
These factors have a significant impact on the performance of the food processor and can contribute to creating a harmonious working environment in your commercial kitchen.
By exploring these features in detail, you will be able to select the food processor that best suits your specific needs and requirements.
Speed settings and RPM
To meet the diverse needs of chefs and kitchen professionals, commercial food processors are equipped with a variety of speed settings and revolutions per minute (RPM) options.
By understanding and utilising the appropriate speed settings and RPM, chefs can effectively control the processing of ingredients, ensuring optimal outcomes in their culinary creations.
Variable speed: Commercial food processors frequently offer variable speed settings, empowering chefs to customise the processing speed to match specific recipe requirements. This versatility allows for enhanced control and precision in attaining desired textures and consistencies.
Fixed speed: Certain models are equipped with fixed speed settings, usually providing two or three predetermined speed levels. These options offer simplicity and ease of use, ensuring reliable performance at a consistent speed.
Revolutions per Minute (RPM)
RPM range: Commercial food processors typically offer an RPM range between 1500 and 2600, indicating the rotational speed of the blades or discs.
Fine chopping and blending: Higher RPM settings, ranging from 2000 to 2600, excel in tasks such as fine chopping and blending. These speeds enable precise processing, resulting in smooth textures and finely chopped ingredients.
Coarse cutting: Lower RPM settings, typically around 1500 to 1800, are more suitable for coarse cutting tasks. This speed range allows the food processor to effectively handle tougher ingredients, delivering coarser cuts and textures.
When selecting a commercial food processor, it's essential to consider the choice of bowl material.
Let's examine the available options in more detail:
Clear plastic bowl
Clear plastic bowls provide the advantage of transparency, allowing you to visually monitor the processing progress without lifting the lid.
This feature is especially beneficial when aiming for precise textures or consistency in culinary creations.
Clear plastic bowls are commonly utilised in commercial kitchens for tasks such as emulsifying dressings, creating smooth purees, and preparing visually appealing layered desserts.
Grey plastic bowl
Grey plastic bowls are highly valued in commercial kitchens due to their durability, versatility, ease of use, and cost-effectiveness.
Crafted from high-quality food-grade materials, these bowls can withstand the demanding nature of busy food preparation environments.
Their resistance to stains and odours ensures long-lasting performance and easy clean-up, making them a reliable choice for commercial food processors.
Stainless Steel Bowl
Stainless steel bowls in commercial kitchens are valued for their safety with hot or acidic ingredients, excellent heat retention, and easy maintenance.
Thanks to their polished aesthetics and durability, they are a preferred choice for chefs.
The size of the bowl in a commercial food processor is essential for boosting efficiency and output in restaurant kitchens.
Here are a few reasons why it matters:
Handling large quantities
A bigger bowl capacity reduces the need for multiple rounds of processing, thus saving time and increasing productivity.
Time and labour-saving
With a spacious bowl, chefs can process a larger volume of ingredients at once, simplifying food preparation and reducing manual work.
Sufficient bowl space ensures that the ingredients are processed evenly, resulting in consistent texture and quality.
Capacity for specific functions
It is important to consider the specific tasks you perform.
Smaller bowl capacities (1.5-2.5 litres) are ideal for sauces and dressings, while larger bowl capacities (3-6 litres) are better suited for kneading dough or processing larger quantities of food.
The hopper style of a commercial food processor plays a significant role in determining the efficiency of its operation and the types of food items it can handle.
Below are some hopper styles that you should take into account while selecting a food processor for commercial use.
Bulk feed hopper
The bulk feed hopper is identified by its broad opening and ample capacity, which facilitates the processing of a considerable quantity of ingredients simultaneously.
It is particularly suitable for managing high-volume food preparation, such as a large number of fruits, vegetables, or other ingredients that require processing in substantial batches.
The bulk feed hopper promotes efficient and uninterrupted feeding, reducing the requirement for frequent reloading of ingredients, which is especially advantageous in bustling commercial kitchens.
Full moon hopper
The round hopper, also known as the full moon hopper, is characterised by its curved shape and broad opening.
It is specifically created to handle more massive or bulkier ingredients, such as entire fruits or vegetables.
The full moon hopper provides sufficient room to comfortably load and process these ingredients.
It is frequently employed in commercial food processors for activities that necessitate the processing of more substantial quantities of ingredients, such as slicing or grating larger fruits or vegetables, or preparing bulk amounts of salad ingredients.
Half moon hopper
The crescent hopper, also referred to as the half moon hopper, is semi-circular in shape and has a narrower opening than the full moon hopper.
This configuration enables regulated feeding and accurate processing of smaller or delicate ingredients.
It is appropriate for activities that necessitate precise slicing, dicing, or julienning of ingredients.
The half moon hopper delivers stability and control while processing smaller or oddly shaped ingredients, making it an excellent option for creating uniform cuts and delicate textures in commercial food preparation.
Have you ever wondered why some commercial food processors produce a loud noise, while others operate quietly and smoothly? Well, it all comes down to a few key factors.
The motor's power, blade design, and overall construction are the primary factors of a food processor's noise level.
Powerful motors and high-speed blades tend to generate more noise, which can be further amplified by vibrations and resonances.
To mitigate noise, manufacturers incorporate sound-dampening materials, anti-vibration mechanisms, and improved motor design in their products.
Additionally, regular maintenance, lubrication, and inspection of the food processor can also help to minimise noise levels, creating a more peaceful and enjoyable kitchen environment.
Types of food processor discs and blades
Now that you have understood the different types of food processors and the essential features to consider, let's shift our attention to another crucial aspect: blades and discs.
These components are vital to the performance and versatility of food processors, allowing for precise cutting, chopping, slicing, and more.
In this section, we will delve into the various types and styles of blades and discs, emphasising their specific functions and applications in commercial food preparation.
The standard blades are perfect for general chopping, pureeing, and blending tasks.
They are useful for creating smooth sauces, dips, and dressings, making them an excellent choice for any commercial food preparation needs.
Serrated blades are equipped with small, sharp teeth along the edge that make them ideal for slicing through tougher ingredients such as hard bread or fibrous vegetables.
They can provide clean, precise cuts without crushing the food, making them a great addition to any commercial kitchen that requires efficient and accurate food preparation
Perforated blades are equipped with evenly spaced holes that enable precise slicing while preventing sticking or jamming.
They are often used for slicing delicate foods such as tomatoes or soft fruits, making them a popular choice in commercial kitchens that require efficient food prep.
Slicing discs consist of adjustable or interchangeable blades that allow precise thickness control.
They effortlessly slice through a wide range of ingredients, from vegetables to fruits, with consistent results.
With sharp, evenly spaced blades, julienne discs create thin strips or matchstick cuts. They are great for preparing uniform vegetable strips for salads, stir-fries, or garnishes.
These discs come in different shredding or grating sizes, letting you quickly process ingredients like cheese, vegetables, or chocolate.
They offer flexibility in creating different textures for various recipes.
Brunoise discs are specialised attachments that excel at creating small, uniform cubes or dice.
They are commonly used for cutting fruits, vegetables, or garnishes.
Whipping discs are attachments that transform your food processor into a whipping powerhouse, perfect for whipping cream, beating egg whites, and creating light and fluffy mousses.
These discs produce waffle-cut slices or crinkle-cut edges to make the dishes visually appealing.
They are generally used for potatoes, carrots, or other firm vegetables.
Dicing kits consist of a combination of blades and grids that let you dice ingredients quickly and effortlessly.
They provide consistent cube shapes for salads, stews, or casseroles.
Crimping discs produce decorative crimped edges on dough for pies, pastries, or tart shells.
They add a polished touch to your baked goods.
French fry kits
These specialised attachments ease the process of making in-house French fries.
They swiftly cut potatoes into uniform sticks, ready for frying or baking.
Food processors can have varying numbers of discs and blades, typically ranging from 0 to 16 or more, depending on the model.
Each disc and blade mentioned above offers unique capabilities to process a wide range of ingredients, making your food processor a versatile kitchen companion.
Best commercial food processor Brands
Robot Coupe, a French company, was established in 1960 by Pierre Verdun.
Known as the creator of the commercial food processor, Robot Coupe is a respected brand worldwide.
In New Zealand, the company is lauded for its reliable, high-performance food processors. Its products are synonymous with durability, innovation, and efficiency, fulfilling the rigorous requirements of commercial kitchens and ensuring seamless operations.
The Robot Coupe Food Processor & Veg Prep R211XL is a top recommendation for small-scale catering establishments. With its sleek stainless steel S blade and XL hopper, it offers enhanced productivity.
On the other hand, the R301 model boasts a 3.7-litre polycarbonate cutting bowl and a high-performance vegetable prep attachment, making it the perfect solution for efficiently processing larger quantities.
Magimix, a French company established in 1963, has been pioneering high-quality, innovative food processors that cater to the demanding needs of commercial kitchens.
In New Zealand, Magimix's commercial food processors are highly valued for their durable construction, efficient performance, and user-friendly design.
Their products are engineered to withstand intense use and maintain consistent results, making them an excellent choice for New Zealand's food service professionals who require reliability and precision.
Recommended models from Magimix include the 3200XL Food Processor, known for its powerful performance and compact footprint. With the ability to knead 1 standard-sized loaf (600g) and grate up to 800g of vegetables in its main bowl, it offers impressive versatility.
Another recommended option is the 5200XL Food Processor, featuring a working capacity of 1.8L. It is equipped with high-strength BPA-free bowls and lids, as well as Sabatier stainless steel discs and blades, ensuring durability and reliable results.
Shop Magimix commercial food processors now.
Founded in 1961 in Spain, Sammic has grown to be a world-class manufacturer of kitchen equipment.
In New Zealand, Sammic is admired for its durable, efficient, and innovative food processors, perfect for meeting the demands of commercial kitchens.
The brand is trusted for its commitment to quality, technology-driven design, and understanding of the professional user's needs, offering solutions that optimise productivity and performance in the food service industry.
Among the highly recommended models, the CK-301 and CA-601 stand out. Crafted with ergonomic design and premium stainless steel, they have undergone rigorous testing in the kitchen of renowned Michelin Star chef Martin Berasategui.
With a wide range of discs and grids, they can produce over 70 different styles of products, boasting an impressive output of up to 1000kg per hour.
Shop Sammic food processors now.
Established in 1937 by Fred Waring, a famous bandleader, Waring has been a leading innovator in kitchen appliances for over 80 years.
In New Zealand, Waring is a top choice for commercial food processors due to its reputation for robustness, efficiency, and innovative design. These traits make Waring products ideal for the demands of commercial kitchens, providing longevity and superior performance.
Waring's recommended models include the WFP14SK and WFP14SCK. They offer exceptional performance and durability in commercial food preparation.
The WFP14SK can effortlessly handle large volumes of slicing, shredding, and grating tasks, making it ideal for busy caterers. The WFP14SCK, with its spacious cutting bowl and powerful motor, is designed to tackle high-volume operations, saving valuable prep time in the kitchen.
Shop Waring commercial food processors now.
VC is a respected brand within the commercial kitchen equipment market, known for its emphasis on innovation, quality, and efficiency.
Catering to the needs of food service professionals in New Zealand, VC's line of commercial food processors are robust, reliable, and specifically designed to withstand the demands of busy commercial kitchens.
Two recommended models from VC are the VC65MS Vegetable Cutter and the VC55MF Vegetable Cutter.
The VC65MS features a high-speed continuous feed for precision slicing, grating, chopping, dicing, and julienne of all types of vegetables and fruits, making it a versatile addition to any kitchen.
The VC55MF Vegetable Cutter, with its 205mm cutting disc, is another popular choice.
Its round corners make it easy to clean, a critical consideration for maintaining hygiene standards in a commercial setting.
Used commercial food processor – worth considering?
Spending thousands of dollars on a new commercial food processor can put a strain on your budget and cash flow.
If you’d prefer not to invest a lot of money in a commercial food processor, a cheaper, pre-owned appliance might be the solution you’re looking for.
SilverChef’s range of ‘Certified Used’ commercial equipment is mostly ex-rental equipment sourced from businesses we know and trust.
The equipment is typically less than two-and-a-half years old, has been fully refurbished by us, and is backed by a three-month parts-and-labour warranty.
Considering the effective, or useful, life of a commercial food processor is around 10 years, you can be sure our Certified Used commercial food processors have plenty of life left in it.
You can either buy or finance the ‘Certified Used’ (and clearance) equipment on our website.
We’re one of the few financiers, if not the only one, in New Zealand that funds second-hand commercial kitchen equipment.
Read more about ‘Certified Used’ equipment
Commercial food processor frequently asked questions
What is a food processor used for?
The versatile nature of commercial food processors often leads to questions about their full capabilities, even from seasoned restaurant owners who may not yet have uncovered the device's full potential.
These powerful kitchen tools provide more than just basic functionality; they offer a range of applications that increase efficiency and spur culinary creativity in the commercial kitchen.
Among these multiple functions are:
The processors can handle the kneading of dough for bread or pastries, streamlining the process and reducing manual effort.
They can blend ingredients into smooth mixtures, such as vinaigrettes, aioli, or mayonnaise, ensuring an even, consistent texture.
Fresh juice extraction
Some food processors come with juicing attachments, allowing you to create, preservative-free fruit juices.
Their adjustable speed settings enable chefs to control the texture of their food, ranging from coarsely chopped to finely minced.
With various add-on capabilities like cheese grating or vegetable shredding, food processors expedite and standardise food preparation.
Can food processor be used as a blender?
Absolutely, a food processor can double as a blender with appropriate attachments, but it's important to understand the difference between their primary functions.
While food processors excel at chopping, slicing, and grating, their blending abilities might not achieve the smooth and consistent texture that dedicated blenders can produce.
For businesses like smoothie bars or establishments that demand fine purees, it's often better to invest in a standalone blender.
However, for operations like small cafes where versatility and efficient use of space are essential, a food processor with blending functions can be an ideal solution.
The choice should align with your establishment's unique needs and priorities to ensure the best performance.
What features should I look for in a commercial food processor?
When looking for a commercial food processor, it's important to consider features that align with your kitchen's needs.
These features include:
Opt for models with on/off and pulse functions for precise operations.
Some even offer high and low pulse modes for varied chopping needs.
Check that the processor includes a shredding and slicing disc, and see if there are other attachments such as a juicer or alternate blades for diverse food processing.
If your kitchen deals frequently with dough, a dedicated dough blade in the processor can enhance performance and consistency.
Food processors with touchpad controls are not only sleek and modern but also facilitate easier cleaning.
Liquid capacity indication
Processors with a marked 'Max' line on the bowl help prevent overfilling and potential spillovers.
Models that come with a storage case offer a convenient solution for organising various blades and accessories.
Feed tube size
A larger feed tube eliminates the need for pre-cutting larger food items, saving precious time and effort.
Choose a commercial food processor that encapsulates these features, ensuring an efficient and superior culinary experience that will elevate your establishment's reputation.
Commercial food processor glossary
The control setting provides a short burst of power, allowing precise control during processing.
This feature is ideal for rough chopping ingredients or blending delicate items with finesse.
The 'S'-shaped blade is the most commonly used blade type in a food processor.
It is designed for chopping, mincing, and pureeing ingredients with ease.
A dedicated dull blade designed specifically for kneading dough, typically made of plastic rather than metal like other blades.
It serves as the channel through which food is added into the machine. It is available in different styles and sizes as defined above, varying based on the specific model or jar.
Induction motors are recognised for their exceptional durability and longevity.
They operate with reduced noise levels and have a longer lifespan compared to universal motors.
Direct drive motor
A motor configuration where the motor is directly connected to the processing bowl, eliminating the need for a belt or additional mechanisms.
This design allows for efficient power transfer, resulting in enhanced performance and reliability.
A mechanical device that engages or disengages the power transmission between the motor and the processing bowl.
Keep your cash. Use ours!
Hospitality equipment can be expensive and paying for it outright can put pressure on your business’s cash flow.
Our finance solutions allow you to get the equipment you want now and to pay for it in small, regular amounts out of the revenue it helps generates.
Rent–Try–Buy® not only helps you maintain your cash flow, it also gives you unrivalled flexibility to adapt your equipment to the changing needs of your business.
You can upgrade or buy the equipment at any time or, after 12 months, return or continue renting it.
If you decide to buy the equipment, we’ll give you back 50% of the rent you paid in the first year and 25% of any rental payments thereafter — to put toward the purchase price.
Read more about Rent–Try–Buy.