“One onion, finely chopped,” seeing this in a recipe can be a little daunting. Unless you’ve got Gordan Ramsay's kitchen skills, you're looking into inevitable tears, difficulty in cutting uniform pieces, and a lot of time on the cutting board. This is where the manual food processor comes in.
Using a food processor means no more spending more time dicing than the actual cooking and, most importantly, no more tears. It makes dicing onions or mincing the garlic, or chopping things like nuts that tend to fling all over the place less messy, and they’re also a great way to let kids help around the kitchen safely. It's also a great way for people with poor knife skills or dexterity problems to process whatever they need to cook.
A manual food processor is relatively inexpensive and simple to use. On the other hand, an electric food processor is essentially a mini food processor.
Like the manual processor, an electric food chopper is great for rough dicing and chopping; however, it can also make small amounts of purees. The downside is that most quality electric options are a little pricier compared to the manual counterparts. Here is a helpful guide to help you know how these kitchen tools work, the most durable models with all the right features, and several popular models that have scored really well in different areas.
The Best Manual Food Processor and Chopper for You
1. Ultra Chef Express 7-in-1 Mini Manual Food Chopper
- DESIGN – Our triple bladed Samurai chopping blades are made of surgical stainless steel that...
- ALL IN ONE – Not just a food chopper, the Ultra Chef Express is an all in one kitchen tool. Along...
- VERSATILE – Perfect for slicing vegetables, chopping nuts, herbs, salsa, hummus, guacamole and...
- SAFE & CONVENIENT – A great alternative to electric food choppers, that can be bulky, noisy,...
- 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED – For over 25 years we have been manufacturing and providing the best...
The Ultra Chef Express 7-in-1 chopper takes the overall top spot for many reasons. A few major helpful ones include:
A. A 5-cup chopped food capacity- this is one of the largest capacities you’ll find on a manual food chopper
B. Its 7-in-1 features- it offers so much versatility compared to other models. The features include:
- A slicing insert - This part slides right into the lid to gives you a slicing tool with the holder to contain perfectly sized sliced pieces. Perfect for onions
- A julienne insert - In position, the blade cuts thin strips for sides and salads. Perfect for zucchini, carrots, and other veggies when you need to make a coleslaw or hash browns
- A shredding insert -The blade insert is for grating that comes in handy when you need to shred lettuce, cheese, or anything similar
- A cover lid and bowl/ holder - The airtight seal lid comes in handy when you need to save what you've prepared for later. The bowl has a safety holder, metal prongs to help you poke, and a pusher to allow you to press out whatever you cut
- A citrus juicer - This comes in handy when you need freshly squeezed juice which you can use with any citrus fruits
- A whipping blade - It has an additional plastic blade with the perfect power and speed that you can use to beat eggs, whip cream, stir batter, or combine prep liquid ingredients such as a pancake batter
- A samurai triple-blade - This triple-blade is sharp with the curved edge has micro serrations on the outside to create a razor-sharp edge that cuts and chops just about anything, including nuts
C. For safety, it has a rubber ring at the bottom of the bowl to prevent slips and a plastic handle on the stainless steel blades for easy removal
D. It also has a hole on the lid that you can use to add ingredients as needed in stages
E. It also comes with a recipe book for the customer to try different recipes
2. Kuhn Rikon Manual Food Chopper
- Save time spent on preparation and chopping - cut a wide variety of foods in seconds with the pull...
- Pull the cord approx. 5 times for coarse cuts, approx. 10 times for fine cuts and approx. 15 times...
- Ideal for fruit, vegetables, garlic, herbs, boiled eggs, breadcrumbs etc - it’s even perfect for...
- 2-cup capacity container (diameter = 5”; height = 4.5”) stays in place via a non-slip base and...
- Container is both microwave and dishwasher safe (wash the lid by hand). A blade protector is...
If the size and versatility of the Ultra Chef Express are a little too much for you, then the compact Kuhn Rikon manual food processor should be an ideal choice for you. It is perfect for small portions of dips or salsas. The bowl holds a 2-cup food capacity.
Most manual choppers will need you to push down for it to chop; however, the Kuhn Rikon chopper uses a Swiss pull system that spins the blades. They will spin and chop like a food processor as finely or coarsely as you'd like. The blade will continue spinning after you pull, so it should take a few pulls.
The Swiss pull-cord system gives you an option to choose the number of 'pulls' you would need for the desired outcome. For a coarse chop, Kuhn Rikon recommends at least 5 pulls and 10 for fine food processing, and 15 pulls for the extra fine chop outcome. The number you make also depends on the texture of the ingredients and how much you have prepared them.
The blades are removable, which comes in handy if you need to add any ingredients into the mix. For instance, as you make coleslaw, you can simply remove the blades to add the dressing. It has a non-skid rubber ring at the bottom of the bowl to keep it from slipping as you work.
For safety and cleaning, the sharp blades are fitted with a protector. The blade and bowl are dishwasher-safe. However, the lid should only be washed by hand, it's not dishwasher safe, and even then, it shouldn't be immersed in water. It should be carefully washed in a way that its hollow design won't trap water.
3. Cuisinart CTG-00-SCHP Processor
- Stainless Steel chopper housing and blade
- Chop anything from hard cheese to a clove of garlic in seconds
- Easy push-down handle for quick chops
- Dishwasher safe for quick and easy cleanup
- Limited Lifetime
Cuisinart is popularly known to manufacture affordable and durable kitchen appliances. The latest model earned its top position for being a user-friendly, compact design, making it a highly portable appliance. This processor comes with the standard 4-blade design.
Its stainless steel blade is known to be durable and rust-resistant, so you can rest assured that the blades will not break, chip, or bend as you chop. They are sharp and tough, allowing you to work with a good variety of foods, including garlic, onions, peppers, herbs, hard cheese, vegetables, fruits, crackers, and so much more.
It uses a push-down chopping method, meaning you'll need a little more hand and arm power to process the food, unlike other models that will need you to press down on the lid or use a pull cord system to start.
This food processor model allows you to mince impressively, dice, or chop fresh vegetables and fruits in seconds. Overall, it is a great buy and processor that can handle heavy-duty use since it comes with a tough and durable blade system.
It is dishwasher safe, meaning you can clean up quite easily and fast. Note that, to clean, you'll have to disassemble the appliance, then just toss the parts in the wash. Cuisinart comes with a limited lifetime warranty, which is bound to assure you of how durable and reliable it is and give the customer peace of mind as you use it.
4. Mueller Pro Multi-Blade Spiralizer and Rolling Chopper
- Why Is The Mueller Pro The Best Choice? - We offer you superior quality, stronger and more durable...
- Finally Available In The USA And Now Bonus Rolling Chopper Included – After many years as a top...
- 4 Stainlees Steel Blades - Made from heavy duty, professional grade ABS plastic strong enough to...
- Save Space & Clean-up Easily - The design allows for safe, compact storage for all 4 blades....
- Superior Quality With Mueller - We are here to offer you only the best quality products designed to...
For people who don't eat rice or pasta and love that courgetti, or zoodles, the Mueller-Pro should be a welcome addition to the kitchen. It is the ultimate kitchen tool for that delicious veggie pasta, a quick stir-fry, or amazing salad. It is easy to use and conveniently fast.
The spiral tool has 4 different blades for different sized spiral chops.
- The angel hair strands mode is ideal when you need to make soups, salads, or even as a replacement for the traditional pasta for the delicate sauce
- The fine shredding mode is popularly used as the spaghetti, used to make medium-sized pasta, stir-fry, or salads. These medium strands will hold up to a more substantially heavy sauce like Bolognese
- The chipping mode allows you to make thicker cuts and stands. These thick cuts are perfect when you need to roast and sauté to create an excellent base for sauces. You can make curly fries in moments
- The accordion/straight mode with the stainless-steel pin makes this Spiralizer the best for some amazing accordion potatoes
It comes with an extra rolling chopper on the side that is great for salsa, onions, peppers, carrots, and other prep food recipes. Overall, this is a spiral slicer for anyone who's on a low carb, gluten-free, raw, or Paleo diet. The Mueller-Pro spiralizer is warrantied for life to guarantee durability and convenience to the customer.
5. ZYLISS Easy Pull Food Processor
- Multi-blade designed food chopper blends ingredients in seconds
- Booster arms on the top and bottom of the bowl keep food from sticking
- Hand powered pull design is great for travel, small kitchens, RVs and camping. BPA free
- Use for chopping, preparing, blending and pureeing ingredients; makes great salsa
- 5 Year Zyliss Guarantee, 25-Ounce bowl capacity is top rack dishwasher safe
This model is user-friendly, durable, and comes with a tough design that can handle even the hardest ingredients chops in a matter of seconds. Both the bottom and top of its bowl come with booster arms that prevent food from sticking as you process. This food processor can chop, puree, mince, blend, and dice, a decent variety of ingredients.
It has a 3-cup food capacity that allows you to process a large amount with each batch. This food processor scores well in ease of use and versatility. You can use it to prepare salads, ice cream, smoothies, bread crumbs, sauces, dips, salsa, salad dressing, and more.
It has a dual blade system that rotates in opposite directions to chop the ingredients finely. Compared to other food processors, the drawback is the dual-blade design since competing models at the same price range often come with a standard 4-blade design.
Despite all, this chopping machine still does an excellent job at finely chopping food uniformly in an easy and fast way. Using the chopping machine couldn’t be any simpler; you only need to place one hand on the lid, grasp its handle, and pull to start the blades. The pull cord is 2 feet long and automatically draws back with minimal resistance.
For easy cleaning, both the blade system and bowl are dishwasher safe. The lid should only be wiped using a damp cloth and should never be submerged in water. This food processor has a 5-year product warranty cover after purchase against any manufacturing defects or bowl and blade damage.
Factors to Consider for the Ideal Manual Food Processors
Each model comes with a bowl that can hold a certain amount of prep vegetables or fruits. Smaller food processors have a 1 cup food capacity, while the larger models can hold 4 to 6 cups. The higher the capacity, the higher the price.
Most food processors feature a 3 or 4-blade design with sharp edges. Most blades are made out of stainless steel and are rust-resistant. Many can be tossed into the dishwasher, especially the ones made out of stainless steel.
The attachments may be included in the purchase, or you can purchase the additional attachments directly from the manufacturer. The attachments give you the option of either rougher or finer chopping specifically designed for slicing or different types of cuts, mixing, or blending.
Frequently Asked Questions on Manual Food Processors
1. Electric vs. manual food processors?
The manual machine is much easier to use and care for and doesn’t have performance issues compared to the electric machine, such as motor overheating or low-powered performance.
On the other hand, electric food processors can be better if you need a totally hands-free option. Additionally, most electric-powered chopping machines offer a larger capacity.
2. How else can I use the mini food processor?
Many people mistakenly assume that manual food processors can only be used for vegetables; however, these appliances are surprisingly versatile and can be used for various foods that make baking, cooking, and barbecuing much easier. It can be used to chop, cut, dice, slice, or mince many things, including meat. However, you cannot use it with meat that has bones.