The Anatomy of a Food Processor: Blades, Attachments, and Functions Complete Guide

Do you often find yourself overwhelmed with the sheer vastness of food processors that are available in the market? With their various functions and components, it can be difficult to understand which one is best for you.

This article explains the anatomy of a food processor, from blades and attachments to functions. Let’s get cooking!


The food processor is a must-have appliance for most home chefs. It can facilitate a wide range of tasks, ranging from chopping or pureeing ingredients to blending and kneading dough. By understanding the different components of a food processor, you can quickly determine which model is right for you. This guide will provide an overview of the anatomy of a food processor and explain the differences between blades, attachments, and functions so you can make an informed decision when purchasing one for your kitchen.

When it comes to food processors, there are three main components to understand: the base unit (or motor), the bowl (or container), and the various blades and accessories. The base unit powers these components so they can do their job. The bowl collects all of your ingredients that are then processed within it. Lastly, there are different types of blades and attachments available which allow you to customize your food processing experience depending on what type of dishes you want to prepare.

Explanation of what a food processor is

A food processor is an electric kitchen tool designed to quickly and easily blend, shred, knead, mix and purée ingredients in a matter of seconds. A food processor typically consists of several parts including a base motor, attachment blades, detachable work bowl and lid. Depending on the model you purchase, some of the pieces may be extra such as an egg whip or spatula.

The motor powers the blades inside the processor which are designed to create specific tasks such as slicing, dicing and grating. Different types of blade attachments can be inserted into the work bowl depending on how each food needs to be processed. For example; “S” blade for chopping herbs or onion; julienne disc for shredding cabbage; slicing disc for creating thin slices of carrots or potatoes; grating disc for producing cheese or other hard ingredients into thin strips etc.

The lid secures the contents inside and prevents any spills or splashes during processing. The higher quality models have additional features like different speed settings, pulse button and auto-reversing function – all to control how long any particular ingredient gets blended for. Food processors often come with additional attachments like dough hooks that allow you to make perfect doughs with a dash of ease! Most models vary in size between 7-12 cups which allows you to process ingredients in batches even smaller than 1 cup!

Basic Components of a Food Processor

A quality food processor should consist of three basic components to allow for effective use in the kitchen. The bowl, blades and attachments, and motor are all crucial components of a food processor that can make the process of cooking or baking easier. Understanding each one will help you decide which type of model best meets your needs.

The Bowl: This component is generally made of material such as acrylic or plastic and features a lip on one side for pourability. Certain models may have a handle on the side for easy pouring out of the bowl. For recipes requiring different sized batches, adjustable bowls are available with various capacities to adjust to different recipes or tasks. An adjustable bowl may provide added convenience when working with multiple recipes in one day while also saving storage space since they can be adjusted down in size when not in use.

Blades and Attachments: Blades are essential components to properly slice, dice, julienne, shred, emulsify and purée your ingredients as asked for in any given recipe. It’s important to choose a food processor with blades that can handle any type of ingredient load without overworking them down the line. Most modern processors come equipped with two types (and two sizes) of blades including a chopping/mixing blade which is used for breaking up dry ingredients like nuts and herbs, mixing wet ingredients like batters and dressings, slicing through tough produce like potatoes and carrots; as well as an S-blade which is used primarily for making things smooth like sauces or purées but can also be used for barely chopping dry goods such as nuts or cookie dough pieces before being mixed into batters or doughs.

Motor : A quality motor makes all the difference when it comes to operating more advanced food processors; this component allows them to cut through tougher tasks normally produced by hand such as high-speed mixtures/emulsions (mayonnaise) or finely chopped mixtures (gingersnaps). Professional models often feature power ratings considerably higher than non-professional models meaning they produce higher torque levels which helps reduce stress on its moving parts during preparations that involve tougher items such as pounding meat or pressing dairy into cheese curds through a die attachment. This allows them slice through tougher materials without having to work longer than necessary causing further strain on its internal components while producing smoother results in less time!


A food processor’s motor is the powerhouse that drives the blades, discs and other attachments. It spins the central shaft on which these components are mounted. Electric motors are used almost exclusively in modern home food processors, although some models have manual crank-based systems for light duty tasks such as slicing and grating vegetables.

The motor is typically rated by wattage, commonly ranging from about 250 to 1000 watts for most home models. This will determine how powerful the work it can do and how quickly it can complete a job. Higher wattage motors are generally better equipped to handle tougher tasks such as kneading heavy doughs or grinding hard ingredients like nuts or coffee beans. Choosing a processor with the right wattage for your needs is essential in getting the best performance out of your machine.

Besides controlling power levels, many machines also feature three speed settings that allow you to adjust how fast or slow you want the blades or discs spinning in order to tailor the process to different ingredients or tasks. Some newer models also offer a digital pulse function for finer control over operations like chopping nuts or spices and blending sauces – adding an extra layer of precision to any food processor’s performance capabilities.


The bowl of a food processor is usually made of plastic and it contains several parts. The most important parts are the S-blade, which is used to cut or chop food, and the dough blade, which can be used to knead dough. In addition to these attachments, most food processors come with a pusher plate, shredding and slicing discs, an egg whisk attachment and other tools.

The S-blade has two sharp edges on each side for quickly chopping food like herbs, nuts and dry fruits. It is easily removable for cleaning. The dough blade has curved edges and it can help you knead any type of dough such as bread dough or pizza dough quickly and efficiently. The pusher plate keeps food moving towards the blade while you process it.

Shredding discs offer different levels of coarseness or fineness depending on what you’re shredding (e.g., carrots or cheese). Slicing discs are designed for chopping ingredients such as vegetables that require thin slices with even thicknesses. You can also purchase other attachments like julienne blades that allow you to create vegetable strips in a range of sizes from julienne (very thin strips) to matchstick-style pieces (longer strips). Egg whisks are also available to help mix ingredients together evenly when making custards or mousses, among other dishes that need gentle beating and whisking action.


The lid of the food processor is a vital component as it fits snugly on top and helps keep the contents inside. It is usually constructed from either clear plastic or glass, and typically either clips on or screws into place, depending on the model.

The lid in some food processors also has a feed tube or chute where ingredients can be added gradually while it is running. Some models also feature a hole in the top that can be stopped with an adjustable stopper; this is helpful for adding liquid ingredients like oil or water during processing.

Once done processing, the lid can be removed for easy cleaning and storage.

Blade or Disc attachments

Blade or disc attachments are the most common type of food processor attachments found in modern-day models. These blades come in various sizes and shapes, each designed for a specific purpose. The most common types of blades or disc attachments are:

-Shredder Discs – These discs are designed to cut through food quickly, to generate thin or thick slices and strips, depending on the processing settings used.

-Slicer Discs – These discs can apple larger particles into slivers or thin pieces with precise measurements. Some models may come with multiple slicing thicknesses settings to give you more control over your preparations.

-French Fry Disc – This sections foods into strips that resemble French fries when placed under a light source. It is great for making jazzed up desserts, proteins like beef and even vegetables like zucchini sticks!

-Whisking Disc – This whisking disc is used to mix ingredients together at relatively high speeds while adding air into the mixture,, creating fluffy batters and creams with ultimate precision.


The pusher is the portion of a food processor that fits into the work bowl to control movement of food being processed. Most food processors come with one or two sizes of pushers, allowing for larger and smaller pieces of food to be pushed through for processing. Depending on the type of blade in use, different-sized pushers provide optimal results.

When using slicing or grating discs, for example, a full-sized pusher should be used to provide uniform results. With a shredding disc, however, using both the full-sized and mini-pushers helps increase speed and efficiency while producing consistent shreds.

When pushing food through a feed tube with an S-shaped blade attached (such as when kneading dough), you may need to tap lightly on the pusher to help move thicker foods through evenly.

Types of Food Processor Blades and How to Use Them | KitchenAid

III. Types of Blades and Disc Attachments

Blades and disc attachments can offer multiple options for various food preparation tasks. Understanding the function of each variant helps to maximize the performance of your food processor. In this section, we will cover the basic three types of blades, as well as a few common discs and how to use them correctly.

Bowl Blades – Bowl blades are designed to be placed in the large bowl of a food processor for large-scale chopping, slicing, shredding or mixing jobs. Usually made from stainless steel, these blades come with many variations. Blunt-edged models are ideal for chopping vegetables or for making crumbs from dry ingredients such as crackers or biscuits. A serrated blade works best when cutting into firmer items like potatoes or whole tomatoes. Slotted blades with sharpened sides are useful when grating hard cheese and other foods requiring thin strips or curls.

Some processors come with reversible bowl blades that have both a serrated and blunt edge on opposite sides of one blade – this one is a great all-purpose tool! Other variations may also feature double-sided blades with different slicing functions on either side of the same blade.

Slicing Discs – Standard slicing discs typically range from 1 mm to 8 mm in size, providing different thickness settings between paper thin slices and thick slices suitable for stirring fries and similar dishes. These discs usually match the color coding found on most control panels so users can easily refer back to recommended settings while prepping their favorite recipes. Make sure you use caution when handling slicing discs since they are extremely sharp!

Grinding Disks – A grinding disk attachment is used in conjunction with a larger bowl; it is especially useful when grinding meat, nuts, tea leaves and dried herbs into pastes or powders but can also be effective when pulverizing ice cubes into snow cones or frappes during summer months! Grinding disks must be handled carefully since they have tiny teeth on them that could injure hands if they make contact with skin directly while in use. Additionally, these disks should never be used without liquid present due to their potential risk of overheating without cooling agents nearby such as water or oil blends.

S-Shaped Blade

The S-shaped blade is designed to be used for chopping and processing softer ingredients, like onions and herbs, but it can also be used for light-duty blending tasks.

The blade’s slim profile allows it to fit easily into small spaces and keep the food in closer contact with the blades for better, more consistent results.

A few food processors come with a continuous feeding tube so that you are able to efficiently process large quantities of food without having to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Most models also offer a pulse option so that you can control when ingredients are blended into an even or fine consistency.

Dough Blade

The dough blade is specially designed to knead and mix dough for a variety of baked goods. Typically, it is made of plastic and designed to hold up to tough mixtures. The curved design draws thdough towards the center as it is being processed, resulting in a thorough mixing experience.

Depending on the model of your food processor, the dough blade may have anti-scratch technology that helps protect both the blade and your bowl from scuffs and scratches during processing. When using a dough blade, make sure to grease or flour the bowl before adding your ingredients to ease outshaping and removal afterward. Some recipes may require you to use both the chopping/mixing blades in addition to the dough blade for optimalresults.

Shredding Disc

A shredding disc is an attachment found in most food processors. This disc has a sharp edge that creates uniform, medium- to fine-textured shavings of vegetables and fruits. Commonly used to make cheese and potato dishes, it can also be used to create decorative garnishes or gnocchi.

The type of blades on the shredding disc can vary depending on the brand, but the typical blade has either a double cut or three holes. The double cut has two notches running diagonally across the blade so it can precisely slice vegetables or fruits into fine or coarse wispy pieces. A three-hole blade has sections with three narrow slots that also allow for uniformly-sized pieces.

When using a shredding disc, take caution not to overfill your food processor as too much weight can damage the appliance itself. Rinse any vegetable or fruit residue off immediately after using your shredding disc to extend its life span and ensure quality cuts each time you use it.

Slicing Disc

Slicing discs are one of the most versatile tools available for any food processor. These discs can be used to slice fruits, vegetables, and even cheeses at various thicknesses. Most processors come with a 3mm, 6mm and 9mm slicing disc which will give you a variety of cutting options.

When using a slicing disc, remember that it will work best when the ingredients have been evenly cubed before they are added to the food processor bowl. The sharp edges and curved surface of the blades make it quite difficult to slice anything wider than your average cube. This can make it difficult to create thin slices or julienne cuts, so keep this in mind if you need those kinds of cuts for your recipe.

It is also worth noting that some models may only come with one slicing disc – often an 8mm slicing blade – which is suitable for most applications but may not be ideal if you want more precise cuts on your ingredients. Choosing a higher-end model with different size cutting discs can be worthwhile to get a sleek, professional look for all your sliced dishes!


Food processors are essential kitchen appliances that allow you to quickly and easily chop, blend, mix, and puree ingredients. With a range of attachments and blades available, you can customize the appliance to suit your needs. Whether you’re prepping for a small family meal or a large gathering, having a food processor in your arsenal will help streamline the cooking process.

Overall, understanding the various components of a food processor is key for having successful results with any recipe. Make sure you know how each blade and attachment works so that you can choose the correct one for any task. And when in doubt, refer to this guide as an easy reference!

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