Making salsa? Guacamole? Soup? Trying to can your jams or jellies or puree some vegetables or make baby food or your own homemade whip cream? There are no limits to what you can do at home with a food processor- and no matter how powerful your blender, it just cannot come close to what a good food processor can accomplish. Sure, they take up a fair bit of space, are harder to clean, and can be pricey. But any chef worth their apron will have a good unit close at hand.
We’re new converts to the Magimix by Robot-Coupe brand. Used widely by professionals, their consumer models are made in France as well, and are among the most powerful on the market. We’ve been testing the Magimix 4200XL, the largest in the lineup, and were wowed by it’s impressive capacity and power, 950W total. As you might guess from the XL in the name, it’s not meant for your single person making a batch of dough, but offers three sizes of bowls (14 cup, 12 cup, and 6 cup). The feed tube here is extra wide, far better than the typical narrow chute that requires you to prep everything you put in. After all, if you have to cut everything up fine, what’s the point? Here, you can jam in nearly full-size pieces, and watch spellbound as they are immediately cut down to size. And the 30-year motor warranty speaks to their commitment to long-term use.
Did we mention that the bowls nest nicely- it’s quite handy, and makes for easier storage and prep, though we did find they tended to spill into each other reducing their usefulness (and making us clean the whole set). The general rule of thumb- 1/3 full for liquids, 2/3 for solid, and no more or expect to enjoy an impromptu shower. And it’s not just for cutting, though there are a pair of Sabatier blades included here, both 2mm and 4mm, one for the small bowl and the other for the larger set. In fact, you get a whisk as well, and a blender/mixer attachment, and slicing blades and ones for grating and a single one for dough. We went through a few of the recipes included, and made our own modifications, creating some ice creams and breads and a salsa that was just about the perfect texture. Instant mousse! Super-quick mashed potatoes! Over two pounds of carrots or cucumbers sliced and ready for salads in seconds!
The box to store everything is a bit awkward, and the included spatula is pretty worthless. But the unit itself looks great, and is clearly built for heavy-duty use, with a weighted base that isn’t going anywhere. It’s loud, but better than some blenders. There are plenty of additional attachments and accessories you can purchase separately, from a smoothie maker to creative slicers and a mash/puree kit. Unlike blenders, there aren’t adjustable speeds- it’s an on/off, binary beast, though you can use the pulse button to achieve a smoother consistency with soups and such. We weren’t thrilled with cleanup on the Magimix by Robot-Coupe- it isn’t too bad, but they recommend against dishwashing and the instructions say to use water below 100 degrees and avoid the drying cycle, challenging or impossible with some dishwashers. Also, the “pusher” that allows you to jam food into the machine could be a bit better.
But those are fairly small complaints- the only larger one is probably the price. The model we tested, in chrome, is an exclusive to Williams Sonoma, and looks and feels every bit the high-end product you’d want at that level. $400 is quite a bit to lay out for an appliance, but we’re sure that this one will last, and handle the hard jobs to boot. It’s even replaced a blender for us, and is the single best food processor that we’ve ever tested. The Magimix 4200XL 14-Cup Food Processor is available now, online and in stores.