What do the different food processor accessories do? How to make the most of your kitchen appliances

Here's how to unlock a world of dicing, slicing, kneading, whisking, chopping, beating, and blending

What do the different food processor accessories do: a Magimix food processor attachments on a marble surface
(Image credit: Williams Sonoma)

What do the different food processor accessories do? These days, it's a reasonable question to ask. Even basic food processors come with a whole host of discs, blades, and miscellaneous attachments. Knowing how to use them will ensure you're getting the most from your appliances.

As H&G's kitchen appliance expert, I've tested plenty of the food processors on the market. In our tests, it's my job to make sure that every accessory provided is useful, so I've seen them all: discs, blades, pitchers, choppers, cups, juicers, and more.

I'll tell you exactly what the most common food processor accessories can do and how to use them. I'll also let you know about some alternatives that you can buy, such as food processor blender combos, so that you know you're making the most of your kitchen appliances.

The main knife or 'S' blade

Nutribullet triple prep system

Hummus is a classic test for all of our food processors. The Nutribullet Triple Prep system could make it in the blending cups as well as the main food processor bowl

(Image credit: Future)

This is the classic attachment. Every food processor comes with one, whether you choose one which costs $30 or $300. The knife blade, often called the 'S' blade is super sharp and double-sided. It's made to pulse, puree, and slice through your food. If you're making soups, sauces, dips, dressings, and batters, this is the one you'll use. 

If you're au fait with your food processor's functions, the S blade can also be really useful for making an easy shortcrust pastry, cauliflower rice, or some falafels. You'll need to pulse carefully, in shorter, sharper bursts, so that you don't overheat or overchop your ingredients.

The slicing disc

Magic Bullet Kitchen Express

The Magic Bullet System achieved a fine slice on our cucumber. There are a few smaller bits up the sides, but it took a matter of seconds to slice a whole cucumber.

(Image credit: Future)

I only started using my slicing discs in the last few years and I wish I had started sooner. Whether you want thinly sliced radishes for a pickle, some cucumber crescents for a salad, or you want some substantial potato layers in your dauphinoise, the slicing disc will give you quick, consistent results. 

Most food processors come with multiple slicing discs, so yours will be able to achieve different thicknesses. However, even a standard, one-size-fits-all disc will save you hours in the kitchen. Plus, if you're clumsy like me, it's good to put some distance between your fingers and freshly sharpened knives.

The grating disc

Nutribullet triple prep system

Grating carrot in the Nutribullet Triple Prep system was quicker than we could actually time. You can see the pieces are nice and chunky.

(Image credit: Future)

This is another incredibly useful disk to use on your food processor. I don't know about you, but I get bored manually grating red cabbage for a summer salad, carrots for a cake, or large quantities of cheese. With the help of a grating disc, you can have all of your grating jobs done in seconds.

Whilst you've got the disc out, I'd recommend grating more than you need. Then, if it's cheese or a similarly freezer-friendly foodstuff, you can preserve it in your freezer drawers, whipping out your pre-grated food as and when you need it.

The dough blade

The Oster 10-Cup Food Processor with Easy-Touch Technology making pizza dough from scratch next to ingredients

You can see the Oster 10-Cup food processor making pizza dough, but you could also use the dough blade for brioche, cookie dough, and more

(Image credit: Oster)

It might sound far-fetched and much more like the job of a stand mixer, but food processors really can make dough. If you have a dough blade, you can knead enriched bread dough, pizza dough, and thicker bakes using the short, blunt blade. 

It's quicker than hand-working the dough on your kitchen surface and it can save you a lot of mess too. I've heard some people using their regular S blade for making breads and batters, because the blades tend to be longer, reaching right to the edge of your bowl. However, this can also be tough on your mix, so always sense-check yourself.

Blending cups and pitchers

Magic Bullet Blender with smoothie ingredients

This might look like a blender, but the Magic Bullet base allows you to sit either a blending up or a food processor bowl on it.

(Image credit: Future)

Most of those attachments will come with any standard food processor. However, if you want to expand what you can make with a food processor, you might want to take a look at the best food processor blender combos. These will either come with bullet blending cups that can sit on the base of your food processor, or the brand will send a big pitcher. Choosing between the two is really all about capacity: blending cups are great for single-serve smoothies and simple tasks. Pitchers are perfect for large households, trickier recipes, and batch blends. Here are a few of my favorites.

Other accessories

KitchenAid 13-cup Food Processor on a kitchen counter.

(Image credit: Williams Sonoma)

Some food processors will have other accessories available to buy separately. Some brands offer juicer fixes, pastry cutters, and more.

KitchenAid is a great example because you can use their stand mixer base for your food processor, but there are also a range of KitchenAid attachments that transform it into an ice cream maker, meat grinder, and a pasta roller. 

You name it, there'll be an attachment for it. And, manufacturers are only getting smarter. So, if you want to make the most of your food processor, it's worth doing some research to make sure that you're getting the most for your money.

Laura Honey
eCommerce Editor

Laura is our eCommerce editor. As a fully qualified barista, she's our expert in all things coffee and has tested over thirty of the best coffee makers on the market. She has also interviewed Q-Graders and world-leading experts in the coffee industry, so has an intimate knowledge of all things coffee. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she studied English at Oxford University. Whilst studying, she trained as a master perfumer and worked in the luxury fragrance industry for five years. Her collection of home fragrance is extensive and she's met and interviewed five of the world's finest perfumers (also known as 'noses'). As a result of this expansive fragrance knowledge, she always puts quality and style over quantity and fads. Laura looks for products which have been designed simply and with thoughtful finishes.