One of the most frequent questions I get is whether to get a blender or a food processor. Even more specifically, whether to get a Vitamix blender or a food processor.
Well, now you don't have to choose anymore because in September 2020 Vitamix released the Food Processor Attachment. With this attachment, the Vitamix blender has essentially become the most versatile 2-in-1 appliance on the market - a high-speed blender and a powerful food processor. This is truly a game-changer for Vitamix owners. And those who have been on the fence about Vitamix might finally jump in.
Vitamix Food Processor Review Video
If you'd like to see the Vitamix food processor in action, watch the review video below.
Vitamix Food Processor - Compatibility
The Vitamix Food Processor is compatible only with Smart System blenders purchased in the United States or Canada. It is currently NOT compatible with Smart System blenders purchased in Europe, Australia, and Asia since the attachment has not passed safety regulations in those markets.
If you're not sure whether your Vitamix blender will work with the food processor attachment, here is a list of all the compatible models:
Vitamix Smart System Blenders
Note: If you just purchased a Vitamix blender that is not compatible with the food processor attachment, Vitamix will accept returns if the item was purchased within the last 120 days.
The reason the food processor attachment is not compatible with Legacy or Explorian blenders is SELF-DETECT™ technology. Smart System blenders utilize SELF-DETECT™ technology based on near-field communication (NFC), which allows the base to communicate with the container. All Smart System containers, including the food processor attachment, are equipped with an NFC tag that communicates with the NFC reader in the blender base. When on the base, the container tells the machine what it is and verifies its authenticity, so the blender knows it’s working with an original container that is safe to use. The container then describes how it is to be handled, and the blender automatically adjusts its settings, changing up to 140 parameters. SELF-DETECT™ technology ensures that ingredients in smaller containers aren’t over-blended, items in larger containers get the blending force they need, and the operating parameters always remain within prescribed safety limits.
This is not an attempt to force Vitamix users to upgrade just for the sake of upgrading. Vitamix recently released a stainless steel container that is compatible with all Legacy, Explorian, and Smart System blenders. The reason for the compatibility is purely a safety mechanism (more on that later).
Vitamix Food Processor - Features
The Vitamix food processor attachment uses the standard blender base as the motor.
Vitamix Smart System models rely on a 2.2-peak-horsepower electric motor, which translates into 1,380 watts. For a comparison, my previous food processor Breville Sous Chef came with a 1,200-watt motor and was advertised to "easily handle the toughest food processing job". Standard food processors typically come with a maximum 700-watt motor (anywhere between 400 and 700 watts is the norm). So, the power of the Vitamix motor is more than sufficient to handle any task you throw at it.
Of course, the more powerful the motor, the longer it can run without heating up and the more labor-intensive tasks the appliance can handle.
Since the food processor is simply just an attachment sitting on top of the Vitamix base, the interface will depend on the Vitamix you already own or are yet to purchase. This will be either one of the Ascent models or the Venturist.
Here is a simple breakdown of the interface differences between individual models:
|Variable Speed Dial||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Timer (Count Up)||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Programmable Count Down||-||-||✓||✓||-|
Although the Vitamix food processor attachment sits on the Smart System blender base (with a variable 10-speed dial, timer, potentially program settings, etc.), it utilizes only the start/stop function and the pulse function.
Food processors spin slower than blenders, so Vitamix created a gearing system that sits hidden inside the bottom of the food processor attachment. It gears down the speed by approximately seven-fold. This means that the food processor operates on one single continuous speed. You can turn the speed dial from variable speed 1 to 10 while the food processor is running, but the speed won’t change. This is consistent with other food processors on the market.
If the blender base comes with a programmable count down, you can set a timer for the required time and press the start/stop button to start the process. If no timer is set, the food processor is pre-set for a maximum of 150 seconds of continuous-time operating; hence it will shut off automatically at the end of the maximum operating cycle.
Finally, if the blender base comes with program settings, they are all inactivated except for the cleaning cycle.
The work of a food processor is to perform multiple tasks to simply food prep. To effortlessly breeze through food prep tasks, food processors typically come with a lot of attachments and accessories. The Vitamix food processor is no different.
What sets the attachment apart is the way all the components snap together. Most food processors have a twist lock mechanism, but the Vitamix food processor uses a stack and lock system. The base snaps on with a very sturdy metal latch and the lid has two snaps that lock in place.
Here's what's included when you purchase the Vitamix food processor attachment:
Food processors come in three basic sizes - mini (2-5 cups capacity), compact (5-7 cups capacity), and full-size (9-16 cups). While mini and compact food processors are great help for a single person or a family of 2, the ideal size for most home cooks ranges in capacity from 11 to 14 cups. A food processor is an investment that will last you many years, so if you cook for a family or simply cook a lot, the 12-cup bowl makes a lot of sense. The great thing about the Vitamix food processor bowl is that the tube rising up in the center of the bowl matches with the 12-cup max capacity mark on the outside of the bowl. In other food processors, the tube is typically about half the height of the food processor bowl, which means the liquid level has to remain quite low so it won’t leak.
The Vitamix food processor bowl is made of tritan - a BPA-free plastic - which is the same material as Vitamix blender containers. The bowl has clearly printed measuring marks in cups and ounces on one side and milliliters on the other side.
I wish Vitamix came up with a glass bowl (just like I wish there was a glass blender container option) because glass is scratch-resistance and less likely to retain odors. However, you can only find glass food processor bowls in standard food processors because the power of a high-speed blender motor can make glass shatter.
Bowl Lid & Food Pushers
The work bowl comes with a see-through snap-on lid with two feeding tubes, a large pusher, and a small pusher.
Whole potatoes, large onions, or big wedges of cabbage benefit from the larger feeding tube, while narrow carrots, zucchini and celery work best in the smaller one. These two feeding tubes can handle pretty much any type of ingredient.
The two food pushers allow for pushing ingredients down into the discs or the blade safely. The small food pusher has a hole in the bottom so liquids can be drizzled into the bowl while the processor is running. This is very useful for emulsifications, for instance. The larger pusher has a hole on each side.
Both the lid and the food pushers are made of the same material as the food processor bowl.
Every food processor, including the Vitamix, comes with at least one S-shaped blade, also known as a Sabatier blade, that sits at the bottom of the bowl.
The Vitamix S blade is designed to chop hard nuts, mince delicate herbs, pulverize chickpeas into hummus, process cauliflower into rice, blend bananas into no-churn ice cream, cut butter into flour for biscuits, or knead sticky dough. When the machine is on pulse, the blade will mix and chop. When the machine is on continuously, the blade will blend and purée.
The blade is made of durable stainless steel, sharp out of the box, and durable enough to remain sharp over years of use.
The Vitamix food processor attachment comes with two reversible discs - a small shred/thin slice disc (0.094 inch/2.4 mm) and a large shred/thick slice disc (0.157 inch/4.0 mm). The discs sit at the top of the bowl, allowing food to be shredded/sliced and fall down into the bowl.
Here's a brief summary of what I use each disc for:
- Thin slice disc: slicing zucchini for chips, slicing potatoes gratins.
- Small shred disc: grating carrots for a carrot cake, shaving cabbage for slaws, shredding lettuce for salads, grating citrus zest for garnishes.
- Thick slice disc: slicing apples for pies, slicing eggplants for grilling, slicing tomatoes for burgers.
- Large shred disc: shaving chocolate for a dessert decoration, chopping broccoli for crunchy salads.
All discs are made of durable stainless steel and sharp out of the box, so they need to be handled carefully. For safe handling. there are two finger holes in the discs, which is practical when placing or removing the discs.
Disc Storage Case
The disc case is designed to store the two reversible discs neatly in one place.
In 2022, Vitamix released three additional discs - a reversible ultra-thin slice/fine shred disc, a veggie stick disc, and a julienne disc. These discs do not come with the food processor attachment and need to be purchased separately.
Again, here's a brief summary of what I use each disc for:
- Ultra-thin slice disc: slicing vegetables for ultra-thin potato chips, slicing produce for pickles.
- Ultra-thin shred disc: shredding vegetables for salad toppings, shaving cabbage for sauerkraut.
- Veggie stick disc: cutting root vegetables for fries, cutting carrots and bell peppers for an appetizer tray.
- Julienne disc: cutting potatoes into thin long strips for hash browns, turning spaghetti squash into spaghetti-like strands, cutting vegetables for stir fries or salads.
To store the three extra discs, Vitamix designed an additional disc storage case. It connects to the standard storage case to declutter the storage as much as possible.
Vitamix Food Processor Attachment Storage
One of the benefits of the Vitamix food processor attachment is that there is no need to store another heavy motor.
Since the bowl itself is the size of many standard food processor bowls, it still takes a bit of space. The dimensions of the attachment are 12.75 inch/32.4 cm (height) x 11.75 inch/30.0 cm (length). However, it has a modest profile of 8.5 inch/21.6 cm (width) and weighs only 6.17 lb/2.8 kg.
Vitamix certainly considered storage when designing the attachment. With the metal blade in the bowl, the lid assembly is placed on top of the bowl, upside down. Then the case that holds the discs snaps onto the lid for more compact storage that’s not nearly as tall as a standard food processor, and with all the parts neatly together. Overall, just a great idea that makes use of an already great blender base.
Vitamix Food Processor - Price & Warranty
The Vitamix food processor attachment is priced at $199 ($259 CAD). For a reference, my previous food processor - Breville Sous Chef - currently sells for $399 ($507 CAD). Sure, the Vitamix food processor is just an attachment, but it is high-quality and will last for many years.
Vitamix provides a 3-year warranty on the food processor attachment and a 1-year warranty on the blade and discs. Of course, the actual blender base comes with a 10-year warranty (along with the superb Vitamix customer service). There is also an option of an extended warranty at an additional cost.
Vitamix has a 30-day return policy on all orders. So, if you aren’t fully satisfied with the performance of your blender/food processor, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund. Vitamix will even pay for return shipping.
Vitamix Blender vs Food Processor
You might have heard that if you have a Vitamix blender, you don't really need a food processor.
Vitamix has always been more than just a blender. However, a blender can never fully replace a food processor and vice versa.
In short, a Vitamix blender is a winner when it comes to blending, grinding, and crushing. The food processor attachment has a clear advantage in precision food prep tasks like chopping, grating, shredding, and slicing. Both can knead dough - a blender works beautifully for pastry batters in need of aeration, while a food processor is more suited for heartier bread dough, pie crusts, and biscuits. Both can also mix ingredients - a blender will produce a perfectly smooth mix while a food processor offers more versatility if you don't want the result to be completely smooth.
Is the Vitamix Food Processor Worth It?
I have used a couple of food processors over the years - a 16-cup Breville Sous Chef, a 14-cup Cuisinart, and now the 12-cup Vitamix Food Processor.
Here is why I kept only the Vitamix food processor attachment and sold that other two food processors:
First, I have owned Vitamix blenders for more than a decade and they are simply the best on the market. So, it was an obvious choice to get the food processor attachment and extend the functionality of my Vitamix base.
Second, space is definitely an issue in my kitchen. The food processor attachment is compact without the need for much storage yet it comes with as many accessories as a standalone food processor.
If you already own a Vitamix blender, it's simply a no-brainer to purchase the food processor attachment. It’s high-quality, cheaper than buying a full-size food processor and takes up less space.
Q&A for Vitamix Buyers
Is the Vitamix Food Processor Worth It?
Is the Vitamix food processor worth the cost?
If you’re on the market for a new food processor, then it’s definitely worth checking into Vitamix food processor attachment. It has everything that you will ever need from a food processor, and it will serve you many years to come. It's a premium product with high-quality standards that you can always expect from Vitamix.
However, it is true that the Vitamix food processor attachment is not a standalone product, and you need to have a Smart System Vitamix blender to operate the attachment. So, if you don’t have a Smart System blender (from the Ascent or Venturist series), you need to consider your budget.
Can I just use my Vitamix blender as a food processor?
While there are many similarities between these two appliances, they do have structural differences to make them each uniquely suited to specific culinary tasks. A Vitamix blender wins on all classic blending tasks, such as smoothies, plant milks, soups, sauces, dressings, and purees. It’s also great for thick blends, such as frozen desserts, icy drinks, nut butters, dips, and spreads. Vitamix blender dominance comes from the combination of the powerful motor, the circulation vortex, and the tamper.
Food processors have the advantage of adjustable slicing disks that allow you to evenly slice, shred, grate, or chop ingredients. Food processors also shine when you need to mix something but don’t want the result to be completely smooth including things like pesto, chunky salsa, homemade energy balls, snack bars, raw pie crusts, cookie dough, etc.
Is there any difference between the Vitamix food processor attachment and a full-size food processor?
No. The attachment with the Vitamix base can do everything a full-size powerful food processor can do.
Are there any Vitamix food processor alternatives?
If the Vitamix food processor is not a right fit for you, there are other "just as good" alternatives you can consider when choosing a food processor.
Before getting my Vitamix food processor, I owned the 16-cup Breville Sous Chef food processor that comes with five multi-function discs for slicing and shredding and three S-blades for chopping and mixing. If you're looking for a more budget-friendly alternative, my choice would be the 14-cup Cuisinart food processor that comes with two slicing and shredding discs and one S-blade.
Is the Vitamix Food Processor Noisy?
The attachment produces a similar noise as the Vitamix blender, approximately 90dB, depending on the ingredients you're processing. If anything, it's a bit quieter than a Vitamix blender because the blade isn’t spinning as fast as a standard Vitamix blade.
Is the Vitamix food processor dishwasher safe?
Yes! All parts except the self-detect base are dishwasher safe. However, to extend the life of your food processor, I recommend using the self-cleaning cycle or washing al the components by hand. First of all, if you put the work bowl, lid, pushers, etc. in the dishwasher, they are most likely going to sit there for a while, resulting in a stained and/or cloudy components. Second, the dishwasher can put stress on the components. The hot temperatures may distort or crack the work bowl, wear down the blade (and other parts) over time, and cause the bearings to rust after prolonged dishwasher use. The harsh chemicals in the detergent can also etch the plastic, turning the components permanently cloudy. If you’re set on using the dishwasher anyway, at least strictly adhere to the instruction about temperatures, detergents, and racks to be used.
What is the best way to wash the Vitamix food processor?
If you have a blender that includes the cleaning program, fill the work bowl halfway with warm water. Add a few drops of dish soap. Return the food processor attachment to the blender base and run the cleaning program. The program will stop automatically when complete. To clean the self-detect base, wipe it with a wet cloth and then dry with a clean towel.
If your blender doesn't come with the self-cleaning cycler, you can wash all the food processor parts in warm soapy water. Rinse under clean running water and then dry.
Purchases, Warranty & Returns
What’s the best place to buy a Vitamix?
The best place to buy a Vitamix is either on Vitamix website or from Vitamix authorized retailers. If you’re buying a Vitamix from retailers, remember to always compare prices with vitamix.com to make sure you’re getting the best deal. I don’t recommend buying a Vitamix from third-party sellers and platforms including eBay or Craigslist.
What if I am not happy with my Vitamix?
Vitamix has a 30-day return policy on all orders. So, if you aren’t fully satisfied with the performance of your blender/food processor, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund. Vitamix will even pay for return shipping. If you purchased your Vitamix machines from a local retailer or a dealer, you’ll need to contact them for their return policy.
What does the Vitamix warranty cover?
Vitamix stands fully behind its products and offers a generous warranty that covers all parts, labor, and shipping. However, only 1% of Vitamix machines ever get sent in for service, so it is unlikely you’ll ever need it.
I have personally worked with more than a dozen Vitamix blenders and never experienced any issues.
Hi, I’m Petra – a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and a Raw Food Chef. I have been using a Vitamix for more than a decade. I personally own several Vitamix blenders (mostly for testing purposes) and use Vitamix exclusively in commercial settings as well.
A full disclosure – I am an affiliate of Vitamix, so if you use my links to purchase a Vitamix, I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you so much for your support.
If you still can’t decide whether the Vitamix food processor is the right fit for you, I would be happy to answer any questions in the comment section below. I respond to all comments within 24 hours.