A food processor is one of those items that, once you have one, you wondered how you coped without it. Chopping nuts, grating vegetables, making breadcrumbs, salad dressings, pesto, drizzles and doughs all becomes much, much easier with a touch of a button – cutting down on prep time in the kitchen and increasing the repertoire of dishes you can tackle at home.
So, a combo blender/food processor should provide even more versatility – allowing all of the above PLUS smooth soups, sauces and fruity smoothies from scratch (and therefore with no added nasties) in minutes.
We were excited, then, to try the Shark Ninja 3-in-1 Food Processor, to see what we could whip up – and whether the machine would in fact, be worth its £150 price tag.
Ninja 3-in-1 Food Processor With Auto-iQ: What’s The Hype?
This machine promises to replace multiple appliances you might need in your home with one powerful 1200 watt option instead. At £150, it’s not cheap, but you do get plenty for your money as it’s a three-in-one machine. That equates as £50 each for a food processor, blender and smoothie maker, which isn’t bad, we reckon.
What’s In The Box?
Basically, everything you could possibly need to make food prep simple – from healthy smoothies to bring with you on-the-go, to creamy soups and sauces and springy pizza dough.
The machine has a very professional look and, while the base and all the attachments are made of plastic (aside from the blades, which are steel), the quality is great. It certainly feels like it could withstand some knocks and bumps in a busy kitchen – and everything, aside from the base itself, is dishwasher-friendly.
1.8L food processor bowl
700ml cup with a lid you can drink from
Extractor, stacked and chopping blades
A dough tool
A slicing/grating disc
A recipe guide to get you started
Using The Product
Using the machine is super simple thanks to its foolproof controls and easy locking system to switch out the bowl, jug and cup. The machine also won’t start if the lid’s not on properly, so there can be no sauce-based kitchen nightmares, which I appreciated.
There are clearly marked buttons for blending, chopping, pureeing and mixing, along with low, medium, high and pulse speeds, so you really can’t make a mistake. For my test, I gave each attachment a try at least once – here’s what I thought.
Food Processor Bowl
I opted to make a cashew nut-based curry sauce with the food processor bowl. Before I’d pulse this up with my trusty hand blender, but that takes time and I get splashes everywhere. Plus, doing it by hand means I struggle to get it really smooth, so I wanted to see if I could avoid a gritty texture from the nuts by using the food processor.
All-in-all, while it took a little time to get it as smooth as I wanted, the results were much better than using the stick blender. Leaving the machine to do its thing also freed me up to continue prepping the rest of the dish at the same time. Plus, there was absolutely no mess, which was much appreciated.
I also tried making a pizza dough using the dough hook. I was dubious at first; surely it couldn’t outperform my Smeg stand mixer? However, I was pleasantly surprised – it made a perfect dough very quickly, without having to knead anything by hand. Plus, I didn’t have to lug my heavy mixer out from the cupboard. Win win!
For this test, I put it through its paces with a frozen daiquiri recipe. How would it perform crushing up ice and strawberries with their gritty little pips?
The answer is: very well. The sharp blades made light work of the tough ice, creating a perfect slushie consistency and great cocktails at a fraction of the cost in a bar in just a few minutes. It was very impressive. Who even needs the pubs to reopen?
I made a healthy green smoothie this time, in an attempt to counteract the effects of curry and cocktails. Again, nobody likes a gritty or unblended smoothie, but there were no such problems here. It took around 10 minutes to get it perfectly smooth, but the result was frothy and tasty.
Reading reviews for this processor before it arrived, many people commented on how noisy it is, so I was primed to put my hands over my ears when I turned it on. Honestly, it wasn’t quiet in use but neither myself nor anyone else present during the test felt it was unreasonably loud. It’s not a whisper quiet machine but, in fairness, we were crunching up ice in one test and cashew nuts in another, so it makes sense that there would be some noise.
Storage was a bit of an issue: there’s quite a lot of elements and, much as I tried, they wouldn’t all fit inside the jug/processor bowl. You will have to make some space for all these bits and bobs inside your cupboard (and not lose them!). Saying that, while it does seem bulky on first glance, it’s obviously a lot less to store than three separate machines which, when you think of it that way, is much preferable.
Ninja 3-in-1 Food Processor With Auto-iQ: The Verdict
Overall, I really like this machine. I like that, for £150, you get the powerful base to use with three different appliances; really the amount of recipes you can whip up with this one purchase is very impressive. It is a little cumbersome to store if you’re short on space, but I think it’s really great value for money and I would wholeheartedly recommend if you’re looking for a quick way to boost the repertoire of dishes (or cocktails!) you can make at home.
Pick one up on Amazon here.