The Parts of a Food Processor

Food processors are among the most versatile kitchen appliances, chopping, slicing, mixing, and grating a variety of ingredients. While a food processor may be easy to use, it is composed of a complex series of parts to function properly and remain durable after years of use.

Motor Assembly

Slicing vegetables is just one task a food processor can do.

A food processor's base houses the motor assembly, which consists of an electric motor and an internal power supply with a cord for plugging into a standard electrical outlet. Some food processors also include a fuse to protect the motor and household wiring from an electric surge. The food processor's motor drives a spindle, which in turn drives each of the various attachments.


Along one side of the food processor's base, a series of buttons or dials gives the user control over the mechanism. Controls usually include an on/off switch along with a series of power settings. Fully digital controls are common on some brands of food processors, but they serve the same function as dials or buttons.


The largest part of a food processor is its bowl, where food is collected and processed. The bowl is usually transparent so the user can see the food inside. Besides collecting food, the bowl also provides a measure of safety by removing the user from contact with the spinning blades. The bowl may also feature a handle for dumping out the finished product.

Inserts and Discs

For a food processor to fulfill all its functions, it needs to come with an array of inserts and discs. These tools attach to the motor's spindle and perform tasks on the food inside the bowl. Common inserts for food processors include choppers, slicers, graters and shredders.


The cover for a food processor serves several purposes. It closes off the bowl, keeping the food inside from flying out due to the force of the blades. Some covers also feature a fill tube, through which the operator can feed pieces of food for processing while the machine is running.