I’m trapped in this interesting world between my staunchly frugal nature, the urge to buy the best-sourced food possible (which means paying more and more on the food budget all the time) and a world of gadgets and natural living products that should make the TIME aspect of the real food life easier but always impact the budget portion in a serious way.
I’ve been fortunate enough in my job here at KS to review big-ticket items like a Nutrimill grain mill, Excalibur food dehydrator, and Blendtec high-powered blender . I get the items por nada as review samples (but I do work for them, don’t worry!). My question as I’m using them is always the same:
Sure, this is a great appliance and handy to have around…but is it worth the 5-10x price upgrade over an inexpensive brand or size?
Some of these items cost as much, or about half as much, as many families spend on food for an entire month! They’re equal to a major automotive repair or a brand-new grill or even entire oven – a small appliance that costs as much as a large appliance.
For some, the purchase is 100% worth it – they use the item as much as their stove, they truly can’t do a process without it, or preserving food by dehydrating or grinding grains saves enough over a few years to pay for the machine.
Today’s review item is definitely in this “big-ticket” category: it’s a very expensive food processor. The Magimix by Robot-Coupe
Because of my power ball recipe (like a homemade Larabar) in my Healthy Snacks to Go eBook, people often ask me what kind of food processor I use. My answer was always that I had just borrowed my mom’s old 7-cup Cuisinart. I guessed it was about a $50 machine, although I see now that’s it’s of about a $100-150 model on Amazon (surprise! It felt small and inexpensive!).
The Cuisinart did everything I needed for a while:
- handled quadruple batches of the aforementioned power balls
- pureed batter for black bean brownies
- shredded cheese in bulk
- sliced potatoes for various recipes
- shredded zucchini for freezing
- plus more random tasks from time to time…
But its size started to drag me down as our family grew – I wanted to make double batches of the brownies without egg and oil oozing out the top all over the machine, and I wanted to make a double batch of these chickpea wraps without having to juggle back and forth single batches because the food processor just couldn’t fit it all in.
I went on the hunt for a larger size, unsure of what I would find or price ranges.
I had seen the Magimix by Robot Coupe on other blogs and looked into it.
The Magimix stats are pretty impressive:
- Comes with 3 bowls (I thought that was unique!) – 6-cup, 12-cup and 14-cup
- 2 metal Sabatier blades, one for small bowl, and one for medium and large bowls.
- Dough blade
- 2 grating discs
- 2 slicing discs
- Egg whisk
- Storage box
- 30-year warranty on the motor (amazing for this day and age!) Details here.
I was thrilled to get a review sample. The others I was looking at in 10-14 cup capacity were all under $80 and still included slicing and shredding blades, so I had incredibly high expectations for this machine.
Katie’s Test Kitchen
The idea behind the 3 bowls, according to the literature from the company, is that you can move from one task to the next without washing the food processor bowl.
There are two problems with this:
- You have more dishes at the end of the night.
- If you only want to do something small and use the little bowl, or even the medium-sized bowl, both of them still require the larger bowl to function – they sit right inside it and all use the same lid. That would be fine if food didn’t splash or spray out of the smaller bowls and into the larger one, every single time. That was a big problem in my book – more dishes!
None of the food processors I was looking at would fit under my cupboards when put together like the 7-cup could, which was a bummer. (My cupboards are a bit lower than standard height.) The Magimix by Robot Coupe was no different here. I store it at the end of my counter between the fridge and the wall where I have a little sort of “hidden” place that you can’t see unless you’re right there. It fits my grain mill, Blendtec and food processor since all 3 are very heavy and cumbersome and would never fit in a cupboard (and if it did, I’d never want to take the time to extract it to use it!).
The new food processor does okay there, but honestly, there are SO many parts and bowls that it gets messy (and confusing for my husband, who can’t remember the special way I store it with the lid upside down and the pusher inside the lid – so that it fits under the cupboard). The extra “storage box” is large, probably about 12×8 inches, so I had to clear half a shelf in a cupboard just to fit it. It holds the blades (only) not any of the bowls or anything else. I did ask for a bigger model…but just fair warning if you’re used to everything fitting in a certain place.
Not exactly strike two, but nothing that made me happy to report about.
I was really looking forward to the extra French fry blade the most, since that was something I already made that took forever to cut for our growing family. It was VERY fast to make French fries in the Magimix by Robot Coupe, but…
…they were so thin. And had many imperfections like those teeny tiny pieces you see in the photo. And they got into two bowls instead of just one, since you’re supposed to use the mid-sized bowl for all slicing, shredding attachment work. On the other hand, I still used the julienne disc just the other day for French fries, the benefit being that they cook a little faster and are still tasty when they’re tiny like this (deficit = sweet potato fries go from not-quite-done to black in 30 seconds when they’re this thin, but sweet potato fries are always a little volatile in the hot grease anyway. Better to bake those!
I’ve been frustrated by the shredding cheese, too – either you use the middle bowl like you’re supposed to and still make a mess of the big bowl (and have to empty it more often) OR you just use the big bowl, and you get a few large slices of cheese that sneak out between the slicing blade and the container, right into the shreds.
I think my husband would quote me as saying something like: “Why could my old cheap food processor handle shredding cheese without so much help from me?” If a machine is going to cost so much, it better be not only better than the $80-100 machines but practically perfect in every way. My standards are high when the price points are that high.
As for the French fries, they had the same sad problem with large pieces sneaking through and/or tiny shreds making messes…and then I learned that I had been sent the julienne blade instead because the French fry blade was discontinued. Very sad!
I’ll admit I haven’t tried the dough blade. In a mostly GF household, there’s just no need. I always used my KitchenAid dough hook when I made bread regularly years ago, so since I have that machine, this would just be redundant anyway. I also haven’t tried the egg whisking attachment. Again…just no real need popping up.
If you have those needs and no appliance to help you out with it, maybe this IS the machine for you. But I just wanted to do what I was already doing with a food processor, maybe a bit more, in a more efficient way and larger batches.
I was totally looking forward to that massive opening, thinking, “Yessss! I can shred the 24-ounce blocks of cheese I buy without even cutting them into smaller pieces!”
Even that didn’t come to pass, since when you’re using the larger mouth (there are two ways to insert food into the shredding/slicing blades, one average and one huge), you have to have the pushing attachment at least halfway down before the machine will turn on. It’s a safety feature…and that’s great for your fingers…but it meant just as much cutting the cheese as with my 7-cupper. There’s only about 2-3 inches headroom when the pusher is down far enough, so the super wide mouth is far, far less helpful than I expected since food pieces still can’t be big overall, just wide (and short).
Other Thoughts on the Magimix Food Processor
Am I being too hard on this machine? I’m not sure. Here are the other things I tried and have had mixed results with:
- power balls and these almond power bars, of course. It does fine…but other than fitting more in, I can’t say the processor is faster than my old one. You can see the food processor in person (on live TV!) in this news segment I did in September. Fun!
- double batch of black bean brownies! Hooray!!
- making Caesar dressing in a triple batch – in my 7-cupper, I’d mince the garlic first, then finish the recipe. The large bowl was too big (I guess) to mince garlic, and the small bowl too small for a triple batch. Disappointing at best, since the mini food processing attachment that came with my immersion blender 12 years ago can mince garlic for me and fit in the dishwasher in a space the size of a drinking glass.
- Note: It’s really, really heavy. You almost have to store it on the counter, FYI.
- Another note: The blade is so sharp, it cuts spatulas as you’re trying to scrape the food out of the bowl. Yikes – tiny pieces of silicon in my food!
- The food processor comes with a 30-year motor guarantee and 3-year parts guarantee, which is pretty awesome in this day and age. That alone might be a deciding factor for some of you who have burned out one too many appliances! 😉
The Bottom Line Review
I come back to the bottom line for a reason – because cost and budget are really the big questions here.
Of course the Magimix by Robot-Coupe is a great machine. Of course it does the job well (most of the time). But for the cost…is it worth the bottom line?
Well…I’ll let you make your own decision on that based on your budget and needs. The processor does have some other extras like a citrus press and a juice extractor, and the dough blade would come in very handy for those without a stand mixer, so if you need anything like that, double duty is always a good thing! I wouldn’t want to be in a kitchen without a food processor now that I’ve gotten used to having one. I love the function of it – but I’m not going to say that this is the best or only one you should buy…
Disclosure: I received products for my review at no charge, which of course did not affect my opinion in the least. This is not a paid giveaway, but the prize is provided by Magimix by Robot – Coupe. See my full advertising disclosure here.
If you appreciated the balance and depth of the review you just read, you will love my resources page, with REAL products that have passed my rigorous testing enough to be “regulars” in the Kimball household, plus some other comprehensive reviews. Updated at least once a year to boot the losers and add new gems!