Fans of television cooking shows have no doubt seen the Viking Food Processor in action. It sits on the sets of all the top celebrity chef’s shows. It appears to be a plain, square, no frills type of machine. There are no variable speeds to choose from; it only offers “on”, “off”, or “pulse.” It doesn’t come in all the latest finishes to match your other kitchen appliances. In fact, the only finish they offer is a die-cast metal which is quite dull compared to other brands shiny stainless steel. So why do so many chefs use these plain food processors? Simply put, Viking makes the best food processor available on the market today.
The Viking corporation is a relative new-comer in the appliance industry; the very first Viking appliances were created in the late 1980’s. The company’s founder, Fred Carl, Jr., saw a need for commercial quality appliances made specifically for residential use. Up until then, you had to choose between commercial grade quality or residential safety and convenience features. This company changed that, offering products with the best of both worlds.
The motor really sets the Viking apart from other food processors. It is a 625 watt direct driven induction motor. 625 watts may not seem like a lot, given the fact that cheaper models have higher wattage. The truth is, efficiency is considerably more important than the number of watts. A direct driven food processor has the work bowl situated on top of the motor rather than on the side. This allows a more direct transfer of power which results in more usable power per watt.
Viking takes it one step further, offering the only food processor available with an induction motor. In an induction motor alternating current (AC) voltages are induced by the magnetic and rotating field of the stator in the circuit. An induction motor is constructed with elements of steel, aluminum and copper. While this makes them more expensive than universal motors, it also increases their quality, durability and efficiency. That is why the Viking food processor possesses an incredibly powerful and smooth motor that is exceptionally quiet while running.
The machine is on the heavy side; this is true of all heavy-duty food processors. A well powered motor comes with added weight. Viking has included rear wheels to help you easily move the machine across your counter.
There is a very good reason the Viking food processor doesn’t have variable speeds: a good food processor doesn’t need them. You control the speed through proper use of the “pulse” option. Beware of any food processor manufacturer that tries to seduce you with multiple speeds; they are probably compensating for a lack of quality.
As far as the dull, no bells and whistles façade goes, I think it’s beautiful in an industrial semi-modern way. Viking briefly marketed different finishes and colors, but reverted to the classic model serious cooks have come to recognize. It has a quiet, unassuming beauty about it which hints at its superior functionality.
The Viking only comes in a full size: 12 cup capacity. They do offer a 3 cup mini bowl available to purchase separately. These two sizes should cover all home food preparation needs quite nicely.
When you first handle the Viking food processor, the inherent quality is obvious. The work bowl, blades and discs all have a more solid, sturdy feel to them. There is a smoothness to it when operating that is difficult to describe. It does come with a hefty price tag: about $350. I think it is worth every penny. I believe any cook would agree, once they have tried one.
There is a way to try a Viking food processor before committing. Most cooking classes utilize these fine machines, more so than any other brand. Call your local college or community center and inquire about cooking classes. Find one that will use a Viking and sign up. You’ll not only get to see this amazing appliance in action, you’ll also get tips from a pro on proper usage!