4.4 Reviewed by SusanRating:
The fact that the Hamilton Beach 70740 Food Processor is the number one bestselling model in its class on Amazon tells you something. For the price, this little appliance performs pretty well when used for the tasks it was designed to do.
This is an 8-cup, two speed food processor with a 450 Watt motor. It’s a no-frills model, and it does have some limitations, yet many people find it meets all their needs. If you aren’t sure whether this is the best choice for you, read all the details below about what this food processor can and can’t do.
Read our complete Hamilton Beach 70740 8-cup Food Processor Review below.
Table of Contents
Click a topic to read ahead!
- 450 Watt Motor
- Stainless Steel S-Blade (chopping, mixing, pureeing)
- Stainless Steel Reversible Slicing/Shredding Disc
- 2 Speeds plus Plus Control
- Large Feed Chute
- Dishwasher Safe Parts (bowl, lid, blades)
The “Bad” News
To save you time, let’s start with what this food processor won’t do.
There is no dough blade available for the Hamilton Beach 70740, and this model is not designed for making bread dough.
This food processor will chop veggies, but it will not cube them. There is no disc available that has the type of cubing grid that you’ll find on some other, more expensive processors.
The user manual clearly states that you should NOT use this food processor for:
- Grinding grain, coffee beans, or spices
- Slicing frozen meats
- Kneading dough
- Crushing ice
A lot of users will tell you that they’ve actually used this processor for tasks such as crushing ice for smoothies. Chances are that will work, but it’s probably a bad idea because the appliance simply isn’t built for that. At this price, don’t expect it to do everything.(Back to Top)
The Good News
For a medium capacity food processor, this model is very inexpensive and works well for basic tasks. It has a wide feed chute, which can save you prep time since it will accommodate larger chunks of food. It’s great for chopping, mixing, and fine grating. Though it does work for slicing, it isn’t the best, I’ll get to that in a minute.
Another plus is that this processor is very light weight. You’ll appreciate that if you don’t want to leave it sitting out all the time – no straining your back to load it in and out of cabinets for storage. To compensate for the fact that it isn’t very heavy, it is made with suction cups on the bottom to help keep it stable on the counter while it’s in use.
The 450 Watt motor is adequate for most common jobs. You’ll learn from experience what this food processor can and can’t manage, but a key sign is that if the motor seems weak then you have probably overloaded it.
Its stainless steel S Blade is great for chopping onions, bell peppers, celery, or other ingredients for your recipes. It also works on fruits and softer vegetables for making chunky salsa and other dishes.
The S Blade is also designed to puree, so for instance it does fine when processing tomatoes for spaghetti sauce. Just don’t expect the ultra velvety texture you can get from a blender (and this is true of even the high end food processors).
The 70740 model is well designed so that the blades do a good job of drawing food down for uniform chopping. An exception to this would be when you process very small amounts of food, in which case you’ll need to remove the lid several times to keep scarping the sides. I wouldn’t consider this a drawback because the same is true of much more expensive models. In fact, if you will only ever want to process in very small amounts, you’ll probably be much happier with one of the small capacity food choppers. The advantage of this 8-cup model is that you can do both large and small amounts. The latter will just require a little more effort on your part.
It’s also very fast. In fact, even the pulse speed on this model operates at what has been described as “insanely high”. Sometimes that’s great. The drawback is that at such high speeds, it can be difficult to produce uniform slicing with softer foods such as cucumbers or green onions.
Again, these aren’t necessarily deal breakers. As with any new appliance of this type, it’s always wise to do a little experimenting. Before you waste a whole bowl of tomatoes, throw in one or two and go easy at first. Test the pulse function to see how much it takes, or doesn’t take. You’ll quickly learn to judge so that if you want big chunks you don’t end up with liquid.
As for slicing, the stainless steel disc produces very thin slices. Thickness is not adjustable, and there are no additional slicing discs available for this model. Don’t expect the best possible results with all types of foods. Since the thickness isn’t adjustable and the processor runs at such high speeds, it can be harder to work with some softer foods.
One tip you can try (with any food processor) is to refrigerate softer vegetables before processing. Any vegetable with high moisture content will be a little firmer when it’s cold, and that may help you get better results with your slicing disc.
…Any vegetable with high moisture content will be a little firmer when it’s cold, and that may help you get better results with your slicing disc.
The disc is reversible for grating and works for a variety of vegetables and firm cheese. Note that the chopping/mixing blade is used for grating harder cheeses such as Parmesan.
For a little more detail on how to process various foods with this model, you can view the user manual online here: http://useandcares.hamiltonbeach.com/files/840203903.pdf.(Back to Top)
Size & Capacity
Dimensions of this model are approximately 15.57″ high x 10.71″ wide x 8.4″ deep, and it weighs about 5 pounds. The blades can be stored inside the bowl, plus you can turn the lid upside down to make it much shorter for storage. The light weight of this unit also makes it easier to move around if you want to store it in high or low cabinets.
The total capacity of the work bowl is 8 cups, but of course the actual usable capacity will vary depending on the type of food. Information in the table below is provided by the manufacturer. These guidelines will give you a good idea of what this processor is capable of and its limitations:
For best results do not exceed the following amounts when chopping, mincing, or pureeing with the chopping/mixing blade:
Fruits & Vegetables 2 to 3 cups cut into 1 inch cubes Meats 0.7 pound cut into 1 inch cubes Cheese: Parmesan or Romano, chilled 5 ounces cut into 1 inch cubes Cheese: Cheddar, Jack, Mozarella, chilled 8 ounces cut into 1 inch cubes Crackers 10 cups
Did you do a double-take on that last one? Me too. How are you supposed to fit 10 cups into an 8 cup bowl? The answer I found is that with crackers, you put the lid in place, and then you can fill the work bowl all the way up into the feed chute.(Back to Top)
- 8-Cup Work Bowl
- Chopping/Mixing S Blade
- Reversible Slicing/Shredding Disc
- Pusher for Feed Chute
The instruction booklet is very basic because there aren’t any complicated features on this model. Still, this information is important. Even if you aren’t brand new to food processors, it’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to get the best results, as well as to extend the life of your machine.
There are no additional accessories available for this model. That isn’t surprising when you consider that this food processor costs the same or less than the price of a single disc for some other models.(Back to Top)
I found a few complaints that the product was defective when brand new. Unfortunately, that happens these days with just about any product at any price. In this case those claims amounted to fewer than 4% of the total reviews, which is extremely low.
Otherwise the complaints are relatively few and almost always related to misuse or overuse. For example:
- it leaks if you use more than 6 cups of liquid – With all due respect … no kidding! It’s a food processor, not a blender. You can’t fill it full with liquids. Even the high end Breville Sous Chef tells you that its 16 cup work bowl will only process 12 cups of liquid without overflowing.
- it broke after making bread dough – Another case of unrealistic expectations. The manufacturer clearly says that this model is not designed to handle dough.
- it broke after shredding several pounds of cheese – As bad as we may hate it, sometimes we really need to read the directions. This model is not designed for power users. Its manual advises that if you process for long periods of time, you need to stop and wait a few minutes before running the next batch.
On the positive side, out of close to 4,000 online reviews, over 85% of owners give it a 4 or 5 star rating. They are very satisfied with its performance and consider it a very good value for the price. In part this is because their expectations were realistic, but it’s also worth noting that many have limited or no experience.
A great many (maybe the majority) of the 5 star ratings are from people who have never before owned or used a food processor. It’s clear that the weak point of this model is in slicing. If these reviews were from more experienced users, they might have complained more about that. Just keep in mind that slices will be very thin – think potato chips. For coleslaw or sauerkraut, the texture will be very fine, not heavy or coarse.
That’s okay because after all, everybody doesn’t need or expect the highest quality results for every single task. What people like best about this model is that it works so well for chopping and mixing, and they give it rave reviews for making foods like hummus, salsa, guacamole, and even baby food.(Back to Top)
- Light weight and fairly compact to store
- Works well for chopping, mixing and pureeing many foods
- Creates very thin slices, and disc is not adjustable
- Has difficulty slicing soft or high moisture foods
- Less versatile than more expensive models
- Both speed settings run extremely high
Hamilton Beach 70740 8-Cup Food Processor Review: Summary
One of the most important things to know before you buy is that this model is not designed for heavy duty use. If you plan to use it often or to process a lot of foods for long periods of time at once, you may want to consider investing in a higher end model.
That said, the Hamilton Beach 70740 has a lot of good points. This food processor will chop, slice, shred, mix and puree a wide variety of foods. It’s fast and easy to use, lightweight and not too large for storage, and has dishwasher-safe parts to make for easy cleanup.
My conclusion is that what you’re getting in this model is a very good food chopper, except it gives you a lot more capacity than basic choppers. Considering that it sells for well under $40, it’s a good choice for light users or first time owners.
The key is to be aware of its limitations up front, and you won’t be disappointed. Everyone doesn’t need or want the biggest and most powerful thing on the market. If you’re an occasional user and mainly need to speed up common kitchen tasks, this model should do most everything you need. You’ve got your chopping/mixing tasks covered, and you may even be happy enough with the slicing and shredding results. If so, it will certainly save you a whole lot of money.(Back to Top)
Would you like to read about other food processor options?
One comparable model worth looking at is the Cuisinart Pro Classic. It’s a 7-cup capacity food processor that sells for under $100 and includes enough accessories to handle the most common tasks.
You may also want to check out our comparison charts:
- Other medium capacity models: Food Processor Comparison Chart – Medium Capacity
- Go bigger: Food Processor Comparison Chart – Large Capacity
- Go smaller: Food Processor Comparison Chart – Small Capacity (electric food choppers)
For your convenience, all three charts are on the same page so you can scroll up or down to view models of all sizes.