Viking 12-cup food processor (VFP12)

Features & Ease of Use
vikingbase1Base, Motor & Controls

The attractive Viking base is constructed of cast metal (available in 4 colors), with accenting chrome details.  The base alone weighs 13.5 pounds.  Two wheels on the rear of the base allow the unit to be tipped backwards and rolled forward on the countertop: in practice, we did not find these to be terribly helpful.

The Viking controls consist of a single control knob that can be turned left, to “P” to activate the pulse feature, and right, to “1” to process continuously.  The default position “O” for “off” is at the 12 o’clock position.  Our testers appreciated the convenience of the integrated switch and the fact that there were fewer control surfaces to clean.

The 625-watt Viking motor was among the quietest we have tested so far.  However, on a number of tests, we found that it seemed to lack sufficient power.  Specifically, when we shredded carrots and soft cheese, we observed that the Viking slowed noticeably and required considerably more user pressure to feed the ingredients through the disc.  On tests that depended on high rotational speed of the blades, such as when we created hummus, we found that the Viking’s blades were unable to properly circulate ingredients and ultimately did not produce a smooth product.

vikingbowl1Bowl System

The Viking’s large 12-cup work bowl is extremely well made of rigid blue-tinged plastic and a sturdy metal handle.  The unit also includes a 3-cup mini bowl.

We liked the proportions of the main bowl and found that it had a good intrinsic ability to handle liquid and semi liquid mixtures due to its high central shaft. The model handled the entire 45 ounce contents of our butternut squash soup test without any sign of leakage.

We found the mini bowl useful for small chopping jobs.  Notably, the Viking was the only processor that consistently produced mayonnaise from a single egg yolk in its mini bowl: other models require triple this amount in order to create an emulsion.  We did experience instances where solid particles or liquids were transferred from the mini to large bowl, increasing clean up time.

viking-bowlsLid & Feed tube

The Viking is the only food processor we have tested to date that is equipped with a standard size feed tube.  We have found some versions of the “wide mouth” feed tube design to be cumbersome, with safety latches that add an extra layer of fuss to processing tasks: in that regard, the Viking is blessedly simple.

On the other hand, the smaller dimensions of the VFP12’s feed tube impose certain restrictions on the type of ingredients that can be processed.  The overall feed tube opening (matched by the large pusher) measures 2 7/8″ (7.3cm) long by 2″ (5.1cm) wide, while the small, inner feed tube has a 1 7/8″ (4.8cm) diameter.  In practice, this means that the Viking accommodates ‘vertical’ ingredients like carrots or zucchini extremely well, as the motor can simply be set to “on” and they can be fed through either large or small feed tube, depending on the number and size of carrots to be processed.

Some bulky ingredients, like cabbage or blocks of cheese, will require additional prep work to fit through the feed tube versus wide mouth feed tube designs.  Cheese was only slightly more time consuming: cabbage required enough extra time pre-dimensioning with a knife that we felt most users would not use the appliance for this purpose.

With its maximum diameter of 2″ the Viking’s feed tube does not handle whole round fruits or vegetables well.  In some cases, like shredding potatoes, this is not a big issue, but if the user desires nice looking cross-sections, then they will be limited to certain varieties of small-medium potatoes.  Likewise, getting attractive slices of apples, or onions proved to be very difficult with this machine and is an area where the wide mouth feed tube design is clearly superior.

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