Hamilton Beach 70725 12-Cup Stack & Snap Review
Pros: Excellent at mixing, shredding, and slicing
Cons: Subpar chopping, pureeing performance
Manufacturer: Hamilton Beach
Our Analysis and Test Results
The 12-Cup Stack & Snap thoroughly exceeded our expectations when it came to slicing and shredding. Usually, the lower-end bargain appliances in this category haven't done all that well in those tests, with the top spots claimed by the most expensive models. However, the Stack & Snap held its own in these tests, which largely contributed to it winning an award.
The first thing we rated and scored about each of these food processors is how proficient they are at chopping food. To test this, we chopped up some onions, carrots, and nuts, as well as compared the operation of the "Pulse" button on each product. We were looking for uniformly chopped that wasn't pulverized when determining scores. Unfortunately, the Stack & Snap didn't do the best, earning a slightly below average score in this group of tests, which are responsible for 20% of its overall score.
The Stack & Snap did do quite well with the onions, reducing the two quartered onions to uniform chop after only four pulses. It overall did fairly well, creating fairly uniform pieces of onions with only a few larger chunks dispersed throughout the mix.
Unfortunately, the Stack & Snap couldn't carry this performance into our carrot chopping challenge. It left tons of large pieces after three or four pulses and didn't manage to break these apart until we pulsed it nine or ten times.
However, much of the carrot had been reduced to mush. There was a very wide spread of different sizes throughout and the Stack & Snap never really achieved a uniform chop at any point in the process.
The Stack & Snap did even worse with the almonds. There were tons of whole almonds left after 10+ pulses. It took a very long time to reduce them to something even close to chopped and had completely pulverized plenty of them at that point.
Next, we tested out the mixing performance of each food processor by making pizza dough, pie crust dough, and mayonnaise from scratch. Altogether, these also account for 20% of the Stack & Snap's final score. This food processor did very well in this trio of tests, earning one of the higher scores of the group.
The Stack & Snap had no issue whipping up the mayo from scratch, incorporating all the ingredients into a solid spread using the integrated oil dispenser. We also liked that you could effectively emulsify it the ingredients when the bowl is only partially filled, compared to other models.
This product also did quite well with the pizza dough. The motor sounded like it was definitely working hard but mixed up a decent batch of dough with only a little bit of assistance on our part. The bottom portion of the dough became separated from the top and we had to stop the blade to reform a cohesive ball of dough part way through the mixing process.
The Stack & Snap did similarly well with the pie crust dough, though it did fail to incorporate a small amount of flour.
Our next series of tests focused on the Stack & Snap's ability to puree spreads and sauces, which comprises 20% of its final score. We graded its performance at making hummus, nut butter, tomato sauce, and applesauce. Additionally, we also checked each machine for leaks by filling up its pitcher to the max liquid fill line with water. Regrettably, the Hamilton Beach delivered another subpar series of results, earning it a score below average.
The Stack & Snap didn't get off to a great start with the hummus, creating a dip that was fairly coarse and grainy after 2.5 minutes of pureeing. We continued running it after that but the hummus never really got any better. The final product couldn't come close to matching the smooth and creamy hummus made by the top appliances.
It did do a little better with the nut butter, creating a spread after 20 minutes or so of processing. It only took a little bit of coaxing and some additional oil to get it going and the motor seemed more than happy to run under that kind of load for that amount of time. The Stack & Snap did about average with the tomato sauce, mixing up a chunky sauce after 40 seconds or so. However, we could still see some bigger chunks of garlic floating around that it had missed.
The Stack & Snap also did alright at making applesauce. It took a little help from us to wipe down the sides of the bowl but eventually pureed some applesauce that was more than acceptable. Unfortunately, the Stack & Snap did very poorly in our leak test.
The lid lacks a rubber seal or gasket like the top-tier models, so we didn't have high hopes in this test. We filled the bowl up with seven cups of water to the max line and it sprayed water everywhere when we turned it on.
Next, we shredded some carrots, potatoes, and cheese in the Stack & Snap and scored its performance. This accounts for 15% of its final score and it did quite well, delivering results that put it in the upper part of the pack.
The Stack & Snap only has a single cutting disc that works for both shredding and slicing, depending on which way you install it. You can't adjust the size, so you are stuck with the default medium shredding size.
The Hamilton Beach struggled a little bit with shredding the block of cheddar. We had to trim it down to fit in the chute and plenty of cheese got caught between the lid and the disc. We got almost as many cheese crumbles as shreds and the motor noticeably bogged down while shredding.
This model did much better at shredding potatoes. We did have to trim the potatoes slightly to fit but there was only a small amount of leftover potato between the lid and the blade. The shreds were fairly uniform in size and were cleanly cut.
The Stack & Snap did even better with the carrots, creating a ton of high-quality shreds with only a few small fragments. Only a small chunk and one slice of carrot didn't make it through the blade and the motor didn't complain too much while cutting.
The Stack & Snap also did very well in our slicing metric, which accounts for 15% of its final score. To score performance, we sliced up tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchini, looking for consistent and cleanly cut discs.
The Stack & Snap got off to a good start with the tomatoes. The slices are a little tapered but were cut fairly cleanly and weren't totally mutilated. The potatoes came out even better, with this product reducing them to flat slices without struggling. The cut is a little jagged but still would be more than acceptable for Potatoes Au Gratin or scalloped potatoes.
The Stack & Snap finished out these tests with a solid performance with the zucchini, cleanly cutting a series of consistent slices and only leaving a tiny bit of zucchini unsliced.
Our last series of tests dealt with the amount of work it takes to clean out each product once you are done slicing and dicing. This accounts for the remaining 10% of the total score for the Stack & Snap, which did scored slightly above average. We based this on the difficulty of cleaning the blade, bowl, and lid by hand, as well as awarding some bonus points if they can also be cleaned in the dishwasher.
The blade is so-so to clean by hand. It can be a little hard to hold and can be difficult to get food out of the interior but stuff hardly ever makes it up there. The bowl is similar, lacking any tight areas that are prone to trap food and the bowl is large enough to reach the bottom with a sponge fairly easily.
The lid only has one problem area to clean, with food occasionally getting trapped in the area around the tube on the larger lid piece. It is an infrequent occurrence as well. The lid, bowl, and blade of the Stack & Snap are also dishwasher-safe according to the manual, though it does caution against running the dishwasher on "Sani" settings. This can permanently damage the Stack & Snap's components due to high temperatures.
This food processor is a great budget buy, holding its own against the top-tier models in many of our tests while costing way less.
If you are looking for a new food processor that isn't going to slice and dice your budget, the Stack & Snap is a great option, especially if you want something that can slice and shred. It does have some flaws but nothing that is a major deal breaker and we think it more than makes up for these with its massive cost savings compared to some of the top-tier products.
— Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Jenna Ammerman
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