Less Is More: Review of Magimix 5200XL Food Processor

Magimix 5200XL Food Processor

Magimix 5200XL

A few months ago, the metal chopping blade for my Magimix 5100 food processor overheated and melted for the second time. The first time, I salvaged the machine. Since I was generally happy with the machine, already my second, and the others on the market did not appear to be higher quality, I decided to get the Magimix 5200XL.

Since then I’ve had opportunity to experiment with nearly all of the features. Some work beautifully, but others disappoint.

Magimix 5200XL Parts and Accessories

First, I’ll give a run-down of the many, many parts of the Magimix 5200XL.

  • Three bowls:
    1. Large. This bowl, with a handle, must always be in place.
    2. Medium. This fits into the large bowl and only works with the slicing and grating discs. It’s great for making salads like coleslaw, and it’s easy to remove, empty and clean.
    3. Small. The small bowl fits into the large bowl or the medium bowl. I use it for mayonnaise, egg salad, herbs and nuts.

    The medium and small bowls nest together inside the large one, and can be stored that way. The same cover and “pushers” are used for all three.

    embedded bowls with small s-blade

    Nested bowls

  • A cover with a feeding tube for feeding ingredients into the processor. It fits into the large bowl and must be correctly attached for the machine to work. The large bowl and cover are used for every operation.
  • Three blades for the large bowl: A large metal S-shaped blade for chopping, a plastic S-blade for mixing dough, and a plastic blade for beating eggs.
  • A small metal S-blade for the small bowl.
  • 4 round metal blades that can be used with the large or medium bowl, along with a rod to hold them up.  The four discs include a fine grater (2ml), a coarse grater (4ml), a 2-millimeter thick slicer, and a 4-millimeter thick slicer.
  • A pusher that fits into the tube, and a smaller pusher that fits into a hole in the larger one. The two sizes allow you to worth with either large or small vegetables.
  • An additional pair of pair small interlocking pushers, made of thick black plastic. The smaller one has crosshatched blades on th bottom for making French fries. If you use it in combination with the 4-mm slicing blade, you can make evenly-shaped cubes. A tool for cleaning the blades fits inside the small pusher for storage.
  • A ring that fits in to the underside of the cover, to expand the large bowl when processing liquids.
  • A spatula.
  • A bread-sized box for storing (most of) the parts.

Space Requirements

storage box with parts that fit inside and out

Storage box

Before purchasing, consider your storage space. Food processors belong on the counter, as they are too heavy to take in and out of a cabinet regularly. In fact, I cracked my first one when I dropped it when taking it out after Passover. The 5200XL is taller and wider than the 5100. I have a special storage space on my counter with a sliding shutter, and the new machine bangd against the bottom of the shutter. I’ve had to move it to another spot, and even there the bottom of the upper counter gets in my way.

The ring for liquids and the black pair of pushers do not fit in the box. The two smaller bowls fit into the large one for storing, but you have to find a spot for them when using the large bowl.

Another difference between the two machines is that while both have controls on the front of the machine, the 5100’s handle is on the side, while the handle of the 5200XL faces toward you.  Both have three buttons: The 5100 has On, Off, and Pulse, while the 5200XL has Stop, Auto, and Pulse. A single push of Auto causes it to run continuously, until you push the Off button.  I still get surprised when I push on Auto to turn off the machine and nothing happens. Auto is where the Off button was on my old machine. The Pulse button works the same on both machines, causing the machine to run as long as you keep your finger on the button.

Pusher for Magimix 5200XL food processor

“Pusher” in place just enough to activate machine

But what makes using the 5200XL so much more complicated than the 5100 is the large pusher. The 5100 operates as long as the cover in his place, with a single “pusher” to push vegetables through the feed tube when using the slicing or grating discs. I would sometimes insert the pusher to prevent splashing, but it didn’t affect the operation of the machine.

But the 5200XL comes with two pushers that fit into the feed tube. This is because the tube is much larger, and can accommodate large vegetables. The 5200XL makes beautiful onion slices from whole onions, thanks to the wider feed tube. But you only need that feature occasionally. My problem is that the machine will not turn on unless you have one of the large pushers, either the clear or the black one, at least a quarter of the way into the tube. I’m always trying to put my hands on that part. This is true even when using the S-blade. For narrower vegetables, you insert the larger “pusher” all the way, put in the vegetables, and use the smaller pusher to push the vegetables into the path of the slicing blade. So you always have to have that large piece hanging around nearby.

An extra pusher means more washing, which brings us to our next topic:

Cleaning the 5200XL Food Processor

Here I felt a huge difference between the machines. The 5100 appears to have been designed with cleaning in mind. Not so the 5200XL.

  • The spatula that came with the 5100 had two ends, one for scraping, and one forked end that fit perfectly into the inside of the S-blade and scraped off gunk from inside. The 5100’s S-blade came with an easily removable crown. I just figured out that I can push off the cover of S-blade by inserting the end of a wooden spoon from underneath, but it is still hard to get inside to clean. I believe the S blades for the two machines are identical, and they all now come without the crown.
  • protrusion at upper edge of large bowl

    Extrusion prevents easy removal of food with spatula

The 5200XL’s large bowl has two small extrusions just below the lip on opposite sides, preventing one from using the spatula to scrape out food. But the two smaller bowls are completely smooth inside and easy to scrape and clean.

  • All of the slicing and chopping blades get food stuck in them. I’m constantly worried about getting cut, or worse, dulling the blades. :) The chopping blade for French fries and cubing can be removed from the pusher, and even comes with a tool for scraping off food. However, it is still not efficient and tiny pieces remain in the blades.

    carrots that did not get processed

    chunks left after processing

  • Because the two smaller bowls only work within the large one, you often have to wash the larger one as well, especially when making sticky liquids like mayonnaise and techina (sesame dressing). So that makes the smaller bowls less convenient.
  • According to the manual, you can place parts in the dishwasher, but this will cause the clear plastic to discolor over time.

Ease of Use

I’ve had the machine for about six months. I’ll go over the major uses and where it excels and where it fails.

  • Large bowl and S-shaped metal blade. This is the standard use, and it’s similar to the 5100. It can only be used with the large bowl. It does not grate vegetables evenly. When I use it to chop potatoes for kugel, I end up with mush on the bottom of the bowl and large chunks on top of that. and half too-large pieces. This happens even when I only put in a single layer of potatoes.
    uneven pieces of potatoes in the food processor

    Uneven chopping

    I get the same results with onions and nuts. With walnuts, it takes off the edges of making crumbs, while leaving the centers. For this photo I used the small bowl and blade.

    walnuts chopped unevenly

    Unevenly chopped nuts in small bowl

  • Large bowl and plastic S-blade for dough. The plastic blade works beautifully. Pie crusts, tortillas, pasta dough come out smooth and easy to manipulate. I usually do bread by hand because I make a large batch, but I recently used the processor to make two batches, one after the other. It was worth the trouble. I’m wary because of my experience with dough and my melted food processor, but so far so good. I think the reason that I had problems was that I broke the plastic blade early on and only used the metal blade, which got hotter than the plastic blade. I’ve made a triple recipe of Oil-Based Pie Crust in the 5200XL for a total of six crusts, with no problem.
  • Small bowl and blade: The small bowl and s-blade do not do any better with chopping−in fact they are worse. But they work well for mayonnaise and the bowl is easy to empty with a spatula. Again, the problem is having to wash all of those parts−the small bowl and blade, the cover, the pusher, and possibly the large bowl−just to make a cup of mayonnaise.
  • The large and small black pushers.
    pusher for fries and cubes

    For fries and cubes

    To make fries, you insert the pusher into the feed tube, then feed potatoes (they may need to be cut down to size) into the large pusher with the smaller pusher. The result is beautiful, long, plump potato slices suitable for French fries. And that is before you turn on the machine! If you fit in the rod and the 4mm slicing disc, you can chop melon, squash, cucumbers, mushrooms, onions, and peppers into evenly sized cubes. Hard vegetables like sweet potatoes, and softer ones like tomatoes, did not fare so well. The sweet potatoes were too hard to push through the machine, and I frequently needed to turn over the pusher and use it to scrape the half-chopped vegetable out of the metal blades. And the tomatoes did get chopped, but most of the juice was lost. Using this pusher requires quite a bit of strength, so it may not be suitable for people with disabilities.

    Yellow squash processed into cubes by Magimix5200XL

    cubes of yellow squash

I still have mixed feelings about the machine. While some functions work beautifully, overall the machine is complicated to use, clean and store.

I hope you enjoyed my review! You can read more about efficient use of appliances in my e-book, Cook Smart! Learn the Secrets of Your Kitchen Appliances
You may also enjoy:
Five Basic Recipes for the Food Processor
Food Processor Basics
Ten Quick Tips for Cutting Your Produce Bill

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Comments

  1. My husband bought me the 5200 XL as an anniversary gift a few years ago (he knows me so well, I so much prefer this to jewelry or flowers). I love this machine, and if you try to take it away from me it will only be over my dead body. I have to admit I rarely use the smaller bowls.

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