The best food processor can slice and dice, shred and chop, and generally make meal prep a whole lot easier. So what can you do with a food processor exactly? A lot more than you might have thought. Not only can it free up counter space, a dedicated food processor combo will save you a ton of time. Time that you can spend having cake with your family (and eating it too).
Unlike blenders, which are generally meant for handling liquids, food processors are best for handling solid items. Walnuts, carrots or blocks of cheese, and chopping them into tiny pieces. If you're a cook, or just want to skip the hard work of hand chopping everything, you could use a food processor.
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What are the best food processors?
After looking at numerous reviews, retail sites and customer comments, we've concluded that the best food processor is the Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef. It has a 1200-watt motor, lots of accessories and a solid construction. We also liked the fact that it has a wide 5.5-inch feed chute, great for larger items like potatoes. It also has a variable-slicing disk, so you can specify just how thick or thin you want your veggies sliced.
If you've got a large chopping job ahead of you, you can switch out the 16-cup bowl for the included 1-liter minibowl. Other accessories include a micro-serrated disk, julienne disk, french fry-cutting disk, whisking disk, mini blade, dough blade, cleaning brush and plastic spatula.
All this awesomeness doesn't come cheap: At $400, it's one of the most expensive food processors around. And, it only comes with a one-year warranty.
For those looking for the best food processor on a budget, we recommend the $50 Hamilton Beach 70725A, which has a less powerful motor but is very capable for its size and price.
Read on for all our picks for the best food processors.
The best food processors you can buy today
Breville is a mainstay brand for quality kitchen appliances, so it's no surprise that the BFO800XL is one of the best food processors you'll find on the market today. With a die-cast metal base, stainless steel construction and robust 1,200-watt motor, this powerhouse was built to last. The extra-wide, 5.5-inch feed chute makes processing faster than ever, and the variable slicing disk has 24 settings, so you can customize your food thickness to between 0.3 and 8.0 millimeters. The BFO800XL is all about precision — elegant, elegant precision.
Is it a big job or a small one? Swap out the massive 16-cup bowl for the 1-liter minibowl, which is perfect for modest chopping tasks. Breville includes so many accessories that they need their own carrying case: a micro-serrated disk, julienne disk, french fry-cutting disk, whisking disk, mini blade, dough blade, cleaning brush and plastic spatula round out the attachments.
In the restaurant world, sous-chefs are considered to be second in command, ranked below only the head chef. Breville has earned this title with the BFO800XL.
Just because you need a little extra help in the kitchen doesn't mean you need to max out your credit card. At just $29, the KitchenAid KFC3516ER is the best food processor for small tasks. It's a great complement to any modern scullery, and it's perfect for tighter spaces. Plus, it comes in 18 different colors, making this little chopper a great gift.
There are only two speeds, low for chopping and high for pureeing, in addition to a pulse setting; when you're done, you can use the pour spout to serve right from the mixing bowl. Sure, the KFC3516ER is on the small side, and the 240-watt motor isn't powerful enough to manage hardcore food-processing tasks. But for the casual cook, this machine is worth a look.
The midsized Hamilton Beach 70725A is the best food processor for those on a budget. Its 12-cup bowl is perfect for mincing onions, grating cheese (one block at a time, if you like), shredding lettuce, chopping nuts, mixing salad dressing and performing other common food-prep chores. The 12-cup bowl, the lid, the chopping blade and the reversible slicing/shredding disk are all dishwasher-safe, so cleanup is a breeze; the Snap and Stack design is also easy to assemble on the fly.
Hamilton Beach includes dedicated push-buttons for slicing/shredding, pureeing/mixing and pulsing, providing more user control than other food processors in this price range. The 450-watt motor is strong enough for midsize chopping jobs, but some reviewers reported so-so motor quality. If you'd like your processor to power through whole fruits and vegetables, you'll want 600 watts or more.
When you have to chop, dice, and slice a lot of food, but don't want to spend a ton of money, the Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY is the best food processor for the job. It has a massive 14-cup capacity, a powerful 720-watt motor, and comes with a nice assortment of attachments and accessories, including a standard slicing disc (4mm), a medium shredding disc, and a stainless steel chopping/mixing blade.
We also like that the Cuisinart has a wide feed tube with two different-size pushers, and that it also comes with a spatula and a recipe booklet.
What if you want to make some salsa, but then also want to whip up some margaritas, too? The Ninja QB900B Master Prep is the best food processor that also comes with a blender attachment. Simply swap out the included containers.
Included is a 48-ounce pitcher, stacked blade assembly, pitcher splash guard, a 16-ounce chopper bowl, chopping blade assembly, and chopper splash guard. Because of its relatively small size, the Ninja is best for personal use or smaller parties.
GE just returned to the small appliances game. Its new food processor is exceptionally easy to operate and gives excellent food processor performance. When it comes to mincing parsley, it really shines, blitzing a whole bunch into green confetti in seconds. It also excels at slicing cleanly and thoroughly. You won’t find any mangled bits of pepperoni on top of the slicing disc. However, the feed tube is small so to slice a potato or shred a ball of mozzarella cheese you’ll have to cut it in half.
The bowl and the lid are intuitive to place in position and the controls are well marked and easy to activate. Along with the GE you get two reversible slicing and shredding discs so you can make thin or thick slices and fine or thick shreds. For kneading, you use the chopping disc which easily pummeled pizza dough without overheating it.
The Black + Decker 3-in-1 Easy Assembly 8-Cup Food Processor minces, chops, slices, and kneads better than many far more expensive machines. It can be depended upon for perfectly uniform slices of tomato for a caprese salad, cleanly cut veggies for minestrone, and confetti of parsley to sprinkle over potatoes. Unlike many food processors, the Black + Decker doesn’t walk around the counter or even shake when it kneads pizza dough.
It’s especially easy to position the work bowl on the base. While you only get one attachment, a disc that reverses for slicing and chopping, it does store conveniently in the bowl so you never have to scrounge around looking for it. All of the parts can be safely cleaned in the dishwasher. Do keep in mind that this model has a small capacity and foods like a whole tomato need to be cut into smaller sections to fit in the feed tube.
What to look when buying a food processor
What's the difference between a good food processor and a great one? A quality processor should be able to take on whole fruits and vegetables with ease, without much time expenditure in between items. It should be safe to use and easy to store. Before you pull the trigger on a purchase, here are some features to keep top of mind.
Budget: This is always a good place to start, but remember, it's a wide range. Expect to spend anywhere from $20 to $50 on the low end for simple chopping machines and $200 to $400 — and up — for professional-grade devices. You get what you pay for, and that's not always a bad thing.
Size and type: Food processors come in a variety of styles but can generally be categorized as mini, compact or full size. Miniprocessors (i.e., "choppers") are adequate for dicing up one or two small items at a time and are easy to clean, but their usefulness is limited. The larger the food processor, the more versatile its capabilities. Premium processors come with larger storage containers, too, making them better for family-size meals.
Power: Again, it's a wide range. From 200 watts on the low end to 1,200 watts for premium models, larger machines draw the most juice. If you're shopping for a full-size machine, 500 watts or more should be enough to power through most food-processing jobs without a fuss. Weaker motors don't do a good job at uniform chopping/mixing, and they run the risk of burning out when overloaded.
Controls: While pricier machines may include LCD displays; countdown timers; and dedicated buttons for slicing/shredding, pureeing/mixing and pulsing, budget models offer less customization. If your food-processing needs are modest, though, one or two speeds is all you need.
Blade performance: Sharp blades are important, because they affect how evenly food is chopped, and some of them are reversible, increasing their functionality. Quality blades and grating disks should be super-sharp right out of the box and remain sharp for years to come.
Attachments: This is where you really need to pay attention. Different brands and models come with myriad attachments and accessories, but you're unlikely to use all of them all the time. Pick a food processor with a set of accessories that fits your lifestyle. That being said, here are a few useful add-ons we like:
Warranty: The more you spend, the longer the warranty should be. Expect one year for less expensive models and upward of three years for premium machines.
When to replace your food processor
Food processors come with warranties ranging from one to three years. We don’t recommend buying extended warranties as it will typically cost more than any lifetime repair costs you might incur. You can expect your food processor to remain in good working order for somewhere between seven to 10 years.
If your processor doesn’t start, it will need to be serviced. But before you decide to repair or replace it, make sure that all the parts are installed and aligned correctly. Should the unit stop working in the middle of an operation, it may have just overheated. Turn it off and wait at least 15 minutes before trying to use it again. If it doesn’t restart, you will have to repair or replace it. We recommend that you buy a new one if you’re quoted a repair price that’s more than half the price of a replacement. In some cases, like the event that the locking mechanism on the bowl fails, you can always just replace the broken part.
Alternatively you may prefer to buy a new food processor to spruce up your kitchen or take advantage of the latest features. Manufacturers have made their food processors easier and more intuitive to use. The food tube is now likely to be in the front where it’s convenient to access, and the bowl will have a maximum fill line, handle and spout. Some full size models even come with smaller mini choppers that fit on the base. These are handy when you’re mincing a few cloves of garlic, chopping a handful of nuts, or mashing a banana. Plus, instead of switches or dials, you’ll find touchpads that are simple to press and keep clean. In some food processors, the parts can be stored in the bowl or come with special storage cases for the accessories.
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