The best food processors will take all of the effort out of food preparation. These popular appliances are designed to slice, dice and chop to a precise measurement, producing even and consistent results in the process. You can put much more than vegetables into food processors too, they can handle meats, doughs and nuts, grinding them down to a pureed state if needed.
A food processor should never be confused with a blender — blenders handle liquids, while food processors chop through solids, processing the food into smaller pieces. If you’re new to food processors, it can be difficult to tell which are the best. What suits others also might not suit your cooking needs. That’s why we’ve pulled together this comprehensive guide, which lists the best food processors for every kitchen, whether you’re on a budget or want all of the tools and accessories.
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What are the best food processors?
After extensive research, we found the best food processor overall to be the Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef. It features a wide 5.5-inch feeding chute, which is great for whole apples or even potatoes, and a variable slicing disk, so you can specify how finely you want your vegetables sliced. It comes with ample accessories as well including a whisking disk, mini blade, dough blade and even a French fry-cutting disk.
If you’re not preparing enough to justify the 16-cup bowl, then it can be switched out for the 1-liter mini bowl. With all of this, it’s a very versatile machine which is capable of most processing tasks. At $400, it’s admittedly on the expensive side, but if you want the best, then this is the one to buy.
If you’re new to the food processor market and don’t want to spend so much, then we suggest the Hamilton Beach 70725A. At $55, this food processor isn’t as powerful as our winner, but it will still get the job done. It’s perfect for everyday chopping, slicing and grating.
Here are our top 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
Most food processors will come with one to three year warranties. Some brands offer extended warranties, but we don’t recommend investing in one as it tends to cost more than any potential repairs. A well-built food processor should last from seven to 10 years with regular use, if it’s kept well-maintained.
If your food processor suddenly stops operating, it may need a service. Before you call for help or start shopping for a replacement, there are a few things you could try to see if it’s a quick-fix. While it sounds like common sense, it’s worth checking if all of the parts are fitted together and locked into place securely. Food processors have a safety cut-out that means it won’t run unless this is the case. If your processor stops while in use, i.e with food still inside, it may just have overheated. Simply unplug the appliance and wait for 15 minutes before restarting it. If there’s no luck, unfortunately it will need repairing or replacing. If your repairs cost more than half the value of a new food processor, we recommend replacing it. There are some quick-fixes however, such as a faulty locking mechanism, so it’s worth checking this out first.
Should I buy a food chopper or a food processor?
If you’re new to food processors, this is an important question to consider. To answer it, you first need to think about what you want to use the appliance for. Food processors are good for the harder jobs, such as slicing and grating. They’re brilliant if you’re making bread or pastry and can handle the larger capacities often required by recipes.
Choppers, on the other hand, are ideal for quickly chopping up a few ingredients, such as vegetables for a salad. These are much smaller in design, making them easier to store, and can come in both electric and manual designs. The convenience of choppers is an added bonus too. They’re smaller to clean and quicker to set up. However, they’re not as powerful as food processors and have been known to struggle with tougher ingredients, such as nuts.
Essentially if you want more versatility, power and capacity, the food processor is the way to go. But, if you’re tight on space and only want something for small, routine chopping jobs, opt for a food chopper. Some people buy both as each comes with its own merits.
Features to look out for
On the other hand you may want to invest in a new food processor to take advantage of some of the latest features. Above all, the aim of modern designs is to make them more convenient and accessible. For instance, the food chute tends to be at the front of the unit, so it’s easy to reach and any bowls now usually feature a handle and spout. Some even feature a separate mini chopper for smaller jobs. These are really useful if you want to break down a handful of ingredients. Rather than dials or switches, many now come with touchscreen controls as well, which offer more settings and are much easier to keep clean. Storage can be tricky with food processors, especially when they come with lots of sharp parts, but some can store accessories within the bowl and more premium models even offer a separate storage case.
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