From slicing and dicing to shredding and chopping, a good food processor can make meal prep much easier. What can you do with a food processor, exactly? Probably more than you think. Unlike blenders, which are generally meant for liquids, food processors are best for handling solid items, such as walnuts, carrots or blocks of cheese, chopping them into tiny pieces. If you can spare the counter space, a dedicated food processor combo will save you tons of time — time you could spend having cake with your family (and eating it, too).
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. For those for whom the $285 Breville is too expensive, we recommend the $50 Hamilton Beach 70725A, which has a less powerful motor but is very capable for its size and price.
Here are the best food processors of 2020
1. Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef
The best food processor overall
Price: $285.01 | Size: 18.0 x 11.0 x 8.0 inches | Weight: 26 pounds | Output: 1,200 watts | Warranty: 1 year
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.
2. KitchenAid KFC3516ER 3.5-cup food chopper
The best bite-size minichop
Price: $29 | Size: 8.7 x 7.0 x 5.6 inches | Weight: 2.7 pounds | Output: 240 watts | Warranty: 1 year
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.
3. Hamilton Beach 70725A
Best food processor for those on a budget
Price: $49.99 | Size: 16.2 x 9.6 x 8.8 inches | Weight: 6.6 pounds | Output: 450 watts | Warranty: 1 year
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.
4. Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY
Get the most for your money
Price: $150.90 | Size: 14.8 x 11 x 7.9 inches | Weight: 18 pounds | Output: 720 watts | Warranty: 3 years
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 it has a wide feed tube with two different-size pushers, and that it also comes with a spatula and a recipe booklet.
5. Ninja QB900B Master Prep blender/food processor
A great combo appliance
Price: $32.99 | Size: 12.2 x 11.0 x 7.0 inches | Weight: 4 pounds | Output: 400 watts | Warranty: 1 year
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.
How we picked
To round up the best food processors on the market today, we scoured "best of" lists from all over the web: GoodHousekeeping.com, HealthyKitchen101.com, Top10BestFoodProcessors.com and many more. We also looked at recommendations from BestReviews.guide, BestReviews.com, TechGearLab.com, BlenderAuthority.com, JuicerKings.com, ReviewsWorthy.net and other sites that test and review home appliances. After narrowing down our picks for each category, we compared recent product reviews against top-selling models on Amazon.com, taking authentic customer feedback into consideration.
What to look for in a quality 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.