If you like to spend time in the kitchen, then a food processor could become your new cooking and baking best friend. Designed to take the hassle out of those fiddly prep tasks, food processors can save you a whole lot of mess. From chopping and slicing to kneading, juicing and grinding, these nifty kitchen gadgets are also the ultimate kitchen multi-tasker and can help you whip up an amazing dish in no time. But the model you choose depends on your budget, how often you cook, what you need it to do and how much counterspace you have. To help you take your cooking to a whole new level we check out some of the best food processors you can buy.
The Best Food Processors
Ideal for families, Cuisinart have brought their design quality to this 14-cup food processor which is both durable and easy to use. The brushed steel body is stylish and while it’s a sizeable machine, it will look the business on any countertop. Inside you get a 720W motor that’s fast and powerful without feeling out of control and the stainless steel blades are well-made. You get slicing, shredding and chopping/mixing blades as standard plus additional accessories, including a spatula and recipe book. The bowl’s 14-cup capacity can take on larger volumes with ease, making batch cooking and baking a breeze. We also like the one-touch pad which gives you a pulse button for precision control. For just under $200 the Cuisinart food processor is our Best Choice buy that will give you plenty of use.
14-cup work bowl and large feed chute
Single touch operation with pulse control
720W motor for fast processing
Durable stainless steel blades
- Weight18 pounds
Comes in a variety of colors to suit every kitchen color scheme
Able to hold up to 14 cups of food
Shredding and slicing blades are not adjustable
If having to stop to scrape ingredients from the side of the bowl is a little food processor bug bear of yours, then check out this gadget that does the scraping for you! With a scraper attachment, the Hamilton Beach food processor and chopper keeps everything running smoothly by continually dislodging food debris from the bowl sides as you puree, chop or blend. But that’s not all this well-priced medium sized processor can do. You get a choice of high or low speeds as well as pulse for g control and there’s also an option for reversible shredding to catch every last bit. The bowl has a 10-cup capacity so good for everyday use and the feed chute is nice and wide. The result is an efficient blender food processor that aims to cut down on the amount of stop/starts when in use.
10 cup capacity bowl with scraper attachment
450W motor with two speeds and pulse
Large feed chute and reversible shredding
BPA plastic that’s dishwasher-safe
- BrandHamilton Beach
- Weight6.2 pounds
Scraper attachment helps get every last morsel of food out
Large feed chute can fit even whole blocks of cheese
Every so often the user may want a bigger capacity than this small food processor is capable of providing
For those small processing jobs where you need an easy to use gadget, KitchenAid’s food chopper is a mini wonder. With its classy red and black design, as well as BPA-free work bowl, it will look cool out on display, ready for those quick chop moments. The processor bowl has a 3.5 cup capacity so enough for processing fresh herbs, making hummus or whipping up a delicious salad dressing. You get three functions – chop, mix and puree – and with two speeds plus pulse, you’ll be able to process to perfection. The drizzle basin also make adding liquids such as water or oils into the mix easy and the whole unit is compact as well as easy to clean. The bowl capacity is on the tight side but for smaller food processing jobs, this is a top gadget.
3.5 capacity bowl with drizzle basin
Stainless steel lock in blade
Quickly chops, mixes and purees
BPA-free and dishwasher safe parts
- Weight2.7 pounds
Our Premium Pick is this awesome food processor from kitchen gadget stalwarts, Breville which is like having an automated assistant in your own home! It is the top end of our review budget, but you get a lot of useful functionality for your money. And, if you are serious about your cooking – or you need to do a serious amount of cooking – then the Sous Chef Food Processor could well be worth the money. So, what do you get for your dollar? A large capacity 16-cup bowl and 1,200W motor for starters. Add to that, five multi-function discs and three blades, made from quality stainless steel and a super-wide feed chute and a smaller work bowl and you have a lot of food processor to play with. The core attachments include an s-blade, slicing disc and shredding disc made from stainless steel and come complete with a handy storage case. Controlling the Sous Chef is a smooth operation too, thanks to the button push pad and LCD multidirectional timer. A class act when it comes to the kitchen.
1200W motor and 16-cup bowl capacity
Complete with 3 blades and 5 multi-function discs
Adjustable slicing function with 24 settings
LCD display with multi-directional timer
- Weight26 pounds
Easy to store with a box that neatly packs away all the the blades and cutting disks
Multiple chute options so that you can put small or large chunks of food into the bowl to be cut
While all features are useful, there are some (like the multidirectional timer) that take a little getting used to
For those small chopping jobs or if counter-space is at a premium, this mini food processor from Cuisinart is a tough little worker. Yes, it is mini compared to others, but it has the teeth to get those smaller jobs done. You get a 250W motor that works well with the small capacity (3 cup) work bowl as well as a stainless steel reversible chopping blade. Perfect for blasting fresh herbs, cheese, bread or small quantity fruit and veg, choose chop or grind from the push button pad and off you go. This mini food processor is also easy to clean, with removable dishwasher-safe parts. The motor is on the noisy side, despite its size, and can be a little over-enthusiastic if you leave your finger on the button too long, but as a compact go-to chopper, it is great for the task at hand.
250W mini chopper and grinder
Three-cup dishwasher safe bowl
Auto-reversing smart blade
Limited 18-month warranty
- Weight3 pounds
Comes with a specialised spatula
Totally dishwasher safe
There will be times that 3 cups is not big enough so that cooks have to complete tasks in batches
If you’re on a budget or just need a no-frills food processor for those everyday food prep jobs, then we think our Best Value pick is really worth a look. Black+Decker have put together a decent food processor with some features you’d expect on a more expensive model. You get an acceptable 450W motor that powers the device nicely without being too loud and an 8-cup capacity bowl, enough for a couple or a smaller family. The chopping blade is made from quality stainless steel, while the slicer/shredder is reversible to make fast work of tougher ingredients. With its dish-washable parts, cord wrap, pulse control and safety lock system, the Black+Decker also holds up well to regular use.
8-Cup Work Bowl and 450w motor
Reversible stainless steel slicer/shredding disc
Safety lock and stowaway cord
Push button controls, including pulse
- Weight5.8 pounds
Food chute comes with a pusher to help guide food
Comes with stainless steel blades for chopping, scliing and shredding
Only 8 cups big so is a relatively small food processor so may not be suitable for all
Designed to be as low noise as possible, without compromising on power, the Braun Ultra Quiet Food Processor is the strong, silent type! With its 600W motor, you don’t lose any speed, but you do get a softer sound, even on full power. This is a sizeable unit that will take up space on the work-top, but it has a nice look and is easy to maintain. The work bowl has a 12-cup capacity and you get a host of attachments, including stainless steel chopper, grater, slicing disc, citrus press and dough blade. The speed is also adjustable and there’s the handy pulse button for extra precision. Add in a mini work bowl and a one-year warranty and the Braun is a smart addition to your kitchen gadget collection.
Powerful yet quiet 600W motor
12-cup bowl, with mini work bowl
Eight-piece blade and attachment set
Pulse button and variable speed options
- Weight9.8 pounds
Chic and stylish design
Easy to store and compact
At first the amount of attachments and possibilities could be overwhelming
Fast and easy to use, carry and store, the Ninja is a little powerhouse when it comes to prepping smaller amounts of food. It does only have a two-cup capacity, so is not going to be able to cope with volume but where it lacks in size, it makes up in convenience and chopping style. This pod-style mini food processor has 200W motor that’s enough to mince, dice, chop and blend herbs, small vegetable pieces, spices, nuts and cheese so is ideal for whipping up delicious sauces, dips, spreads and dressings. And controlling the Ninja is super easy, thanks to the large pulse button. It’s not as multi-tasking as other products but for the functions it is made for, it does it really well. And the size makes it easy to clean, maintain and store away.
Mini processor for sauces, dips and dressings
200W power pod with pulse control
Two-cup capacity bowl with storage lid
No-slip base and splash guard
- Weight2 pounds
Easy to clean
Small so makes it very straightforward to tidy away
16 ounces can limit the amount of food it can prepare in one go
We love the retro look of this food processor from Kitchenaid when attached to the ‘power hub’. But it also has a contemporary attitude when it comes to how it performs. Ok, there’s no enclosed work bowl, so you need to provide your own, but the food processor is actually an attachment to your Kitchenaid stand mixer. Using the motor from the food mixer, it has a decent level of power to slice, dice, shred and chop and the level of accuracy is impressive thanks to the ‘ExactSlice’ system. The feed chute is also nice and wide and the whole devise is easy to wipe clean. You can’t blend or puree but then again, this is a gadget designed to extend the functionality of your existing Kitchenaid food mixer.
Processor unit attaches to your food mixer
ExactSlice system for precision slicing
Dices, slices, shreds & juliennes
Includes dicing kit and storage case
- Weight7.04 pounds
A large capacity food processor at a bargain price, the Hamilton Beach food processor is a great all-round gadget if you are on a budget. Not the slickest looking unit in our review, the Hamilton Beach is a bit of a chunky monster, but it is sturdy and durable, which is what you need. Plus, the ‘snap and stack’ system makes putting it together a breeze. It has a 12-cup capacity and the 450W motor has enough power to do a decent enough job on most food and ingredients. You also get a quality S-blade as well as a hardworking shredding and slicing disc, that is also fully reversible. With two speeds and pulse control, you get raised buttons rather than a touch pad but if you are wanting a straightforward processor that has the power, then this could be the one.
450W motor and 12-cup capacity
Two speeds plus pulse control
‘Snap and Stack’ easy assembly
Sealed bowl and lid to prevent leaking
- BrandHamilton Beach
- Weight6.57 pounds
Best Food Processor Buying Guide & FAQ
Things to Consider When Buying a Food Processor
Whatever style of food processor you opt for, it needs to be a robust hard worker. Here are the key things to look for:
Power - for basic chopping you won’t need a powerful motor but if you are wanting your food processor to be more of a multi-tasker then look for a motor with sufficient wattage. As a rough guide, a motor between 700 and 1300 watts is going have the revs you need to tackle most food processing jobs, while for a smaller chopper 450W should be enough.
Bowl capacity – you also need to ensure the size of the bowl is sufficient to contain the quantity of food you will most like want to process. Most food processors are measure in cup capacity, so smaller models will be up to seven cups, while a large unit can go up to 20. For everyday use, anything around 10-12 cup capacity is a good place to start.
Blades – make sure the processor has all the core blades you need and any additional ones you would like to use. The basic blades will enable you to chop, slice, blend and knead but if you want more functionality ensure you have the additional attachments you need. And also go for the best quality materials as you want these hardworking blades to last so opt for stainless-steel if you can.
Feeding mechanism – unless it's a mini chopper, your food processor should have a feeding tube in the lid so you can add ingredients as the motor is running. Check the lid has a secure locking system and that the feeding tube is wide enough for the food you want to process. A pusher is also going to make your food processing life easier, as well as less messy. And finally, a good thing to have is a way of safely adding liquids to the bowl as you are mixing.
Ease of control – no matter how elaborate the blades and accessories, your food processor should be intuitive to control. Most models have three modes – on, off and pulse – although you may want to have a speed control too.
Safety and stability – larger food processors can be quite heavy and when in full processing mode, the motor can cause the unit to vibrate so stability is an essential factor to consider. The body should be solid and with a wide base to keep it stable as well as suction cups underneath to enable you to secure it to the kitchen worksurface. Also look for safety features such as thermal cut-out so that the motor won’t start unless the processor has been assembled correctly and everything is locked into place
Additional functions and accessories – many food processors will also feature extra functions and accessories to maximize what the machine can do. Some can also work as juicers and may also come with a selection of extra blades to refine and diversify your chopping and processing. Different sized bowls can also be a benefit but before you buy a food processor, be sure you will use most of the attachments otherwise you could be paying extra for things you really won’t need.
Food Chopper Blade Types and Attachments
With most food processors you get the standard blades as well as additional attachments, depending on the model and price. The standard blade types for a processor are the Sabatier – or S-blade, named after the shape – which is used for chopping and the shredding discs, which slide and shred food. Other common blades and attachments can include a dough blade, egg whip, julienne and French fry disc and a citrus juicer. Some food processors also come complete with a non-citrus juicer for other fruit and vegetables as well as a spiralizer.
What You Can Do with a Kitchen Processor
A versatile addition to any busy kitchen, a food processor is your all-round cooking and baking assistant, from making dips and sauces to burgers, cakes and bread. Depending on the model, with a food processor you cannot only quickly chop, slice and shred but you can also puree and grind most ingredients, including meat and vegetables. Many multi-tasking food processor models also double up as a juicer as well as offering a dough blade to knead bread and whip up cake mixture and batter.
How to Care for Your Food Processor
Caring for your food processor will ensure you get many years of use out of your new kitchen gadget. And top of the list is keeping the machine effectively clean. It may seem like a chore but thoroughly cleaning your food processor after every use will not only keep it in tip-top condition but also prevent food particles and odor transferring to the fresh ingredients the next time you use it. To do this, unplug the processor from the mains and then carefully take it apart, from the lid and pusher unit, to the blades and the bowl. Sponge down the body of the food processor with wet, clean cloth to remove any debris and leave to dry.
When it comes to the blade attachment, this should always be washed immediately after use to prevent food caking into the crevices and dulling the blade. Then soak and rinse the remaining removable parts and allow to dry before fully reassembling the processor and putting the blades back into their storage case. Never use anything abrasive such as scouring pads or cleaners on your food processor parts and always let them thoroughly dry before storing away.
Best Food Processor FAQ:
Q: What size of processor should I get?
A: There are three different sizes of processors for you to consider:
- Small/mini choppers
If you’re a casual cook looking for a smaller capacity food processor that can perform basic chopping and processing tasks, then a mini chopper is ideal. These compact processors take up little counter space and can pack away easily for storage. Their functions can be limited, their motor is on the smaller size and they work with a bowl that’s usually under 6-7 cup capacity.
- Medium processors
Typically offering a 7-11 cup capacity and with enough motor power and functions to do most of the things you need, a medium sized food processor is a good choice if you are cooking for a small number of people. Medium processors should be able to do most of the things a larger machine can, although the motor will not be as powerful. But for an everyday smaller family food processor, you should get your money’s worth.
- Large processors
All-singing and all-dancing, the larger food processors can be impressive and churn out volume food, usually around 12 to 16 cups-worth of capacity in one sitting. They have some power under the motor hood and will most likely come with an array of blades and attachments you will wonder how you lived without. But for the size, you do pay a price in terms of counterspace and large processors will inevitably be amongst the most expensive.
Q: Do I need a food processor if I already have a blender?
A: If you love to cook or bake, then even if you already have a blender, a food processor is going to become a well-used addition to your kitchen. A blender is ideal for working with liquids and soft food to create soups, smoothies and purees but their main job is to blend and nothing more. While many food processors can also do these things (as long as they have the necessary attachments), it really comes into its own for those more labor-intensive tasks. From chopping, grating, dicing and slicing to mixing, mincing and whipping, a food processor works with both wet and dry ingredients.
Q: What determines how well my processor chops?
A: The motor strength of your food processor will be the key driver behind its performance so always make sure the motor speed is enough for the type of cooking and chopping you want to do. Smaller motors can stop when trying to work denser foods such as bread dough or harder cheese, especially if you are trying to chop or mix in volume. Weaker or smaller motors also have a tendency to more easily wear out with regular use and can also make more noise as they have to work harder.
Q: How to sharpen its blades
A: If you use your food processor regularly or you have had it for some time, you may find that the blades need sharpening to keep them on point. The best way to keep those blades in prime condition is to use a manual sharpener as electric sharpeners can weaken and damage the blade over time. To sharpen your food processor blades you will need an appropriate sharpening stone or file so do check the guidance from your product’s manufacturer. Then holding the blade firmly by its spindle, move the blade across the file or stone away from you in a consistent sawing motion under firm but not excessive hard pressure until the blade is sharpened to your satisfaction. Rinse the blade under warm running water until clear of dust and leave to air dry.
Q: Are food processors dishwasher safe?
A: Always read the manufacturer’s instructions when buying a new food processor to check whether the parts are dishwasher safe. However, the detergent and hot water used in dishwashers can be too harsh for the removable food processor parts and blades, so it's recommended that you just carefully wash them by hand and leave to thoroughly dry.
Our Top Pick
The Cuisinart Food Processor is a fantastic processor for a large, busy family, with its powerful motor and 14-cup bowl capacity making light work of all that meal time prep. The build is solid and the three supplied blades are made from high quality stainless steel, giving you the full range of chop, slice, shred, knead, puree and mix functions. One-touch control, smooth pulse function and extra wide feeding tube make the Cuisinart our top choice when it comes to everyday food processors.
- How Food Processors Work - HowStuffWorks