BEST FOOD PROCESSORS | FEBRUARY 2018
A food processor can save you tons of time by making quick work of cooking prep tasks, such as slicing, shredding and mincing ingredients. To help you find the best food processor for your needs and budget, our team performed extensive research on a variety of options – from small food processors to models that are robust enough for use in a professional kitchen. That research culminates in the list of recommended food processors below, including standard, mini and commercial-grade models. Check out our buying guide to learn more about the key considerations for selecting a food processor, such as chute size, motor strength, added accessories and more. Read more about our methodology.
The Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY sets the standard for home food processors. Seven functions and a 720-watt motor tackle almost any food prep job, while its extra-wide feed chute and large 14-cup working bowl let you get more done with less pre-cutting.Read full review.
If the price of other models makes you wince, the 8-cup Hamilton Beach 70740 is a great budget option. Suction cups on the bottom keep it stable on your counter and the lid flips upside-down for easy storage.Read full review.
Best by Category
Best Standard Food Processor
A great alternative to the Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY, the German-engineered Braun FP3020 is another solid jack-of-all-trades food processor that easily handles most food prep tasks. The unit features 11 speed settings and a juicer attachment.Read full review.
Best Mini Food Processor
For small jobs, look no further than the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus. This 4-cup food processor is ideal for smaller kitchens and for home cooks who only need a compact unit to make sauces and to serve one or two people.Read full review.
Best Commercial-Grade Food Processor
With 8 different attachments, a large 16-cup working bowl, and a powerful 1200-watt motor, this heavy-duty food processor is designed for professionals and for home chefs who want a premium machine that can handle virtually anything from slicing to kneading dough.Read full review.
Food Processors BUYING GUIDE
Size and Weight
Size will likely be your first consideration when buying a food processor and what you need depends on how many people you are preparing food for. Smaller processors have the advantage of lightweight and easy storage but are generally noisy and less stable due to their thinner, lighter housings. Larger models are sturdy and insulate motor noise well, but take up more room and are harder to move – an important factor if your kitchen or counter space is limited.
Blades and attachments
Most food processors come with an S-blade for chopping and mincing, a slicing blade, and a shredding blade as standard attachments. More advanced models will feature extras like a Julienne blade, French fry blade, juicer, and dough blade, and some will add conveniences like adjustable slicing blades and attachment storage caddies. Quality attachments should generally be made of durable plastics and stainless steel, which are dishwasher-safe and easy to clean. What and how many attachments you need naturally depends on what specific tasks you need a food processor for, and there is no sense in paying more for functions you’ll never use.
The size and width of the feed chute will determine how much chopping and cutting you have to do by hand before inserting ingredients into the processor. As a food processor’s main objective is to save you time in the kitchen, a wider food chute is desirable, as it will allow you to process larger ingredients like whole vegetables or blocks of cheese without having to cut them up yourself beforehand.
Assembly and safety
A quality food processor should be easy to assemble and lock up tightly. A common complaint from users is leakage; so, many premium models feature special bowl locks and gasket seals to keep liquids from seeping out and making a mess. Safety locks that prevent the blades from spinning until the lid or pusher is securely attached are also desirable safety features that are found on many mid- to high-end models.
Budget and mini food processors can be had for around $30 to $60. Machines in this price bracket are designed for small or basic tasks and generally do not come with many attachments. Mid-range food processors between $100-200 are more fully featured with a wider range of functions along with additions like safety locks, pulse buttons, and large work bowls. This is the sweet spot for most home cooks who want a large and versatile unit. Food processors coming in at over $250 boast special features that set them apart and are aimed at those who want a deluxe model and are willing to pay for it.
FULL product reviews
We research hundreds of products in order to bring you a final, unbiased list of the very best. We also use a proprietary algorithm to score each product in terms of quality, value, and brand reputation. These subscores are then weighted to calculate our overall scores. Read more about how we calculate our scores.
The Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY is a jack-of-all-trades processor that will perfectly suit most users, especially those who need to prepare enough food for family-size meals but don’t want the bulk and expense of a commercial unit. While simple in design and easy to use, the DFP-14BCNY offers a lot of versatility with 7 different food prep functions, a 14-cup bowl, and an extra-wide feed chute for large ingredients and batch processing. For the average home cook who wants the best, this Cuisinart is the one to get unless you specifically need a commercial unit.
Why We Recommend It
- Large bowl and wide feed chute. The extra-wide feed chute allows for inserting large ingredients like whole vegetables while the large 14-cup working bowl provides plenty of room for processing large quantities at a time. This greatly cuts down on the time you spend in the kitchen preparing meals for family-sized groups.
- Versatile attachments handle most tasks easily. Seven different food prep functions make the DFP-14BCNY a great all-around unit that can handle most jobs you expect a processor to do. Chopping and slicing vegetables, creating sauces and purees, and making pie crust are no challenge.
- The 720-watt motor is strong yet quiet. The excellent 720-watt motor provides enough power for most processing tasks while not being so aggressive that it pulverizes and over-processes your ingredients. Despite the unit’s power, its heavy base and thick housing insulate the motor’s noise to ensure quiet operation.
- Simple and solid design. The dual paddle controls could not be simpler, giving you one-touch “on” and “pulse” modes. The simple and elegant design is also very well-built with a heavy sturdy base that remains stable on your counter top when in use.
- Does not come with a dough blade. This food processor does not include a dough blade among its included attachments. While it can be purchased separately, this adds to the cost and is something to be aware of if kneading dough is something you need your machine to do.
- Somewhat large and heavy. The solid build comes with size and weight that make the unit heavy and hard to move around. While not as bulky as commercial food processors, the DFP-14BCNY is still rather large and will likely require a dedicated space on your counter top.
Although very basic, the Hamilton Beach 70740 is a highly affordable and well-designed budget unit that performs the standard prep jobs one needs a food processor to perform. The stainless attachments allow for shredding, chopping, slicing, mixing, and pureeing, and despite its light weight, the processor is stable while in use due to suction cups on the under-side of the unit. The 8-cup working bowl and 450-watt motor provide sufficient size and power for preparing most family-sized meals.
Why We Recommend It
- Inexpensive yet performs well. While the Hamilton Beach 70740 is admittedly a very basic food processor, it still punches above its weight considering it comes in at only $30. This model is a great option for any home cook that only needs a basic machine and is on a budget.
- Light and easy to store. The unit is light for its size and the lid flips upside-down when not in use, making the processor very easy to move and store when you need it out of your way. It also only comes with two attachments – an S-blade and reversible slicing/shredding disc – which means fewer accessories for you to organize.
- Suction cups keep the base stable. Although lightweight, the 70740 remains stable during operation thanks to convenient suction cups on the base of the unit. This keeps the processor secured to your working surface without you having to hold it down and babysit it.
- The motor is noisy. If the light weight of this food processor comes with one drawback, it’s noise. The thin plastic of the motor housing does little to insulate the sound of operation, with a common complaint being that the 70740 is unpleasantly loud.
- Very high speeds. The settings provide two speeds: fast and faster. The lack of a low speed setting makes this unit prone to pulverizing and over-processing food, which can lead to uneven performance with some ingredients.
- Feed chute could be larger. The 2x3-inch feed chute is considerably smaller than those found on other models which means more time cutting up large ingredients by hand before processing them. While not a deal-breaker, this does add to your overall prep time.
BEST BY CATEGORY
Best Standard Food Processor
Standard home food processors generally feature larger 10- to 14-cup working bowls and a range of blades and attachments that can handle most home cooking tasks. These models are ideal for the home chef who regularly prepares meals for three to six people and is willing to pay for the extra versatility over a basic budget or mini food processor. If this sounds like you, and you do not require the additional size or special functions of a commercial unit, then a processor in this segment will fit the bill for most uses.
With a 12-cup bowl and 7 standard attachments, the Braun FP3020 is another fantastic food processor that will more than satisfy most home chefs. The motor is rated for 600 watts but can be amped up to 900 watts for heavier jobs, while 11 speed settings give you far more control over your blades than other models. Engineered in Germany and manufactured in Europe, this thoughtfully designed food processor features an intuitive lid-based safety lock that does not rely on the pusher being inserted unlike standard feed chute safety locks.
Why We Recommend It
- DualControl speed system. The Braun FP3020 provides 11 speed settings including pulse control, a notable improvement compared to the one or two settings typically found on food processors. The DualControl system also ensures that the motor starts at the desired setting instead of having to “get up to speed” for more even processing.
- Juicer attachment is included. Among this unit’s seven standard attachments is a citrus press, something not usually included with most food processors. For some, this may negate the need to buy a separate juicing machine, which means more savings and less wasted space.
- Locking safety lid does not tie up the feed chute. Safety locks are highly desirable on any device with moving blades, and many processors require that the pusher be inserted into the feed chute for the motor to activate. The Braun instead offers a lid-based safety lock, which does not tie up the chute, allowing you to feed tall items like whole cucumbers into the machine without having to cut them first.
- Handles liquids very well. Work bowls typically cannot be filled more than halfway full with liquids or they will leak due to the attachment mechanism inside the bowl. The FP3020’s sealed 12-cup bowl can be filled with up to 9 cups of liquid, however, letting you make soups and sauces in larger quantities without the mess.
- Certain attachments cost extra. Two optional attachments that must be purchased at additional cost are the coarse slicing attachment and the French fry blade. These attachments must also be purchased in order to get the mini working bowl, which is an item that some users might want separately.
- Relatively narrow feed chute. The feed chute on the Braun FP3020 is considerably narrower than similar models in this price range like the Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY processor. This means more time pre-cutting ingredients by hand, which can be a annoyance when making large quantities of food.
- No attachment storage. The unit comes standard with 7 attachments but does not include any case for safely and neatly storing them.
For a sturdy do-it-all home food processor with a wider feed chute than the Braun FP3020, multiple work bowl sizes, and a dedicated dough function, consider the Cuisinart FP-14DC. Part of Cuisinart’s premium Elite Collection, this 14-cup food processor boasts a powerful 1,000-watt motor, three bowls, touchpad controls, and a convenient storage case for accessories. An adjustable slicing blade lets you choose from six different thickness settings and the SealTight Advantage System locks the blades and seals the bowl for safety and cleanliness.
Why We Recommend It
- Dedicated dough setting. Along with the standard on/off and pulse functions, the Cuisinart FP-14DC adds a setting specifically for kneading dough. When using this feature, the motor will run the dough blade so that your dough is not over-processed or cooked in the machine due to excess heat.
- Large feed chute and three working bowls. The large 14-cup working bowl provides plenty of room for processing large quantities of food at a time, but also included are an 11-cup and a 4.5-cup working bowl for handling smaller tasks like making sauces or mincing garlic. The extra-wide feed chute cuts down on your prep time as well.
- Convenient storage options for such a large unit. The smaller bowls conveniently nest inside the bigger bowl for easy storage, and the processor comes with a handy storage caddy to keep its many attachments safely and neatly stowed away.
- Touchpad controls and snap lid for one-handed use. Four touchpad buttons offer simple operation and easy wipe-down cleaning. The snap-on lid replaces the standard twist-on design found on most models as well, allowing you to open and close the bowl single-handedly in case your other hand is dirty or otherwise occupied.
- Fairly expensive. As part of the Cuisinart Elite Collection, the FP-14DC boasts premium features with a price tag to match. The extra functionality and added conveniences will be worth the price to many, but others may not find the cost to be justifiable for them when compared to similar and less expensive models.
- Rubber gasket seal can be troublesome to clean. While it ensures safety and cleaner operation, the SealTight Advantage System utilizes a rubber gasket seal that can be difficult to clean.
Best Mini Food Processor
Mini food processors are lightweight, easy to store, generally inexpensive, and perfect for making things like baby food and sauces. Units in this segment are simple in design without too many (or any) extra attachments and are ideal for those with limited kitchen space. Home cooks who only need to process smaller quantities of food and don’t mind having to pre-cut larger ingredients will appreciate the compact size and simplicity of a mini food processor, and a number of users specifically buy one of these small machines to accompany a larger one.
The 4-cup Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus is the perfect compact food processor for preparing small quantities of ingredients or for making things like emulsion sauces and dressings. This small and lightweight machine features a unique SmartPower blade with an auto-reversing design that can switch between chopping and grinding with the press of a button – the sharp edge of the blade chops, blends, and purees while the dull side of the blade grinds through harder ingredients. Home cooks with limited kitchen space and those who only want an inexpensive processor for smaller jobs can look no further than the Mini-Prep Plus.
Why We Recommend It
- Auto-reversing S-blade. The unique SmartPower blade packs a lot of functionality into a single attachment, negating the need for any additional blades or discs. The S-blade chops, grinds, blends, and more, and the two-button chop/grind touch controls are intuitive and dead simple.
- Simple and easy-to-clean design. The design is super-simple, easy to assemble, and a breeze to clean as it lacks nooks and crannies for liquids and bits of food to seep into. The BPA-free plastic components and stainless steel S-blade are also dishwasher-safe.
- Compact and lightweight. The biggest selling point of the Mini-Prep Plus is naturally its handy small kitchen-friendly size. At less than 10 inches tall and without additional attachments or accessories to take up space, it stows away very easily.
- Emulsion-friendly lid design. The bowl’s lid features drip channels for making emulsification sauces and dressings, adding some extra versatility to this tiny unit.
- No feed chute. The bowl lacks a traditional feed chute, requiring the user to remove the lid to feed ingredients into the work bowl. This is a trade-off owing to the lid’s emulsion feature but might be an annoyance for some.
- Suitable only for soft ingredients. The Mini-Prep Plus does not handle hard ingredients like ice or nuts very well. The SmartPower blade and small motor are simply not designed to handle heavier tasks like this, and the bowl is not sealed well enough to prevent fine dust particles from escaping when grinding spices.
A mini food processor with a distinctive design, the Ninja Master Prep is a more suitable option for handling hard ingredients like ice, which makes this 400-watt machine perfect for making shakes and smoothies. The unique top-mounted power pod motor offers blender-like functionality along with basic food processing capability, and two different working jars are included with the unit: a pitcher for serving shakes and other frozen drinks and a smaller bowl for single-serve portions and other small jobs.
Why We Recommend It
- Unique stacked-blade power pod design. The distinctive power pod design places the motor above the working jars and spins the stacked blade attachment from the top rather than from the bottom. This unique form factor offers simple and intuitive single-button operation and eliminates the need for a bulky base for housing the motor.
- Two jar sizes. The Master Prep comes with a large 48-ounce pitcher and a smaller 16-ounce jar, giving you more working and serving options than the single small work bowl found on most mini-processors.
- Shreds and crushes ice easily. The 400-watt motor and stacked blades handle hard ingredients very well when compared to the weaker motors of some small processor units that are only suitable for softer ingredients. The Master Prep is particularly great for making smoothies, shakes, and frozen desserts due to its ability to shred and crush ice.
- Versatile. Although primarily designed for smoothies and the like, this machine can also easily handle basic food processing tasks like chopping vegetables, pureeing, and making sauces.
- Questionable build quality. Numerous users reported build quality issues, noting that the Master Prep does not seem to be designed for regular long-term use. One common problem was the plastic gear on the blade attachment getting ground down over time, losing its ability to turn and even leaving plastic shavings behind.
- Top-motor design makes it troublesome to add ingredients. The power pod design, while handy, prevents the user from adding more ingredients without completely separating the motor unit from the working jar.
Best Commercial-Grade Food Processor
Commercial food processors are purpose-built for handling heavy workloads and feature extra functions aimed at advanced users and serious home cooks. These units boast over-sized bowls and feed chutes along with very powerful motors for dealing with large ingredients and for batch processing, making them ideal for entertaining large groups of people. Models of this type will also offer the widest range of attachments that can perform pretty much any job you need a food processor to do, and will feature added conveniences like storage caddies for accessories.
Aimed at experienced users, the Breville Sous Chef is a top-of-the-line food processor built for tasks large and small. With an extra-wide feed chute, two processing bowl sizes, and eight different attachments, the Sous Chef is purpose-made for processing large quantities of food and for working with larger ingredients. Its powerful and energy-efficient induction motor can handle just about any task you throw at it.
Why We Recommend It
- Extra-wide feed chute and bowl. The large bowl and extra-wide 5.5-inch feed chute are great for processing large ingredients like whole vegetables. The size of the unit also allows for timesaving batch processing and for preparing larger quantities of food.
- Sealed bowl design is mess-free and easy to clean. The large processing bowl features a unique sealed design that prevents leaking and makes cleanup much simpler. Other models typically use bowls with attachment openings in the bottom that can leak and potentially cause mold.
- Eight different attachments to handle almost any task. Attachments include a French fry disc, julienne disc, mini blade, whisking disc, shredding disc, micro-serrated S-blade, and dough blade, giving the Sous Chef the ability to tackle virtually any food processing job. Also notable is the adjustable slicing disc that can create slices between 0.3mm and 8mm in thickness.
- Convenient built-in storage caddy. The BFP800XL comes with its own stowaway caddy to store the included accessories. The caddy is well-made and stows inside the Sous Chef when not in use, freeing up space and keeping everything in one place.
- Premium processor means premium price. At around $370, the Sous Chef is definitely aimed at advanced users who are willing to pay extra for a top-of-the-line unit. Average buyers may not need all of the extra blades or other features and will have to decide for themselves whether or not the price tag is worth it.
- Can generate a lot of heat if you’re not careful. The induction motor’s power and efficiency come with a trade-off when it comes to heat. Some users had problems with the Sous Chef pulverizing ingredients and generating enough heat to burn one’s hand and melt the plastic when not watched carefully.
- Not ideal for kneading dough. Owing to the heat and speed of the motor, processing yeast-based dough with the Sous Chef can be difficult. Kneading with the dough blade requires patience and a careful eye, and those who need to process large quantities of dough regularly may be better served with a different model.