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The handy food processor is a kitchen must-have, saving time on food prep and making your cooking journey just a little bit easier. Food processors can be used for everything from assembling dough to chopping onions to grinding nuts, and they can even mince more delicate and smaller ingredients, like herbs and garlic, when you don’t want to dirty up your chef’s knife.
Many food processors also have attachments, which can grate cheese, knead bread, and julienne vegetables. These make them some of the best multi-taskers on the market, but you definitely need a processor that works for you and your needs. There are many variables to consider between size, power, use, and price, all of which we took into account for this list.
From the smallest mini processor to the ones professionals use, here are the best food processors to buy.
Best Overall: Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor
With its 14-cup capacity and large feed tube, the Cuisinart Custom food processor is particularly useful for those who want a reliable machine for medium-to-large jobs. Its size, general function, and basic features make it a surefire winner for those in search of a reliable food processor that will last and do its job.
Paddle buttons include on/off and a pulse function, which is all any decent food processor truly needs. The 720-watt machine also comes with a stainless-steel slicing disk and a stainless-steel shredding disk, two of the more useful food processor attachments, especially for those who prefer not to grate or chop vegetables by hand. The removable parts are all safe for the dishwasher, and it comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
Best Budget: Hamilton Beach Food Processor and Chopper with Bowl Scraper
Although the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor is a little smaller than many of the more popular models, it still performs incredibly well. The 450-watt machine offers two speeds, as well as a pulse option. And it comes with a bowl scraper that can actually be used while the motor is running, saving time and work when you’re making things like pesto. While the feed chute is large enough to fit a whole block of cheese, the compact processor doesn’t take up a lot of counter space.
Two stainless-steel disks are included in the package (one of which is reversible for two separate functions), and the BPA-free bowl, blades, and lid are dishwasher safe—another labor-saving element.
Best Large Capacity: Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro Food Processor
This food processor can hold a staggering 16 cups of food and is a good choice for those looking for a large-capacity and powerful machine that can hold up to just about any task. You actually get two machines since Breville includes a small 2.5-cup bowl too, which means you can make sauces or finely chopped, small-quantity dishes without investing in a mini processor.
The 1200-watt machine comes with two feeding tubes to accommodate different sizes and keep the workspace cleaner. There’s a built-in timer that can automatically stop the processor, helping you multitask, and the machine is quiet, despite its heft. This is one of the larger food processors on the market, so you should keep that in mind if you have limited kitchen space. It’s a well-designed machine with storage for accompanying slicing disks and cleaning utensils.
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Best Mid-Sized: Cuisinart FP-8GMP1 Elemental 8-Cup Food Processor
A high-quality and reliable food processor, the Cuisinart Elemental 8-Cup holds an adequate amount of food but is small enough to be used every day. The rubberized controls streamline operation, and accompanying stainless-steel, reversible disks—for slicing, shredding, and chopping—make food prep reliably possible.
The 350-watt machine measures 7.75 x 9.5 x 15.25 inches and only weighs 6 pounds, so it’s compact enough to live on your counter and light enough to be easily stored away. The BPA-free work bowl provides enough of a seal to puree soups or to emulsify sauces. Removable parts are dishwasher-safe for added convenience.
Best Mini: KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Food Chopper
Sometimes, all you need is a small processor for help with sauces, dressings, or even chopping nuts. For smaller tasks, this KitchenAid is the best in show, with a 3.5-cup capacity that holds just enough. The BPA-free work bowl has a spout for pouring, and the stainless-steel blade locks into place. This processor has two speeds and a pulse button, a specially designed lid that helps with adding oil for emulsification, and comes in 15 different color options.
The component parts can go in the dishwasher, making clean up easy, and the cord wraps up for small-space storage. For those with small kitchens or small families, this appliance is a great buy—but it’s also useful as a second option for those with a larger model food processor that does not perform well at small-scale tasks.
Best Professional: Robot Coupe R101BCLR 10-Cup Food Processor
Ask a professional cook about the preferred restaurant food processor, and you’re bound to hear an ode to the Robot Coupe. This industrial brand has options in many different capacities and power levels, but the 10-cup (2.5-liter) model is the best option for home cooks.
With 840 watts of power, this Robot Coupe is perfect for the industrious home cook who uses the machine for substantive, challenging tasks on a regular basis. Measuring 15 x 12.7 x 23 inches, it’s not a huge machine, but its S-shaped, smooth-edged blades will produce uniformly chopped items, and it can take nearly any job you throw at it. The magnetic safety system ensures the machine stops when the lid is opened. There are various attachments available, and it comes with a 3-year warranty on the motor.
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Best Manual: Kuhn Rikon Pull Chop 2 Cup Food Chopper
If your food-prep tasks are a little more low-key, consider a manual chopper, which requires you to push down or pull a cord to release a spinning blade. The Kuhn Rikon hand chopper has some compelling features, like a non-slip ring on the bottom that keeps it in place while you’re chopping. The ultra-sharp stainless-steel blades activate for each pull, which allows you the control of cutting things coarsely or finely.
The 4.5-inch high Kuhn Rikon only has a two-cup capacity, so this is essentially a mini food processor that’s more appropriate for smaller tasks. While the container is safe for the microwave and dishwasher, the lid and blades require handwashing, making it a little more labor-intensive than some other models.
Our top pick is the Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor (view at Amazon), a versatile food processor with a large capacity that is still very affordable compared with some of its competitors. Those with a little more to spend might consider the Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro Food Processor (view at Amazon), which has power, style, and a larger capacity.
What to Look For in a Food Processor
Size comes first for food processors. If you’re in the market for a food processor that can undertake small tasks (mincing small volumes of food, for instance), you should consider a mini processor or a smaller capacity unit—which will work better for these purposes. If you’re regularly making large volumes of food, on the other hand, a bigger bowl is a better option for you.
Not everyone will need the options that sometimes come with food processors, like grating disks and slicing disks, but some cooks find these tools useful. They do, however, require storage space, and if you feel you won’t use them, they can be burdensome.
Special features on food processors are not for everyone, but some cooks will benefit from recipe booklets and apps, timers, extra bells and whistles, and even color choices. Depending on your kitchen needs, consider these features in your shopping.
What is the difference between a food processor and a blender?
A blender is a machine with a small motor at the bottom of a tall canister, which is designed to combine liquids, as opposed to solids. A food processor is a machine designed to chop and mince solids, in particular, though it can also be used to emulsify liquids.
Should I get more than one food processor for different-sized tasks?
If you intend to use your food processor for both very small and very large volumes of food, you might consider a small food processor and a full-sized one. If you tend to make meals regularly for four or fewer people, a medium-sized unit is probably right for all of your tasks.
How do you clean a food processor?
In order to keep your food processor blade sharp, it’s best not to put it in the dishwasher—though some models are, indeed, dishwasher safe. The best way to clean a food processor, though, is to fill the bowl one quarter to one half of the way with hot, soapy water and run it until the unit is completely sanitized. You can also clean the component parts by hand.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Hannah Selinger has written about food and drinks for local and national publications since 2015. A former sommelier, Hannah has worked for some of New York’s top restaurant groups, including Laurent Tourondel’s BLT group and David Chang’s Momofuku group. Her work has appeared in Eater, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Wine Enthusiast, and more. Hannah is also a graduate of the International Culinary Center, where she learned the importance of a good food processor.
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