If you do any serious cooking, a good quality food processor is a critical addition to your kitchen on account of its versatility and time-saving tricks. So, we’ve looked at the best food processors you can buy, no matter what your needs are.
The food processor isn’t quite the heart of the kitchen (that’s your cooker or oven), but it is a vital component. A certain amount of mixing and chopping and slicing can be done manually, but the results are rarely the same to if you do it through a food processor. For instance, there’s a noticeable difference to how cookies look, depending on if you’ve manually mixed or used a food processor. It’s good to have both options. If nothing else, the “lazy” route is always to toss everything into the food processor and let electricity do all the hard work for you.
Food processors vary significantly in cost and features, so we’ve checked out the best food processors for every price range and requirement.
Best All-Rounder: Cuisinart Pro Custom 11-Cup Food Processor ($130)
The perfect size for a family kitchen, the Cuisinart Pro Custom 11-Cup Food Processor is near flawless. The food processor has room for 11 cups of produce, so you can easily use it to make dough, shred vegetables or herbs, or mix batters. It includes a chopping blade, three slicing and shredding discs, along with a spatula.
Unusual for a food processor, there’s a fairly long feed tube so you can feed in large items like carrots or zucchinis without any hassle. It’s ideal for whatever you throw its way, and is sure to become a key part of your kitchen and cooking prep.
Best Budget Choice: Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Food Processor ($50)
If you’ve just moved into your first home or you’re new to cooking, you don’t want to spend a ton of cash on a food processor. Some cheap food processors are pretty lousy but the Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Food Processor holds its own at a good price. It’s big enough to contain 12 cups of produce with a stainless steel blade chopping, mixing and pureeing. In addition, there’s a reversible stainless steel slicing and shredding disc that does exactly what the name suggests.
The feed tube is a little short for some purposes, and there’s only 2 speed choices, alongside a pulse mode, but it works well for the price.
Hamilton Beach Stack & Snap Food Processor and Vegetable Chopper, BPA Free, Stainless Steel Blades, 12 Cup Bowl, 2-Speed 450 Watt Motor, Black (70725A)
Best Premium Choice: Breville Sous Chef ($400)
On the other side of the financial spectrum, if you love to cook and bake (and you’ve got the budget for it) then the Breville Sous Chef is unbeatable. The more professional choice, it has 5 multi-function discs as well as 3 blades, so there’s an attachment for every scenario. The feed chute is both wide and tall, so you don’t need to pre-cut much before using it.
The processor is huge too, with enough space for 16 cups of produce, with a separate 2.5 cup mini processing bowl also included. An LCD display offers a timer function which is a neat bonus. Given the size of the unit, it’s helpful that there’s an accessory storage box too. If you’re serious about your kitchen time, this is the processor for you.
Best Mini Food Processor: KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Mini Food Processor ($45)
Sometimes, you want to simply mix up some spices or make your own pesto or other sauce. A mini food processor is far more useful here than a huge device. The KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Mini Food Processor is the best one out there. It’s just the right size for mixing up something small, with a choice of two speeds giving you some flexibility. Chopping or pureeing are your main two options here, with an easy entry point at the top to add wet ingredients as and when needed.
It won’t cut it for mixing up cake batter, but you can’t beat it for saving you time and hassle when you simply need to chop or dice something.
Best For Large Quantities: Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor ($155)
Most of the food processors here offer a respectably large sized bowl, but the Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor goes a little further than that. Its 14 cup capacity means it’s not on a par with the Breville food processor, but then it’s also substantially cheaper. If you need a food processor to slice and dice food for a growing family but the Breville model is out of your budget, this is an ideal option.
It has a stainless steel slicing disc, a shredding disc, along with a chopping blade and spatula. An extra long feed tube, supplemented with small and large pushers, means less pre-cutting for you too. It’s a great price for a hefty piece of equipment.