10 Best Food Processors (Review) In 2021
- The Best Food Processor
- 1. Cusinart 14-Cup Food Processor
- 2. Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor
- 3. Cuisinart Elemental 8-Cup Food Processor
- 4. Breville Sous Chef Food Processor
- 5. Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor
- 6. KitchenAid 5-Cup Food Chopper
- 7. BLACK+DECKER 8-Cup Food Processor
- 8. AmazonBasics 4-Cup Food Processor
- 9. BRAUN 600W FP3020 Food Processor
- 10. Brentwood 3-Cup Mini Food Processor
If you have labor-intensive tasks to carry out in your kitchen food processors can be a great addition to your appliance selection. A food blender, smoothie blender, and food processors are fantastic aids for creating dishes and drinks but they're all slightly different, and knowing which one to own means you can find the most suited device for what you need. While a blender & personal blender will turn light fruits and vegetables into liquids or sauces, a food processor will help with heavier jobs like kneading dough. Some food processors are good at doing the same tasks as blenders, and vice versa, but a processor is designed to take on thicker ingredients and combine them evenly. Remember that a blender has a powerful motor and whizzes food into tiny pieces whilst a processor uses thick, razor-sharp blades, but its motor works at a slower pace and the design of a processor is intended to guide the ingredients into the center of the mixer bowl to combine them neatly.
Whether you are a food processor connoisseur or a first-timer, we've found ten that we reviewed this year. Here we provide you with the main pros and cons of each, with a guide to which features you should look out for when you're looking for the best food processors to suit your needs. So here we are getting you started on our best choice recommendation in our category of ten.
The Best Food Processor
14 cup capacity
7 control functions
Detachable disc stem
This is the largest capacity food processor on our review list. The Cusinart 14-Cup Food Processor is our best choice and we noticed it has some wonderful 4 to 5-star reviews on some of the largest retailer sites and for good reason. This is one to beat – it’s easy to use, has just over 3.3 liters of mixing bowl capacity, and its stainless steel design really looks pretty good too, if you choose to leave it out on the countertop. It’s made for preparing family-sized meals and has an extra-large feeding chute so you can introduce whole pieces of food. So for those home cooks searching for a 14 cup food processor this one may be just right for you.
Long power cord
Large 14 cup capacity
Dishwasher safe parts
Includes 3 discs, spatula, recipe guide
Attaching discs can be fiddly
Ingredients can get lodged beneath the chopping blade
May be hard to assemble
Some may to adjust speeds
10 cup capacity
2 speed functions + pulse
The Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor is a mini food processor which of course is small, lightweight, and won’t take up much storage space. This model includes a reversible stainless steel blade as well as the standard; one side will slice and the other side grates cheese (chill first) so it’s great for multi-tasking. The bowl scraper can be used while you are slicing or chopping food and it makes it a little easier to clean after use rather than needing the extra time to scrape excess from the inside of the work bowl.
Built-in bowl scraper
Dishwasher safe parts
Large feed tube
You may not use the scraper
Easy to knock speed control while in use
Might prefer a slower function for dough
8 cup capacity
4 touch buttons
The second mini-processor on our 2020 review list is the mini Cuisinart Elemental 8-Cup Food Processor which has removable dishwasher-proof parts such as the reversible shredding and slicing discs. You might like that the controls are large rubberized touch buttons that are easy to see, use, and wipe clean. Quite rightly so, we thought, is that there is a liquid measurement guide on the mixing bowl so you can be sure not to overfill – ignore that guide and you’ll have a mess on your hands. There is a locking mechanism on the work bowl too so you don’t need a spare hand to hold it down will you work. The high/low buttons will remain on whilst the pulse button requires you to keep your finger pressed down for the duration you wish to pulse.
Easy to assemble
2 discs and chopper blade
Might prefer processors you can use daily
2.5 to 16 cup capacity
On/off + pulse
Our premium pick has to be the Breville Sous Chef Food Processor because of its capability and added detail to both the style and the usable design. Whether you are kneading, chopping, or shredding it has no less than eight precision tools to use for any job along with a powerful motor. It has an extra-large feed tube with a narrow fitting for long vegetables and foods, and the mini bowl at 2.5 cup capacity is great for smaller quantities when you are creating salsas and sauces or even combining spices. You might check our selection of sous vides too if you are into healthy cooking. The motor is powerful enough to process foods in the large work bowl too. We like the storage box that it’s supplied with which packs the processor and its tools away neatly and keeps them all together. If you’re a budding sous chef then we think this is one of the best picks.
Underneath cord storage
Great for large quantities, daily
Works on a pro-level
Rigid plastic bowl may crack
Timely to receive replacement parts
3 cup capacity
Chop and grind buttons
The Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor is a mini chopper and such a sweet little food chopper and grinder. It has the smallest cup capacity of the three Cuisinart food processors on our review list but quite a large motor for such a lightweight machine (it weighs just three pounds!). It comes with a spatula for removing the finished delights you will prepare, and it will scrape the sides so that the bowl is easier to clean when you’re finished. The one we reviewed is white and its shiny surface is clean looking and easy to wipe. The one thing is that you DO need two hands – one to hold the button/s and one to hold the lid in place. At around $40 it is comparatively priced to the Hamilton Beach processor (no.2 on our list) although it doesn’t hold as much and isn’t as powerful, it looks good!
Just one blade for ease of use
Tucks neatly away
May not cut evenly
Blade not dishwasher safe
Hold buttons to operate
Lid doesn’t seal
5 cup capacity
2 speed functions
It chops, mixes, whisks and whips. It’s the KitchenAid 5-Cup Food Chopper which, as a mini food processor, its five cup capacity and spare whisking accessory, means it is a handy little device that won’t take up much storage space either. As well as the mixing cup having a removable lid so large pieces of fruit and veg can be added, it also has a dribbling crevice built into the lid so that liquids can be poured in mess-free while the chopper is in operation.
Will grind almond flour
Cord wrap for storing
No grating ability (hard food)
Needs learning and practice
8 cup capacity
On/off + pulse
Shredding and slicing blade
With a safe interlocking lid, you won’t make a mistake as this powerful food processor won’t start until it’s closed tightly. Our best value choice, the BLACK+DECKER 8-Cup Food Processor is not the cheapest on our list though it still is a budget saver food processor and very light so it can be easily packed away when not in use. It has two blades for chopping, shredding, dicing, and slicing which is easily changed over and all removable parts are dishwasher safe. We like that the manufacturer has included suction feet so it remains on the countertop when in use without jumping about. You can try light bread dough although there isn’t a specific tool to do this with. The only thing to point out is even on a large retailer site, the manufacturer states it is ‘as loud as a lawnmower’!
Easy to use
Great for salsas, soups, sauces
May have to stir mid-use
No dough blade
Loud – up to 90db
Keep box to store tools in
4 cup capacity
On/off + pulse
The lightest on our list, with 450 watts is it just a little more powerful than a standard personal blender but it isn’t a handheld. The AmazonBasics 4-Cup Food Processor has been well built as a food processor so that it can sit tight on your worktop and it has almost double the cup capacity of the bowl that you might get with a small blender. You might not like the look or design of this model but we like the fact the bowl has a handle, the lid locks in place, and it has a decently-sized food chute. There are digital button controls but they are simple buttons, no tech to be concerned with. This processor is ideal for someone new to food processors but it does take some effort to disassemble for cleaning.
A bargain food processor
Well built for its price
1 year limited warranty
Care needed to remove blades
Red color not appealing
12 cup capacity
Variable speed control
The BRAUN 600W FP3020 Food Processor truly has a pleasing design and would sit nicely on any work surface so it’s there when you are ready to mix bread dough, or slice, chop and mix fruit veg and other ingredients. It has lots of included attachments for multi-function use and the speed dial makes it easy to control the different settings. This processor will produce the best food for a home cook looking for speed and accuracy on many tasks and it works effectively on both soft and hard foods. All the parts are dishwasher safe and the base itself is wipe clean so all you need to spend time on is perfecting how to use all the different parts. Plus, it is set at a mid-range price just under $204. We like that it is the only food processor on our review list that comes with so many different blades PLUS a juicer attachment. With a 12 cup capacity, it is a good choice for preparing large quantities.
Easy to assemble
Powerful and quiet
White plastic parts may stain
Care needed changing chopping blade
3 cup capacity
2 speed settings
Safety locking lid
Being the cheapest on our list, the Brentwood 3-Cup Mini Food Processor is selected as our budget pick and although it isn’t as powerful as any other food processor on our review list above, this mini processor is doing perfectly what it is designed to do. It is a mini chopper, slicer, mixer and it can pulverize ingredients quite finely. The design includes a cord wrap and it’s easy to store this little processor. You might like the fact that the interlocking lid means the device won’t operate if it isn’t secured properly.
Easy to clean
Strong suction feet
Too small for kneading dough
Might prefer a faster motor
Slicing blade attached to bowl
Features To Consider With Food Processors
Whether you are looking to replace your current food processor, upgrade to a bigger and better model, or are looking for certain things like adjustable slicing then you will need to consider a variety of models and options. Perhaps you want to carry out specific tasks like making ice cream or nut butter, or you are simply looking for a machine that will carry out efficient slicing and shredding food... here are a few features to help you research the best food processors to suit.
Attachments and Disks
Even some of the best premium food processors won't come with the extra accessories, blades, or attachments needed to do a variety of jobs. There are additional tools that you can order separately if they aren't supplied, but do check that they are available to buy before you purchase the actual machine. While the knife blade is standard, a few of the attachments you might consider are:
- Balloon whisk
- Grating disc/blade
- Grinding disc/mill
- Citrus fruit attachment
- Dough hook
- Slicing disc/ shredding blade
- Potato rasp
- Jug blender
- Storage box
A plunger makes your food processor more versatile. As you might expect from its name, the plunger helps you to push down food through the chute or lid. You'll be surprised how many incidents can occur with those reaching for a piece of cutlery or another kitchen utensil to try and get the food into the cup bowl. The plunger will help you safely push the food in, even when the device is in use - allowing you to add food as you mix/chop/slice.
Depending on the size of the meals you plan to prepare in a food processor you will need to look out for the cup capacity. Generally, for a family of four, a processor with a 10+ cup capacity will suit. For those needing to prepare large quantities, there are processors for home cooks with as much as 14 to 15 cup bowls.
Ease of Cleaning
No appliance is without some need for maintenance. You will need to factor in a little more time in order to disassemble the parts and clean them. Look out for dishwasher safe, whilst this will only mean some or all of the parts can be washed this way you will still need to clean the body of the food processor.
Heavy Base/Suction Base
Finding a stable food processor is essential. Whilst a heavy base means it will be more sturdy, it is bound to create a little more noise when in operation. If you opt for a more lightweight model then make sure it has suction cups or you will need more than a pair of hands to use it.
As we mentioned, the knife blade will always come as standard otherwise the thing won't work! Best blades to look out for will be stainless steel:
- Grating blade - The grating blade can be used for cheeses as well as vegetables and tend to be used for making slaws.
- Potato rasp - This is typically a disc containing blades. It is less common than a grating disc but will allow you to grate potato, coconut, and hard parmesan much more finely than a standard grating blade.
- Shredding/slicing blade - Premium processors are more likely to come with a stainless steel shredding disc and some with which you can slice homemade fries or allow thinner slicing. Budget models will sometimes make them with plastic where the blade (fine, medium, coarse) is interchangeable. Sometimes the types of slicer disc will be reversible so all the blades are built into the disc, and some will come as separate discs. These allow you to slice at different sizes.
The wattage (power) is important depending on the jobs you intend to carry out. Whilst basic chopping doesn't need so much, tough jobs like mixing dough will demand more power. As a basic rule, a machine with 700+ watts should be able to take on heavier ingredients.
As you'll know, any kitchen appliances that you frequently use will be stored on the kitchen counter so you have constant access without having to drag it (and all the tools) out of the cupboard. Because of this, you'll be looking at fitting your food processor in an already assigned spot on your work surface so bear this in mind when looking at the size of the base - and how tall it is if you have low cabinets above. Storing in the cupboard? Then be prepared to keep the box or find one that your machine will sit in, with its tools, so you can keep everything together.
One of the best food processors we found concerning useful storage is number 4 on our review list, the premium pick. The Breville Sous Chef Food Processor comes with its own branded storage case where everything fits together and you aren't scraping around to find the tools and attachments every time you need to use it. The case is even smart enough to leave in pure sight if you lack cupboard space.
Speed settings are exciting! But, most processors will come with pretty straight forward controls, and these will be on/off and pulse. That said, some functions will need different speeds. For things like pizza or thick bread dough functions, you will need to make sure the speed settings support those. Much like the Braun FP3020, number 9 on our review list, it has varying speed control so you can juice using the attachment, create basic food slices, or knead dough.
Food Processor FAQ
Q: Can I use a food processor as a blender?
Both blenders and food processors have ultra-sharp blades that spin at high speed but do you need both? Basically, a blender has been defined to do that basic job - blend. They are great for liquids and soft fruit and veg. A food processor will chop, grate, slice, puree, and shred.
In brief, a blender is best for:
- Soups and salsas, sauces, smoothies, and dips. Don't expect to be able to blend butter or mix dough with this type of device.
A food processor is best for:
- Chopping, slicing, shredding vegetables, and other foods. Making dips and blending butter.
There is a crossover in the capabilities of each type of device. Some blenders will have a cup that you blend in and drink straight out of and they deal with liquids much better than processors do. Food processors have large mixing bowls and are designed for more labor-intensive tasks, such as combining heavy ingredients.
There's no clear line between the two but worth noting a blender is great for those who prepare with lots of liquid and with a processor food can be combined even if it's a thicker finish you are looking for.
Some high-end blenders come with the tools to do what food processors can do and vice versa. It might depend on your budget as to whether you opt for one mean monster of a machine that handles everything you need.
Q: Can you put ice in a food processor?
Crushed ice is great when you need a refreshing frozen drink and if you don't have a smoothie blender that can do this, the blades on a food processor should do the job. However, be prepared that the inside of the mixing bowl will likely become scratched and cloud up the bowl as well as fade the shredding disc or blade you are using.
If you do decide to make ice using a food processor, make batches upfront and pop in a bag to put in the freezer so it's on hand when you need it. Best results if you are making a sorbet or frozen drinks is to use the resulting crushed or chopped ice right away.