- Food processors make short work of everything from vegetables and herbs to nuts and grains. They’re also great for blending ingredients together for dressings and sauces.
- With a generous 14-cup working bowl, wide feed chute, beefy 720-watt motor, and stainless steel blades, the Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor is our top pick for serious home chefs who want the best food processor.
Of all the rooms in our homes, the kitchen has arguably been transformed the most by the advent of electricity, with electric appliances completely taking over virtually every food-related task from chilling and cooking our meals to making our morning coffee.
One of the unsung heroes of this electronic kitchen revolution is the humble food processor. While not as common as electric ranges and microwaves, a food processor is one of those appliances that will leave you wondering how you ever lived without one. If you regularly cook for multiple people, like to concoct your own sauces and dressings, or need to make healthy homemade baby food for a little one, then this often-overlooked tool can greatly simplify your meal prep.
Whether you’re prepping basic meals for your family, cooking for one or two, or whipping up gourmet food for a large crowd, a good food processor can save you a lot of time. We’ve already done the research to help narrow down the best food processors you can buy from small apartment-friendly food processors to heavy-duty professional-grade units for serious cooks.
Here are the best food processors you can buy:
- Best food processor overall: Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor
- Best budget option: Hamilton Beach 70730 Food Processor
- Best high-end option: Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef Food Processor
- Best hybrid food processor and blender: Ninja Master Prep Professional Blender
- Best for small spaces: KitchenAid KFC3516ER 3.5 Cup Food Chopper
Updated 10/23/19 by Jada Wong: Updated prices, formatting, and links.
Best food processor overall
The Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor is the gold standard for food processors because of its great versatility. The large working bowl, wide feed chute, powerful motor, and high-quality blades can handle everything from slicing and mincing to grating and even pureeing.
If you’re making food for multiple people and you want the best jack-of-all-trades food processor for the money, then you probably won’t have to read on past our first pick: The Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY food processor is the one. Its simple and rugged motor housing, great build quality, easy-to-use design, and versatile functionality offer almost everything you need to prepare large meals.
This food processor has a large 14-cup working bowl that secures well, with reviewers reporting little to no lid leakage even with wet and powdery ingredients. The extra-wide feed chute is a nice time-saving touch that allows you to easily insert larger ingredients like whole potatoes.
Operation is simple and intuitive: Two large paddles are pressed to turn the machine on and off. The “off” paddle doubles as the processor’s “pulse” function for quick jobs where you don’t want the blades spinning constantly.
The processor comes with a slicing disc, shredding disc, and chopping blade, which can be used for a variety of functions, including mincing and slicing fruits and veggies, grating cheese, whipping up sauces and purees, and making pie crust. The Cuisinart’s stainless steel blades and strong motor make short work of most ingredients without binding up or getting too hot.
Being a large food processor, the Cuisinart is rather chunky at around 16 pounds, so be prepared to reserve some counter space. On the other hand, this heft is owed to the food processor’s sturdy and well-insulated housing, so its powerful motor doesn’t get too noisy and the unit won’t shake or rattle around on your counter when doing its thing.
The 720-watt motor is also on the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to food processors, allowing the blades to punch through tougher tasks like mixing bread dough – although the dough mixer attachment must be purchased separately, adding to the cost of what is already a fairly expensive unit.
Pros: Great construction quality, large 14-cup bowl and wide feed chute for large ingredients, 720-watt motor is powerful for tough jobs without getting too hot or loud, seven food prep functions including dough mixing, easy to assemble and clean, and well-made stainless steel blades
Cons: It’s fairly expensive, and the dough blade must be purchased separately
Best budget food processor
Hamilton Beach 70730 Food Processor is a great pick for home cooks who want solid and simple functionality without investing a ton of money.
Maybe the price of the Cuisinart causes sticker shock, you just want a solid no-frills food processor to handle basic tasks, or you want to make sure that you actually need something like this in your kitchen and want to start off with a cheap one. You’re in luck: You don’t have to empty your wallet for a good food processor, and this 10-cup unit from Hamilton Beach proves it.
The Hamilton Beach food processor features a pretty standard design. It comes with a stainless steel disc that’s reversible for shredding and slicing, plus a steel S-disc for chopping everything from nuts to vegetables. The 450-watt motor is powerful enough for most jobs -although not for things like mixing dough – and features two speeds plus a pulse function.
The food processor is lightweight, so the motor does get noisy, but the trade-off is that it’s not too large and heavy to move or store between uses. Suction cups on the base also keep it from “walking” around.
One notable and incredibly convenient feature on the Hamilton Beach food processor is its handy built-in scraper, which most other designs lack. Instead of having to scrape the insides of the working bowl with a spatula, this food processor has a scraper that’s integrated into the lid. Simply turn the lever on top to remove ingredients that are stuck to the sides of the bowl, either while you’re mixing – even when the blades are spinning – or after you’re finished and ready to dump the processed contents.
The 10-cup working bowl is more than large enough for serving small- and mid-sized groups. The feed chute is not as wide as those on other units like the Cuisinart and Breville Sous Chef, however, so you may have to do some quick pre-chopping before adding larger items. The bowl and blades are also dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup after use.
Best of all, the Hamilton Beach 10-cup food processor rings in at less than $40, so it’ll quickly pay for itself in the time you’ll save in the kitchen.
Pros: Reversible shredding/slicing disc and S-blade to handle a wide variety of food processing jobs, a handy built-in bowl scraper, the 10-cup working bowl is good for most needs, and the 450-watt motor is suitable for the vast majority of tasks
Cons: The motor can get noisy due to the housing’s relatively light weight, and the feed chute is not wide enough for some whole ingredients
Best high-end food processor
If you’re a serious home chef, check out the mighty Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef Food Processor. It has a myriad of specialized attachments, different sized working bowls, and convenient blade storage.
Experienced home cooks are likely already acquainted with Breville, a well-known maker of many award-winning kitchen appliances. And if there is a “Ferrari” of food processors, Breville’s Sous Chef might be it – although a better comparison might be to a high-end pickup truck, as this powerhouse of a machine has plenty of power plus a number of specialized attachments to easily handle virtually anything you need it to do.
You can probably tell just by looking at it that the Sous Chef is a big machine and heavy at 26 pounds. That’s thanks to its generous 16-ounce working bowl and unrivaled 1,200-watt motor. It can do small jobs, too, however, with the included 2.5-ounce mini bowl. The large bowl has an extra-wide feed chute for adding whole ingredients like tomatoes, but you can swap this out for a narrow chute for inserting longer food items such as carrots more easily.
Breville has included eight attachments with the Sous Chef as well: Along with three different S-blades (large and small steel blades and one plastic hook for kneading dough), you get five specialized slicing and shredding discs. These include a Julienne disc for fine slicing, a whisking disc, a French fry cutter, and an adjustable disc that can create slices ranging in thickness from 0.3 to 8mm.
Another nice design feature of the Sous Chef’s bowls is that they are totally sealed. This is in contrast to other processors, which often have an opening at the bottom of the working bowl to interface with the motor – a potential leakage point through which liquids can seep. Some additional conveniences include an LCD screen with a built-in timer that can count up or down and a caddy for storing all of the attachments when the Sous Chef is not in use.
Breville thought of just about everything when designing this powerhouse, but if there’s one drawback to the Sous Chef, it’s that the motor gets hot when in use for awhile. This heat could become a problem when kneading yeast-based dough, so be sure to slow down and take your time when doing so.
The other consideration is the cost. This is a high-end unit with a price tag to match, but if you’re a serious home chef who wants to “buy the best and only cry once,” then the Sous Chef is the one.
Pros: Two working bowls for jobs large and small, a powerful 1,200-watt induction motor, eight specialized attachments to handle a wide variety of processing tasks, wide and narrow feed chutes for inserting whole ingredients, LCD screen with timer, and a handy storage caddy for the blades
Cons: It’s expensive, and the powerful motor may generate too much heat for kneading dough if not used carefully
Best hybrid food processor and blender
The Ninja Master Prep Professional Blender a great blender and food processor hybrid with a unique and portable design, powerful motor, and three different sized bowls for all your food prep needs.
You can tell just by looking at it that the Ninja Master Prep is not your standard food processor. There’s no traditional base or control buttons, there are three different working bowls, and the motor housing goes on top. Yet this unique design is exactly what makes the Master Prep one of our favorites. It’s that it effectively doubles as both a food processor and a blender.
We recommend the Professional model, which contains the complete Ninja Master Prep system. Along with the 450-watt Power Pod, the package includes three working “bowls” – a large 48-ounce pitcher, a 40-ounce bowl, and a small 16-ounce jar. You also get two attachments, one six-blade assembly with three “stacked” S-blades for use in the large pitcher, and a smaller stacked four-blade assembly for the 40- and 16-ounce bowls.
Two lids, one for the larger containers and one for the small jar, are nice for preparing things ahead of time and for whipping up creations in larger batches that you can toss into the fridge for later. The tall pitcher is perfect for making shakes and smoothies, while the 40-ounce bowl is better for more traditional food processing tasks. The 16-ounce jar is ideal for mixing up smaller things like sauces, baby food, and single-serve items.
The unique design of the Master Prep comes with some disadvantages, one relatively minor, and one that could be a deal-breaker depending on your needs. The top-motor design requires that you remove the Power Pod from the working container in order to add new ingredients, so there’s no lid to pop open. The second, bigger drawback is that the stacked S-blades are designed to chop and blend. There’s no slicing or shredding disc for things like cheese. Any ingredients you add are going to get pulverized, but on the bright side, it easily crushes ice.
The Ninja hybrid design is fine for making purees, sauces, dips, baby food, smoothies, and so on, but if you need slicing and shredding functionality, then a traditional processor like our other picks might be better.
But what the Ninja Master Prep Pro sacrifices in processing utility it more than makes up for in its versatility and blending capability. If you need a hybrid food processor that can chop food as well as it can make smoothies, then this one is a great option (and an affordable one at $50).
Pros: Three working bowls to handle different jobs, strong motor and steel blades are good at chopping up hard ingredients like ice, portable and easy to use “power pod” design, and versatile operation for a variety of blending and food processing tasks
Cons: The top-motor design of the power pod requires you to disassemble the unit to add new ingredients, and there’s no disc for slicing and shredding
Best mini food processor
The KitchenAid KFC3516ER 3.5 Cup Food Chopper is ideal and convenient for small prepping needs. The size makes it easy to store away or keep on your counter.
You’re obviously not going to be preparing large meals with it, but a miniature food processor still deserves a place in your kitchen. A smaller unit is ideal for homes where counter space is limited and times when you’re only making food for one or two people. It also serves particularly well as a dedicated machine for making sauces, purees, and baby foods.
If your food processing needs are relatively small or you just need something to whip up dressings and the like, then this unit from KitchenAid is just the ticket. There are a number of popular mini food processors out there, and KitchenAid’s is just as good as any other for making meals for yourself and another person, but where this one really shines is in the little design details.
First among these is the way it operates: The 3.5-cup working bowl features an over-sized handle for easy gripping, but instead of on/off/pulse switches on the motor housing, the handle itself has a button that you operate with your thumb. Choose the setting you want by flipping the switch on the base – it’s got two speeds, one for chopping and one for pureeing, plus a pulse function – and depress the button to get the S-blades spinning.
The blade mechanism is also somewhat unique. The S-blade attachment locks into the bottom of the bowl itself rather than directly into the motor housing, allowing you to remove the entire working bowl, blade and all, and pour your mix right away. There’s no reaching into the bowl to remove a messy attachment until you’re ready to clean up, which is easy enough considering both the bowl and blades are dishwasher-safe.
The lid of the KitchenAid food processor features a neat drip basin, too, making it a great workhorse for making sauces and dressings via the emulsion process, which requires you to slowly add ingredients such as oils to your mixture as you blend.
At around $35 (and available in a wide array of colors instead of just the usual white/black/silver), it’s an inexpensive, unobtrusive, and surprisingly feature-rich addition to your cooking station.
Pros: Works very well for small jobs, convenient and simple push-button operation, it’s small and light for easy storage, the lid has a drizzle basin for making emulsion sauces, it’s a great value, and it’s available in a wide variety of colors
Cons: Only comes with a single S-blade attachment, and its small 3.5-cup bowl and 240-watt motor limit its ability to process large and difficult ingredients
What to look for when buying a food processor
If you’re someone who dreads slicing, dicing, shredding, and chopping by hand, then get a good food processor to do the heavy lifting for you. Any good food processor will be able to tackle a number of different tasks, but it can be difficult to choose the right one for your kitchen since prices vary greatly, and different cooks have different needs. Here’s what to consider before buying:
Capacity: Food processors come in a wide range of sizes, with the prep bowl typically being measured in cups. Note that listed size does not equal the amount of ingredients you can actually put in the bowl. Generally, you can fill a working bowl 2/3rds of the way full for solid ingredients and about half of the way full for liquids. Three- to six-cup processors are fine for one to three people and for smaller jobs like making sauces, with the added bonus of being relatively small and light so you can move and stow them when not in use.
Eight- to 10-cup processors are good for mid-sized households, while food processors with 12- to 16-cup working bowls are ideal for preparing ingredients for large groups and families. If you’re not quite sure what you need, it’s better to err on the big side, as a larger processor can still handle smaller jobs when you need it to. Large food processors will also naturally take up more space, although their motors are generally better-insulated and won’t make as much of a racket.
Attachments: As with size, what attachments and blades you need boils down to what you want your food processor to do. Some small and basic units may come with one to three attachments, while others may have seven or eight and you can buy additional ones separately to perform different prep tasks. Quality attachments should be durable, easy to install and remove, dishwasher-safe, and made of good materials like durable plastics and rust-resistant stainless steel.
Standard accessories are made for general jobs like chopping, shredding, and slicing, while specialized attachments like Julienne blades or French fry cutters can let you perform very specific tasks. Some mid- to high-end food processors also feature adjustable slicing blades so you can customize your setup even further.
Convenience: A good food processor should be easy to use, feature attachments that aren’t a pain to install or clean, and have a feed chute that’s wide enough for adding the ingredients you need. Some, like the Breville Sous Chef and Cuisinart 14-cup food processors, have nice wide chutes that require minimal pre-processing before adding your ingredients.
Others, like the Hamilton Beach 10-cup processor, have narrower chutes which may require you to do some quick chopping before adding large things like round vegetables or cheese blocks. A well-designed working bowl that’s easy to clean and seals tightly to the motor housing is also important for preventing wet or powdery ingredients from seeping out during use.