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If you dislike kitchen prep, then you want the best food processor. Here are one culinary pro’s favorites options.
A good food processor makes kitchen prep and cooking an enjoyable experience. Consider a food processor your sous chef, helping you with the tasks that often slow you down.
On the flip side, lower quality machines can deflate even the most enthusiastic cook, as dull blades can mangle fresh produce and weak motors can’t process large volumes of food.
To find the best food processor that fits your specific needs, it’s important to do your research before buying.
Smaller models can chop, grind, and blend, making it a breeze to create salad dressings and salsas, while larger machines excel at shredding blocks of cheese or kneading bread dough.
Keep reading for our picks of the best food processors.
- Best food processor overall: The Breville Sous Chef 12
- Best budget food processor: Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor with Bowl Scraper
- Best premium food processor: The Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro
- Best cordless food processor: KitchenAid Cordless 5 Cup Food Chopper
- Best food processor-blender combo: Ninja Professional Plus 3-in-1 Kitchen System with Auto-iQ
- Best food processor if you need a larger capacity: Cuisinart Elemental 13 Cup Food Processor with Dicing
- Best compact food processor: Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus 3 Cup Food Processor
We selected the best food processors based on the following criteria:
- Ease of use: Is the food processor easy to use?
- Capacity: How much food can the food processor hold?
- Features: What functions and accessories are included?
- Personal experience and customer reviews: What do actual users think of the food processor?
- Vetting: All products included have been vetted to ensure that they meet Healthline’s business standards.
A note on price
General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas four dollar signs mean a higher cost.
Generally, prices range from $40–$400, though this may vary depending on where you shop.
- $ = under $100
- $$ = $101–$200
- $$$ = $201–$300
- $$$$ = over $300
- Price: $$$
- Power: 1,000-watt induction motor
- Capacity: 12 cups (2.8 liters)
- Programs/modes: On, Pulse
- Included accessories: multiple feed chutes, adjustable slicing disc (with 24 settings), micro-serrated S-blade, dough blade
The Breville Sous Chef 12 food processor has both a large motor and a large capacity, which allow it to handle big jobs.
It excels at pureeing soups and mixing batters. Plus, it has an adjustable slicing disc perfect for cutting vegetables paper-thin (0.3 mm) — hello, potato gratin! — or into larger slices for crudite platters.
Three feed chutes make it possible to add foods of varying shapes and sizes, meaning the machine can handle both long and oddly shaped foods that might be challenging for other models.
While a bit higher priced, one user I spoke with says the price is warranted. She loves that the unit is sturdy and strong and doesn’t bounce around on her counter when used. She also says the attachments allow her to get meal prep done quickly.
This processor also includes a safety feature that stops the blade if the lid opens, which is great, especially if little hands are nearby.
- can handle large kitchen tasks
- adjustable slicing disk
- large feed chute for bigger food items
- not great for processing small amounts of food
- manufacturer recommends handwashing many parts
- cumbersome to lift and move
Best budget food processor
- Price: $
- Power: 450 watts
- Capacity: 10 cups (2.4 liters)
- Programs/modes: Low, High, Pulse
- Included accessories: large feed chute, S-blade, reversible slice/shred disc, bowl scraper or spiralizer
The Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor is an inexpensive food processor with good functionality.
While its motor is a bit on the small side and may not handle processing large loads of food well, it still gets rave reviews for its ability to handle basic day-to-day jobs, from shredding cheese to slicing vegetables.
This processor comes with a built-in bowl scraper, which means no more stopping midprocess to clean off the sides of the bowl. It’s also available with a spiralizer — for making zoodles or sweet potato noodles — instead of the scraper.
The food processor offers two speeds along with a pulsing option. And cleaning is a breeze because the bowl, lid, and blades are all dishwasher-safe.
However, some reviewers point out that the lid doesn’t create a perfect seal — so fill appropriately and pulse liquids with caution.
- option to purchase with bowl scraper or spiralizer attachment
- many parts are dishwasher-safe
- low wattage compared with other models
- feed chute is on the small side
- may not be ideal for pulsing liquids
Best premium food processor
- Price: $$$$
- Power: 1,200-watt induction motor
- Capacity: 16 cups (3.8 liters)
- Programs/modes: On, Pulse, Pause, Timer
- Included accessories: large feed chute, small and large processing bowls, 5 slicing disks (adjustable slicer, julienne, french fry, whisker, and reversible shredded), 3 blades (micro-serrated S-blade, mini blade, and dough blade), spatula, cleaning brush, storage box
The Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro is designed for the home cook who needs or wants serious help with cooking and food prep.
It comes with multiple accessories, including a smaller bowl that fits inside the larger processing bowl, allowing you to process both small and large quantities of food.
I personally use and love this machine. It can handle big jobs like making nut butters and grate a large batch of carrots. It’s a bit heavy to lug in and out of my cabinet, but that’s a minor price to pay considering all it can do.
It’s equipped with a powerful motor that can handle heavy-duty jobs without stuttering.
- two bowl sizes
- numerous attachments, including 5 slicing disks and 3 blades
- large feed chute
- many attachments are dishwasher-safe
- heavy (35 pounds / 15.9 kg)
- takes up a large amount of counter space
- bowl and lid aren’t dishwasher-safe
Best cordless food processor
- Price: $
- Power: 220 volts
- Capacity: 5 cups (1.2 liters)
- Programs/modes: 2 speeds and pulse operation
- Included accessories: battery charger, multipurpose stainless steel blade, whisk
If being able to use your food processor wherever you want is important to you, then choosing a cordless model, like this option from KitchenAid, is a good idea.
When the rechargeable lithium-ion battery is fully charged, the machine can “chop up to 40 onions,” according to the manufacturer.
With a 5-cup (1.2-liter) capacity, the food processor can handle small mixing, chopping, and pureeing jobs. It also comes with a whisk attachment, which means a batch of whipped cream is never far away.
This model only has two speeds plus a pulse operation, so be prepared to toggle through them to find a speed that works for your task. I find the switch a bit cumbersome since you have to slide left or right through the options to get to the acition you’re looking for.
But as a bonus, the food processor is available in several colors, including Empire Red and Blue Velvet.
- rechargeable battery with included charger
- small and easy to store
- great for small jobs
- bowl, lid, and accessories are top-rack dishwasher-safe
- available in multiple colors
- needs to be recharged before each use
- small capacity
- fewer accessories than others on our list
Best food processor-blender combo
- Price: $$
- Power: 1,200 watts
- Capacity: 8-cup (1.2-liter) processor bowl, 72-ounce (2-liter) blender pitcher, 18-ounce (532-mL) single-serve cup
- Programs/modes: Low, Medium, High, Pulse, Chop, Dough, Smoothie, Ice Crush, Extract
- Included accessories: Precision Processor Bowl, Blender Pitcher, 2 single-serve cups with spout lids, stacked blade, dough blade, chopping blade, Pro Extractor Blades for single-serve cups
Can’t decide between a new blender or food processor? With the Ninja Professional Plus 3-in-1 Kitchen System, you don’t have to choose.
The machine stands out for its five Auto-iQ presets that are designed to blend smoothies perfectly, chop foods, and make dough with just the touch of a button.
The Ninja comes with a large 72-ounce (2-liter) blender pitcher, one single-serving blender cup, an 8-cup (1.2-liter) food processing bowl, and multiple blades.
Thanks to all these attachments, you can slice, chop, and dice nearly any food while also having the option to blend smoothies, soups, and nut butters. There’s even an ice crushing setting for all your frozen drink needs.
You can’t beat the price for what you get with this Ninja System. But also keep that in mind when purchasing. If you’re not using any of the pieces, then they’ll just be taking up space in your pantry.
- Auto-iQ presets
- includes blender and food processor attachments
- many parts are dishwasher-safe
- requires more storage space due to size and attachments
- some reviewers complain of easily breakable plastic parts
Best food processor if you need a larger capacity
- Price: $$
- Power: 550 watts
- Capacity: 13-cup (3-liter) large bowl, 4.5-cup (1-liter) small bowl
- Programs/modes: High, Low, Pulse
- Included accessories: two workbowls, chopping/mixing blade, dough blade, small and large S-blades, reversible shredding disc, adjustable slicing disk, dicing disk
While it doesn’t offer as powerful of a motor as others on this list, the Cuisinart Elemental 13 Cup Food Processor is plenty capable of handling most day-to-day jobs in the kitchen.
Like the Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro, it has a large capacity but it’s more reasonable in price if you don’t need all the premium features and accessories.
Cusinart is a trusted brand that’s been around for awhile and many of its customers have old units that they continue to like and use. A foodie friend recently told us that she’s had her Cuisinart for more than 20 years and it’s still going strong.
It comes with its fair share of attachments. In addition to multiple blades and disks, the machine comes with both a large and a small workbowl, allowing for greater versatility. As a bonus, the processor includes a handy storage case.
- many parts are dishwasher-safe
- storage container included
- comes with a small and large workbowl
- lid can be challenging to use
- dicing attachment has several negative reviews
Best compact food processor
- Price: $
- Power: 250 watts
- Capacity: 3 cups (720 mL)
- Programs/modes: Chop and Grind
- Included accessories: stainless steel blade with sharp and blunt edges, spatula
Compact in size and weighing just over 2 pounds (1 kg), the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus 3 Cup Food Processor is great for tight spaces and small kitchen jobs.
You can easily tuck it into a cabinet and pull it out whenever you need help grinding spices and seeds or chopping herbs for garnishes.
I love this model for quick tasks. It’s especially great for making small-batch salad dressings or if you need to chop nuts quickly. It’s small too, which means it doesn’t take up too much precious cabinet space.
It has two modes — chopping and grinding — and is simple to use. Plus, the lid and blade are easy to remove and wash.
- dual-use blade for chopping and grinding
- small capacity for quickly prepping small amounts of food
- compact and lightweight
- small motor can’t handle heavy-duty tasks
- blade isn’t designed for precise cuts
Here’s a quick look at how our top picks compare:
|Breville Sous Chef 12||Hamilton Beach 10-Cup||Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro||KitchenAid Cordless 5-Cup||Ninja Professional Plus 3-in-1||Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup||Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus 3-Cup|
|Power||1,000 watts||450 watts||1,200 watts||220 volts||1,200 watts||550 watts||250 watts|
|Max capacity||12 cups (2.8 liters)||10 cups (2.4 liters)||16 cups (3.8 liters)||5 cups (1.2 liters)||8 cups (1.2 liters)||13 cups (3 liters)||3 cups (720 mL)|
|• 2 speeds|
• Ice Crush
|• Chop |
|Blades||• dough |
|S-blade||• dough |
|multi-purpose||• chopping |
• Pro Extractor Blades
|• dough |
• large S-blade
• small S-blade
|sharp and blunt-edged|
|Discs||adjustable slicing (24 settings)||reversible slice/shred||• adjustable slicer|
• french fry
• reversible shred
|none||none||• slicing |
|Other accessories||multiple feed chutes||• large feed chute|
• bowl scraper or spiralizer
|• large feed chute|
• small and large bowls
• cleaning brush
• storage box
|• battery charger|
|• 72-ounce (2-liter) blender pitcher |
• two 24-ounce (709 mL) single-serve blending cups with lids
If you’re considering purchasing a new food processor, there are several factors to consider, including usage needs, size, capacity, weight, functions, cost, power, and ease of cleaning.
Before purchasing, you’ll want to evaluate what tasks you need your food processor to do.
For example, if you need help with small food prep chores, such as chopping onions or blending salsas, then a smaller, compact version might be a good fit.
In contrast, you’ll want to look for a larger machine if you have multiple mouths to feed and plan on making dishes such as slaws, salads, and pizzas.
Space or storage needs
Food processors come in many shapes and sizes. Compact versions are great for smaller spaces where countertop real estate and storage capacity are limited.
Capacity is the amount the food processor holds. This is important, especially when you consider your usage needs.
Smaller food processors can hold 2–4 cups (273–946 mL) of food, while larger models can typically hold up to 16 cups (3.8 liters).
That means if you plan on chopping a bunch of Swiss chard or blending up a big batch of soup, a larger capacity model would be a better fit.
Bigger models often come with larger motors. This makes them great (usually) at performing hard tasks. A larger motor also often means a quiet motor.
The downside of a high performance motor, though, is weight.
Large motors can be heavy, which is important to keep in mind if having to lift a heavy food processor is a deal-breaker for you.
Functions are the bells and whistles that food processors offer, including modes and accessories.
Some models keep things simple and are equipped to handle a handful of the basic tasks, such as chopping, blending, and slicing.
In contrast, others offer special programs or accessories for kneading pizza dough, grinding meat, shredding cheese, or even blending soups.
The best food processor isn’t necessarily the most expensive one.
However, a really good one will typically cost somewhere between $50 and $150. Luckily, there are many food processors that fit within this price range.
Measured in watts, the power of a food processor’s motor is another important factor to consider.
A small 250-watt motor should be able to handle chopping and grinding small amounts of herbs, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
However, if you plan on processing large volumes of food or using your machine for tougher tasks such as kneading dough, you’ll want a stronger motor offering at least 600 watts.
Keeping your food processor clean can be a big chore. However, it’s an important one, because your machine can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria.
To make your life easier, look for a machine with parts and pieces that are easy to reach and easy to clean. Some models even include parts that are dishwasher-safe.
How do I know what size food processor I need?
Your size needs will depend on what you need your processor to be able to do.
If you envision using it for shredding large quantities of vegetables, pureeing batches of soup, or kneading bread dough, go with a 10-cup (2.4-liter) or larger processor.
However, if you plan on using your machine for smaller jobs, like making salad dressings or chopping herbs, a smaller capacity processor will work just fine.
What can I use a food processor for?
The better question might be “What can’t I use a food processor for?”
Simply stated, a food processor can act as your sous chef by prepping many of the ingredients and condiments for your meal.
Here are some examples of ways you can use a food processor:
- grating carrots
- slicing onions
- chopping peppers
- spiralizing zucchini
- pureeing dips such as hummus
- kneading dough
- pulsing nuts into nut butter
- blending ingredients for homemade granola bars
How does a food processor compare to a blender?
Most blenders are designed with a small blade at the bottom of a tall blending cup. The motor spins the blade, pulverizing what’s at the bottom, while also spinning the other ingredients to mix or blend them.
A food processor, on the other hand, has an S-shaped blade positioned at the center of the processor bowl. The blade’s shape allows the processor to perform a variety of food prep tasks, such as chopping and pureeing.
Food processors also come with several attachments, such as slicing disks, that thinly slice, julienne, or grate your ingredients.
In general, blenders are best for liquids, such as smoothies and soups. Food processors excel at prepping foods that are more solid, though they also work well for small amounts of liquids, such as salad dressings and dips.
Some food processors can be used to puree soups — just be sure to check the user manual beforehand.
How much is reasonable to spend on a food processor?
The amount you’ll spend on a food processor depends on your needs and budget.
A simple food processor without a multitude of functions and extra attachments can do a fine job, but if you want a machine that offers more power and versatility, you’ll have to graduate to a bigger — and usually more expensive — model.
Luckily, food processors are available at a wide range of price points.
A food processor is a handy kitchen tool that can help with some of the prep work that many home cooks find daunting or time consuming.
To find the one that best fits your needs, you’ll want to consider how you plan on using it, as well as your budget.
While it’s a bit of an investment, adding a food processor to your arsenal of kitchen equipment will make it even easier to create the meals you love.