Food processors have been a mandatory kitchen appliance for professional chefs and serious cooks since their introduction in the late ’60s and early ’70s.
Originally, their cost and size made them unappealing to most people, but today’s food processors are affordable, relatively compact and available in a host of colors and sizes. Not only that, but modern food processors have evolved from a single-function appliance to a jack-of-all-trades kitchen necessity. Whether you want to stop the tears when chopping onions or your carpal tunnel won’t let you knead bread dough, there’s a food processor out there that can get the job done.
5 Major Criteria We Considered When Choosing the Best Food Processors
Picking the best food processors on the today’s technology market is a tricky process. The manufacturers do anything possible to ensure their products are of the highest quality. But it’s often just a trick to make people spend their money on the appliances they’re going to throw away in a few months. We know those tricks and we know how to determine the best food processors. Here’s a list of the major criteria we pay attention to when creating this review.
1. Overall features
We reviewed the overall features of each food processor and compared them with the price and performance the manufacturers offer.
2. Durability and warranty
It’s not a secret that the warranty period can reveal the time your machine will possibly serve you. However, it’s not always the case. We checked out the durability level and warranty period of each food processor to see how long it could serve its customers.
The heart of the food processor, it’s critically important to check the wattage of the machine’s motor. The higher the wattage, the more powerful your food processor is. A powerful motor ensures the most effective food processing results.
4. Customer feedback
The manufacturer may write top-notch features of their product and promise the highest level of durability possible, but customers are the only ones who test and rate the product in their everyday lives. We considered each positive and negative feedback to be sure the manufacturer’s promises are real.
The accessories enhance the machine’s performance and versatility. Moreover, they make cooking easier. Not to mention that it’s always a pleasure to buy one machine but receive incredible bonuses.
5 Best Food Processors to Choose From
After checking out and comparing all of the top models on the market, we have selected our top five favorites to review here. We think that these represent the best of the best right now and any one of these makes a great addition to your kitchen.
1. Hamilton Beach 70740 8-Cup Food Processor
Tired of chopping by hand? This food processor will quickly slice through all your fruits and veggies. Boasts 2-speeds and strong 450 watt motor.
Its stainless steel blade is dishwasher safe and can be flipped over for shredding or chopping. Stores in a compact space, with its reversible lid that nests in the unit. A large chute allows for bulk chopping while protecting your hands.
The number one best-selling model in the food processor category on Amazon, Hamilton Beach 70740 8-Cup Food Processor deserves to be the first on our list, too. Unlike #2 Conair Cuisinart food processor that has a 250 watt motor, the Hamilton Beach features a powerful 450 watt motor that ensures more effective results. Although this is not the most powerful food processor on the market, the machine works great for the basic tasks.
The Hamilton Beach is incredibly-budget-friendly and lightweight. It features the suction cups on the bottom, keeping the food processor stable on the counter. It’s well-designed, ensuring the blades do an excellent job of drawing ingredients down for the uniform chopping.
However, this food processor isn’t suitable for processing small amounts of food. Otherwise, you will need to scrape the sides several times while also removing the lid. If you need to process the small amount of food, it’s best to choose #2 Conair Cuisinart mini food processor that has 3 cup work bowl. If you don’t mind scraping, though, and you often need to process the large chunks of food, the Hamilton Beach will become your best friend.
When it comes to speed, the Hamilton Beach model is fantastically fast. You can make a sauce, puree, or nut butter in a matter of a few seconds. The “Pulse” option helps you control the process but it seems to work even faster. The downside is, it’s hard to slice the softer food or get a certain form of chopped fruit or vegetables. This is where you should learn how to control the speed and where to stop. Experiment with slicing, shredding or mixing a small amount of food instead of the bigger one to avoid food waste.
The Hamilton Beach food processor features the stainless steel disc that allows you to cut vegetables into thin slices. The disc is versatile and reversible for shredding and grating and it works well for firm cheeses and various veggies. But the machine has trouble slicing soft foods due to very high speed and non-adjustable thickness. There are also several additional discs for the Hamilton Beach you can buy if you’re serious about cooking. But typically, one reversible disc is enough to satisfy the basic processing needs.
Unlike #4 BRAUN food processor, the Hamilton Beach model can’t be used for kneading the dough as it doesn’t include a gentle dough blade. Moreover, you can slice veggies but you can’t cube them. According to the user manual, you can’t crush ice, slice frozen meats, and grind coffee beans, grain, and spices. The machine isn’t designed for serious tasks so reconsider your cooking needs before you make your purchase.
It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Many customers complain about the broken machine after trying to crush ice cubes, shredding a lot of cheese, and making the dough. It’s all because they didn’t follow the instructions. If you need a more powerful and versatile machine, consider choosing #3 Breville food processor that features 3 blades and 5 multi-function discs, albeit there’s no information about the motor wattage.
2. Conair Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini Prep Plus Food Processor
The Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor offers a sleek, modern design that will look great in any kitchen. The 250 watt processor has simple controls which allow you to easily navigate the machine, cutting and chopping with stainless steel blades.
Perfectly chopping foods such as onions, nuts, and more, the Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor makes time in the kitchen a little bit easier. It also has the perfect size – only 24 ounces – so it isn’t too big or too small for your kitchen counter or kitchen storage. Adding to its convenience, the dishwasher safe components that are included make the post processing cleanup easy.
If you think the small, compact size of the Conair Cuisinart food processor is a big drawback, you’re mistaken. In reality, it’s a great advantage. Just think when you don’t use it, you can easily hide it or if you use it daily, it can find its small space on any countertop. It’s lightweight so it’s easy to move and clean. Not to mention that a contemporary design will suit any kitchen’s interior. But these are the less important things. The power of this machine is what matters most.
As mentioned above, unlike #1 Hamilton Beach, the Conair Cuisinart model features a 250 watt motor. It may seem too small at first, but let’s not forget about the machine’s size. This power is enough to chop fruit and veggies, make baby food, grind spices, make thick smoothies, slice cheese, grind spices, chop herbs, and many more.
Precutting is a must since the food processor is too small to process the whole veggies or large chunks of food. Having a 3 cup food processor in the kitchen is like having a tiny helper. If you need to mince garlic cloves, for instance, you won’t run an 8 or 14 cup food processor, right? The 3 cup model will quickly tackle this task, though.
The Conair Cuisinart food processor doesn’t feature a set of 8 blades and discs like #3 Breville model. Yet, it can finely grind hard cheeses and chop fresh herbs due to its special auto reversing smart blade. This multifunction stainless steel blade is blunt on the one side and sharp on the other side. The blunt side works well for grinding solid ingredients while the sharp side is great for chopping vegetables.
The food processor has the easy-to-use interface with two buttons – “Grind” and “Chop.” When you need to chop, mix, or puree the ingredients, press the button “Chop.” If you want to grind solid food, confidently press the “Grind” button. You can go back and forth between the functions to get the results you need. There’s also the “Pulse” option that gives you more possibilities and control when processing different types of food.
Despite its diverse versatility, the Conair Cuisinart food processor is like #1 Hamilton Beach model can’t do many things. It’s not recommended to make bread dough, crush ice cubes, and very soft ingredients. But you can freely create homemade nut butter, mayonnaise, spreads, sauces, and many more. Follow the instructions, though, and don’t overload the machine. If you add too much liquid, it can leak.
To sum up, the Conair Cuisinart food processor is an awesome addition to your kitchen. It has a contemporary design with perfectly brushed chrome finish and it has a relatively powerful motor for its compact size. However, it does require food preparation before processing. There’s a recipe book included to give you some ideas on what you can do with this mini helper. If you want to have both mini and maxi sized food processors, but can’t afford to buy two separately, consider the next model #3 Breville.
3. Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef Food Processor
The Breville Sous Chef Food Processor has a sleek design that will look great in any kitchen. Having the perfect size, this food processor can fit well on the kitchen counter or storage. With a large tube to place fruits and vegetables in, you won’t need to pre-cut foods prior to processing.
It also comes with two cups: 16 cup large bowl as well as a mini bowl holding 2.5 cups so there is some customization available for use. Adding to the high end look and feel, the Breville Sous Chef Food Processor has an automatic timer on display for added convenience. With 5 discs and 3 blades this processor is a great addition to any kitchen.
However, is it really worth its price tag? Let’s take a closer look at all the features the Breville food processor has to find out the answer to that question. First of all, it’s crucial to mention that the Breville model boasts a super powerful 1200 watt direct drive motor that is almost three times more powerful than #1 Hamilton Beach’s motor. Thanks to its highly efficient motor, the Breville food processor can cope with any hard-to-process ingredients in a few seconds.
The food processor features an extra wide feed chute (5.5-inch) that allows you to process food without pre-cutting it. Not only does it help you save time, but it also prevents you from spending your effort on such a boring task like cutting. The impressive set of 8 high quality blades and discs will satisfy all your cooking needs. The Breville model has an astonishing speed control system, too. It has 24 (!) different settings while #4 Braun has 11 speed settings and #1 Hamilton Beach has only 2 settings. The Breville food processor allows you to cut vegetables from 0.3 mm (thin) to 8.0 mm (thick) slices.
What makes the Breville model special and professional is that it includes a mini 2.5 cup work bowl apart from a big 16 cup work bowl. It can speed up your cooking process and you can choose the bowl needed for a specific task. For instance, if you need to chop fresh herbs or mince a few garlic cloves, you simply choose a mini 2.5 cup work bowl. If you are going to cook meals in bulk, simply choose the larger bowl.
Unlike #1 Hamilton Beach and #2 Conair Cuisinart models, the Breville food processor is designed to handle even the most difficult food processing tasks. It features a micro-serrated S blade that provides fast results. Moreover, the food processor includes a mini blade for use with a mini 2.5 cup work bowl and a dough blade for combining ingredients and kneading the dough.
The disc set includes a reversible shredding disc, a whisking disc, a French fry cutting disc, and julienne disc. They are all housed in a convenient cost-free accessory storage, so you won’t need to buy any disc and blade holders. Slice, chop, and mix ingredients in no time, without precutting them. The food processor features super wide feed chute, making it possible to process the whole fruit and veggies.
The Breville model has an LCD display that has a countdown and count up a timer to ensure consistency and precision. The machine also has a high level of safety and it won’t start working until you assemble all the parts correctly. Both work bowls are BPA free and there’s the silicone seal that prevents leakage when processing the liquid ingredients. The non-slip rubber pads on the bottom help to keep the food processor in place, even when processing solid food.
The customers mostly leave the positive feedback and what they like most about this machine is that it cuts all the ingredients into the optimal size pieces they want. Plus, they appreciate the easy operation and abundant speed settings. Of course, there are negative feedbacks, too. For instance, one customer reported about the meltdown of the inner plastic of the lid after making an almond butter.
Reading the manufacturer’s instructions is a must as it helps to use the machine correctly and prolong its lifespan. When it comes to price, the Breville food processor is rather expensive, but we can confidently say that it’s worth its price tag.
4. Braun FP3020 12 Cup Food Processor
The Braun 12-Cup Food Processor has everything a home chef could want-and then some. Not just a food processor, this is a juicer as well. Use the processor for a variety of different things such as chopping, whisking, and kneading.
It comes with a variety of speeds and a pulsing option for optimal customization for your food. With dishwasher safe parts, the Braun 12-Cup Food Processor makes clean up easy. This great processor can be used for both soft and hard foods, so it makes for the perfect “all in one” food processor for your kitchen.
When compared to #3 Breville food processor, the Braun model has a less powerful 600 watt motor. However, according to the manufacturer, the machine’s motor can produce more than 900 watts of power. Despite such a powerful motor, the food processor works relatively quietly. Instead of a full-blast bawl most food processors produce, a motor of the Braun model just lets out a soft hiss.
The Braun model includes a 12 cup work bowl while #1 Hamilton Beach features an 8 cup work bowl and #3 features a 16 cup work bowl. This is a medium-sized food processor that is able to satisfy the majority of daily cooking needs. If you often make smooth soups and flavored sauces, the Braun model will be a huge helper.
The Braun food processor has an extra wide feed chute that can accommodate the whole veggies, including tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. Sometimes, you’ll need to pre-cut some ingredients, though, to ensure the smooth and even results.
There are the “On,” “Off,” and “Pulse” buttons along with 11 speed settings to choose from. The pulse mode gives you more control but it’s better to process the ingredients fast at the desired speed. The machine also features a preset speed function. This function takes the effect right away and cuts the food into even pieces. Unlike all three food processors mentioned above, the Braun food processor will give you a total control over your processing speed – literally.
Chopping, grating, slicing, shredding, whisking, kneading, blending, and whipping are just a few of processes that the Braun food processor can handle with a breeze. The machine includes a set of 7 blades and inserts, along with a chopper. When compared to the other models on the list, the Braun food processor features the citrus juicer add-on. What can be more versatile?
The Braun food processor isn’t just powerful, but also incredibly durable. It’s made of food-safe stainless steel, which is one of the most durable materials used to design kitchen appliances. Although it’s not completely nickel-free, the machine is safe for food preparation and it will last you for a decade, if not longer. Unfortunately, there’s no information about whether the machine’s work bowl is BPA-free, but we hope it’s.
When it comes to safety, the Braun model doesn’t differ from the other food processors. It doesn’t work until the machine is properly assembled and the lid is tightly closed. Furthermore, the processing bowl locks onto the motor base and the processing begins instantly at any speed setting you pick.
Overall, the food processor isn’t bulky, it’s quiet, provides excellent performance, and is easy to clean. Perhaps, the only drawback is the absence of suction cups on the base, increasing the risk of your machine sliding all around the kitchen countertop. With the food processor, you’ll receive one year warranty for the whole unit.
5. Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14 Cup Food Processor
The Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor not only shines with its stainless steel base it is a prime, powerful food processor. It slices, shreds, and chops full fruits and vegetables in its large feed tube.
The major features of the 14-cup work bowl and stainless steel mixing blade ensures a no mess process. The power and capacity of the Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor are met with its dishwasher safe easy clean. Shine and shred at the same time while keeping counter-tops clean.
The Cuisinart 14 cup food processor slightly resembles the Braun food processor, yet it seems to have a larger capacity and a more powerful motor. Both models are made of stainless steel and look stylish, but also have different speed settings and sets of blades and discs. The Cuisinart 14 cup food processor includes stainless steel all-purpose chopping and mixing blade, medium shredding disc, stainless steel 4 mm slicing disc, and plastic dough blade.
While # 1 Hamilton Beach and #2 Conair Cuisinart DLC-2ABC models don’t allow dough kneading, this Cuisinart food processor features a gentle dough blade that can help you create almost any type of dough. Other blades and discs are perfect for whipping, making breadcrumbs, mixing the batter, kneading the dough, chopping nuts, grating and shredding cheeses, pureeing fish and meats, making baby food and soups, as well as processing fruit and veggies.
The Cuisinart 14 cup food processor boasts a 720-watt heavy-duty motor, which is powerful enough to tackle even the hardest processing tasks. Despite its super powerful motor, the machine works quietly, even on the highest speed. Thanks to its extra large feed tube, you can process the whole fruit and veggies, without pre-cutting them. The Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY model has the control paddles with the “On,” “Pulse,” and “Off” options. You may have trouble adjusting the thickness of slices.
Unlike the Braun food processor, the Cuisinart 14 cup food processor doesn’t include too many attachments but they’re all available online for extra pay. If you’re not going to use the food processor professionally, though, you won’t need any additional attachments. #2 Conair Cuisinart DLC-2ABC model is a wonderful match for this Cuisinart food processor.
Apart from all the stuff mentioned above, the Cuisinart 14 cup food processor includes large and small pushers and BPA free work bowl. The machine is easy to clean with both methods – in a dishwasher or by hand. The Cuisinart 14 cup food processor was built to North American Electrical Standards and lets you choose between 7 food prep functions.
Surely, this machine isn’t perfect. It’s a bit hard to reassemble and since the food processor provides the high level of safety, you should make sure you put it back together correctly after cleaning it. Moreover, you may have trouble removing the food pieces that often build up in the safety mechanism. Depending on what you’re processing, you may need to wash the units by hand prior to loading them in your dishwasher.
Unlike aforementioned food processors, the Cuisinart model offers a 3 year limited warranty. Cuisinart is internationally known for its durability but it’s important to follow the instructions the manufacturer provides. Even though there are some negative feedbacks about the Cuisinart 14 cup food processor, it has a high ranking on Amazon.
The Ultimate Food Processor Buying Guide
When you start to compare the best food processors on the market right now, you will notice a lot of variety and models among the top brands. To help you to determine which model and style best meets the needs of your kitchen, let’s take a look at some of the common features that you can compare among the models that you are considering buying for your own home use.
1. Bowl size
Food processors come in a variety of shapes and sizes. From 3-cup bowls that make short work of dicing carrots, onions and celery for soup stock to 20-cup bowls that turn this summer’s crop of tomatoes into marinara, there’s a food processor to suit your cooking lifestyle.
One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is whether you’re buying the food processor for everyday or occasional use. They aren’t a monetary investment so much as they’re a space investment, so be honest about how often you’re going to use it and base your decision on bowl size accordingly.
Seven-cup food processors are the average, but if you’re short on counter or storage space or cook for three or less people, you may do better with a three- to four-cup bowl. Smaller models are a good choice if you’ll regularly be returning it to the cabinet rather than leaving it on the countertop.
If you regularly cook in large batches to freeze ahead or do lot of entertaining for groups, a 20-cup food processor will save you time. Larger-capacity models often come with an accompanying smaller bowl (up to 4 cups) that helps with multi-tasking.
Power is an important consideration when shopping for a food processor. A powerful motor will help you get consistent results time after time. You will get even, uniform slicing and chopping. You will be able to make nut butters with ease without worry of motor strain.
Bread dough is effortlessly kneaded in minutes. Pasta dough comes together quickly and painlessly. Caesar dressing or mayonnaise can be emulsified without fear of separation. You can easily see why adequate power is imperative when buying a new food processor.
All food processors perform the same functions, but they do vary in power in wattage. High power, fast speed and low noise have long been the standout qualities of the best food processors, and nearly all on the market offer 400 to 1,200 watts.
If you’re looking for a good, one-wattage-fits-all-your-cooking-needs model, shoot for a power rating of 600 watts. Machines with this wattage have sufficient power and speed to handle most everyday jobs like slicing, dicing, chopping and pulverizing.
3. Functionality and attachments
Most food processors come standard with three operational settings: low, high and pulse. If you’ve watched any cooking shows on the Food Network, you’ve heard tell of the control the pulse feature provides you over the ingredients you’re working with. If you do encounter a model that doesn’t offer the pulse feature, skip it and find one that does.
You might also consider a food processor that features multiple feed tubes to handle a variety of different-sized items. Larger feed tubes can accommodate carrots, celery or cucumbers without having to cut them into smaller pieces first. No matter how many feed tubes yours offers, they should be positioned well to guide the food easily to the blades without backing up. If you have concerns, save your receipt and know the return policies before using it.
Next, you want to evaluate the blades or discs. After all, blades are what give the food processor its functionality. They come with a variety of interchangeable disc blades, the most common being the “S,” which is used for chopping without risk of pureeing, and another for shredding or grating.
If creativity and versatility are driving your purchase, look for brands like Cuisinart that offer specialty blades, purchased separately, to slice at different thickness, turn out square julienne cuts or shred ingredients super finely. When reviewing standard or specialty blades, choose those made from long-lasting stainless steel.
As for other attachments, the general rule is the larger the model, the more you get. Attachments available today include whisks, beaters and citrus juicers and a host of others. Some may be included with higher-end models, so make sure to read what’s included. If the specialty attachment does not come with the model you’re interested in, it may be sold separately.
Finally, if you are planning on using your food processor to whip out pizza and other dough-based products, most high-end models come with the kneader attachment. Some slightly more expensive models feature specific dough-making speeds, but we found that many online reviewers think they don’t add much benefit dough can still be kneaded using the basic pulse speed.
It used to be that what you saw usually white, gold or avocado green was what you got, and it was usually clunky. Today, you can find food processors in sleek designs that blend in with your rest of your kitchen decor. With bases that come in stainless steel and a rainbow of colors, you’re sure to find one that matches your chosen color scheme or the coffeemaker and toaster you already have.
There’s a lot of talk about how much food processors weigh and how awkward some people think they are to take in and out of the cabinet, but the truth is that the heavier the base unit is, the more stable it is. Stability is a key component when it comes to safety. Your food processor is going to pack some weight and that weight is a benefit, not a detriment.
Choose one with a variety of built-in safety features like non-skid legs. Nearly all food processors have a mechanism in place that prevents operation if the bowl, blades or lid aren’t attached or secured properly. Some users find this inconvenient, but so is a trip to the emergency room.
It’s really up to you to decide which food processor will become your loyal helper in the kitchen. Each of these best food processors has its perks and drawbacks and each of them performs differently regardless of a lot of similarities. Consider the capacity, price, and your cooking needs and see which model will work best for you. Whether you need a mini food processor or a larger 16 cup work processor, the kitchen appliances are always considered as an investment into health.
If you’re accustomed to dicing, chopping, grating and slicing by hand or any other cheap blenders and food processors, any of these food processors will encourage you to process your food in the processor. The price always varies and some models are expensive so get ready to splurge.