Prepping meals can be tedious. Especially when not everyone can have their own sous chef to do the work of cutting and dicing fruits and veggies. Lucky for us, a food processor is the next best thing to having a kitchen assistant.
Equipped with a sharp, multipurpose blade, this appliance will make short work of whatever prepping you need to do for your meals. Whether you need the nuts chopped, the vegetables sliced, the fruits diced or the dough kneaded, it’ll do it efficiently in half the time.
Some models can even puree stuff for baby food or they can be used to mince herbs. Some even have blenders that you can use to make smoothies or emulsify dressings. It’s really a versatile appliance that can take on the role of other kitchen tools.
The reason for this is that blenders are designed to be used with different accessories. The appliance has a rotating gear that works with a variety of blades. That’s why a food processor will come with different discs or blades that are used for specific functions.
For instance, if you need to grate cheese or slice a vegetable, there are blade discs for that. And if you want to make a smoothie or need help chopping some onions, there’s an attachment for a blade array too.
If you need to do two functions, it can be modified to perform both as well. Simply switch the attachments and you’ve got your ingredients prepped just the way you want it.
In general, a food processor comes with a mixing bowl as the main accessory. But some high-end models usually carry both a mixing bowl and a jug. These processor-blender types extend the functionality of the appliance.
Some are very useful for baking because they are equipped with attachments that allow you to knead bread or pizza dough. With a kitchen tool like this at your disposal, you’ll never have to do repetitive manual tasks just to get a perfectly baked pastry.
The more features it has though, the more expensive it is usually. High end food processors, which are equipped with powerful motors and variable food prepping settings, tend to be around $200 and upwards. They’re ideal for commercial kitchens or for those who prepare a variety of meals in large quantities.
But if all you need is just a tool to take out the stress of slicing, dicing, chopping and crushing your ingredients, there are lots of good quality food processors that won’t require you to break the bank.
Here are my top 5 recommendations.
Table of Contents
- Top 5 Best Food Processors
- 1. Braun 12 Cup Food Processor Ultra Quiet Powerful Motor, Includes 7 Attachment Blades + Chopper and Citrus Juicer
- 2. Ninja Mega Kitchen System Blender/Food Processor with 1500W Auto-iQ Base
- 3. BLACK+DECKER 8-Cup Food Processor, Black
- 4. Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless Steel, White
- 5. Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack & Snap Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper, Black
- Buyers Guide to Choosing the Best Food Processor
Top 5 Best Food Processors
- Braun 12 Cup Food Processor Ultra Quiet Powerful Motor, Includes 7 Attachment Blades + Chopper and Citrus Juicer
- Ninja Mega Kitchen System Blender/Food Processor with 1500W Auto-iQ Base
- BLACK+DECKER 8-Cup Food Processor, Black
- Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless Steel, White
- Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack & Snap Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper, Black
1. Braun 12 Cup Food Processor Ultra Quiet Powerful Motor, Includes 7 Attachment Blades + Chopper and Citrus Juicer
Made in Europe, this German designed food processor has a powerful 600W motor that can efficiently spin the blades at 11 speeds. This makes this machine able to chop, slice, whisk, and knead just about anything.
It features a Dual Control system with variable speed. It can be programmed at a pre-set speed, eliminating the need to ramp through all speeds. Pick any speed and the food processing will immediately start.
It’s easy to store and clean. It can hold 12 cups of dry ingredients and 9 cups of liquid ingredients.
It also comes with safety lock features. The processing bowl needs to be locked onto the motor base and the lid should be properly close or else the processor won’t start.
Accessories include 2 shredding blades, a slicing blade, a kugel potato latkes blade, an S blade, whipping and kneading blades, and a citrus juicer attachment. It carries a 1-year warranty.
- Quiet processor
- Adjustable speed
- Does not blend
- Some accessories like the coarse slicing blade are sold separately
2. Ninja Mega Kitchen System Blender/Food Processor with 1500W Auto-iQ Base
This blender-processor combo features a 1500W motor that powers 4 blending speeds.
It has a 72-ounce pitcher that can be used to pulverize ice to snow, and an eight-cup food processor bowl that can knead up to 2 pounds of dough in 30 seconds. Its reversible slicing/shredding and grating discs will allow you to prep whatever ingredient you need in just seconds.
It’s made with BPA-free plastic and is dishwasher safe. Accessories also include two 16-ounce Nutri Nina cups with to-go lids.
- Can grind meat
- Kitchen space saver; it has one base for blender and food processor
- Doesn’t have a feeder tube
- Has the California Proposition 65 label
3. BLACK+DECKER 8-Cup Food Processor, Black
This food processor has a 450W motor and blades made from stainless steel. It can chop, slice and shred herbs, fruit, and vegetables.
It is equipped with Push Button controls for your convenience. It also lets you switch from pulse to continuous operation mode easily.
Its 8-cup work bowl lets you have plenty of room to stuff your ingredients in. It also has a food chute with a pusher to help guide the food towards the blade disk when the processor is in operation.
Safety features include a Cord Wrap and a Safety Interlocking System which ensures that the blades will only operate when the lid is securely attached to the bowl.
Accessories include a stainless steel chopping blade, a slicer, and a shredder blade. All removable parts are dishwasher safe.
- Pulse feature can be used to grind all food ingredients, except for bone
- 2-year warranty
- Very loud
- Not for kneading dough
4. Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless Steel, White
This is a heavy-duty food processor with a 14-cup work bowl and a 720W motor. It can prep large quantities of food efficiently and quickly.
It features an extra-large feed tube that eliminates the need for precutting of whole fruits and veggies. It has control paddles which make it easy to operate with just a touch. Safety features include a safety lock which ensures that the bowl and work bowl cover must be securely locked into position before the motor will operate.
It uses stainless steel blades and has 7 food prep settings which allow you to mix, chop, slice, shred, emulsify, puree, and knead.
Built to North American Electrical Standards, this product comes with a stainless-steel slicing disc, shredding disc, a chopping blade, a large Pusher and Sleeve Assembly, a Small Feed Tube and Pusher, a detachable disc stem, and a spatula. All removable parts are made from BPA-free plastic.
- 3 year warranty
- Easy to operate and relatively quiet
- Some concerns about the Lexan plastic having BPA
5. Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack & Snap Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper, Black
This food processor carries a 450W motor and has 2 speeds plus a Pulse feature for that extra power.
Its stack and snap design makes it easy to assemble and use. It has a sealed 12-cup bowl that prevents leaks when mixing liquids and uses stainless steel for its blades. It also has a large feed chute that fits whole foods for easy processing.
It also comes with a simple function guide to show which blade to use and which button to press. Accessories include an S-blade and reversible slice/shred disc. All removable parts are dishwasher friendly.
- Easy assembly
- Chops and grinds food ingredients efficiently
- The rivetted blade design causes mold build-up in some cases
- Customers pay for the shipping of replacement products during the warranty period
Buyers Guide to Choosing the Best Food Processor
There are many food processors in the market, each with their own bells and whistles, so it’s easy to be overwhelmed. Here’s what to look out for when choosing the best food processor for your needs.
The more watts it has, the more power it has to crush hard stuff, like frozen fruit. Higher wattage blenders are also more cost-efficient to pick the bigger one because a food processor with a powerful motor can still handle the small prepping tasks needed on a daily basis. An added bonus, these heavy-duty motors are generally better-insulated than the low powered ones so they won’t be too noisy.
Pick a processor with at least 3 speeds. Most tasks that a processor will do involve mixing and chopping at low and high speeds. Add a Pulse feature and you’re good to go. Be warned that some lower-end food processors will have just have a single speed and that’s not enough to perform the usual variety of prepping that happens in a kitchen. The best ones have 7 or more speed settings.
If you’re prepping a meal for 1 to 3 persons, a 3-cup to 6-cup food processor is enough to help you prep efficiently. This is also ideal for making sauces or dips.
For a mid-sized family, an 8- to 10-cup processor will suffice. For larger groups, there are food processors that can contain 12 to 16 cups.
Take note though that when filling the mixing bowl, the ideal quantities of solid and liquid ingredients vary in order to prevent spilling. For solids, always fill it two-thirds of the way; for liquids, fill it halfway.
Look for convenience in its design. Are the parts removable for easy cleaning? Are they dishwasher safe? Is the cord long enough? Can it be stored around the base?
One important design feature is how wide its feed chute is. A wide feed chute eliminates the need for you to chop the ingredient before sending it down the processor. A food tamper will help but nothing beats a food processor with a chute that you can just pop whole fruits or veggies in.
The more the merrier, I would say. A basic food processor usually comes with one to three attachments. That’s enough for you to chop, shred and slice food ingredients.
But there are models that have more specialized blades that allow you to do more. Some have julienne blades or French fry cutters. Others have dough blades for kneading. Some high-end ones even have adjustable slicing blades.
Some models offer you the option to purchase additional specialized blades. However you pick, choose the best one that meets your prepping requirements.
The standard warranty for food processors (or for any appliance, actually) is 1 year. If you can find a model that guarantees 2 years or more, even better.
Take note though that some will have different warranties for the motor and the entire unit. Read the product warranty just to be sure.
Check the product’s after-sales service for reliability by reading the user reviews on its product page. Some manufacturers have a spotty record and it’ll eventually be more trouble than it's worth to ask for a replacement since they’ll require you to shoulder the shipping costs.