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Food Processor Reviews

By: Kelly Burgess on November 21, 2017

Editor's note:
Cuisinart and Breville are still outstanding choices in food processors no matter what capacity you need; while Hamilton Beach is a great budget pick. KitchenAid processors are worthy runners up, and, for really small jobs, check out the Pampered Chef Food Chopper.

Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Capacity - 14 cups Speeds - Continuous, pulse Dishwasher safe - Yes

Best food processor

The Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor gets rave reviews for its great performance in a vast range of kitchen tasks. Cooks say it makes prep work like grating, slicing and shredding, a breeze, while bakers love its versatility for kneading heavy dough and mixing fillings. With solid construction, quiet operation and a good warranty, this food processor is built to withstand years of heavy use.

Buy for $158.96
Breville BFP800XL Review
Also Consider
Specs that Matter Capacity - 16 cups Speeds - Continuous, pulse Dishwasher safe - Most accessories

Multi-function, heavy-duty food processor

Experts agree: if it weren't for the rather hefty price, this bad boy would be the top choice for any kitchen. With three blades, five discs and a small and large bowl included, there's not a task too tender or tough for the Breville BFP800XL to handle. Performance-wise, it gets top marks in professional tests, and owners praise its versatility and simple operation.

Buy for $399.95
Hamilton Beach Stack and Snap 70725 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Capacity - 12 cups Speeds - 2, plus pulse Dishwasher safe - Yes

Best cheap food processor

If you just need a food processor for occasional food prep, and feel like anything over about $50 is overkill, we recommend taking a chance on the 12-cup Hamilton Beach 70725. In testing in several expert roundups it was a surprisingly strong performer, even when mixing pizza dough and chopping nuts. The "Stack and Snap" assembly makes it easier to assemble and use than most models.

Buy for $49.99
Cuisinart Mini-Prep Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Capacity - 3 cups Speeds - Chop and grind Dishwasher safe - Yes

Best mini food processor

The Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor is a great little food processor that excels at all tasks -- just on a smaller scale. It's super simple to use, easy to store and outperforms nearly all other small choppers in professional tests. Its 3-cup capacity is perfect for a small kitchen or for cooking for one or two, and it's available in several colors.

Buy for $32.99
Pampered Chef Cutting Edge Food Chopper Review
Also Consider
Specs that Matter Capacity - N/A Speeds - Manual chop Dishwasher safe - Yes

Best food chopper

Reviewers say the Pampered Chef Cutting Edge Food Chopper is a handy little tool to keep around. It quickly chops small amounts of nuts, vegetables, fruit, herbs and just about anything else -- saving a lot of time in prep work. It's a great choice if you're not comfortable using a knife to mince or chop. Once you're done, just disassemble it and pop it in the dishwasher.

Buy for $43.10

A food processor is a kitchen must-have -- no matter what size your kitchen

Food processors have long been a favorite kitchen appliance for chopping and dicing veggies, whipping up dips and puréeing sauces. They also excel at emulsions and, with the right blade attachments, they can save cooks time on tasks like mixing and kneading dough, shredding potatoes, grating cheese or grinding meat. Some even have specialty discs for making French fries or for ultra-fine veggie slices. Regardless of what you do in the kitchen, we can guarantee that a food processor will save you some time.

Types of Food Processors

Full-Sized Food Processors

These kitchen workhorses typically have a capacity of 7 to 20 cups, and most come with a variety of blades and discs to handle just about any food prep task. This includes shredding discs for grating carrots or shredding potatoes, cutting discs for slicing, hooks for mixing dough, and, of course, several different blades for chopping, mincing, mixing and pureeing.

Mini Food Processors

Some of these little guys -- usually about a 2- to 5-cup capacity -- can outperform their big brothers when it comes to chopping and mincing. However, they just don't hold as much, and the smallest of them won't accommodate slicing or shredding discs. Mini food processors are often lumped-in with food choppers (see below), but they do more than just chop.

Food Choppers

Some food choppers are small electric appliances -- not very powerful; just enough to dice up an onion or grind some nuts. However, many of the most popular are manual devices that you turn a crank to grind, or "slap" with your hand to chop up your ingredients on a cutting board. They make short work of small quantities of nuts, herbs, peppers and other foods when you just need a cup or less to toss into a recipe or salad. Casual cooks and those with poor knife skills love them for quickly and evenly dicing and mincing. They're particularly popular with people who don't like the tears that come from dealing with onions.

Do you need a food processor, or a different appliance?

Most of the complaints we found across the board about food processors are that they don't perform well in processing recipes that require a lot of liquids, like soups, salad dressings, milkshakes, drinks, etc. They splatter and leak, users say. We largely discount these types of user complaints when evaluating food processor feedback because they're not a fair criticism -- food processors aren't really made for those types of jobs. If you want an appliance that can puree soups and make milkshakes or thin sauces, you want a good blender, and we cover those in our blender report. If you just need to process fairly small amounts of liquids, say, individual cups of soup or a single shake, see our report on immersion blenders. And, if you want to make smoothies or juice drinks, you'll love our report on juicers.

Finding The Best Food Processors
Our Sources
"Food Processors and Choppers"
"The Best Food Processor"
"Food Processors"

To make our top picks in food processors, we analyzed the results of professional tests from experts at Consumer Reports, Cook's Illustrated, Wirecutter, Reviews.com, Good Housekeeping, Serious Eats and Top Ten Reviews. They all thoroughly test food processors, seeing how evenly and quickly they chop, mince, puree, grate and mix. They also give feedback on noise and the stability of the unit while it's working.

In addition to seeing what the experts have to say, we give quite a bit of weight to owner reviews because they are the best resource for learning about real-world performance and long-term durability. We pored over hundreds -- sometimes thousands -- of owner reviews for each of the food processors we chose. This gave us a consensus of the opinions offered by thoughtful, knowledgeable users that was extremely helpful in finalizing our selections. The results of our research are our picks for the best food processors for every type of cook and every size kitchen.

The best food processor

If you're like most people, you'll probably only use a few basic attachments with your food processor, which is why the Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY (Est. $200) is our top pick. It has a generous, 14-cup capacity and is simple but versatile enough for most kitchens. The DFP-14BCNY includes a chopping blade and discs for slicing and grating. Although it does not include a smaller bowl, in professional tests its well-designed blades were able to handle even small quantities without splattering or pulverizing them. If you need more tools, additional attachments are available for this Cuisinart so you can customize it to your needs. In fact, this food processor is also often referred to as the Cuisinart Custom.

The Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY is the top pick at Wirecutter, Reviews.com, Top Ten Reviews, and at a well-respected professional test kitchen; it's also the budget pick at Serious Eats. In testing the DFP-14BCNY performs very well in every job it's given, getting particular kudos for handling pie crust and cookie dough -- two very tough tasks for a food processor. However, it also gets top marks for chopping vegetables, pureeing, shredding, slicing and grinding. It's worth noting, though, that to process larger, bulkier items, you will need to first chop them into manageable pieces so that they fit into the feed tube.

As with the vast majority of food processors, all of the Cuisinart's components must be fit together properly for the processor to turn on -- this is necessary to ensure safe operation. However, some owners find lining everything up just so to be a sometimes finicky process. Others note that you have to use the various attachments a few times to learn how everything fits together. Still, reading the instructions and getting comfortable with the assembly and disassembly of the Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY goes a long way toward easing that learning curve.

The Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY is described as extremely sturdy and durable; this food processor has been around for years, and we saw very few complaints of breakage or other durability issues, even over the long term. Many users who have owned the DFP-14BCNY for many years say it has held up well over heavy use and is still going strong. Experts agree that, for less than $200, this Cuisinart is a great value that will go the distance.

If you don't need a 14-cup food processor, the 11-cup Cuisinart DLC-2011CHBY Prep 11 Plus (Est. $155) is also an excellent performer in professional tests, and users back up those results, saying it performs very well in every task you set for it, including grating, slicing and shredding. Bakers say it easily mixes even thick dough. If even 11 cups is more capacity than you need, two smaller models -- the Cuisinart DLC-2009CHBMY Prep 9-Cup Food Processor (Est. $150) and the Cuisinart DLC-10SY Pro Classic 7-Cup Food Processor (Est. $100) -- get similarly positive reviews.

All of these Cuisinart food processors are easy to use, come with a good variety of discs, blades, pushers and covers, and all parts are dishwasher safe (top rack only for plastic, though). Like the Cuisinart DFP-14BCN, they are also highly durable machines, which is a good thing because the one complaint we see over and over with Cuisinart is that dealing with customer service can be a real pain -- the biggest blot on an otherwise excellent overall record.

A heavy-duty food processor comes with lots of extras

If money is no object, you may want to check out the 14-cup Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef Food Processor (Est. $400). The BFP800XL is a top pick by more experts than the Cuisinart, and gets equally good reviews by users. It also comes with more accessories, like a second, smaller processing bowl -- which is a great extra, so you don't have to dirty the large bowl when you just have a small job -- a slicing disc; julienne disc; french fry disc; reversible shredding disc; whisking disc; mini blade; dough blade; and cleaning, scraping and storage extras. Reviewers say it slices with much more precision than the Cuisinart.

The Breville BFP800XL food processor is the stainless steel version, it also comes in cranberry red as the Breville BFP800CBXL (Est. $400) and in black sesame as the Breville BFP800BSXL (Est. $400). If you don't need a 14-cup food processor, the Breville BFP660SIL (Est. $300) is a smaller (12-cup) and less-expensive version of the Sous Chef. It gets reviews that are as good as its big brother, but comes with many fewer accessories, just a blade and slicing/grating disc.

A good food processor can cost less than dinner for two

Although most top-rated, full-sized food processors cost at least $100, we discovered one model that's very inexpensive yet still earns good recommendations from users and professional testers: the 10-cup Hamilton Beach 70725 (Est. $40). It's the budget pick at Reviews.com, earns a 5-star rating at Good Housekeeping (with no "cons" noted), and lands about middle-of-the-pack after testing at Consumer Reports.

One issue that drives pretty much everyone crazy when it comes to food processors (especially Cuisinart models) is that everything has to be lined up perfectly, an often finicky assembly process, before the motor will engage. The Hamilton Beach 70725 "Stack and Snap" design makes that a much simpler assembly, and the handy function guides on the base walk you through all of the other steps.

Beyond ease of use, though experts and owners say the Hamilton Beach 70725 is a top performer, even on challenging tasks like chopping nuts and kneading dough. It's not quite as sturdy as some more expensive, high-end food processors, but, for the price, it's a great choice that will be fine for most kitchens.

The Oster Pro 1200 (Est. $90) is an intriguing, fairly new, option for those that want a single appliance that does the job of a food processor and a blender in one. It's not a dedicated food processor, but instead a blender with food processor and smoothie attachments, and it's the only sub-$150 "food processor" to earn a Recommended nod from Consumer Reports. The food processor attachment doesn't have much capacity -- just five cups -- but it earns scores of Very Good for chopping, slicing, shredding and pureeing, and an Excellent score for grating. This is the smallest-capacity food processor option we saw that includes discs for slicing and shredding --- you usually don't see that in a food processor with a capacity of less than seven cups.

While it can be a bit difficult to separate owner reviews specific to the food processor attachment, those we found were mostly positive, with users saying it makes quick, efficient work of slicing and shredding veggies and herbs, as well as chopping nuts. The blender gets good feedback too, as does the 20-ounce personal smoothie jar. All-in-all, if you don't need a food processor with a ton of capacity or for heavy-duty tasks like mixing dough, this could be an all-in-one appliance that adds a lot of value to your food prep life. And if you just need a dedicated blender, be sure to head over to our blenders report and check out our top pick there, the Oster Versa Pro Performance Blender (Est. $200).

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Food Processors buying guide

What every best Food Processors has:

  • Versatility.
  • Even more versatility.
  • A wide feed tube.

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