The 7 Best Food Processors of 2021, According to a Dietitian

Make food prep a breeze

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Our Top Picks
"This is an easy to use, no frills, and effective food processor that will last you for years."
"It has an S-blade for chopping, mixing, and pureeing, as well as a reversible disc to shred or slice food."
"It has a small 3-cup bowl, which is perfect for daily use and smaller meals."
Best Blender/Food Processor Combo:
Ninja Mega Kitchen System at Amazon
"The 1500-watt base fits both a blender pitcher and 8-cup food processor bowl."
Best Large (for Families):
Cuisinart 14 Cup-Food Processor at Amazon
"The 720-watt motor quickly chops whole fruits and vegetables and holds everything in the large capacity bowl."
"This self-proclaimed “workhorse” has a large bowl capacity and superior 1000-watt motor for powerful, speedy food processing."
"This gadget chops, whisks, slices, kneads, and even juices."

Food processors help make cooking healthy meals a breeze. They evenly chop veggies in seconds, mince garlic and fresh herbs, and blitz up creamy sauces and dressings in a flash. Some food processors also have special attachments for evenly shredding food and can even knead homemade dough.

Using a food processor can save you a lot of time chopping, dicing, and mincing, freeing you up to cook more and experiment with different recipes. A food processor is also useful for making healthy homemade dips like hummus and nut butters.

Here, the best food processors:

Best Overall: Cuisinart DLC-8SY Pro Custom 11-Cup Food Processor

For an easy-to-use, no-frills, and effective food processor that will last you for years, choose the Cuisinart Pro Custom. The 11-cup work bowl size is just right—not too big and not too small. Its size is suitable for individual use but also large enough for a family.

With just two buttons, “On” and “Off-Pulse,” its ease of use is good for beginners and novices alike. Use the “On” button when you’re blending up something to be super smooth and the “Pulse” feature for chopping, dicing, and mincing.

This food processor comes with a curved chopping/mixing S-blade, two slicing discs, and a shredding disk, allowing you to process just about any food quickly and efficiently. The industrial quality motor delivers consistent, effective results time after time.

Best Budget : Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor with Bowl Scraper

Food processors are certainly an investment, so if you’re looking for a more affordable option, try the Hamilton Beach Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper. It has a powerful 450-watt motor featuring two speeds plus a pulse option for under fifty dollars.

It has a 10-cup work bowl which is suitable for large batches of chopped food or homemade dips and nut butters. This model has an S-blade for chopping, mixing, and pureeing, as well as a reversible disc to shred or slice food.

This model also features a bowl scraper attachment, which scrapes the sides of the bowl as you process to allow for more even mixing, chopping, and pureeing. It eliminates the need to stop the food processor to manually scrape down the bowl, which can save time and effort on your part.

Best Mini: Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor

Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini Prep Plus Food Processor Brushed Chrome and Nickel

Mini food processors sometimes make more sense to purchase, especially if you have a small kitchen, limited storage space, or don’t want all the extra parts that come with a full-size unit. The Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus is a solid mini food processor to add to your kitchen.

This food processor has a small 3-cup bowl, which is perfect for daily use and smaller meals. Its 250-watt motor is powerful enough to finely chop herbs and grind harder foods, like hard cheese and nuts. 

This machine has two options, just choose “Chop” or “Grind” based on what you want to do with your food. The blade has an auto-reverse feature, which guarantees even and consistent chopping and grinding results. The parts are dishwasher-safe, making for easy clean-up.

Best Blender/Food Processor Combo: Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen System

Food processors and blenders are similar, yet different, kitchen appliances. If you want both appliances in a single unit, the Ninja Mega Kitchen System is a solid and versatile option. The 1500-watt base fits both a blender pitcher and an 8-cup food processor bowl.

For dishes that don’t include a liquid ingredient like dips, chopped vegetables, and nut butters, use the food processor bowl. When you’re making smoothies and soups, opt for the blender attachment. Five manual programs allow you to control your blending speed.

While the Ninja food processor bowl is slightly smaller than other full-size units, it’s still big enough to use for a couple or small family and will make two pounds of dough in 30 seconds. All the attachments are dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.

Best Large (for Families): Cuisinart 14 Cup-Food Processor DFP-14BCNY

cuisinart

Cooking for a larger crowd regularly? You’ll want a food processor with a large work bowl, like the Cuisinart Custom 14-cup food processor. The 720-watt motor quickly chops whole fruits and vegetables and holds everything in the large capacity bowl.

Like other Cuisinart Custom food processor models, this unit features an easy-to-use interface with “On” and “Off-Pulse” buttons. It includes a stainless-steel slicing disc, a shredding disc, and an S-blade.

Each piece (besides the base) is dishwasher-safe, making cleanup a breeze after prepping dips, dough, shredded cheese, or sliced vegetables for a larger crowd. This unit is also suitable for smaller families if you plan to use your food processor to meal prep larger batches.

Best Splurge: Breville BFP660SIL Sous Chef 12-Cup Food Processor

If you’re ready for a top-of-the-line food processor, treat yourself to the Breville Sous Chef. This self-proclaimed “workhorse” has a large capacity 12-cup bowl and superior 1000-watt motor for powerful, speedy food processing. 

This model features three feed chute sizes for better accuracy and even slicing, shredding, and chopping. The S-blade is micro-serrated for sharp and consistent chopping. It comes with an adjustable slicer with 24 settings, a reversible shredder, and a dough blade.

If 12-cups isn’t large enough for you, this model also comes in a 16-cup bowl capacity. These models are definitely a splurge, tipping the 300 dollar mark, but well worth it if you love using food processors.

Best Versatile: Braun FP3020 12-Cup Food Processor

For a food processor that does just about everything but the laundry, try the Braun 12-Cup processor. This gadget chops, whisks, slices, kneads, and even juices.

This food processor comes with seven attachments, all designed to perform different tasks. There are two different shredding inserts, plus inserts for grating, slicing, whipping, kneading, and citrus juicing. The 12-cup work bowl holds plenty of food or liquid.

Choose from 11 different speed settings on easy-to-use dials on the base. Each attachment and the bowl are dishwasher-safe. 

Final Verdict

The Cuisinart Pro Custom 11-Cup Food Processor (view at Amazon) edges out the others for ease of use, consistency, durability, and price point. It performs all the typical food processing tasks well, including chopping, slicing, shredding, and mixing. Its simple interface is easy to use, and the 11-cup work bowl size is big enough for a family to use.

What to Look for in a Food Processor

Bowl Size:

The work bowl size determines how much food you can prepare at once in your food processor. Depending on certain factors, you may want a larger or smaller size bowl.

If you want your food processor to perform simple tasks like chopping onions for a sauce, then you can get away with a smaller or mini-unit. But if you’d like to prepare larger batches of dips, nut butters, or shredded cheese, you will need a unit with a bigger bowl.

Food processor bowls that are 10 cups or more should be sufficient for performing larger-scale tasks and are suitable for families and entertaining groups. 

Attachments:

An added benefit of having a food processor is using the different attachments it might come with. For example, some food processors come with blades to shred, grate, and slice food, which goes beyond just mixing and chopping.

Choose one of the models with these attachments if you envision yourself making things like shredded cabbage, sliced tomatoes, and carrots, or grated cheese for recipes. These attachments really do cut down on prep time and elbow grease in the kitchen.

FAQs

How do you clean a food processor? Are some dishwasher-safe?

Some food processor parts are dishwasher-safe, so check the instruction manual of the model you choose. You may be able to put the bowl, blades, and other attachments in the dishwasher, but avoid putting the base in the dishwasher.

Since food processors have many small parts, it’s important to clean them thoroughly to keep them working properly. Use warm, soapy water and a sponge to clean the blades, bowls, and attachments. For some parts with small holes and openings, you can use a small brush (or even a toothbrush) to get into the nooks and crannies.

Be sure to let the food processor dry completely before reassembling and storing away to avoid mold and rust. You can let the parts air dry on the countertop or use a clean towel to dry them by hand. You can use a damp sponge or towel with a little bit of dish soap to wipe down the base after each use.

Is a food processor the same as a blender? Do I need both?

Food processors and blenders are similar but perform different tasks. Food processors are better for dry ingredients or recipes without much liquid, as well as evenly chopping, shredding, or slicing food.

Blenders are better for liquid ingredients, such as making smoothies or pureed soups. The blender relies on an adequate amount of liquid to evenly blend all the ingredients, while the food processor can evenly mix ingredients without any liquid at all.

Depending on what recipes you want to prepare, you may want one or both of these appliances. If you love to make nut butters, homemade dips, energy balls, pie crusts, vegetable fritters, or dough, then you will certainly want a food processor for these tasks. But if you also want to make smoothies, pureed soups, milkshakes, and sauces, a blender is best for those recipes.

What Experts Say

“Having a food processor while trying to eat healthier can be extremely convenient. If you invest in a good quality one, it’ll last you for years! It’s an appliance that I use almost daily,  and is so versatile that you really get your money's worth. It simplifies your time in the kitchen, and allows you to get creative with meals to keep them interesting.”Gal Shua-Haim, MS, RD

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a  Registered Dietitian and healthy food blogger, Alex Aldeborgh has years of recipe development experience and is well-versed in various kitchen appliances, including food processors. She has personally owned a Cuisinart Custom Pro food processor for ten years, and it still works like new. She would recommend any of these products to friends and family and would consider replacing her own food processor with any of these models when the time comes.

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