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Incorporating a food processor into your kitchen can save you tons of hands-on prep time so you can get to the good stuff–cooking and eating–faster. A food processor equipped with a sharp, multipurpose blade is capable of chopping and grinding almost any ingredient you can think of, from onions for stock, nuts for fresh peanut butter, and graham crackers for a pie crust. They can also be used to mince herbs, puree baby food, and emulsify dressings.
Most food processors also come with attachments that can be used to knead bread and pizza dough, shred blocks of cheese, and slice vegetables in several thicknesses, making them true kitchen workhorses. We've rounded up the best food processors for kitchens of all sizes with price and frequency of use in mind.
What to Look For in a Food Processor
When it comes to food processors, size really does matter. A very large food processor won’t do a great job at chopping small amounts, and emptying a small food processor repeatedly can get annoying. Some food processors solve the problem by including bowls of several sizes.
It’s great to have options for different shredding and slicing sizes, but if a food processor comes with a large number of disks, you need to find a place to store them. Some food processors have reversible blades with different sizes or functions, while others have disks with adjustable cutting sizes. Do you need multiple disk options?
How will you use your food processor? Do you want special options, or will a basic model fit your needs? While pretty much every food processor has a chopping blade and can slice or grate using a disk, some models may have unique features like an accompanying recipe app or various color options.
Here are our favorite food processors.
Best Overall: Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor
Powerful 720-watt motor
Versatile in use
Extra-large feed tube
Can be difficult to clean
Only a 5-year motor warranty
A true kitchen workhorse, this doesn’t have a lot of fancy frills, but it will get the job done easily. This has two large paddle buttons, one for “on” and one for “off/pulse,” and that’s all you need for the machine to perform all of its functions.
This has a 14-cup work bowl that’s large enough for family cooking and an extra-large feed tube so you won’t need to cut foods like potatoes to make them fit. It has small and large pushers, so you can process the potato in one piece, or stand carrots up so they won’t fall over while you slice or shred.
This includes one shredding disc, one slicing disc, and a removable disc stem that fits both of them, along with a metal blade for chopping, mixing, blending, and emulsifying. And when it came to kneading, our reviewer found that the swift-acting blade "turned dough elastic in a matter of minutes with minimal effort." If you want a little color in your kitchen, this comes in a variety of colors to match your kitchen or your mood.
"If you’re averse to reading through thick instruction manuals like I sometimes am, you’ll feel you’ve lucked out with the Cuisinart’s intuitive design." — Tierney McAfee, Product Tester
Best Professional: Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef Food Processor
Attractive, intuitive design
Includes small and large bowls
Not all parts are dishwasher safe
Not everyone needs a professional-level food processor. But if you frequently make french fries, pasta, pizza, or pie dough, big batches of nut butter, or food for a crowd—or a big family—you’ll get a lot out of this Brevelle food processor, which essentially serves as a sous chef extraordinaire.
Here’s why you’ll love it: the Breville comes with two bowls, a big one that can handle a lot, along with a small one that’s ideal for making sauces or smaller projects. After testing the processor, our reviewer found that the hummus and white bean spread she made "turned out smoother and creamier than dips made using a more affordable food processor."
It also comes with two feeding tubes (again, you can select the option you’d prefer for the job at hand). The machine is quick and powerful, speeding up dinner’s arrival on the table. It’s also quiet, and a solid, sturdy appliance. Since it’s quite large, it might not be a good option if you only have limited counter space. If you do have room to keep it out, you’ll appreciate the thoughtful design—for instance, built-in storage is available for the food processor’s many accessories and slicing and chopping disks.
"Due to its extra-wide feeding chute, I found the Sous Chef 16 was far more efficient than its competitors at processing whole vegetables." — Tierney McAfee, Product Tester
Best Budget: Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor with Bowl Scraper
Powerful 450-watt motor
Incredibly easy to use
This budget food processor will fit your budget and your kitchen. It’s not the largest processor you’ll find, but the 10-cup bowl is large enough for prepping family dinners and it’s easy to empty if you need to shred multiple batches for your famous cole slaw.
This food processor has two speeds plus a pulse option, so your salsa will be as smooth or chunky as you like it, while the bowl scraper can be used while the processor is running or off, so you clean the sides of the bowl without needing to remove the lid. The latter feature proved to be a game changer when making basil pesto, which our tester said came out "perfectly blended and creamy."
The processor includes a reversible shredding/slicing disk and a stainless steel blade for chopping, blending, pureeing, and more. When you’re done prepping dinner, the work bowl, lid, and blades are all dishwasher safe, so cleanup is easy.
"Hamilton Beach’s 10-Cup Food Processor will definitely get the job done and look good doing it. ... This is a no-brainer purchase when you weigh its low cost and high performance." — Meredith Hurd, Product Tester
Best Large Capacity: Magimix Compact 5200 XL Chrome 1100 Watt Food Processor
Quiet but powerful 1,100-watt motor
Most food processors hold about 14 cups, but this 16-cup Magimix (made in France by Robot Coupe) can handle just about anything you throw at it. Not only is it large, but it includes accessories that you won’t find with other food processors. This comes with three bowls, so you can work with small or large amounts of food, and use one after the other. When you’re done, they nest inside the machine, so you don’t need to find space to store them.
This has just three buttons for easy operation, one for stop, one for auto, which keeps in on, and one button for pulsing. The induction motor adjusts the amount of power used, so it can power through dense materials with ease. The wide feed tube accommodates large foods, while three-stage pusher can handle slim, medium, or large food without them tipping over or cutting unevenly.
The chopping blades (to fit separate bowls) are made by Sabatier, so they are knife-quality. The proprietary Blendermix insert moves the food around in the bowl so it blends more smoothly and results in a creamy texture, like a blender. The special dough blade mixes and kneads the dough, including dense bread dough. The whisk can whip cream or beat egg whites, just like a stand mixer. This also includes 2-millimeter and 4-millimeter slicing disks and 2-millimeter and 4-millimeterm= grating disks, as well as a citrus juicer. The juicer was the most exciting addition for our tester, who was able to juice half a grapefruit down to the rind in just a few seconds.
A special spatula is included for easy cleaning, and the storage case can hold all of the blades and accessories. The free Magimix app includes hundreds of recipes, so you’ll get the most out of the machine.
"The Magimix is certainly an investment, but if you’re a seasoned cook seeking a customizable machine ... then it’s definitely worth considering." Meredith Hurd, Product Tester
Best Basic: Cuisinart 088 Food Processor
Powerful, sturdy motor
Assembly is tricky
This classic food processor is almost retro. A single paddle controls on, off, and pulse functions, for no-fuss operations. While this isn’t a huge processor with a 7-cup bowl, it still has all the functions of its larger cousins, including the ability to knead bread dough.
This includes a medium slicing disc, a shredding disc, and a stainless steel chopping blade for processing everything from cheese to mayonnaise, and it includes a flat cover that you can use when you’re processing in the bowl and you don’t need to add food during processing.
This has small and large pushers and a large feed tube, so your carrots and celery for soup can stand upright, but you can still process larger foods without cutting them into small pieces. For easy cleaning when cooking is done, all of the removable parts are dishwasher safe.
Best Mid-Sized: Cuisinart FP-13DSV Elemental 13 Cup Food Processor
Easy to operate
Adjustable slicer and reversible shredder
Food gets caught in lid
No disk storage
Not too big, and not too small, the 13-cup Elemental from Cuisinart comes equipped with two size work bowls—13-cup and 4 1/2-cup—to handle any size job, small or large. The design is mid-sized so it doesn't take up as much room as slightly larger processors.
The four buttons have a rubberized cover, so they easy to wipe clean—no knobs or nooks that can collect food. Choose high, low, off, or pulse, so you can make your salsa as smooth or as chunky as you like.
This includes an adjustable slicing disk, so you can choose the proper slicing thickness, a reversible shredding dish for medium and fine shredding, a stainless steel blade for chopping, blending, and emulsifying, and a dough blade for mixing and kneading. It also includes a cleaning tool to help clean the nooks and crannies of the cutting accessories and a storage case to keep everything contained instead of rolling around a drawer.
Best Mini: KitchenAid KFC3516BM 3.5-Cup Food Chopper
Chops vegetables and nuts quickly
Blade locks into place
Cord wraps around unit for storage
Many color options
Lid difficult to close and disassemble
Chops inconsistently sized pieces
Challenging to clean
This small and simple food processor is just what you need for whipping up a batch of salsa, blending salad dressings, chopping nuts for a garnish, or pureeing some vegetables. It has a 3.5-cup processor bowl with a locking blade that won’t fall out of the bowl when you empty it. The spout makes pouring less messy when you’ve got liquids to serve.
This has two speeds plus a pulse option, so you’ll always get the results you want. The proprietary drizzle basin on the lid lets you add oil slowly to make emulsified dressings with ease.
The bowl, lid, and blade are dishwasher safe, so it’s easy to clean when you’re done with the cooking and the cord wraps around for storage.
Best Non-Electric: Zyliss Easy Pull Food Chopper and Manual Food Processor
Sharp, effective blades
Not entirely machine washable
No electricity is needed for this model, as it works with the simple pull of a handle. The two blades spin in opposite directions, so they’ll spend their time chopping rather than moving food in a circle, while stationary arms at the top and bottom send food into the blades. Even hard foods like carrots or nuts require little effort. A few pulls will give you chunky nuts or salsa, while more pulls can give you a smooth puree.
The bowl is just over three cups, so you can make plenty of hummus for a party, or seasoned bread crumbs for breaded cutlets for dinner. Since this doesn’t require power, you can use it outside when you’re barbecuing, or take it camping.
Best Design: KitchenAid 9-Cup Food Processor Plus
Blades and discs store inside bowl
Cutting discs are double-sided and labeled for quick identification
Click-in bowl and lid design are easy to assemble
Narrow feed chute
Tall design may not fit under all cabinets
This food processor is one of the fastest and easiest to assemble thanks to a twist-free design. The bowl clicks into place and the lid is hinged for easy opening and closing. It comes with a multipurpose blade, dough blade, and three cuttings discs that can be used to shred blocks of cheese or potatoes for hash browns and slicing vegetables for salads in different thicknesses. All of the accessories stack right inside the bowl for compact storage.
Compared to our top pick, this model costs about the same but comes with a smaller 9-cup bowl which may not be a deal-breaker depending on what you plan to process. One thing to keep in mind: when fully assembled, this food processor measures about 17 inches tall which may not fit beneath all cabinets, so you'll want to measure before buying if you plan on storing this on your countertop.
"The KitchenAid is intuitive to assemble and use right out of the box, thanks to the super simple twist-free assembly." Sharon Lehman, Product Tester
The Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor is our top pick because of its versatility and comparable performance next to best-in-class competitors—at a fraction of the price. If you have a bigger budget and the kitchen space, go for the Magimix 5200 XL 16-Cup Food Processor, ideal for more seasoned cooks.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a cookbook author who writes roundups and reviews products for The Spruce Eats. She has tested more than 90 kitchen products for the brand.
This roundup was updated by Sharon Lehman, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who happily makes space for any gadget that make cooking faster and easier. She tested and reviewed the KitchenAid 9-Cup Food Processor Plus featured on this round-up.