A food processor can shred, grate, chop, mix, grind, and puree ingredients quickly and efficiently, saving you tons of prep time. You can shred beets for borscht, grind nuts for fresh nut butter, or turn graham crackers into crumbs for a pie crust, just to name a few. Food processors can also be used to mince herbs, puree baby food, create dips like hummus in one step, and emulsify dressings.
Most food processors come with attachments that can be used to knead bread and pizza dough, shred blocks of cheese, and slice vegetables in several thicknesses. To help you find the right option for your kitchen, we tested top models and evaluated them on design, ease of use, features, effectiveness, ease of cleaning, performance, and value. Each food processor was put through its paces with onions, cheese, zucchini, mayonnaise, and bread dough to make sure the ones that landed on this list are truly the best.
Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor
Powerful 720-watt motor
Quick and effective
Extra-large feed tube
Incredibly durable and long lasting
Not the easiest to clean
Somewhat confusing to set up
Who else recommends it? Tom's Guide and Good Housekeeping both picked the Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor.
What do buyers say? 85% of 10,800+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.
A true kitchen workhorse, this doesn’t have a lot of frills, but will get the job done easily. The brushed stainless steel food processor has two large paddle buttons, one for “on” and one for “off/pulse,” which are all you really need. The 14-cup work bowl is large enough for family cooking and has an extra-large feed tube with large and small pushers, so you won’t need to cut ingredients to make them fit. This includes one shredding disc, one slicing disc, and a removable disc stem that fits both, along with a metal blade for chopping, mixing, blending, and emulsifying.
We were impressed with how well the machine kneaded dough, and it was easy to use, aside from assembling the attachments for the first time. The machine was somewhat tricky to clean, but that it was a great value for an average-priced food processor. One of our editor's parents has had this same food processor for decades, and it still works like new. Cuisinart makes some of the best food processors out there for home kitchens, and this model really exemplifies that.
Price at time of publish: $250
Capacity: 14 cups | Settings: On, off/pulse | Power: 720 watts | Size: 11 x 7.9 x 14.8 inches | Weight: 17.3 pounds | Warranty: 3 years for the entire unit, 5 years for the motor
"This product would be great for any home cook who wants to use their processor in multiple ways...I would buy this for myself."
Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack & Snap Food Processor with Big Mouth
Easy to use
Easy to clean
Not the most durable
This affordable food processor has a simple, easy-to-use design that snaps into place easily. Like with most food processors, the main blade chops, mixes, purees, and emulsifies, and an attachment disc is included with a slice side and shred/grate side. Four clearly labeled buttons let you choose between the different functions, and the blades store neatly inside the machine.
Cleaning this food processor is easy, with the only issue being the gap between the plunger and lid lip where food can gather. This food processor is not as heavy-duty or durable as some others on this list, so it will likely need replacing after a few years if used often (we recommend hand washing to prolong its lifespan). That said, it's easier to put together, take apart, and clean than some of the pricier models, and it still yields very consistent results.
Price at time of publish: $50
Capacity: 12 cups | Settings: Shred/slice, puree/mix, pulse, off | Power: 450 watts | Size: 8.76 x 9.55 x 16.25 inches | Weight: 6.57 pounds | Warranty: 1 year
"Every attachment just slides over the drive. Nothing snaps in or has any extra parts."
GE 12-Cup Food Processor
Lots of attachments for versatility
Easy to assemble, use, and clean
Some inconsistency with chopping
This food processor combines a powerful motor with sharp blades, so if you want to get your hummus super smooth or sweet potatoes shredded quickly, this is a great option. We were very happy with how easy this machine was to set up, use, and clean—it was simple and straightforward. Its biggest selling point is its versatility; rather than just coming with a standard blade, slicing disc, and grating disc, this also comes with a french fry disc, dough blade, emulsifying disc, mini-chopping bowl, and spatula.
This food processor is easy to clean by hand, but we did get cut on both an attachment and the blade—you just have to be especially cautious because of how sharp it is. It also had bit of inconsistency when chopping onions and zucchini, but we felt that it was a great value that's worthy of recommending to friends and family.
Price at time of publish: $159
Capacity: 12 cups | Settings: Low, high, pulse, off | Power: 550 watts | Size: 10.3 x 12.2 x 16 inches | Weight: 10 pounds | Warranty: 1 year
"I expected this food processor to cost more than it does. With just three settings, it's a powerful appliance with super-sharp blades"
KitchenAid 13-Cup Food Processor
Many attachments for versatility
Compact efficient storage
Slight inconsistency when dicing
Another particularly good value, we found this food processor to be extremely user-friendly and self-explanatory. In addition to the regular blade, it comes with an adjustable slicing disc, a reversible shredding disc, a dough blade, and a storage caddy that allows you to store all the pieces compactly inside the bowl.
Since the plunger has an oil drip, cleaning can be slightly more involved, but it doesn't have many nooks and crannies for food to get stuck. We noted a tiny bit of inconsistency with dicing and shredding, but overall it performed very well.
Price at time of publish: $200
Capacity: 13 cups | Settings: High, low, pulse | Power: 500 watts | Size: 8.7 x 10.25 x 17.43 inches | Weight: 9.7 pounds | Warranty: 1 year
"It made a great mayonnaise and sliced the zucchini perfectly."
Cuisinart FP-13DGM Elemental 13-Cup Food Processor
Easy to set up, use, and clean
Adjustable slicer and reversible shredder
Consistently excellent performance
Very tight seal to prevent leaks
Food gets caught in lid
The 13-cup Elemental from Cuisinart comes equipped with two work bowl sizes (13 and 4 cups) to handle large and small jobs. The wide-mouth tube features small, medium, and large pushers. Blades and the bowl lock in with a very tight seal. This model is more user-friendly and easy to assemble than some other Cuisinart models, and still performed beautifully in our tests.
This includes an adjustable slicing disc to let you choose the thickness of your slice, a dicing disc with a 10-millimeter grid, a reversible shredding disc for medium and fine shredding, a dough blade for mixing and kneading, and a stainless steel blade for chopping, blending, and emulsifying. 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.
Price at time of publish: $200
Capacity: 13 cups (large bowl), 4 cups (inner nested work bowl) | Settings: High, low, off, pulse| Power: 550 watts | Size: 8.10 x 10.43 x 16.43 inches | Warranty: 3 years
"This was a very effective food processor. It performed consistently in chopping, slicing, grating, and emulsifying."
Best Large Capacity
Magimix Compact 5200 XL Chrome 1100 Watt Food Processor
Quiet but powerful 1,100-watt motor
This machine comes with three bowls so you can work with small to extra-large amounts of food and use one after the other. When you’re done, the bowls nest inside the machine for convenient storage. There are three buttons for easy operation, and the induction motor adjusts the amount of power used so it can power through dense materials easily. The wide feed tube accommodates large foods, while the three-stage pusher can handle different-sized ingredients 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 even dense bread dough. The whisk can whip cream or beat egg whites, just like a stand mixer.
This also includes 2- and 4-millimeter slicing discs and 2- and 4-millimeter grating discs, a spatula for easy cleaning, a free recipe app, a storage case, and a citrus juicer. The juicer was the most exciting addition for us, as we were able to juice half a grapefruit down to the rind in just a few seconds. We were very pleased with this machine's performance across the board.
Price at time of publish: $549
Capacity: 16 cups (main bowl), 12 cups (midi bowl), 6 cups (mini bowl) | Settings: Stop, auto, pulse | Power: 1100 watts | Size: 10.3 x 8.3 x 17.6 inches | Weight: 24.5 pounds | Warranty: 3 years for parts, 30 years for the motor
"I really liked the multiple bowls and attachments that came with this food processor. It made switching jobs very easy and gave me enough space to do what needed to be done with easy cleanup."
Ninja Professional Plus Food Processor
Easy to clean
Lots of different functions
Consistently good performance
Not intuitive to assemble
This Ninja food processor comes with a low price tag and high functionality. It's got a streamlined, attractive design, a very powerful 1,000-watt motor, and four different presets in addition to its high, low, and pulse settings. The machine comes with a 9-cup bowl with a feed chute lid and pusher, quad chopping blade (as opposed to most chopping blades, which have only two knife edges), dough blade, reversible slicing and shredding disc, and 20-recipe guide.
This product was somewhat confusing to put together, but what it lacked in user-friendliness, it made up in performance. The machine yielded beautiful results in all of our tests, and was also easy to clean. The only other downside we found was that since the chopping blades sit slightly higher, we needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl more often.
Price at time of purchase: $150
Capacity: 9 cups | Settings: Chop, puree, dough, disc, high, low, pulse | Power: 1,000 watts | Size: 7.32 x 9.88 x 15.55 inches | Weight: 7.65 pounds | Warranty: 1 year
"I would definitely recommend this food processor. The ease of use, performance, volume capacity, myriad of functionalities and storage system made this a slam dunk."
Vitamix 12-Cup Food Processor Attachment
Smaller storage footprint
Expensive and requires expensive base
This product is just an attachment that requires you to have a Vitamix base, but if you have one already, it eliminates the need for a whole separate appliance. This food processor has an intuitive, user-friendly design that can easily be adjusted to different speeds; any Vitamix base you have will allow for pulsing or setting a continuous speed of your choice. In testing, it was a little noisy, but that will depend on which base you have.
We raved about this attachment's performance throughout all of our tests and found that it offered a ton of consistency and longevity. It was pretty easy to clean—there are a lot of different parts, but everything is dishwasher-safe. At $200 not including the Vitamix base, this comes with a high price tag, but if you already have a Vitamix, this is by far the best choice.
Price at time of publish: $200
Capacity: 12 cups | Size: 11.75 x 8.5 x 12.75 inches | Weight: 6.17 pounds | Warranty: 3 years
"There is nothing this product really couldn't do, with multiple blade attachments and that signature Vitamix base that gives you control of the speed very well."
Zyliss Easy Pull Manual Food Processor
Blade has adjustable thickness
Not the most consistent performance
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.
We found this particularly helpful for chopping onions and aromatics. Since this doesn’t require power, you can use it outside when you’re barbecuing or take it camping.
Price at time of publish: $50
Capacity: 3 cups | Power: Manual, pull handle | Size: 5.2 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches | Weight: 0.84 pounds | Warranty: 5 years
"This chopper had extremely easy and fast cleanup since it's small, has very few moving parts, and has nowhere for food to get trapped."
The Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor is our top pick because of its incredible longevity, stellar performance, and solid versatility. If you have a smaller budget, we recommend the Hamilton Beach Stack & Snap Food Processor and Vegetable Chopper.
How We Tested
We tested 19 food processors side-by-side in our Lab. Our Lab testers evaluated each product on how easy it was to put together and change out its attachments (first without looking at the manual, and then with help from the manual), how well it chopped onions, how well it grated multiple types of cheese to multiple grate sizes, how well it sliced zucchini, how well it made mayonnaise, how well it kneaded bread dough when applicable, and how easy it was to disassemble and clean. From there, they also determined value based on performance in relation to price and offered additional insights on each product's strengths and weaknesses.
We also sent several food processors to our editors for at-home testing.
Other Options We Tested
- Waring Commercial Food Processor: This was actually the best-performing food processor we tested; it's powerful, effective, simple, and overall a kitchen beast. The catch is that it's $753, and we couldn't justify having an item on our list that costs more than a car payment. If this is in your budget, though, you get what you pay for—it handled all our tests flawlessly, and its simple three-button design makes it extremely easy to operate.
- Cuisinart Complete Chef: This is another product around the $700 mark, and it is a superior food processor that also offers all sorts of cooking functions. We were not able to evaluate the additional functions and features during our testing, so they may be great, but we can't speak to those at this time.
What to Look for in a Food Processor
When it comes to food processors, size really does matter. A large food processor won’t do a good job at chopping small quantities because the pieces of food will collect on the bottom or sides of the bowl where they can't reach the blade (this is not as much of an issue when using a slicing, grating, or shredding disc.) As for using a small food processor for large quantities, you'll have to work in batches and empty the bowl repeatedly, which can get annoying. Some food processors solve the problem by including bowls of several sizes, and some home cooks keep both a full-size food processor for bigger jobs as well as a mini food processor for just mincing garlic and other small-quantity aromatics.
It’s great to have options for different shredding and slicing sizes, but if a food processor comes with a large number of discs, you'll need to find a place to store them. Some food processors have reversible blades with different sizes or functions, while others have discs with adjustable cutting sizes. Some food processors are designed to store their discs and other attachments right in the bowl, which saves space and keeps everything organized.
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 disc, some models may have extra features, like a dough blade, an accompanying recipe app, or various color options.
For home cooks who don't plan to use their food processors often, there are some really excellent choices at low prices. The average price of the food processors we tested was $244, but you can find a few reliable, versatile, and high-performing options around $60. The issue with the lower-priced options is that they won't last as long, whereas a good food processor can last you decades and still perform better.
What is a food processor?
A food processor is an appliance that purees, slices, crumbles, minces, grates, shreds, emulsifies, dices, mixes, kneads, and more.
Can a blender be used as a food processor?
Blenders and food processors have similar functions, but they're not usually interchangeable. As a rule of thumb, a blender should be used when the final product is something you can drink, drizzle, or dip—things with mostly soft or liquid ingredients. This includes soup, smoothies, nut milk, apple sauce, and blended cocktails. With blenders, it's best to use at least one liquid ingredient, as dry ingredients alone can get stuck around the blades and end up not blended.
A food processor should be used for dishes you'd eat with a fork or spoon, so solid or semi-solid ingredients work best. You don't necessarily need a liquid element here, which makes it the right choice for breadcrumbs, dough, shredded cheese, and chopped, sliced, or diced vegetables. You can use it to make riced cauliflower, chutney, and even minced meat. Food processor blades rotate much more slowly than blender blades and are shaped differently, giving you greater control and more precise cuts. There's also a feeder tube, which allows you to add as little (or as many) ingredients as you want, which can then be tamped toward the blade with a tool.
Foods including hummus, smooth salsas, thicker salad dressings, pesto, and whipped cream can be made in either a blender or a food processor.
Can you make smoothies in a food processor?
Most food processors are capable of making smoothies, but the process is a little different than if you were to use a blender. If you plan to take this route, don't add all the ingredients at once because they probably won't blend evenly and may even spill out everywhere. First, add your greens (if using), followed by frozen fruit. This will keep your drink cold without the addition of ice. Next, add your liquid ingredients, put the lid on the appliance, and blend. You may need to scrape the bottom to mix further, and make sure everything is getting blended as well as possible. When you're done, remove the blade from the processor and pour. Just be careful of messes here, as your processor likely won't have an actual pour spout.
Long story short: You can make a smoothie in a food processor, but it's going to be quicker, easier, and less messy in a blender.
Can you grind coffee beans in a food processor?
Using a dedicated coffee grinder with a conical burr is the best way to grind coffee beans, but you can get the job done with a food processor, which is essentially a larger version of a blade grinder. Just pour a few scoops in and pulse, tilting the processor occasionally to make sure all the beans move into the blade. Repeat until you have your desired amount of grounds.
How do you clean a food processor?
Each food processor is different when it comes to disassembly and cleaning. Once your machine is turned off, you take it apart per the manufacturer's instructions and either wash the dirty components by hand or put them in the dishwasher. Take extra precaution when washing any blades or discs, and make sure not to leave them submerged in soapy water where someone could accidentally cut themselves.
The instruction manual will let you know which components are dishwasher-safe, if any, and whether or not they need to be washed on the top rack only. Some food processors come with cleaning brushes that help to get hard-to-reach spaces. For cleaning the base and the cord, you can simply wipe them down with a damp cloth.
Overall, most food processors have dishwasher-safe components, and they tend to also be easy to wash by hand.
What can't you make in a food processor?
Food processors aren't typically made to handle hot foods, although there are some exceptions. If a machine is made with glass or heat-resistant plastic, it may be able to process ingredients up to a certain degree. Since this isn't always the case, you should check with the manufacturer to find out. Generally, if you're making soup, you should let the ingredients cool before blending.
Here are some other things you should avoid putting in a food processor: copious amounts of liquid, tough meat, bone, gelatin, fruit peels, and ice.
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 Katya Weiss-Andersson, a writer and editor who has nearly a decade of experience as a professional chef. Katya has a full-sized food processor that she uses for everything from shredding potatoes for latkes to making cheesecake filling, as well as a mini food processor that lives on the counter for mincing garlic, ginger, and chilies. When it comes to food processors, Katya is a Cuisinart fan through and through.
Best food processors in 2022. Tom's Guide. https://www.tomsguide.com/best-picks/best-food-processors
9 Best Food Processors 2022. Good Housekeeping. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/appliances/a26064214/best-food-processors-review/