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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 borsht, grind nuts for fresh peanut 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, making them true kitchen workhorses. We did our research, finding and testing the top models for design, usability, performance, ease of cleaning, and more. Here are the best food processors for kitchens of all sizes with price and frequency of use in mind, as well as disc sizes and special features.
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
A true kitchen workhorse, this doesn’t have a lot of fancy frills, but will get the job done easily. This brushed stainless steel food processor 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.
The 14-cup work bowl that’s large enough for family cooking and has an extra-large feed tube so you won’t need to cut ingredients 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. 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.
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
"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 Basic: Cuisinart Food Processor
Powerful, sturdy motor
Assembly is tricky
This classic food processor from Cuisinart is almost retro, and while the brand makes many models, this one is as simple as it gets. A single paddle controls on, off, and pulse functions, for simple operation. While the 7-cup bowl isn't huge, 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.
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.
Capacity: 7 cups | Settings: On, off, pulse | Power: 600 watts | Size: 7 x 11.25 x 14.5 inches | Weight: 15.63 pounds | Warranty: 3 years for the entire unit, 5 years for the motor
Best Professional: Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef Food Processor
Attractive, intuitive design
Includes small and large bowls
Quiet, powerful motor
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 big family, you’ll get a lot out of this food processor.
The Breville comes with a large bowl, a small bowl, and two feeding tubes to choose from. After testing, 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.
The machine is quick and powerful; it’s also quiet, solid, and sturdy. 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.
This model is Breville's most expensive because it has the most features; for a more basic and affordable option, they also make the Breville Sous Chef 12. Equipped with a micro-serrated S-blade, it has a 12-cup bowl, three chute options (5, 2.75, and 1.5 inches), two settings (on and pulse), and a variable slicing disc with 24 options ranging from 0.3 to 8 millimeters. It also comes with a reversible shredder and dough blade and has an auto-off safety feature for when the lid is unexpectedly opened during use.
Capacity: 16 cups (large bowl) and 2.5 cups (small bowl) | Settings: On/off, pause, pulse | Power: 1,200 watts | Size: 10.9 x 8.9 x 17.5 inches | Weight: 26 pounds | Warranty: 1-year limited product warranty, 25-year induction motor warranty
"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 of veggies for coleslaw.
This food processor has two speeds plus a pulse option, so your salsa will be as smooth or chunky as you like, while the bowl scraper can be used while the processor is running or off, so you can 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.
Capacity: 10 cups | Settings: 2 speeds plus pulse | Power: 450 watts | Size: 8.43 x 10.25 x 15.47 | Weight: 6.9 pounds | Warranty: 1 year
"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 Mid-Size: Cuisinart FP-13DGM Elemental 13-Cup Food Processor
Easy to operate
Adjustable slicer and reversible shredder
Easy to clean
Food gets caught in lid
No disk storage
The 13-cup Elemental from Cuisinart comes equipped with two work bowl sizes (13 and 4 cups) to handle any size job. The four buttons (high, low, off, and pulse) have a rubberized cover, so they're easy to wipe clean—no knobs or nooks that can collect food—and feature blue LED lights. The wide-mouth tube features small, medium, and large pushers, and the brand's proprietary SealTight Advantage System activates a super-tight seal on the bowl and locks the blade.
This includes an adjustable slicing disk (0 to 7 millimeters), so you can choose the proper thickness, 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.
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
There are so many ways to use a food processor—even for simple tasks when you might think of reaching for the knife instead. Just take it from Nicki Sizemore, author of "The Food Processor Family Cookbook" and From Scratch Fast. Making soup or stew? "Chopping vegetables by hand might take 10 minutes, while it only takes seconds in a food processor," Sizemore says. "If a recipe calls for minced aromatics, like garlic, ginger, or shallots, let the food processor do the work for you."
Best Non-Electric: Zyliss Easy Pull Food Chopper and Manual Food Processor
Sharp, effective blades
Blade has adjustable thickness
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 3 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.
Capacity: 3 cups | Power: Manual, pull handle | Size: 5.2 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches | Weight: 0.84 pounds | Warranty: 5 years
"Keep your food processor accessible," Sizemore says. "If possible, carve out a space on a countertop or shelf, so it’s at the ready when you are. If you opt to stash it in the back of a cabinet, chances are it won’t get used."
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. Our tester found that this was really convenient, as she was able to simultaneously "pulse oats into powder, crush almonds into a creamy butter, and mash bananas to a pulp" without skipping a beat. When you’re done, the bowls 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 it on, and one button for pulsing. 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 slim, medium, or large 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 the dough, including 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 disks and 2- and 4-millimeter 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.
Capacity: 16 cups (main bowl), 12 cups (midi bowl), 6 cups (mini bowl) | Settings: Stop, auto, pulse | Power: 1,100 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
"The Magimix is certainly an investment, but if you’re a seasoned cook seeking a customizable machine that can handle a doubled (or even tripled) recipe, then it’s definitely worth considering." — Meredith Hurd, Product Tester
Best Design: KitchenAid 9-Cup Food Processor Plus
Blades and discs store inside bowl
Features provide versatility
Easy to assemble
Narrow feed chute
Tall design may not fit under 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 discs that can be used to shred blocks of cheese or potatoes for hash browns and slicing vegetables for salads in different thicknesses.
Our tester found that the high speed is "blazing fast" and offers optimal power for kneading dough and shredding large blocks of cheese in mere seconds, as well as finely chopping, mincing, and pureeing. The low speed worked well for roughly chopping veggies, and the pulse option was great for giving nuts a rough chop or working in additional ingredients without over-processing.
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. 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. That said, all of the accessories stack right inside the bowl for easy storage.
If you like this model but want a larger work bowl, you might want to consider the 13-cup version, which comes with a three-in-one feed tube to process a variety of shapes and sizes and an external Exact Slice disc that allows you to fine-tune the thickness of your cuts.
Capacity: 9 cups | Settings: High, low, pulse | Power: 250 watts | Size: 7.9 x 9.7 x 16.8 inches | Weight: 6 pounds | Warranty: 1 year
"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
Best Small: Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor With Compact Storage
Easy to use
Can get hot
Louder than some others
When space is at a premium but you want to make prep work easier, this food processor is the perfect fit. The 10-cup bowl can handle average recipes, or you can empty it when needed. There’s just one simple toggle switch to choose from, so it’s easy to operate.
This includes one reversible slicing and shredding disc and a metal chopping blade, so you won’t have a lot of extras to store. When you’re done using it, the lid can be flipped upside down so the feed tube is inside the bowl, and the cord wraps neatly so it won’t get in the way. If you're looking for something even smaller, Hamilton Beach makes 8-cup processors, too.
Capacity: 10 cups | Settings: On, off, pulse | Power: 500 watts | Size: 9.45 x 7.08 x 14.64 inches | Weight: 5.8 pounds | Warranty: 1 year
"Don’t fear the cleanup," Sizemore says. "Wash (or at least soak) the work bowl and lid right after use, before food has a chance to harden and stick. Most work bowls can even go right into the dishwasher, but always wash the blades by hand, as the dishwasher can dull them," she adds.
Best With Blender: Oster Pro 1200 Plus Food Processor
Can blend hot liquids
Has smart settings
Food residue gets stuck in blender jar
This two-in-one appliance is both a food processor and a blender. Just switch from blender jar to food processor bowl, and back again. It also includes a smoothie cup, making it even more versatile. You can choose from seven speeds, along with a one-touch operation for salsas, smoothies, and milkshakes, and it includes a pulse function for precise control.
The blender jar is made from glass and holds 6 cups while the food processor bowl is 5 cups. The food processor includes a reversible slicing and shredding blade, as well as a chopping blade.
Oster Pro also offers a more basic package featuring a 6-cup blender and 3-cup food chopper, which has a stainless steel S-blade and 16 speeds from pulse to puree.
Capacity: 5 cups (processing bowl), 6 cups (blending jar), 24 ounces (smoothie cup) | Settings: 7 speeds, pulse | Power: 1,200 watts | Size: 7.25 x 8 x 15.25 inches | Weight: 7.9 pounds | Warranty: 10 years
Best Mini: Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor
Often what makes a recipe feel daunting is the prep work; finely mincing garlic, ginger or chilies is tedious, time-consuming and results in stinky hands. At the same time, pre-minced garlic and tubes of ginger paste don't even remotely compare to the fresh versions. Even professionals find this prep to be a pain, and many use mini food processors to cut that prep time down to seconds. This one is affordable, reliable, easy to clean and takes up very little counter space, so it's great to keep on your countertop for every time you need to mince herbs or aromatics. It comes with just two settings, but that's all you need to crumble nuts, pulse up a can of chickpeas to make a super quick chickpea salad, blend up a dip like baba ghanoush or mushroom pâté, or grind your own nut butter.
Cuisinart is known for the longevity of their food processors, and this model is no exception. Its BPA-free bowl is dishwasher-safe, and it comes with a spatula and recipe book. The base comes in several color options to fit your style.
Capacity: 3 cups | Settings: chop, grind | Power: 250 watts | Size: 5 x 7 x 9.25 inches | Weight: 3 pounds | Warranty: 18 months
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 kitchen space, go for the Magimix 5200 XL 16-Cup Food Processor, ideal for more seasoned cooks.
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 extra features, like an accompanying recipe app or various color options.
What is a food processor?
A food processor purees, slices, crumbles, minces, grates, shreds, 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—mostly soft or liquid ingredients. This includes soup, smoothies, nut milk, apple sauce, and daiquiris. With blenders, it's best to use at least one liquid ingredient, as exclusively dry ingredients can get caught up in and stuck around the blades without help from juice, milk, water, etc., to draw everything into the spinning vortex.
A food processor should be used when the outcome is to be eaten with a fork or spoon, so solid or semi-solid ingredients work best. You don't necessarily need a liquid element here either, making it the right choice for crafting bread crumbs, 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 the feeder tube, which allows you to add as little (or as many) ingredients as you want, which can then be tampered 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 erupt from the spout. First, add your greens (if the recipe calls for them), followed by frozen fruit. This will keep your drink icy 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 and easier 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.
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 made with glass or heat-resistant or 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 Katrina Munichiello, a writer and editor who specializes in the tea and food industries, and Katya Weiss-Andersson, a writer and editor who has nearly a decade of experience as a professional chef.