Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro Food Processor Review

This powerful food processor shreds the competition

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5

Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro Food Processor

Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro Food Processor

The Spruce / Tierney McAfee

What We Like

  • Attractive, intuitive design

  • Quiet yet powerful motor

  • Extra-wide feed tube

  • Versatile in use

  • Includes small and large bowls

  • Convenient storage box for accessories

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive

  • Heavy

  • Large footprint

  • Not all parts are dishwasher safe

Breville’s Sous Chef 16 Pro Food Processor doesn’t come cheap, but if you’re a serious at-home chef who’ll use the appliance a few times a week, it’s more than worth the investment.

5

Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro Food Processor

Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro Food Processor

The Spruce / Tierney McAfee

Breville is a trusted Australian company that has been manufacturing award-winning kitchen appliances for more than 80 years. While perhaps best known for creating the original sandwich toaster, Breville has been making waves in the food processor scene, with its Sous Chef 16 Pro often outranking competitors like Cuisinart in product tests. With multiple chute options, a swift-acting S-blade system, and eight precision tools, the hardworking Sous Chef really lives up to its name as a cook’s right-hand man (or woman). Those who find themselves doing a lot of chopping, slicing, or shredding will undoubtedly find the Sous Chef deserving of its hefty price tag, but this commercial-grade food processor may not be worth the splurge for the average cook. If you’ve been sitting on the fence trying to decide between the Sous Chef or a more affordable alternative, read on for our verdict.

Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro Food Processor
The Spruce / Tierney McAfee

Performance: Best in class

The Breville Sous Chef 16 pulled out all the promised stops in terms of versatility and ease of use. The micro-serrated S-Blade delivers consistently chopped or sliced ingredients, which translates to evenly cooked, perfectly presented meals. If you frequently cook for a large family or group of friends, the Sous Chef will quickly become indispensable. While it only includes one speed and two settings (on and pulse), accessories such as a Julienne disc, whipping attachment, french fry or vegetable stick disc, reversible shredding disc, adjustable slicer, and emulsifying disc offer added versatility and functionality.

We used the large chute and the reversible stainless steel shredding disc to shred potatoes and onions to make latkes. Having previously shredded potatoes and onions by hand to make these Jewish-style potato pancakes, we can confirm that using a food processor will save you loads of time and energy—not to mention a few tears!

We made hummus with tahini and a white bean spread—both of which turned out smoother and creamier than dips we’ve made in the past.

Due to its extra-wide feeding chute, we found the Sous Chef 16 was far more efficient than its competitors at processing whole vegetables. The Julienne cutter, which we used to make long, thin carrot strips for a salad, and the french fry cutter, which we used to make sweet potato fries, were huge time savers and delivered satisfyingly uniform ingredients. A few quick pushes of the Sous Chef’s pulse button also made ricing cauliflower—for baking a low-carb pizza crust—a breeze.

The Sous Chef is equally ideal for smaller jobs such as pureeing smooth sauces and dips. We made hummus with tahini and a white bean spread—both of which turned out smoother and creamier than dips we’ve made in the past using a more affordable Oster food processor. If you’re unsure which blade type to use for your ingredients, you can refer to Breville’s handy food processing guide within the instruction manual for pointers.

Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro Food Processor
The Spruce / Tierney McAfee

Design: Sleek and smart

The Breville Sous Chef boasts a 1200-watt, peak-power motor, an extra-large capacity bowl, and count up and count down timers. The feature that perhaps most sets it apart from its competitors is a super-wide, 5.5-inch feed chute that makes longer slices and saves time and energy by allowing you to process more food at once. The wide chute is perfect for processing large ingredients like potatoes or eggplants, while another included chute measuring 1.5 inches works best on long, thin ingredients such as carrots or cucumbers as it prevents them from tipping over during slicing.

The Sous Chef’s adjustable slicer disc allows you to control the thickness of fruit and vegetable slices, with 24 precise settings ranging from a paper-thin 0.3 millimeters to a thick and substantial 8 millimeters. For most large tasks, this adjustable disc will dramatically cut the processing time needed to achieve your desired results.

Due to its extra-wide feeding chute, we found the Sous Chef 16 was far more efficient than its competitors at processing whole vegetables.

A few quick pushes of the Sous Chef’s pulse button made ricing cauliflower—for baking a low-carb pizza crust—a breeze.

At 11 x 8 x 18 inches, the 16-cup food processor we tested (not to mention the huge storage box for its accessories) takes up a considerable amount of space on the countertop or in kitchen cabinets. However, if storage is a concern, this food processor is also available in a 12-cup size with slightly smaller dimensions.

Weighing about 26 pounds, the 16-cup food processor is very heavy, which is no trouble if you plan to keep it on your countertop, but could become an issue if you prefer to store it out of sight in a cabinet. Alas, this piece isn’t all function and no form: the Sous Chef’s design is aesthetically pleasing, and surprisingly sleek and stylish considering its bulk. We think you’ll be proud to put this piece on display in your kitchen.

Breville left no detail overlooked when it came to crafting the Sous Chef. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention its cleverly designed wall plug, which features a retractable cord and an easy-pull ring built into the plug head. Plus, unlike other food processor lids which can be tricky to align and lock into place, the Sous Chef features helpful arrows indicating how to secure the lid to the bowl. Though it comes with a somewhat intimidating 28-page instruction manual, the Sous Chef’s intuitive design makes it easy to assemble and use.

Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro Food Processor
The Spruce / Tierney McAfee

Material: Firm and functional

The Sous Chef features a die-cast metal base, stainless steel blades, and a high-impact, BPA-free bowl. (Breville notes that some parts of the food processor are not BPA-free, though all parts that come in contact with food are.) This means you won’t have to worry about harmful toxins leaching into your food.

The Sous Chef comes with a 16-cup bowl and a removable 2.5-cup mini processing bowl, both of which feature a silicone seal to prevent any leakage when working with liquids like soups or sauces. Non-skid rubber feet help keep this substantial machine in place, making for safe and stable food preparation. The Sous Chef comes in three colors: brushed aluminum, cranberry red, and black sesame.

Due to its extra-wide feeding chute, we found the Sous Chef 16 was far more efficient than its competitors at processing whole vegetables.

Though the Sous Chef, by all counts, seems to be made of sturdy, high-quality materials, some users have reported cracks in the bowl over brief periods of time with normal use. While we did not encounter any issues in the few weeks that we tested the product, we suggest being gentle with the bowl when cooking, cleaning, and storing. 

Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro Food Processor
The Spruce / Tierney McAfee

Cleanup: Quick and painless

This food processor is mostly dishwasher safe, with the exception of the large food pusher. However, Breville does not recommend washing the bowl, lid, or attachments in the dishwasher on a regular basis because extreme heat and harsh detergents can shorten their life span. It’s also a smart choice to wash the bowl by hand since it is relatively fragile and takes up a lot of space in the dishwasher. Luckily, the Sous Chef’s smooth design and limited nooks and crannies where food can get stuck make handwashing this piece super easy. After gently scrubbing all of the parts with a warm, soapy sponge, they were sparkling clean in no time. The touch buttons and LCD screen on the machine were also easy to wipe clean. 

Price: On the high end, but worth every penny

The Breville Sous Chef 16 isn’t cheap—retailing for roughly $400, it’s more than twice the price of its main budget contender, the Cuisinart 14-cup food processor. That said, the Sous Chef does have a higher capacity, and in terms of longevity, versatility, and ease of use, there’s no doubt you’ll get a substantial return on your investment. Can you make equally delicious ingredients in a less-expensive food processor? Perhaps, yes. But if you’re someone who uses a food processor multiple times a week or frequently cooks for big groups, we think it’s worth paying up.

Competition: The battle of budget vs. high-end

Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor: Another trusted kitchen appliance brand, Cuisinart makes its own high-quality food processor at a fraction of the cost of Breville. Ranging in price from about $40 for the 4-cup chopper/grinder to $200 for the 14-cup food processor, this tool performs just as well as the Breville on a basic level. Both food processors can chop, shred, slice, puree, knead, and emulsify, but the Breville comes with fun additional features like the Julienne and french fry cutters. The Cuisinart also has a smaller capacity, a narrower feed chute (4.5 inches compared to the Sous Chef’s 5.5), and a far less powerful motor (720 watts compared to Breville’s 1200 watts).

At 18 pounds, the Cuisinart is lighter and smaller overall than the Breville, which will be a plus for those without much storage space. Its shorter height means the Cuisinart can tuck under cabinets more easily than the Breville. Like its pricier competitor, the Cuisinart is also aesthetically pleasing, with a sleek, minimalist design. While the Breville has a 1-year limited product warranty and a 25-year induction motor guarantee, the Cuisinart comes with a longer 3-year warranty on the entire unit, but only a 5-year warranty on the motor. All things considered, the Cuisinart is a wonderful option for people on a budget and will meet the majority of the average cook’s needs.

Oster Total Prep 10-Cup Food Processor: Those on an even tighter budget may find the Cuisinart Custom out of their price range. Performance-wise, the 10-cup Oster food processor is not in the same league as the Breville or the Cuisinart, but at roughly $50, it’s far more affordable and works well for simple jobs like chopping or slicing food.

The 500-watt motor does the trick when it comes to coarsely chopping ingredients but struggles with recipes requiring a finer output. For example, when we tried to make a nut-based salad dressing in this food processor, it adequately blended most of the ingredients but left behind little unwanted chunks of nuts. Meanwhile, the Breville and the Cuisinart both tackled this task with great ease, delivering smooth, creamy dressings. If you can afford to splurge a little on the similarly-sized 11-cup Cuisinart food processor, you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck. 

Final Verdict

Go for it!

If you’re into kitchen gadgets and don’t mind paying up for a best-in-class food processor, the Breville Sous Chef won’t disappoint. Taking into account its unparalleled motor power, high-quality materials, and sleek design, this appliance is well worth the splurge.

Specs

  • Product Name Sous Chef 16 Pro Food Processor
  • Product Brand Breville
  • MPN BFP800XL
  • Price $399.95
  • Weight 26 lbs.
  • Product Dimensions 11 x 8 x 18 in.
  • Color Brushed aluminum, cranberry red, and black sesame
  • Material Die-cast metal base, high-impact BPA-free bowl, and stainless steel blades
  • Cleaning Dishwasher-safe except for large food pusher
  • Warranty 1-year limited product warranty and 25-year induction motor guarantee