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Sometimes, the kitchen can become more of a stressor than a safe space, especially when you’re more of a take-out person than a sous chef. But, if you’re not good at hand-held slicing and dicing, there’s one handy item that you absolutely need on your countertop: a food processor.
By now, all of us are very aware of what a food processor does. But in case you’re in need of a refresher, people basically save you a ton of precious time you’d usually waste chopping, cutting, mincing, grinding, and even a few help with blending and pureeing. It’s a simple device that’s essential for even the most novice chef to have for an easier life in the kitchen.
However, not all food processors are created equal. Here’s some food for thought: if you’re on the lookout for a new food processor, make sure you keep your eye on the important specs including the setting variety, amount of food it can hold, and assembling ease (and de-assemble for cleaning, of course).
Here, the best food processors.
Best Overall: Cuisinart 14 Cup-Food Processor DFP-14BCNY
This top of the line food processor deserves the top spot on our list for one main reason: it has an impressive performance, but it’s easy enough for everyone in the kitchen to use. This pick from Cuisinart includes a standard dicing blade, medium shredding disc, and stainless steel chopping/mixing blade to meet all of your cooking and prepping needs, without major hassle.
Plus, if you’re dicing and chopping a hefty amount of giant veggies, no need to fret. This food processor has an extra-large 14-Cup Lexan work bowl, an extra-large Feed tube for even the biggest of potatoes, and small and large pushers to get everything in with ease. It also features seven food prep settings and single-touch operation to make every recipe you tackle just a little bit easier.
Best for Small Kitchens: Cuisinart Cuisinart PrepExpress Slicer, Shredder and Spiralizer
If you live in a more metropolitan area, then chances are you have a smaller living situation, which of course includes your kitchen being a tad smaller. So, if your cooking area is already cramped as-is, then lighten the load with this compact food processor. It’s great for the chef who cooks in small batches thanks to its 5-cup food bowl (enough for two servings!), and it’s a 3-in-1 design that will transform even the tiniest of areas into a master Michelin-star kitchen.
This food processor can create eight different cuts of food, thanks to its four different cutting cones, so now you can make extra-long zoodles and crinkle-cut veggie chips with the ease of a switch. Plus, this design is teeny enough to fit in the smallest corners of your cupboards, so you won’t ever have to play Tetris with your kitchen gadgets ever again.
Best Budget: Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack & Snap Food Processor with Big Mouth
If you’re on the hunt for the best bang for your buck, look no further. This pick from Hamilton Beach is a favorite not only for its budget price tag but also for its grade-A performance. This processor can chop and dice food with two different speeds to choose from, plus it has a pulse control setting to save you some extra time and money.
The stack and snap design makes setting this processor up a breeze, so no need for twisting and wrestling your machine. And if you’re not into pre-cutting your veggies and fruits (because why would you be?), you’re in luck: this food processor has an extra-wide chute to fit the biggest eggplants, yams, and more with little to no fuss. The results: perfectly sliced and shredded ingredients, every time.
Best Splurge: Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro Food Processor
If you have a few extra dimes to spare, then you need to invest in this best-selling food processor. It’s been deemed the Holy Grail of food processors for a reason: it handles most tasks in seconds and comes with a plethora of eight professional-grade slicing discs and blades to choose from, including a precision-adjustable slicer to slice veggies to your preference of thickness.
It also comes with two BPA-free bowls to switch between tasks: one small option for all of your mincing and sauce-blending needs, and a larger bowl for slicing and grating, or even kneading dough. And don’t worry about slippery hands, because this food processor has a special safety interlock system that features a nonslip feed and overload protection. It may be a bit of a splurge, but it’s worth every shiny penny.
Best Hand Chopper: Presto Professional SaladShooter
Whether you already have a food processor or just like the feel of a hand-held gadget, this is the perfect kitchen pal for swift chopping. This mini food slicer may be tiny, but it’s mighty enough to shoot out perfectly sliced fruits, veggies, and more in mere seconds. The magic is in this handheld device’s powerful motor, which allows you to just point and shoot, so no need to clean extra bowls.
This nifty gizmo comes with four different cones to choose from, so you can easily prep food any way you’d like, and it’s extra-large food chamber lets you chop up even the largest of ingredients without any hassle. Once you’re done, just wipe the device clean and throw the cones in the dishwasher—seriously, it’s that easy.
Best for Beginners: Hamilton Beach 8-Cup Food Processor with Compact Storage
If you’re new to this whole “cooking” thing (don’t worry, a lot of us are), then try out this beginner’s option. Since you’re probably not going to julienne-cut many carrots, this eight-cup food processor will make food prepping a little bit easier on you. It features a stainless steel s-blade for chopping and pureeing and a reversible disc for slicing and shredding.
Plus, it also has a large feed chute, two speeds to choose from, and pulse control for power and control over your concoctions. Also, the bowl, lid, and blades are all dishwasher safe, so you won’t have to sweat any after-meal messes. It’s the simplest device for the modest chef, making cooking much less intimidating.
Best for Pros: Waring Commercial Food Processor
Whether you’re officially a professional chef or not, this food processor is definitely for the cooks looking to take on more intense jobs. This insanely large food processor has a bowl that can take on 3.5 quarts of food at a time, and it also features a 1-horsepower motor that can cut through any food almost too easily.
The machine has a Liquilock seal system to secure everything you feed into it in place, plus an extra-large chute for all of your prepping needs. In terms of blades, this food processor has a secure S-blade that locks in place for easier, safer pouring after chopping up your veggies, and the whipping disc whips up any heavy cream, egg whites and more swiftly for an airy, light feel.
Best for Large Groups and Families: Cuisinart Elite 2.0 16-Cup Food Processor
If you’re prepping a large batch for a family get-together, then it’s time to break out the heavy artillery. Spend even less time prepping food with this hefty model from Cuisinart, which can hold up to 16 cups. It comes with chopping blades, a dough blade, a slicing disc, and a shredding disc. With these sophisticated attachments, this processor is capable of chopping, emulsifying, shredding, slicing, and puréeing. Plus, it features a wide chute that can fit whole fruits and vegetables.
You don't have to worry about an arduous cleanup after cooking with this model, as all of its removable parts can go right in the dishwasher. When it's time to put it away, its accompanying storage case provides a home for all of its blades and discs.
Best Medium Sized: Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor with Compact Storage
Like Goldilocks, you need something just right, so no need for compact styles or ultra-wide bowls. That’s where this food process from Hamilton Beach comes in. It has a 10-cup food processor that can fit in most kitchens and includes three different attachments to choose from: an S-blade, a shredding disc, and a slicing disc.
It also features a continuous feed, a pulse function, and an easy-lock lid to keep things simple. All of the removable parts are dishwasher safe, making the post-meal cleaning session a little less intense. If you live an easy-breezy cooking lifestyle, then this simple food processor is exactly what you need to just get the job done.
Best Mini: Hamilton Beach Stack & Press Glass Bowl Chopper
Cooking for one? Then you don’t need the crazy specs or the 14+ cup bowls. All you need is a mini food processor that will prep your favorite foods with the perfect portion, each and every time. That’s why we suggest grabbing this 3-cup food processor, which has the power to chop up produce with a press of the lid. It's extremely easy to use and its removable components are dishwasher safe.
If you're short on space or whipping up a solo meal, this compact workhorse will be a mise en place lifesaver.
Best Color Options: KitchenAid KFC3516ER 3.5 Cup Food Chopper
Let’s be real for a second: fancy specs are nice, but you’re all about staying on theme with your kitchen, If you have an aesthetic to uphold, then this food processor is your answer. It features two speed settings plus a pulse option, making it a great choice for quick chopping jobs. Its 3.5-cup bowl will be especially appealing to solo cooks—or anyone who wants to display their colorful appliances without losing too much counter space.
But, we know why you’re really here: This food processor is available in a wide range of shades, from ice blue to boysenberry purple to tangerine orange. Whatever your kitchen's color scheme may be, there's an option here that will match.
Between its reliable performance and ease of use, the Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor (view at Amazon) is our first pick for anyone looking for a new food processor. Those who are shopping on a budget, however, should also consider Hamilton Beach's 12-Cup Stack & Snap Food Processor (view at Amazon). In addition to its approachable price tag, this model boasts a simple setup and an extra-wide chute.