We tested 15 name-brand food processors for 120 hours, putting them to work in our test kitchen with the kinds of foods that most cooks would expect a top-notch food processor to handle. We narrowed the field to our favorite 10. The Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup rose to the top of the list, consistently producing the results we expected, and offering the kind of versatility that lets culinary creativity soar. This Cuisinart model comes with two disks and a blade that can take on hard and soft foods.
Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup
The Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup gives you a strong motor, and it’s easy to use and pretty easy to clean by hand. You can also safely tuck the parts into the top rack of a dishwasher for more thorough cleaning.
Hamilton Beach 8-Cup
The Hamilton Beach 8-Cup food processor does a great job with cookie dough, shreds cheese nicely and gives you uniform potato slices. It also does not leak fluids when on the high setting.
The KitchenAid 14-Cup food processor does a fine job chopping onions and spinach, gives you uniform potato slices, and shreds hard and soft cheese very nicely.
For excellent performance, we love the Cuisinart 14-Cup food processor. During our testing, we got uniform slices of foods such as potatoes and mushrooms, and it’s easy to adjust this appliance to get thinner or thicker slices.
Unlike nearly all the competitors we tested, the Cuisinart grated Parmesan cheese beautifully. It also performed well with softer cheese, did a fine job pureeing cauliflower into a smooth consistency and was great for kneading dough so that both wet and dry ingredients were thoroughly incorporated.
This machine is equipped with a big food chute that can handle whole potatoes as long as they are not overwhelmingly large, and you can continuously feed quite a lot of food items into the processor. The big 14-cup bowl comes in handy when making big batches of any particular food. The Cuisinart is quite easy to use and fairly easy to clean, although there are a lot of parts to wash. It comes with a generous five-year warranty on the motor and three years of coverage for the processor itself.
This is a loud machine, clocking in 97.4 decibels, which places it among the noisier models we tested. It also has the bowl handle facing frontwards, which some people might dislike since it presents a barrier between them and the food chute. But this doesn’t present a hazard due to Cuisinart’s excellent design, and the distance also doesn’t interfere with getting consistent slicing and shredding.
Best Budget Food Processor
The affordable Hamilton Beach 8-Cup food processor worked like a charm with cookie dough, whipping up a batch of dry ingredients, softened butter and an egg in less than a minute.
The dough turned out smooth and resilient, which is exactly what we wanted. Our testing showed its motor is powerful and fast. This economical machine can produce smooth, even pieces when slicing such things as potatoes. However, we did get mixed results when chopping, slicing or shredding other foods, including spinach and onions that were worked over too much resulting in torn and bruised spinach and onions that resembled a puree rather than a pile of neatly chopped foods.
You get some real help using this food processor from a strong suction cup on the bottom located near the back of the machine that helps it really stick to the counter or table. It also does not leak fluids, unlike some food processors we tested. It’s easy to clean the food processor by hand, and the parts can go into the dishwasher’s top rack.
This machine lacks buttons, however, which seemed awkward when we were using it. Instead, you switch a knob on and off, which seems old-fashioned – and a bit annoying when you simply want to pulse something.
Best Slicing Food Processor
If you cook lots of foods that require slicing first, the KitchenAid 14-Cup food processor quickly becomes your favorite kitchen helper.
This hefty and powerful machine gives you a lever that you can adjust to get just the right thickness. Our slicing test with potatoes produced near-perfect slices, which can go a long way as far as getting even cooking or baking results since all the pieces are so uniform in size.
In our testing, this KitchenAid model also got fine results with slicing mushrooms, onions and spinach, and we got beautifully shredded, even-sized cheddar cheese when we ran it through this machine. However, not all results were great. This machine did not fare so well chopping almonds, which ended up in big chunks and lots of dust; it didn’t do a great job on cookie dough; and we found less than stellar results with attempting to puree cauliflower.
This wasn’t the quietest model we tested, but it came in at a reasonable 81.8 decibels, which is not too bad for a food processor. This is about the same noise level as an average garbage disposal. The set comes with a 14-cup bowl and a smaller 4-cup bowl, which is handy for many food preparation tasks.
Best for College
This little food processor isn’t the best one on the market but it’s small and affordable.
The Ninja Precision Processor NN310 chops vegetables well, but as long as they’re in small pieces before you toss them into the machine. In our tests it chopped soft foods well and even pureed cauliflower, it’s just not always consistent. For instance, it worked well with potatoes, but the resulting pieces weren't all the same size. This isn’t a big problem though if you're making salsas or other dishes where you have a little leeway when it comes to your chopped ingredients. Some food processors cost hundreds, but this model is incredibly affordable, making it an ideal first step into the food processor world if you're in college or moving into a small apartment. To top it off it also makes excellent veggie noodles.
The Cuisinart Elite 14-Cup food processor has a ton of power to cut through the toughest of ingredients.
The 1,300 watt motor has the most power of the processors we tested and comes with three blades and two discs to tackle any ingredient. This machine produces consistent chopped ingredients, though it wasn't perfect and sometimes sliced things to varying thicknesses. Overall, this machine fared well, and the high-powered motor works quickly and efficiently. The buttons are easy-to-use and it's also simple to take apart and clean. In our tests we were done cleaning in a mere 10 minutes. This food processor definitely speeds up your meal prep time so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with family.
Why Trust Us?
We tackled 120 hours of hands-on testing for 15 name-brand appliances to find the top 10 best food processors. To ensure fairness during our in-house testing, we used the same ingredients with each food processor and graded each appliance according to rigorous testing standards that most cooks would appreciate.
As a testing team, we not only relied on our combined years of experience in our home kitchens, but read cooking blogs, examined each product’s website, checked competing products on the internet and looked for consumer reviews in various areas. We took careful note of the data we found and factored it into our side-by-side comparison.
How We Tested
We evaluated the processors for their performance doing everything from slicing to kneading to shredding, and much more. We also examined their size and took note of how easy (or hard) they were to both use and to clean. We also looked at the design including such things as noise levels, speeds, the number of blades and disks that come with each. Another important factor in our grading was the length of the warranty for the machine itself and its motor, and how easily you can get help if anything goes wrong.
During our testing, we sought opinions from co-workers, local foodies and gadget lovers. Our human guinea pigs enjoyed tasting certain items we shredded (cheddar and Parmesan cheese were great hits) and they did things like feel the texture of pureed cauliflower to see if it was too watery or grainy, held and compared potato slices to check uniformity in size, and checked out the resiliency, smoothness and, of course, the taste of chocolate chip cookie dough to see if all ingredients had been incorporated. Their observations, along with our own, and the measurements we took, all combined to help us ultimately grade every one of the food processors.
In addition, we interviewed Cindy Milne, a mom of 11 children and a long-time homesteader who owns numerous food processors, uses them several times a week for routine cooking, and keeps those machines working during harvest and canning season. She outlined her preferences, shared her experiences and provided invaluable advice.
What to Look for in a Food Processor
Food processors can save you plenty of time in the kitchen and make cooking even the most elaborate dishes easy and fun. The best food processors emphasize these characteristics:
We looked for food processors that consistently chop food down to evenly sized pieces. We also looked for the same kind of consistency in slicing, shredding, grating, and pureeing different foods. Having pieces of food all the same size gives you an advantage in cooking since all the chunks of chopped potato or sliced carrots will cook evenly, which is not the case if you’re cooking unevenly cut items. It also is important to get a food processor that kneads well so that all the ingredients are completely incorporated into whatever kind of dough you are making. Otherwise, you could end up with bread that has an unpleasant and unappetizing texture.
We evaluated the food processors we tested to see how long it took to clean each one after we were finished using it. We also scored each for ease of use and noted whether parts are dishwasher safe, which saves time and gives you sanitary food processor parts due to the high heat of the dishwasher’s drying cycle.
We looked for machines that offer powerful wattage, multiple speed levels, different numbers of blades and disks that you can insert into the machine to do different kinds of chopping or slicing tasks, and reasonably low noise levels. These can provide considerable convenience and give you more flexibility when using your food processor.
How Much Does a Food Processor Cost?
The food processors we tested cost an average of $169. There are more affordable food processors available for about $30, but they’re less reliable and don’t cut as consistently. More expensive food processors can cost as much as $400 and usually have a more powerful motor, extra blades and numerous settings.
Can a Blender Replace a Food Processor?
Blenders and food processors seem very similar – after all, they both have a central metal blade that spins to break down food into smaller pieces. Also, they perform some of the same functions. For instance, you can use both to make pesto, salad dressing, soup, hummus, and sauces and gravy. That said, each machine has its strengths and weaknesses.
A blender's main strength is its powerful motor, which can handle hard foods like ice. However, its blades are not necessarily razor-sharp. As such, it struggles with shredding and chopping things like carrots and potatoes.
A food processor's biggest asset is its razor-sharp blades, which can chop and shred just about anything. However, food processors are smaller than blenders – you can use one to make foods like soup, but you will have to split it into multiple batches.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Performance||Cleaning & Convenience||Design||Warranty & Support||Chopping||Slicing||Shredding||Grating||Kneading||Pureeing||Capacity (cups)||Ease of Cleaning||Ease of Use||Dishwasher Safe||Noise Level (decibels)||Watts||Speeds||Blades||Disks||Warranty||Motor Warranty||Phone||FAQ|
|Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup DFP-14BCNY||View Deal||4.5/5||10||9.5||8||8||95%||100%||100%||95%||100%||100%||14||80%||95%||✓||97.4||720||1||1||2||3 Years||5 Years||✓||✓||-|
|Cuisinart Elite Collection FP-14DCN||View Deal||4.5/5||9.3||9.8||9||8||90%||85%||90%||95%||95%||90%||14||100%||95%||✓||97.4||1300||3||3||2||3 Years||20 Years||✓||✓||-|
|KitchenAid 14-Cup KFP1466ER||View Deal||4.5/5||8.8||9.3||10||7.3||80%||100%||95%||80%||75%||75%||14||90%||80%||✓||81.8||360||3||3||2||1 Year||1 Year||-||✓||✓|
|Breville Sous Chef BFP800XL||View Deal||4.5/5||8.8||7.3||9||9.8||90%||95%||65%||100%||90%||75%||16||85%||100%||-||97||1200||1||3||5||1 Year||25 Years||✓||✓||✓|
|Black & Decker Performance Dicing FP6010||View Deal||4/5||8.3||8||9.8||6||80%||80%||100%||50%||80%||70%||11||65%||60%||✓||95.8||800||3||3||3||3 Years||3 Years||✓||✓||-|
|Hamilton Beach 8-Cup 70740||View Deal||4/5||7||9.3||8.8||9.3||65%||75%||60%||50%||95%||80%||8||100%||80%||✓||94.2||450||3||1||1||1 Year||1 Year||✓||✓||✓|
|Ninja Precision Processor NN310||View Deal||4/5||7||7.5||8.8||7.3||90%||50%||50%||80%||70%||100%||4||50%||75%||✓||93.26||400||2||2||2||1 Year||1 Year||-||✓||-|
|Oster Total Prep FPSTFP1355||View Deal||3.5/5||7.3||6.5||8.3||10||90%||85%||90%||50%||50%||20%||10||85%||85%||-||97.5||500||2||2||1||3 Years||10 Years||✓||✓||✓|