This Cult-Favorite Food Processor Has Over 2,000 Five-Star Reviews on Amazon

·11 min read
Photo credit: Cuisinart
Photo credit: Cuisinart


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This story was updated in October 2021 to ensure all picks previously tested and vetted by the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliance Lab were available and in stock. New picks were added, including the MagiMix, Vitamix attachment, Ninja and Thermomix.

Using a food processor is like having your own personal sous chef — it will save you from having to do tons of tedious and tiring prep work. A great food processor is able to dice, mince, grind, knead, puree, slice and shred. Whether you want to knead a pizza dough, grate potatoes and slice onions for latkes or puree a pesto, a trusty food processor will make the task faster. There are even blenders with food processor attachments or food processor–blender combos, which will help accomplish more in the kitchen with less equipment or having to decide whether to purchase a blender or food processor.

How we test food processors

The Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab regularly tests food processors for how evenly they're able to dice onions, mince parsley, grind parmesan cheese, shred carrots and mozzarella, slice tomatoes and knead dough. We also take note of how quickly each model performed these tasks and how much food was left unprocessed.

We grade ease of use, evaluating how helpful the owner’s manual is; how easy the blades, chute, and lid are to assemble; the intuitiveness of the controls; the variety of settings offered and the cleanability.

Out of the more than 75 we’ve tested over the years, our top pick of 2021 is the Breville Sous Chef. It's top-of-the-line when it comes to performance, featuring a super powerful motor, a micro-serrated S-blade, an adjustable slicer with 24 settings (ranging from paper-thin to thick-cut), a reversible shredder, a dough blade and more. It aced every test, dicing onions, mincing parsley and uniformly slicing tomatoes in seconds.

The best food processors you can buy are:

Best Overall Food Processor

Breville Sous Chef 12-Cup Food Processor

Thanks to a super powerful motor, Breville’s Sous Chef is the MVP when it comes to performance. It’s stacked with bells and whistles to give you the ultimate versatility, including a micro-serrated S-blade, an adjustable slicer with 24 settings (ranging from paper-thin to thick-cut), a reversible shredder, a dough blade and more.

This model earned perfect scores in nearly all of our tests, turning out evenly diced onions, minced (read: not bruised) parsley, perfectly ground Parmesan and uniformly sliced tomatoes in seconds. The sleek silver Sous Chef has multiple feeding tubes, one of which is large enough to hold an entire tomato or one-pound block of mozzarella.

Best Value Food Processor

Oster 2-Speed 10-Cup Food Processor

Of the food processors we evaluated, the Oster Total Prep was one of the easiest to use. This no-frills black model comes with an S-shaped blade for chopping, a dough blade and a reversible shredding and slicing disc. The lid and feed tube are super simple to assemble. And for quick cleanup, all parts and accessories are dishwasher-safe. In our tests, it evenly processed diced onions and shredded carrots — though it did leave parsley slightly bruised when mincing, this shortcoming is offset by the great price.

Best Food Processor for Pastry Chefs

Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor

This food processor has a solid base so it didn't move around when kneading dough, and the bowl’s straight edges made it easy to scrape and clean in our tests. It has a simple design and performs well: In our tests, it excelled at chopping onions, mincing parsley and grinding Parmesan cheese, as well as slicing pepperoni and tomatoes. We particularly liked the paddle design of the buttons because they’re wide and operate by pushing down — no fussing with a touchpad. The lid has a large feed tube (for foods like potatoes and cheese) and a smaller one (for skinny items like carrots and celery). The accessories are top rack dishwasher safe.

Best Food Processor According to Chefs

Magimix by Robot-Coupe 14-Cup Food Processor

Magimix’s food processor with technology from Robot-Coupe (a brand primarily used in restaurants) brings a professional tool to your home kitchen. Featuring 6-cup, 12-cup and 14-cup mixing bowls, it has you covered whether you need to puree a small serving of baby food or knead brioche dough. It comes with two metal blades, a dough blade, two grating disks, two slicing discs, a Blendermix attachment, an egg whisk, a spatula and a storage box. If you want to upgrade this food processor there are additional attachments for purchase that will transform this food processor into a juicer, citrus press, spiralizer and so much more.

Most Versatile Food Processor

Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup Food Processor

This Cuisinart food processor includes interchangeable 13-cup and 4.5-cup work bowls — so you can use it to prep salsa or coleslaw for a large party or just for two. It comes with an adjustable slicing disc, a reversible shredding disc (for medium or fine consistency), a dough blade, a dicing disc, a versatile chopping blade, a cleaning tool and a storage case to hold your accessories. In our tests, this machine earned high scores at nearly every task, including kneading bread dough and shredding mozzarella cheese.

Best Food Processor Attachment

Vitamix 12-Cup Food Processor Attachment with Self-Detect

Already own a Vitamix blender and don’t want to purchase another piece of kitchen equipment? The Vitamix 12-Cup Food Processor Attachment is a great solution. This attachment comes with a base that lets the blender know you’re using the food processor attachment, a 12-cup work bowl with lid, two food pushers (one large, one small), one S-shaped multi-purpose blade, two reversible slicing/shredding discs and a slim disc storage case. It made smooth hummus and chopped parsley well in our tests. Even more attachments can be purchased for it, including a julienne disc and reversible fine shred and slice disc.

Best Mini Food Processor

Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor

Looking for a food processor but don’t have the storage space for a full-sized model? This compact option is a smart pick for little kitchens, dorm rooms or those who tend to make small portions. Ranking at the top of our tests, this 3-cup Cuisinart is a great do-it-all size: The chop and grind functions provide versatility to mince ingredients like herbs, onions, and meat or grind spices or beans with the blunt side of the blades.

Most Versatile Mini Food Processor

Good Housekeeping 350W 2-Cup Food Processor

This food processor excels at chopping and pureeing. In our tests, it chopped parsley, garlic and onion efficiently, and it pureed chickpeas into a smooth, creamy hummus. It has a high and low speed, in addition to a pulse function so you can chop a wide assortment of ingredients. The Good Housekeeping 2-Cup Food Processor comes with slicing and shredding accessories, which is uncommon for mini food processors. The slicing and shredding discs are designed to be used with the included lid that allows for continuous slicing and shredding into a separate bowl. The whipping disc is among our favorite accessories – it can whip cream to a silky texture in seconds.

Best Compact Food Processor

Cuisinart Prep 9 9-Cup Food Processor

The Cuisinart Prep 9 excelled at everything in our tests, even tricky jobs like slicing tomatoes and shredding carrots. It's a classic food processor with very basic, easy-to-use controls — just three buttons (for on, off and pulse) are included — which makes this the ideal model for those who are new to food processing. The nine-cup capacity should be ample for most home cooks, but Cuisinart's 11-cup sister model (the Prep 11 Plus) is a smart choice if you entertain often and are making larger batches. This Cuisinart includes a slicer disc, shredding disc, new chopping blade, detachable stem, spatula and recipe book.

Best Food Processor Blender

ComboNinja Professional Plus Kitchen System with Auto-IQ

The Ninja Professional Plus Kitchen System with Auto-IQ is a great option when looking for a food processor–blender combo. You can switch from blending a frozen margarita to chopping salsa just by switching the work bowl. This food processor and blender combo comes with a pitcher, two single-serve cups with spout lids, pro extractor blades, a 64-oz processor bowl, a chopping blade and a dough blade. One thing that we were missing from a traditional food processor was a shredding/grating disc. Reviewers love the suction cups on the bottom of the base for steady blending and that this machine can replace at least 3 pieces of kitchen equipment: full-sized blender, personal blender and food processor.

Best Smart Food Processor

Thermomix TM6

The Thermomix TM6 offers food processor functions like chopping, grating, crushing, mincing, grinding and milling — all controlled by its touchscreen and large knob. It also offers steaming and sauté functions, as well as unique features like sous-vide and fermentation. There are numerous components that come with the Thermomix like a mixing knife for chopping onions and mincing herbs, a spatula, a butterfly whisk for whipping cream and eggs, a splash guard, a Varoma basket (for steaming), a simmering basket and a mixing bowl. It features an integrated scale for weighing ingredients, a heating system and a touchscreen control panel.

We found that the Thermomix has a larger learning curve than most food processors, but with that came a lot of useful culinary techniques. The biggest downside to the Thermomix is the large price tag, but it can replace about 10 appliances in your kitchen, and the brand offers a complimentary 1-hour introductory tutorial so you can learn how to get the most out of your Thermomix right out of the box. It’s also equipped with thousands of recipes designed specifically for Thermomix via the Cookidoo app. Its smart, connected technology allows for over-the-air software updates that introduce new programs, like bread proofing, and one of its latest innovations is being able to order groceries right through the machine.

What makes a great food processor?

✔️ Versatility: A top-performing food processor should be able to blitz whole or large pieces of fresh produce — like onions, carrots, herbs or potatoes — into uniform dices or minces in very little time. It should be able to take on tasks like grinding hard cheeses, pureeing soups or sauces, making emulsions like mayo and even kneading dough for bread. When shopping, look for a model that can slice and/or shred foods like tomatoes and cheese.

✔️ Accessories: All food processors come with a work bowl for chopping and pureeing — the best ones will include a slicing and shredding disc as well. Other accessories to look for are a smaller work bowl and blade for finer tasks, a dough blade, a dicing accessory and even a blender attachment for smoothies. Most are top-rack dishwasher safe.

✔️ Settings and speeds: Many food processors have just one speed, but some can have high, medium and low speeds. One must-have: A pulse setting. Pulsing lets you incrementally chop food and control the blade to limit your risk of overprocessing. It’s also great for getting an even chop: The stop-and-go motion allows unprocessed items from the top to fall onto the blade to be processed. Otherwise, items close to the blade just continue to be processed making the bottom more fine than the top.

✔️ Weight: A heavier base helps in terms of performance, but heft doesn't necessarily relate to more power. Lighter materials make food processors more affordable and easier to move around and store. Details like suction cups may seem cheap, but they help keep the base from moving around on the countertop.

✔️ Warranty: Food processors are known as an investment piece, but some people boast that they have had theirs for over 30 years. Before you splurge, take a look at the brand's warranty: The length often varies for motor and accessories.

What size food processor should I get?

Consider the types of tasks you'll be using your food processor for and choose your capacity from there:

  • 2- or 4-cup models are for very basic small tasks like chopping herbs, making hummus, pureeing baby food and whipping up dressing or mayo.

  • 8-cup models are best for beginners: They're not too big, and not too small. Keep in mind that while they can be used for pastry dough, it would be tough to make bread in this size.

  • 12- or 14-cup models are our recommendation for most households. They're versatile and large enough to handle bread dough, and they often come with a second small work bowl for smaller tasks and an assortment of accessories too.

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