Speed through labor-intensive food preparation with the best food processor. Whether you’ve got chopping, shedding or grinding to do, an excellent food processor will save you both time and effort in the kitchen.
A food processor chops or mixes ingredients such as vegetables, meat, or even cake batter, using a motor-powered sharp blade that rotates at high speed within a plastic bowl to tackle the more menial and time-consuming cooking or baking tasks in the kitchen. One of the most versatile kitchen gadgets out there, some models can also emulsify liquids as well as whisk or combine ingredients into dough. Swap the blade for a rotating disc, and you can create slaws and salads in minutes.
Choosing the best food processor for you can leave you feeling confused. Not only is there an array of models on the market from well-known brands such as KitchenAid and Magimix, along with more affordable options from cult names including Ninja and Nutribullet, but they also come in a wide range of different sizes and with a myriad of attachments.
However, we’ve put some of the most popular models to the test, grating carrots, cheese, and chocolate, while also slicing cucumber, chopping onions, and even making bread dough and whisking heavy cream, to help you decide which is the best food processor for you.
The best food processor of 2022
If you want the best food processor and you’re not working to a budget or constricted by a small kitchen, the Sage the Kitchen Wizz 15 Pro or Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro as it’s known in the US is the best we’ve tested. This easy-to-use but powerful food processor only offers one speed so it’s advisable to use the pulse button to avoid over-processing foods.
On test it could speed through even the toughest tasks like grinding beef and mixing bread dough. It can shred and slice large piles of food in seconds, which will save you time in the kitchen. There are plenty of attachments to choose from including less common ones to create julienne vegetables or cut homemade French fries and they all store neatly in the box.
The only downsides are the eye-watering price tag and that it’s bulkier and heavier than other blenders in this list.
Read our full review: Sage the Kitchen Wizz 15 Pro
If you’re looking for a food processor with plenty of attachments as well as a large capacity, look no further. The Magimix 4200XL food processor (known as the Magimix 14 Cup food processor in the US) is a versatile appliance that’s powerful and easy to use, but it’s one of the most expensive designs we’ve tested.
It comes with an array of attachments, and we were impressed – it sliced, chopped and shredded with ease, and even copes well with heavy bread dough, plus for added versatility there’s a smaller bowl and blade.
However, it only offers one speed – we would have liked the ability to use less power when chopping more delicate items, and although it comes with a handy storage box for all the attachments which helps keep them together, it’s bulky to store.
Read our full review: Magimix 4200XL food processor
Though it’s smaller than a standard food processor, the KitchenAid Food Chopper is the perfect choice if space is limited, or if you don’t need to process large quantities. With just a 5 cup/ 1.19-liter capacity, it might be small, but on test it surprised us with how quickly and efficiently it chopped food. It’s sturdy and has enough power for tough jobs like grinding beef and chopping nuts without struggling.
It doesn’t come with many accessories, so it’s not useful for slicing, shredding or mixing dough. But it does come with a whisk which can be used to thicken small quantities of cream or aerate egg whites. There are two speeds to choose from, but you have to keep a finger on the button otherwise it stops.
Everything can be stored inside the main bowl, so it’s easy to store in a cupboard, however, given the size and limited functionality it is a little pricey.
Read our full review: KitchenAid Food Chopper KFC0516
The Ninja 3-in-1 Food Processor with Auto-iQ is well worth considering if you’re looking to combine multiple kitchen appliances into one. It’s a food processor that doubles as a full-size blender as well as a personal cup blender.
The food processor bowl comes with a reversible slicing and grating disc – although this isn’t supplied with the US model, and we were also impressed by the removable blade for the blender as this makes for easy cleaning, and the recipe book for those that need inspiration.
It doesn’t come with the same number of attachments as some of the food processors in this list, so it may not be suitable for every task you want a food processor for, and the addition of a blending pitcher and to-go cup means there’s lots to store. There’s also less choice when it comes to which speed setting you use than with other food processors.
Read our full review: Ninja 3-in-1 Food Processor with Auto-IQ
The Cuisinart Easy Prep Pro is a great option if you’re after a full size food processor on a budget. One of the cheapest models we’ve tested, which has an 8 cup/ 1.9 liter bowl, it’s easy to use, relatively compact, and the attachments and bowls are dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning, too.
You can choose between two different sizes for shredded and sliced foods. The discs work well and are easy to assemble but some food was left not shredded on top of the disc on test, and chocolate started to melt during the process.
We also found the appliance moved across the counter when mixing cake batter, so we had to hold onto it, and it lacked a whisk and dough attachment.
Read our full review: Cuisinart Easy Prep Pro FP8
The affordable Nutribullet Magic Bullet Kitchen Express is ideal if you want a personal blender and mini food processor in one. Simple to use, the 3.5 cup / 0.83 liter bowl is the smallest capacity of all the food processors in this list and it comes with just a slicing disc and blade , so it can’t be used to whip cream, make dough or for other tasks.
On test, we found it was quick to shred carrot and grate cucumber, but the small feed chute means larger foods like cucumber will need to be cut in half to fit. However, it is compact and in spite of all the accessories, is easy to store.
Read our full review: Nutribullet Magic Bullet Kitchen Express
How to choose the best food processor for you?
There’s plenty to think about when selecting the best food processor for you. One of the first things to consider is capacity, they come in various sizes from mini food processors designed for small quantities to large models with a capacity in excess of 14 cups/ 3 liters. If you’re regularly feeding a crowd, a large capacity might be best, but if you’ll just use it for small batches of salsa or to chop the odd onion then a mini food processor should meet your needs.
Food processors can come with multiple attachments to take the hard work out of labor-intensive kitchen tasks like shredding, slicing, mixing, chopping and whisking. It’s helpful to have an idea of what you will be using it for, this way you know which attachments will be useful to you. Try not to double up on appliances, that’s just a waste of space in your kitchen. So if for example, you know you always use a food mixer for dough and whisking, then you don’t need a food processor with these attachments.
But to make the most out of a food processor and all its capabilities, look for models with lots of attachments. In addition to chopping and mixing, the slicing and shredding discs speed up food prep for your favorite slaw and salad recipes. But don’t forget that all these attachments will need to be stored, so check you have the space and look for models that come with a neat storage solution.
Finally, if you’re particularly short on space, you may want to consider a food processor that doubles as a blender or personal blender. These multipurpose appliances take the place of two or three appliances which can save you space as well as money.
How we test food processors
We mix, chop, slice and shred our way through a variety of different foods to compare the food processors like-for-like and assess which is best. We chop nuts, onion and bread, grind beef and mix up a cake batter using the main blade to see how well it copes with these very different tasks. We’re looking at whether it produces evenly chopped results and if it can grind beef without any of the meat getting lodged in the blades.
If it comes with shredding and slicing discs we shred carrot, cheese and chocolate and slice cucumber. We evaluate how even the shreds are, noting how much of each food is left not shredded or sliced and if any has become trapped or melted during the process.
For the food processors that come with a whisk, we see how effectively it can whip cream. And for those that come with a dough blade, we try this out with bread dough, assessing whether it can mix the dough effectively and if the machine is stable when kneading a heavy dough.
Throughout the testing process we record how loud the food processor is and assess how easy it is to use and assemble. Additionally, we make a note of how easy it is to clean, whether it feels durable and if we think any accessories will be tricky to store.
What’s the difference between a food processor and a blender?
If you already own one of the best blenders don’t be fooled into thinking a food processor can’t add much. Blenders are great for creating lump-free liquids like soups and smoothies, whereas food processors are much better at chopping dry ingredients like nuts and vegetables as well as shredding, slicing, and whisking. Find out more about how these two appliances differ in blenders vs food processors.
What exactly does a food processor do?
A food processor is an extremely versatile kitchen gadget that can undertake a multitude of food preparation tasks. All models come with an S-blade (an attachment that features two curved blades opposite each other) which can chop and grind. It works well for vegetables such as onions and celery, along with herbs and even grinding chucks of meat.
The S-blade can also be used to mill nuts or pulverize them into nut butters, turn slices of bread into crumbs, combine eggs and flour into batter and even emulsify ingredients into smooth, silky sauces such as mayonnaise.
Many food processors also come with discs that can replace the blade, which slice and shred fresh produce such as cucumber, carrot and cabbage as well as hard cheese or cooked meats, enabling you whip up slaws and salads in seconds.
Others ship with a whisk for incorporating air into heavy cream or egg whites, while dough hooks or blades can knead dough without requiring several minutes of hard work from you.
If you’re new to food processors then you can find out more about the appliance in our article, how does a food processor work. We’d also recommend you read up on how to clean a food processor to keep the kitchen gadget in tip-top condition.
How much should I spend on a food processor?
While there are some models available from as little as $50 / £40, they’re not as powerful as many of the designs in the list, which means they may struggle to chop, slice or grind tougher fresh produce. You’ll also compromise on the capacity of the food processor and the range of attachments it comes with. This list features the best of the best, so you won’t find anything less than $69.99 / £59.99 in this round up.
What size food processor do I need?
The size of food processor you require, depends on the type of ingredients you plan to use it for, and the functions you want. On the whole, larger-capacity food processors come with a wider range of attachments.
If you want a model that can whisk or knead dough as well as chop and slice, then we’d recommend opting for at least an 8 cup / 1.9-liter capacity, as this will ensure the food processor can easily accommodate enough bread dough for a medium-sized loaf, or the quantity of cake batter required for an 8-inch cake.
If you regularly batch cook or feed several mouths in one go, consider a larger 14 cup / 3-liter food processor to ensure you can chop and slice the quantity you require in one go. Similarly, if you’re looking for a food processor to chop small quantities of herbs or nuts as a garnish, or make enough mayonnaise as an accompaniment for one or two meals, then a mini food processor with a capacity of no more than 5 cup / 1.19-liter will suffice.
What brand makes the best food processor?
Magimix and KitchenAid are two of the biggest names in the food processor market, but which is better?
Both brands offer a range of sturdy and well-designed food processors. KitchenAid has a wider range, with a model for every budget in its line-up. It also offers a range of mini food choppers, which are great for those that want to dice or whisk small quantities of food.
Magimix food processors however are extremely versatile, and ship with a wider range of attachments compared to KitchenAid models, that’ll ensure you can chop, slice, and dice as well as shred mix, and whisk till your heart’s content. The brand even offers a number of optional accessories for its food processors too, meaning there won’t be any task this kitchen appliance can’t tackle. They are more expensive though.
Read more in-depth about how the two food processor brands differ by checking out our article, Magimix vs KitchenAid.