If you are a home cook who likes to get food prepared quickly, a good food processor can feel like having your own personal sous chef in the kitchen.
A food processor is a versatile kitchen appliance used to prepare ingredients by quickly chopping, mincing, kneading, slicing, shredding or blending. A food processor is similar to a blender, except it doesn’t require liquids to be effective.
We consulted kitchen appliance experts and studied food processor consumer reports before gathering the top-rated food processors and choppers according to consumer reviews and ratings for our hands on food processor test.
Top Rated Food Processors
These are the top rated best food processors to buy in 2022:
- Best overall: Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14 Cup Food Processor.
- Best large food processor: Breville BFP660SIL Sous Chef 12 Cup Food Processor.
- Best small and cheap food processor: Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack & Snap Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper.
- Best food processor and chopper: KitchenAid KFP0718CU Food Processor.
To compare and find the best food processor, we put each model through various tests to determine their strength, efficiency, and user-friendliness. In the end, we found three food choppers we could rely on – a great quality food processor and chopper for easy meal prep, a large food processor for the money and a small mini food processor and vegetable chopper that is affordable and cheap.
4 Best Food Processors in 2022
Whether you need a small food processor to cook for one, or a large chopper for the whole family, these are the best performing food processors and choppers on the market.
Here then is a reviewed list of the best food processors:
1. Our #1 Pick: Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14 Cup Food Processor
Our top pick of the best food processor and chopper on the market right now for most kitchens
- Material: Stainless steel
- Wattage: 720 watts
- Food Processor Capacity: 14 cups
- Color: Silver, Black, Brushed Chrome, White, Sky Blue
- Where to buy: Cuisinart | Amazon US, UK | Kohl’s
Why we chose it
Quality food processing results.
The best food processors can give us high-quality results such as finely minced vegetables, and ready-to-go pizza dough in seconds. And while the other brands in our test kitchen (BLACK+DECKER, Oster, and Hamilton Beach models) were all speedy, only the Cuisinart and the Breville prepared our food at chef-level quality, neatly chopping through a pound of vegetables in 10 seconds.
The Cuisinart particularly excelled because it came closest to actually kneading the pizza dough instead of dragging it around the top of the bowl. In our chop test, after a quick pause to scrape the inside of the pitcher, the Cuisinart gave us even, fine, textured vegetables with only a few fast taps of the “pulse” button.
This efficiency meant we were ready to move on with our recipe in seconds – unlike KitchenAid food processor, which still needed more chopping time after we leaned on the pulse button for 30 seconds.
When we put our top picks through one last test to see how well they sliced ripe tomato and shredded mozzarella, the Cuisinart demonstrated that its attachments weren’t just for show. We received thin slices of tomato and a very fine shredding of cheese within seconds.
Compact size to save countertop space.
At first, we liked the BLACK+DECKER’s and KitchenAid’s extra storage boxes for their discs and blades, but they take up almost as much space as the machine itself. We ended up preferring how compact the Cuisinart is: All of its attachments fit inside the bowl easily, so its accessories don’t clutter up our countertop or get lost in the depths of a cupboard.
It’s easy to clean and keep clean.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, the Cuisinart’s bowl and lid are smooth, making cleanup as easy as scraping off the food. We particularly liked the fact that there were no hiding spots for scraps and bacteria during our testing.
Things you should know, possible drawbacks and points to consider
Assembling can be tricky for beginners.
The only drawback to the Cuisinart is that it can be a little tricky to assemble. If you put food in the pitcher before the blade is on the base, sometimes the blade won’t set properly, and you’ll need to manually rotate it into position. The lid also locks the pitcher onto the base, and you won’t be able to remove the pitcher unless you take off the lid first.
Quality stainless steel build means heavy weight.
The Cuisinart is the heaviest of our top food processor picks, weighing a formidable 18lbs. Which is two pounds heavier than the Breville BFP660SIL Sous Chef 12 Cup Food Processor and 10 pounds heavier than the Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack and Snap Food Processor.
The weight of the Cuisinart could be a burden for those who are unable to keep it squatting on the counter, however, the extra weight does provide for a sturdy, reliable unit capable of heavy-duty tasks without budging or sliding.
Things we like
- Quality food chopping and processing.
- Compact size saves countertop space.
- It’s easy to clean and maintain.
Things we dislike
- Not so easy to assemble.
- It’s heavy.
2. Best large capacity food processor: Breville BFP660SIL Sous Chef 12 Cup Food Processor
The best large food processor for the money
- Material: Plastic
- Wattage: 1,000 watts
- Food Processor Capacity: 12 cups
- Color: Silver
- Where to buy: Amazon US, UK, CA | Sur La Table | Wayfair
Why we chose it
High quality design.
Where the Breville really stands above the competition is in design quality. The Breville simply felt nicer to use than the other food processors we tested.
All food processors have plastic bowls, but the Breville’s is made of sturdier plastic, and its handle is comfortable to hold and carry around. Both the pitcher and feeding tube allow you to measure volume in cups, ounces, and milliliters right inside the processor, which eliminates preliminary measuring.
The Breville also has assembly guidelines to help you lock everything in with a satisfying click instead of fumbling to line up parts just right.
Large liquid capacity.
If you’re planning on running soup through your food processor, the Breville has the largest liquid capacity of our top picks, so you won’t need to split your recipe into tiny batches. It holds up to 4 cups of thin liquid without spilling, and the Breville’s bowl is liquid-tight.
We didn’t have to worry about unintended leaks, unlike the Cuisinart, whose hollow stem (which fits the blade onto the motor) limits it to 3 cups of thin liquid.
What you should know and points to consider
Less effective accessories.
The results of our accessories test were a little more mixed: The Breville successfully shredded mozzarella, though not as finely as the Cuisinart, and some of the soft cheese got stuck in the lid. And though we eventually got some nice slices of tomato from the Breville’s slicer, the first two pieces came out crushed.
Quality build material means heavy weight.
The Breville is meant to be a countertop staple, and with its heavy weight, you wouldn’t want to move it around often. At 15.9 lbs, it is a few pounds lighter than the Cuisinart (18lbs) but much heavier than the Hamilton at 8 lbs.
This sturdiness helped the Breville remain steady as it worked through dense dough and tough carrots, but it often makes lifting not easy.
What we like
- High quality design.
- Large liquid capacity.
What we dislike
- Accessories are less effective.
- It’s heavy.
3. Best small and cheap food processor: Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack & Snap Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper
The best affordable food processor and vegetable chopper on a budget
- Material: Plastic
- Wattage: 450 watts
- Food Processor Capacity: 12 cups
- Features: Variable Speed
Why we chose it
Admirable food chopping performance.
While the Hamilton Beach can’t quite compete with the Breville Sous Chef BFP660 and the Cuisinart Custom 14 in same category of performance and use circumstance, we were impressed by how well it did compared to many of the other food processors in our test kitchen and those tested on America test kitchen.
It performed admirably in the pizza dough and chopping tests, with only a brief second of struggle as it powered through the dense dough ball.
During the chop test, we found all three settings including Slice/Shred, Puree/Mix, and Pulse to Chop settings were fairly aggressive. A short tap was enough to send the blades spinning in a way that felt much faster than the Cuisinart or the Breville.
The result was a slightly louder and shriller food processor, but it made short work of turning our vegetables into a fine mince.
Easy to assemble.
Hamilton Beach Stack & Snap 70725 also resolves one of the most common frustrations of owning a food processor: the frequent battle to lock in each piece perfectly. As advertised, the bowl stacks and the lid snaps into place without the fumbling assembly that seems to be a rite of passage for beginner users.
Possible drawbacks you should know and points to consider
Hamilton’s cheaper price shows up in the quality of its results. We had to cut the chopping test short to prevent the nicely minced onion from becoming mashed onion, but somehow, we were still left with large slices of garlic.
Of all our top 3 food processor picks, we were least impressed by Hamilton Beach’s dual-sided shredding and slicing disc, with some of the results making us wish we’d done it by hand instead.
It’s not so easy to clean.
Although all of the food processors we tested are dishwasher-safe, if you still need to hand-wash or quickly wipe clean between different types of food, Hamilton Beach takes a little more work than the others. It hosts a few ridges that trap food, which made it a little harder than the rest for us to clean.
4. Best food processor and chopper: KitchenAid KFP0718CU Food Processor
Slice, chop, puree, and more with KitchenAid’s 7 Cup Food Processor. With a BPA Free 7-cup work bowl and stainless-steel multipurpose blades, this KitchenAid Food Processor was able to produce quality results every time we used it in our test kitchen.
In our test, we discovered the food processor’s feed tube can be filled to the brim due to KitchenAid’s Ultra Tight Seal, which makes working with any amount of ingredients worry-free.
The ExactSlice System the food processor uses has optimized speeds, and an external lever that allows you to go from thick to thin with one slide of the external lever, ensuring desired thickness is met.
We also liked the fact that there’s an internal adjustable slicing disc, reversible shredding disc, and a multipurpose blade are all included and allow for even more kitchen tasks to be done.
Food Processor vs Blender: What’s the Difference and Which is Better?
The difference between a food processor and a blender is marginal, although each machine specializes in different tasks. A blender is best for liquids, like making smoothies, soups, sauces, and purees, whereas a food processor is more versatile, chopping vegetables, creating blended dips, grinding nut butters, shredding and mixing cheeses, and kneading dough for baking.
A food processor is the best tool for chopping, slicing and mincing, because its wide base provides space for the blades to slice through more at once, so you can freely chop ingredients quickly and evenly. Most full-size food processors nowadays come with blades for slicing and grating, which a blender can’t do.
Methodology: How We Tested and Chose the Best Food Processors and Choppers
As we set out to find the best food processor, we turned to Norene Gilletz, author of The New Food Processor Bible, for advice. Gilletz has been cooking with and writing about food processors for almost 40 years – about as long as they’ve been on the market. She recommended starting with an 11 or 12-cup food processor to ensure that you have enough capacity for the food you’re making.
Brand reputation is key
From there, we collected user reviews from Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond and compared highly rated food processors from other review websites including Consumer Reports. This gave us seven of the most commonly praised food processors.
These food processors come from respected brands and largely range from 11 cups to 14 cups, large enough to handle cooking for a family without taking up too much real estate on our countertop. And while that fell in the range Gilletz suggested, we also decided to include the 9-cup Ninja Food Processor because of its popularity and high ratings. We then tested seven food processors and put them to work chopping and kneading.
Strong and quality build for improved performance
We set up our first test to find out if our food processor motors were strong enough to handle the bulky weight of kneading pizza dough. If any of the food processors slowed down under pressure or stopped entirely, we started to question whether they could handle other dense foods. On the other hand, food processors that could work this extra-dense dough without a struggle could be trusted to handle tough ingredients.
The best food processors pulsed the mixture of flour, salt, and yeast mixture into a ball in less than a minute and spent the rest of the prep time whirling the dough ball around the pitcher.
The Cuisinart outshone the competition by repeatedly dropping the dough into the blades, resulting in a nice, even mixture. Most food processors simply chopped off the bottom of the dough ball and spun those pieces back up to be mixed in again.
Next, we tested how well the sharp blades of each food processor handled common foods. Would it chop evenly, or would we have large carrot chunks mixed with mashed onions? Would we have to pull out our spatulas a dozen times to scrape the bowl as food climbed the sides, or did the bowl design make it fall back in naturally?
To find this out, we took garlic cloves, onion, bell pepper, and a large broken-up carrot to each bowl, then pulsed the blades in hopes of achieving a finely minced texture.
We also used this test to look into how easy it was to add ingredients into the bowl. A larger chute meant we could drop in entire onion halves, where a smaller chute meant additional prep work just to use our prep-work machine.
Easy to clean
Food processors are known for doing prep work quickly without complaint, but they’re not exactly known for being easy to clean. If you have a dishwasher, feel free to run any of our tested picks through without worry; they’re all dishwasher safe.
We found that ridges on the inside of a pitcher made it hard to scrape clean, making us get a little more creative with our spatulas to avoid leaving food behind. Getting in between blades is also more difficult than it looks, so we gave props to the food processors that eliminated most of that hassle (and hazard).
A Beginners Guide to Food Processors
How to properly use a food processor the right way
Adjust your slice size
Getting a thinner or thicker slice, or a finer or coarser shred, is less about the blade and more about how much pressure you use on the feeding tube. Rather than purchasing more accessories, practice applying different levels of pressure as you input the food.
Freeze the cheese
If you’re using your food processor to tackle a cheese-related recipe, try freezing the cheese first. Placing soft cheeses (like mozzarella) in the freezer for 15 minutes or so to firm up makes them easier to shred.
Avoid starches and egg whites
Our expert only called out two foods that she would not recommend trying out in your food processor: starches and egg whites.
Mashed potatoes will still have to be done by hand, as they turn gluey under the blade, and while there are egg-whisk attachments you can buy for your food processor, professional chefs recommend sticking to your hand mixer or the more professional standing mixer to get a better result.
Spin with some soap
Our expert, Gilletz told us the secret to a faster cleanup: Once the food processor is scraped clean, put water and a drop of soap into the bowl, then press “On.” You can also run most food processors through the dishwasher, but you’ll want to avoid leaving on stickier food (like pizza dough).