10 Best

Food Processors

of December 2023

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A Guide to Choosing a Food Processor

Yehudah Posnick

For a lot of us, kitchen space is tight–and our time constraints are even tighter! Maybe you need a blender for preparing sauces or baby food. And you need a grater for grating vegetables and yet another tool for slicing vegetables. Instead, a food processor can do all of these things for you. And you can prepare large quantities quickly, for a family meal or get-together.

Food processors have a set of interchangeable discs or blades to dice, cut, grate, knead, and pulverize. But we’ll notice that there are more variations possible. Some food processors allow you to adjust the spinning disc to control the thickness of the slices that you make. And every slice comes out exactly the same size! And some have a reversible grater blade, so you can select whether you want to grate carrots finely or coarsely. And food processors differ in the size of their chute and container, depending on how much food you have to prepare at once.

We’ll go over some of the most popular food processors on the market today. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to try preparing dishes that you’d only see on the front cover of Good Housekeeping!


What’s the difference between a food processor and a blender?

Blenders and food processors both have the capability to mix and blend ingredients, so it's easy to see how they could be confused. However, there are some key differences that set them apart:

  1. Food processors can also handle solids: A blender is best used for liquids or semi-liquid mixtures like smoothies, soups, sauces, or dressings. Its blades are designed to create a vortex that pulls ingredients down and blends them together smoothly. On the other hand, a food processor is better suited for handling solids or thicker consistencies like dough or vegetables.

  2. Interchangeable blades: A blender has a fixed set of blades at the bottom of the cup. You can change the speed at which the blades rotate, but not much else. But a food processor has interchangeable blades, with separate blades to chop, slice, grate, shred, and puree ingredients with more precision than a blender.

  3. Capacity: Food processors also tend to have larger capacities than blenders making them perfect for meal prep in large quantities.

Types of Food Processors

Looking at the Best Reviews Guide’s list of food processors, we see an interesting variety of designs and features:

  • Chute food processor: In these food processors, you drop the food into a chute, and press the food down with a plunger or “pusher” onto a rotating slicer disc or blades. An example is the Cuisinart Elemental Small Food Processor.

Cuisinart Elemental Small Food Processor

  • Bowl food processor: In these appliances, you place the food items in a bowl, and then attach the motor and blade. An example is the compact Ganiza Electric Chopper and Grinder Food Processor. It has two bowls, one from glass and one from stainless steel, so that you can set aside one for chopping raw meat or poultry, while the other you can use for fresh vegetables. It allows you to chop and grind until you achieve a smooth consistency, as in baby food or dips.

Ganiza Electric Chopper and Grinder Food Processor

  • Cordless food processor: There are even cordless models, which give you greater mobility around the kitchen. The KitchenAid 5-Cup Cordless Food Chopper allows you to chop up 40 onions on a single charge. It comes with an S-shaped blade for chopping, as well as a whisking disc accessory, which allows you to whip egg whites or prepare mayonnaise or a milkshake!

KitchenAid 5-Cup Cordless Food Chopper

What reviewers say

Here are some customers’ impressions about the food processor that they bought:

  • Cup capacity: You’ll notice that the same model of food processor will come in a variety of cup sizes. The Cuisinart Elemental Small Food Processor comes in 4, 8, 11, and 13-cup sizes. Some customers said that the 4-cup processor was exactly the size that they needed for family and guests.

  • Better than a blender: A customer who used the Breville Sous Chef Pro Food Processor said that she tried making mayonnaise in a blender, and then in the Breville processor. The special whisking disc succeeded in making a much lighter, fluffier, and more stable result.

  • Tight-fitting seal: Many food processors have a tight-fitting lid that locks into place. That’s important so that the food contents won’t leak out if you’re making a sauce or blending some other liquid food.

Important Features

Here are some features and options to consider when choosing a food processor:

  • Wide chute: Having a wide chute in which you place the food is a big advantage. You don’t have to cut up the food so fine before dropping it into the chute, and you can rely on the processor to do all the work. Some pushers also have a small hole to allow you to add oil to the food through the chute, without disassembling the whole thing. The KitchenAid 13-Cup Food Processor has a “3-in-1” chute so that you can fit all different shapes of foods inside.

  • Speeds: Most food processors in the Best Reviews Guide list have three speeds: slow, fast, and pulse. The fast speed is good for chopping and shredding hard foods like nuts or carrots, while the slow speed is for kneading dough or chopping and slicing vegetables. The pulse option gives you control over the chopping or blending process, where you operate the motor in short bursts. You can check the progress of your food after each pulse, and stop when it gets to the right consistency

  • Safety features: Many food processors have a safety feature that the motor will not go on if the container and lid are not locked securely in place. This ensures that you don’t insert your fingers while the machine is in operation.

  • Discs and blades: Food processors will come with a selection of discs and blades for their various functions. For example, the Hamilton Beach Stack & Snap Food Processor has a reversible disc, with one side for making slices. If you want to grate food, turn the disc upside down and use the other side to grate. It also has an S-shaped blade for chopping food to a liquid consistency.

Hamilton Beach Stack & Snap Food Processor Disc and Blade

One appliance with the greatest array of discs and blades that we reviewed was the Breville Sous Chef Pro 16-Cup Food Processor. It comes with 8 precision tools, 5 discs, and 3 blades:

  • A variable slicing disc that can be set to any one of 24 settings, from slices that are 0.3 mm thick to slices that are 8 mm thick.

  • A julienne disc, which allows you to cut vegetables into matchstick-sized pieces.

  • A French fry cutting disc, for cutting potatoes or sweet potatoes for traditional French fries.

  • A whisking disc, for beating egg whites for a meringue, or preparing mayonnaise.

  • A reversible shredding disc, with large holes on one side for preparing a coarse grate, as in coleslaw, and small holes on the other side for shredding finely.

  • A micro-serrated S-blade to prepare puree, or to chop and mince.

  • A dough blade for kneading dough.

  • A mini-blade for the 2.5 cup mini-processing bowl for small amounts of ground nuts or sauces.

Breville Sous Chef Pro 16-Cup Food Processor

There also is a spatula, to allow you to wipe the food off the sides of the container after processing.

  • Storage caddy: With all of the different parts of a food processor, you’d probably like to store them away nicely. The KitchenAid 13-Cup Food Processor has a storage caddy that lets you stack all of the blades and discs in one place.

KitchenAid 13-Cup Food Processor Storage Caddy

Final Verdict

We saw some of the best food processors available nowadays. You can purchase a small, compact unit that is good for preparing just the right amount of dips and sauces. You also have the option of buying large 16-cup appliances, that can help you prepare a holiday meal for your children and grandchildren! Whatever you decide, there’s no debate that a good food processor can help you prepare meals more quickly, more efficiently, and with uniform, even picturesque results!

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