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Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro Review
Price: $400 List | $399.95 at Amazon
Pros: Best at chopping, mixing, and shredding, easy to clean
Bottom line: The best of the best, though you have to pay for it
The best of the best, the Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro earned the top score and blew away the rest of the competition with an unparalleled performance, netting it our Editors' Choice award. This model took home the top score in the majority of our metrics and is the perfect choice for those that want the top-performing food processor out there. However, it does have a significantly higher retail price than many of its competitors.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The top model, the Breville does a phenomenal job at chopping, mixing, and shredding while still doing a great job at pureeing and slicing. There weren't any areas where this machine noticeably fell flat, with its only major drawback being its higher price.
We conducted over 25 tests to directly compare these products and close to two months pitting these products against each other before we crowning the Breville the overall winner. You can see how the other products stacked up in the chart below.
These tests were grouped into six metrics: chopping, mixing, pureeing, shredding, slicing, and cleaning. The sections below detail what went into testing each metric, how the Breville did, and how it compared to other models.
One of the most essential tasks for a food processor is being able to effectively chop food — creating small, uniform pieces that are distinct, not a mush. The Breville excelled in this category, earning the top score of 9 out of 10. You can see the Breville was a cut above the rest in the chart below.
We chopped onions, carrots, and nuts, as well as compared the level of precise control afforded by the "Pulse" button on each model to determine scores, rating the food tests on the quality of the finished product. The Breville produced onions that were as close to perfect that we could hope for, with essentially all the chopped onions being of uniform size.
There were no other models that chopped onions with the same level of consistency. The story changed slightly when it came to carrots, with the Breville tying for the best carrots with the Braun TributeCollection and the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup, though the Breville only took 5 pulses to produce a nice even chop. The trend continued with the Breville tying for the top score in our almond test with the Braun. The Breville quickly reduced the almonds to a uniform chop without pulverizing them into dust, and there were only a few whole almonds remaining after six pulses.
This model doesn't have a perfect amount of control with the "Pulse" button, as it spins for a brief moment after the button is released, but still stops faster than the Braun or BLACK+DECKER. It was beaten by the Cuisinart or KitchenAid models, which stopped immediately.
The Breville led the pack in our mixing metric, earning the top score of 9 out of 10 once again. This model made pizza dough, pie crust dough, and mayonnaise from scratch without any struggle or incident. You can see the rankings of the models at mixing in the chart below.
The Breville made very consistent pizza dough, tying for the best of the group. The blade is a little on the smaller side in the Breville, so it did take a little longer for the dough to start balling up, but once it got there everything was fine. This model's motor didn't sound upset, and the machine didn't shake or vibrate while it was mixing the dough.
This model did a similar job with pie crust dough, taking five pulses to achieve the perfect consistency. We found no flaws in the dough when it was rolled out, and tied with the Braun for having the best pie crust. This model also mixed mayonnaise easily, producing a high-quality finished product.
One of the metrics where the Breville was unseated from the top spot, it tied for the runner-up position with a 7 out of 10. We had a panel of testers rate the hummus, tomato sauce, applesauce, and nut butter produced by each food processor. In addition, we filled each bowl to its maximum liquid fill line and ran the machine to conduct a leak test. You can see how the Breville stacked up in the graphic below.
The Breville made very good hummus, but it just wasn't as smooth and consistent as the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup or the KitchenAid 9-Cup. Boosting its score, the Breville made exceptional almond butter after 10 minutes of grinding and required no intervention on our behalf. The Breville tied with the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup for the best nut butter of the group but wobbled and vibrated substantially less than the Hamilton Beach.
The Breville did slightly above average at making applesauce, requiring about 10 seconds longer to achieve the desired consistency and produced a finished product that was a little chunky compared to the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup or the Cuisinart Custom. It was a similar scenario with tomato sauce, where the Breville created a finished product that was great, but wasn't quite as smooth as some other models, like the pair mentioned above or the KitchenAid 9-Cup.
The Breville passed the leak test with flying colors, largely in part to the rubber gasket on the lid. It took about five and a quarter cups of water to fill the bowl up to the marked maximum fill line, and no water escaped.
Regaining the top spot, the Breville earned an 8 out of 10 for its outstanding shredding performance, narrowly beating out the Braun and the Cuisinart Elemental. We compared how much shredding variation each machine had, and their performance at shredding cheese, potatoes, and carrots to create the scores. Even though the Breville faltered a little bit at shredding cheese, it did a good enough job at shredding carrots and potatoes, and had and adjustable shredding disc to net the top spot, as shown below.
The Breville has both a fine and a medium setting on its shredding disc. This model was very efficient at shredding cheese, leaving almost none stuck between the lid and the shredding disc. However, only about 50% of the cheese was shredded, the rest was more crumbled. A 2lb block of cheese did fit in the feeding tube without trimming.
Though it got off to a bit of a rocky start with shredded cheese, the Breville regained some ground and did the second-best job at shredding potatoes.
It left behind two small slices that were un-shredded and had nice consistent shreds. Continuing its upward trend, the Breville tied for the highest score for shredding carrots with the Hamilton Beach Professional 14-Cup.
The shredded carrots were even, crisp, and didn't clump together and only a small slice of carrot didn't make it through the shredding disc.
The Breville tied for the second-highest score in our slicing metric with a 7 out of 10. We evaluated the quality of the sliced tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchini produced by each machine, as well as the ease of adjusting the slicing disc to determine the rankings, which you can view below.
The blade was easily adjustable, with each number representing the slice thickness in millimeters. The tube on the Breville easily fit even our largest tomatoes, and the slices were of very high quality, tying for the best of the group with a handful of other models.
The Breville also produced very good sliced potatoes, though not the best, as there was a small amount of taper present on the slices, but the cuts were smooth. The zucchini slices were about average, with the same taper present on all of them, though not as bad as the taper on the Braun.
The Breville was the easiest to clean out of the group, earning it an 8 out of 10 for this metric. The blades and discs are both dishwasher-safe, as well as the bowl and lid, but it's not recommended for a regular basis. However, the large food pusher is not dishwasher safe, so something to watch out for when it comes time for cleanup. The blade is long, and one of the easiest to clean of the group, and had a large opening, making it easy to clean the inside where it attaches. The bowl was smooth on the inside with no little details to trap food. The lid was equally easy to clean, with no small places to entrap food scraps.
The Breville isn't really a value option. It's the best food processor out there, with a price to match.
The cream of the crop, the Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro is the best overall food processor. It blew away the competition and would make a fantastic addition to any kitchen. While it is pricey, it does an extraordinarily good job at chopping and mixing and can save you tons of time on food prep.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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