The best of the best, the Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro earned the top score and blew away the rest of the competition with unparalleled performance. This food processor took home the top score in the majority of our metrics and is the perfect choice for those that want the top-performing model. However, you'll have to pay for it; this kitchen gadget has a significantly higher retail price than many of its competitors.Editor's Note: This product review was updated on May 12, 2022, with additional product comparison information.
Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro Review
Pros: Best at chopping, mixing, and shredding, easy to clean
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Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro
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|Pros||Best at chopping, mixing, and shredding, easy to clean||Versatile, great all-around performance, easy to clean||Great at pureeing and slicing||Great at pureeing, good at chopping, inexpensive||Great for shredding, slicing, good at chopping|
|Cons||Expensive||Expensive, heavy||No adjustability of shredding or slicing||Leaky, not the best at mixing, loud||Little more difficult to clean|
|Bottom Line||Our favorite overall model excels at chopping, shredding, and mixing, and it's exceptionally easy to clean||This machine is a one-stop shop for most kitchen needs but comes at a hefty price||One of the best food processors you can get on a budget without sacrificing too much performance||For those trying to save some dough, this inexpensive model will get the job done, especially when it comes to pureeing and chopping||Offering all-around excellent performance given its price tag, this is one of our favorite recommendations to those on a budget|
|Rating Categories||Breville Sous Chef...||Magimix Compact 320...||Cuisinart Custom 14||Hamilton Beach 10-Cup||Ninja Professional|
|Specs||Breville Sous Chef...||Magimix Compact 320...||Cuisinart Custom 14||Hamilton Beach 10-Cup||Ninja Professional|
|Bowl Size||16 cup and 2.5 cup mini bowl||12 cup||14 cup||10 cup||9 cup|
|Measured Weight of Base||15 pounds, 8 ounces||1 pound 12 ounces||12 pounds, 6 ounces||3 pounds, 1 ounce||4 pounds, 8 ounces|
|Motor||1200 Watt||650 Watt||720 Watt||450 Watt||850 Watt|
|Cord Storage||Internal||None||None||Internal||External Cord Wrap|
|Feet||Smooth Rubber (Non-Skid)||Textured Rubber||Smooth Rubber||Suction Cups||Suction Cups|
|Decibels at 3ft||67.5||77||61.5||96||80|
|Mini Bowl Blade||Yes||Yes||Yes||N/A||N/A|
|Accessory Storage Case||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Slicing Disc||Adjustable to 8mm||2mm and 4mm discs||Non adjustable||Non adjustable||Non adjustable|
|Shredding Disc||Fine and Medium||2mm and 4mm discs||Medium||Medium||Non adjustable|
|Built-in Bowl Scraper||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|French Fry Disc||Yes||No||No||No||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
One of the most essential tasks for a food processor is effectively chopping food — creating small, uniform pieces that are distinct, not a mush. The Breville excelled in this category, earning a top score.
We chopped onions, carrots, and nuts and 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 as 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. It only took five pulses to produce a nice even chop. The trend continued with the Breville tying for the top score in our almond test. It 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 releasing the button.
The Breville led the pack in our mixing metric. This model made pizza dough, pie crust dough, and mayonnaise from scratch without any struggle or incident.
It made very consistent pizza dough, tying for the best of the group. The Breville's blade is on the smaller side, so it took a little longer for the dough to start balling up, but everything was fine once it got there. This model's motor didn't sound upset, and the machine didn't shake or vibrate while mixing the dough. It 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 it made one of the best pie crusts. This model also mixed mayonnaise easily, producing a high-quality finished product.
We had a panel of testers rate the hummus, tomato sauce, applesauce, and nut butter produced by each of these kitchen appliances. In addition, we filled each bowl to its maximum liquid fill line and ran the machine to conduct a leak test.
The Breville made very good hummus. It also made exceptional almond butter after 10 minutes of grinding and required no intervention on our behalf. It produced one of the best nut butters in the group. It performed 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. It was a similar scenario with tomato sauce, where it created a finished product that was great but wasn't as smooth as some other models.
The Breville passed the leak test with flying colors, largely due to the lid's rubber gasket. It took about five and a quarter cups of water to fill the bowl to the marked maximum fill line, and no water escaped.
Regaining the top spot, the Breville earned a high score for its outstanding shredding performance. We compared each machine's shredding variation and their performance at shredding cheese, potatoes, and carrots to create the scores. Even though the Breville faltered slightly at shredding cheese, it did a good enough job at shredding carrots and potatoes and had an adjustable shredding disc to net the top spot.
It has a fine and medium setting on its shredding disc. It's 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 two-pound 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 un-shredded slices and had nice consistent shreds. Continuing its upward trend, it tied for the highest score for shredding carrots.
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.
We evaluated the quality of the sliced tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchini produced by each machine and the ease of adjusting the slicing disc to determine the rankings.
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.
The Breville was the easiest to clean out of the group. The blades and discs are both dishwasher-safe, as well as the bowl and lid, but it's not recommended regularly. However, the large food pusher is not dishwasher safe, so something to watch for when it comes time for cleanup. The blade is long and one of the easiest to clean of the group and has 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.
Should You Buy the Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro?
The Breville is the best food processor in our test. It performs phenomenally at chopping, mixing, and shredding while still doing great at pureeing and slicing. There weren't any areas where this machine noticeably fell flat. If it's within your budget, we think you can't go wrong with the Sous Chef 16 Pro.
What Other Food Processors Should You Consider?
The Sous Chef 16 Pro is the cream of the crop and our favorite food processor, but there are other models from our group worth considering. If you already own a Vitamix blender, that brand's 12-Cup Attachment utilizes the same motor, effectively cutting down on kitchen clutter and freeing up storage space. If you can't quite stomach the Breville's price tag, the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup or Ninja Professional may be more in line with your budget. Both were affordable and high-performing models in our testing.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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