Hamilton Beach Professional 14-Cup Review
Pros: Great at slicing
Cons: Hard to clean, subpar at chopping and mixing
Manufacturer: Hamilton Beach
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Hamilton Beach Professional is a large, expensive model that didn't quite stack up to the rest of the competition. It only scored above average in our slicing and shredding tests, making it almost impossible to recommend. This model has a decently high list price, especially compared to models that scored significantly better, in some cases getting beat out by models that cost around $150 less.
These rankings were determined after close to two months testing these products in an exhaustive head-to-head style competition, with countless veggies being sent to their doom on whirling blades.
We completed over 25 separate tests to rank these products, the details which are outlined in the sections below. These tests were arranged into six metrics: chopping, mixing, pureeing, shredding, slicing, and ease of cleaning.
The Hamilton Beach Professional received the lowest score for this set of tests, earning a 4 out of 10. We checked to see how long the blade continued spinning after the "Pulse" button was released to assess how much control you had. We also compared the quality of nuts, carrots, and onions chopped by each machine, to see how they stacked up.
This model took the longest to cease spinning, continuing long after the button was released. It also appeared that there was a decent amount of ramp-up time before the blade hit it's top speed when the motor was turned on. This model also created the worst chopped almonds, leaving tons of whole almonds, and pulverizing the majority of them when it was run long enough to start resembling the other models, close to 32 pulses.
The Hamilton Beach Pro also did a subpar job at chopping carrots, receiving the second-lowest score. This model had a really large chop and seemed to produce two distinct sizes. This chop also looked a little more mushy and watery than the cleaner chopped carrots produced by the better models.
This food processor did do a little better when it came to onions, creating a uniform chop that was equivalent to the Braun or the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup.
This model didn't do terribly well at mixing, earning a 4 out of 10. To assess this, we mixed up batches of pie crust dough, mayonnaise, and pizza dough from scratch and evaluated the quality of the finished products.
This model did the worst of the group at making mayonnaise, requiring one to make a massive amount of mayonnaise to actually mix it. The blades were so high up in the bowl that it took almost a half a cup of liquid to be added before mixing even began. The Hamilton Beach Professional did better at making pie crust dough, but not by much. This model shook violently while mixing, and ejected a decent amount of flour from the bowl. This model took almost four times the number of pulses of the other models, and the dough was barely acceptable at that point.
This food processor did roughly the same when making pizza dough, shaking around and sounding like the motor was definitely struggling.
We made batches of hummus, applesauce, nut butter, and tomato sauce to determine which machine did the best job at pureeing, using a panel of tasters to create the scores. In addition, we conducted a leakage test, filling each bowl to the maximum fill line with water and running the motor. The Hamilton Beach Professional did alright, earning a 5 out of 10 for its average performance.
This model made decently good hummus, ranking the same as the Breville and just behind the Cuisinart Elite and the Cuisinart Elemental. Performance did drop when it came to making tomato sauce, producing a product that was a little on the chunky side, on par with the BLACK+DECKER.
The Hamilton Beach Professional's score continued to drop when it came to nut butter and applesauce. This model did make acceptable nut butter after about 25 minutes, about 10-15 minutes longer than other models, and did take a little human intervention with a spatula right at the start. The applesauce also took about 45 seconds longer than other models and left behind a decent number of chunks compared to other models.
This model did redeem itself in our leak test, tying for the highest score of the group. The bowl took about eight cups of water to reach the maximum fill line, and there was absolutely zero leakage.
The Hamilton Beach Professional did a much better job at shredding than pureeing or mixing, earning a 6 out of 10. We shredded cheese, potatoes, and carrots to test the aptitude of each machine, as well as assessing how much variability the shredding disc offered.
This model actually tied with the Breville Sous Chef for producing the best-shredded carrots, creating dry, crisp shreds that would be ideal for a salad. In addition to producing high-quality shreds, this machine was also very efficient, only leaving behind two small slices above the shredding disc.
Unfortunately, performance severely dropped when it came to shredding cheese and potatoes. The cheese shreds were pretty small and sickly looking, and a few big chunks managed to sneak past the shredding blade. The shredded potatoes were also stringy, and two substantial chunks were left behind. The shredding disc for this model also lacks any adjustments, forcing you to make medium sized shreds.
The Hamilton Beach Professional did better at slicing as shredding, earning a 7 out of 10. We sliced zucchini, potatoes, and tomatoes to judge performance, as well as comparing the adjustment on the slicing disc.
This model did an exemplary job at slicing tomatoes and followed that up with a second-tier performance at slicing potatoes and zucchini.
The tomato slices were even and consistent, lacking any taper. This model was also the easiest to use, producing the best slices on our practice run through the machines — when we were the most inexperienced using them. The zucchini and potato slices were awesome as well, though both had a somewhat rougher cut edge, knocking them down to second-tier quality. The slices still were consistent and lacked taper.
The disc on this model is adjustable, with an arbitrary scale ranging from 1-15. It was unclear it this corresponded to a standard unit though.
The final cleanup and dishes are one of the most unpleasant parts of using a food processor, and the Hamilton Beach Professional did nothing to alleviate that. This model scored poorly in our cleaning assessment, earning a 4 out of 10, tying for the lowest score of the group.
The bowl, lid, blades, and disc are all noted as being dishwasher safe. We did find some significant shortcomings when cleaning this model manually. The blade is much shorter on this model, making it difficult to keep your fingers away from the blades when washing. We learned this the hard way.
The bowl and lid both had some raised plastic details that would ensnare food, proving very frustrating and difficult to clean.
This model is exceptionally expensive relative to its performance, essentially the opposite of a value pick.
While this model did do an exceptionally good job at slicing, it still wasn't the best. A lack of standout performances and a high retail price cause us to recommend other models, and think long and hard about purchasing this one.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer