If you are looking for an all-around solid food processor that won't cost you a ton of cash, we highly recommend the Ninja Professional. This bargain food processor held its own against significantly more expensive models in some of our more difficult tests, considerably impressing us when it came to slicing or shredding. It isn't the most convenient to clean but it's a great bargain option that won't break the bank or take up a ton of real estate in your kitchen.Editor's Note: This product review was updated on May 12, 2022, to share more info on other products we'd recommend.
Ninja Professional Food Processor Review
Pros: Great for shredding, slicing, good at chopping
Cons: Little more difficult to clean
Compare to Similar Products
Ninja Professional Food Processor
$99.99 at Amazon
$229.95 at Amazon
$57.99 at Amazon
$45.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Great for shredding, slicing, good at chopping||Great at pureeing and slicing||Great at pureeing, good at chopping, inexpensive||Excellent price, good for slicing tomatoes||Inexpensive, better than average at mixing|
|Cons||Little more difficult to clean||No adjustability of shredding or slicing||Leaky, not the best at mixing, loud||Generally inconsistent performance, leaves un-chopped pieces, subpar mixing capabilities||Shreds and slices poorly, loud|
|Bottom Line||Offering all-around excellent performance given its price tag, this is one of our favorite recommendations to those on a budget||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||A well-priced 10 cup model with a lower-powered motor that yields varied results||A small model that is the least expensive and lowest scoring of the group|
|Rating Categories||Ninja Professional||Cuisinart Custom 14||Hamilton Beach 10-Cup||Oster Total Prep 10...||Black+Decker 8-Cup|
|Specs||Ninja Professional||Cuisinart Custom 14||Hamilton Beach 10-Cup||Oster Total Prep 10...||Black+Decker 8-Cup|
|Bowl Size||9 cup||14 cup||10 cup||10 cup||8 cup|
|Measured Weight of Base||4 pounds, 8 ounces||12 pounds, 6 ounces||3 pounds, 1 ounce||3 pounds, 6 ounces||3 pounds, 2 ounces|
|Motor||850 Watt||720 Watt||450 Watt||500 Watt||450 Watt|
|Cord Storage||External Cord Wrap||None||Internal||Internal||Underside Cord Wrap|
|Feet||Suction Cups||Smooth Rubber||Suction Cups||Suction Cups||Suction Cups|
|Decibels at 3ft||80||61.5||96||92.3||95|
|Mini Bowl Blade||N/A||Yes||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Accessory Storage Case||No||No||No||No||No|
|Slicing Disc||Non adjustable||Non adjustable||Non adjustable||Non adjustable||Non adjustable|
|Shredding Disc||Non adjustable||Medium||Medium||Non adjustable||Medium|
|Build in Bowl Scraper||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|French Fry Disc||No||No||No||No||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We think this is a decent and affordable addition to any kitchen. Our only slight complaint with this food processor is its multi-tiered stacked blades. This abundance of very sharp blades can make it a bit treacherous to wash by hand.
We began our food processor assessment by looking at how well each of these products could chop different types of food, using onions, carrots, and almonds as our sample foods to compare consistency. We also assessed the operation of the "pulse" button for each appliance. The Ninja Professional did quite well, earning an above-average score for its chopping performance.
After only two pulses, it chopped two quartered onions to a relatively uniform consistency. There were a few larger pieces, but overall the results were acceptable. It did equally well when chopping carrots, creating a very fine chop after five pulses. It again had a few more prominent outliers, but the vast majority was very uniform in size.
However, when chopping up the almonds, this machine struggled to get rid of the larger pieces without pulverizing other pieces into dust. All in all, it delivered fairly typical results in this test.
We didn't like that the pulse feature takes a little more than a second to spin down when the button is released, making it a bit more difficult to precisely control how much you want this food processor to chop your food.
We looked at how well the Ninja Professional can mix things for our next round of tests, specifically looking at pizza dough, pie crust dough, and mayo. It did alright, meriting a score just above average.
This appliance got off to a great start with the pie crust dough. It incorporated all the ingredients very well after 10-15 pulses, without any larger chunks of butter visible. The dough ball was smooth and supple and should be easy to roll out after a brief stay in the fridge.
Unfortunately, the pizza dough was a different story. The Ninja Professional formed a cohesive mass of dough very quickly but then struggled to knead it. We could hear the motor struggling, and the food processor shook quite violently during this process.
We also found that making homemade mayo can be more difficult with this food processor, at least in the smaller quantities that we use for testing. It has an integrated dispenser to get the oil to slowly dribble in, but the recipe we used successfully in other machines wouldn't work reliably without some tweaking with the tiered blades.
Next, we looked at how perfectly each of these processors could puree, using hummus, nut butter, tomato sauce, and applesauce as our tests. We also did a leak test, filling up the bowl of each food processor to the maximum fill line with water and checking for leaks. The Ninja Professional's performance improved quite a bit in this metric, earning it one of the better scores of the bunch.
This food processor thoroughly impressed us when making almond and peanut butter. It created a nice and creamy spread in considerably less time than many other machines and didn't require additional oil, largely helped by its doubled blades. However, quality dropped a bit with the tomato sauce, with a few larger chunks of tomatoes failing to get pureed.
We found the hummus to be so-so, as it definitely was a considerably chunkier dip than the velvety-smooth creations of some of the premium processors. It was a similar story with the applesauce, with plenty of larger chunks preventing it from getting to our desired consistency even with extra processing time.
However, this food processor aced our leak test. We filled it to the 8-cup mark and ran it for a minute without any leaks at all.
Our next set of assessments looked at the performance of the included shredding disc. We used potatoes, carrots, and cheese as our test items and were thoroughly impressed with the performance of this product, particularly given its lower price tag. The Ninja Professional earned one of the top scores of the group in this metric, holding its own against considerably costlier models.
The carrots were shredded very cleanly, with only a small chunk of each carrot leftover that couldn't be shredded. It didn't sound like the motor struggled much at all, and the resulting shreds were very uniform in size. We got similar results with the potatoes. The shreds were cut cleanly, keeping them from getting too soggy. The pieces were also very consistent in size, with only a few larger pieces — ideal for hash browns.
The performance of this appliance dropped a bit when shredding cheese. The actual shreds looked great, but the shredding disc also created a lot of other crumbs and smaller particles in the process. It also sounded like the motor was struggling just a bit. The shredding disc also only has a single-size setting, so you are out of luck if you're looking for anything finer or coarser than a medium shred.
The Ninja Professional also did very well in the slicing test. We used zucchini, potatoes, and tomatoes as our test items, with this food processor receiving another one of the top scores.
The slicing blade is on the back of the shredding disc, so you are again limited to just a single thickness. The Ninja Professional got off to a rough start when slicing tomatoes. The feed chute is on the smaller side, so we had to pre-cut the tomatoes to fit, making them much more likely to get torn apart rather than yielding clean slices.
It did much better with the potatoes and the zucchini. The potato slices were nice and even, with only a few showing any taper. The motor didn't sound like it struggled too much either. The zucchini slices were equally even — particularly impressive given that we had cut it in half lengthwise before slicing. Only a small amount remained above the slicing blade, and only a minimal amount was splattered on the inside of the container.
We rated and ranked the ease of cleaning of each of these appliances for our last metric. As mentioned before, this is one area where we found the Ninja Professional to fall a little short, earning it a lackluster score.
We found it to be rather unpleasant to try and clean the blade by hand, as the multitude of blades can make it hard to find a safe place to grab. The bowl and lid are much easier to clean, with only a handful of areas that have nooks and crannies that are prone to catching food. The bowl is a little on the small side, though.
Fortunately, the bowl, lid, blades, and shredding/slicing disc all are rated as safe for a normal cycle in a dishwasher, recommended for the top-rack only. This is definitely our preferred cleaning method for this product.
Should You Buy the Ninja Professional?
If you're looking for a budget model that doesn't make too many concessions regarding performance, we highly recommend the Ninja Professional. It does a fabulous job of shredding and slicing, as well as chopping and mixing quite well. It's not the easiest to clean by hand, but we feel this is mitigated by the dishwasher-safe components. It's one of our favorite bargain options to recommend.
What Other Food Processors Should You Consider?
This is an affordable food processor that performs well. However, if it's still out of your price range, our full recommendation goes to the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup. It performs almost on par with this one but costs about half the price. If you have a bit more to spend, we recommend the Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro, which was our overall favorite machine. And if you already own a Vitamix blender, you might be interested in purchasing the 12-Cup Attachment that goes with that blender's motor.
— Austin Palmer and David Wise
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