On the hunt for a food processor or mini chopper that is a cut above the rest? After carefully evaluating over 70 different food processors and dozens of food choppers, we picked the most promising — 9 full-size models and 3 food choppers — to purchase and test side-by-side to see which one is truly the best. We sliced and diced all kinds of produce, mixed pie crust dough, shredded cheese and carrots, and pureed hummus to see what each of these kitchen appliances are really capable of, as well as evaluating the convenience and ease of cleaning each one. Take a look at the full review to see which food processor and mini chopper reign supreme and which ones are the best bet when shopping on a tight budget.
The Best Food Processors of 2018
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|Pros||Best at chopping, mixing, and shredding, easy to clean||Great at pureeing and slicing||Great at mixing, chopping, and shredding||Great at slicing, alright at chopping||Great at pureeing, good at chopping, inexpensive|
|Cons||Expensive||No adjustability of shredding or slicing||Fails at slicing||Poor at shredding, expensive||Leaky, not the best at mixing, loud|
|Bottom Line||The best of the best, though you have to pay for it||This is the best food processor you can get shopping on a budget, while not sacrificing too much performance.||A great food processor for everything but slicing||A large, expensive model that didn't perform relative to its price||The best for those trying to save some dough but not the best at mixing it|
|Rating Categories||Sous Chef 16 Pro||Custom 14||TributeCollection||Pro Line 16-Cup||10-Cup|
|Specs||Sous Chef 16 Pro||Custom 14||TributeCollection||Pro Line 16-Cup||10-Cup|
|Model #||BFP800CBXL||DFP-14BCNY||FP 3020||KFP1642CA||70730|
|Bowl Size||16 Cup and
2.5 Cup mini bowl
|14 Cup||8 Cup and 1 Cup mini bowl||16 Cup and
4 Cup mini bowl
For this update, we decided to add a trio of food choppers to our review, as there hasn't been anything new or particularly promising for full-size food processors in a while. After researching dozens and dozens of different mini-choppers — both manual and motorized — we picked the three most promising food choppers to test head-to-head, comparing their performance at chopping and mincing tomatoes, onions, almonds, cilantro, garlic, and carrots, as well as their ease of cleaning. In the end, we had a clear winner: the Ninja Express Chop NJ110GR. Keep reading to see how it did against the others or check out its individual review here.
Best Overall Food Processor
Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro
Claiming the top spot out of the entire group, the Sous Chef 16 Pro by Breville easily won our Editors' Choice Award and claimed the title of Best Food Processor. This top-notch kitchen appliance excelled across the board in almost all of our tests, creating some of the most evenly sliced and uniformly chopped produce. Its powerful, 1200 watt motor mixed dough without any struggle and it is both convenient and easy to use and clean.
Unfortunately, this premium performance comes with a premium price and this product will definitely set your budget back quite a bit. The actual base is quite large in its own right and can take up a large chunk of your counter space when combined with the case that holds all of its accessories. However, it is definitely our favorite food processor we have seen to date and our top recommendation — if you can afford it!
Read Full Review: Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro
Best Bang For The Buck
Cuisinart Custom 14
Distressed at the $350+ price tag on the Breville? Searching for a quality processor that won't punch a hole in your budget? Then look no further than the Cuisinart Custom 14. This solid kitchen appliance claimed the runner-up position and a Best Buy Award for its great performance across the bulk of our tests, all while retailing for less than half of what the Sous Chef 16 Pro does. It slices produce extremely evenly and purees velvety-smooth dips and spread.
However, the blades for shredding and slicing aren't adjustable, meaning you may need to purchase additional blades if you aren't happy with the size of the included ones and it isn't quite as powerful at mixing denser doughs. Despite these drawbacks, this is the perfect option if you want a great, all-around food processor without shredding your budget.
Read Full Review: Cuisinart Custom 14
Best On A Tight Budget
Hamilton Beach 10-Cup
If you are looking to spend less than a $100, then the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup is your best bet. This inexpensive model can pretty much hold its own with the previous two products when it comes to pureeing dips or chopping produce. On top of that, its slicing and shredding performance isn't too shabby either.
However, the weaker motor does struggle quite a bit when mixing doughs and causes the entire unit to shake quite violently. This model also leaked when filled with water in our test, so you should probably steer clear of using it for recipes that call for primarily liquid ingredients. Regardless of these flaws, it still is by far the best food processor when shopping on a tight budget.
Read Full Review: Hamilton Beach 10-Cup
Ninja Express Chop NJ110GR
If you immediately balk at the cost and countertop space associated with a full-size food processor, then you may want to consider the Ninja Express Chop. It is by far our favorite mini-chopper that we have tested, far outperforming the rest, all while being exceptionally convenient and easy to use. It can mince garlic as fine as you possibly could want, quickly and conveniently chops cilantro or onions, costs a fraction of what a full-size appliance would cost, and only takes up a tiny bit of space on your countertop.
However, this little appliance can't come close to matching the versatility of the larger models, essentially limited to chopping, mincing, and pureeing food and offering much less control than the larger models, as there are no preset or timed functions. It can't slice or shred, but if you want a convenient and easy to use mini-chopper for quick kitchen tasks without breaking the bank, the Ninja is an excellent choice.
Read Full Review: Ninja Express Chop NJ110GR
Analysis and Test Results
We bought all the best food chopper and food processors on the market today and compared their performance side-by-side to pick our winners. For the full-size processors, we divided up our testing process into six different weighting metrics — Chopping, Mixing, Pureeing, Shredding, Slicing, and Cleaning — scoring the performance of each product from 0-100. Food choppers cost significantly less and take up way less countertop space than the full-size appliances, but are much more limited in their abilities and don't cut as consistently. Rather than scoring them like the other models, we ranked their relative performance and used that to select our winner.
If you are positive that a mini food chopper isn't for you, click here to jump directly to our comparison of the full-size models.
After our comprehensive analysis, we decided that the following mini food choppers had the most potential: our favorite, the Ninja Express Chop, the Cuisinart CTG-00-SCHP, and the BLACK+DECKER HC150B. Of these three, the Ninja Express Chop is a clear cut above the rest and the only one of these three that we would feel comfortable to recommend.
To compare their performance and rank them, we tasked each food chopper with chopping almonds, cilantro, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and carrots, as well as their ease of cleaning.
Tomatoes & Carrots
Starting off, we tested how well each miniature kitchen appliance did at chopping up half of a tomato and a whole carrot. The manual Cuisinart surprised us by actually doing the best at chopping the tomatoes, just barely edging out the Ninja by having a slightly more consistently sized and cleaner chop. The BLACK+DECKER fared poorly, completely mutilating the tomatoes and failing at either chopping or pureeing them, only succeeding in making a tomato mush interspersed with large chunks. None of these products are amazing at chopping tomatoes, so you might be better served by a kitchen knife if you want the cleanest, most evenly chopped tomatoes.
The Ninja easily claimed the top spot in our carrot chopping challenge, making short work of the carrot and quickly chopping it in uniformly sized small pieces, with only a few outlying larger chunks. The BLACK+DECKER did about average, while the Cuisinart struggled considerably. The carrot pieces kept getting stuck in the blades, forcing us to disassemble and clean the chopper periodically to continue.
Onions & Garlic
Moving on to our next set of produce chopping evaluations, we tried out each food chopper with half of an onion and 3 cloves of garlic, aiming to evenly chop the onion and finely mince the garlic. The Cuisinart again did the best at chopping the onion, with the Ninja right on its heels. However, it has to be a pretty small onion for the Cuisinart to fit the entire half-onion in there and is the only food chopper of the group that can chop an onion into larger pieces — both motorized models produced a much finer chop with a much larger spread of sizes.
The same pattern followed in our minced garlic evaluation. It did take quite a bit longer and a bit more effort with the hand-powered Cuisinart, but the garlic definitely retained the best color and your patience is the only limit on how fine you can mince the garlic.
The Ninja didn't produce garlic quite as finely chopped, while the BLACK+DECKER slightly discolored the garlic and gave it a more beaten appearance, compared to the cleanly cut pieces from the other two choppers.
Almonds & Cilantro
The Ninja Express Chop dominated our final two chopping tests, claiming the top spot for both. It did the best job of actually chopping the almonds into small pieces, rather than completely obliterating them into dust — though there were a few residual whole almonds after 6 pulses. The Cuisinart came next, overall much more of a hassle to use and forcing us to stop and clean the blades periodically to free any almonds that became stuck. The BLACK+DECKER didn't really do that well, leaving the most whole almonds out of any product.
The Ninja is the only one that actually chopped the cilantro — the BLACK+DECKER turned the cilantro into a mush while the Cuisinart left tons of whole leaves behind and mutilated the leaves it did chop to a similar level as the BLACK+DECKER.
Ease of Cleaning
The BLACK+DECKER is the easiest of the group to clean by hand, as the multiple blade stacks on the Ninja make it difficult to do without cutting yourself and the Cuisinart's design makes it almost impossible to adequately clean the blades by hand. However, these products are all rated as being dishwasher-safe (with the exception of the motorized bases, of course!), which alleviated much of the risk of getting cut by the Ninja when cleaning. Unfortunately, we found the blades on the Cuisinart don't get all that clean in the dishwasher, so expect to spend a significant amount of time cleaning this product to prevent residual food from accumulating and rotting — one of the main reasons we are reticent to recommend the Cuisinart.
We spent two months pushing the limits of the 10 best food processors out there to see which models came out on top. We conducted close to 25 distinct tests throughout this review. grouped into six weighted metrics: chopping, shredding, slicing, mixing, pureeing, and cleaning. The aggregated performance in these areas determined the overall score, ranging from 0-100.
Our tests ranged from chopping onions to checking if the bowls leaked to determine which models were worthy of awards … and which ones not so much. We recommend that you focus on the metrics that most closely match your intended use, and select a machine that excels in those areas. These are multi-purpose machines, and while we gave awards to the top overall machines, you may be better served by a model that excels in the particular metric that is most of interest to you. The sections below give a detailed breakdown of how each food processor compared to its peers.
The Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro stand way above the rest in terms of performance — and, unfortunately, in price as well. It's the unchallenged best of the best when it comes to these products, but usually retails for $300-$400. The next step down in both price and performance is the Cuisinart Custom 14, retailing for about $150 and earning the second place position overall. However, you may need to purchase additional slicing and shredding discs if you aren't happy with the included options, as they aren't adjustable. If this pair of food processors are still too pricey, then you may want to consider the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup. There is a significant drop in performance, but it retails for a little more than $50. Finally, if you are on an even tighter budget, then you are solidly in the mini food chopper category, with the Ninja Express Chop costing about $20.
Chopping food is a quintessential task for these appliances, and should be the bread and butter of any food processor worth its salt. We compared the performance of each processor at chopping onions, carrots, nuts by comparing the quality of the finished products. We also awarded points if the machine had a "Pulse" button, and for how well it worked — whether or not it stopped quickly upon the release of the button, thus determining how precisely you can control the appliance. You can see in the chart below how the contenders stacked up, and which models were a cut above the rest.
The Breville Sous Chef was the cream of the crop for this metric, meriting a 9 out of 10. This model did exceptionally well at chopping onions and almonds. This model took four pulses to reduce two quartered onions to a uniform size.
The almonds were quickly reduced to an appropriate size, without pulverizing them. The Breville's "Pulse" button stopped quickly, but there were other models like the Cuisinart Elite that stopped immediately. The Breville still did a great job at chopping carrots, but ranked second best, beat out by the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup, as it had fewer large, uneven chunks.
Following the Breville, there was a three-way tie for the runner-up position, with the Braun Tribute Collection, the KitchenAid Pro Line, and the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup all earning a 7 out of 10. Both the KitchenAid Pro and the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup stopped immediately upon release of the "Pulse" button, while the Braun took a slight pause before it ceased spinning. The Braun did do an exceptional job at chopping the almonds, coming in a close second to the Breville in terms of quality of chopped nuts. The Braun did well at chopping onions and carrots, but fell off slightly on chopping carrots, leaving more unevenly sized pieces of the carrot than the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup.
The Hamilton Beach 10-Cup and the Braun produced comparable chopped onions, but both were beaten by the KitchenAid Pro Line. This model just barely got beat out by the Breville for being the best at chopping onions. It also produced reasonably chopped carrots, though it took more pulses than the other models.
However, the KitchenAid Pro did an average job at chopping almonds, creating a ton of dust in the process, but did substantially better than the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup, which was the worst out of the bunch in our chopped almond test. TheHamilton Beach 10-Cup left tons of whole almonds, and took a very, very long time to reach something resembling the Breville, but produced tons of pulverized almond dust in the process.
Following behind these frontrunners were the Cuisinart Elite and the Cuisinart Custom both earning a 6 out of 10. These two models stopped immediately when the "Pulse" button was released. They had an average performance when it came to chopping onions. However, when it came to almonds these two models were were above average, the Custom doing only slightly better than the Elite.
Next, the Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup and the BLACK+DECKER 8-Cup, both earned a 5 out of 10 for their average chopping abilities. The Cuisinart Elemental excelled at chopping onions, producing almost the identical level of uniformity as the Breville, but taking double the number of pulses. This model fell a little short when it came to carrots, producing some of the most poorly chopped carrots of the group, with lots of whole pieces still intact. This was a stark contrast to the BLACK+DECKER which left multiple large chunks of onions, with a wide range of sizes, but did really well in our test at chopping carrots, producing a large, even chop — though it did take about 12 pulses.
Both of these models didn't stop immediately when the "Pulse" button was released, with the Cuisinart Elemental taking a fraction of a second longer. These models were both mediocre at chopping almonds, leaving a handful of larger chunks and whole almonds, as well as creating a non-trivial amount of pulverized almond dust.
Finishing at the back of the pack in our chopping test, the Hamilton Beach Professional 14-Cup just didn't make the cut, earning a 4 out of 10. It did produce chopped onions that were acceptable, though they were a little on the mushy side, but this model did fall short in all our other chopping tests. This model spun for a long time after the "Pulse" button was released, and had some noticeable ramp-up time. The Hamilton Beach Professional produced exceptionally large chunks when chopping carrots and created two distinct sizes of carrot pieces, rather than uniform.
It was when it came to chopping nuts that this model truly failed, creating the worst product of the bunch. It left an enormous portion of the almonds untouched, and only managed to produce primarily dust after a large number of pulses, never effectively chopping the nuts at all.
While there is some authentic charm in mixing your family pie crust recipe by hand with a wooden spoon, it sure it a lot easier to have a food processor do the work for you. In addition to pie crust, we also made pizza dough and mayonnaise in each of these machines to determine which ones mixed with ease — and which ones might get beaten out by a wooden spoon. The graphic below shows the results of our mixing test.
Once again, the Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro stood out as the top performer, earning a 9 out of 10. This model successfully made the mayonnaise recipe we used for testing without catastrophe and created high-quality pizza dough and pie crust.
This burly food processor showed no sign of a struggle while mixing the pizza dough but did take a little more time to complete with its smaller dough blade. The Breville took five pulses to achieve the desired consistency of pie crust. The crust was high-quality and looked fantastic when we rolled it out — ready to become the perfect pie.
Lagging slightly behind the Breville, the Braun TributeCollection and the Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup both earned an 8 out of 10. These models both made mayonnaise successfully without incident, but this pair weren't quite as solid as the Breville at producing pizza dough and pie crust.
The Braun vibrated like crazy when making the pizza dough — especially when the second cup of flour was added, much worse than the Cuisinart Elemental, which only shook a tiny bit. However, the Braun did make slightly better pie crust than the Elemental, which struggled at incorporating the last bit of flour, producing dough too sticky in some places and too dry in others.
The bulk of the mixers followed, with the BLACK+DECKER 8-Cup, Cuisinart Elite, Cuisinart Custom, and the KitchenAid Pro Line all scoring a 6 out of 10. Only the KitchenAid model easily mixed mayonnaise to perfection, with the other three models failing in varying degrees.
The Cuisinart Elite came the closest to succeeding, but it wasn't quite there. An expert user could probably pull off the 1-cup recipe in this food processor, but we weren't able to create a satisfactory result. Both the BLACK+DECKER and the Cuisinart Custom didn't even come close to mixing the ingredients in our 1-cup recipe. These models may work if the recipe was doubled or tripled.
The Cuisinart Custom did an excellent job at making pizza dough and was one of the fastest models, seemingly unaffected by its lack of dough blade. This was closely followed by the BLACK+DECKER which was hampered by it smaller mixing bowl. The ball of dough would flex the lid when it was rotating and the motor sounded like it was struggling, but the dough produced was high-quality — just slightly worse than the Breville, Cuisinart Custom, and Cuisinart Elemental and comparable to the Braun.
The Cuisinart Elite required intervention to continue mixing — the dough would stick on the lid and refuse to mix, requiring us to fold it down periodically. The KitchenAid Pro Line was the worst of the bunch in our test, requiring us to finish incorporating the dry ingredients by hand, as the machine could not free them from the walls of the bowl and only produced a soupy mixture.
Moving on to pie crust, the BLACK+DECKER, Cuisinart Elite, Cuisinart Custom all produced above-average quality pie crust with only some minor issues. The Elite was prone to some side stickage, the BLACK+DECKER took substantially more pulses than the top models, and the Custom would shoot a small amount of flour out. Both KitchenAid models produced inferior pie crust by failing to incorporate all of the flour adequately, causing the dough to be too wet and exceptionally sticky.
Trailing behind the rest of the pack, the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup and the Hamilton Beach Professional 14-Cup earned a 5 and a 4 out of 10 respectively. The Hamilton Beach 10-Cup failed spectacularly when attempting to make mayonnaise, horrifically leaking and splattering everywhere.
The Hamilton Beach Professional failed our test but may have made mayonnaise successfully if you made an inordinate amount. This model didn't actually start mixing until over a half cup of oil had been added, giving you an idea of just how much you would need to make in one batch to get a successful pre-mix.
This pair redeemed themselves slightly at mixing pizza dough, both creating product that was comparable to the Cuisinart Elite and slightly worse than the BLACK+DECKER and the Braun. Both Hamilton Beach models did appear to be struggling for this test, with their motors sounding less than thrilled. The pair's performance differed when it came to mixing pie crust, with the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup doing much better than the Hamilton Beach Professional. The 10-Cup made very nice pie crust, comparable to the Cuisinart Custom. However, the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup shook violently, ejected a non-trivial amount of flour from the bowl, and had significant flour stuck on the lip of the bowl. The Hamilton Beach Professional suffered from similar problems but also took substantially more pulses to finish the pie crust — anywhere from 30-40 more pulses than any other model. The finished crust was good, but it was a struggle to get there. However, even with all of their shortcomings, both Hamilton Beach models still produced pie crust that was superior to that of the KitchenAid models.
We conducted five separate tests to evaluate the pureeing ability of these products, with equal weight being assigned to their scores for producing applesauce, tomato sauce, hummus, and nut butter. We also did a maximum fill line leak test with water, to see just how watertight these actually were, as finding out the hard way that your food processor mixing bowl doesn't seal quite as well as you thought is a sure-fire way to ruin your day. You can see how these products scored in the graph below.
In a surprise upset, the Cuisinart Custom and the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup merited the top score, both earning an 8 out of 10 and unseating the winner of the previous two metrics, the Breville. The Hamilton Beach 10-Cup was voted as the smoothest hummus by a panel of tasters, with the Cuisinart Custom coming in a close second. The Hamilton Beach 10-Cup also created excellent nut butter, producing a satisfactory product after about 10 minutes, the top was wobbling like crazy throughout. The Cuisinart Custom took almost twice as long as the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup and the final product was definitely inferior.
Both of these models created perfect tomato sauce after about 30 seconds of pureeing, with the Custom receiving some bonus points as it was the least messy out of every model that we tested. This pair also produced some of the highest-quality applesauce out of the test, tying with the KitchenAid Pro Line.
There was a stark contrast when it came to the leak test, with the Cuisinart Custom doing substantially better than the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup. The Custom took about three and a quarter cups of water to reach its maximum fill line and didn't leak at all. The Hamilton Beach 10-Cup reached the maximum fill line with two and a half cups of water and when the motor was turned on promptly leaked horribly. Everywhere.
This model would have been the de facto top scorer for pureeing, had it not leaked so horribly — dropping it down to a tie with the Custom.
Following those top performing models, the KitchenAid Pro Line and the Breville both earned a 7 out of 10. The Breville produced moderately better hummus than the KitchenAid Pro Line, but not quite at the same level as the Hamilton Beach and the Custom. However, the Breville did produce excellent nut butter after 10 minutes of churning — of equivalent quality to the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup, with the added benefit of not shaking nearly as much.
The KitchenAid Pro Line created decent nut butter after 14 minutes, and only required a few scrapes with a spatula, in the beginning, to knock down some stray nuts. These models both made acceptable tomato and applesauce, with the Breville producing better tomato sauce — though not as quality as the Cuisinart Custom — and the KitchenAid Pro Line having an edge up at creating smoother applesauce. Neither Breville nor KitchenAid Pro leaked at all in our fill line test, most likely due to both having rubber sealing mechanisms.
The Cuisinart Elemental, Cuisinart Elite, and the Braun all comprised the bulk group, earning a 6 out of 10 for this metric. The Hamilton Beach 10-Cup unanimously had the best hummus. Next were the Cuisinart Elemental and the Cuisinart Elite which both made slightly better hummus than the Breville but inferior to the Cuisinart Custom.
The Braun made the worst hummus of this group and created the second-coarsest hummus of the entire group. However, the Braun did make the best nut butter of the group, requiring only a quick spatula scrape in the beginning and created a product that equaled the KitchenAid Pro Line after 15 minutes. The Cuisinart Elite created average nut butter after 16 minutes, beating out the product from the Cuisinart Elemental. The Braun and the Cuisinart Elite produced slightly above-average tomato sauce, while the Elemental's was a little on the chunky side.
All of these models produced average or above-average applesauce. The Braun and the Elemental were the only models of this group of 3 to have zero leakage. The Braun did not have a max fill line, so we filled it up a comparable amount to similarly sized models, about 50%. The Cuisinart Elite leaked a small amount, performing better than the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup.
Finishing out the back of the pack, the Hamilton Beach Professional and the BLACK+DECKER earned a 5 and a 4 out of 10, respectively. The Hamilton Beach Professional actually made alright hummus, comparable to the Breville, in direct contrast to the Hamilton Beach Professional which pureed the coarsest hummus out of the bunch. Both of these models took 25 minutes to make acceptable nut butter, and both required periodic help along the way. Both of these models produced moderately chunky tomato and applesauce, but the BLACK+DECKER was the only one of the pair to leak, though not as profusely as the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup.
Homemade macaroni and cheese or hash browns instantly become more appealing when you can simply set up your food processor, rather than wrecking your nails on a grater. We shredded cheese, potatoes, and carrots with the shredding attachments on these machines, as well as evaluated the plethora of shredding options available to choose from. Check out the chart below to see which model can truly shred, and which ones couldn't keep up.
Back to the top position, the Breville earned the top score of 8 out of 10 for its quality shredding performance. It did a fantastic job at shredding carrots — the best of the group — creating nice, crisp pieces that didn't stick together and only left a single small piece unshredded. The Breville also did a great job at shredding potatoes, only leaving two small slices behind, but it was surpassed by the Braun, which produced shredded potatoes that were of moderately higher quality.
The Breville offers two shredding options: fine and medium and did an average job at shredding cheese. The second-best shredders were the Cuisinart Elemental and the Braun. This pair both have the option to choose between a fine and a medium shred, and both did an exemplary job at shredding cheese. The Braun did the best overall, only leaving a few bits of cheese behind and producing primarily shredded — not crumbled — cheese.
The Elemental shredded all of the cheese but had slightly lower quality product than the Braun. This pair also performed very similarly when it came to potatoes, with the Braun moderately leading and the Elemental performing comparably to the Breville. However, this pair did lag behind the Breville when it came to shredding carrots — the Braun more so than the Elemental
Next in shredding performance, the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup, the Hamilton Beach Professional, and the Cuisinart Custom, all earned a 6 out of 10. This trio all only have a single shredding setting: medium. The Hamilton Beach 10-Cup did the best job shredding of the group, moderately better than the BLACK+DECKER and the Breville. Next was the Hamilton Beach Professional and then the, Cuisinart Custom. These models had much more crumbs of cheese and flimsier strands.
Each member of this trio shredded potatoes roughly the same as cheese, but all of these models did substantially better at shredding carrots. The Hamilton Beach Professional actually tied for the Breville at being the best overall at shredding carrots, with the Cuisinart Custom just behind. The Hamilton Beach 10-Cup did above average at shredding carrots but performed slightly worse than the Cuisinart Elite and the Cuisinart Elemental.
Ranking average at shredding the Cuisinart Elite earned an overall score of 5 out of 10 for this metric. This model has two settings for shredding, but did a subpar job at shredding cheese. The Elite had almost as many crumbles as shreds of cheese, but did a solid job at shredding carrots.
Rounding out the bottom of the pack were the BLACK+DECKER and the KitchenAid Pro Line, both meriting a 3 out of 10 for their overall inferior shredding performance. The BLACK+DECKER had only a medium shred option, while the KitchenAid did have two settings to pick from. The KitchenAid did a subpar job at shredding cheese, performing similarly to the other KitchenAid model. The BLACK+DECKER actually did an alright job shredding cheese, but we thought it might break due to the sounds it was making. These both did a below-average job at shredding potatoes and carrots, with the KitchenAid Pro Line doing the worst of the entire group at shredding potatoes, and the BLACK+DECKER doing the overall worst at shredding carrots.
The converse of slicing, as for most machines you flip the shredding disc to use the slicing functions. We performed a similar set of tests as shredding, assessing the difficulty of setting up and adjusting the slicing blade for desired thickness and then evaluated each machine's skill at slicing tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchini. You can see which model were a slice above the rest in the chart below.
There was a two-way tie for first place, with the Cuisinart Elite and the KitchenAid Pro Line both earning an 8 out of 10. These models have adjustable blades to set the slicing thickness, and all did a great job at slicing tomatoes, once we got the hang of using them.
The Elite continued its stellar performance when we moved on to potatoes, while the pair of KitchenAid's fell off slightly, getting docked for showing more taper on the slices. They did regain ground with the zucchini, and all three models once again produced great slices.
Following this top trio, the Breville, Cuisinart Custom and the Hamilton Beach Professional all earned 7 out of 10 for their second-tier slicing performance. The Breville was much easier to adjust for thickness, as the numbers corresponded to millimeters, compared to the arbitrary 1-15 scale on the Hamilton Beach Professional. The Custom included a 4 mm disc for slicing, but other thickness discs are available for purchase. This trio did a great job at creating even tomato slices, all comparable to the Elite.
Performance dropped slightly at slicing potatoes, with the Breville and the Hamilton Beach Professional scoring similarly to either KitchenAid models, due to the slight taper on the slices. The Cuisinart Custom did a great job, comparable to the Elite.
The Hamilton Beach Professional did take the lead on slicing zucchini, creating even slices compared to the taper of the Breville and the Cuisinart Custom.
Next came the Cuisinart Elemental with a 6 out of 10. This model had a slicing blade that was easy to adjust, with each number corresponding to millimeters of thickness. It did a great job at slicing tomatoes, earning the same score as the Cuisinart Elite. However, its performance fell off at slicing tomatoes or potatoes, producing average quality slices, similar to the Braun for potatoes and the Breville for carrots.
Lagging behind the Elemental, the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup earned a 5 out of 10. This model has zero slice thickness adjustability. This model had a very small feed tube, meaning that we had to cut the tomatoes to fit, which had a negative effect on slice quality.
This model also produced rough and tapered potato slices but did much better at slicing zucchini, producing slices of similar quality to the KitchenAid Pro Line.
Rounding out the bottom of the pack were the BLACK+DECKER and the Braun, both faring poorly at slicing and deserving a 4 and a 3 out of 10, respectively. Neither of these models offers any slicing adjustability. The BLACK+DECKER produced about average tomato slices, slightly better than the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup, while the Braun did the worst job at slicing tomatoes overall, spraying the tomato innards all over the place and totally destroying the tomatoes.
The Braun did slightly better at slicing potatoes, producing average slices that compared well with the Cuisinart Elemental, but it was once again the worst of the entire group at slicing zucchini. The BLACK+DECKER was the worst of the group at slicing potatoes but did marginally better at slicing zucchini, producing slices that were only moderately worse than the Cuisinart Custom or Elemental.
The absolute worst part of cooking: clean up and dishes. This final metric encompassed how difficult it was to clean these products, looking separately at the bowl, blade, and lid. The difficulty of cleaning can be the deciding factor between setting up the food processor to accomplish a task, or simply performing the same task manually. The chart below shows which models were the easiest to clean, and which ones were a struggle.
The Breville regained the top spot for this final metric, earning an 8 out of 10. This model has the easiest blade, bowl, and lid to wash of the whole group. The blade had a longer shaft that made it a breeze to clean without accidentally slicing fingers, and there were very few nooks and crannies in the bowl or lid for food to get caught in.
A large group of models ranked next behind the Breville in terms of being easiest to clean, with the Braun, Cuisinart Elite, Cuisinart Custom, and the KitchenAid Pro Line all earning a 6 out of 10. The Braun had an exceptionally easy to clean blade and lid, but the bowl was actually one of the most difficult to clean, with some plastic details on the inside that were prone to catching food. The Elite ranked slightly above average across the board, slightly worse than the Custom at cleaning the bowl and the lid. However, the Custom had a decently hard to clean blade — much harder than the Braun or the Breville. The KitchenAid Pro Line was similarly easy to clean across the board, with blades that were the easiest to clean of this group.
Next were the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup and the BLACK+DECKER, both scoring a 5 out of 10. These models both had average to clean bowls and blades, with the lids slightly easier to clean. Rounding out the bottom of the pack were the Cuisinart Elemental and Hamilton Beach Professional, meriting a 4 out of 10. These models both had difficult to clean bowls and lid, though the blades were slightly easier to clean.
While there are countless different food processors available, hopefully, this review will help steer you in the direction of whichever models is the best for your slicing and dicing needs.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer