Best Food Processor of 2021
$399.95 at Amazon
$199.95 at Amazon
$249.99 at Amazon
$99.99 at Amazon
$169.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Best at chopping, mixing, and shredding, easy to clean||Great for pizza dough, pureeing perfection, easy to clean, mostly even slicing, little to no leakage||Great at pureeing and slicing||Great for shredding, slicing, good at chopping||Great at mixing, chopping, and shredding|
|Cons||Expensive||Not great for applesauce, average chopping and shredding||No adjustability of shredding or slicing||Little more difficult to clean||Fails at slicing|
|Bottom Line||Our favorite overall model excels at chopping, shredding, and mixing, and it's exceptionally easy to clean||A food processor especially great for pizza, that gets most jobs done at a reasonable price||One of the best food processors you can get on a budget without sacrificing too much performance||Offering all-around excellent performance given its price tag, this is one of our favorites to anyone shopping for a bargain buy||A great food processor with an excellent price, though we wouldn't recommend it for extensive slicing|
|Rating Categories||Breville Sous Chef...||Vitamix 12-Cup Atta...||Cuisinart Custom 14||Professional||Braun TributeCollec...|
|Specs||Breville Sous Chef...||Vitamix 12-Cup Atta...||Cuisinart Custom 14||Professional||Braun TributeCollec...|
|Model #||BFP800CBXL||VM0215||DFP-14BCNY||BN600/BN601||FP 3020|
|Bowl Size||16 cup and 2.5 cup mini bowl||12 cup||14 cup||9 cup||8 cup and 1 cup mini bowl|
H: 12.8" (no base)
H: 19.6" (on tested base)
|Measured Weight of Base||15 pounds, 8 ounces||8 pounds, 12 ounces. Varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base||12 pounds, 6 ounces||4 pounds, 8 ounces||4 pounds, 10 ounces|
|Motor||1200 Watt||Varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base||720 Watt||850 Watt||600 Watt|
|Speed Control||On/Off/Pulse||Pulse/(On/Off), varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base||On/(Pulse/Off)||Chop/Puree/Dough/Disc/Low/High/Pulse||Speed Selection/On/Off/Pulse|
|Cord Storage||Internal||Underside cord wrap; varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base||None||External Cord Wrap||External Cord Wrap|
|Feet||Smooth Rubber (Non-Skid)||Varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base||Smooth Rubber||Suction Cups||Textured Rubber|
|Decibels at 3ft||67.5||80.5, varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base||61.5||80||79|
|Mini Bowl Blade||Yes||N/A||Yes||N/A||N/A|
|Accessory Storage Case||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Slicing Disc||Adjustable to 8mm||2 discs large and small; Non adjustable||Non adjustable||Non adjustable||Non adjustable|
|Shredding Disc||Fine and Medium||2 discs large and small; Non adjustable||Medium||Non adjustable||Fine, Medium, and Grating|
|Build in Bowl Scraper||No||No||No||No||No|
|French Fry Disc||Yes||No||No||No||Select Models|
Best Overall Food Processor
Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro
Fending off challengers for close to three years and once again earning our top overall score by a landslide, the Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro is easily our favorite food processor. This top-of-the-line kitchen appliance performed well across all of our tests, effortlessly slicing through produce and completing even the most challenging processing tasks. Its 1200-watt motor mixes dough, slices veggies, and shreds potatoes effortlessly. Out of our entire test fleet, this processor is also one of the most convenient models to use and one of the easiest to clean.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, such high performance comes also with one of the highest price tags in our lineup. The Sous Chef 16 Pro is a phenomenal machine, and we highly recommend it for enthusiast chefs, but it can set you back quite a bit of money and takes up a decent amount of valuable counter space. It's a fantastic option for an avid home chef or anyone else who will use it frequently, but it can be a bit more machine than the casual cook may need or want. However, if you are searching for the crème de la crème when it comes to choppers, this is our top choice.
Read review: Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro
Best for Pizza
Vitamix 12-Cup Attachment
The Vitamix 12-Cup Attachment shines brightest while pureeing, slicing, and mixing dough, making it the perfect option for pizza lovers. Mix up your pizza crust and let it cool while you whip up some homemade sauce and efficiently slice up any toppings. While we had pizza on the mind during our testing of this model, that's not all it is good for. The mostly even slicing works wonders on easy-to-bruise fruit and vegetables, like tomatoes, and the stellar pureeing makes buttery smooth hummus and dips. Although it is still an investment, it is easy to clean but won't clean out your bank account.
The Vitamix 12-Cup is a great food processor, but there is a lot of room for improvement. While it's excellent at slicing and pro at pureeing, its chopping, shredding, and mixing (aside from pizza dough) capabilities are nothing to write home about. They get the job done but often require an extra pulse or two. The chopping and shredding also offer somewhat inconsistent sizes. That being said, the Vitamix 12-cup Attachment is a great option for anyone looking for a well-rounded processor.
Read review: Vitamix 12-Cup Food Processor Attachment
Best Bang for the Buck
Cuisinart Custom 14
If you're not comfortable paying such a premium price tag for top-end performance, look no further than the Cuisinart Custom 14. This reliable kitchen appliance earns recognition for its superb performance across the bulk of our tests, all while providing outstanding value with a more reasonable price tag than the highest-end models we tested. It slices vegetables and fruits exceptionally evenly and purees velvety-smooth dips, and spreads.
A drawback of this model is that the slicing and shredding blades aren't adjustable, meaning you'll need to purchase additional blades if you aren't happy with the size of the included ones. It also isn't quite as powerful at mixing denser doughs. Despite these knocks, this is the perfect option if you're seeking a great, all-around food processor without shredding your budget.
Read review: Cuisinart Custom 14
Best on a Tight Budget
Hamilton Beach 10-Cup
If you want to spend the bare minimum and still get decent performance, then the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup is your best bet. This inexpensive model can hold its own when it comes to pureeing dips or chopping produce. Its shredding and slicing performance isn't too shabby either.
On the downside, the weaker motor struggles when mixing heavy dough and causes the entire unit to shake rather violently. We also experienced some leaking issues when we filled it with water in our test, so we recommend steering clear of using this model for recipes that call for primarily liquid ingredients. Regardless of these flaws, it is still our favorite food processor when shopping on a tight budget.
Read review: Hamilton Beach 10-Cup
Why You Should Trust Us
As always, GearLab purchased all of the products that we tested at retail price. We do not accept any free evaluation models from manufacturers. Our food processor testing team is led by Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Hayley Thomas who all have tested and reviewed over two hundred kitchen appliances over the past several years. In addition to their expertise, we consulted with home chefs and bakers to get additional input and feedback on our testing and scoring process.
We spent close to 200 hours testing and evaluating these food processors and mini-choppers side-by-side. We created copious amounts of hummus, mixed up tons of pizza and pie crust dough, chopped dozens of onions and tomatoes, made mayo from scratch, and shredded a silly amount of cheese. Don't worry; zero food went to waste during our testing. We then had a panel of judges rate the quality of the food produced by each food processor, and finally, awarded points based on the ease of cleaning each product between tests.
Related: How We Tested Food Processors
Analysis and Test Results of Food Choppers
After our comprehensive analysis, we decided that the mini food choppers with the most potential were the the Ninja Express Chop (our favorite), the Cuisinart CTG-00-SCHP, and the BLACK+DECKER HC150B. Of these three, the Ninja Express Chop is better than the rest and the only one of these three that we would recommend.
To compare their performance, we used each food chopper to chop almonds, cilantro, carrots, garlic, onions, and tomatoes and assessed how easy they are to clean.
Tomatoes & Carrots
First, we tested how well each appliance chopped 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 cleaner, more consistent chop. The BLACK+DECKER fared poorly, completely mutilating the tomatoes and failing to chop and puree them, creating a tomato mush interspersed with large chunks. To be fair, none of these products are fantastic at chopping tomatoes, so you might be better served by a kitchen knife if you need evenly chopped tomatoes for your recipe.
The Ninja easily took the top spot in our carrot chopping challenge, making short work of the carrot and quickly chopping it into small, uniformly sized pieces, leaving 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
Next, we tried out each food chopper with half an onion and three 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. While the Cuisinart can only accommodate a smaller onion, it's 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 broader 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 only limit on how fine you can mince the garlic is your patience.
Even with repeated pulses, the Ninja couldn't mince the garlic as finely as the Cuisinart. The BLACK+DECKER didn't do great at cleanly cutting the garlic in our tests; it became discolored and looked much less appetizing than the garlic from the other two products.
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 six pulses. The Cuisinart was much more of a hassle to use and forced us to stop and clean the blades periodically to free any stuck almonds. The BLACK+DECKER didn't do that well, leaving behind the most whole almonds out of any model that we tested.
Of the trio of mini-choppers that we tested, the Ninja is the only one that managed to chop the cilantro acceptably. The BLACK+DECKER was consistent in our chopping test, but the final product was not very good, pulverizing the leaves into a paste. The Cuisinart also proved to be both inconsistent and poor at chopping. It both produced cilantro mush and also left several leaves entirely untouched.
Ease of Cleaning
In terms of cleaning, the BLACK+DECKER is by far our favorite. The Cuisinart's compact design makes it very difficult to access and clean all the nooks and crannies around the blade. The Ninja comes with several blades, which also makes for a more difficult cleaning experience. Fortunately, all of these products are dishwasher safe. However, we didn't find the dishwasher to be a very effective way to clean the Cuisinart since food pieces remained stuck in the blade assembly.
Analysis and Test Results of Food Processors
To compare each food processor's performance, we chose six weighted metrics to consider during our hands-on testing: chopping, shredding, slicing, mixing, pureeing, and ease of cleaning. We recommend focusing on the metrics that most closely match your intended use and selecting a machine that excels in those areas. These are multi-purpose appliances, and while we gave awards to the top overall performers, you may personally be better served by a model that excels at the tasks you most frequently do.
The Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro stands way above the rest in terms of performance and, unfortunately, also in price. The next step down in both price and performance is the Cuisinart Custom 14 and the Vitamix 12-Cup Attachment retailing for significantly less. If you go the route of the Custom 14, you may need to purchase additional slicing and shredding discs if you aren't happy with the included options, as they aren't adjustable.
The Vitamix comes with a few slicing and shredding discs, but it is important to know you will need to already own or purchase separately a motor/base as the attachment is just the top portion. If these two options are still too pricey, you may want to consider the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup or Ninja Professional Food Processor. These appliances have their flaws and provide a great value, holding their own against other products that cost significantly more. The Hamilton Beach 10-Cup does just a bit better at chopping and pureeing, while the Ninja has the edge when it comes to slicing and shredding.
Chopping food is a quintessential task for these appliances and should be a standout capability of any worthy food processor. We compared each model's performance while chopping onions, carrots, and nuts and assessed the quality of the finished products. We also paid special attention to whether or not each model comes equipped with a pulse button and how it performs. More specifically, how quickly the blade stops upon the button's release, thus determining how precisely you can control each appliance.
When it comes to chopping, the Sous Chef by Breville finds itself in the top tier. In particular, we were very impressed with the speed at which this appliance chops onions and the uniformity of the final result.
The Sous Chef also made short work of the almonds, chopping them up in seconds. Even better, it didn't over-chop or grind them into dust like many of the other processors did. While its "pulse" button starts and stops the blade quickly, other models like the Cuisinart Elite and Custom 14, and the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup start and stop with more immediacy. That being said, none of these models measure up to the overall chopping power and uniformity of the Sous Chef.
Following the Breville, but not closely, in overall chopping performance are the Braun Tribute Collection and the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup. The Hamilton Beach 10-Cup pulse buttons start and stop immediately with the press of the "pulse" button, while the Braun takes a measurable moment before the spinning seizes. The Braun does an exceptional job at chopping the almonds, coming in just behind the Breville. It performs well at chopping onions and carrots but falls off slightly on the latter, leaving more unevenly sized pieces of the carrot than the 10-Cup. The Hamilton Beach 10-Cup, Braun, and Pro Line produce comparable chopped onions, but the Breville beat both.
The following five models offer a somewhat average performance: Cuisinart Elite, Cuisinart Custom, Ninja Professional, and Vitamix 12-Cup Attachment. While Cuisinart models come in clutch with very responsive pulse buttons, they only deliver average results when it comes to chopping onions. However, these two models offer above-average performance when chopping almonds, which is not something we can say for most of the options in our test suite. The Ninja Professional takes a little longer to spin down when you release the pulse button, making precise control a bit more difficult. However, its onion and carrot chopping capabilities are impressive, creating mostly uniform pieces with only a few larger outliers.
While there is a charm in mixing your family pie crust recipe by hand with a wooden spoon, it sure is a lot easier to have a food processor do the work for you. In addition to pie crust, we made pizza dough and mayonnaise in each of these processors.
Once again, the Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro stands out as the top performer, as it successfully mixes up mayo and creates high-quality pie crust and pizza dough. This burly food processor shows no signs of struggle while mixing pizza dough but does take a little more time to complete with its smaller dough blade. It took five pulses to achieve the desired pie crust consistency during our testing, but it was high-quality and looked fantastic when we rolled it out.
The Braun TributeCollection and Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup closely follow the Sous Chef. All three of these appliances make mayonnaise successfully, just about as well as the Sous Chef, but they vary a bit in their pizza and pie crust creation. The Braun vibrates like crazy when making pizza dough. When we added a second cup of flour, we thought it was going to vibrate right off the counter. The Elemental performs almost as well as the Breville, although it does shake a bit.
Of the four top performers, the Braun and Breville take the cake, or in this case, the pie, when it comes to pie crust performance. The Elemental fall behind, offering an admirable above-average performance. Following these four, with overall average scores are the BLACK+DECKER 8-Cup, Cuisinart Elite and Custom 14, Ninja Professional, and the Vitamix Attachment. While none of these perform well across all three of our mixing tests, they do offer an above-average performance in at least one.
Some honorable mentions that crush the pizza crust test, aside from our top performers overall, are the Cuisinart Custom 14 and the Vitamix Attachment. The Custom does not have a dough blade, making its performance that much more impressive. Both offer a decently quick and sufficient blend of the ingredients.
Moving on to pie crust, outside of the top mixing performers, we were very impressed with the Ninja Professional which took roughly 10-15 pulses to sufficiently blend all the ingredients.
Like chopping and mixing, the pureeing metric accounts for a good portion of each product's final score. We conducted five separate tests with each food processor to rank and score performance, making tomato sauce, hummus, nut butter, and applesauce. We also considered leakage in this category, testing each processor by filling the bowl with water to the max fill line and turning it on full blast.
In a surprise upset, the Cuisinart Custom, Hamilton Beach 10-Cup, and Vitamix 12-Cup Food Processor Attachment merited top scores, unseating the winner of the previous two metrics, the Breville. According to our panel of tasters, the 10-Cup produced the smoothest hummus, closely followed by the Cuisinart Custom and then the Vitamix Attachment. The 10-Cup and Vitamix Attachment also create superb nut butter. The Vitamix made a satisfactory product after about three minutes and the 10-Cup coming in at 10 minutes (though the top wobbled like crazy throughout the process). The Custom took almost twice as long, and the final product was definitively inferior.
All three of these models create perfect tomato sauce after about 30 seconds of pureeing, with the Custom receiving bonus points as it was the least messy out of every model that we tested. While the 10-Cup and the Custom also produced some of the highest-quality applesauce in the test, the Vitamix Attachment falls extremely short in this department.
Of the average performers in the puree department as a whole, the Cuisinart Elite and Elemental whip up admirable hummus. Rendering a mostly smooth, albeit a little grainy. product without much shaking or scooping needed. The Oster may not receive a top score in pureeing, but it sure whips almond into a smooth butter quickly compared to the others in our test suite.
There is a stark contrast in 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 10-Cup reached the maximum fill line with two and a half cups of water and promptly leaked water everywhere after the motor was switched on, precluding it from claiming the premier spot in this metric.
The Braun, Elemental, and Custom are the only three models we tested to have zero leakage. The Braun does not have a max fill line, so we filled it up a comparable amount to similarly sized models, about 50%.
Homemade macaroni and cheese or hash browns instantly become more appealing when you can simply set up your food processor rather than risking your fingertips on a grater. We took the time to shred potatoes, carrots, and a large block of cheese to compare performance between food processors. This category accounts for slightly less of the overall score but is still very important.
The Breville claims the top spot with its quality shredding performance. It does a fantastic job at shredding carrots, creating nice, crisp pieces that don't stick together, only leaving a single small piece unshredded. It does similarly well with potatoes, only leaving two small slices behind. The Breville offers two shredding options with its disc: fine and medium. Both do a decent job at shredding the block of cheese, with only moderate amounts of cheese crumbles left unshredded.
Our runner-ups in this category are Braun TributeCollection, Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup, and the Ninja Professional. You have the option to choose between a fine or medium shredding size with both the Elemental and the Braun, but you are limited to a single size with the Ninja Professional. The Braun does the best overall, leaving behind only a few bits of cheese and producing shredded cheese with very few crumbles. The Elemental and the Ninja shredded all of the cheese but slightly lower quality than the Braun.
The Braun offers a very high-quality potato shred. The Elemental and the Ninja also created uniformly shredded potatoes that would be perfect for hash browns, though there were a few irregularly cut pieces and some leftover chunks between the lid and the blade. The Elemental and the Braun both did average at shredding carrots, with the Elemental producing slightly more uniform pieces. The Ninja performed the best with carrots, producing the cleanest and most uniformly cut pieces of these four.
We didn't have many average or below average-scoring models that performed highly in one of our shredding tests. The Hamilton Beach Professional 14-Cup offers a near-perfect carrot shred. But aside from these models, our highest performers in each category warrant an overall higher score in shredding across the board.
For this portion of our rigorous hands-on testing, we sliced zucchini, tomatoes, and potatoes. We also considered how easy each device is to set up and how much control it offers regarding slice thickness. We dubbed slicing the same importance as shredding.
Our leaders in the slicing metric are the Cuisinart Elite and the Vitamix Attachment.
The Cuisinart Elite has adjustable blades to set the slicing thickness and does a great job with delicate fruit, and vegetables like tomatoes once dialed with the correct settings.
The runner-ups in this category are Breville Sous Chef, Cuisinart Custom, Hamilton Beach Professional, and the Ninja Professional. The Breville's thickness is very easy to adjust when slicing, as the numbers corresponded to millimeters. The Cuisinart Custom includes a four millimeter disc for slicing, but other thickness discs are available for purchase. These models did a great job creating even tomato slices, comparable to the Cuisinart Elite.
The Hamilton Beach Professional shines brightest while slicing tomatoes. Most of the other options take a minute to understand how to use, but this model had the best first run out of all the processors with almost no mangling as a result of inexperience. The Ninja Professional also only offers a single slice thickness setting but still does surprisingly well. The potatoes it produces are very uniform, and the zucchini and tomato slices are above average. The feed chute on this model is quite small, so larger produce must be pre-cut to fit. This leaves some messier slices with larger tomatoes or zucchini, but smaller items are cut very cleanly.
Our review process's final rating metric considers the amount of effort it takes to clean out each food processor once you're done using it. We washed each bowl, blade, and cover multiple times during our testing process, both in the dishwasher and by hand. We awarded points to the products that we found to be the fastest and easiest to clean, looking for models that made it easy to clean without accidentally getting cut by the blades or leaving leftover food behind to rot.
The Breville regained its top spot for this final metric with the easiest blade, bowl, and lid to wash of the whole group. The blade has 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 in which food can get caught.
Our runner-up is the Vitamix 12-Cup Attachment. It is dishwasher safe, and the gear is easily separated from the bowl for hand washing. The only difficult part about washing this model is the plunger. This section is much easier to clean with a bottle brush.
The Braun, the Cuisinart Elite and Custom, and the Oster 2-Speed all score a bit above average when it comes to cleanup. The Braun has an exceptionally easy-to-clean blade and lid, but its bowl was one of the most difficult to clean, with some plastic details on the inside prone to catching food.
We hope this review has helped you pick out the perfect new food processor for your kitchen, whether you are a culinary enthusiast looking for a full-size workhorse appliance or simply seeking a mini-chopper to speed up prep and make it a little less mundane.
— Austin Palmer and David Wise