The best food processors need to meet certain requirements. First, they need to be reasonably versatile. Second, they need to be genuinely useful around the kitchen. Third, they need to be easy enough to clean so that you don’t find yourself shying away from using them because you don’t want to think of cleanup afterwards. Fourth, they need to be suitably well-constructed to meet the rigors of use in a personal kitchen.
The five processors below all meet the above criteria, assuring you get real value for the cost. Having any of these in your kitchen can help you cut down on the amount of effort it takes to prepare meals daily.
The Breville Sous Chef Food Processor has an extra-wide 5.5-inch feed chute that makes it especially easy to put food (even food that has not been pre-cut) in it. It comes with 8 discs in a handy storage container: variable slicing disc, julienne disc, shredding disc, French fry cutting disc, dough blade, universal S blade, mini blade, and whisking disc. It also has a large 16-cup bowl capacity, a countdown (and up) timer, and BPA-free construction.
- Enormous feed chute
- Very powerful motor with 1200 watt peak power
- Great disc set
- Can’t be used to process cheese
- Bowl can’t be placed in the dishwasher too often
The Breville BFP800XL earns its place very easily on this list. The huge feed chute alone gives it a real edge over most of the other food processors available nowadays, as it means less pre-cutting for large food items; and the muscular motor adds to its worth. Sure, it’s not for those who need to grate cheese often, but it does nearly everything else beautifully. A little hand-washing of the bowl wouldn’t kill you either, given how much this machine does for you during prep. All in all, it more than earns its price tag, which is about $400.
The Chopstir has a patented, multi-use nylon blade that can be used for both chopping and stirring. Low-maintenance and non-staining, its nylon composition means that it can be used directly on surfaces like non-stick cookware. It is made in the USA and is dishwasher-safe.
- Astonishingly versatile
- Textured handle makes it easy to grip
- Can be used on a lot of kitchen containers
- Little bits of food sometimes get stuck in the openings at the center
- Can’t really be used to turn meat (like hamburgers) over
This $7.67 implement is a handy little kitchen tool that can do a surprising number of things. It can chop, mince, and stir. Although it is really advertised as a ground meat chopper, it can take on a number of other foods, from vegetables to stews. Its nylon construction means that it can be used directly on most cookware and mixing bowls too, sparing you the trouble of having to break out the chopping board and knife. That’s an amazing convenience for most cooks, which makes this little instrument a fantastic time-saver.
This 525-watt food processor has a bowl with a 10-cup capacity. It has two reversible slicing and shredding discs, and one chopping blade made of stainless steel. It also has an oversized feed chute (permitting larger cuts and pieces inside), a pulse option, 2 speed options, and internal cord storage.
- The bowl, blades, discs, and lid are all dishwasher-safe
- Large capacity
- Very affordable
- Despite the dishwasher-safe label, the bowl can deform in the dishwasher
- Could chop a little more consistently
This $55 food processor offers some great power for its price. You might find yourself using the pulse option on it more often than you expect because of its power. It has a decent selection of discs that come with it, although some might wish there were more. The bowl is also not as dishwasher-safe as the manufacturer advertises it to be, but if you’re at all used to food processors, you probably already expected that. Despite those little hiccups, it’s still far from being a bad purchase—its price and power give it a lot of value, so it earns a place on the list.
The Ninja Mega Kitchen System 1500 is a bundle of Ninja products for food processing. It includes an XL 72-ounce professional blender pitcher, XL 8-cup processor bowl, a 3-cup bowl-in-bowl with a chopping blade, two 16-ounce Nutri Ninja cups with to-go lids, and a 1500-watt motor base. The set comes with Total Crushing technology, which crushes fruit, veggies and ice cubes with supreme efficiency and speed.
- Powerful motor base
- Easy to clean, especially with the removable blades
- Doesn’t work well with seeds
- Bowl is not dishwasher safe despite manufacturer labeling
This suffers from a similar issue as the item preceding it on this list, which is that the manufacturer’s claim of one of its parts being dishwasher-safe does not bear out very well in application. It also isn’t ideal for use with seeds and similar foods if you want to ground them to a near-powder consistency. Other than that, though, it’s pretty good: the powerful base ensures you can grind through ice cubes and other foods for smoothies very quickly, and the food processor bowl means you can make healthy salsas swiftly, too. It’s a great set for only $155, although it’s probably best for health buffs.
This manual food processor has suction cups on the base to hold it steady on a counter. It has an ergonomically designed crank and three blades. The blades are a julienne blade, an adjustable chopping blade, and a whipping blade.
- Very easy to use
- Easy to clean
- Bowl could be sturdier
This fantastic little item is for those who want a food processor that can still make their lives easier but want it on a budget. Costing only $25, this processor requires a little muscle to work but is still sufficiently effective at what it does to make the job feel effortless. It could be a little bigger for and the bowl could be more durable, but all in all, it’s a superb buy for the price.
This really depends on your needs and budget, but if we assume that the latter isn’t a big issue and your purposes are many and varied for the food processor, the best is still the Breville. It’s so strong and so versatile that it’s really hard to fault, even at its high price point, offering unmatched food processing for the busiest kitchens.
If you’re on a really tight budget, though, the Hamilton Beach and Kitchen King models might be better in that case, as they offer a decent mix of functionality and unbeatably low prices.