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Published Apr. 13, 2022

A food processor is a countertop appliance that can open up a world of new culinary possibilities. They blend, mix, and chop anything from onions (without the tears) to chickpeas for homemade hummus. And unlike a blender, which provides a uniform result every time, you can get plenty of variety in the size and texture of your dish using a food processor. However, there are plenty of machines on the market that over-promise and under-deliver on power and durability. So to help ensure that you find the best food processor for your kitchen, we’ve narrowed down the list of the top five food processors on the market. 

How We Selected These Products 

To select the best food processors in every category, I took into account personal testing experience with the products, as well as customer reviews and product specifications. In particular, I looked for the top-performing appliances in a range of sizes and price points to accommodate every home cook. I also sought products with appropriate power for their size to ensure efficiency. In addition, I looked for helpful features like dishwasher-safe parts, useful cutting accessories, and smart design features, such as pulsing or multiple power levels. I have personally tested the Cuisinart and Ninja products on this list, and regularly use both my Cuisinart 14-cup food processor and smaller Ninja food chopper

The Best Food Processors: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Food Processor-Blender System: Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen System

Why It Made The Cut: Not only does this system include both blender and food processor attachments, but the motor base is exceptionally powerful for seamless blending every time. 

Specs:

  • Capacity: 64 ounces (food processor); 72 ounces (blender)
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 inches L x 8.25 inches W x 17.75 inches H
  • Wattage: 1500 W

Pros:

  • Includes single-serving blending cups
  • Dough mixer blade
  • Comes with recipe booklet

Cons: 

  • A lot of pieces to store

If you’re looking for both a food processor and a blender, this kitchen system from Ninja has it all. The 72-ounce blender pitcher and 64-ounce food processor bowl both fit onto the powerful motor base for blending, chopping, crushing, or pureeing just about anything. The system also includes two single-serving blender cups that double as takeaway cups for smoothies. In addition to a four-blade food processor attachment, you’ll also get a dull dough mixer attachment, which can knead up to two pounds of dough in seconds to save your hands the tiring work. 

All of the non-electrical parts are BPA-free and dishwasher safe, though the company recommends hand-washing the blades to maintain their sharp edge as long as possible. If you’re wondering what to make with your new system, there’s even a 31-recipe booklet full of inspiration for drinks, dips, doughs, and more. 

Best Mini: Ninja Express Chop Professional

Why It Made The Cut: This light and compact food chopper is pared down and inexpensive, but it works quickly and reliably every time. 

Specs:

  • Capacity: 16 ounces
  • Product Dimensions: 5.75 inches L x 5.75 inches W x 10.13 inches H
  • Wattage: 200 watts

Pros: 

  • Easy to use
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Great for travel

Cons:

  • No slicing or grating attachments
  • One power setting

Whether you’re camping, traveling, or just want a food processor that performs well but won’t take up your entire pantry, this option from Ninja is the way to go. It’s incredibly lightweight (just two pounds), convenient to store, and still can mince, chop, or puree like the best of them. In fact, though this processor has just one power setting, it’s strong enough to grind harder ingredients like roasted nuts and can make a smooth and fluffy sauce in minutes. Because the blending bowl is smaller, you don’t have to stop and scrape it down as often as larger products. 

The bowl also comes with an airtight storage lid so you can blend up salsa and stash it in the fridge right in the blender bowl for later. While you shouldn’t expect to use this miniature processor for the same volume as a larger and more powerful model, it does execute small jobs, such as chopping soft vegetables, perfectly. For cleaning, the bowl and blade are dishwasher-safe. 

Best Large Capacity: Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor

Cuisinart

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Why It Made The Cut: This powerful and sturdy stainless steel processor can power through big batches of even hard-to-grind ingredients like nuts and ice without fail. 

Specs:

  • Capacity: 14 cups
  • Product Dimensions: 11 inches L x 7.9 inches W x 14.8 inches H
  • Wattage: 720 watts

Pros: 

  • Powerful
  • Pulse feature
  • Includes shredding and slicing blades

Cons: 

  • Expensive
  • Large to store

This large-capacity food processor is a total workhorse. It’s the ideal appliance for large households or any cook who plans to use their food processor regularly. The heavy-duty plastic blending bowl has a spacious 14-cup capacity, which can whip up homemade hummus for a crowd of 10 in minutes. The large blender is powered by a whopping 720 watts of power. 

The machine is also well designed with a 36-inch long cord, which is great for kitchens that may be low on electrical outlets. The processor comes with a stainless steel slicing disc, a medium shredding disc, and the standard stainless steel S blade for pureeing and chopping. It also comes with a food-scraping spatula and a recipe booklet for meal inspiration. The bowl, lid, and blades are all dishwasher safe, and it even comes with a full five-year warranty, so you can rest assured that this investment will last. 

Best Budget: Cuisinart ECH-4SV Elemental 4-C Chopper

Cuisinart

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Why It Made The Cut: For less than $40, this is a highly durable and well-made appliance with a good-sized bowl that’s also easy to store. 

Specs:

  • Capacity: 4 cups
  • Product Dimensions: 5.88 inches L x 8.13 inches W x 10.25 inches H
  • Wattage: 250 watts

Pros:

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Includes spatula for food removal
  • Comes with recipe book

Cons: 

  • Only two settings (grind and chop)
  • No slicing or grating accessories

Though this budget-friendly food processor won’t win any awards for flashy features, it’s a reliable and high-performing option that’s a great size for smaller households of four or fewer people. The machine weighs just over three pounds, making it easy to store even in hard-to-access places, such as over your fridge. The clear blender container is made from durable BPA-free plastic and both the container and S blade are dishwasher-safe. Two buttons on the front make it easy to chop (the lower setting) or grind (a higher speed) anything from fresh salsa to homemade nut butter. The Cuisinart bladelock system ensures that nothing will come apart once you start processing, as the machine will not turn on until everything, including the lid, is tightly locked in the correct position. 

Best Blender Attachment: Vitamix 12-Cup Food Processor Attachment

Vitamix

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Why It Made The Cut: This is a great space-saving appliance for kitchens that already have a Vitamix blender. It’s powerful and very easy to use and clean. 

Specs:

  • Capacity: 12 cups dry, 9 cups wet
  • Product Dimensions: 11.75 inches L x 8.5 inches W x 12.75 inches H
  • Voltage: 240 volts

Pros:

  • Saves space
  • Includes slice/shred discs
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons: 

  • Requires Vitamix base (sold separately)
  • Expensive 

Vitamix is known for making some of the most powerful blenders on the market, so it’s no surprise that the brand knows what it’s doing when it comes to food processors. This food processor bowl is compatible with Vitamix Ascent and Venturist blender bases, so if you already have a Vitamix base or are considering a new blender, this is a great way to save space at home (though it’s not cheap). For the price, however, you get an extremely durable appliance that does its job faster than most. 

The food processor comes with two food pushers in two different sizes, a standard S blade, two reversible slicing and shredding discs for safe and uniform cutting, and even a carrying case to protect the blades. Unlike some processors, which can be difficult to attach to their base, the Vitamix model has a helpful Self-Detect system that simply shuts off if the bowl is not properly in place. The parts are also dishwasher safe and made from BPA-free clear plastic. 

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Food Processor

Size

You’ll want to buy a food processor that will fit in your kitchen. It’s also important to have a size that matches the number of people you’ll be feeding. For households of one or two, a chopper like the 16-ounce Ninja should be sufficient. If you regularly serve a crowd or like to meal prep, you’ll probably find something with an 8-cup or larger capacity more useful. 

Accessories

Most food processors come with a standard S blade at the bare minimum. In addition, some have accessories for other kinds of cutting, such as graters and slicers. If you plan to use your food processor to make artful cuts, you may want to choose one with a few different blade attachments. 

Compatibility

If you already have a blender from a brand that makes food processors, chances are you can find a food processor bowl to attach to your blender base without buying a new electrical component. Always check with the manufacturer for compatibility between the two models before buying, however. 

FAQs

Q: Is a food processor the same as a blender?

The difference between a food processor and a blender comes down to design and functionality. Food processors are wider, squatter, and have longer blades, while blenders are taller and more narrow. This makes food processors better suited to chopping and mixing, while the vortex that forms in a blender is better for pureeing food totally smoothly, such as smoothies and soups. 

Q: How do you clean a food processor?

Most of the food processors on this list have dishwasher-safe parts, so you can pop the lid and bowl into the dishwasher after use. However, the best way to ensure that the blades maintain their sharp edge is to hand wash them in warm, soapy water and dry them well immediately after use. 

Q: What can I make in a food processor?

The possibilities are pretty endless in terms of what to make in a food processor. Anything you want blended, chopped, or mixed is a good place to start. From fresh salsa and creamy guacamole to homemade bread dough and pesto, it’s fun to experiment with a food processor. And unlike a blender, you won’t need to add extra liquids to help things blend, so this is the place to make anything on the drier side.

Final Thoughts

The overall best food processor for most home cooks is a mid-sized option that’s powerful and built to last. The Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor fits that bill. The motor is especially strong and can easily handle difficult-to-blend ingredients. You can make perfectly tender pie dough or a batch of stretchy pasta dough in minutes using just a few pulses. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to use or clean this straightforward machine, so as long as you have the storage space, you can’t go wrong with a Cuisinart food processor.

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