The Best Food Processor


Last updated: December 14, 2018




We've rounded up the best food processors available on the market and tested them.

Jump down to our food processor buying guide if you want to know more about what to look out for when choosing.We've also added some frequently asked questions (and answers!).





Food processor buying guide 2019

Everyone could do with a little extra help in the kitchen from time to time. Food preparation is often the most labour consuming part of preparing a meal, whether it's chopping, slicing, whisking, or even something a little more unusual like emulsifying, offloading some of this work can save you a lot of time.

This is where a food processor comes in. A food processor can help you with all of the above tasks and more, leaving you with more time to actually cook - or put your feet up.

In this guide we'll cover what a food processor does and how it does it, and cover key features you should look out for.

What is a food processor?

A food processor is a small kitchen appliance that helps you with common food preparation tasks, including:

  • Chopping
  • Slicing
  • Shredding
  • Grating
  • Grinding
  • Mixing
  • Kneading
  • Emulsifying

These functions are achieved by fitting different replaceable blades or attachments into the unit.

Food processor vs chopper

A mini chopperA mini chopper is like a smaller version of a blender, but not as versatile.

The first question you need to ask yourself is if you need a food processor at all. If you just want to chop a small amount of food, and certain types of food - like breadcrumbs, veg, or nuts - then a mini chopper could be worth considering. These devices are smaller than a food processor, and don't feature as many interchangeable blades as a food processor. This means their utility is somewhat limited. But if you're never going to want to whisk an egg or knead dough, they may be worth considering.

Food processor vs blender

A blenderA blender is similar to a food processor, but has a more powerful motor and is good for crushing and chopping, but can't slice.

Another small kitchen appliance that occupies a similar niche to the food processor is a blender. The standout difference between the two is that blenders tend to have much more powerful motors, and less sharp blades. They smash your ingredients together and liquidise them. Having said that, there are now blenders on the market that incorporate food processor features (like replaceable blades), which could be worth looking into if you need a powerful blender too.

Key features

Bowl capacity

Different food processors come with different bowl sizes. Most models feature a bowl with a capacity of around 2000ml-3000ml, but models exist out of this range at both ends. A model with a large bowl allows you to prepare more food at the same time - a must if you've got a lot of work to do. A smaller model is more appropriate if you're not often cooking family-sized meals.

One thing to note when it comes to bowl capacity is that the working capacity will be less than the total capacity - you can't fill the bowl completely and expect the food processor to work. As a rule of thumb, when chopping the bowl should be full to around 1/2 to 2/3 of its maximum.

Some models also come with additional bowls. This is really useful because you can pick the bowl capacity that matches your need. You can also process different foods in different bowls at the same time, without having to wash up.

Chopping and slicing blades

All food processors should come with at least one chopping blade and one slicing/grating blade. If additional blades are included, these determine the thickness of the sliced items. Some high-end models include adjustable blades that allow you to change the thickness without changing the blade.

Blender jug

It's common nowadays for food processors to come with a blender jug. This replaces the bowl, and is most often used for preparing drinks or soups rather than solid food.

Speeds and pulse

The majority of food processors come with two different speed settings (roughly equating to 'fast' and 'slow'), and many come with a pulse function. The pulse function gives you a short burst of power, the length of time determined by how long you hold the button down. This lets you precisely control how much chopping or slicing your food processor is going to do.

Whisk/beater

Whisking or beating is another task that a food processor excels at, and you'll find models that come with a whisk attachment at most price points.

Feed chute

A feed chute is built into the bowl of the food processor, and allows you to push ingredients into the food processor without opening the lid. Some models, primarily ones that lean more towards being blenders, may omit this feature.

Other features

Many models support extra features designed to help with specific tasks in the kitchen. If you're investing in the long term, you might want to consider models that include these features.

Dough blade/tool

Some models come with an attachment specifically designed for kneading dough. This can be useful, but in many cases you'll find that the regular metal blade used for chopping works just as well. It's also important to make sure that you don't over-knead the dough - don't just set it going and disappear for thirty minutes!

Citrus press

Just like a regular citrus press, a citrus press attachment lets you manually juice a citrus fruit by cutting it in half and pushing it down onto the device. The difference is a citrus press that comes with a food processor will perfectly fit on the open bowl, allowing you to juice your fruit directly into your food processor. This is hardly an essential item, but if juice a lot it's worth getting.

Included extras

Along with the attachments detailed above, food processors come with a wide range of included extras. Some of the more important and common ones are listed below.

Storage

A model with ten attachments, two bowls, a jug, and a citrus press sounds like a great idea, but when it comes to tidying up you don't want to be left with a pile of gear you cannot easily store. Some models come with a storage box or unit, allowing you place (most) attachments within. Another option we've seen here is some models coming with bowls that cleverly allow you stack the attachments inside.

Spatulas

Some models come with a spatula, to help with cleaning. These are usually not of the best quality, and you've probably already got a couple anyway.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use hot ingredients in my food processor?

No, it's best to let any ingredients you put in your food processor cool down first. The risk is that steam building up inside the bowl can cause the lid to blow off. There's also the risk on some models (with very hot ingredients or liquids) that the heat could damage the seal between bowl and lid.

Can I crush ice in a food processor?

In most models you cannot. You need a powerful motor and blunt blades to effectively crush ice. However, models that are more blender than food processor should be up to the task.


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Kristine Fuller's profile picture
This article was written and researched by Kristine Fuller.
I'm Kristine, writer and researcher for Expertly Tested. I usually review products of all types for the home and kitchen, and I'm the go-to person for these on the team!