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For a kitchen that fires on all cylinders, some chefs may swear by an all-purpose Dutch oven or an encyclopedic cookbook. But in our opinion, the real MVP of kitchen mastery is a great food processor.

This small but mighty appliance truly does it all, making quick work of everything from shredding carrots to grinding nuts into butter.

If you’re in the market for a convenient chopping, slicing, and dicing machine, we’re here to help with the process (*wink*). Here are our top recs for the best food processors.

Like cooking itself, choosing the best food processor is an art and a science. To make our selections, we took multiple factors into consideration.

First, we know that, for most buyers, budget matters — so you won’t find anything costing upwards of $500 on our list. We also chose different processors for different goals, such as large- and small-batch food prep, space saving, and quiet operation.

Then, of course, we wanted to ensure that our recommendations actually do the job! Customer reviews and quality and usability data from Consumer Reports drove our decisions.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $101–$250
  • $$$ = over $250

Best overall food processor:

Ninja BN601 Professional Plus Food Processor

  • Price: $$
  • Wattage: 1,000
  • Number of attachments: 3
  • Capacity: 9 cups

For best all-around machine, we’re crowning Ninja’s BN601 Professional Plus model king (*cue trumpet fanfare*).

This moderately priced processor offers tons of important features without breaking the bank. Its 1,000-watt motor powers through tough ingredients, its three speeds give you flexibility and control, and its medium 9-cup size means it’s not a space hog. Meanwhile, all its parts are dishwasher-safe.

Considering all the boxes it checks, it’s not surprising that the Ninja gets rave reviews from home cooks and pro chefs alike. However, some reviewers say it doesn’t hold up as long as they’d like.

Best mini prepper food processor:

Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini Prep Plus Food Processor

  • Price: $
  • Wattage: 250
  • Number of attachments: 0
  • Capacity: 3 cups

Sometimes you don’t need an epic processor that pulls out all the stops. When a solo salsa or mini batch of cookie dough is more your style, a mini prep machine will do just fine.

Cuisinart’s Mini Prep Plus is a grown-up food processor’s efficient kid brother. Its 3-cup capacity is just right for smaller recipes, and its more petite size makes it easy to store in tight spaces.

Of course, because it doesn’t have attachments, a mini prep won’t do everything a full-size food processor will do (like slicing and grating). But, depending on your needs, that may be A-OK.

Best large-batch food processor:

Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14 Cup Food Processor

  • Price: $$
  • Wattage: 720
  • Number of attachments: 3
  • Capacity: 14 cups

For large-batch soups or pizza dough to feed a crowd, Cuisinart’s 14-cup machine does the job with minimal fuss. Three attachments and a simple two-button design keep things uncomplicated as you whip up high volume recipes.

And for extra fun, multiple color options are available to add some whimsy to your kitchen. (How about a pop of gold or sky blue on your countertop?) Just be aware that this Cuisinart model is on the pricier side.

Best power food processor:

Breville 16-Cup Sous Chef Peel & Dice Food Processor

  • Price: $$$
  • Wattage: 1,200
  • Number of attachments: 5 discs, 3 blades
  • Capacity: 16 cups

A mighty motor is the hallmark of Breville’s 16-cup, 1,200-watt machine. Reviewers rave that this food processor can shred 30 pounds of potatoes in mere minutes and turn cream into butter in seconds. Experienced chefs will love its stunning array of attachments, which come in their own little plastic home.

All these fancy features do, of course, come with a high price tag of about $300. And this machine’s many (literal) moving parts mean that it comes with a learning curve — not to mention a large footprint in your kitchen.

Best food processor for quiet processing:

Braun FP3020 12 Cup Food Processor

  • Price: $$
  • Wattage: 600
  • Number of attachments: 7
  • Capacity: 12 cups

Whether you don’t want to wake the baby or you just prefer not to annoy your neighbors, a less noisy food processor can come in handy. You can thank German engineering for Braun’s extra-quiet processing.

Besides its softer sound, Braun’s processor comes with a whopping seven attachments for various culinary purposes, such as citrus juicing, fine slicing, and whipping. Plus, its 11 speeds allow for perfect fine-tuning of recipes.

Braun’s 12-cup food processor is pretty large, though. So, if saving space is your priority, you might want to look elsewhere.

Best food processor/blender combo:

Oster Blender Pro 1200 with Food Processor Attachment

  • Price: $
  • Wattage: 1,200
  • Number of attachments: 2
  • Capacity: 5 cups

When it comes to saving space, you can’t go wrong by combining your blending and food processing needs with Oster’s two-in-one duo. Between the blender bowl and food processing bowl (complete with slicing and grinding attachments), there’s not much this multipurpose machine can’t do. A 1,200-watt motor adds rip-roaring power to the mix.

As for this machine’s downsides, the food processing bowl might not suit larger-batch needs, because it has just a 5-cup capacity. And some reviewers report cracks or leaks after just a few months of use.

Best food processor for those on a budget:

Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor and Vegetable Chopper

  • Price: $
  • Wattage: 450
  • Number of attachments: 3
  • Capacity: 10 cups

There’s no shame in opting for a lower-priced appliance — especially if it’s a hard-working, no-frills machine like this Hamilton Beach food processor.

Two speeds, two processing attachments, and a 10-cup capacity get the job done for basic kitchen needs. A unique bowl scraper attachment eliminates the need to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each round of shredding or chopping.

On the other hand, Hamilton Beach’s budget-friendly option doesn’t offer as much power as its competitors, with a wattage of just 450. Some reviewers also complain that their machines have sprung leaks and that the lid and on/off switch tend to get stuck.

Best food processor for those who want to splurge:

Magimix Food Processor

  • Price: $$$
  • Wattage: 650 to 1,100
  • Number of attachments: 6
  • Capacity: 12 to 16 cups

For a high dollar wedding registry item (or an anytime splurge), check out Magimix’s 12-, 14-, and 16-cup food processors. Their large capacities can handle everything from baby food to bread dough, and with wattage up to 1,100, they won’t leave you wanting for power.

In addition to six attachments, each machine comes with three individual processing bowls for different culinary uses. The sleek design and three color options up the ante on aesthetics.

The downside, of course, is Magimix’s high price tag, starting at about $300 for the 12-cup machine and going up to about $500 for the 16-cup. And because of their larger size and cornucopia of attachments, the Magimix processors can be a tough sell if space is an issue.

Anyone who cooks regularly can benefit from having a food processor. After all, these multipurpose appliances reduce the hands-on time in tons of recipes. With a processor, you can make pesto, chop veggies for stir-fries, or grind graham crackers for cheesecake crust — all in a flash. (And those are just a few examples!)

If you’re getting tired of the time and energy it takes to grind, mash, or chop by hand, a food processor is probably a good investment. These appliances tend to be more powerful than handheld tools like mixers or graters and more appropriate for certain specific tasks (like chopping and dicing) than blenders.

There’s a whole wide world of gorgeous, gleaming slicer-dicers out there. Your top choice of food processor will, of course, depend on how much you want to spend, how often you’ll use it, and exactly what you want to make with it.

Pros of food processors

  • significantly speed up kitchen prep
  • easy to use
  • perform multiple culinary functions
  • do specific tasks other appliances can’t
  • can make entire recipes with one appliance

Cons of food processors

  • can be expensive
  • can be bulky and take up space
  • can be a pain to clean
  • may be loud
  • come with risk of personal injury (like anything else with sharp edges!)

Still on the fence about pursuing a food processor? Here are a few common questions and answers that might help clear things up even more:

Which brand of food processor is best?

High end names like Breville and Magimix bring oohs and aahs, but a brand name isn’t always the most reliable indicator that a food processor will meet your needs. (Neither is a high price tag!) The best processor for you really depends on your unique goals.

That said, trusted, well reviewed brands include Ninja, Cuisinart, Magimix, Breville, Braun, Magic Bullet, and KitchenAid.

Which food processors do chefs recommend?

Think pro chefs must be using thousand-dollar food processors that could grind a 737 into buttah? Nah. Though there are some commercial-grade food processors out there (Robot Coupe is an often-cited chef favorite), many professional cooks rely on the same brands and models you can buy for home use.

Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Oster, Breville, and Hamilton Beach all made the cut as Food Network’s top picks, for example. And even Julia Child used a KitchenAid!

How long should a food processor last?

It would be great if you could buy a machine with a lifetime warranty — but the reality is, even the highest-rated appliances break down over time.

The average warranty for a food processor is 5 years. You can expect lower-powered processors to last around 3 years and higher-powered ones to keep chugging for 7 to 10 years. (And of course, a machine’s life span also depends on how often you use it for your slicing and dicing needs.)

What can you put in a food processor?

Most food processors can handle a heckuva lot of ingredients in a variety of preparations. Their grinding jaws can usually tackle even tough foods like nuts, seeds, and meats. And softer ingredients like fruits, veggies, and herbs are a total breeze.

Just be aware that for blending or pureeing — like for smoothies or cream soups — some food processors won’t do as thorough a job as blenders.

What’s a good amount of power for a food processor?

Who isn’t attracted to power? If you’re looking for an appliance with the most oomph, pay attention to wattage. Food processors with 1,000 watts or higher should be plenty potent.

Once you’re ready to round out your small appliance lineup with a food processor, keep these considerations in mind:

  • What’s your budget? Unless money is no object, budget will likely be a factor in your choice of food processor. But shopping within a set price range doesn’t have to be a bummer — you may be surprised at the excellent budget-friendly options available.
  • What do you have room for? Kitchen counters and cabinet space are prime real estate. Be sure to match your choice of food processor to your available space.
  • How easy is it to clean? If the word “dishwasher-safe” causes you to swoon with relief, be sure to double-check the cleaning instructions before you buy.
  • What do you wanna make (and how often)? Are you the “I regularly throw dinner parties for 12” type or the “I’m good with an occasional hummus” type? You’ll want to purchase a processor that can tackle the foods you typically make.
  • What do the reviews say? Sure, reviews can sometimes be polarized — there are plenty of overly enthusiastic reviewers out there, and every brand can produce the occasional lemon. But in general, it’s a good idea to take a gander at user reviews before purchasing. They may point out flaws you don’t want to deal with or features you didn’t realize you needed.

Whether you need an all-in-one workhorse or an occasional small-batch guacamole prepper, there’s a smorgasbord of quality food processor options. Your culinary goals, budget, and kitchen counter space can help you make your personal best choice.

Use our recs and guide as a starting point, and from there, get chopping! (Or slicing. Or dicing. Or… you get the idea.)