If you enjoy cooking but hate all the preparation, you’ll need one of the best food processors to do all the hard work for you. Be it slicing and dicing onions, grating, pureeing or even kneading dough, a good food processor will save you precious time (and elbow grease), making light work in the kitchen.
Even with our best chopping skills, food processors can outperform us mere mortals in less time, with its speed and specialist blades and discs to provide the right consistency for our ingredients. Some models are even multi-functional and can transform into a powerful blender. It isn’t any wonder why the best food processors are often described as the second pair of hands in the kitchen.
Similar to the best blenders, food processors come in many different types, sizes and budgets. From the practical, compact ones to handle quick, daily tasks, to mighty models fit for a family feast, you’ll need to find the right one to suit your needs and lifestyle.
Luckily, we’ve done all the research for you, and have rounded up a great selection of the best food processors to suit every kitchen, lifestyle and budget.
The best food processors to buy, in order
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KitchenAid products are well-loved, not just for their retro appeal but for impressive power and professional results, and this KitchenAid 2.1L food processor is no exception. One of its key strengths is that it fits a lot of functionality into a relatively compact unit. This may seem like an obvious point, but it's important for most people. If your kitchen is of average size, and you are not going to be food processing every day, a smaller model is always a better bet as it will fit more easily into a cupboard, or take up less of your priceless worktop space if you choose to leave it out. The small size and light weight also mean it's easier to move around as required.
KitchenAid's small but mighty chopper comes with plenty of power for chopping, grating, slicing and mincing in no time. What’s more, it can also knead dough effortlessly without signs of struggling, despite having a 350W motor that looks relatively low-powered on paper.
The range of convenient accessories – including a dough blade, multi-purpose blade, two medium slice discs and a thick slice disc – are all stored inside the machine when it's not in use.
Similar to other KitchenAid products, it’s well-built, sturdy, and easy to use. The bowl simply drops onto the base and the lid hinges on top, which means you don’t have to set the lid down each time you open to add ingredients or empty. A bonus for those who have limited worktop space. In addition, it’s available in a choice of five, stylish colours, and easy to store with all the parts fitting nicely inside the bowl. Clearly at just 2.1L, this may not be suitable for larger families but with its superb power, style and convenience, it’s well worth the price. We gave it a T3 Award, so it must be.
For the serious cook, this Sage the Kitchen Wizz Peel & Dice (UK) or Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro (USA) or Breville the Kitchen Wizz Peel & Dice (Australia and elsewhere) is a cut above the rest, no matter what you call it. It's the best food processor on the market, in fact, although it is also one of the more expensive ones on the market. Not only does it come with mighty power, but has all the quality tools to slice, dice, knead, chop and even peel (it’s in the name!). It’s so easy to use, with only one speed, so all you have to do is select the right tool needed and press Start.
The standout features here are the peeling disc and dicing attachments that certainly makes it a more premium food processor. Instead of the time-consuming peeling, this processor will tumble your potatoes or vegetables to remove the skin, or you can get perfectly cubed carrots in seconds. From mincing meat to kneading bread dough, the Sage the Kitchen Wizz Peel & Dice can handle practically every task. It also has three chute sizes designed to fit every shape. Convenient.
Design-wise, it looks stylish with a brushed aluminium base, fuss-free buttons, LCD display and handy timer. It is rather hefty at 13.9 kg, and not all the parts are dishwasher safe. However, it does come with a handy storage box for the abundance of attachments. As to be expected with this brand, this kitchen Wizz is not cheap. However, with superb performance and all the attachments you’ll ever need, it’s a worthwhile investment – especially if your style of cooking involves a lot of peeling and/or dicing.
The Bosch MUM59340GB is a powerful all-rounder to handle a range of kitchen tasks with impressive results. Not only is it a food processor, meat grinder and juicer but also mixes up tasty bakes and bread as a stand mixer. It’s no surprise that the selling point is its versatility to make food prep a breeze.
The model comes with 13 accessories (more than you’ll ever need), including, a continuous shredder with three disks (5 functions) Professional Supercut reversible disk, citrus press, mincer, Tritan liquidiser attachment, and a professional patisserie set.
Its whopping 1000w power and 7-speed setting with Pulse, can easily tackle small jobs like pesto and sauces to heavy dough mixtures. What’s more, its modern, stainless steel style and ‘EasyArmLift’ design makes mixing effortless at just a touch of a button. Another bonus is its availability in plenty of colours to suit your kitchen décor. The only issue is where to store all of the extra accessories if you lack space – especially if your cupboards are already full to capacity. If you’re a foodie or love cooking family feasts, the multi-functional, Bosch MUM59340GB is certainly well worth the investment if you have the space, though.
If you’re after a convenient and quick food processor that won’t cost a fortune, this Cuisinart Prep Pro food processor does the job. It comes with a large bowl (1.9l) and smaller bowl (0.7l) that fits snugly inside without food spilling out. This is ideal for preparing small batches of hummus or chopping up herbs for meals. Of course, this also means you can easily do your big and small prep tasks at the same time without washing out the bowl each time. In addition, it comes with interchangeable mixing blades for each bowl and various, disc sizes for grating, slicing and dicing.
At 3.8kg, it’s compact and lightweight, making it ideal for those lacking in worktop space. What’s more, it comes in either a silver/clear or frosted pearl colour design and is user-friendly with a twist-in bowl, lid and food pusher. Perhaps the only downsides are the static spindle tool, which makes it difficult to clean, and the noise levels when on High speed. However, the results are so impressive, these are no major deal breakers. While it may not have all the bells and whistles, the Cuisinart Prep Pro food processor offers convenience for families, and can easily handle daily tasks for mealtimes.
If you’re after a mini yet mighty food processor for easier and quicker tasks, the Magic Bullet Kitchen Express is a great option. What’s more, it also doubles up as a blender that will rustle up quick smoothies and soups.
The Magic Bullet Kitchen Express is equipped with a 250w motor that is sufficient to quickly chop, slice and shred carrots or rustle up a mean coleslaw. It also has two types of blades, one S-blade (cross blade) to coarsely chop, mince, and puree, and a reversible shredding disc to shred or slice foods. Best of all, the mini food processor is a breeze to use for daily tasks, with just three settings, On, Off, and Pulse.
With its 3 ½ cup bowl capacity, its more than adequate for rustling up smaller dishes such as chopping up garlic, or blitzing up hummus, sauces, dips or even baby food in no time. Bear in mind, the small feed chute won’t accommodate larger items, so you’d need to cut into small pieces. However, for single people or small households, this mini food processor offers great value for money.
How to buy the best food processor
With so many different types available on the market, it can often be tricky to know which one is suitable for your needs. Before you buy there are some things to first consider.
Bowl capacity – How big is your household? Capacity is usually measured by cups, with the large capacity food processors holding between 9 and 14 cups. This is ideal for big families or those who enjoy preparing large quantities. However, if you’re just chopping garlic or making dips and sauces, a 3-cup capacity is sufficient. Bear in mind, you’ll need worktop space to store a large processor and accessories.
Power – Depending on what you’ll be using it for, you’ll need decent power to handle every type of job. From chopping root vegetables and nuts to even kneading dough, it needs to cope well or else your machine will break down. It’s recommended a power of 400-700w for those tough, heavy-duty tasks.
Attachments – Typically, food processors will come with the standard knife or multipurpose blade for mixing, mincing, mashing and puréeing as well as chopping. A dough hook, grating blade, a slicing and shredding blade. Some models may have extra tools such as a peeler, but this all depends on the power and spec. It’s worthwhile knowing exactly what tools you will need or use more of on a regular basis.
Dishwasher safe – Cleaning a food processor thoroughly can often be a nightmare, so it’s worthwhile checking whether removable parts and bowls can be put in the dishwasher. This will save you extra, clean-up time at the end!
Right, now we’re getting into serious baking territory. We’re talking the kind of model that looks like it could mix concrete. The specs are certainly impressive enough. The Pros’s direct drive motor, for instance, has 325 watts of power, equating to 1.3 horse power. That’s more than enough vigour to mix the stiffest of ingredients without bogging down. It’s remarkably quiet, too.
The massive stainless steel bowl’s capacity, meanwhile, is a whopping 6.9 litres which is good for 2.2kgs of flour, 4.5kgs of cake mix or 19 egg whites – enough meal estate, in other words, to produce a lemon meringue pie of gargantuan proportions. The bowl itself sits on a cradle that can be lifted and lowered using a rear-mounted stainless steel lever; apparently this makes removing the bowl easier, especially if it’s filled with liquid. Given its commercial credentials, the bowl also comes with a protection guard that swivels over the top towards the back when not in use.
The Pro comes with three high-grade stainless steel attachments – a dough hook, whisk and beater – and is available in three colours, silver, red and white. If you have the financial wherewithal, enough worktop space to accommodate it (it’s 42cm tall) and bake cakes on an industrial scale, then this is the mixer for you.
And so we come to arguably the prettiest stand mixer in the KitchenAid range. Launched in celebration of 100 years of mixing heritage, this elegant 300-watt Limited Edition all-zinc model is clad in a gorgeous baby-blue matt-finish livery, replete with a unique trim-band logo. Its dimpled 4.8-litre white ceramic bowl, meanwhile, adds an extra touch of class though you wouldn’t want to drop it on a tiled kitchen floor.
You get the usual package of attachment here – whisk, dough hook, flat beater – plus an extra beater with a flexible rubber edge to ensure that no buttery flour is left untouched. This model is well up there with the flagship models while being of much more manageable size (36cm in height x 37cm in depth).
Granted, you’re forking out £200 more for what is essentially the same model as the 15-colour 5KSM175PS reviewed above – but just look at that stunning matt finish!
If you can’t stretch the budget to the over-engineered Pro model above, consider this 315-watt edition which is almost as powerful and about the same height, but with a smaller, more manageable 4.8-litre stainless steel bowl. It’s also about £350 cheaper.
The Heavy Duty also comes equipped with a bowl lift but no bowl guard, which is a bit unnecessary anyway. Like all KitchenAid stand mixers, the body is fashioned from zinc which gives it a long life and stability on the worktop. The same type of silent direct-drive motor is employed for effortless mixing while you go about doing other important stuff like watching telly or putting the kids to bed.
According to the blurb, its 4.8-litre bowl will ‘handle the equivalent of nine batches of cookies or 2.7kgs of mashed potatoes or 2kgs of bread dough’. And, as is the case with all KitchenAid stand mixers, the front multi-purpose attachment will fit a multitude of other KitchenAid attachments.
That's enough stand mixers, how about something smaller? Occasional bakers and food-prep merchants with no need or space for a permanent stand mixer should consider stocking the kitchen with one of these instead.
Available in black or white, it’s the perfect tool for the quick whipping of eggs, and light cake-mixing duties. Powered by a small 85-watt motor that spins the whisk at up to 2,300rpm, this baby will beat a clutch of egg whites into quick submission, making it a top choice for meringue making and the whipping of much cream.
Weighing in at 1.17 kilos, it’s perhaps not the lightest hand model on the market but because it’s so quick and efficient, you shouldn’t have to hold it for too long a period. The 1.6-metre cable, meanwhile, ensures you’re not tied to just one section of the worktop. A top choice for quick hand jobs.
Rugged, unswervingly retro in design and available in three colours (cream, red and black), the heavyweight Artisan Power Blender looks stylish in any kitchen. And, at 45cm, it’s short enough to fit under most worktop cupboards.
The 5KSB7068 comes with a large 2.6-litre shatter-resistant, dishwasher-safe pitcher and a lid cap with integral measurement scale for ingredients – and that’s about it. On the power front, its 3.5-horsepower motor spins its proprietary star blade up to a substantial 24,000rpm, making light work of anything you throw in it, including ice and hard vegetables.
You get 11 speeds with this blender, plus the obligatory pulse feature. It’s easy to clean, too, by simply filling it with water and whacking the speed dial to full bore for a second or two.
Granted, at a smidge under £500, this blender is anything but cheap, but if you’re in the market for a high-quality model to rival the likes of market leaders Vitamix and Blendec, then step right this way. Experience has taught us that you're well advised to hold the lid on while using it. It's not always necessary, but you don't want to find out the hard way when it is.
For those quick one-off tasks that don’t require a worktop blender, consider this excellent hand-operated option. The powerful two-speed Classic comes equipped with a 20cm do-it-all twist-lock stainless steel arm with fixed blade assembly and a small 700ml plastic blending cup for single-serve smoothies.
However, as is the case with most KitchenAid hand blenders, this is a really tall beast (40cm) that may be too unwieldy for some. Also, despite the soft rubberised handle, the on/off finger switch can be quite fatiguing to hold in for long periods of time.
Nevertheless, if you have large hands and zero arthritis, then this model will efficiently tackle everything from purées and smoothies to whipped cream and soup preparation with little fuss.
Fed up with spending ages slicing cucumbers, carrots tomatoes and other veg to wafer thin proportions? You’ll save a hell of a lot of time (and your fingertips) by installing this handsome hunk on the worktop.
A shade under £250 buys you 300 watts of raw food processing power, 3.1-litres of ingredient capacity, a slicing disc, a set of chopping blades and two plastic bowls. The great thing about the slicing disc is that it can be adjusted to cut thick or thin without having to remove it – and that’s well handy in our book.
Granted, food processors aren’t the most essential of small kitchen appliances and they are a pain to clean afterwards, but they do save a lot of prep time and are perfect for making soups, salsas, sauces, chopping herbs and slicing fruit and veg. This particular model not only looks the part, its simple two speed and pulse operation makes it a cinch to use.