Best food processor 2020: processors that slice, dice, chop, grate and even cook

Kitchen gadgets to mix and prepare any ingredient you can think of

Best food processors? Yes indeed. Everybody’s a culinary wizard these days: from Two Fat Ladies to The Hairy Bikers, chefs have us trying to turn every meal into a masterpiece. Unfortunately most of cooking is boring: all that chopping and grating, slicing and sauteing. Hurrah, then, for the food mixer; or the food processor, as we call the ones with more functions than a Swiss Army Knife. 

The best food mixer or food processor takes the drudgery out of cooking so you can concentrate on showing off on social media. The best food mixer for you, however depends on what it is you want to do. If you fancy yourself as the next Mary Berry then a stand mixer might be a better option, but if you just want to whizz some fruit or veg around then a blender could be ideal.

For more adventurous cooks food processors offer all kinds of features and attachments for all kinds of tasks. Just make sure they’re machine washable: cleaning up afterwards is the bit of cooking we hate the most. The best food processor will fit with your life, won’t dominate your kitchen and will make your culinary creations much easier. These are are favourite food processors for every kitchen and budget.

Best food processors in order

Best food processor: Ninja BL682UK2

1. Ninja BL682UK2

Best food processor

Specifications
Power: 1500W
Capacity: 2.1L
Cooks: No
Size: H45 x D18 x W24cm
Material: Plastic/Steel
Reasons to buy
+Does the job of 3 appliances+Beefy motor and quality build
Reasons to avoid
-Powerful, so a tad noisy

The  makes a lot of sense if you want an appliance that can do a variety of jobs. In the case of this model it effectively takes on kitchen tasks such as blending and liquidizing while also covering many and varied food processing duties too. It’s got a generous 2.1 litre capacity and benefits from having 16 accessories included, so you can hit the ground running.

Granted, you’ll need a little bit of patience to get the best from the unit and its array of tools but you get rewarded with a machine that can take on any food prep job. The 1500W motor makes the Ninja BL682UK2a bit of a brute, and this is reflected in the additional noise it makes at full-tilt. Nevertheless, that extra power and those accessories make a fine combo.

We definitely like the locking jug design, which means processed foods and liquids remain firmly inside the containers. Crucially, you have to have twisted and locked the jug or the machine won’t start, which is simple but smart. Meanwhile, we found the Auto-IQ offers up a selection of automatic programmes for impatient types.

We also really like the versatility of the Ninja BL682UK2. It’ll chop, slice, dice and even bludgeon any kind of veg or fruit into submission, but the unit is also very good at producing cake mixes and dough. In fact, once you’ve mastered the controls the Ninja is a fine all-rounder. Also impressive is its easy-clean design. Thumbs up to Ninja for the comprehensive manual too.

KitchenAid 5KFP1335BOB

2. KitchenAid 5KFP1335BOB

Best premium food processor

Specifications
Power: 300W
Capacity: 3.1L
Cooks: No
Size: H41.5 x D28 x W26cm
Material: Plastic/Steel
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Reasonably quiet
Reasons to avoid
-Design is kind of retro as are colours

This KitchenAid might be fitted with a rather small sounding 300W motor, but this 3.1 litre food processor can hold its own. That’s because it’s efficient, thanks to a Dual Drive system, which means fewer moving parts. And, being from the KitchenAid camp we think the build quality here is rock-solid. The main bowl is supplemented by a smaller version with a dinky blade to match, which is super handy for bite-sized food prep requirements.

Getting to grips with the KitchenAid 5KFP1335BOB takes no time, with big basic buttons controlling settings. So Off, Low, High and Pulse are all you really need to get to grips with. The Thick to Thin slider above that is self-explanatory for your resulting chunks of veg and what not. And, considering its deceptively simplistic design the processor is great at turning its four attachments to any culinary task, from whipping eggs – which it does very well indeed -  through to grating all your favourite vegetable types. We love the way it does thick cut potatoes for chips.

You can get the appliance in Onyx Black, Almond Cream of Empire Red too, so there’s a finish to match just about any kitchen space. We’re also pleased that the supplied attachments come in their own box, so you can keep them together and avoid cutting your fingers. Very sensible.

3. Thermomix TM5

Best cooking food processor

Specifications
Power: 500W
Capacity: 2.2L
Cooks: Yes
Size: H33.5 x W33.3 x D32.6cm
Material: Plastic/Steel
Reasons to buy
+Does absolutely everything+Could revolutionise your life
Reasons to avoid
-Improved TM6 model just arrived

The Thermomix isn’t so much a food processor as a way of life: owners talk about it in awed tones, and would rather lose a limb than lose their Thermomix. It’s an odd-looking thing that does absolutely everything. It has weighing scales, an efficient chopping blade and a heating element so it can warm, heat, cook, steam and sautée. It chops, blends, kneads, grinds and grates. It whips. It mixes. Once you get used to the TM5 – it is rather forbidding initially – you will find yourself improvising new recipes with it, as well as using the many available online. 

In fact the only fly in the ointment is that the new TM6 – T3 review coming soon – is also now available. This cooks and preps in even more different ways (including the ability to brown meat, steam veg and – yes! – make yogurt), has an improved touchscreen and interface, and also Wi-Fi connectivity so you can get step-by-step instructions for thousands of meals from Thermomix's Cookidoo database, right there on the device.

Magimix 5200XL Premium Food Processor

(Image credit: Magimix)

4. Magimix 5200XL Premium Food Processor

Best for volume prep

Specifications
Power: 1100W
Capacity: 3.6L
Cooks: No
Size: H26.0 x W21.0 x D44.5cm
Material: Plastic/Stainless Steel
Reasons to buy
+Lots of capacity+Premium model has juice/dicing kit
Reasons to avoid
-A bit of a heavyweight

The Magimix 5200XL Premium Food Processor is a step up from other models in the range, not only because this model comes in dazzling a satin finish, but because of the extra kit that’s included. As you’d expect, the appliance itself has all of the usual Magimix hallmarks including an excellent design, with a build quality to match. In fact, the combination of stainless steel and plastic in the stylish machine makes it feel like a real premium unit as per its title. It weighs 11kg though, so it is, quite literally, a bit of a heavyweight.

No matter as the 5200XL is a joy to use once you’ve got it up and running. If you’ve got a family or like to bulk produce lots of food in one go then the Magimix is ideal. It's got plenty of power and a sizeable capacity. In fact, this particular multi-function food processor can tackle slicing, grating, chopping, whisking, blending and does it all in a very smart way by adjusting the power as you prep. While the machine is clever, it’s also simple, with a three button interface (Stop, Auto, Pulse) meaning it’s ideal if you get tired of tech for the sake of it.

Going for the Premium edition means you get access to way more on the accessories front. There are three bowls, different blades for all manner of preparation tasks plus the dicing and juicing goodies too. It’s a really comprehensive selection that lets you squeeze even more productivity out of the 5200XL. Those three work bowls are a real boon, with a main bowl for the big stuff, a midi bowl for your slicing and grating requirements, plus a dinky little mini bowl that has a dedicated blade for smaller volume ingredients. Perfect.

5. Kenwood Multi-Pro Classic FDM790

Another great all-round food processor

Specifications
Power: 1000W
Capacity: 3L
Cooks: No
Size: 21.3 x 38.7 x 21.9 cm
Material: Plastic/Glass
Reasons to buy
+Does almost everything+Most bits dishwasher safe
Reasons to avoid
-Not ideal for baking-Locking mechanism is a little fiddly

Kenwood makes kitchen appliances for every sector of the market, from cheap and cheerful blenders to state-of-the-art digital food processors. The Multi-Pro is one of its most successful models, and with good reason: you get a lot of features for just under £200. The main bowl is 3L, there’s a 0.5L bowl for small jobs and there’s a Thermoresist 1.5L glass blender for hot or frozen ingredients, and there’s a built-in weighing system as well as a separate weighing tray. The rotary dial gives you variable speed and pulse programmes, and the various blades enable you to slice, puree, blend, grate, knead, chop and whisk pretty much anything. If you’re a keen breadmaker you’ll probably be better off with a stand mixer, but if you want a food processor that can turn its hand to almost anything the Kenwood is good value for money and built to last.

6. Kenwood FPP225

Best cheap food processor

Specifications
Power: 750W
Capacity: 2.1L
Cooks: No
Size: 19 x 19 x 32 cm
Material: Plastic/Glass
Reasons to buy
+Space saving design+Covers the essentials
Reasons to avoid
-Small capacity-A little limited

The FP225 is an excellent all-rounder and good value for money, especially at Amazon’s price for the silver model: while the white FPP220 is £55, the silver FP225 is £39.99. There’s a 2.1L bowl and a 1.2L glass liquidiser, a coarse shredding and slicing disc and an emulsifying tool, knife blade and spatula. It’s smaller than many processors - and unlike larger Kenwoods, doesn’t come with so many extra bits that you need a second kitchen to store them all - so it’s really best suited to individuals and couples rather than big families, but it’s great for soups, smoothies, dips, desserts, veg and sauces. It can even do meat, albeit via an optional attachment. The motor’s 750W and the rotary speed dial also includes the all-important Pulse feature.

Cuisinart FP1300U Expert Prep Pro

(Image credit: Cuisinart)

7. Cuisinart FP1300U Expert Prep Pro

Best for convenience

Specifications
Power: 550W
Capacity: 3.0L
Cooks: No
Size: H25.0 x W20.0 x D40.0cm
Material: Plastic/Steel
Reasons to buy
+Large capacity and versatile+Does dough too
Reasons to avoid
-Lower power motor

Food processors are great and all, but some of them can be bulky. So, the Cuisinart FP1300U Expert Prep Pro makes a great choice if you’re looking for lots of capacity, plenty of features but a little bit of portability too. It’s easy to pack this food-processor away when you're done, which can’t be said for some of the heavier models on the market. So that’s the convenience box checked, right there. Fear not about the motor and its 550-watt credentials though, which probably contributes to the more portable feel, as the Cuisinart is actually pretty potent.

Despite it’s lighter footprint, the FP1300U Expert Prep Pro is certainly spot-on in terms of the volume of ingredients it can handle. This model comes with a 3 litre main bowl, with a smaller one to compliment that. As a result it’s able to take on a multitude of chores, with slicing, grating, spiralising and dicing all being within easy reach. Small, large and dough blades mean it’s a little more versatile than some of the lesser models in this range too, so it’s worth going for the Expert mode model if you can.

That motor really does impress the more you use it, especially when it comes to muscular culinary tasks such as producing dough. We’re also keen on the dicing and spiralising aspect of this machine and, in the case of the latter feature it’s easy to jazz up your meals with some funky looking food shapes. That smaller bowl is also perfect if you need something minimal and don't want to use the main container. With a trio of controls in the shape of low, high and pulse the Cuisinart machine gets the job done without hassle and it’s reasonably quiet too.

8. Magimix Patissier Multifunction

Best food processor for baking

Specifications
Power: 1500W
Capacity: 4.9L
Cooks: No
Size: H37.8 x W31.4 x D27.6 cm
Material: Steel
Reasons to buy
+Brilliant for baking+Huge capacity
Reasons to avoid
-It isn't cheap-Stand mixers look nicers

The Patissier is designed to deliver the best of both worlds: the flexibility of a food processor and the baking brilliance of a stand mixer. To do that it offers standard food processor bowls alongside an enormous 4.9 litre Patisserie bowl, which can whisk up to 12 egg whites or knead up to 1.6kg of dough. Between the various bowls that means you can bake as well as create soups, smoothies, sauces and all the other things you’d do in a traditional food processor.

It’s on the pricey side but you are replacing two different devices with one, and users seem happy that there doesn’t appear to be a compromise: the Multifunction is a really good food processor that turns into a really good stand mixer.

9. Cuisinart Mini

Best compact food processor for small kitchens

Specifications
Power: 900W
Capacity: 0.6L
Cooks: No
Size: H16 x D12 x W20
Material: Plastic
Reasons to buy
+It’s small+It's cheap
Reasons to avoid
-It's small-It's basic

Sitting just 16cm high and 20cm wide, this Cuisinart is a little wonder. It chops, purees and grinds effortlessly, and while the 900W motor isn’t as powerful as bigger processors the dual-blade system copes admirably with chopping tough veg and grinding nuts or coffee. The bowl has a reasonable 600ml capacity and it’s easy to clean, and while it’s too small for larger families’ cooking it’s ideal if you’re short of space or hate the effort of using (and cleaning) a larger processor for small quantities. It’s not the sort of thing you’d use to grind up the remains of your enemies or test the build quality of a smartphone, but it’s quite happy with hummus and copes just fine with coffee beans.