Finding the Best Food Processor
If you’ve got a food processor at home, you certainly know how versatile this gadget can be. It can make quick work of laborious jobs like shredding potatoes, slicing vegetables and chopping up nuts, cookies and more for all your favorite treats. Let’s face it: Food processors are kitchen all-stars—especially if you can find a good one.
But with so many on the market, it can be hard to know which one works best. That’s why our Test Kitchen put the most popular food processor brands to the test to find our Best Loved Brand. Over the course of several months, our cooks and food stylists used these machines to test all the recipes sent in from readers like you. After getting a good feel for how all these tools worked, our team put each food processor through a series of standardized tests to see how they performed side by side:
- Chopping: How uniformly could the processor chop an onion into 1/4″ pieces (approximately)? How well could it blitz up hard peppermint candies?
- Slicing: How well could the processor slice a potato? What about a tomato? Did these foods have to be trimmed to get into the feed tube?
- Blade: Did the blade reach small amounts of ingredients? How well could it process three rehydrated chiles?
- Price: Is the product affordable? Was the performance reflected in the price?
The Best Food Processor: Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor
After months of regular use in our Test Kitchen and rounds of testing, our culinary team crowned one food processor brand king. Cuisinart’s extra-large 14-cup food processor ($199) stood up to every challenge and chopped, sliced, diced and shredded like a dream.
Features We Loved
- Simple controls: When it comes to a food processor, you don’t need many settings. In fact, all you need is an on/off switch and a pulse option like this Cuisinart model. Just a couple pulses or a few seconds of whirring are all you need to prep the ingredients you toss inside.
- Size: With a 14-cup capacity, this model from Cuisinart is a great choice for jobs large and small. Got just a few hot peppers to blitz? No problem. Want to put together a giant batch of pesto? It’s a pinch with this food processor.
- 3 blades: This Cuisinart model comes with a standard chopping blade, a shredding dish and a slicing disc—perfect for tackling all sorts of kitchen tasks.
How It Performed
Our cooks thought they devised some pretty tricky tests for this food processor (seriously, could a giant, 14-cup food processor ever chop up just three small chiles?), but Cuisinart sailed through every test, impressing our entire Test Kitchen.
When it came to chopping an onion, Cuisinart’s food processor made quick work of it. In seconds, our cooks had a great, even chop—a few more pulses and the onions were practically minced. As for the peppermint candies, they were ground up quickly with the super sharp blade, meaning our kitchen staff was ready to add them to all sorts of minty recipes like these.
This machine did just as well slicing both a tomato and a potato with its slicing disc. The large chute on top meant that these foods only had to be sliced in half to fit into the chute.
What really impressed our Test Kitchen, though, was how well this extra-large food processor chopped up a very small amount of food. The processor’s blade sits very low to the bottom of the bowl so it can capture every last bit of your ingredients. The three small peppers were instantly blitzed and ready for stirring into spicy favorites like chili.
This five-star performance is what makes our Test Kitchen happy to recommend this product for use both at Taste of Home and right in your own kitchen (Price: $159).
We Also Recommend…
It’s true that “Cuisinart” has come to be synonymous with “food processor,” but during our tests, we found two others that are worth a look.
- KitchenAid 7-Cup Food Processor ($100, left): If you’d only need one occasionally, this food processor will do the job. It’s easy to assemble and is amazingly quiet at high speeds. However, this KitchenAid model may not be suited to heavy-duty jobs: It overheated during one of our tests.
- Black + Decker Easy Assembly 8-Cup Food Processor ($33, right): For the (very affordable) price, this Black + Decker food processor performed way above our expectations. It’s lightweight yet stable—thanks to some mighty suction cups—but incredibly loud, even on the lowest speed.
What to Make with a Food Processor
At home, you might just rely on your food processor to make quick work of normally tedious tasks—like shredding cabbage for coleslaw or crushing up graham crackers for a crumb crust—but you can do so much with this tool. With even just the basics like a blade and a shredding disc (both of which come standard with our favorite food processor), you can make everything from apps to desserts. Our Test Kitchen recommends shredding up veggies—think cauliflower and cabbage—and incorporating it into meatballs for an easy appetizer with that extra healthy kick. Try our recipe for Sneaky Turkey Meatballs.
How to Care for Your Food Processor
Like all gadgets, your food processor needs a certain level of care and cleaning to keep it running like the day you brought it home. For this Cuisinart model, that mostly means giving it good wash—lucky enough all the parts (minus the motorized base) are dishwasher safe.
About Best Loved Brands
If you’re like us, you want all your favorite recipes to turn out fabulous every single time you make them. That means opting for the best tasting ingredients and the best tools. While picking your favorite brand of chocolate chips or bacon is a task, it’s a delicious one to be relished. Choosing the best gadgets and gear for your kitchen, though, is another story. Unless you buy several stand mixers or food processors and put them through their paces, how can you ever know which will make your recipes turn out their best? That’s where our Test Kitchen comes in. Our culinary experts tried dozens of products our Test Kitchen—testing your recipes—to find out which brands came out on top.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Taste of Home editors, who aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We welcome your feedback. Have something you think we should know about? Contact us, here.