Chopping, slicing and grating can be time-consuming, which is why in a busy household a hard-working best food processor (as well as the best blender and the best induction pans) is a kitchen must-have.
Not only do these pieces of culinary kit help with preparing delicious dinners from scratch, but the best food processors also include a range of tools that make everyday healthy eating easier too. So you can make your own tasty salsa, nut butters, bread, smoothie bowls and falafel (plus hummus) as well as finely chop herbs and nuts and even grind your own coffee beans.
In a market that’s packed with options, though, where do you look first? We’ve done the legwork for you by selecting and testing five of the best food processors for every budget, including compact appliances that are easy to store. Also in the mix – excuse the pun – is the KitchenAid 2.1L food processor, which topped our tests to be crowned the best food processor for its innovative design and powerful performance, just pipping the great-value Bosch MultiTalent 3 MCM3501MGB food processor to the post. Want to know why exactly? Read on.
The best food processors you can buy right now
Assembling a food processor can be a pain, especially if there are multiple parts to slot together, or if lids don’t lock in place easily. The KitchenAid 2.1L food processor eliminates these problems – its bowl simply drops onto the base and the lid hinges neatly on top – saving your wrists from all that wrenching. Another benefit of this hinged-lid design is that it removes the need for extra worktop space (on which to set the lid while you’re scraping out the contents of the bowl).
The KitchenAid 2.1L food processor also comes with plenty of power for chopping and mincing – so much so that during testing it did have a tendency to shuffle around on the worktop, meaning you may need to keep hold of it while it’s in use. That said, everything we processed went through without any struggle, and while the bowl is slightly too compact for an average loaf, the dough we made in it did rise and bake well. Smartly designed and powerful to boot, this a solid buy for everyday use.
See our full KitchenAid 2.1L food processor review
If time-consuming peeling, chopping and dicing is what keeps you from preparing home-cooked meals, let Sage’s the Kitchen Wizz Peel & Dice lighten the load. This food processor comes with a dizzying amount of kit to tackle everything from peeling to dicing vegetables, packed into a double-level storage box. If that weren’t enough, there’s also a mini bowl and blade for small quantities, plus a fairly terrifying looking quad blade that provides additional fine chopping capabilities (when compared to the double blade you’ll find with most other processors).
In our tests, it made short work of almost everything – chicken was minced in seconds, while the dicing system turned carrots into neat cubes quickly. It also did a sterling job on making and kneading bread dough, but when it came to peeling potatoes, the results weren’t the seamless, clean prep we’d hoped for – peel missed and indentations in the flesh meant we had to finish the job by hand. Overall, a comprehensive piece of kitchen kit that makes short work of vegetable prep
For a multipurpose machine that won’t blow your budget, look no further than the Bosch MultiTalent 3 MCM3501MGB food processor. While it’s a relatively compact appliance, it still manages to pack in a roomy 2.3-litre bowl (with space to whisk up to six egg whites) and enough accessories to serve 50 functions, so you’re unlikely to ever be stuck without the right tool. Its one-litre blender jug is great for keeping on hand for soups and smoothies, plus the mini chopper/ grinder is sure to get plenty of use for all those smaller jobs that don’t require a full-sized processor bowl.
In tests, it performed well, slicing through carrots and chicken with ease, and kneading dough without any problems. Our only niggle was that the high speed could be a little whiny. Small but mighty, in a compact kitchen this machine does a great job.
See our full Bosch MultiTalent 3 MCM3501MGB food processor review
The addition of a smaller bowl that nests inside the larger one is what makes the Cuisinart Easy Prep Pro food processor a more versatile and useful machine. What’s special is that the mini bowl has its own blade and has a seal around the rim, meaning that you can whizz up small amounts of food without getting the main bowl dirty.
The food processor equivalent to a Russian doll, this miniature feature is perfect for everything from chopping a handful of herbs, to making a quick batch of hummus or freshly prepared baby food. In tests, it handled making bread dough without any issues, and also worked its way through meat and vegetables easily. The push-button controls can be tricky to get the hang of, plus the spindle is static so has to be cleaned in-situ but other than those small irritants, it’s a reliable food processor that should prove to be a good investment.
See our full Cuisinart Easy Prep Pro food processor review
The Kenwood FDM312SS MultiPro Compact+ won’t just be your food processor, it’ll also be your full-sized blender, mini chopper, personal blender, hand whisk and scales. That’s because, as well as a whole box of attachments and tools, its base can be used to weigh out ingredients as you go. Which means that you can make doughs, batters and other recipes that little bit faster, as well as saving space on your worktop. Fortunately, alongside all this extra functionality, the basics haven’t been forgotten and the Kenwood FDM312SS MultiPro Compact+ still works well as a food processor, with a 2.1l bowl and a compact footprint that won’t hog workspace. It handled all its meat and vegetable processing tasks well (although there were some scraps left over from slicing carrots), and kneaded bread dough with ease. We did note, however, that the higher speed was very whiny. But, with its multitude of attachments, this machine is a baker’s best friend
How to choose the best food processor for you
The best food processors can come with a lot of tools so it’s really worth considering how much worktop or cupboard space is available in your kitchen – you’ll need somewhere for the actual appliance to live, as well as food processor attachments and accessories. Compact models are often a good option if space is limited, but they can still have bulky kit to store and will vary in terms of bowl size and capability.
On a related but slightly different note, think about the tools you’ll use the most. Food processors usually come with a multi-purpose chopping and mixing blade, a dough blade and usually two reversible discs for slicing and shredding, but some models have more. There can be a whisk attachment or disc for whipping, chipping discs (great for making fries from various vegetables, not just potatoes), a grinder for spices, as well as personal smoothie cups and blades so you can make healthy drinks for days when you’re on the go. If space is tight, look for a model that doubles up as another piece of kitchen tech, for example one with blender jugs for soup and smoothies, mini choppers or that functions as a set of weighing scales.
Another factor to consider is how easy a food processor is to keep clean; if you’re going to use it regularly, you don’t want it to be a chore to clean. If you have a dishwasher, look for models with dishwasher-safe parts or, if you’re cleaning by hand, designs that have as few places as possible where food debris can gather.