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I take all of my lifestyle cues from Ina Garten, and while I’m aware I probably watch more of The Barefoot Contessa than the average person, you may have noticed, as I have, that the woman absolutely loves her food processor. This appliance chops onions, mixes pie dough, blends pesto, purees soups, you get the idea. I’ve even used mine for mashed potatoes. As Ina says, “What did we do before food processors?”
When choosing the best food processor for your kitchen, I would steer you toward trusted classic brands like Cuisinart or Braun, while keeping in mind capacity, attachments, and operating functions.
Things to Consider When Buying a Food Processor
There are a few common issues people find in food processors, so here are the things to look out for.
Leak: Poorly constructed or designed processors have a tendency to leak, which can in some cases lead to bigger messes than its worth. Higher end appliances take pains to address leaks, with tightly fitting lids, convenient pour spouts, and high-quality basins.
Functionality: All processors will come with a basic “on” and “pulse” button, while fancier models may include additional functions. Extra blade attachments also expand the functionality of the appliance. While the standard blade is ideal for most every day uses, shredding, slicing, and dough blade discs more efficiently prepare foods for specific uses (think shredded carrots for carrot cake or sliced brussels sprouts for salad).
Capacity: While food processors come in a wide variety of sizes, if you’re looking for a standard all-use appliance, we think somewhere between a 10 and 12-cup capacity is ideal. This gives you enough room for bigger jobs without being so cumbersome it doesn’t fit in your cupboard.
1. Cuisinart FP-8SV Elemental 8-Cup Food Processor
The Cuisinart food processor is a standby, and for good reason. We like this simple model, which includes an adjustable slicing disc and reversible shredding disc in addition to the standard stainless steel blade, all of which are dishwasher-safe. We also like that it has controls for high and low as well as pulse, while the tight seal and blade lock design systems help keep all the elements secure and leak-free.
2. Braun FP3020 12-Cup Food Processor
A common culprit when it comes to leaky food processors is a seam or ridge in the bowl, which is one reason we like this Braun processor, whose bowl is totally solid and therefore keeps liquids from seeping out. Another design feature we really like is the narrowness of the unit, which makes storage just a bit less of a hassle. The Braun also comes with additional accessories for shredding, slicing, whipping, kneading, and citrus juicing, making this a true workhorse in the kitchen from morning till night.
3. Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor
If you’re looking for a basic workhorse, we’re fans of the Hamilton Beach. What this appliance lacks in extra features it makes up for in motor power, which reliably pulverizes ice, garlic, crab meat, fruit… you get the idea. We also like the nifty bowl scraper attachment, which you can use to pull ingredients from the bowl’s sides while it’s still running, no spatula needed.
4. Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef 16 Pro Food Processor
At the other end of the spectrum is the Breville Sous Chef, definitely a bells-and-whistles type of appliance. This all-in-one food processor comes with three feed chute options, a 16-cup mixing bowl, 2.5-cup mixing bowl, and eight discs and blades — including a variable slicing disc with 24 settings to customize the thickness of your slice. Users like the variety of functions and how well the various elements fit together. The best part: toss everything in the dishwasher when you’re done, for easy cleaning.