The Best Food Processors of 2018

By Sharon Franke

When you’re cooking up a storm, a large food processor can reduce your prep work drastically and make you wonder how you ever lived without it. In mere seconds it can chop pounds of onions, blitz a bunch of parsley into dust, or turn a hunk of Parmesan into snow. It needs just minutes to form perfect pie or pizza dough. You’ll find yourself using it for things like pesto, hummus, and gazpacho that are a real chore to make by hand and come out too smooth from a blender.

If you’ve never used a food processor, you may find there's a bit of a learning curve. But once you master the operation, you’ll never again find it too much trouble to slice spuds thinly for scalloped potatoes or shred carrots for salad.

Our winner, the Cuisinart "Custom 14" DFP-14BCNY (available at Amazon for $161.99), isn’t cheap but gives top-notch performance without hogging too much kitchen space. However, if you’re looking for one at a much lower price, we found the slightly smaller Black + Decker 3-In-1 Easy Assembly 8-Cup (available at Walmart) perfect for everyday prep work.

To help you spend wisely, we chose six highly rated full-size processors and put them to work, chopping, shredding, slicing, and kneading dough.

Here are the best full-size food processors in order:

  1. Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor (model DFP‑14BCNY)
  2. Black + Decker 3-in-1 Easy Assembly 8-cup Food Processor
  3. Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro Food Processor
  4. KitchenAid 14-Cup Food Processor with Commercial-Style Dicing Kit
  5. Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Duo Plus Food Processor
  6. Oster Designed for Life 14-Cup Food Processor with 5-Cup Mini Chopper
  7. Black + Decker Power Pro Wide-Mouth Food Processor
— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Updated May 30, 2018

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Best Overall Best Overall
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY

Cuisinart
  • Editors' Choice

Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY

Best Overall

Cuisinart was the first food processor sold in the US and, in our opinion, the Cuisinart “Custom 14” food processor (model DFP‑14BCNY) is the best one on the market today. It excelled at almost every task, chopping onions and slicing tomatoes as well as a razor sharp chefs’ knife, as well as kneading pizza dough into a smooth elastic ball.

Shredding mozzarella was the only chore at which it faltered. Although it shredded without stalling, like every model we tested it failed to produce shreds evenly.

It’s not small, but the nearly 16-inch tall Cuisinart will fit under a cabinet, and at 17 pounds it isn’t too heavy to move around. The operation is simple: There are two large levers to press, one to run the processor continuously and then shut it off and one for pulse. In addition to the basic chopping/mixing/dough blade, it comes with shredding and slicing discs. To use the discs, you attach them to a stem that sits in the bowl. Be aware that it’s a little tricky to click them into place.

The food chute locks into place at the rear of the bowl, which is slightly inconvenient when you’re feeding in food but makes it easier to see what’s happening in the bowl during processing. As the tube is large, there’s no need to cut a block of mozzarella or a beefsteak tomato in half before processing them. While it’s running, the Cuisinart is so quiet it won’t shut down conversation in the kitchen.

Clean up is a cinch, as Cuisinart is the only manufacturer that actually encourages you to wash the parts in the dishwasher. It’s available in white or black with stainless accents, or all brushed stainless steel. A disc storage unit, a flat lid, other size shredding and slicing discs, and whisk attachments can be purchased separately.

Best Value Best Value
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Black & Decker FP4200B

Fp4200b
  • Editors' Choice

Black & Decker FP4200B

Best Value

In spite of its rock bottom price, the Black + Decker 3-in-1 Easy Assembly 8-cup food processor (model FP4200B) wowed us with its ability to mince, chop, and slice. Although large ripe tomatoes had to be cut in quarters to fit in the feed tube, they came out in perfectly uniform slices, ready to be arranged around a salad bowl or tucked between slices of mozzarella. This Black + Decker was also the only one we tested to cut a complete stick of pepperoni into perfectly even rounds.

What you don’t get at this price is the ability to knead dough. The bowl is particularly easy to position on the base. With this machine you get only one attachment besides the chopping blade: a reversible slicing and shredding disc that can easily be stored in a drawer. The noise isn’t great either. When it’s running it pretty much sounds like a hair dryer.

How We Tested

Food Processors How We Test
Credit: Reviewed / Sharon Franke
We pulverized, minced, and chopped our way through an awful lot of food while testing food processors. Clockwise starting upper-left: almonds, parsley, sliced potatoes, pepperoni, julienned potatoes and tomatoes. (Not shown but also tested: onions, mozzarella, and pizza dough.)

The Tester

Hi, I'm Sharon Franke, and I’ve been reviewing kitchen equipment for upwards of 30 years. Before that, I worked as a professional chef in NYC restaurants for seven years. Now most of my cooking is done on weekends in my small apartment kitchen. While I’m a whiz with a knife, I wouldn’t want to live without my food processor for tasks like finely chopping veggies for tabbouleh or preparing pastry dough for tarts and quiches.

The Tests

We tested six full-size food processors. Each appliance was rated on how well it chopped onions, minced parsley, ground almonds, sliced potatoes, tomatoes, and pepperoni, shredded mozzarella cheese, and cut potatoes into julienne strips. In those that were designed to knead, we made pizza dough. As you’ll definitely need to read the manual before you use your food processor for the first time and maybe the second, third and fourth, we spent a lot of time poring over each one. Did it explain how to use the processor thoroughly or did we still have to experiment to figure out how to assemble the parts, use the attachments, and process specific foods? We considered whether it was easy to lock the lid onto the bowl and use the controls and how much of a racket it created when running. While we didn’t include size in our ratings, we took it into consideration as once you see what it can do, you may want to give your food processor a permanent place on your countertop.


Other Food Processors We Tested

Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef 16 Pro

Bfp800xl

Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef 16 Pro

The Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro is a real beauty, but you certainly pay for the privilege. In addition to top notch performance it offers every imaginable bell and whistle and then some. If you cook often in large quantities and have the change, this 16-cup machine is worth the money. However, if you don’t, the Breville may be more food processor than you need.

It’s big, with a footprint of 11 x 8 inches, and at 18 inches tall, it’s too high to fit under a cabinet. And because it weighs 26 pounds, you won’t want to be lugging it in and out of a closet or cabinet. Once you invest in the Breville you’ll want to give it a dedicated space in your kitchen. With it you get a 2 ½-cup bowl that turns it into a mini chopper and a storage box that holds 5 discs, 2 blades, spatula, and a cleaning brush. While that gives you lots of flexibility as to how you use your machine and store all the stuff, that’s two other items to find room for.

But there’s much to love. The Breville screams quality with parts that glide into place. It has three lighted control buttons: on/off, run, and pulse. There’s an LCD timer that counts up or down—handy for example, when a recipe specifies to knead for 2 minutes. The shredding disc is reversible so you have a choice of two size shreds and the slicing disc is adjustable from very thin to about a third-of-an-inch thick. Among the accessories are julienne and French fry blades so you don’t have to slice potatoes twice to get strips. On the bowl you’ll find measurements in cups, liters, ounces, and ml, maximum fill lines for liquids and shredding, and a spout. The cord, which is particularly easy to pull out of a socket, stores in a compartment in the back. As it has a huge food chute, you can slice a small pepper without cutting it in half. When your machine is running it practically purrs. If you’re the type who likes to throw everything in the dishwasher, keep in mind that it’s recommended that you wash the parts by hand. You can choose a silver, red, or black housing.

KitchenAid KFP1466ER

Kfp1466er

KitchenAid KFP1466ER

The KitchenAid 14-Cup Food Processor is a bit of an investment that will occupy considerable space in your kitchen. It has a footprint of 11 x 11 inches, and stands 17 inches tall—too high to keep under a cabinet. It also weighs 21 pounds. The blades and discs, plus a cleaning brush, come in their own decidedly not-small case. Plus you get a 4-cup mini bowl and a dicing kit in a container that will also need storage space.

Unfortunately, the KitchenAid’s performance lagged behind those of similar size and price. It chopped, minced, and ground evenly but not quite as finely. While it sliced uniformly, its feed tube was small and a beefy tomato and pound of mozzarella had to be halved before processing. If you make lots of pizzas and bread, this is definitely not the food processor for you. It struggled to knead and danced alarmingly across the countertop, knocking over other items in its path. Surprisingly, the dicing attachment only creates a small dice with soft foods like tomatoes, fruits, or hard-boiled eggs and not hard veggies. Around the edge of the lid there’s a trough that traps food and is particularly difficult to clean, especially after processing soft items like cheese or hard-boiled eggs.

On the plus side, the slicing disc can be adjusted from the front of the machine; when you want thin strips of cucumber and thicker ones of tomato for the same salad, you won’t have to stop and change the blade. Unlike the others we tested, the chute doesn’t lock into the lid, which makes it especially easy to use. The motor noise is downright pleasant. Available in silver, slate, white, black, and red.

Hamilton Beach 70580 Big Mouth Duo Plus

Hamilton beach

Hamilton Beach 70580 Big Mouth Duo Plus

The 12-cup Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Duo Plus Food Processor can mince parsley and grind almonds with the best of them. However, it was weak on some tasks, leaving a big percentage of pepperoni unsliced and cutting ripe tomatoes so thinly they fell apart. The Hamilton Beach is not designed to knead heavy yeast doughs. Considering its price and light weight it would be a decent choice for family meal prep if the cook isn’t looking for precision results. With it comes a smaller 4-cup bowl for turning an avocado into guacamole or mincing a few cloves of garlic. This is definitely not a statement piece for your countertop and gunk can collect around the control buttons making it nitpicky to clean. Don’t be surprised if the kids cover their ears when they hear it whirring.

Oster Designed for Life 14-Cup Food Processor

6. oster designed for life 14 cup food processor

Oster Designed for Life 14-Cup Food Processor

There’s a lot to love about this model. For starters, it had the most thorough manual of all we tested. In the back of the base there’s a storage compartment to hold the chopping and dough blades and the stem. You do, however, have to find a place to stash the reversible slicing and shredding disc as well as the 5-cup bowl that converts it into a mini chopper. On basic food processing tasks like chopping onions, mincing parsley, and grinding almonds it did as well as the much pricier models.

However, when it came to slicing, it didn’t yield uniform results and left large chunks of pepperoni sitting on top of the slicing disc unprocessed. And on kneading pizza dough, it really fell behind the top-rated food processors. In order to mix the dry and liquid ingredients, we had to stop and give it an assist with a spatula. Although the Oster ultimately turned out a workable ball of dough, as it kneaded it rocked in place and sounded like a space ship getting ready for blast-off. Plus, liquids leaked out from between the lid and the bowl and into crevices on the base, leaving us with a big mess to clean up. This reasonably-priced model can handle basic kitchen prep but isn’t recommended if you want to whip up made-from-scratch pizza and breads.

Black & Decker FP2500 PowerPro Wide-Mouth

Fp2500

Black & Decker FP2500 PowerPro Wide-Mouth

You’ll know right away that the Black + Decker Power Pro Wide-Mouth Food Processor isn’t in the same league as the more expensive models. When you slide the bowl and lid into place they move stiffly and figuring out how to use the lid and chute is a challenge. It didn’t chop onions evenly and mangled mozzarella. Although it’s called Wide-Mouth we had to cut our pound of mozzarella in half to fit it in the chute. This food processor is not designed for kneading dough. In the lid a crevice traps food, especially sticky stuff like cheese, making cleanup a lot of work.

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