KitchenAid® food processor on a counter among chopped and sliced vegetables.

Best Food Processor For You

The food processor is one of the most versatile appliances of the kitchen. They can handle an endless amount of food prep tasks. And just when you think you’ve discovered them all, you get surprised by another. It chops, it minces, it grinds, it mixes, it kneads, and it doesn’t stop there. But choosing the best food processor in 2021 for your needs isn’t about having every bell and whistle. It’s about having the right one based on your very unique skill set, storage preferences, and culinary aspirations. When you’re thinking about which food processor to get, here are some helpful considerations.

WHAT IS THE BEST FOOD PROCESSOR?

There are a variety of different food processors: they can come in different sizes, styles and can offer different functionalities, each of them with the potential of being the best food processor depending on your specific needs. Consider all of the recipes you plan on making and the prep work that follows. The best food processor for you should be determined by the capacity and functions you need to not only accomplish those recipes, but to make them easier every time you recreate them.

BEST FOOD PROCESSOR BY TASK

Choosing the right food processor by task is a great way to get started. Do you need a food processor for simple tasks, or perhaps something more robust, like a food processor that can slice and shred in addition to chopping and pureeing? A simpler food processor is called a food chopper and will usually only include a multi-purpose blade, while a full-sized food processor will not only include that blade, but also come with additional discs and accessories for more advanced recipes.

Food Processors Best for Simple Tasks

Simple food processors, better known as food choppers, are ideal for quick and easy tasks. Without a feed tube, they may not be a true food processor, but can still accomplish a great deal. Whipping up a quick pesto sauce? Blending an herb-packed chimichurri for a grilled flank steak? Making some homemade nut butter, baby food, a smoothie, or a vegan-friendly side dish? A single-task food processor chops, mixes, purees, and handles more recipes than you ever imagined. They deliver functionality without frills—and just enough capacity to get the job done right. For simple performance and convenience, the KitchenAid® 5 Cup Food Chopper is a good choice. And with its included whisk attachment, you get the added capabilities of whipping, whisking and stirring.

Drizzling oil into a KitchenAid® 5 Cup Food Chopper

Food Processors Best for Advanced Tasks

Full-sized food processors come with an array of accessories, like slicing and shredding discs, dough blades and a multi-sized food tube to process a variety of ingredients, making them perfect for those robust recipes. By adding accessories, you can really multiply your food processor uses. Making potato pancakes? Add a disc and avoid grating potatoes for what feels like an eternity. Slicing zucchini for baked parmesan zucchini chips? Just add a thick slicing disc—offered with the KitchenAid® 7 Cup Food Processor Plus. With more capacity and dynamic accessories, your culinary ideas will be churning in no time. You can even make quick work of dicing with the KitchenAid® 13 Cup Food Processor with Dicing Kit.

Red KitchenAid® food processor on a counter with sliced vegetables in and around the work bowl.

BEST FOOD PROCESSORS BY SIZE

Food processors come in a variety of different sizes and capacities. The best food processor size for you depends on what you plan to do with it. Smaller food processors with capacities around 3–5 cups are best for quick tasks like mixing, puréeing and chopping. Larger food processors usually run from 6–14 cups, and could possibly be even larger. These robust food processors typically include more blades, discs and other accessories to help you tackle more complex tasks like shredding, slicing, dicing or even kneading dough.

Blue KitchenAid® food chopper filled with hummus ingredients next to a platter of crudités

Best Small Food Processor

It’s important to remember that these smaller appliances, at around 3–5 cups, are not technically food processors, but rather food choppers. This is because they lack the feed tubes that allow food processors to slice, shred and more. But don’t be fooled, these food choppers can still accomplish a great deal.

Food choppers like the KitchenAid® 3.5 Cup Food Chopper and the KitchenAid® 5 Cup Food Chopper are great for quick, simple tasks like chopping fresh herbs, puréeing fresh dips or mixing ground meats.
 

The KitchenAid® 3.5 Cup Food Chopper is compact and lightweight with a dishwasher-safe bowl and accessories—ideal for everyday use.

  • Chop, puree and mix
  • Includes drizzle basin and multi-purpose blade
  • Features 2 speeds and Pulse operation

The KitchenAid® 5 Cup Food Chopper comes with a larger capacity and a whisk accessory to whisk, whip and stir a variety of ingredients. It also comes in a cordless version for even more freedom in the kitchen.

  • Chop, puree, mix and whip
  • Includes drizzle basin, multi-purpose blade and whisk accessory
  • Features 2 speeds and Pulse operation
Red KitchenAid® food processor work bowl filled with shredded cabbage.

Best Large Food Processor

A large food processor, like those with 6–14 cup capacities, can do everything a smaller food processor can, from the standard chopping, mixing, pureeing, but can also do a great deal more. Add slicing, shredding, and even kneading or dicing to the mix—and you have yourself one of the most versatile kitchen appliances in your artillery.

Food processors like the KitchenAid® 9 Cup Food Processor and the KitchenAid® 13 Cup Food Processor offer larger capacities to accommodate bulk food prep, batch cooking or feeding a larger family. And with their larger feed tubes, they can easily process a variety of ingredients in various shapes and sizes. But if you find yourself looking for something with more of a medium capacity, the KitchenAid® 7 Cup Food Processor is a great option to consider, too.

The KitchenAid® 9 Cup Food Processor features a one-click, twist-free, bowl assembly and latched lid that’s easy to use and clean.

  • Chop, puree, mix, slice, shred and knead
  • Includes 2-in-1 feed tube, dough blade and slicing discs
  • Features High, Low and Pulse speeds

The KitchenAid® 13 Cup Food Processor has the extra capacity for every kind of ingredient—for every kind of meal.

  • Chop, puree, mix, slice, shred and knead
  • Includes 3-in-1 Wide Mouth Feed tube, ExactSlice System and UltraTight Seal
  • Features High, Low and Pulse speeds

Best Food Processor Size for Home Use

Depending on the size you need, any food processor can be the best food processor for home use. Consider the kinds of recipes and quantities you like to make. Food choppers are best for quick, simple tasks or small portions. Large food processors can handle more complex recipes and can offer added functionalities like shredding, slicing, kneading and dicing. When you determine the right size for you, a whole new world of possibilities will be waiting for you.

BEST FOOD PROCESSOR BY COOKING NEEDS

A food processor is a kitchen essential to reducing time spent on prep work, and for making more complex recipes even easier to create. However, the kind of prep work needed and recipes you plan to make may help determine the best food processor for you.

KitchenAid® 9 Cup Food Processor in White.

BEST FOOD PROCESSOR FOR DOUGH & KNEADING

Not all food processors include a dough blade. If making fresh pie crusts, scones and different types of dough is your primary goal, a food processor with a dough blade can be a game-changer. The KitchenAid® 9 Cup Food Processor could be a great option for cutting in butter. And if you need a larger capacity, the KitchenAid® 13 Cup Food Processor can not only knead your dough, but also provide enough space to let it rise directly in the work bowl.

Best Food Processor for Pureeing

Pureeing is a task you can accomplish with any food processors or food choppers. The best food processor for you may just depend on the quantity you want to make. Choose a smaller food processor for pureeing small batches of dips, sauces and salsa. Or choose a larger food processor for pureeing large batches of soups, desserts or fillings. It truly just depends on how much you plan to make.

Best Food Processor for Mixing

All food processors and food choppers can make quick work of mixing. This is another instance where the quantity you plan to make will determine which is the best food processor for you. For small, quick batches, choose a food processor on the smaller side. For large servings, a larger food processor would work best. Another thing to consider may also be the mixing consistency you require. Choosing a food processor with a dough blade or whisk accessory could be a great way to prevent accidental pureeing or over-mixing.

Best Food Processor for Chopping

Chopping is another capability that all food processors and food choppers have. Choosing the best food processor for chopping will not only depend on the recipe you plan to make, but also the size of your ingredients. For recipes like salsas or even fresh salads, a small food processor can make quick work of chopping bell peppers, onions and other fresh veggies. For larger ingredients like whole cucumbers, carrots and celery, a large food processor with a wide feed tube will make quick and easy work of chopping them down.

KitchenAid® 11 Cup Food Processor in Red.

Best Food Processor for Slicing

Slicing is a function that is unique to food processors ranging from 6–14 cups. These food processors typically include a single-sided slicing disc or a reversible slicing disc. The KitchenAid® 7 Cup Food Processor even features an ExactSlice System that allows you to accomplish a range of thicknesses. When selecting the best food processor for you, it’s important to pay close attention to the accessories it comes with.

KitchenAid® 9 Cup Food Processor in Contour Silver

BEST FOOD PROCESSOR FOR SHREDDING

Shredding is another unique function specific to larger food processors as they are likely to include a shredding disc in their accessories. A food processor with a shredding disc can make easy work of your shredding or grating needs. The KitchenAid® 9 Cup Food Processor includes a reversible shredding disc ideal for shredding cabbage for coleslaw or even grating cheese for pizza.

KitchenAid® 13 Cup Food Processor in Black Matte.

BEST FOOD PROCESSOR FOR DICING

Dicing can be considered an entirely unique feature on its own. When searching for the best food processor for dicing, you’ll need to look for a food processor with dicing capabilities; some larger food processors may even come with a dicing kit. Consider the KitchenAid® 13 Cup Food Processor with Dicing Kit. This food processor features a dicing kit that can help you quickly create consistent, uniform cubes of cheese, fruit or whatever you may need for your next recipe.

KitchenAid® 5 Cup Food Chopper in Black Matte.

BEST FOOD PROCESSOR FOR WHISKING

While it may seem like the larger food processors may have all the unique capabilities, a smaller food processor, or rather food chopper, can lay claim to its own specific function: whipping. The KitchenAid® 5 Cup Food Chopper is one of the few choppers that features a whisk accessory, making it one of the best food processors for recipes that require whisking, whipping or stirring, like when making homemade whipped cream.

Get Help Choosing the Right Countertop Appliances