A food processor is one of those kitchen appliances that, once you own one, you wonder how you ever lived without it. One of the most versatile pieces of kit in the kitchen, a food processor acts as your very own sous chef – chopping, mixing, and blending a whole host of ingredients – saving you time and energy.
While a good quality kitchen knife is an essential, a food processor can finely chop and slice ingredients in a matter of seconds. Whether it’s soffritto for spaghetti bolognese or thin slices of potato and onion for boulangère potatoes, a food processor will produce even and consistent results that even Michelin-starred chefs would be envious of.
Food processors are also great for desserts and can significantly reduce the time it takes to make pastry. You can make sweet shortcrust pastry and pie pastry by popping all of the ingredients in the bowl and pulsing until they form a ball. A brilliant time-saving (and mess-free) way to make pastry.
We put 13 food processors to the test by chopping, slicing and dicing a range of ingredients as well as making pastes, sauces and kneading doughs. Read on to find out which models came top.
Jump to section:
- How to choose the best food processor
- Best food processors at a glance
- Best food processors to buy in 2021
- How we tested food processors
What is a food processor?
A food processor is an appliance designed to act as an extra pair of hands in the kitchen. One key benefit of a food processor is that it’s a multitasker, often coming with various accessories and functions. Almost all use a rotating gear to turn their various accessories, which will typically include extra discs for slicing or grating, alongside the main blade arrays for chopping or mixing.
Some food processors come loaded with additional blender-like functions, like smoothie-making or dough-mixing, so you can tick several appliance boxes with one purchase.
Before choosing the best food processor for you, you need to ask yourself which functions you’d like it to perform. All food processors will come with a chopping blade as standard. This can be used for most tasks, including making hummus, cauliflower rice, even homemade tomato sauce. And then there are other attachments to consider. Some of the most common attachments include:
- Whisking disc: with a ripple design, this can be used to whip cream, make mayonnaise and even whisk egg whites
- Dough blade: looking not dissimilar to the chopping blade, this is often made from plastic with a dull edge and shorter arms. As the name suggests, it can be used to knead all kinds of dough, from cookie dough for our chocolate & hazelnut thumbprint cookies to pizza dough
- Shredding disc: this has teeth like the kind you have on a grater. Ideal for grating cheese, carrot and chocolate while keeping your knuckles safe
- Slicing disc: for super-even slices, ideal for preparing potatoes to make next-level potato dauphinoise. On some models only one thickness of slice is available – on higher-end models you’re able to adjust the thickness
The more expensive, premium food processors often come with these additional extras:
- Dicing and French-fry attachments: to produce perfect cubes of hard ingredients or batons for French fries
- Different-sized bowls: an additional small bowl that fits inside the main bowl makes life a lot easier if you’re only looking to process a small quantity of food
You should also consider how much of a technical challenge you are willing to tackle. As a rule, the more functions a food processor has, the more complex it will be to assemble and use correctly.
What can a food processor be used for?
There are countless uses for a food processor, a small selection of which have been detailed above. The action of the machine is modified by switching between attachments – so you might set it up with a disc attachment to chop some ingredients, then switch to a blade to mix those ingredients into a sauce or paste. Food processors are multifunctional and multipurpose, and are useful for making sweet and savoury dishes alike.
- Best basic food processor: Cuisinart FP8U Easy Prep Pro, £99.45
- Best value food processor: VonShef 1000W food processor, £74.99
- Best food processor for gadget lovers: Sage The Kitchen Wizz Peel & Dice, £499
- Best food processor to leave out on the counter: Russell Hobbs Retro cream food processor, £79.99
- Best food processor for sturdiness: KitchenAid food processor 3.1L, £193
- Best 2-in-1 food processor/stand mixer: Bosch CreationLine Kitchen Machine, £449
- Best food processor for bakers: Kenwood FPM810 MultiPro Sense food processor, £229
- Most compact food processor: KitchenAid 2.1L food processor, £179.99
- Best food processor for versatility: Ninja 3-in-1 food processor with Auto IQ, £149.99
- Best food processor for fine blitzing: Russell Hobbs Desire food processor, £54
Cuisinart FP8U Easy Prep Pro
best basic food processor
Pros: high-quality components, attractive design
Cons: no jug attachment
Star rating: 4.5/5
This is a great food processor if you’re looking for a reasonably priced machine that will do the basics with minimum fuss. The components are pared back but highly effective, working through ingredients quickly and efficiently. The materials all feel well-made, from the stylish outer shell to the strong blades.
Read our full Cuisinart Easy Prep Pro review
VonShef 1000W food processor
best value food processor
- Available from: VonHaus (£74.99)
Pros: more power than previous 750 model, XXL feeder tube, 3.5L food processor capacity, smart blade storage draw
Cons: cheap-feel components
Star rating: 4/5
This 1000W food processor is a step up from its 750W predecessor in a number of ways. The first and most obvious is power. The next is capacity. You can blitz a whopping 2.8 litres worth of ingredients in its 3.5-litre bowl, which is very useful for batch cooking.
Read our full VonShef food processor review
Sage The Kitchen Wizz Peel & Dice
best food processor for gadget lovers
Pros: dazzling build quality, innovative functions, quiet
Cons: very expensive
Star rating: 4.5/5
Minimalist in design but not in stature, this is a serious hunk of die-cast metal finished to an incredibly high spec. For such an innovative and complex machine, it’s actually very easy to use. One major perk is how quiet it is. While lots of food processors shriek and whine, the Sage has a pleasingly low whirr. The accessories are particularly sharp and come in a large storage case, which is worth bearing in mind if you’re low on kitchen space.
Read our full Sage The Kitchen Wizz Peel & Dice review
Russell Hobbs Retro cream food processor
best food processor to leave out on the counter
Pros: lovely retro design, decent performance
Cons: noisy when used on higher speed setting
Star rating: 4/5
Affordable and attractive, this food processor is good value for money and works through ingredients quickly and evenly. It comes with added blades for creaming and dough mixing, and the basics are operated by a three-speed dial. It’s particularly safe – it won’t start until the lid is firmly in place. It’s a little noisy when on high, so we recommend using the lower, quieter settings if you’re not in a hurry.
Read our full Russell Hobbs Retro food processor review
KitchenAid food processor 3.1L
best food processor for sturdiness
Pros: two bowl sizes, easy slider control
This reliable, sturdy processor has two bowls (the small stacking easily inside the larger). With a pulse button and two standard speeds, the slower speed is ideal for softer veg that can quickly turn to mush.
There’s a reversible shredding disk with coarse and fine grates. Both produced consistent results in our carrot and cheese grating tests. We particularly liked the slider control on the front of the machine that safely adjusts the blade setting on the slicing attachment. The slicer is quick and efficient, producing neat, even pieces.
The width of the feeding chute can be adjusted, too. The narrower width helps keep slender carrots and celery sticks under control, preventing them from toppling and getting trapped under the lid.
Available from: KitchenAid (£249)
Bosch CreationLine Kitchen Machine
Best 2-in-1 food processor / stand mixer
Pros: integrated scales and timer, dishwasher-safe attachments, BPA-free plastics
Cons: outdated acronym in product name, weighs in increments of 5 grams, expensive
Star rating: 5/5
Multi-functional appliances make life easier in the kitchen, not least because they saves you from having to buy and store multiple machines. Bosch’s MUM5XW10 kitchen machine is a unique stand mixer and food processor hybrid that backs its versatility with easy-to-use integrated scales so ingredients can be weighed directly into the bowl. The touchscreen controls are intuitive to use, its 1000W motor incredibly efficient during testing and with dishwasher-safe attachments, it earned Star Buy status from BBC Good Food experts.
Read our full Bosch CreationLine kitchen machine review
Kenwood FPM810 MultiPro Sense food processor
best food processor for bakers
Pros: excellent whisk attachment, easy to assemble and operate
Cons: takes up lots of space
You’ll need storage space for this machine – the amount of attachments is mind-boggling! As well as the usual grating and slicing discs, it comes with a huge array of excellent extras, including a blender, twin-geared metal whisk and folding tool.
The metal whisk incorporates more air into the mix, the blender copes with hot food and makes fantastic soups. As for its basic functions, we found it simple to assemble with an easy-to-operate control dial. It’s slightly slower at grating and slicing than other models, even though it has a 1000W motor, but slices evenly and produced the best pastry by far. The integrated scales are a nice touch and save on the washing-up, which is always a bonus. It has a working bowl capacity of 1.7 litres so there’s no need to do stuff in batches. A great all-rounder.
KitchenAid 2.1L food processor
most compact food processor
Pros: small footprint, easy to store, innovative reversible stacking discs, quiet, oil drizzler
Cons: not great at finely blitzing smaller quantities
The KitchenAid’s style and small footprint are the first things we noticed about this machine. It’s compact (about the width of a large kettle), lightweight, easy to unpack and manoeuvre, and sports handy grooves at its base. Non-slip feet keep it stable once settled.
Each component and accessory feel quality-made and built to last. This is a step-down in size from the 3.1L KitchenAid, so better suited to those who don’t want to bulk-blitz ingredients, but do want a practical machine for everyday use.
Read our full KitchenAid 2.1L food processor review
Ninja 3-in-1 food processor with Auto IQ
best food processor for versatility
Pros: hands-free automatic pre-sets, BPA-free and dishwasher-safe attachments, easy-to-follow instructions, three kitchen functionalities
Cons: very loud, awkwardly sized attachments and accessories to store
Star rating: 4.5/5
The Ninja 3-in-1 is a powerful kitchen gadget that offers levels of versatility unmatched by most brands. It chops, slices, grates, purées and mixes, plus it comes with a 1.8-litre food processor bowl, 2.1-litre blending jug and a 700ml personal blender cup with water-tight lid for use on-the-go. All attachments are BPA-free and dishwasher-safe (top rack is recommended). The 1200W motor base also has non-slip feet.
Read our full Ninja 3-in-1 food processor with Auto IQ review
Russell Hobbs Desire food processor
best food processor for fine blitzing
Pros: dishwasher-safe bowls and attachments, 1.5-litre jug blender, 2.5-litre food processor bowl, non-slip feet, cord storage
Cons: 1.5-litre usable capacity within the 2.5-litre food processor bowl
Star rating: 4.5/5
At around £50, this 2-in-1 food processor and blender set offers great versatility for the price. Despite only having one reversible slicing and shredding disk, it over-performs. The simplicity of this model actually plays in its favour.
Read our full Russell Hobbs Desire food processor review
The food processors featured in this review were tested against a wide range of factors. Depending on the attachments and blades included with the food processor we made and prepared the following dishes and ingredients:
BBC Good Food’s classic pesto and Basa gede to test out the chopping blade
We grated carrots and cheese
Used the plastic dough blade to make BBC Good Food’s pizza dough
Our criteria included:
• The strength of the blades, jugs and mixing bowls included
• Ease of use
• Speed of processing
• Kitchen footprint and storage
• Finished results – especially the consistency of ingredients processed
• Design and aesthetic
Food processor reviews
Cuisinart Easy Prep Pro food processor review
VonShef food processor review
Sage The Kitchen Wizz Peel & Dice review
Salter Prep Pro Mini food processor review
Russell Hobbs Retro food processor review
Tefal DoubleForce Pro food processor review