Why you can trust ZDNet
Our recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We may earn a commission when you purchase a product through our links. This helps support our work but does not influence what we write about or the price you pay. Our editors thoroughly review and fact check every article. Our process

‘ZDNet Recommends’ What exactly does that mean?

ZDNet’s recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNet nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNet's editorial team writes on behalf of YOU, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form

Close

Best food processor 2021: Breville, Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, and KitchenAid compared

Hit the kitchen with the best food processors to delight your inner-chef.

If social distancing taught us anything, it's how to get creative around the home. For many people stuck indoors, the kitchen has become a daily salvation. The more time you spend cooking, however, the more you may begin to realize what's missing.

A fantastic food processor can make all the difference when it comes to creating velvety soups, silky smoothies, and perfectly diced, sliced, and cubed veggies. We scoured the market, comparing and analyzing today's many options to find the very best food processors in 2021. 

Breville Sous Chef 16-Cup Peel & Dice Food Processor

Best professional food processor

breville-16-pro.png
Breville

Warranty

  • 1-year limited

  • 25-year induction motor

At a glance

The Breville Sous Chef 16-Cup Peel & Dice makes cooking easy with an included peeler disc to handle all of your peeling needs for that upcoming Thanksgiving meal. It has the ability to peel up to seven potatoes at a time for quick preparation. There is also a 12mm dicing attachment with a micro-serrated S-blade system that first slices and then dices to create perfect cubes each time.  You can even control the thickness when slicing because the sliding disk allows for 0.3mm to 8.0mm based on your preference.

You can buy an optional kit to add both 8mm and 16mm attachments to your food processor for more versatility. The chutes come in three sizes with a 360-degree Dicing Grid that creates 10 cups of dicing without interruption. It does not skimp on power, either. The Breville Sous Chef 16 Peel & Dice is powered by a 1200W heavy-duty induction motor that allows for 24 different settings, including an oversized 16-cup bowl and a small 2.5-cup bowl to hold all of your creations. For easy storage, there is a convenient box to hold all attachments and cleaning utensils that come with your kit. 

Pros

Cons

  • Powerful 1200W motor

  • 25-year motor warranty

  • Large capacity

  • The most expensive on our list

  • Not for compact spaces

  • Purchase required for additional dicing sizes

Breville Sous Chef 12-Cup Food Processor

Best juicer-combo food processor

breville-12-photo.png
Breville

Warranty

  • 1-year limited

  • 10-year induction motor

At a glance

The Breville Sous Chef 12-Cup Food Processor is powered to handle heavy cooking with a strong, high-torque 1200-watt motor. A 12mm dicing attachment is included, and you have the option to add an 8mm and 16mm dicing kit for greater versatility. Either way, it incorporates a micro-serrated S-blade system with strong stainless steel to create a precision-based dicing and cubing system. There is the added ability to peel up to seven potatoes at the same time with a heavy-duty peeler disc that can also take on other veggies, like sweet potatoes and beets. Also simplifying the process is your choice of three chute sizes with Breville's signature 360-degree dicing grid that offers up to 10 cups of continuous dicing. The included bowl is oversized to accommodate 12 cups.

Despite its many features, the Breville Sous Chef 12-Cup Food Processor is simple to operate with a very user-friendly format. For greater peace of mind, this processor comes with a one-year limited product warranty and a 10-year induction motor guarantee.

Pros

Cons

  • Excellent for chopping

  • Easy to clean

  • Dishwasher-safe parts

  • High price tag

  • Mediocre for slicing and shredding

  • Heavier machine at 20 lbs.

Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup Food Processor

Best versatile food processor

cuisinart-13-please-work.png
Cuisinart

Warranty

  • 3-year limited

At a glance

The Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup Food Processor is powered by a 550-watt motor with a wide feed tube that includes small, medium, and large pushers for your produce. It comes with three different work bowls for you to choose from, with 13-cup and 4.5-cup bowls. The stainless steel blades include an adjustable slicing disc of up to 7mm, plus a dicing disc that includes a 10mm grid and a reversible shredding disc to offer medium-to-fine chopping. For even greater versatility, the Elemental includes a dough blade with both small and large s-blades. It uses its signature SealTight Advantage system, which has the dual responsibility of sealing the bowl and locking the blades using the patented Blade Lock system.

The food processor has electronic touchpad controls with blue LED lights and high, low, and pulse options. The entire set comes with cleaning tools to keep your food processor running smoothly. You can easily remove parts for individual cleaning with the added benefit of dishwasher-safe materials. After they are clean, you can store everything in the convenient storage case that's included.


Pros

Cons

  • Simple operation

  • Convenient wide-mouth feed tube

  • One of the longer warranties

  • Users complain about noise levels

  • Non-adjustable slicing disc

Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor

Best mini food processor

cuisinart-again.png
Cuisinart

Warranty

  •  Limited 18-month warranty

At a glance

The Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor is perfect for small spaces and yet still packs a 250-watt motor. It comes in a lightweight plastic build that is easy to move but still looks polished in a sleek brushed chrome and nickel finish. There's an easy push-button start on the control panel, which starts the reversible SmartPower stainless steel blades that chop and grind. The signature Auto Reversing Smart Blade design has two different settings, including a pulse setting to make it easier to handle both soft and hard foods. This mini food processor can also blend, puree, and emulsify foods for greater flexibility. However, you can only feed smaller bits of food into the machine, so larger items will need to be cut into pieces before you hit the start button. 

Also included is a 24-ounce work bowl with a 3-cup capacity that is dishwasher-safe for easy clean-up. The set includes both a spatula and a recipe book to keep the creative juices flowing. Its small size and hidden cord storage make it an easy fit for countertops, shelves, and pantries without any need for disassembly. For those living with limited space, the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor leaves a small footprint but delivers big results. 

Pros

Cons

  • Flexible blades for soft and hard foods 

  • Simple touchpad

  • Dishwasher-safe parts

  • Not suitable for large quantities 

  • Maximum 3-cup capacity

  • Limited warranty

Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Snack & Snap Food Processor

Best budget food processor

hamilton-beach-processor.jpg
Hamilton Beach

Warranty

  •  1-year limited

At a glance

The Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Snack & Snap Food Processor is a great fit for households of all sizes, and boasts a simple assembly and effortless operation with a 450-watt motor. There is no need to precut or prep foods with the Signature Big Mouth® feed tube that can accommodate larger items. The bowl simply snaps into place without any twisting, using the built-in locking clips. When sealed, the included bowl is also perfect for liquids with a 12-cup capacity and easy pour spout. With a reversible S-blade system, the attached chopping blade locks while you are working. It also makes for easy storage, locking right into the bowl, so it requires less space. This processor includes convenient cord storage and parts that are dishwasher-safe.

Hamilton Beach includes a helpful guide to help you navigate the different settings. Its disc attachments are also labeled, so you can find the right fit quickly. 

Pros

Cons

  • Affordably priced

  • 12-cup capacity

  • Decent motor for most jobs

  • Requires a lot more space

  • Users complain about loud operation

  • Loose seal on lids 

KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Food Chopper

Best chopping food processor

kitchenaid-3-5-please-work.png
KitchenAid

Warranty

  •  1-year full

At a glance

The KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Food Chopper may be small, but it still performs all of the major functions needed in a food processor. There are two speeds with a pulsing function for greater versatility, allowing for mixing, chopping, mincing, and pureeing. It uses a locking multi-purpose blade of stainless steel, but where it stands apart is in its signature spout design. It uses a bonus drizzle basin that is perfect for all of your homemade sauces and condiments. Because it is a smaller machine, however, its work bowl only accommodates 3.5 cups. 

Thanks to its smaller size, the 3.5-Cup Food Chopper is easy to store. You'll spend less time on clean-up with parts that are dishwasher-safe, including the bowl, lid, and blade. For extra flair, there are many different colors available to match your kitchen, like Guava Glaze, Ice Blue, and Green Apple.

Pros

Cons

  • Multiple colors

  • Affordable model

  • Built-in drizzle basin and spout

  • Very limited capacity

  • 1-year warranty

  • Low-powered motor

Ninja Professional Plus Kitchen System with Auto-iQ

Best combo food processor

ninja-processor-please-work.png
Ninja

Warranty

  •  1-year full warranty

At a glance

The Ninja Professional Plus Kitchen System with Auto-iQ is built with features that the serious home chef will appreciate. Available in your choice of either black or stainless steel, it's powered by a robust 1200-watt motor that combines the power of a food processor with the convenience of a blender. If you have a big group to feed, you can prepare large quantities at once with the 72-ounce Total Crushing Pitcher that uses Stacked Blade assembly. The 64-ounce Precision Processor Bowl includes both chopping and dough blades. The set also includes two 24-ounce cups with Pro Extractor Blades and spout lids for an all-in-one product that has everything you need. 

To help guide you in the kitchen, there are five automatic programs with four manual options. Ninja also includes its convenient Recipe Inspiration Guide, Quick Start Guide, and Instruction Booklet.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy-to-clean

  • Dishwasher-safe parts

  • Multiple presets

  • May be difficult to use for new customers 

  • May be too tall for some spaces

  • Single-year warranty

How did we choose these products?

There are many food processors available today with multiple versions and models available. To find the best food processors of 2021, we considered several popular brands. We also looked to real consumer reviews for invaluable feedback about user experience and satisfaction.

  • Set-up and assembly: Food processors may come with several parts, which can make for a challenging setup. We considered assembly to ensure that you are off to a good start.

  • Attachments: Food processors may come with several discs and attachments to handle a variety of different functions. 

  • Function: Not all food processors offer the same functions, so we looked at models that offered multiple options for the more popular functions. 

  • Speeds: Food processors may offer different speeds to better handle their functions, like crushing, dicing, and pureeing.

  • Size: A food processor's capacity is important because it helps determine the quantities you can make at a single time and if there's enough space for it in your kitchen.  

  • Storage: Larger food processors may include several parts that are difficult to store, while some food processors may incorporate built-in storage or cord management.

  • Support: Many food processors include manuals for easier operation and may even offer recipe books. 

  • Price: The cost is a critical factor, as different models can vary from under $50 to $500 and more.

  • Warranty: Many food processors include a warranty, although many manufacturers limit the length and coverage. 

Based on these factors and more, we were able to determine 2021's best food processors for the chef in your household. 

Which is the right one for you?

Product

Best for...

Watts

Dimensions (in.)

Capacity

Breville Sous Chef 16-Cup Peel & Dice Food Processor

Best professional food processor

1200

11 x 8 x 18

16-cup large bowl; 2.5-cup small bowl

Breville Sous Chef 12-Cup Food Processor

Best juicer-combo food processor

1200

8.5 x 15.5 x 16.5

12-cup bowl 

Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup Food Processor

Best versatile food processor

550

11.25 x 21.75 x 17.5 

13-cup large bowl; 4.5-cup small bowl

Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Processor

Best mini food processor

250 

9.25 x 7 x 5 

3-cup bowl

Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Snack & Snap Food Processor

Best budget food processor

450

16.25 x 9.55 x 8.76

12-cup bowl

KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Food Chopper

Best chopping food processor

240 

5.6 x 7 x 8.7 

3.5-cup bowl

Ninja Professional Plus Kitchen System with Auto-iQ

Best combo food processor

1400 

7.38 x 9.63 x 18 

72 oz. pitcher; 64 oz. bowl; two 24 oz. single-serve cups

FAQ

What is a food processor?

A food processor is a type of kitchen appliance that can break food down in several ways. It automates food preparation with popular functions that can include chopping, shredding, blending, and emulsifying -- depending on the model you choose.

How much does a food processor cost?

The cost of a food processor can vary significantly, depending on the model you choose. The best 2021 food processors range in price from around $40 to about $400, but you may be able to find models that are cheaper or more expensive.

Which model is the best food processor of 2021?

Our picks for 2021's best food processor are among the industry's best, so they are a great place to start when you begin shopping for your new processor. However, the best food processor for you will ultimately depend on a number of factors, such as features, budget, and warranty. 

Are there alternatives worth considering?

These are some of the other popular models that we considered: 

  1. Black+Decker 8-Cup Food Processor: A solid, affordable model

  2. Braun 12-Cup Food Processor: Recommended for its attachment features

  3. Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor: Good for families

  4. GE 12-Cup Food Processor: Best user-friendly model

  5. KitchenAid Cordless 5-Cup Food Chopper: Best cordless model

Shopping for more kitchen products? Take a moment to check out 2021's best blenders and our gift guide for home cooks!