We’ll give you a moment to process this, but we have some news for those that love to cook but hate to chop, dice and slice.
A food processor will be your new best friend.
Okay, so this may not be groundbreaking news, but after chatting with cooking experts from Sur La Table and Cuisinart, they convinced us that a home kitchen isn’t complete without one.
The compact, time-saving device may not be on everyone’s radar, since a blender can also churn out some good chops. However, according to our experts and our own experience in the kitchen, making certain recipes is made just that much easier with a food processor to get the job done.
The device doesn’t have to be bulky or expensive either, contrary to some past thinking. They have now come a long way and can be budget-friendly, easy to use and even easier to buy online at your favorite retailers like Target, Sur La Table, and heck, even Amazon.
Read on for the best expert-recommend and top-reviewed food processors of 2023, and then some more cooking tips and tricks from Sur La Table’s culinary director Meredith Abbott and senior director of marketing at Cuisinart, Inna Doliner.
The best food processors to buy in 2023
When looking to shop for a new food processor, not only did our experts hand pick some of their favorites, but also gave this advice to consider while reading the below.
“Definitely size and capacity are key and depend on what you’re planning to prepare and how much space you have in the kitchen,” said Doliner. “Features and functionality are also very important as there are many different blades and discs available, some that perform more basic tasks such as chopping, slicing and shredding, and some that offer more advanced options such as julienne, dicing, and grating.”
Happy shopping and soon, happy cooking as well.
1. Best compact food processor: Cuisinart 3-Cup Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor, $40, original price: $75
This was Abbott’s pick, and we couldn’t agree more, as someone with a love for cooking but minimal counter-space would love this choice. This model can hold up to three cups and has both a chopping and a grinding function.
2. Best food processors for beginners: Cuisinart Core Custom 10-Cup Food Processor, $180
Recommend by Doliner, this easy-to-use food processor is a great bet for beginners, since it only has a few buttons for low, high and pulse, plus a larger 10-cup capacity.
3. Best (less expensive) food processors for beginners: KitchenAid 9-Cup Food Processor, $135, original price: $150
Another Abbott pick, this KitchenAid mixer is a great idea for those that are new to food processors but still want all the attachments and functions — this one comes with a nine-cup bowl, blade, shredding disc, whisk, dough blade and a lid for the bowl when you need to refrigerate.
4. Best food processor for a home chef: The Breville Sous Chef 12, $300
Need a sous chef for your fancy at-home cooking? Abbott recommend this one to step in. The Breville brand food processor has a 12-cup capacity, making it one of the larger ones on the list. It also comes with an adjustable slicer that has 24 settings, as well as a micro-serrated S-blade, reversible shredder and a dough blade.
5. Best investment food processor: Breville Sous Chef Peel & Dice Food Processor, $550, original price: $750
If you’re feeling spendy, or have a high-speed need for an amazing food processor, our experts recommend another Breville pick. The Sous Chef Peel & Dice comes with even more accessories, including two bowls (16-cup and 2.5-cup), an extra-wide chute for pouring ingredients, an adjustable slicing disc with 24 settings, a peeling disc, dicing disc and even a storage box for all the attachments.
What is a food processor and how does it differ from a blender?
“As a NYT food critic once said: ‘It’s the greatest food invention since toothpick’,” said Doliner, and we couldn’t agree more.
If it was up to us, we would have an endlessly large kitchen with all the appliances out there. However, that isn’t the case for many and so some may not yet have a food processor or even a blender on their countertops. For those that like to cook, this may need to change right now.
“A food processor is a small appliance that can chop, slice, grate, puree, whip, and shred foods. Some also have the ability and attachments to knead dough. It is a great time saving machine,” said Abbott.
Pretty straight-forward, right? Unlike a blender that just liquifies or makes smoothies, a food processor is really best for the rest of your dry ingredients, gentle folding, mixing, chopping and more.
What recipes can I make using a food processor?
The options are really endless when you have a food processor to use in the kitchen. While many use it just for chopping veggies or grinding grains for baking, our cooking experts share what else they use it for when it comes to both cooking and baking.
“I like to use mine when making pureed foods that I want to control the texture like hummus or salsa. I also use mine often when baking to make cookie crumbs for a pressed pie crust or a silky-smooth cheesecake batter,” said Abbott.
Doliner also enjoys a diced salad and a sauce, but also mentioned the benefit of being able to create an entire dish from just a food processor.
“I love making pies for the holidays and fruit tarts in the summer and fall. It takes just seconds to make pastry dough or pie crust in the food processor. I can then slice apples or pears using a slicing disc and then also make a frangipane filling for a beautiful frangipane pear tart as an example,” she said.
Other options from our experts include diced salads, meatballs and tomato sauce, compound butter, cookies, salsa and more. Don’t have a KitchenAid bread mixer? You can also mix up dough in a food processor — who knew?
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