9 best food processors to make prep work a breeze

These versatile gadgets do the hard work for you, from chopping vegetables to making smoothie and soups

Amira Arasteh
Friday 12 March 2021 15:12
<p>With so many options available, be realistic about which attachments you will use regularly</p>

With so many options available, be realistic about which attachments you will use regularly

Whether you’re an aspiring chef or just cooking daily dinners, a food processor is an appliance everyone can find use for in their kitchen. From roughly chopping to thoroughly blitzing, these appliances make everything that little bit easier, speeding up the cooking preparation process.

In the last year, while we’ve waited patiently for our favourite restaurants to once again open their doors, our food processor has never gotten more use.

Read more: 9 best hand blenders for soups, smoothies and sauces

We’ve chopped vegetables far faster than we ever could by hand, blitzed fresh herbs for dips and sauces, and have even used them to knead dough in an attempt to recreate some of our most loved dishes at home.

Now it’s your turn to invest and get the most out of meal times. We rated each machine on the speed and standard of grating, slicing, chopping and more. Each was tested while whipping up both quick lunches and slow-cooked dinners.

As well as aptitude in food prep, we also took into account how easy these food processors were to set up, use and clean, as well as aesthetics, noise levels, value for money and extra thought from the manufacturers. We rated whether the various attachments were a help or hindrance, too.

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KitchenAid 1.7l food processor

Capacity: 1.7l

Power options: 2

Accessories/attachments: Multi-purpose blade, dough blade, slicing discs

This food processor settled into our kitchen all too well. As well as having a beautiful appearance, the machine itself did all kinds of jobs perfectly. It chopped, pureed, mixed and sliced with complete ease and earned top marks for kneading and cake mixing.

As well as being multi-use, this food processor does all of the above really quietly and is unobtrusive in size (although there is a larger model available for bigger kitchens). We barely noticed this new gadget in our kitchen – apart from the fact that it was an indispensable sous chef. We also liked the speed controls offering two levels, as well as the pulse function and its dough blade delivered better and more even results than others we tested.

The only downside to this food processor is, unlike its competitors, it doesn’t offer as many accessories or a blender attachment or a mini chopper – should you be looking for these in the same purchase. But on the grounds of using it as a food processor, it won us over.

Magimix 5200XL premium

Capacity: 3.6l

Power options: 1

Accessories/attachments: Thin and thick grating discs, thin and thick slicing discs, dough blade, stainless steel blade, egg whisk, citrus press

It’s hard to argue with a food processor brand that has been around since 1974 and the power of this Magmix model is undeniable. It’s ideal if you’re cooking for a large family and offers a variety of functions in one single appliance. With a total of 23 different accessories to play around with (including different bowl sizes, graters, slicers and blades), there’s very little you can’t do with this food processor. We were particularly impressed with the speed and quality at which it kneaded dough, taking out so much time and effort from what is usually an arduous process.

As well as its aesthetically pleasing appearance, another win for Magimix is the 30-year motor guarantee and three-year parts guarantee – this food processor will be with you for a long time. We must admit, however, while the size is great and the non-slip feet let it sit nicely on your counter, this device might be a little too big for a smaller kitchen.

Russell Hobbs desire matte black food processor

Capacity: 2.5l

Power options: 2

Accessories/attachments: Stainless steel blade, reversible shredding/grating disc, dough blade, creaming disc, blender

You will absolutely get value for money with this processor. It comes with a 2.5l capacity bowl and five chopping, slicing and dough attachments, making it yet another excellent food processor to consider. The patent black colour offers a premium feel to the product, and its two-speed setting means you can chop at your chosen pace and pulse in between, if you wish. Another thing worth noting is the sticky feet, which help to keep the appliance stable on the worktop.

The motor is a little noisy – but not as much as the Go Create (£39.99, Argos.com) – and there is a clear difference in dough quality when kneading compared with more sophisticated models. However, this gadget is proving to be a popular purchase online, with most retailers selling out and having overall positive customer reviews, so it could be one to snap up quickly.

Philips viva collection compact food processor

Capacity: 2.1l

Power options: 2

Accessories/attachments: S-blade, reversible shredding/grating discs, citrus press, kneading tool, emulsifying tool, blending jug

Offering eight attachments, a separate blender and a mini chopper, this food processor from Philips is well worth the money. A good all-round machine, it’s easy to use and does a lot for an appliance of its size and price. It chopped vegetables swiftly and with minimal noise, and the smaller chopper was great for grinding nuts, giving the pestle and mortar the day off.

Although it does include whisking and dough blade attachments, these functions weren’t as smooth sailing as they were with other food processor models, leading us to believe that it’s worth investing a little more if those tasks are your priorities. It’s one of the lower-priced models on the market to include a citrus presser though, if juicing is a key factor in your purchasing. The speed was controllable and the pulse function was strong, and we found these tend to be the more everyday tasks.

Ninja 3-in-1 food processor with auto-iQ

Capacity: 1.8l

Power options: 3

Accessories/attachments: Chopping blade, dough blade, disc adapter, reversible slicing/grating disc, cup, pro-extractor blades

An OG when it comes to kitchen appliances, we had a lot of faith in the Ninja 3-in-1 food processor. It claims you can create anything in this machine – “from dips to drinks, doughs to desserts” – and the brand has definitely got that right. Offering itself up as a food processor, multi-serve blender and personal blender is a massive perk and we loved the automatic one-touch for blending and processing as these programmes really took time out of our food prep tasks.

The Auto-iQ technology (exclusive to Ninja) makes this product truly unique and we love that it allows you to tailor a program, giving you the result you want when food prepping, at the touch of a button. You can still take control with manual settings, but the Auto-iQ takes care of pulsing, pausing, blending and other process patterns in one move, adding to the stress-free nature of this gadget. Our only complaint would be the noise and size, so it’s perhaps not one for a cramped flat.

Russell Hobbs go create food processor

Capacity: 1.3l

Power options: 1

Accessories/attachments: Stainless steel blade, stainless steel slicing and shredding disc

If you’re looking to slice, dice and grate at an affordable price then this is the perfect food processor for you. We found this easy to use, and it’s a great basic model to try out on a budget. Simple to assemble and clean, this food processor is excellent for little jobs such as chopping vegetables or blitzing breadcrumbs. It’s quite noisy for such a small machine but it does the job and though it’s a little on the smaller side, if you’re cooking for one or not that often it should be just right.

Kenwood multi sense compact plus food processor

Capacity: 2.1l

Power options: 2

Accessories/attachments: Reversible slicing and grating discs, dual metal whisk, dough tool, knife blade, chopping bowl, blender, spatula

This food processor immediately caught our eye because of its in-built scales. If you’re on the hunt for a food processor, the chances are the tools for measuring are absent from your kitchen too. The digital scales offer both metric and imperial units, and make the food prep process that little bit more seamless.

In terms of the food processor itself, it wasn’t the easiest thing to get working, but once we did, it did the job very well. There’s five functions on offer and we particularly enjoyed using the three variations of grating discs before whipping up some delicious dips that were completely smooth in texture after a quick blitz.

Tefal double force pro

Capacity: 3l

Power options: 2

Accessories/attachments:Stainless steel blade, emulsifying disc, spatula, fine and coarse grating discs, kneader, blender jar, chopper

Though this one is slightly bigger in size it still looks neat in the kitchen, and it comes with a detachable food processor and blender bowls, making it a 2-in-1 appliance. Again there’s a multitude of functions, including reversible discs for shredding both thinly and coarsely, and we really liked how it chopped and blended fruit for a smoothie, but it is a little noisy.

It took a few attempts to get the positioning of the food processor bowl correct in order for it to work but, once it did, it blitzed and blended with no problems. And we found the mini chopper attachment to be particularly useful for creating dips with garlic – although, as it slots in upside down, we’d recommend avoiding adding any juice until afterwards.

A handy guide on the stand is included and offers advice on whether to pulse or process at the higher or lower speeds, which was really helpful. The sticky feet felt more secure than other models, too – you never know how excited these appliances will get.

Cuisinart FP8U easy prep pro food processor

Capacity: 1.9l

Power options: 2

Accessories/attachments: Small bowl, large bowl, small chopping blade, large chopping blade, fine slicing/grating disc, medium slicing/grating disc

Often standing in the shadow of the brand’s expert prep pro, this model is targeted at someone who needs a little helping hand in the kitchen. If you’re unsure how much you’re going to use a food processor, then this will be ideal as we found it was best for the more everyday tasks of chopping vegetables or creating dips and sauces.

It’s more user-friendly in size, coming in at just under 2l capacity, but still powerful. Yet because of its smaller stature, it doesn’t have as many accessories as its competitors – no whisk or dough blade, for example – but it all depends on what you want from your food processor.

Bosch multitalent 8 1200W

Capacity: 3.9l

Power options: 4 marks on the dial

Accessories/attachments: Reversible slicing disc, reversible grating disc, French fries disc, stainless steel discs, disc holder, dough tool, whisking disc, whisk, citrus press

What immediately impressed us about the Bosch MultiTalent 8 food processor was its powerful 1200W output, meaning the standard of chopping and blitzing was very high. A brilliant piece of kit, this food processor includes six attachments so you can slice, dice, knead and more with no trouble at all. We particularly liked the citrus press attachment – not one that every food processor includes – and the suction feet for stability. We did find there was a bit of trouble mincing meat; however, this was ironed out with a few more attempts and varying the speed settings each time.

The verdict: Food processors

We said at the beginning that KitchenAid’s 1.7l food processor fit so well into our kitchen and it’s true. We won’t lie, its aesthetic definitely caught our attention, but it’s the ability to chop, blitz, puree and knead, among other things, that kept this a long-term love affair. The extra features are enough to aid with food prep and time management in the kitchen, as well as being a neat and tidy appliance.

The Magimix 5200XL premium is a fantastic machine, albeit a little bulky, but perfect for those with a bigger kitchen – and a bigger budget.

You can save even more time in the kitchen by investing in of these pressure cookers which will cook dishes in record time

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