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10 best food processors that make life easier in the kitchen

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

Amira Arasteh
Tuesday 24 August 2021 10:04
<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 gadgets make everything that little bit easier, speeding up the cooking preparation process.

In the last year, our food processor has never gotten more use. 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 best-loved dishes at home.

How we test

We reviewed food processors from market leaders including KitchenAid, Ninja and Magimix and 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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The best food processors for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – KitchenAid 1.7l food processor: £119, Kitchenaid.co.uk
  • Best for large families – Magimix 5200XL premium: £454, Ao.com
  • Best cheap food processor – Russell Hobbs desire matte black food processor: £54.99, Currys.co.uk
  • Best for juicing – Philips viva collection compact food processor: £89.99, Philips.co.uk
  • Best multipurpose food processor – Ninja 3-in-1 food processor with auto-iQ: £149, Johnlewis.com
  • Best mini food processor – Russell Hobbs go create food processor: £39.99, Argos.co.uk
  • Best built-in scales – Kenwood multi sense compact plus food processor: £79.99, Costco.co.uk
  • Best large food processor – Tefal double force pro: £109.99, Robertdyas.co.uk
  • Best for everyday use – Cuisinart FP8U easy prep pro food processor: £112.49, Go-electrical.co.uk
  • Best power output – Bosch multitalent 8 1200W: £149, Amazon.co.uk

KitchenAid 1.7l food processor

Best: Overall

  • Dimensions: 390mm x 246mm x 195mm
  • Capacity: 1.7l
  • Power options: 2
  • Pulse function? Yes
  • Non-slip feet? Yes
  • 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.

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 for slicing, grating, chopping and blitzing, it won us over. It also has a dough blade, which delivered better and more even results than others we tested.

Magimix 5200XL premium

Best: For large families

  • Dimensions: 445mm x 210mm x 260mm
  • Capacity: 3.6l
  • Power options: 1
  • Pulse function? Yes
  • Non-slip feet? Yes
  • Accessories/attachments: Thin and thick grating discs, thin and thick slicing discs, dough blade, stainless steel blade, egg whisk, citrus press

Who can argue with a food processor brand that has been around since 1974? Magmix first hit UK shelves as the prosumer line from Robot Coupe, whose appliances were produced by French catering company salesman Pierre Verdun in 1960.

Ideal if you’re cooking for a large family, this model 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. Slice, grate, chop, whisk, blend, juice and cut with absolute ease, and you can even knead dough. We were particularly impressed with the speed and quality at which the Magimix food processor 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 if you’re getting a big family dinner on or entertaining guests, this device might be a little large for a smaller kitchen. We also had some trouble getting the lid to lock in, so this would take practice.

Russell Hobbs desire

Best: Cheap food processor

  • Dimensions: 404mm x 247mm x 247mm
  • Capacity: 2.5l
  • Power options: 2
  • Pulse function? Yes
  • Non-slip feet? Yes
  • Accessories/attachments:Stainless steel blade, reversible shredding/grating disc, dough blade, creaming disc, blender

With a 2.5l capacity bowl and five chopping, slicing and dough attachments, this is another excellent food processor to consider. Very fair in price, it offers the maximum amount for a budget.

The patent black colour offers a premium feel to the product, making it a nice addition to any kitchen. Its accessories are all perfectly adequate and the 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 so as the brand’s go create model (£39.99, Argos.co.uk) – and there is a clear difference in dough quality when kneading compared with more sophisticated gadgets. However, there’s a clear difference in price, too. This processor 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

Best: For juicing

  • Dimensions: 377mm x 244mm x 244mm
  • Capacity: 2.1l
  • Power options: 2
  • Pulse function? Yes
  • Non-slip feet: Yes
  • 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 great value for 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. This leads 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 these tend to be the more everyday tasks.

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

Best: Multipurpose food processor

  • Dimensions: 445mm x 190 mm x 250mm
  • Capacity: 1.8l
  • Power options: 3
  • Pulse function? Yes
  • Non-slip feet? Yes 
  • 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 claimes that you can create anything in this machine – “from dips to drinks, doughs to desserts” – and the brand has definitely got that right.

The perk to this particular appliance is its 3-in-1 USP, offering itself up as a food processor, multi-serve blender and personal blender. We loved the automatic one-touch for blending and processing as these programmes really took time out of our food prep tasks.

Another unique feature is the Auto-iQ technology. Exclusive to Ninja, it allows you to tailor a program, giving you the result you want when food prepping, at the touch of a button. Although you can also control the appliance with manual settings, 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. It’s definitely something to consider purchasing if you like the highest quality technology for your appliances.

The downsides to this machine were not in its aptitude as a food processor or blender but simply that it was very noisy when in use and it’s another bulky machine, which could be a problem if you have a smaller kitchen or countertop. It’s also currently out of stock but you can sign up to receive an email for when it’s back.

Russell Hobbs go create

Best: Mini food processor

  • Dimensions: 380mm x 180mm x 240mm
  • Capacity: 1.3l
  • Power options: 1
  • Pulse function? Yes
  • Non-slip feet? Yes
  • Accessories/attachments: Stainless steel blade, stainless steel slicing and shredding disc

The perfect food processor if you’re looking to slice, dice and grate at an affordable price. 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.

Another downside to this product is that its capacity is limited to 1.3l; however, this could be just what you need, particularly if you’re cooking for one and not often. Since it’s not bulky at all, it could be a great food processor for your first time away from home if you want to experiment with recipes.

Kenwood multi sense compact plus

Best: Built-in scales

  • Dimensions: 365mm x 200mm x 230mm
  • Capacity: 2.1l
  • Power options: 2
  • Pulse function? Yes
  • Non-slip feet? Yes
  • Accessories/attachments: Reversible slicing and grating discs, dual metal whisk, dough tool, knife blade, chopping bowl, blender, spatula

This food processor 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: we had quite a bit of trouble getting everything to click and lock in place. For a while it was looking like the world’s most expensive kitchen scales but eventually, we got there and once we did, it did the job very well.

With five functions on offer, we particularly enjoyed using the three variations of grating discs and whipping up some delicious dips that were completely smooth in texture after a quick blitz. This is currently out of stock right now, but we’ll be adding it to our wishlist for when its back.

Tefal double force pro

Best: Large food processor

  • Dimensions: 400mm x 320mm x 280mm
  • Capacity: 3l
  • Power options: 2
  • Pulse function? Yes
  • Non-slip feet? Yes
  • Accessories/attachments: Stainless steel blade, emulsifying disc, spatula, fine and coarse grating discs, kneader, blender jar, chopper

Slightly bigger in size but still looking neat in the kitchen, this one does come with a detachable food processor and blender bowls, making it a 2-in-1 appliance. There’s also a reversible discs for shredding both thinly and coarsely and while it is a little noisy, we really liked how it chopped and blended fruit for a smoothie. It did take 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.

The mini chopper attachment was particularly useful for creating dips with garlic – although, as it slots in upside down, we’d recommend avoiding adding any juice until afterwards. The guide on the stand 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 1.9l easy prep pro

Best: For everyday use

  • Dimensions: 375mm x 190mm x 240mm
  • Capacity: 1.9l
  • Power options: 2
  • Pulse function? Yes
  • Non-slip feet? Yes
  • Accessories/attachments: Small bowl, large bowl, small chopping blade, large chopping blade, fine slicing/grating disc, medium slicing/grating disc

If you’re unsure of how much you’re going to use your food processor, this is a great place to start. Often standing in the shadow of the brand’s expert prep pro (£250, Go-electrical.co.uk), this model is more of an entry-level product, as well as being more user-friendly in size. Targeted at someone who needs a little helping hand in the kitchen, it is all you need for the more everyday tasks of chopping vegetables or creating dips and sauces.

However, because of this, it doesn’t have as many accessories as its competitors – no whisk or dough blade, for example. But, it all depends on whether you feel that’s what you’d need from your food processor.

Overall the Cuisinart easy prep pro is simple to use, is compact in size for smaller kitchens, and still offers a decent capacity (just under 2l). It chopped and blitzed spinach and other fresh herbs with few issues.

Bosch multitalent 8 1200W

Best: Power output

  • Dimensions: 430mm x 250mm x 300mm
  • Capacity: 3.9l
  • Power options: 4 marks on the dial
  • Pulse function? Yes
  • Non-slip feet? Yes
  • 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.

Another bulky item, it isn’t one we’d recommend for smaller kitchens and the design is more functional than aesthetically pleasing, compared with some of its competitors. Despite this small hiccup, 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.

Food processor FAQs

What’s the difference between a food processor and a blender?

While these appliances look similar – motorised bases with a number of power settings, clear bodies, rotating blades – they do differ in purpose. A food processor is a versatile electric machine that allows you to prepare a range of food in different ways; from chopping or cutting to mixing dough, it can get multiple cooking jobs done. This type of machine is best suited for food that will end up mostly solid, while a blender is best suited for blending solid ingredients into a liquid.

What size food processor do I need?

The bowl size of the food processors we tested range from 1.3l to 3.9l – as a rule, the bigger the machine, the more features they have. For most households, a food processor with a 2l capacity is more than enough to let you do all the basic tasks you need to complete.

What can a food processor do?

A food processor can be used for a range of kitchen tasks, including chopping onions, shredding herbs, grinding spices and nuts. But, it can also be useful when for a variety of recipes, such as cake batter, making dough or blending cauliflower into rice. The capabilities of a food processor will also vary depending on the different accessories and attachments your food processor comes with.

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. Its aesthetic definitely caught our attention, but it was the machines ability to chop, blitz, puree and knead, among other things, that kept this a long-term love affair.

For those with a bigger kitchen, and a bigger budget, the Magimix 5200XL premium is also a fantastic machine.

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IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.