A food processor is like a third arm in the kitchen: It can significantly cut down the time it takes to slice, dice and chop foods — making it easier to include nutritious ingredients and whiz up time-intensive recipes.
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Most home cooks could benefit from a time-saving gadget. According to a November 2019 survey from the online cooking school Rouxbe, lack of time is the number one barrier Americans cite when asked, "What's keeping you from cooking at home more often?"
Perhaps it's a food processor that'll make home cooking convenient enough for you to squeeze it into your schedule.
"A food processor can chop anything quickly and make dips and sauces in a pinch," Laura Burak, RD, tells LIVESTRONG.com.
"While a blender's main purpose is to make a blended mixture, like a smoothie recipe, a food processor is best for chopping and maintaining a certain texture. Both can be used for creating creamy, consistent textures but typically a food processor is ideal to quickly chop ingredients due to its blade and container size."
Burak says she turns to the countertop appliance to chop opinions tear-free and to mince garlic without making her hands "stink for days."
With the dexterity of a food processor, your kitchen creations can come together fast, and you'll be able to spend more time enjoying the fruits of your labor. Depending on your needs — like if you tend to cook for a group or only have a small amount of counter space to spare — one of the food processors below is bound to make a difference in your culinary life.
Check out this list of best food processor brands, according to Burak and Amazon reviews, and soon enough you'll be on your way to speedy chef status.
1. The Best Food Processor for Small Kitchens and Needs
For the cost of a fancy entree, you can invest in this powerful yet quiet chopper (and a 3-year warranty). Unlike plastic or glass units, this 5-cup model comes with a stainless steel bowl that's scratch- and break-proof as well as dishwasher-safe.
The pulsing button makes it easier to reach your desired consistency and a clear bowl lid prevents any splatters from flying around your kitchen.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $34.99
2. The Best Food Processor for Big Families
Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor
On the flip side, this gourmet kitchen-worthy food processor can chop about three times as much as the LINKChef above, making it ideal for big-batch recipes and large families.
The bowl and blade are both BPA-free and dishwasher-friendly. The additional slicing disc is great for things like kneading dough and whizzing up homemade hummus. Even after more than 5 minutes of consecutive use, the strong motor won't overheat.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $249.99
3. The Best Food Processor for Advanced Chefs
Breville Sous Chef Peel and Dice Countertop Food Processor
With more room and more functions than any other food processor on this list, this 16-cup appliance boasts all the bells and whistles any serious cook could ask for. Sounding almost too good to be true, the Breville Sous Chef can peel seven full-size potatoes or several beets at once.
For precise dicing, this model has an attachment that triggers a two-step process for perfect cubes. There are also three different feed chutes that you can switch up depending on your ingredient size. And with the most powerful motor out of this bunch, this fancy food processor won't let you down.
Buy it: CrateandBarrel.com; Price: $399.95
4. The Best Food Processor for Baby Food
Nutribullet Baby: The Complete Baby Food Prep System
Save money and trips to the supermarket by swapping store-bought jars for your own, homemade baby food by way of this BPA-free, durable plastic appliance with a stainless steel blade. All parts can be popped in the dishwasher after pureeing green peas, carrots, blueberries and other nutrient-rich picks for your little one.
With a 4-cup blending bowl and multiple storage vessels (including some freezer-friendly ones), you can make a week's worth of nourishment at once.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $59.99
5. The Best Cordless Food Processor
Wireless Electric Small Food Processor and Portable Mini Food Chopper
No electricity? No problem. This cordless 1.3-cup food processor is battery-powered and rechargeable via USB, so you can take it with you on trips for picnic-side fresh salsa. Or, conveniently use this appliance anywhere (in your kitchen or otherwise) without needing to be near an outlet. The BPA-free glass bowl (complete with a handy non-slip rubber bottom) is dishwasher-safe, though the blade needs to be hand-washed.
Worth noting: For best results and to preserve the health of the motor, it's recommended to use this food processor for only 30 seconds at a time.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $28.99
6. The Best Food Processor for Meat
A-KISSEE 8-Cup Electric Food Processor Meat Grinder
Mixing burgers, meatloaf, meatballs and more — or making your own ground meat from a big hunk —is a breeze with this powerful two-speed, four-blade food processor. Its 8-cup capacity means you can definitely handle a pound or two at once. Beyond meat, this machine is a whiz at making nut butters and chopping onions.
While it's not dishwasher-friendly, this food processor is simple to disassemble and wash with soap and water in the sink.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $20.99
7. The Best Food Processor for Chopping Vegetables
Oster Oskar 2-in-1 Salad Prep and Food Processor
If you're more into salads than sirloin, consider this BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, 10-cup food processor. While it's adept at tackling meat, it's wonderful at slicing thin and thick veggies through its top-loading well. It chops both tender and sturdy produce evenly while maintaining texture (so you won't have to worry about mushy veggies).
Use it to make the homemade version of your favorite chopped salad or mix up all the ingredients needed for filling stews and soup.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $52.95
8. The Best Quiet Food Processor
NutriChef Multipurpose 12-Cup Food Processor
Make quick and quiet masterpieces of up to 12 cups of solid ingredients or 9 cups of liquid in this high-powered, low-noise machine. It comes with emulsifying blades, a mashing blade, a kneading blade, a citrus juicer and more, all so you can tailor the tool to the task at hand, such as making cookie dough, transforming almonds into almond butter or making lemonade from lemons.
The bottom of the appliance can suction to the counter for slip-free mixing. Just be sure to wash by hand, as this option is not dishwasher-safe.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $70.29
9. The Best Food Processor-Blender Combo
Ninja Mega Kitchen System Blender/Food Processor with Auto-iQ Base
Can't decide between a blender or a food processor, or don't think you have the room for both? The blender and food processor share one base in the Ninja "Kitchen System," providing various pitchers, bowls and even a few smoothie cups, allowing you to choose your own culinary adventure.
The 8-cup blender is sturdy enough to crush ice into snow for frozen cocktails and the 8-cup food processor bowl mixes and kneads up to 2 pounds of bread dough in about 30 seconds. All parts are BPA-free and dishwasher-safe.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $209.89