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7 Best Food Processors Chefs Have in Their Own Kitchens

These little machines can give you a whole lot of help when cooking.

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It's tough to think of a kitchen device that works harder than the food processor. Depending on the model and attachments you buy, these little machines can blend, dice, puree, grind, and knead, assisting with recipes for things like sauces, dips, smoothies, marinades, dressings, soups, doughs, and more. Really, it's better to ask the question: What can't a food processor do? However, these devices have a reputation for being pricey—which is why you often see them on registries and Christmas wishlists. But you don't need to break the bank to purchase the best food processor.

Ahead, we asked chefs, nutritionists, and other kitchen pros for their favorite food processors for every budget. Whether you're looking to spend less than $75 or money isn't a concern for you, there's a food processing machine that will make your life easier.

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Cuisinart FP-12DCN Elite Collection 2.0 12-Cup Food Processor

Cuisinart food processor

This 12-cup food processor also has a four-cup bowl for smaller assignments.

"I've had my Cuisinart for about 20 years and love the versatility of having the two bowl sizes and multiple discs and blades for different preparations," says Amy Locati, CFNC, nutrition coach and recipe developer. "I use it mostly to make nut butter, pesto sauce, soup, pie crust, and protein balls—it's a workhorse and well worth the investment to make all these foods from scratch."

The $300 processor (on major sale for $115 at the time of publication) has large and small mixing blades, a dough blade, a shredding disc, and a slicing disc. It's BPA-free and has a 10-year motor warranty.

Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor

Hamilton Beach Food Processor

At $55, this is one of the most affordable food processors on the market and has the seal of approval from many of the pros we polled.

"I ask all of my clients to buy it—it's a real workhorse," says Lyn-Genet Recitas, nutrition expert, restaurant owner, and author of The Plan. "You can chop a week's worth of vegetables in under 10 minutes."

It includes a disc for slicing and shredding and a blade for chopping, mixing, and pureeing. It's also more compact than many food processors, making it a solid pick for anyone with limited kitchen space.

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Breville Sous Chef Pro 16-Cup Food Processor

Breville Food Processor

A 16-cup food processor is for the home chef who's always whipping up big batches of food. Though at $500, it's definitely a splurge.

"It does everything you could imagine, and the customer service is insane—my husband dropped the cup and broke it, called to order a replacement, and they sent one for free," says Recitas, who also used this machine at her restaurant, Lyn-Genet's Kitchen. "I hate spending money on expensive things that aren't needed, but I do love to entertain quite a bit, and I love the Breville because I like to make sauces and such."

The stainless steel machine comes with five discs and three blades, with a 5.5-inch feed chute and two processing bowls.

Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen System

Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen System

Consider this $200 appliance your jack-of-all-trades kitchen addition. It has a pitcher for making drinks with crushed ice, a food processor bowl, two smoothie cups with to-go lids, a regular blade, a dough blade, a chopping blade, and a recipe inspiration card.

"It's perfect if you don't have the space for all the different appliances," says Kelsey Patterson, food blogger for Sigsbee Street. "The small food processor is great for sauces, and the large blender size works great for almost everything else."

As long as you have space for all the pieces, its versatility is hard to beat.

Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor 4 Cup

Cuisinart Mini Food Processor

If you're typically cooking for smaller groups, a four-cup food processor should do the trick—and take up minimal counter space. Christina Gutiérrez-Williams, senior director of culinary R&D at Daily Harvest, says she's loyal to Cuisinart.

"This is my everyday food processor—mostly used for quick and easy tasks that I want a little bit of a boost with, like finely chopping carrots, celery, and onions for a sofrito, making a chunky salsa, or even a pesto or chimichurri," she says. "It's perfect for everyday little things because cleanup is a breeze because its parts are dishwasher-safe."

There's just one blade and bowl, with a spatula and recipe book—and it's just $50.

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KitchenAid Food Processor, 7 Cup

KitchenAid Food Processor

KitchenAid, the brand behind the beloved stand mixer, offers a food processor in several sizes with several attachments. Dan Gallagher, ISSA-certified nutritionist of Aegle Nutrition, says it's his go-to brand.

"If you have more money to spend on a food processor, it just means you can spring for a larger one," he says. "I've had a few different brands over the years, and Kitchen-Aid has held up the best and been the easiest for me to use—it's also known for producing long-lasting kitchen appliances, so your food processor should last for years to come."

This $100 one is great for the everyday home chef: It comes with one work bowl, one blade, and one slicing and shredding disc.

Ninja BN601 9-Cup Professional Plus Food Processor

Ninja Food Processor

At an affordable $120, this 9-cup food processor is one of Ninja's more traditional models—without all the bells and whistles of the Mega Kitchen System.

"It can be used for shredding, chopping, and slicing, and it has a dull plastic blade for dough," says Kevin Ashton, chef and culinary advisor at Restaurantji. "The three speed settings let you choose from slow speed for kneading, medium speed for coarse chopping, and high speed for fine mincing."

Each piece is BPA-free and dishwasher-safe. Plus, there's a recipe book included in the box!

Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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