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Best food processor 2021: Chop, blitz and puree with ease

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Looking to chop your veggies in a flash? This is our pick of the best food processors you can buy

The best food processor should be three things: affordable, robust and, most importantly, superb at chopping and slicing. Some might argue that food processors aren’t really a necessity, but once you start using one, it’s unlikely you’ll ever go back.

They’re a popular choice for those who cook or bake often, and it's a hard tool to live without if you cook meals that require a lot of prep work, such as bolognese and soup. In fact, it makes preparing fresh ingredients and whizzing up dips so easy that you'll never want to be without one again.

If you cook large meals or batch-cook dishes, the best food processor will always be quicker than human hands, even if you're a one-person cordon bleu production line. Whether you’re dicing vegetables, blending soups or grating cheese, a good food processor should require minimal washing up, while saving valuable preparation time in the kitchen.

We've written a helpful guide to choosing a reliable food processor and picked out some of the best food processors that are well worth the worktop space.

READ NEXT: Our must-have blenders and smoothie makers

How to choose the best food processor for you

How much should I spend?

Food processors from big brands start at around £70 but, as with many products, you usually get what you pay for. Spend up to £100 and you can expect a substantial improvement in power and a more refined design.

Spend £200 or more, however, and you can get a high-power processor with a variety of accessories and multiple bowls/jugs in different sizes, or a space-saving footprint that leaves more of your kitchen surface free for other duties.

What size should I buy?

It depends on how much room you have in your kitchen. A bigger processor will whisk a larger volume of food without needing to be emptied if you’re cooking a lot, but if you’re limited for space you’ll want to avoid anything above two litres.

A three-cup (1.8-litre) machine is big enough for most uses and, if you’re a big pie fan, this size will handle enough pastry or pie dough for one to two pies without a problem.

Do I need a processor with variable speeds?

Most food processors worth their salt should provide variable speeds and a “pulse” button that gives ingredients a quick whizz.

You might wonder why this is important, but a variable speed setting is crucial, depending on what foods you want to whisk and how you want to prepare them.

A pulse setting, for example, is ideal for not overdoing it when you want to coarsely chop nuts or lightly beat eggs. Generally, the more speed settings a processor has, the better.

What other features should I look for?

It’s worth checking that the bowls are dishwasher-safe, as this can reduce the mountain of dishes growing in your kitchen sink and save precious time.

Food processors also typically come with a set of puréeing blades and reversible slicing and grating discs. Some of the latest models even have an adjustable slicing blade so you can change the thickness of slices at the push of a button.

Do I need a food processor with a powerful motor?

The wattage represents how powerful the motor is, but don’t automatically assume that more watts are better – a well-thought-out design makes a big difference.

For example, if you want to be able to crush ice for frozen drinks and smoothies, look for a model with a blender attachment that says it’s powerful enough for ice. A good attachment makes all the difference.

READ NEXT: Our pick of the best spiralisers

The best food processors to buy

1. Kenwood FDM312SS Multipro Compact+: Best all-in-one affordable food processor

Price: £165 | Buy now from Argos

Kenwood is well known for its innovative kitchen appliances, and its latest food processor doesn’t disappoint in this area. Not only is it a standard processor, but it also has integrated weighing, so you can weigh directly into the bowl as you prep, or use the base as an independent set of scales. What’s more, the FDM312SS model comes with an army of extras. Alongside the 2.1-litre processor bowl, you also get two “on-the-go” blender bottles, a small glass mill attachment for grinding herbs and spices, and a separate blender jug. Despite all these extras, the processor is still impressively affordable at under £200.

There isn’t a swish digital touchscreen and it’s not the slickest appliance you’ll ever buy, but what’s most important is that it’s highly functional. This processor had no trouble getting through most fruits and veggies, but you may need to cut up hardier items such as squash and pumpkin into reasonable-sized pieces first. The scales are accurate, the mill produced relatively even pieces of ground black pepper from whole peppercorns and the blender had no trouble whipping up a smoothie in little more than a minute.

Key specs – Capacity: 2.1 litres; Power: 800W

2. Cuisinart Mini Prep Pro: The best small food processor

Price: £50 | Buy now from Argos

For small jobs or compact kitchens, this food processor from Cuisinart is a good buy. It weighs 1.26kg and is less than 23cm high so it doesn’t take up much space on crowded worktops and is easy to store.

The pint-sized product features a 900ml bowl and a stainless steel blade with a reversible action for thorough chopping and grinding. All the parts are dishwasher safe and it comes with a spatula for spooning out your mixtures. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles that some of the other food processors on this list possess, but it’s great for fuss-free functionality if space is at a premium.

Key specs – Capacity: 0.9 litres; Power: 250W

3. Ninja 3-in-1 food processor BN800UK with Auto-IQ: The best food processor for everyday use

Price: £130 | Buy now from Argos

The Ninja 3-in-1 food processor makes quick work of both big and simple chopping tasks due to its powerful 1,200W motor and super-sharp blades. It comes with three interchangeable bowls: a 1.8-litre food processor bowl, a 2.1-litre blending jug and a 700ml personal blending cup. There’s also a dual-sided blade for slicing and grating in the box, as well as a dough blade and a spout lid for drinking smoothies on the go.

Alongside manual buttons for high, medium and low chopping, there are also a number of automatic Auto-IQ settings for blending, chopping, pureeing and mixing. In testing, the Ninja excelled in almost every area, leaving us with impressively uniform slices of pepper, carrot, cabbage and more. It also produced the smoothest results we’ve ever seen in a blending attachment, even when blitzing fibrous vegetables. Unfortunately, it’s not designed for prolonged kneading but it’s still one of the best premium food processors we’ve tested and worth every penny.

Read our full Ninja 3-in-1 Food Processor review.

Key specsCapacity: 1.8 litres (food processor), 2.1 litres (large blending jug), 700ml (personal blending cup); Power: 1,200W

4. Kenwood FDP301WH Multipro Compact: The best budget food processor

Price: £80 | Buy now from Argos

Ideal for food processor newbies, the MultiPro Compact is small but perfectly formed. Rather than oodles of unnecessary attachments, it comes with a good set of dishwasher-safe basics – a decent-sized bowl and blender jug, knife blade and reversible slicing and shredding disc – that will get the job done.

This means all your chopping, grating, whisking and mixing can be accomplished in seconds using its fast or slow speeds or pulse.

Non-slip feet make it sturdy on the worktop during use, while it’s also compact enough to be stored easily in a cupboard. It’s a smart option for smaller kitchens, yet large and powerful enough that the performance won’t disappoint. It’s also available in silver.

Key specs – Capacity: 2.1 litres (food processor), 1.2 litres (blender); Power: 800W

5. KitchenAid Classic: The best mid-price food processor

Price: £190 | Buy now from Amazon

This retro-style food processor looks gorgeous and boasts premium features, which we love. Most striking is the ExactSlice system, which makes it easy to adjust the thickness of slices externally. A seven-position sliding switch on the front of the machine lets you set the thickness.

The feed tube is extra wide, too. You can throw in whole vegetables and fruits. Hell, you can throw them in sideways and they’ll still fit down it. A reversible shredding disc offers small and large grating, while a multipurpose blade takes care of mixing, blending and dough duties. Its motor power isn't as beefy as some of the others on this list, which might put some people off, but if you love KitchenAid’s classic style, this still might be the one for you.

Key specs – Capacity: 3.1 litres; Power: 380W

6. Tefal Double Force Pro DO824H: The best feature-packed food processor

Price: £140 | Buy now from Argos

Not one but two motor outputs give the Double Force Pro its dynamic name and turn it more effectively into either a food processor or standard blender. This is because each outlet works a little differently, with the orange one maximised for speed and the purple one dedicated to power.

It’s been designed to be as easy as possible to use, too, with the processor bowl locking in from either left or right, and the blender and mini chopper bowl dropping straight on the base.

The processor offers two speeds – plus a pulse mode – that adjust for each attachment, creating six pre-programmed modes. It’s just as plentiful on the kit front and has a storage box to house the majority of the dishwasher-safe attachments. These include a chopping blade, dough tool, whisk, three discs and a citrus juicer. Where it could do better is in the user instructions, which are brief: this means it’s a much better option for a confident cook rather than a first food processor purchase.

Key specs – Capacity: 3 litres (food processor), 2 litres (blender); Power: 1,000W

7. Sage Kitchen Wizz Pro 3.7L: The best food processor for foodies

Price: £420 | Buy now from Argos

You can always rely on kitchen electricals from Sage to do something a bit different; something that makes them stand out if you’re a keen cook. This is no different. It comes with all mod cons and a storage box for attachments. But what really sets it out from the crowd is its “why didn't I think of that?” adjustable slicing blade.

You can cut thicknesses ranging from 0.3mm to 8mm so it can take the place of a mandolin. Plus the width of the feed chute is 14cm, which is wide enough to throw a potato in whole – ideal for making chunky chips. And instead of a two-blade attachment for soups and purees, it comes with a quad blade that blitzes things even faster. A final clever detail is an LCD display that shows the time left to process food so you can co-ordinate the rest of your recipe as you cook.

Key specs – Capacity: 3.7 litres; Power: 2,000W

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