Best Food Processor: The 2023 Tasting Table Awards

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Food processors meet at an interesting crossroads between several other cooking tools. The unique cup and blade shape can be used to produce sauces, dressings, and soups in finer consistencies than a blender. These days, many processors come with plastic blades that can knead your dough. Then there are the chopping, shredding, and slicing abilities, which are irreplaceable to anyone short on time but loaded with fresh foods that need to be cut in short order. 

In order to bring you recommendations for which devices can serve your kitchen the best, we tried out eight different popular food processors priced at $230 and below across multiple categories. To test these devices, we tried four time-honored tests across each model: slicing zucchini, shredding carrots, chopping nuts, and dicing onions. Here are the food processors that stood out, along with why they're our top picks, and where to purchase them.

Read more about the 2023 Tasting Table Awards methodology and all the top picks here.

Best Overall: Ninja BN601 Professional Plus Food Processor

The Ninja BN601 Professional Plus food processor excels in almost every aspect. It offers several functions and performs them all consistently. It's not too loud, operates without a wobble, and has a lot of force in the motor. (It can peak at 1,000 watts of processing power.) Fortunately, this appliance is middle-of-the-road where it matters: The 72-ounce bowl and base stack into a tower that isn't too tall or heavy and comes with enough cord length to make it a conveniently placeable choice for any countertop. 

There are a lot of ways to take advantage of the Ninja Professional Plus: chopping, shredding and slicing, puréeing, or kneading dough are all at your disposal. There is a separate button for three different functions (purée, chop, and dough), which can be initiated at low speed, high speed, or a quick pulse. In our testing, each operation worked seamlessly. Onions were pulsed into a well-sized mince, while a 15-second chop of walnuts produced pieces that were consistent throughout. 

Slicing and shredding require a separate disk, but the setup is intuitive, and the plate is labeled on either side depending on how you want to prepare your food. The shredding disk was a delight, buzzing multiple carrots into an even pile in seconds. Although sliced zucchini was slightly thinner than we would've chosen to go with a knife-cut, the convenience is incomparable. 

Purchase the Ninja BN601 Professional Plus Food Processor on Amazon for $120.

Best Budget: Hamilton Beach Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper

The motor of the Hamilton Beach Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper has less than half the wattage power as other models in our testing, yet it succeeded at standing out as a sufficiently powerful appliance that can save the everyday cook tons of time in food prep. It helps that it's easy on the wallet as well.

As is standard for food processors, this Hamilton Beach model operates with a reversible disk for slicing and shredding. Equipped with an extra-wide chute, feeding vegetables to the blade is easy and safe. The resulting slices of zucchini had a small bit of variety in their thickness but, overall, were neither too sheer nor too thick. This model of food processor runs at two speeds, so chances are that the lower setting might easily solve that. Both chopping and shredding produced high-quality, if not slightly irregular, results that were still remarkably good given the cost. 

The Hamilton Beach Food Processor has an 8-cup bowl which isn't exceptionally big, but that smaller space actually makes things easier for those of us who don't plan on making quart-sized batches of sauces and dressings. All in all, this is a reliable workhorse for everyday vegetable processing.

Purchase the Hamilton Beach Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper on Amazon for $50

Best for Small Kitchens: Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus 3-Cup Processor

If one thing about food processors became very clear to us during our evaluation, it's that (sometimes) size matters. In the case of the Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus, we discovered an appliance that one might dub a "short king." That is to say that its small, 3-cup stature was actually a big virtue. If you're someone who lives with very limited space, say, in a college dorm room or studio apartment, chances are you need a food processor that can store well when it's not in use.

The Mini-Prep is a 5-inch tall unit that cuts your food chopping time down to mere seconds. It is outfitted with a 24-ounce, 7-inch wide bowl that we found to be fully capable of processing a wide range of ingredients. It's important to note that this appliance won't provide you the option to slice your vegetables, but if all you need is a tool to dice things up evenly and quickly, the one-touch operation couldn't be more simple. At first, there was concern that the small power (250 watts) wouldn't have the force to get through tougher items like a carrot. However, we pressed down on the top button and observed that this machine can tame even the toughest roots.

Purchase the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus 3 Cup Processor on Amazon for $40.

Best for Slicing and Shredding: KitchenAid 13-Cup Food Processor

This 13-cup food behemoth was physically the largest model we tested. However, in a feat of thoughtful design, the team at KitchenAid constructed this food processor so that all its numerous parts stack together. The food processing blade, slicing/shredding disk, and dough blade each nest into a rack that fits directly into the nearly 9-inch working bowl. 

No other machine that we tested created such a consistent and even cut of zucchini. What was most impressive is that once you insert the slicing disc, there is a dial that can be used to customize how thick or thin you'd like your slices to be. This variation allows the home cook to slice thin discs of cucumber for salad or thicker rounds that can carry hummus. 

In terms of shredding carrots, the KitchenAid was nearly perfect; the resulting orange pile consisted of equally-sized pieces. It also wowed us with the most uniform diced onions of any other model we tried.

Buy the KitchenAid 13-Cup Food Processor on Amazon for $200.

Best for Chopping: GE 12-Cup Food Processor

General Electric has a trusted reputation as a kitchen appliance company, and this quality food processor does much to protect that legacy. The silver-plated, plastic-wrapped body of the machine looks good on the countertop, but it also performs well. With 550 watts of power running through the blade, offers plenty of oomph to cut through any kind of tough food. And even though a 12-cup bowl size is a relatively large capacity, it's shaped in a way that small amounts of food don't get lost within the spacious container. 

Without the slicing/shredding disk in place, the GE food processor has just two main functions: chop or blend. The chop position is where it works best — the blade is designed to be self-feeding, and we found that the slightly-angled face of it resulted in the perfect dice for onions. Similarly, no other food processor in this test chopped nuts as thoroughly or evenly. The walnuts in question were homogenous throughout, having been crushed into small, identically sized pieces.

Although the model we trialed did not come with a dough hook, you have the option to purchase one for your baking needs. We imagine that GE's proficiency at chopping nuts so finely would be a big help to bakers, but using one of two speeds to pulverize onions, garlic, herbs, cheese, or vegetables into professionally-sized pieces will take the guesswork out of cooking.

Buy the GE 12-Cup Food Processor on Amazon for $95.