Chop, dice, slice, blend, mix, grate and purée like a pro by adding a food processor to your arsenal of kitchen gadgets. A food processor can make light work of complex recipes and save you precious prep time when whipping up healthy midweek meals – it’s little wonder Jamie Oliver’s 15-Minute Meals TV show and cookbook used a food processor in almost every recipe.
It’s the ultimate helping hand in the kitchen, especially if you’re cooking for a crowd or filling your freezer with batch-cooked goodness. Whether whizzing up chunky marinades, mixing healthy snacks or blending protein shakes, a food processor is a multi-tasking marvel. Here’s our pick of the best buys, but first…
Buyer’s Guide: How To Choose The Right Food Processor For You
With the price of food processors ranging from £20 to beyond £200, here’s a brief breakdown of the different features the extra money gets you.
Power is what you really pay for. We’d recommend not going lower than 300W, but to cover all bases an 800W motor should get through most food items comfortably. Food processors top out at 1,000W, a wattage that’ll make short work of whatever you’re blitzing.
When working out how big a bowl your food processor should have, allocate 400/500ml per person. Then do the maths for the number of people in your household or for the number of portions you’re preparing if you’re a regular batch-cooker.
If you consider yourself a culinary whiz you’ll know that different settings will produce different outcomes (if you don’t know, or care, skip this section and these extra features to save yourself a bob or two). The standard set are mix, blitz, chop, knead, blend, slice, dice and grate, but you’ll find ice crushing and egg whisking on the most expensive models.
One other thing to consider is the size of the feed tube if the food processor you’re considering has grate or slice functions. If you’re the extra-efficient type, buying a processor with a 14cm-wide chute means you won’t have to spend time chopping things to fit.
The Best Food Processors
Best For Small Kitchens: Morphy Richards Prepstar
You might think it’s a bad sign that this food processor is at its best when not in use, but look how neatly everything packs away inside the bowl! Everything you use fits inside its mixing bowl – the motor, the tools, the lot. Not only does that mean you can slot it away into a cupboard easily, but it also makes it less likely you’ll misplace one of the fiddly little attachments.
The processor has six speeds and a pulsing mode, and the attachments allow you to grate, shred, slice, whisk, beat and chop your ingredients, with the 4-litre bowl having a working capacity of 1.6 litres.
Best All-Rounder: Tefal DO824H40 DoubleForce Pro
This stylish machine functions as both a blender and a food processor, with its 1,000W motor making light work of slicing and dicing whatever you put in it. There are six preset programmes that will adjust the speed for you during food prep, and the nine dishwasher-safe attachments offer 31 different functions.
Buy from John Lewis | £119.99
Best Budget Food Processor: Kenwood MultiPro Compact FDP301SI Food Processor
Lightweight and compact, this space-saving gadget is reassuringly sturdy and comes with a range of blades for slicing, grating and chopping as well as an emulsifying tool for whipping cream and eggs. Unusually for such an affordable machine, you can adjust the power settings and use the pulse button to mix things up in short bursts. It’s a good pick for small kitchens (as long as you have somewhere to stash the included blender attachment).
Best Mini Food Processor: Cuisinart EC4HU Mini
Some mini food processors can frustrate with their lack of power. Not so the Cuisinart EC4HU, which will handle dips and dressings with ease. The 900ml chopping bowl is obviously not best suited for making big meals, but the space saved will be a blessing for those in small kitchens.
Best Food Processor Under £20: Kenwood CH180A Mini Chopper
The chopping bowl has a capacity of only 350ml and the motor puts out only 300 watts, but this cheap processor will still get the job done if you’re tight on both space and budget. There are two speed options and the bowl is dishwasher safe.
Best Food Processor under £100: Bosch MCM3501MGB
The Bosch MCM3501MGB (what is it with food processors and long strings of letters and numbers?) has an RRP slightly over £100, but it’s almost always available for around £95 somewhere and that’s an excellent price for such a versatile machine.
It has a powerful 800W motor and comes with an impressive array of different attachments and accessories. Deep breath: there are universal cutter blades, blending blades, a grinding jug, reversible slicing and grating discs, a beating disc, a whisking disc, a plastic tool to knead dough and a multi-level knife. That might not even be everything – it’s tough to keep track.
Most of those parts are dishwasher safe too, and you can store them inside the 2.3-litre bowl to stop your kitchen drawers being overrun with new gizmos.
Buy from AO | £95
Most Stylish Food Processor: KitchenAid Classic Food Processor
This retro-looking appliance offers a number of useful and unique features such as an adjustable disc to control the thickness of your slices, as well as a jumbo feed tube that can handle whole fruit and vegetables. There’s a reversible shredding disc for fine and coarse grating, and a multi-purpose blade for all your mixing and blending needs. For extra style points, it also comes in three colours – cream, onyx black and empire red – so you can pick the one that fits your kitchen colour scheme best.
Buy from John Lewis | £219.99
Best For Foodies: Sage The Kitchen Wizz Pro BFP800UK
From coffee machines to bread makers, Sage leads the way in designing good-looking gadgets for keen cooks. It’s got the chops to match the looks too, with a quad blade attachment (an upgrade on the standard two-blade option) and a 14cm-wide chute, which is big enough to throw a potato in whole. It also comes with a mandolin-style slicing blade for cutting thicknesses from 0.3mm to 8mm, and all the attachments and extras come in a handy storage box.
Best Multi-Tasking Food Processor: Nutri Ninja Complete Kitchen System
Equipped with a punchy 1,500-watt motor, this jack of all trades serves as a food processor, a large blender and a NutriBullet-style smoothie maker. It can blitz, blend, grate, slice and crush ice in a flash, and its handy one-touch Auto IQ programme lets you throw ingredients together and stand back while it works its magic. It comes with a range of blades, discs, jugs and cups so you’ll need to make sure you’ve got storage space, but this all-in-one gadget should cover all your kitchen needs.
Buy on Argos | £149.99
Best For Baking: Cuisinart Expert Prep Pro
This excellent all-round blender produces impeccable pastry, cake batters and dough, making it the ideal option for anyone who’s regularly in the kitchen working on their Great British Bake Off-style showstoppers. The large three-litre capacity helps on that front too, because you don’t want to make a perfect cake and then face the heartbreak of it being too small for everyone to get a slice.
The Expert Prep Pro also slices, dices, grates and spiralises, and the slicing disc is adjustable so you can select the thickness you want. All the attachments can be stored in the box provided, and the processor has two speeds along with a pulse button.
Buy from Cuisinart | £250
Best High-End Food Processor: Magimix 5200XL
A quality buy for foodies and families, this solid piece of kit comes with a 30-year guarantee so you can rest assured that it’s built to last. It has three different bowls to deal with everything from a single egg to a family feast and they all nest inside each other for easy storage. The dough blade, egg whisk, citrus press and discs for grating and slicing cover all culinary bases and the powerful 1,100-watt motor is surprisingly quiet.