Sometimes preparing food can be a chore. Tasks like making fresh baby food, grating cheese, chopping nuts, slicing veggies and kneading dough are repetitive and time-consuming and time is something we have in short supply these days. If you find yourself doing this kind of food preparation often, a food processor might be the perfect solution. They shred, slice, dice, and puree and kitchens across Canada rely on them to make food prep easier and free up valuable time.
Below we review the best food processors and let you know what they’re best at so you can find the perfect one for your kitchen.
Best food processors of 2020
- Best overall – Hamilton Beach 70730C 10 Cup
- Best for baby food – Black+Becker 1.5 Cup
- Best large – Breville BREBFP800XL Sous Chef
- Best small – KitchenAid KFC3516ER 3.5 Cup
- Best upgrade – Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14 Cup
Hours of Research
Best food processor comparison
|Best for||Overall||Baby food||Large||Small||High-end|
|Dimensions (inches)||26 x 21.4 x 39.3||16.5 x 10.2 x 12.7||27.9 x 20.3 x 45.7||14.2 x 17.8 x 22.1||27.9 x 20.1 x 37.6|
|Warranty (years)||5 (limited)||2 (limited)||1||1||3 (limited)|
Best overall – Hamilton Beach 70730C 10-Cup Food Processor
- Excellent price
- Bowl scraping feature
- 450-watt motor
- Family-size bowl
- Dishwasher safe removable elements
- Peace of mind warranty
- Build quality issues
- Feels cheaply made
Hamilton Beach is one of the most popular names for kitchen appliances, so it stands to reason that we had to feature one of their products on the list. This food processor is never going to win style or technology awards, but as a solid family-size and affordable processor, it wins hands down.
This food processor focuses on the practicalities of everyday life, by making it easier to use with just the right amount of features.
It offers the best warranty, at 5 years, which gives you the peace of mind you need, especially when every appliance in your kitchen has to earn its keep. It’s why we chose it as our top pick. For less than a third of the price of the Cuisinart model, this Hamilton Beach is excellent value for money.
So what has it got? It has a 2.5-litre capacity, making it large enough for an average size family, it has a 450-watt motor with 2 speeds and a pulse button, and a reversible slicing and shredding disc.
The bowl is BPA-free, and the removable elements are also dishwasher friendly for an easier clean-up. All in all, for the price, this product is an excellent addition to the kitchen.
Best for baby food – Black+Becker 1.5-Cup Food Chopper
- Ideal for preparing baby food
- Cheap to buy
- Great for sauces and dips
- Dishwasher safe elements
- Very easy to use
- Small capacity
- Limited uses
This Black+Decker food processor is something a little bit different. This has a 1.5-cup capacity, which is just over 0.35 litres. It isn’t going to attract the attention of couples or large groups, so who is going to like this product?
If you love creating salsas and dips, vinaigrettes and sauces, this is the kitchen tool to own. It is also ideal for the smallest of servings, so if you live on your own, what could be simpler?
Not only does this cater to small portions, but it also means that there is less of a clean-up after. Also, the removable elements are dishwasher friendly, so you don’t even need to worry about the washing up.
Another excellent use for this blender is making baby food. Many families want to make sure their children eat the same healthy diet they do, so the best way is to blend the vegetables and fruit yourself.
Be prepared to accept this blender is not the answer to your food preparation problems, but it is cheap, portable, easy to use, and ideal for side dishes, sauces, and making baby food.
Best large – Breville BREBFP800XL Sous Chef Food Processor
- Convenient display
- BPA-free plastics
- Count-up and count-down auto-timer
- Family size capacity
- 5-blade system
- Heavy-duty induction motor
- Takes up a lot of counter space
- Too large for small kitchens
- Expensive to purchase
This Breville is a monster. It has a 1,200-watt motor that crushes, pulses and chops it’s way through almost anything. The 16-cup capacity, or 3.8 litres, makes it one of the largest domestic food processors available. To get anything bigger, you would need to buy a commercial model.
It is a cook’s dream, with multi-chute size options, a multi-directional timer, a 5-blade chopping system, and it even comes with a storage box that compacts the overall size for storage.
With all these features, it is still easy to master, because Breville has focused on what a food processor is; a kitchen aid to support family meal times and to enhance the food you make.
The elephant in the room is the price. This processor is not cheap, so be sure you need something with this capacity, or you will end up using a fraction of the blending space for nothing and wasting money in the process.
This food processor is always going to be a favourite of those people with larger families, or people who like to cook in bulk and freeze. If this is you, then the price tag pales into insignificance compared to the way this appliance improves your food preparation.
Also, if you entertain a lot, this is likely to be a kitchen aid high on your wishlist.
Best small – KitchenAid KFC3516ER 3.5-Cup Processor
- Ideal for single people
- Perfect for blending baby food
- Compact for smaller spaces
- Stores away easily
- Good value for money
- Dishwasher safe elements
- Too small for families
- Limited uses
This Kitchen Aid is another small food processor, but it has over 2 times the capacity of the Black+Decker model. It is the ideal processor for dorm rooms or tiny kitchens. It caters to single people or couples with smaller appetites, but that doesn’t mean it can’t find a home in a larger setting as the perfect blender to make dips, sauces, and salsas.
It is easy to use, retails at a fraction of the price of some high-end food processors and yet, it delivers when you need it.
This food processor is one of the most popular models available, with over 11,000 reviews posted across a variety of online stores in Canada. So, even though it is small, it is appreciated by thousands of customers.
This Kitchen Aid is also cheap, making it an ideal entry-level food processor for beginners. Also, it stores away easily, has a 240-watt motor, so for its size it is powerful, the removable elements are dishwasher friendly, and it comes in 11 bright colours to suit any kitchen decor.
Best high-end – Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor
- Extra-large feed tubes
- Powerful motor
- Single touch operation
- Family-size capacity
- Paddle-button control
- A little basic
- Build quality issues
This Cuisinart food processor is popular. It gets an impressive star rating on Amazon and a high level of good reviews. This processor has power, thanks to the motor, and it has a 14-cup capacity. That’s the equivalent of 3.3 litres, so it should cater to larger appetites and families alike.
This appliance will take up space on the countertop. It makes it an ideal addition if you have a larger kitchen; however, if you have a smaller kitchen, it may be a challenge to store away.
On the downside, it does cost quite a lot considering, it has pretty basic functions. However, it is a solid and reliable kitchen appliance that should give you hassle-free food prepping for years to come. And if you have a large family, this is invaluable.
This food processor chops, slices, dices, shreds, kneads, as well as purees and mixes dough. It is a great all-rounder, and the reason we made this our upgrade choice.
|Ease of use||5||5||5||5||5|
What to consider when looking for a food processor
It doesn’t always follow that you need the largest capacity. The bowl size to suit you depends on your circumstances and what you intend to use the food processor for. Some processors have a capacity of fewer than 0.5 litres. This means they are suited to making salsa, sauces and purees, which also means they are ideal for preparing baby food.
It could be that you want a smaller capacity because you have a tiny kitchen and want to keep as much free space as possible. On the flip side, you might be looking for the largest capacity available to cater to your large or extended family who likes to visit frequently.
For this, you would need something in the 3.0 to 3.5-litre capacity. This size is easily big enough for the largest cooking batches. Remember that while you want the most blending you can get for your money, it means the appliance is going to be cumbersome and take up considerable countertop space in the kitchen.
Also, these food processors are going to be a pain to clean, so aim for one that has dishwasher friendly removable elements.
Most blades are stainless-steel to help prevent rusting and corrosion. Also, stainless-steel is a better material because it cleans easier, allowing for the removal of any bacteria. The other reason makers favour this treated metal is that it stays sharper for longer.
S-shaped blades are common in food processors as they optimize cutting, but most processors come with an array of different accessories to cater to many foodstuffs. You can get slicing, shredding, dicing, puree, and kneading all by using the attachments.
The wattage determines the power of the motor and the food processors ability to cut up the more robust ingredients. Getting a food processor with too small a motor can severely impair your chopping and dicing prowess.
If you want a small food processor, you should consider a wattage of around 200 to 250. For a medium-size model, 400 to 750 watts is ample to perform most cooking prep tasks, while the larger models need over 750 watts to perform adequately.
Food processors have come a long way since their invention in 1971 by Pierre Verdon. You can buy processors with smart sensors that detect weight, consistency, and load capacity to adjust the speed of the motor to maximize the power to blend ratio.
Some can even operate with an app from your smartphone. The truth is that all of these features are nice if you have the budget. Still, most food processors follow the traditional path of focussing on speed control, pulse features, and adjustable settings to cater to different food materials.
The ones we have featured don’t employ smart technology but instead do the basics really well, so you get a reliable workhorse of a machine that won’t let you down.
Expect a warranty somewhere between 2 and 5 years. 5 years is good as far as a guarantee is concerned, with only the Hamilton Beach model offering this. Still, even a 2 or 3-year warranty should be enough to satisfy you that your food processor is value for money and constructed well enough to last the distance.
Food processors are notorious for being difficult to clean after use. Who actually enjoys the clean-up? All those awkward nooks and corners that are hard to reach, and let’s say nothing about the razor-sharp blades waiting for you to immerse your hands into the hot soapy water.
The answer is the dishwasher. A lot of processors have removable elements that require washing, and these are typically dishwasher friendly. It makes washing the processor as easy as the other crockery and pans in the kitchen.
The only downside with frequent dishwashing is that the plastic can become brittle and fade with constant use. This causes malfunctions and broken parts. If you want to preserve your food processor for the long-term, consider handwashing everything, even when it states it is dishwasher safe.
If your food processor has a plastic bowl or housing, check they are BPA-free. BPA, or Bisphenol A, was a chemical commonly used in the creation of resins and plastic since the 1950s. It was used in everything, from drinks bottles to food containers.
BPA alters hormonal activity within the human body and causes a range of health issues. A study in 2003/2004 by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention(CDCP) entitled The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in the USA found that of 2,517 people tested, 93 percent had traces of BPA in their urine.
BPA-free plastic and resins do not contain these harmful chemical compounds.
Are food processors noisy?
Most food processors operate at a noise level of about 85 to 90 dB. That’s the same as a hairdryer. So, food processors are noisy, but the good news is you only use them in short bursts, so your ears aren’t going to suffer. Just don’t take that important call if you are going to use the food processor.
Can you crush ice in a food processor?
You can crush ice in a food processor. However, the result depends on what blades you have and the power of the motor. Smaller processors with weaker motors would struggle, but 750 watts of more should be ample to achieve this.
A word of warning: repeatedly crushing ice will scratch and dull your blending bowl, especially if it is plastic, and it will blunt your blades.
Can dishwashing damage my food processor?
If at all possible, the best advice is to hand wash the removable elements of your food processor. It preserves the life of the plastic parts and stops them from becoming clouded and brittle. A dishwasher works by blasting the contents with hot water and detergent.
The detergent has an abrasive element that removes stubborn and baked-on stains. Over time, you will find that the plastic bowl becomes clouded, which makes it harder to see the contents when you are processing food.
Another consequence of dishwashing is that plastic becomes brittle as you expose the material to extreme heat, and then it cools. So, even though your model may recommend using the dishwasher, it would be preferable to hand wash them instead.
What to read next
- Best Portable Dishwashers in Canada
- Best Electric Kettles in Canada
- Best Portable Washing Machines in Canada
Over to you
How could a food processor improve your culinary life? What is the best recipe you can think of that would be made easier? Let us know by leaving a comment below!