Need to know
- Our CHOICE experts tested 29 popular food processors from big brand models as well as cheaper brands
- Our tests show that spending more doesn't necessarily mean you get a better product, with some cheaper models outperforming more expensive ones
- We put food processors through their paces with tests on their overall performance as well as more specific tasks, such as kneading dough, emulsifying mayonnaise and blending soup if they have a blender attachment
A good food processor can quickly become an indispensable kitchen workhorse. They slice, dice, chop, puree, knead, grind, mix, and grate, so whether you're a pastry maker, soup chef or simply detest chopping and shredding vegetables by hand, the food processor takes the grunt out of many culinary endeavours.
You may have noticed, however, that the cost of food processors varies as vastly as their list of capabilities. While some coveted models, such as KitchenAid and Magimix, can cost up to $1000 and enjoy a hint of cult status, others can be purchased for as little as $100. With such a discrepancy in cost, it can be difficult to know where to put your money.
Luckily, our detailed food processor reviews, conducted by experts in our CHOICE kitchen labs, take much of the confusion out of making that decision, but it still helps to have an idea of what you'll be using your processor for to ensure you'll make the most of your purchase.
Food processors make light work of kitchen prep for cooks of all levels and abilities.
How much do you need to spend on a food processor?
CHOICE kitchen expert Fiona Mair says food processors are a favourite appliance of hers and are great for people who like to make things from scratch, entertain, for vegetarians and vegans who might be preparing large amounts of fresh produce, or large families.
"A food processor will save you time and make life a little easier in the kitchen," she says.
But how much do you really need to spend? According to Fiona, it depends on what you want to use it for.
She says: "If you are after a food processor that will just help you with basic food prep, then a cheaper model that rates highly in our scores is all you need. Something that has a medium-sized processing bowl and is easy to store is perfect for basic food preparation.
A food processor will save you time and make life a little easier in the kitchen
"More expensive food processors give you more options for processing, making it a very versatile appliance. They may include a separate storage container for storing all the blades and accessories as well as a smaller processor bowl (so no need to have a mini processor for processing smaller quantities such as pestos, nuts and curry pastes).
"Some of the more expensive models may also include features such as kitchen scales, blender jugs and heavy duty blades."
If you only want to make things such as curry paste or pesto, though, or chop nuts and herbs, a mini food processor might be all you need (see our mini food processor reviews).
For larger jobs, you need to make sure the bowl size is adequate. It's also a good idea to look out for one with an in-built drawer to house the attachments or storage in the bowl as storage can be a bugbear with an appliance of this size.
Three top-rated food processors under $300
Our rigorous reviews uncover the top-performing food processors on the market, but we've also found you don't have to spend big for a decent machine. Here, we round up the best-performing food processors for less than $300.
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