The Best Food Processors for Baking: Top 9 Picks

It can shred, grate, chop, mix, grind, and puree ingredients quickly and efficiently, saving you a lot of time in the process. Beets can be shred for borscht, nuts can be ground to make fresh nut butter, or graham crackers can be ground into crumbs for a pie crust, to name a few. Additionally, food processors can be used to mince herbs, puree baby food, create dips like hummus in one step, and emulsify dressings.

A food processor comes with attachments for kneading bread dough, shredding cheese, and slicing vegetables of varying thicknesses. Based on the design, ease of use, features, effectiveness, easy cleaning, performance, and value of the top models, our lab and in-home testers evaluated them. We put each food processor through its paces with onions, cheese, zucchini, mayonnaise, and bread dough, to ensure that these ones were the best.

Our Best Food Processors for Baking Reviews

1. Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor

Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor

This food processor is brushed stainless steel and has two large paddle buttons, one for “on” and one for “off/pulse,” which is all you need in a kitchen workhorse. It has an extra-large feed tube with large and small pushers, so you don’t have to cut ingredients to fit. 14 cups is the ideal size for family cooking and features an extra-large work bowl. A metal blade is included for chopping, mixing, blending, and emulsifying, as well as one shredding disc and one slicing disc.

In our at-home test, we were impressed with how well the machine kneaded dough, and in the lab, we were impressed with how easy it was to use. In spite of the difficulty with cleaning this machine, the reviewers said it was a great value for an average-priced food processor.

It has been in the family for decades, and it still works like new. Cuisinart is among the best food processors out there for home kitchens, and this one is no exception.

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2. Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack & Snap Food Processor with Big Mouth

Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack & Snap Food Processor with Big Mouth

A simple, easy-to-use design snaps into place easily, making it an affordable food processor. With most food processors, the main blade chops, mixes, purees, and emulsifies, and you get two attachment discs with slice and shred/grate features. In addition to being easy to use, the blades store neatly inside the machine, with four clearly labeled buttons.

This food processor is easy to clean, but there is a gap between the plunger and lid lip that can collect food. As this food processor isn’t as durable or heavy-duty as others on this list, it will probably need to be replaced after a few years (our Lab tester recommended hand washing to prolong its life). Although it’s a bit more difficult to assemble, take apart, and clean than some of the pricier models, it still gives very consistent results.

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3. GE 12-Cup Food Processor

GE 12-Cup Food Processor

A powerful motor combined with sharp blades makes this a great option for those who want to shred sweet potatoes quickly or make hummus. It was very easy for our Lab testers to set up, use, and clean the machine—she said it was straightforward and simple to use.

Its biggest selling point is its versatility; in addition to the standard blades, slicing discs, and grating discs, this also comes with a french fry disc, dough blade, emulsifying disc, mini-chopping bowl, and spatula.

It is easy to clean by hand, but our Lab tester reported cutting themselves by an attachment and the blade, and noted, “You just have to be extra careful because of how sharp it is.” Additionally, they reported some inconsistencies when chopping onions and zucchini, but said it was a great value that should be recommended.

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4. KitchenAid 13-Cup Food Processor

KitchenAid 13-Cup Food Processor

This food processor proved exceptionally user-friendly and self-explanatory to our Lab tester, making it another particularly good value. In addition to the regular blade, it comes with an adjustable slicing disc, a reversible shredding disc, a dough blade, and a storage caddy that allows you to store all the pieces compactly inside the bowl.

There are a few small nooks and crannies in the plunger that can trap food, but cleaning it is relatively easy. In our lab tests, there were a couple of inconsistencies with cutting and shredding, but overall it performed well.

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5. Cuisinart FP-13DGM Elemental 13-Cup Food Processor

Cuisinart FP-13DGM Elemental 13-Cup Food Processor

The 13-cup Elemental from Cuisinart comes equipped with two work bowl sizes (13 and 4 cups) to handle large and small jobs. The wide-mouth tube features small, medium, and large pushers. The blade and bowl lock together very tightly. We tested this model in our lab, and it still performed well. It is easier to assemble and easier to use than some other Cuisinart models.

This includes an adjustable slicing disc to let you choose the thickness of your slice, a dicing disc with a 10-millimeter grid, a reversible shredding disc for medium and fine shredding, a dough blade for mixing and kneading, and a stainless steel blade for chopping, blending, and emulsifying. You also get a cleaning tool, so you can clean the corners and crannies of the cutting accessories, and a storage case so everything stays together rather than rolling around in your drawer.

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6. Magimix Compact 5200 XL Chrome 1100 Watt Food Processor

Magimix Compact 5200 XL Chrome 1100 Watt Food Processor

This machine comes with three bowls so you can work with small to extra-large amounts of food and use each bowl one after the other. The bowls nest inside the machine when you are finished, making storage convenient. The induction motor adjusts the amount of power used so dense materials can be easily powered through. It has three buttons for easy operation. Large foods can be fed through the wide feed tube, while the three-stage pusher will not tip over or cut unevenly due to its wide feed tube.

It comes with Sabatier knife-quality chopping blades (to fit separate bowls), which move the food around in the bowl in order to blend more smoothly, resulting in a creamy texture. The special dough blade mixes and kneads even dense bread dough. Just like a stand mixer, the whisk whips cream or beats egg whites.

This includes 2- and 4-millimeter slicing discs and 2- and 4-millimeter grating discs, a spatula for easy cleaning, a free recipe app, a storage case, and a citrus juicer. Home testers were delighted with the juicer, which squeezed half a grapefruit to its rind in just a few seconds. Our lab testers were pleased with the machine’s overall performance.

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7. Ninja BN601 Professional Plus Food Processor

Ninja BN601 Professional Plus Food Processor

This Ninja food processor isn’t just inexpensive — it’s also very useful. It’s got an attractive, streamlined design, a powerful 1,000-watt motor, as well as four presets.

The machine comes with a 9-cup bowl, feed chute lid, pusher, quad chopping blade, dough blade, reversible slicer, and 20 recipes.

Our Lab testers noted that this product was somewhat confusing to put together, but what it lacked in user-friendliness, it made up for in performance. In all of our tests, the machine produced stunning results and was very easy to clean. Since the chopping blades sit slightly higher, our testers had to scrape down the bowl’s sides more frequently.

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8. Vitamix 12-Cup Food Processor Attachment

Vitamix 12-Cup Food Processor Attachment

This product is just an attachment that requires you to have a Vitamix base, but if you already have one, you don’t need a separate blender. There are multiple speeds that can be set for this food processor; any Vitamix base will allow you to pulse or set a continuous speed of your choice. Based on our at-home tester, it was a little noisy.

This attachment performed well throughout all of our lab tests, and our lab testers raved about its longevity and consistency. The parts are dishwasher safe and it is easy to clean—there are a lot of different ones. Although it comes at a price tag of $200, this is by far the best choice if you already own a Vitamix.

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9. Zyliss Easy Pull Manual Food Processor

Zyliss Easy Pull Manual Food Processor

This model operates by simply pulling a handle, so it does not require electricity. Rather than moving food in circles, the blades spin in opposite directions to chop, while the stationary arms at the top and bottom deliver food to the blades. It takes little effort to chop even hard foods like carrots or nuts. If you pull a few times, you’ll get chunky nuts or salsa, while if you pull more, you’ll get a smooth puree.

It’s particularly useful for chopping onions and aromatics. Because it’s non-powered, you can use it outside when barbecuing or camping.

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What to Look for in a Food Processor

Size

It really does matter how big your food processor is when it comes to food processing. As a result, a large food processor can’t chop small quantities because the food pieces will accumulate on the bottom or sides of the bowl, where they can’t reach the blade (this is less of an issue when using a slicing, grating, or shredding disc.)

In order to process large quantities of food in a small food processor, you will need to work in batches and empty the bowl repeatedly, which can be frustrating. In order to solve this problem, some food processors include bowls of varying sizes, and some home cooks use both a full-size food processor for larger jobs and a mini food processor just for mincing garlic and other aromatics in small quantities.

Disc Options

You’ll have to find a place to store a large number of discs that come with a food processor if it comes with several shredding and slicing sizes. In some food processors, you can choose between reversible blades with different sizes or functions, while others have discs that can be adjusted to cut different types of foods. Discs and other attachments can be stored directly in the bowl of some food processors, which helps save space and organize everything.

Special Features

Will a basic food processor suffice for your needs, or will you need special features? In addition to having a chopping blade and a disc to slice or grate, some food processors also come with extra features, including a dough blade, an accompanying recipe app, or different color options.

Price

Home cooks who do not intend to use their food processors often have a number of excellent options at an affordable price. Our average food processor cost $244, but you can find a few high-performing, versatile, and reliable options for around $60. It’s important to note that lower-priced options will not last as long as a good food processor, which will still perform better for decades to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a food processor?

Food processors can puree, slice, crumble, mince, grate, shred, emulsify, dice, mix, and knead a variety of foods.

Can a blender be used as a food processor?

Despite their similarities, blenders, and food processors aren’t usually interchangeable. When you are preparing something you can drink, drizzle, or dip—things with mostly soft or liquid ingredients—you should use a blender. Blenders are best used when they contain at least one liquid ingredient, because dry ingredients alone can get stuck around the blades and not blend. This includes soup, smoothies, nut milk, apple sauce, and blended cocktails.

If you plan to eat your dishes with a fork or spoon, food processors should be used to process solid or semi-solid ingredients. With no liquid element required, it is ideal for breadcrumbs, dough, shredded cheese, and chopped, sliced, or diced vegetables. Riced cauliflower, chutney, and minced meat can also be prepared with it.

A food processor blade rotates more slowly than a blender blade, and it has a different shape, so you can cut more precisely and with greater control. You can also add as many ingredients (or as little) as you want using the feeder tube, which can then be tamped with a tool toward the blade.

It is possible to make foods such as hummus, salsas, thick salad dressings, pesto, and whipped cream in a blender or food processor.

Can you make smoothies in a food processor?

A food processor can be used to make smoothies, but the process is different from one used with a blender. If you plan to take this route, do not add all the ingredients at once because they probably won’t blend evenly and may even spill out everywhere. First, add your greens (if using), followed by frozen fruit. This will keep your drink cold without adding ice.

After adding your liquid ingredients, add a lid to the appliance, and blend. Scrape the bottom to ensure everything is blended as well as possible. When you’re done, remove the blade from the processor and pour. You’ll probably not have a pour spout on your processor, so be careful not to get messy here.

In short, a blender is quicker and easier than a food processor for making smoothies.

Can you grind coffee beans in a food processor?

The best way to grind coffee beans is with a dedicated coffee grinder with a conical burr, but a food processor can do the job, as it’s similar to a blade grinder in size. Using a food processor, just place a few scoops in and pulse, tilting it occasionally to make sure all the beans are moving into the blade. Repeat until the beans are ground.

What can’t you make in a food processor?

The majority of food processors are not designed to handle hot foods. However, there are some exceptions. If the machine is made of glass or heat-resistant plastic, it may be able to process a certain amount of ingredients. It is not always the case, so make sure to ask the manufacturer. In general, you should let the ingredients cool before blending if you’re making soup.

You should also avoid putting copious amounts of liquid, tough meat, bones, gelatin, fruit peels, and ice in a food processor.

Final Verdict

Cuisinart’s 14-Cup Food Processor is our top pick thanks to its exceptional longevity, outstanding performance, and versatility. For those with a smaller budget, Hamilton Beach’s Stack & Snap Food Processor is a good alternative.

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