9 best food processors
Whizz, whisk, chop and slice with the minimum of fuss thanks to a multi-tasking machine
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If chopping, slicing, blending, mixing and whisking aren’t exactly your favourite parts of the cooking process, it may be time to invest in a food processor to do all the prep work for you.
But it needs to be a good one. Despite all their promises – making fast and easy work of finely sliced carrots, creamy mayonnaise or perfectly whisked egg-whites and so on – the reality with many food processors is often very different. So we’ve gone on a mission to find out the food processors that really do what they promise – and well.
Don’t assume the more expensive, the better. We were blown away by some of the cheaper machines, which in some cases are better suited to your needs – for example, if you have a smaller household.
And you might not need all the attachments of more comprehensive machines – you’ll pay top notch for them, only for them to collect dust in a cupboard. That said, there are some very high priced machines in our roundup that are a dream-come-true for keen cooks – almost providing you with your very own sous chef.
Take note of the size of the feeding tube; capacity and number of bowls (many come with a mini bowl too); how powerful the machine is; the noise levels; overall quality of the parts; and finally, the customer service of the manufacturer in case something does go wrong or you need a new part.
Magimix Cuisine Système: £399.99, John Lewis
This is a great all rounder. It’s so exceptional at blending, slicing and chopping that you quickly wonder why you ever bothered doing it any other way – and this version has a new smoothie-making accessory for pureeing and juicing.
It’s good at grating, whisking and whipping, although not quite such a star performer in these areas. We like the three size bowls for different jobs and the extra-wide feed tube so you can bung in pretty big potatoes or lumps of cheese.
It’s quite heavy, but it looks nice so you might be happy to leave it out on the kitchen sideboard anyway.
Bosch MultiTalent 3: £80.68, Amazon
With over 50 functions and loads of accessories (all dishwasher-safe), this certainly packs a punch given its small size – which, by the way, will appeal to smaller households.
It makes food prep a breeze, chopping, dicing and pureeing (among other things) whatever you need. And all this for under £100 too.
Be warned there are only two speeds and the instructions aren’t as intuitive as they could be and it won’t be anywhere big enough for cooking for big families.
Vitamix A3500i Ascent Series: £675, Vitamix
This is a lot to fork out, but it blends, cooks to high temperatures, weights and steams, among other things – and all with phenomenal power.
It’s a major step up from most food processors, so you can do everything from making pestos and hot soups in a few minutes to ice cream in a record-breaking 30 seconds.
We love the crushed-ice features and it even deals with nuts successfully. With veg and fruit, you get silky smooth results, even with their skins on.
If you’re worried that sounds if it’s going to be really complicated to use, don’t be – it has five pre-set buttons so you just pick the relevant one and choose the right speed and timer, which in turn means the consistency is spot on time after time and you don’t even have to bother the machine off as it stops automatically.
This machine is robust and durable too, with a 10-year warranty to back it up, and it’s very easy to clean.
Kitchenaid 3.1 Classic Processor: £164, Amazon
The first thing that will strike you about this food processor is its good looks. Shiny, retro and smart, it’s a nice display piece on your countertop.
And it’s not a case of style over substance as it makes a breeze of chopping, grating, mixing and blending, with very easy-to-fit and remove attachments that are also easy to wash.
It’s got a lovely wide feed tube that means you can add larger items without having to cut them up first and you can adjust the thickness of slices, even while the food processor is working.
Onions, herbs, cheese, cucumber – you name it, this preps it ready for you to cook. And it does a mean smoothie too.
Magimix Le Micro: £54.99, Amazon
Mini-choppers don’t have the best reputation, but this one chops everything from onions to parsley in record time and you can pick between coarse or fine, as well as liquidise and making dressings like mayonnaise.
It will even tackle nuts well (no mean feat, believe us). It’s fantastically easy to assemble, use and clean and left-handers will like the way the bowl fits on.
It’s quiet, easy to clean (the parts are dishwasher safe) and available in some lovely contemporary colours. For one or two person households, where a full-on cumbersome food processor seems OTT, this is a fantastic buy.
Sage Kitchen Whizz Pro: £389.99, Amazon
This fancy machine promises you the world and actually, it pretty much delivers it – in the culinary sense anyway.
The blending, chopping, grating and slicing functions are particularly great and the extra-wide food chute comes in handy, as does the fact that the parts and bowl are dishwasher-friendly.
But it weighs a tonne and is ever so slightly less fast and comprehensive than the Magimix and KitchenAid.
Panasonic MK-F800: £189.95, Amazon
This swanky-looking machine, with its glass touchscreen panel and five automatic programmes, will look right at home in any hi-tech kitchen.
A good job, really, as it’s so big and heavy that you’ll probably have to leave it on the worktop. It’s exceptional at whisking, whipping and grating, although slicing and pureeing are slightly less impressive.
Be prepared to keep schtum when it’s on as it sounds like a freight train.
Kenwood MultiPro Home FDP643WH: £189.99, Lakeland
Kenwood is one of the most synonymous names with food processors and this machine has plenty of bells and whistles to get keen cooks excited.
First, there’s the built-in weighing scales, then there’s the heat-proof blender for soups. It’s got precision control, thanks to the eight speed settings, plus pulse. It’s good and most things, though our dough left a bit to be desired, and can deal with a lot of food in one go.
This machine can even chop ice. It’s fast too, and not too loud. Shame there’s no storage box for all those lovely accessories, though.
Vorwerk Thermomix TM5: £1,049, Vorwerk
Another extremely pricey, but ridiculously efficient machine, this goes even further than the Vitamix in terms of versatility.
A combination of food processor, blender and soup maker, it’s beautifully engineered, works quickly, is very powerful and easy to clean. No wonder it appears on so many cookery programmes, including Masterchef.
So if you’re looking for something to replace pretty much every other kitchen gadget you have, and you’ve got the dosh, this may just become your new best friend.
That said, hang onto your grater and your knives as it stops short of doing that, although it makes up for it by weighing, preparing and cooking ingredients. You’ll need to agree to a home demo when you buy it – a boon for some; pain for others.
The Verdict: Best food processors
We think the Magimix Cuisine Système is the best all rounder you can buy, and certainly the most comprehensive, without getting into serious money. And for those that want something cheaper and smaller, the Bosch MultiTalent3 gets our vote – it’s a really nifty machine that does a lot for its size.