This is one of the most versatile kitchen gadgets you can own

Noelle Ike, CNN Underscored
Updated Tue September 3, 2019

Story highlights

  • A food processor can help you make anything from nut butters to baby food.
  • Shop food processors from Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach and Breville.

A food processor can be one of the most useful multipurpose kitchen gadgets. They're a great way to create your own pesto, hummus, nut butter, baby food, dressing and more. But they can also help with chopping up veggies to use in salads or soup bases, or grinding meat for burgers and meatballs. You can even use them to create healthier versions of your favorite soft-serve ice cream.

But as with any kitchen gadget, if your food processor doesn't work well or is a hassle to use, it's going to end up in that bottom cabinet you never open. That's why we've done the research to find some of the best food processors at three different price points. So whether you're a food-processing pro on the lookout for a newer, better gadget, or you're just testing the waters, we've got options for you.

Best professional grade food processor:

The Breville Sous Chef Food Processor ($338.80; amazon.com) aims to bring professional food prep into your kitchen. The heavy-duty induction motor features a high-torque 1,200-watt motor that's designed to handle the toughest ingredients. It features 24 slicing settings that let you choose the thickness of your slices, from a paper-thin 0.3 millimeters to a more substantial 8 mm. Plus, there are multiple chute options -- an extra-wide chute and a mini feed chute -- to ensure that processing is fast, easy and efficient. The food processor also features a multidirectional timer, so you can simply press start and focus on other things while it's running.

To quote one reviewer: "I'm inspired to cook again and try new things. I find this machine extremely intuitive and user friendly. And it processes food PERFECTLY. I am truly amazed and delighted to have discovered it. It is a marvelous machine."

Best everyday food processor:

The Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor ($166.58; amazon.com) is a 720-watt large-capacity food processor that comes with a slicing, shredding and chopping blade for multiple kinds of food prep. It features a 14-cup bowl, extra-large feed tubes and dishwasher-safe parts. It includes a a spatula and a recipe booklet, and comes with a five-year motor warranty.

With over 1,540 reviews and 4.5 stars on Amazon, it's a fan favorite. Reviewers love how quiet, durable and easy to clean it is. One reviewer notes that "the consistency, power, and volume capability are way more than I could have hoped... I was on the wall forever about getting a processor, but now, I have learned that there's nothing wrong with using one, and the time it saves you is beyond worth it."

Best premium food processor:

The Hamilton Beach 70730 Bowl Scraper Food Processor ($44.99; amazon.com) sports a 10-cup bowl, making it big enough to handle most jobs but small enough for simple storage. This makes it a great option for someone who wants to try out a food processor, but may not plan on using it daily. It features a 450-watt motor with two speeds in addition to a pulse setting, and a scraper attachment that saves you time and energy when it comes to getting all the food out of your processor. The bowl, lid and blades are all dishwasher-safe, making for easy cleanup.

"The control options are pretty basic but if you can handle your own around a kitchen then gadgets with crazy settings only get in the way," says one reviewer on Amazon. "With this product, there is absolutely no need to hesitate. The amazing price is just that - an awesome deal."

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer's listed prices at the time of publication.