A food processor is an essential piece of kit for any budding chef. Or, really, for anyone who wants to develop their culinary portfolio.
It’s not just for chopping your salads - you can make your own dips, breadcrumbs, houmous, grind meat into mince - and that’s just the tip of the iceberg (pun intended!). And if you’re prepping food for a baby, a food processor is an absolute must-have for pureeing.
We also love how a food processor really speeds up prep time (and helps you avoid crying over chopped onions). If you don’t already have one, we can 100% recommend getting one.
Some of the food processors out there can cost upwards of $200! But, don’t worry. You definitely don’t need to spend anywhere near as much as that.
There are some really great food processors out on the market today - and at reasonable prices too. We’ve been doing our homework, and after much deliberation, we were able to handpick our top 5 favorites under $100 to show you. Our reviews are coming up very shortly.
Following on from that, we’ve also got a buying guide for you. It’s going to run through everything you might want to think about before you buy.
Then we’re going to be even more helpful, and top that off with a section where we answer some of your most frequently asked questions.
OUR TOP PICK
Now, this comes from another great brand. And the customer feedback on it has been phenomenal.
On the Amazon page for example, after well over 600 individual customer ratings, the average customer rating comes in at an amazing 5 stars out of 5 - wow!
It comes with 4 different pre-set programs, which are named rather ostentatiously as Auto-iQ Intelligent Preset Programs.
All that means in real terms is that on the touchscreen panel, you can select whether to chop, puree, knead dough, or use the slicing/shredding disc.
And the machine knows right away what it needs to do.
All you need to worry about is ensuring that you have the right blade or attachment in place before you start. And it’s super easy to assemble.
Speaking of super easy, it’s also a doddle to clean - all the parts are dishwasher safe. And, moreover, they’re all BPA free too.
It has a 9 cup capacity, which isn’t ideal but isn’t that bad. Only slightly less than the 12 cup capacity ones we’re showing you. You might not even notice the difference.
It has a super powerful 1000 watt motor, which can break down even tough ingredients, and make excellently smooth purees.
The quality of the machine couldn’t be better. The results speak for themselves - fast slicing and shredding, perfectly uniform chopping, and perfectly even mixing. Restaurant worthy results.
And we have to say, the recipes in the book provided are really quite mouth-watering.
- Amazing customer feedback
- Very easy to use
- Powerful motor - can puree
- Can be used to knead dough
- Restaurant worthy results
- Modest 9 cup capacity
This was a very easy favorite for us, due to the sheer amount of things this little beauty can do.
There are a whopping 6 different attachments included, all with very different functions, giving you an incredibly versatile machine for your money.
There are, of course, blades for shredding, chopping, and slicing, but there’s also a blade for mashing, an emulsifying blade which is great for making dips, a citrus juicer which is way easier than the usual manual ones, and, our favorite, a blade for kneading dough.
But despite how much it can do, it’s very easy to use. It’s usually just a case of placing in the blade you want, putting your ingredients through the chute, switching it on, and turning a dial to the speed you want.
It has a really good load capacity, able to take up to 12 cups of dry ingredients. However, this comes down to 9 cups for liquid ingredients, which to be fair is still pretty good.
It has a powerful little motor, able to work super-quick at its top speed. Yet somehow it manages to remain reasonably quiet.
Apart from the steel base etc, all the removable parts are formed from ABS housing, which means that they are all dishwasher safe, and therefore a breeze to clean.
And it comes complete with a 100% lifetime satisfaction guarantee.
We weren’t at all surprised to learn that it made the bestseller lists with online retailers!
- It also kneads dough
- It can be used as a juicer
- Parts are dishwasher safe
- Some customers complained about the noise given off at top speed with certain blades
This food processor comes from big-name brand Hamilton Beach. And this particular model way outsells some of their other models.
First off, we like its capacity - a healthy 12 cups worth. This saves you from having to make up soups and things in separate batches.
We love its oversize chute, which means you don’t have to cut up your larger ingredients to put them through.
We also love its dimensions, taking up very little space on your kitchen countertop, compared to the Nutrichef processor we showed you earlier.
It’s also easy to assemble, which is one less thing to worry about.
And the other aspect that makes it easy to use is the little diagram on the front, which shows you what blade you need to incorporate for each function.
There’s one blade in the form of a disc that can be used for slicing, and you can turn it around and use the other side for shredding.
And there’s also a second blade, the S-blade, for chopping, mixing, and pureeing.
The blades are all top-quality stainless steel, and easy to clean, as are the other parts, which are dishwasher safe.
The motor is a powerful 450 watts, and choosing speeds couldn’t be easier - you simply choose from slice/shred, puree/mix, or pulse. It’s powerful enough to even chop nuts for you - perfect for making sundaes!
It’s one of Amazon’s best sellers for the category, and customer feedback on there has been pretty impressive.
After well over 10,200 individual customer ratings, the average customer rating comes in at a very nice 4 and a half stars out of 5.
It comes complete with a one-year warranty, downloadable right from the Amazon page.
Speaking of which, the user manual is also downloadable from the Amazon page, and we have to say that the instructions are very good, written in plain English, and are complete with diagrams.
They even throw in a couple of recipes too!
- 12 cup capacity
- Very easy to use
- Powerful, at 450 watts
- Huge best seller
- 1-year warranty
- Some customers have reported that ingredients can sometimes get stuck in the chute, but this is easily solved
This nifty little food processor from Kitchenaid maybe a little on the small side, but it’s not too small. Compact enough to fit just about anywhere.
And better yet, it’s completely cordless. It runs off a battery that is 100% rechargeable. It’s perfect for those looking for an affordable food processor to keep in the RV. Or certain other self-catering vacations.
It only needs 2 hours for a full charge, and there’s a handy indicator light to let you know when it needs a charge. On a full charge, it can chop up to 40 regular size onions.
The other stand out feature is it’s whisking accessory - perfect for whip cream. You can also use it to chop up your foods or to puree them to make soups etc. This is thanks to the multi-purpose stainless steel blade.
There’s also a high-speed setting, to get that bit more oomph in your food processing.
The bowl is 100% BPA free, and better yet it’s completely dishwasher safe, making clean-up a breeze. The whisking accessory and the blade are also both dishwasher safe.
It’s available in several different colors, so you can choose which one best suits your kitchen’s decor.
Customer feedback looks very promising. On the Amazon page for example, after about 100 individual customer ratings, the average rating comes in at a very healthy 4 and a half stars out of 5.
Amazon has been known to occasionally offer some really good deals on this product - certainly worth a look.
- Very compact for easy storage
- Includes a whisking accessory
- Runs off a rechargeable battery
- Choose a color to suit your decor
- Small 5-cup capacity
If you’re one of those who loves a bargain, then this is the gadget for you.
It comes from top brand Hamilton Beach, is a huge best seller with retailers and comes with fantastic customer feedback.
On the Amazon page, there have been well over 15,000 individual customer ratings, bringing the average customer rating to a very nice 4 and a half stars out of 5. (Please note, that’s for the 10 cup version without the spiralizer.)
But what we love about it is the affordability - it’s available at a fraction of your $100 budget.
And if you opt for the 8 cup version rather than the 10 cup version, you can save yourself even more money. Not bad, coming from such a big name brand. Either size will fit well into your kitchen cabinet.
With its 450 watts of power, you can choose from 2 speed settings, or put it to pulse. It’s easy to use, all three settings can be set via a little dial on the front of the machine.
It comes with a reversible stainless steel disc for slicing and shredding. And for chopping, mixing, and pureeing, there’s a stainless steel S-blade.
We’re also fans of the large chute because it means you can slip in larger chunks of ingredients, which means even less prep time.
We also like the inclusion of the bowl scraper attachment - very handy for dislodging sticky food. And that’s not the only thing that makes cleaning easier - the bowl, chute, and pusher are all dishwasher safe.
- Excellent value for money
- Large chute
- Very easy to use
- Available in two sizes
- Bowl scraper attachment
- Don’t bother getting the version with the spiralizer - really unpopular
Best Food Processor under $100 Buying Guide
As promised here’s a little buying guide for you - hope it helps!
What capacity to have depends on what you’re predominantly using the food processor for. If it’s mostly for making dips and sauces, then maybe you don’t need it to be too big. But if you’re using it to make salads, then the bigger the better.
If you’re at all unsure what size to go for, we recommend that you err on the side of caution. It’s better if your food processor to be too big than to be too small.
Blades / Cooking Task
Food processors are generally designed to dice, slice, chop, and blend. But sometimes, if you get a really good one, they can do a lot more besides.
Some food processors can also puree, to produce nice, smooth textures, which go down a treat when you’re making soups and dips.
And that’s not all, sometimes by just switching the attachments, you can get your food processor to knead dough. Great news for bread lovers, pizza lovers, and cookie lovers!
If you like the sound of that, then we can recommend our number 1 pick the Ninja BN601 Professional Plus Food Processor, and our number 2 pick, the NutriChef 12 Cup Multifunction Food Processor.
Or you can also get a food processor with a whisking function, like our number 4 pick, the KitchenAid KFCB519BM Cordless Chopper.
Easy to Clean
When it comes to cooking equipment, good cleaning is essential. If your food processor is not cleaned correctly, you risk your food becoming contaminated. To that end, we advise that you invest in a food processor that’s easy to clean.
Ideally, this would be a food processor with removable parts that are safe to be cleaned in a dishwasher, if you’re lucky enough to have one.
When the idea of getting yourself a food processor is to get by with less prep time, the last thing you want is to have to spend time chopping up your ingredients to make them small enough to fit into the chute in the first place.
So to that end, you might want to consider opting for a food processor with a large chute. If this is of interest to you, then we can recommend our number 3 pick, the Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack & Snap Food Processor, or our number 5 pick, the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor.
If there’s one kitchen appliance that varies the most in price, it has to be food processors! They can start from as little as $20, and you can get others that cost ten times as much - upwards of a whopping $200, or in some cases $300.
So it’s very sensible to set a cap on how much you’re going to spend. We would argue that a cap of $100 can be a little high in some eyes.
If your budget is a particular concern for you, then we can recommend our number 5 pick, the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor, which is the most affordable option of our top 5 picks.
The brand is quite an interesting thing to consider when choosing your food processor. Usually, the bigger name brands that dominate the bestseller lists with retailers tend to be far more expensive than their lesser-known counterparts.
And we’re not saying that’s not true. But what we have noticed is that several of the bigger name brands in kitchen appliances happen to have products at several different price points.
So the good news is that you can buy a really good food processor from a big name brand that you can trust, without having to pay over the odds for it or leave yourself out of pocket.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best food processor for the money?
If you’re looking for a bargain, then you need look no further than our number 5, pick, the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor.
It has all the quality you need, a decent inner capacity, and is available at a great price. Especially if you manage to catch a deal.
What is the best multi-purpose food processor?
Now, that’s an easy one to answer. The best multi-purpose food processor in our view is our number 1 pick, the Ninja BN601 Professional Plus Food Processor.
Not just because it’s the most versatile, with it’s kneading dough function, etc, but also because of the overall quality, the large capacity, and the excellent results you can get.
Is a food processor worth the money?
If you’ve never cooked with a food processor before we can understand you wondering if it’s worth it.
But we think that once you’ve bought one, you’ll never look back.