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Ask The Readers: What Food Processor Do You Recommend?

Today’s question is from Sonia:

I’m looking for a good food processor that can make almond flour, shred carrots, and puree baby food. Any suggestions on the best {yet still frugal} options? Thanks!

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  • Conni says:

    I’ve been using my trusty Cuisinart (larger model) for more than 25 years! While it is not necessarily the cheapest, I believe that it outlasts the competition. I have never had any problems with it…never had to have the motor serviced or repaired…and I’ve used it for EVERYTHING!!!! Maybe you could find one for less on eBay, Freecycle, garage sales, or Craigslist.

    • Emily says:

      I have the same one and I love it. I also bought the Cuisinart mini not long ago for quick and little jobs. I love both.

    • kate says:

      I have my parents’ hand-me-down Cuisinart – they decided a couple years ago to upgrade to a snazzy new stainless steel one and gave me the old plastic one. They used to make my baby food in it, so it’s at least 30 years old and still works great. Worth the investment, IMO.

    • I’ve had a Quisenart as well for 6+ years and it works wonderfully. A family memeber has had other more ‘frugal’ machines that don’t last much more than a year and they don’t work as well. Some times being frugal means buying quality even if the dollar amount up front is more. Especially if it lasts 25 years vs one year like the other reader mentioned! I think I also use my Blentec blender for more of my grinding/pureeing. The Quisenart Food processor is great for chopping and grating.

  • Siobhan says:

    I have a little Kitchenaid one- cost me like $40 at Target and it is the perfect size for baby food and almond flour… if you want something that shreds though you have to get a larger one.

  • Lisa-panaMOM says:

    I’m currently saving for the big kitchenaid processor!!!

  • Tiffany says:

    I bought a Black and Decker that I LOVE LOVE LOVE!! I posted a review on it here if you’d like to read it.
    I have had it for quite a few months now and continue to be super happy about my purchase. When I bought it, it was only $29.99, I think it’s currently $35.99 which is still a great price.

    • Lorie says:

      Be careful not to drop and break any of the plastic pieces; they’re impossible to replace (at least it was for the model I had).

  • Julia says:

    A couple of months ago I replaced my old broken blender with the Ninja Master Prep Professional QB1004. On sale for $50 at Bed Bath and Beyond, used 20% off Q and got it for $40. Love it! It does great for smoothies, babyfood, hummus, carrots for carrot cake, onions and pepper for chili, etc.

    Here ’tis on Amazon:

    • AnnaLisa says:

      I have a Ninja Master Prep. I agree – I love it for the BLENDER, smoothies, baby food, etc. However, I would NOT use it for food processing. I have a KitchenAid food processor that we love. We’ve had it 10 years with NO problems to speak of. A little expensive, but lots of longevity. I tried food processing in the Ninja since it was on the counter already, and was so disappointed that I dumped the half processed ham salad over into my KitchenAid anyway.

    • Kristen says:

      I received a Ninja as a wedding gift – so it’s the only one I’ve ever had – but I love it! I use it mostly to make breadcrumbs, but I have also made hummus in it and I’m looking forward to making baby food soon!!

  • I’ve had a Cuisinart for years. It’s fantastic.

    • Laura Z. says:

      I use the Cuisinart. The model I have has a blender attachment and a food processor attachment. It is great because it takes up very little space and both the blender and food processor work great!

  • Jen says:

    I’ve only used Cuisinart. My parents still have their original one (30 years old). I’ve had mine for 13 years and it’s still going strong.

  • Heather says:

    Alas, I bet the current versions of some these brands that people have for many years are not built as well as they were previously.

    • Andrea says:

      Excellent point! Nothing is made like it used to be!

    • Shannon says:

      I’ve had a Cuisinart for years that we’ve replaced parts on. When I looked at the possibility of replacing it recently, the reviews on Amazon for the Cuisinarts weren’t very good — your point exactly. I’m glad to see this post because I’ve considered getting something newer in the future. For now, I’ll keep using what I’ve got as it still works. But I’m curious about what food processors are actually worth getting nowadays!

      • I’ve used a cheap Black and Decker, two different Cuisinarts (both about 3 years old) and a 12 cup KitchenAid (also 3 years old, not the upgraded model they have now). I would recommend a Cuisinart, handsdown. You could price match a Macy’s One Day Sale to Bed Bath and Beyond and still use a coupon. I matched a Kohl’s sale and did that at BB&B and got the KitchenAid for 65% off (but I much prefer the Cuisinart, easier to clean and use, though both are very powerful and well built).

  • Chanda says:

    I have the big Kitchenaid one. Its great because it actually has three different bowls you can set in it for different size jobs, or to do three jobs at once without having to wash in between. It was a bit spendier, but it is durable and works great!

  • Leighann says:

    I have a smaller Cuisineart that I’ve used to make baby food with. I don’t know if it can make almond flour, but it makes baby food wonderfully.

    Here’s a quick recipe to make applesauce that you don’t have to use a food processor for:

    Peel and core about 5 apples. Quarter them. Put them in a pot with 1/2 cup of water and cinnamon/brown sugar/nutmeg/whatever seasonings you would like. Cook them on medium high for 20 minutes; using a potato masher, mash them to the consistency you would like (chunky, smoother, etc.). Cook them another 20 minutes on medium low. Stir, mash some more if they need it. Cook them a final 20 minutes on low. If you want them dryer, cook a bit longer.

    That’s the method I’ve been using to make applesauce for my baby since he was 4 months old! He’s almost a year old now. It’s incredibly easy and doesn’t require anything other than the pot to cook in and a potato masher (you could probably use a big fork instead, if you don’t have the masher, but I like the masher).

  • Meg says:

    I have a kitchenaid now (about $150 on Amazon) and I love it! Way better than the cheaper one I had. I’ve had it for about 3 years and use it for tons of stuff. Worth the $!

  • I love my Cuisinart. This is the one I have: It’s definitely worth the extra $.

  • Lacy says:

    I bought a food processor to make baby food and used it for so many other things as well. I can tell you what NOT to buy 🙂 I bought a Kitchen Aid one from Bed Bath and Beyond and had to return it TWICE. The first time the handle on the bowl with the locking mechanism broke (it had been cared for as directed and not been dropped or anything) the second time the motor just stopped working. Bed Bath and Beyond replace it with an identical model the first time and I asked to switch to a Cuisnart at the second return. They gave me no trouble what so ever about returning it. I 100% recommend purchasing from Bed Bath and Beyond not only do they offer great coupons, they have wonderful customer service! (I have no affiliation with the company, just a satisfied customer) Since I’m not making baby food on a regualr basis I dont use this processor as often, but so far I really love it!

  • Lila B says:

    I’ve had a large Cuisinart for 28+ years. It is strong enough to handle anything, never had any hint of trouble, and I’m sure I’ll probably get another 20-some years from it!

  • Andrea Southworth says:

    I use the Cuisinart (large one). I used it for everything from baby food to salsa. It was a lifesaver in making baby food!

  • L. Judd says:

    After burning out about 3 cheap food processors over the years on simple tasks, I tried a Kitchenaid when I was talked into it years ago. It was okay.

    I now have a large Cuisinart and a small one that also has the juicer attachment. I was lucky enough to find both in thrift stores. I also have been lucky enough to find various pieces and parts for the large food processor on ebay over the years, as some things needed replacing, and some were missing. You can even find a Cuisinart on ebay at a reasonable price, used. I was very lucky that the small one was complete for $15. I won’t complain about initially spending $5 for the large one. I now have a more than complete 11 cup food processor that works great and it’s an old model.

  • Marie W. says:

    Cuisinart…and I would suggest the larger model. I have the 11 cup and use it for making peanuts into peanut butter, shredding carrots(and cheese!), pureeing, mixing pie dough, and we even use it to make smoothies! There really ins’t much thwt it can’t do! I chose a Cuisinart because I grew up in a Cuisinart household. My mom’s was used probably every day, even several times a day and held up for at least 15 years. I bought one with absolutely no reservations and have never regretted it!

    • Ann says:

      I got the 11 cup cuisinart about a year ago and I really like it. It is my first real (not mini) food processor. I still sometimes forget to use it for some jobs. I just shredded cheese by hand today and it would have come in handy.

  • LisaM says:

    At 6:20 Alton Brown discusses how to choose a food processor.

  • Kristin says:

    I have the Ninja master prep and I don’t mind it for food processing. I’ve even ground wheat berries in it (which probably wasn’t very good for it, but it worked fine). With my first son, I made his baby food – at the time I had one of the Cuisinart models that was a blender and food processor in one – it worked great since I thought it was easier to blend peas and green beans in a blender, but it did NOT last long. Really, after the first month or so of solids, after my son started handling textured foods, I could just mash most of the stuff by hand after cooking and before freezing it and then give it a good stir after defrosting it and adding breastmilk or water to get the consistency I wanted.

    But I do love my Ninja right now – and it gets daily use (I’m a smoothie addict) and is still going great after 6 months.

  • Kristin says:

    I also forgot to add that I do carrot and veggie shredding on a mandoline – so I don’t think the Ninja does that kind of thing.

  • OMG! I know it’s expensive but we got a Vitamix and LOVE it!!! It does all of those things and MORE!!! Don’t buy one online. Wait until your local fair comes into town and check out their roadshow. We got our vitamix from our Puyallup fair and it costed us $400 dollars that included not only the regular blender but the dry container for making flour and your dry stuff, the sharpest knife I’ve ever used, AND a whole foods cook book to go with it that tells you how to make everything under the sun including kids play-doh and baby food! All of this would’ve costed us up to $800 but we only paid $400 because we waited for the roadshow at the fair.

    We use it EVERY day! I make soups, chop my veggies (which has been the best way to get my kids to eat veggies raw by “hiding” them in their food), almond milk, flour….the list is endless! We’ve totally gotten our moneys worth out of it! Plus we’re super healthy 🙂

    • Diane says:

      How do you know if they’d be at your fair? I am considering getting one because I’m tired of buying new blenders every 2-3 years.

      • I called the fair to find out if Vitamix would be there. Another thing you could do is call vitamix and ask them when their road show will be in your town and if they’ll be at your fair. Don’t give up from there if there are no leads. When in doubt, just go to the fair and look for the area that has all the roadshows set up and check out the area. They’re usually by T-mobile or Sprint or something.

        Oh, and another thing you can do is keep an eye out for the vitamix at your costco. They often visit there about every couple of months. You could ask the people doing the presentation if they know whether they’ll be at the fair. DON’T buy one at costco though! You’ll pay $350 and only get a wet container and maybe the recipe book. You get a lot more if you get it from the fair! Hope that helps 🙂

        I was in the same boat as you. I kept buying blenders and got sick of it so I broke down and got a vitamix. I’m still amazed with how much it can do other than making smoothies. You’ll love it I promise!

  • Anna says:

    We just bought our first (big) food processor, and after lots of looking and reading reviews, we went with a Cuisinart. I’m very happy with it so far. (My little Kitchen-Aid one died after about 4 years, so I was hesitant to buy another Kitchen-Aid processor, plus the reviews weren’t so great.)
    I also like that Cuisinart ones come with an instructional DVD.

  • Btw, another great one is the kitchen aid. But it doesn’t do as much as the vitamix does. I only use it for mixing your tougher things like our bread dough. The dough we use is too hard for the vitamix to mix.

  • Tammy says:

    Had my Cuisinart for years and LOVE it. It is very sturdy, safe, strong and efficient. They always go majorly on sale during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season if you can wait that long.

  • Courtney says:

    I also highly recommend Cuisinart! Have the larger one and love it 🙂

  • Caroline says:

    I made d0 for at least 13 years with a garage sale food processor (hamilton beach?) and a walmart $25 blender. Baby food was homemade for 9 babies that way. Thay weren’t great machines, but they did the job… mostly…
    I was blessed with a used Cuisinart last summer at our church’s garage sale. WOW! Fabulous and wonderful and amazing. I no longer fear breaking my machine making peanut butter. Smooth, quiet, and powerful. Hummus, baba ganoush, peanut butter, shredded cheese and coconut are no problem!

    Make do with what you have; save for a serious machine =)

  • Lizzie says:

    I found this one suggested on a cooking site. She said she’s used it for ages and it does everything she needs it to.
    I have it on my wish list on Amazon;) Looks good to me–I burned up my big (free) one trying to make homemade Lara bars;0

  • sandi says:

    In 20o4 my husband bought me a refurbished Wolfgang Puck food processor. We saved quite a few dollars and its still going strong. I even grind my own meat in it.

  • Highland Lassie says:

    Vitamixer! It’s great! It will last a long time! I think we got ours for about $100 or a little less. You get what you pay for, and this would be an investment…not a foolish spend! It’s well worth your money! Oh…and we didn’t buy our Vitamixer from the actual Vitamix website….we bought it from a distributor named, Charity Callis. I don’t know if Charity Callis has a website…..but we knew her, so we just called her up.

  • I recently purchased a Kalorik for under $60? Their blender was on America’s Test Kitchen’s best buy list, so I figured the processor was pretty decent, too. I really like it except for the juicer attachment that didn’t work. But that’s not what I bought it for anyway… It does a great job shredding and chopping and pureeing for a pretty low price point. I like it much better than the Kitchenaid I was replacing.

  • Margie says:

    I would encourage you to save your money and buy a quality machine. I had a Kitchen Aid for 25 years, and it finally wore out. I replaced it with a 14 cup Cuisinart a few years ago, and I am completely happy with it. I use it for many applications, and I am really enjoying the larger work bowl. You’ll never regret buying quality equipment!

    • Margie says:

      I might add that I’ve also owned a Vita Mix (I now have a Blend Tec – which is a superb blender), and I don’t recommend trying to use it for everything. As a grain mill, it’s terrible. For smoothies, it’s wonderful; and I wouldn’t use my food processor for making them!

      We have always had a limited budget, and 7 children. I am blessed that my husband has always thought that my “tools” were just as important as his, so we made the investment in top quality ones. I also have a grain mill and a Magic Mill mixer that I have used extensively, and they are top notch pieces of equipment that are worth every penny.

  • Kate says:

    Another Cuisinart fan here. I thought I’d note though that I tend to do small batches of baby food, a cup or 2 at a time, and it doesn’t work well for that- the food spreads to the side of of the workbowl (even the small workbowl insert) and the blade can’t get to it. So I’ve picked up an immersion stick blender for that instead.

  • Amy says:

    I’ve had a huge kitchenaid food processor for about 10 years, and it is wonderful. It is alot of things to wash when you get it out to use, which is my only criticism. About two years ago, I finally invested in a Vitamix, which doesn’t shred but does everything else you would ever want to do, including grind flour, make ice cream, soups, etc. If i could only buy one appliance in the whole wide world, I would sell every other appliance I own to buy a vitamix. Quick clean up, great power. Never quits.

  • Cassie says:

    I actually bought a ninja food system from Costco a few years ago for around $50 and the blades are still as sharp as ever! I like it because it smoothes ice 100x better than a blender (and makes amazing smoothies!), but isn’t as expensive as some of the bigger food processors. My set came with 3 different sized containers with lids, and blades for each. The nice thing is, you can save whatever you didn’t eat right in the container with the lid and stick it in the fridge. I make smoothies, sauces, marinades, purees, and baby food in mine. Good luck!

  • Jan says:

    I love my KitchenAid. I got a good deal on Amazon and QVC runs specials on ocassion. It is super fast, quiet and came with two size bowls and different blades.

  • Sharon F says:

    My husband bought me a Cuisinart for my birthday last October and I don’t know how I lived without one all those years. I love it! I did make almond meal a few weeks ago (I have several family members who are gluten free) and it worked like a champ. I also love it for making biscuits and pie dough. It makes quick work out of the mixing and the biscuits are tender and flaky. The pie dough is the best I’ve ever made.

  • KimH says:

    I wouldnt buy anything but a Cuisinart myself. They last forever & if they dont, they have a fantastic warranty. You can buy parts for it if you lose or break them long after you buy it. Its also one of the few that old versions are still being bought & sold on Ebay & people are paying decent money for them.

    I have several different sizes.. I use the mini chopper for herbs mostly, and tiny bits jobs.. I have an ancient one I still use often, & I just bought a newer 7 cup because its got a a larger shoot for bigger veggies so you dont have to cut them up so much when you want to slice or shred..

    I’ve made almond meal with mine as well but not certain it gets as fine as what I would consider true flour.. Perhaps if you let it run longer.. I wasnt after flour so I didnt process so long.

    Good luck finding the food processor of your dreams!

  • Grammy Darlene says:

    I love my Cuisinart I can’t imagine my kitchen without it. I had a 9 cup one for years and a couple of years ago I upgraded to the 14cup and gave my daughter the 9 cup which is still going strong. The thing I like about the larger one is that it comes with two bowls the large one and a smaller one incase you don’t need to use the 14 cup. Or if you just used the large bowl and then need to do something smaller before you have a chance to wash out the big one. It’s just great in every way. You can take nuts to butter, make dough, grind meat, etc…and the blades stay sharp.

  • I was recently researching food processors when a frugal alternative bounced into my brain. I have a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer and attachments are sold separately that can do just about anything for prices a lot cheaper than most quality food processors. So, I purchased the slicer/shredder attachment and LOVED it. Plan to add more attachments soon.

  • Mindy says:

    I can tell you NOT to buy a Food Network processor. It’s really cheap. I have a hand me down Cuisinart that is missing some parts but still runs great and I use that one to make my laundry soap. I don’t know how old it is but it’s pretty ugly so I am assuming old.

    • Whitney says:

      Ugh, I was hoping to see a GOOD review of the Food Network one. My fiance got me that one for Christmas and though I haven’t used it yet, I was planning to soon. We kept the box and the receipt so perhaps I’ll heed your warning and just return in (store credit, I’m guessing, since so much time has passed).

  • Nancy says:

    My Cuisinart is 30 and going strong. I adore it.

  • Jen says:

    I used to have an electric food processor until I got the Quick Chef Pro from Tupperware. At first I didn’t think I would like the manual type but I LOVE it. I can control the chop/puree/whatever a LOT easier than I could in an electric one. They aren’t cheap (I think around $70) but I knew it came with a lifetime guarantee so I was ok with it! I can hook you up with my Tupperware girl if you want! 🙂

  • Jana Biel says:

    I agree. Cuisinart rocks! We have the 11 cup one and I don’t know how I lived without it. I use it most days at least once. We make baby food, shred cheese and carrots, smoothies, slice potatoes. During harvest we made applesauce, shredded massive zucchinis! Great machine. Really love it.

  • Caroline says:

    I have used my little Kitchen-Aid the most.

  • Rita says:

    I actually don’t use a food processor anymore, this year I bought a Health Master Living Well by Montel Williams, yes the one on the infomercial, I bought it with hesitation, however after using it for the last three months, it has already paid for itself, trust me an investment worth every penny. I make all my nut butters, breadcrumbs, all my different flours that I use, smoothies, juice, shredded veggies, soup and it heats it as it’s blending – you get the idea. The only thing I have not tried is any type of dough or batter (cookies, bread or cake), I still use my kitchenaid for that, but I think if this were the only small appliance I had it would work fine. I highly recommend this especially if you have little one’s and will be making baby food – you can put the cut up sweet potato’s in raw and it puree’s them, my kids are 7 & 9 and with this I can sneak in all kinds of good stuff into their juice and smoothies and they don’t have a clue! keeps us all healthy.

  • Annette says:

    I have a 13 cup Cuisinart that I have had since that size first came out (years). I love it and haven’t found anything that it can’t do. It was expensive but I’ve never once regretted the purchase.

  • Nancy says:

    My husband bought me the Ninja blender/food processor combo and it’s awesome.

  • stee says:

    I have the Cuisinart and it is fantastic. I’ve had it for almost 10 years and it is a workhorse. I use it all the time.

    Cook’s Illustrated rates the KitchenAid food processor higher than the Cuisinart now. I bought one for my mother for Christmas. It was on sale + extra bucks + a coupon code at I like that it comes with the little bowl for small jobs.

  • Christel says:

    I got my Cuisinart off CL for $50 about a year ago and use it at least every other day!! It’s so nice! I had a kitchen-aid food processor and it died shortly after a year.. called them and they would not replace outside of a year! I would have to send it back on my dime to have it fixed. I decided like many on this thread it’s best to invest a little more for something that will last!!! I did sharpen the blades manually when I got the Cuisinart home cause I noticed they were a little dull. I took the food engrossed bottom off and soaked it.. scrubbed everything down, it looks/works like new!! I had been looking at them every year at the outlet kitchen stores before Christmas wondering if I should take the plunge or not… so glad I was patient and waited!!

  • naomi says:

    My cuisinart had a crack in it a little after a year. Now it leaks and i’m not happy with that investment at all.

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