Top picks in Food Processors

Maybe nothing's more important to you than all the bells and whistles. After all, a good food processor should last you the rest of your life. But, are you really going to keep it the rest of your life? With new models coming out all the time, you're probably going for a new one later and that creates a lifetime pricing consideration for most. So, we've mixed it up a bit on "value."

More commercial grade and supposedly high end processors were taken into consideration, and quickly dismissed. The famed Robot Coupe used in restaurants around the country, as an example, simply isn't a fit in the home environment. Sure, the higher end units are NSF certified and meet legal requirements in all states for commercial kitchens, the safety rating is true enough you can feel free to drop one in the bathtub with you with little fear of electrocution, and there's power. They're also ugly, expensive, overkill for most home applications, and the low blade placement doesn't give you a lot of texture options even on pulse. So, let's stick with the home units.

Another note to consider: If it wasn't over 10 cups capacity, it wasn't even considered for the list. If you want a magic garlic mincer, no problem! Most people aren't dirtying the food processor unless there's some volume involved.

The 13 cup KitchenAid and 12 cup Braun are tied for first. In my not-so-humble opinion, KitchenAid outperforms the other major brands and generally delivers higher power per dollar, not to mention the bowl shape, blade placement and blade size are all optimal for testing your skills at varying texture results. Public opinion on the Braun favors its light weight and most of the reviews will mention it. Personally, that's a negative when you're doing smaller batches and want counter stability, but that power and reliability for that price! Plus you'll probably be the only kid on your block with one. It's cute and it breaks a stodgy design paradigm while offering the reliability behind the Braun name.

Next up are the 11 cup standards with proven reliability and performance for the bucks. The Cuisinart DLC-8S might not be the most design-forward item on the market, but its predecessors in the line up have stood the test of time, and with great pricing. Want something visually spiffier? The Black & Decker is pretty, good quality and performance, has a second 4 cup work bowl (if you're into that kind of thing), and comes in around the same price. These are probably the truest long term best bang for the buck units for most people, but the price difference isn't significant enough to beat out the top two.

If you simply have to have the Cuisinart name and are an all-stainless-all-the-time kind of person (not that there's anything wrong with that), the next two Cuisinarts give you a trade off in priorities. Make the same basic design shiny with a bigger work bowl, the biggest of the picks at 14 cups, or stick with 11 cups and go design-forward. At these prices, in the end you're probably better off with one of the top four, but neither of these units is going to disappoint you in terms of durability or performance if one of the options offered is a must for you.

The last place KitchenAid isn't actually last place, even in this lineup of top picks. But, one extra cup of capacity and a few extra attachment gizmos isn't as much fun considering the sticker shock. If you want all that and the price isn't a deterrent, this is the go-to choice for everything you need in one box. It's still last in the lineup due to the price, but you had to see it.

The VREMI is actually the low end pick. It has way too many options to be wholly reliable at that price, but at that price you can have some fun between now and when you get another one in five years, either because it broke or because you just want to. Whether or not you agree with the lifetime pricing consideration comment is part of your decision on this one. There's definitely short term fun for the bucks with this unit even if you might not be able to count on it for lifetime bang for the buck. Still, how small do the bucks have to be before you stop expecting it to last forever?