Best Food Processor

Best Food Processor

Last updated: January 2, 2017. The Best Food Processor. Looking for a processor to make baby food? We’ve tested a dozen and picked the Cuisinart Elite Collection 2.0 12-Cup Food Processor as best food processor.

New to shopping for food processors, food mills and steamer/processors? Read our 7 Things No One Tells You About Buying a Food Processor for advice and tips.

The Cuisinart Elite Collection 2.0 12-cup food processor ($165 to $200) is a full featured food processor with four different blades and disks. It includes a smaller 4-cup bowl, which would be perfect for pureeing smaller amounts of food for baby. Just pull out your veggie steamer basket and a pot, steam your preferred veggies then pop them in the Cuisinart. Ta-dah! you’ve got pureed baby food.

Some fruits are soft enough that you won’t need to cook them first (we’re looking at you, bananas). And you can vary the consistency easily by hitting the pulse button a few time for chunks. But the beauty of buying a traditional food processor (rather than a baby food steamer/processor) is you can use it for so much more around the kitchen: pie crust, bread dough, chopping nuts, grating cheese and more.

You may have noticed that there are several “baby food steamer/processors” for sale in cooking stores and online. For the most part, these combo appliances are rather disappointing and don’t rate very well with parents. However, we know some folks are still tempted to buy one—so below, we have a our recommendation for the best of these steamer/processors as well as the best manual food mill.

The Best Food Processor

Cuisinart Elite Collection 12-cup Food Processor

The Cuisinart Elite Collection 12-cup Food Processor ($160 to $200) includes both a large 12-cup bowl and smaller 4-cup bowl, five slicing disks and blades and electronic touch pad. This is a processor flexible enough for both pureeing baby food and many other cooking chores.

 

Also Great: Cuisinart Chopper/Grinder

Cuisinart 4-Cup Chopper

Looking for a smaller solution to your baby food making quest? Or just don’t want to spend $100+ for a fancy processor? Consider the Cuisinart 4-Cup Food Chopper. This is a real workhorse that can not only puree baby’s food, but also chop herbs, grind spices and other mundane kitchen tasks. At only $58, The Chopper is a great option to consider.

Also Great: KitchenAid Chef’s Chopper

Kitchenaid chopper 3.5 cups

Similar to the Cuisinart Chopper, the KitchenAid Chef’s Chopper has a slightly smaller bowl (3.5-cup) with an added wet/dry compartment on the lid for adding liquids or dry ingredients while shopping. The price: $45. Parents did note the KitchenAid is pretty noisy.

Best Food Mill

OXO Good Grips Food Mill

Best Food Mill. If you don’t want or need another appliance on your counter or in your cupboards, consider a food mill like the OXO Good Grips Food Mill to help puree baby’s food. This hand crank model may look like a design from the past, but it does the job with just a little elbow grease. At $50, it isn’t cheap, but it will last and parents love it. Use it to make mashed potatoes and other purees when you’re done with the baby food stage.

Best Baby Food Steamer/Processor

Beaba Babycook

Best Steamer/Processor. Yes, we think these specialized baby food makers are a waste of money. But . . . we know some folks still want a specialized baby food steamer/processor, especially if you don’t own a food processor. Our best bet for top baby food steamer/processor is the Beaba BabyCook. Although it only has a 3.7-cup capacity, parents love the way this steamer/processor works and cleans up. At $90 to $120, the Beaba is pricey for the short time your baby will eat baby food—but parents love how easy it is to use and clean.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing food processors since 2005. In addition to hands on testing of food processors, we have combed the research about reliability, cleanability and efficiency. We also evaluate consumer reviews posted on sites like Babies R Us and Amazon, as well as our own message boards.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews. We’ve been writing and reviewing baby gear since 1994. Yes, that long!

How we picked a winner

Using a Food Processor

We evaluate food processors with in-depth inspections, checking models for overall quality and ease of use—for example, pureeing and chunking different types of fruit and vegetables. We also gather significant reader feedback (our book, Baby Bargains has over 1 million copies in print), tracking humidifiers on quality and durability. Besides interviewing parents, we also regularly talk with retailers and consumer appliance experts to see which brands are most trustworthy and other key quality metrics.

7 Things No One Tells You About . . .

7 Things No One Tells You About Buying A Food Processor!

1. To figure out the best food processor for your family, decide how much food you want to make.

If you’re planning to freeze a month’s worth of carrots for your little one, consider a regular food processor. You’ll be able to puree from 12 to 20 cups of baby food in a full size processor. Some models have smaller bowls that can be used for fewer servings. If you’re only interested in a few day’s worth of food, the two to four-cup capacity processors will work just fine. And if a single meal is all you need, consider an affordable manual food mill.

2. Consider the size of your kitchen.

Do you have room for another appliance on your counter? If you already have a food processor, don’t add to the clutter and expense with a specialty baby food processor. If you have limited counter space and don’t already have a processor, here’s where a steamer/processor might make more sense. The capacity is small and most steamer/processors aren’t as well made as a heavy duty food processor, but one might do the trick and save some space.

3. If possible, go large.

If you have the money, you’ll find that larger processors are useful for other cooking needs. We make pie crust, puree sauces, mix bread dough and more in our Cuisinart. And it will last for years. But if price is a consideration, hand-crank food mills are under $20 and will do the job for the small amount of time you’ll be making baby food puree.

4. Baby only eats pureed foods for a short period of time.

Baby Food Guidelines

Babies only eat pureed and chunky foods for about six months or so. After that, your baby (around one year of age) can eat regular adult table food (cut into smaller bites, of course). Hence the utility of a specialized baby food processor is limited; a regular food processor will give you more bang for the buck since it can blend, chop and grind things like pastry dough, nuts and cheese.

5. Good news: food processors should last a long time.

Baby Bullet steamer/processor

The Baby Bullet is an example of “you get what you pay for” with food processors. Many parents complained the motor died in short order.

Most high end food processor are meant to be workhorses. So if you’re buying a food processor to use for more than baby food, spend the money to get good quality. This means a heavy base with a strong motor. We’d stay away from some of the “baby food” processors. They don’t have the same high quality motor and rugged construction.

6. Combination products don’t always work out.

Steamer/processors are like a lot of combination products. Most of them don’t really do multiple tasks well. In fact, occasionally they simply stop doing one or both of the tasks. Cuisinart, for example, makes a baby food steamer/processor. But the reviews are rather unimpressive, mainly because the steamer sometimes stops working. That’s why our top pick is a processor-only appliance.

7. You really don’t need lots of extra blades or attachments. 

Basically, you’ll be able to do almost anything with the main blade plus the shredding and slicing disks. Yes, some processors have extra blades and attachments that sound cool. But do you really need a french fry cutting disk? Or a special storage box? Stick with the basics and you’ll be just fine.

Reviews of 15+ Food Processors and Food Mills

Our Top Choice

The Best Food Processor

Cuisinart Elite Collection 12-cup Food Processor

The Cuisinart Elite Collection 12-cup Food Processor ($160 to $200) includes both a large 12-cup bowl and smaller 4-cup bowl, five slicing disks and blades and electronic touch pad. This is a processor flexible enough for both pureeing baby food and many other cooking chores.