In our kitchen, our rule is don’t buy uni-taskers. If it’s not a tool I can pull out for many different uses, I don’t have the room to store it. Our Cuisinart food processor comes out all of the time!
If you’ve never owned a food processor, you need to. It will change your cooking world. It’s amazing the recipes you can create with it.
As a home cook, it’s one of my must-have tools. Not only is it a serious multi-tasker, but it’s super easy to clean, too. I often hand wash it because it’s a quick soap and rinse job. It can go in the dishwasher, too. As a busy mom, these two things make this appliance a kitchen lifesaver for me!
What to Look for in a Budget Cuisinart Food Processor
- A good motor. You want the appliance to last and also handle the hard work of grating up a bunch of cheese. A sturdy motor won’t make that much of a difference if you’re emulsifying a salad dressing, but it matters more when making a dough for biscuits.
- Pulse functionality. Having exact control means you get the texture that you want. If you only want a rough chop of almonds, a few pulses. If you want more of an almond flour, hit “high”.
- Two speeds. You want to choose from low or high speeds, simply put.
- Optional shredding/slicing blades. Part of what makes the food processor such a workhorse is its ability to accomplish multiple tasks, but it does require switching out the blades to accomplish this. You don’t want to buy those separately.
- Capacity. You don’t want liquids to spill over or to have to split up other recipes into multiple batches.
- Affordability. Paying for the costs of a family isn’t easy so you need to find the right price. You’ll also want to purchase quality so making a small investment in this appliance will pay off in the long run.
Ways You Can Use a Multi Food Processor:
- Whip up a homemade mayonnaise with a little yolk, red or white wine vinegar, mustard, salt, and oil.
- Cut fat into flour for flaky pie crusts.
- Chop up nuts for mixing into yummy homemade granola.
- Turn those often-discarded heels from your bread loaf into bread crumbs.
- Easily mix up a batch of basil pesto and serve over vegetable noodles.
- Mix homemade pasta dough without flouring the entire countertop.
- Churn up homemade hummus.
- Quickly grate carrots for carrot cake.
- Make cookie or graham cracker pie crusts.
- Puree your own baby foods (just add breast milk or formula and thin to desired thickness).
- Grind meat!
One of my family’s favorite things to make with our food processor is dragon bowls.
Why a Cuisinart Food Chopper?
Cuisinart is great if you are looking for bang for your buck. When you purchase a Cuisinart multi food processor, you can be sure you are getting a good product at an affordable price. Cuisinart food processor blades are known for being sharp and durable.
Best Budget Cuisinart Food Processors
Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor
- 720-watt motor
- Dishwasher safe
- 14-cup capacity means you won’t likely go over the fill line with any recipe
- Pulse option on this as well
- No low and high speed option
- Harder to store because it’s tall and heavy
- Poor customer service
If you have the budget, this is an awesome choice with a powerful motor. It has a larger feed tube plus variable sized pushers to better handle adding food while it’s processing. The large capacity means you can make pretty much any recipe in only one batch! This is also the only product on this list made of stainless steel instead of plastic, but it is considerably larger, so if storage space is an issue consider another option. This product will give you many years of use and enjoyment.
Cuisinart 12-Cup Food Processor
- Two different bowl sizes (additional 4-cup bowl)
- Includes a dough blade, a great option
- Strong, 1000-watt motor
- 10-year motor warranty, 3-year limited warranty
- Seal allows you to pour out ingredients without removing blade
- Dishwasher safe
- No high/low speed option
- Tall so harder to store
- Food can get stuck under rubber washer in seal
If you’re ready to jump all in with a food processor and use it for a ton of jobs, including making dough, this might be your preferred choice. It has a unique seal that allows you to pour out ingredients without taking off the lid and removing the blade like other processors.
Cuisinart 11-Cup Food Processor
- 550-watt motor
- 11-cup bowl has plenty of room for larger sauces and shredding lots of cheese
- Easy to clean
- Pulsing option
- Doesn’t always slice the food well to the end
- Awkward with handle locking in the front
This Cuisinart 11-Cup Food Processor works the same as the 8-cup, but, obviously, has a larger capacity. This would be the best option if you have a larger family. It’s a great kitchen tool to allow your kids to use as well because the blades won’t run without both the bowl and lid locked in place, a great safety design.
Cuisinart 8-Cup Food Processor
- A 350-watt motor to handle all of the jobs I could throw at it
- 8-cup bowl holds enough for the majority of my recipes
- Easy to clean/li>
- Pulsing makes it easy to chop up things like onions (so they didn’t simply pulverize)
- Feeding tube for shredding and slicing discs didn’t do well once the food was smaller in size (couldn’t finish slicing up the entire carrot well)
- It’s a slightly awkward design to have the handle locked in the front in order to run the motor
- The center stem wobbles and feels a bit loose, but otherwise works fine
This one is the winner for a compact size. It has a good, sturdy base so it stays put on your counter while the motor is running.
The Cuisinart 8-Cup Food Processor has a decent sized feed tube which is good for something like grating cheese and not wanting to chop the block into skinny pieces to feed it in.
Cuisinart Mini Food Processor
- Low price
- Fun color options available
- Easy to clean, dishwasher safe
- Tiny bowl
- No pulse option
- Weaker motor that will break down if used a lot for bigger jobs
- Short warranty
This compact food processor is perfect if you want to try out a food processor before investing in a bigger one. It is great for making small amounts of sauces or dips. This one comes with an 18-month warranty so that’s a little bonus. If you are looking for the best small food processor, this one is a good choice.
We generally use the Cuisinart 8-Cup Food Processor because we have a family of four and rarely need a larger size. Anytime I want to add finesse to my food—like topping off a protein with a pesto, chimichurri, or gremolata—I turn to the processor for quick work. It doesn’t blend these things up and helps maintain a textural quality to the food.
Here are some of my favorite recipes to use with my food processor.
Strawberry Banana Frozen Dessert Recipe:
2 frozen bananas (freeze them in smaller chunks)
1/2 pound of frozen strawberries
Put them all in a food processor and puree it, scraping down the sides as needed until it’s creamy and smooth. Enjoy!
Dragon Bowl Basics Recipe:
- Start with a base of fresh greens.
- Add grains or noodles (I cook up cheap ramen noodles, but don’t use the flavor packets, and instead toss them in some soy sauce)
- Add vegetables, both cooked and uncooked (carrots, cabbage, onions, squash, avocados, cucumbers, mandarin oranges, pickled veggies)
- Add a cooked protein (tofu, eggs—cooked to your liking, chicken, beef, pork)
- Throw on toppings for crunch (nuts, chia, seeds, sprouts, herbs, fried noodles)
- Finish it off with your dragon sauce!
Dragon Sauce Recipe:
½ C rice or apple cider vinegar
1T minced ginger
1T minced garlic
¼ t pepper
½ C soy sauce
2T toasted sesame oil
2T orange juice
¼ C chopped scallions
2T peanut butter
2T plum sauce (I used apricot jam as a substitute)
1/3 C olive oil or grapeseed oil
Place everything but the oil in the food processor and blend well for several minutes. Slowly drizzle the olive or grapeseed oil in as you mix to incorporate it.