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what is the best food processor for small amts?

I am just cooking for me and my spouse. I have a Vitamix for smoothies but I assume that is not the same thing as having a food processor for processing herbs and garlic and vegies or other items. Any recommendations for what small, relatively inexpensive food processor to buy? I am not a fancy chef.


  • We don't do equipment reviews here at Milk Street but we couldn't live without our food processors! A food processor is great for prepping vegetables, grating cheese, chopping nuts, and making doughs. The food processors we use at Milk Street are in the 10 to 14-cup capacity range. This size is great for large-quantity pestos, like our Peruvian Pesto, and for shredding vegetables like the carrots in our French Carrot Salad. A small food processor (under 6 cups) is technically considered a food chopper, rather than a food processor. This means it will be able to chop small amounts of vegetables, make sauces, dressings, marinades, and bread crumbs, but will not come with a slicing or grating blade (like we use for the French Carrot Salad) and the work bowl will be too small to make doughs and larger volumes of sauces. If a food chopper does meet your needs, you'll want to look for one in the 3 1/2 - 4 cup range that includes a feeding tube for best performance. There are only a few out there that have a feeding tube in this size range and you should be able to find one for $40-$50. In order to get all of the features of a true food processor you would need to go up to at least an 8-cup capacity food processor. Personally, I have an 8-cup food processor which is considered pretty small by most people's standards. Sometimes I have to work in batches, but it generally performs most tasks I need it to and includes a slicing and grating disk. I think this size would still be under $100 and doesn't take up too much space on the countertop. Good luck and thanks for writing us! Best, Lynn C.

  • I agree with Lynn - I would go for an 8-cup since the smaller sizes are going to be too small for a lot of recipes. In fact, when it comes to really small amounts, I just use a knife and cutting board. Even a small food chopper will do a lousy job of a few cloves of garlic, etc. You should consider whether you ever want to use the FP for making pizza or biscuit dough or pie pastry dough. This is the best tool for the job and you will need an 8-cup or larger for that.

  • I really like my Cuisinart Duet Blender/Processor.

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