Food processors can be used for a multitude of tasks in the kitchen, and they arrive in various shapes and sizes. And speaking of sizes, today’s article is about choosing the best mini food processor, which can become a tiresome endeavor if you’re looking to get your money’s worth.
But don’t worry, as we’ve already done the research and combed the internet for the best deals, so you won’t have to. As usual, we might add. To give you a quick start, here’s why you should own a mini food processor: if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen and looking to remedy that, i.e. to cut on the “down-time” so to speak, you must learn that a mini food processor can help with chopping and shredding ingredients, grinding spices, puree basically anything and so on and so forth.
Moreover, this type of kitchen appliance will help you with once assumed to be unachievable tasks with just a few preps, and also they will last you forever, that provided you’ll go for a high quality unit.
How to Choose the Best Mini Food Processor
Mini food processors are specifically designed for people who are looking for less expensive and more compact gear. It’s worth mentioning that mini food processors can’t be used with heavy-duty ingredients, but they make for excellent starter machines, which can be later upgraded if one so inclined.
To begin with, size is a priority, since we assume you’re dealing with limited space in your kitchen. Generally speaking, mini food processors have a capacity of 1-4 cups, and they’re excellent if you want to prepare smaller recipes, the likes of nut butters, sauces, baby food, dips and purees. The ideal size for most families would be 3 cups, so you can be sure your gear can handle various tasks while keeping a “low-profile” on your cabinet.
Easy cleanup is also an important thing to look for, especially if you’re the person in charge of keeping your kitchen clean as a whistle. If the food processor is a pain to clean, you may be inclined to do the processing part by hand, and that would beat the purpose of spending money on gear, right? Look for simple designs that are easy to clean with soap and water, and keep in mind that touch controls are a breeze to clean compared to raised pushed buttons.
Before anything, be advised that most mini food processors are not really suited for blending, though some folks may be fooled by their blender-like appearance. If you want to blend smoothies to the Moon and back, check out this article about the best blender for smoothies.
If you already own an immersion blender, that’s great news, and you must learn that a mini food processor would make for the ideal partner in the kitchen for your blender. Moving along with the story, check out the motor power of your mini food processor. A food processor with a weak motor may result in uneven chopping and things of that nature. Power is very important especially if you’re looking to chop harder ingredients, so keep that in mind for further reference.
Features are important in any kitchen appliance, but mini food processors are pretty far from being complicated machines. Most of them arrive with a single blade that grinds in one direction and chops in the other, i.e. they only offer basic, no-nonsense functionality.
The more expensive models may offer multiple blades, blender units or different sizes of work bowls, which means they’re more versatile, and if you’re ready to spend extra bucks for a little bit more functionality, be our guest. Generally speaking, a mini food processor only has 3 control buttons: on, off and pulse. The pulse button allows you to check if the food is pulverized enough, yet most food processors combine the off and pulse button.
Finally, look for dishwasher-safe units, with simple(as in easy to clean) designs, but we already told you that, and, most importantly for fashion-conscious users, shop for a mini food processor that looks good on your kitchen cabinet, i.e. watch out for streamlined designs that go well with your décor.
Best Mini Food Processors
Ninja NJ110GR Food Chopper
The Best Budget Mini Food Processor
Our first pick is the Ninja Food Chopper, a 200-watt powered mini food processor with a 16-ounce bowl, perfectly suited for chopping, mincing, grinding, meal prep and even light blending. The Ninja NJ110GR is the ideal tool for onion, garlic, spices, zest, bacon crumbles, cheese, chocolate, nut chopping, sauces, dressings and spreads, but don’t expect this mini food chopper to excel at heavy duty tasks, this is not what was intended.
Before you ask, 16 ounces is 2 cups, and even if 200 watts may sound like “meh” to some of you, the Ninja is the king of mini food processors, being very light, compact and affordable, yet strong enough for delivering perfect results every time. Feature-wise, the Ninja NJ110GR comes with a large chrome pulsing button, for consistent results, and has a non-slip base and splashguard on the bowl, which keeps everything in check, clean and rock-steady.
Moreover, you’ll get a storage lid for added convenience, to keep your food fresh, and the good news is that the Ninja NJ110GR is designed with dishwasher-safe removable parts, i.e. it’s easy to clean. Bottom line, if you’re looking for an all-round, solid mini chopper that excels at mincing garlic, cubing carrots, chopping nuts and pulverizing cilantro, you’ve just found your match.
- Easy to use, easy to clean, well designed, solid and affordable
- Amazing value for money, dishwasher safe, quick reassembling after washing
- Excels at chopping veggies, fantastic for everyday cooking
- Not so great for single-serving amounts
KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Food Chopper
If you’re not into ninjas, check out the KitchenAid mini food processor. As per its name, this little food processor is perfect for small processing jobs due to its 3.5 cup bowl with locking blade, handle and pour spout, which make it ideal for dressings and sauces.
Moreover, you’ll get two speeds and the now-usual pulse operation for fine or coarse results, while the lightweight construction and compact footprint, not to mention its almost perfect size, will make the KitchenAid a reliable ally in the kitchen.
To give you an idea, this petit kitchen appliance is approximately 9 inches high and has a diameter of 7 inches, so it will fit perfectly on your kitchen table or wherever you choose to put it. The bowl is dishwasher safe, and what’s very important in our view, this mini food processor is very well designed, i.e. it’s very easy to disassemble and to put together.
Yes, that means cleaning the KitchenAid is a child’s play, and the same goes for using it. All you have to do is to press down the lid, in order to activate the blade. We must mention the oil reservoir on top of the lid with a drizzle hole that allows you to add oil while making sauces or dressings; also, the lid works as a safety key and the trigger in the same time.
This smart design (incorporating the lid into activating mechanics) helps with reducing the likelihood of accidents in the kitchen, especially if you have kids playing around while you’re cooking and whatnot. Specs-wise, the KitchenAid has a powerful 240-watt electric motor, which, needless to say, produces impressive results every time.
Finally, the KitchenAid can be ordered in 18 color choices and comes with 1 year warranty, thus making for a great mini food processors under $50.
- Exciting perks, affordable price tag, one of the best mini choppers around
- Powerful 240 watt motor, compact design, lightweight, reliable performance
- Tons of colors to choose from, excellent for small amounts of dips, spreads, or mirepoix
- Limited liquid volume
Cuisinart DLC-2A Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor
The Best Mini Prep Food Processor
As the name suggests, the Cuisinart DLC-2A is a work of art on itself, and we’re not mincing words here. If you remember what we told you in the preamble of the article, design is very important when choosing the best mini food processor, at least for some people, and in this regard, the Cuisinart DLC-2A plays in a league of its own.
Looks aside, the Cuisinart DLC-2A also has it where it counts, more precisely in the “specs” department. For example, this is one of the best mini prep food processors on the market, and that’s due to its 250-watt electric motor, which is one of the most powerful in its niche, and yes, that makes it suitable for relatively “heavy-duty” tasks, such as grinding hard cheese.
Another cool feature of the Cuisinart DLC-2A is its proprietary Auto Reversing Smart Blade, which helps with processing both hard and soft foods in its 3-cup/24 ounce work bowl.
- Dishwasher safe removable parts, easy to clean, can grind or chop at a touch of a button
- Comes with touchpad controls, very easy to operate, BPA free plastic (great for making baby food)
- Nice base weight, stable, powerful 250 watt motor, easy to disassemble
- Kind of loud
BLACK+DECKER 1.5-Cup Electric Food Chopper HC150B
Very Affordable Mini Food Processor
Next in line we have the HC150B from Black+ Decker, a very small electric food chopper with a 1.5 cup capacity. Obviously, this little fella is incredibly easy to use and to clean, and also cheap, yet due to its limited capacity, it can only be used for certain tasks.
As in, forget about heavy-duty jobs, but as far as mini choppers go, this one is more than adequate. The HC150B comes with removable parts that are dishwasher safe and chopping is fairly easy via one-touch pulse control. The show is powered by a tiny 70-watt electric motor and a bi-level stainless steel blade, yet chopping performance is mediocre if you compare it to the mini food processors reviewed above.
However, the HC150B from Black+ Decker is ok for chopping fresh herbs, small amounts of fruits and veggies, bread crumbs and chocolate, as long as you don’t get your hopes too high. For dicing and mincing, just look elsewhere. Bottom line, if you’re looking for a basic food chopper with small capacity, the HC150B from Black+ Decker will get the job done with flying colors.
- Small foot print, compact design, very light and easy to use, good value for money
- Excellent for making salsa, quiet and great for everyday cooking
- Easy cleanup, does well with apples, mushrooms, shallot, peppers, basil, spinach etc.
- The lid lacks a locking mechanism, and that can be dangerous
Cuisinart CH-4DC Elite Collection 4-Cup Chopper/Grinder
Premium Mini Food Processor
Last but not least, we present you with a “premium” chopper/grinder from Cuisinart. This $50’sh 4 cup grinder is part of Cuisinart’s elite collection and features an ergonomically designed touchpad control panel, an auto-reversing smart power blade and an excellent safety feature that lacks in the Black+Decker, a blade lock system respectively , which keeps the blades securely into place.
The Cuisinart CH-4DC weighs 3.3 lbs, has two speeds, is easy to clean up and it’s great for chopping veggies, the likes of carrots, onions, cucumbers etc. On the top cover you’ll see a few tiny holes which allow you to add oil while making salads, sauces, dressings, what have you; safety-wise, the unit won’t work if you don’t put the cover on (the blade lock thing), and the cleanup is easy.
The Cuisinart CH-4DC comes with a chop and a grind function to make your life easier in the kitchen, and it’s powerful enough to deal with large garlic cloves and nuts. Bottom line, this is a decent chopper/grinder for the money, yet it’s a bit loud, so be advised.
- Beautiful design, chops and grinds, perfect tool for most jobs in the kitchen
- Comes with spatula, easy to clean and to take apart, good value for money
- Stronger than it looks, great for chopping veggies, mixing salads
- Some quality control issues reported by users
If you’ve made it this far, you’re already a quasi-expert in mini food processors. To wrap it up, each of the models reviewed above has something to offer, and if you’re looking for the best of the bunch, we’ll definitely recommend the KitchenAid 3.5 Cup; this baby should definitely be your top choice.
If you’re on a tight budget and want to save some bucks, just go for the Ninja NJ110GR, and you won’t be disappointed by the “bang for the buck” ratio delivered by this incredibly affordable mini food processor. However, whichever model you’ll settle for, just make sure you read carefully the pros and cons list, and you’ll do fine. Happy shopping!