If you usually end up in the kitchen for hours on end on Christmas Day, it could be worth investing in a food processor or stand mixer so you can spend more time unwrapping gifts instead of chopping veg.
A decent food processor or mixer can help with a range of otherwise time-consuming tasks, from blitzing breadcrumbs, onion and herbs for the perfect stuffing to whipping up some tempting brandy butter.
We’ve just put six new food processors and one new stand mixer to the test, including models from big brands such as Ninja, Kenwood, Tefal and Philips. Four impressed us, scoring highly enough to become Best Buys, but a couple didn’t quite hit the spot.
Latest food prep gadgets put to the test
Kenwood Multipro Compact FDM312SS food processor – £128
This food processor comes with an integrated weighing scale, so you can add ingredients straight into the bowl. It comes with a 1.2-litre main bowl, that’ll do the job for most day-to-day processing, as well as a jug blender, milling pot and two 400ml smoothie cups.
The attachments include three different-sized metal discs for grating and slicing, as well as blades to knead and mix and a dual beater attachment. As food processors go, it’s on the compact side – at only 23cm deep, so you should have no problem squeezing it onto your kitchen counter.
Not sure if this model is the one for you? Check out our full Kenwood FDM312SS review to see how it performed in our rigorous lab tests.
Ninja BN650UK food processor – £99
Ninja claims its Auto-IQ Technology will take all the hassle out of food prep, with automatic one-touch programs that do the hard work for you.
It comes with a range of attachments including a metal disc for slicing and grating, a metal blade for chopping and a plastic mixing blade. The instruction manual contains 20 recipes to get you started on some basic meals and desserts too.
Will it really save you time in the kitchen? Read our independent Ninja BN650UK review to find out.
Ninja 3-in-1 BN800UK food processor – £192
This higher-spec Ninja food processor comes with five one-touch blending and processing programs that are designed to make food prep quick and easy. There are also three different speed settings if you prefer to keep things simple.
The main processor comes with a 1.8-litre bowl as well as the usual blades and discs for chopping, grating, slicing, kneading and mixing. You can also use the 2.1-litre blender jug for puréeing and blending, and the stacked blade attachment is designed to crush ice to a fluffy, snow-like consistency. There’s also a 700ml personal blender cup with its own lid that’s perfect for breakfast on the go.
Is it worth spending almost £200 on this multi-tasking food processor? Read our full Ninja BN800UK review to see how it fared in our lab tests.
Philips Viva Compact HR750/11 food processor – £90
The Philips Viva Compact food processor comes with a 2.1-litre main bowl and a 1.5-litre blending jug to help you get a range of kitchen tasks done quickly and effectively. In the box there’s a double-sided metal disc for grating and slicing, a metal blade for chopping and blending, an emulsifying disc for whipping and beating, and a plastic dough tool for kneading. There’s even a citrus press to help you make fresh juices.
You can choose between two speeds and a pulse function, plus this processor has non-slip feet so it won’t move around on your worktop during use. It comes with a two-year guarantee to cover you in case of any technical issues or mishaps.
How well does this processor chop, grate, mix and knead? Check out the Philips HR750/11 review to find out.
Tefal Double Force Pro DO821840 food processor – £109
This Tefal food processor comes with a whole host of accessories to help you out with mundane kitchen tasks. These include two reversible discs for grating and slicing, a titanium-coated blade for chopping, mixing and blending, an emulsifying disc for whisking or making sauces such as mayonnaise, and a dough kneading attachment for making bread.
The generous 3-litre processing bowl is good for bigger batches, and there’s also a 2-litre blending jug. Unlike many rival food processors, this Tefal offers a choice of power settings, so you can choose from six speeds in total.
Read our Tefal DO821840 review to find out if it’s truly a pro at chopping, slicing and mixing.
Breville Blend Active Compact food processor VBL241 – £35
This little Breville won’t take up much space in your kitchen cupboard. As well as chopping veg and crushing ice, you can also use it for blending soups and smoothies and puréeing food.
The 0.45-litre bowl is absolutely tiny compared with full-sized processors, so it’s more of a helping hand for small chopping tasks, than for big batch cooking
Find out if this miniature food processor can chop with the best in our full Breville VBL24 review.
Best food processors and mini choppers – see our recommended buys
Lakeland 2-in-1 mixer 61782 – £60
This dual-purpose model can be used as both a hand mixer and a compact stand mixer. It’s far cheaper than most other stand mixers we’ve tested, while still including enough accessories to fulfil basic tasks, including metal beaters for mixing and whipping and dough hooks for making bread or cookies.
The 3.5-litre stainless-steel mixing bowl is large enough that you’ll be able to make plenty of festive goodies in one go. You can tilt up the mixing head to make adding extra ingredients to the bowl easy, and there are five speeds plus a pulse setting to choose from.
Can it mix, whisk and whip as well as a full-sized model? Read our full Lakeland 2IN1 61782 review to find out.
Best stand mixers – get straight to our top picks
Stand mixer or food processor: what’s right for you?
The best place to start is by thinking about what you want to use it for most, as this will narrow down your options and make the choice a lot easier.
A food processor could be a better option if you’re a slightly more experimental chef or like to cook big, elaborate meals.
The latest models can perform a wide range of kitchen tasks such as kneading, whipping and whisking as well as the usual chopping, grating and slicing. Some also come with additional blender attachments to make speedy soups or smoothies, or mills for grinding coffee. The larger capacity means you can tackle larger batches all in one go too.
They’re more expensive than mini choppers and you’ll need to make sure you have enough space to spare on your worktop, so it’s worth considering just how regularly you’ll use one before making a purchase.
Bear in mind they can be a faff to clean, too.
If you’re a keen baker, a stand mixer will be your best bet. These are especially well-suited to tougher mixing tasks such as kneading dough, whisking up fluffy meringues and making pastry.
Some stand mixers can accommodate a range of extra attachments such as blenders, food processors, mincers and even ice creams maker, though these can be expensive.
They’re best for cooking and baking in larger batches, however, so may not be the ideal choice if you usually work with fairly small quantities.
If you’re short on kitchen space or usually cook in smaller batches, a mini chopper could be the perfect choice. They hardly take up any room on your worktop and can be easily popped in a cupboard when not being used.
They’re best at the basics – think chopping, slicing and grating – but no good for tasks such as mixing or kneading. With smaller models only costing around £30 though, they’re considerably cheaper than full-size food processors, so might be a good stepping stone if you’re not quite ready to commit to a more expensive model.
See our kitchen appliance buying guide for more advice on choosing the right gadget for you.