We tested two high-end food processors to see whether they offered any extra features that made them worth nearly two to three times the price of an ordinary food processor.
Published Jan. 1, 2016.
We still eschew high-end food processors in favor of the Cuisinart Custom 14 Cup Food Processor—a powerful, affordable workhorse that produces stellar results every time. For the past 2 years we've stocked over two dozen of these food processors in our test kitchen, where they receive extended daily use. Read the full review here.
We tested two expensive, high-end food processors, the 16-Cup KitchenAid ProLine Series and the Waring Commercial 3.5-Quart Pro Food Processor, running them through the same tests as our average-priced models to see whether their “professional” designation made any difference to their performance and sturdiness, and whether they offered any extra features that made them worth nearly two to three times the price of an ordinary food processor.
Our conclusion? The Waring is nice; a souped-up version of our winning model, the Cuisinart Custom 14, made by its sister company. They share the same compact shape and simple design, and the Waring’s quiet motor and extra blade options were a pleasure to use. However, its performance in a few key areas, including chopping and slicing, actually fell short of our winner. The KitchenAid ProLine is a space-hogging behemoth at more than 16 pounds, 18 inches high, and 12 inches wide, and includes an equally enormous accessories box (including a successful dicing attachment). Like the Waring, its motor was powerful and quiet, but its performance also fell short of the top average-priced models. For nearly $700, the flimsy-feeling plastic dial that controls this machine is disappointing. While the performance of both models was not bad, we can’t recommend spending this much for less-than-stellar results. We’ll be sticking with the practical, affordable workhorse that is our winner.
The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.
Lisa is an executive editor for ATK Reviews, cohost of Gear Heads on YouTube, and gadget expert on TV's America's Test Kitchen.