A small food processor is a kitchen appliance that slices, dices, and purees food well even though their capacity is limited. It is similar to a blender in many ways except for the interchangeable blades and disks. Besides, a good mini-sized food processor has a shorter and wider container.
Why Chop When You Can Slice?
Show me one person who likes prepping food manually, and I will marvel. Food processors have been with us since 1946 when a group of smarties from Germany figured they could make a kill from making work easy in the kitchen.
The once large and unsightly (but handy) appliance has since been re-configured to become as efficient and esthetic as the modern chef. Simply put, this little gadget is the Holy Grail of kitchen appliances.
What To Look For When Choosing A Mini Food Processor
With all the many brands on the market, you will want to pay more attention to the specs to get value for your money. We not only give you a buying guide here, but we will also review the best small-sized food processors to make shopping easier. Typically, a bowl with a 2-3 cup capacity is perfect.
Naturally, mini food choppers are mini versions of their larger counterparts, and so they are lighter and occupy a much smaller footprint. The deal when it comes to size is the bowl. The size will differ from model to model, but of importance is that it suits your meals preps. The more vegetables you will need to prep, the larger the size of your preferred bowl.
Well, there is no lying that these processors are noisy. A typical mini processor ranges from 68dB to 90dB. A regular conversation is 60dB, and so even the quietest processor will require you to raise your voices a few notches.
Our selection ranges between 68db and 80dB, which is the best the market has to offer in terms of noise levels. That is not too much to put up with, we figured.
Your need for blades will depend on how you use the mini processor. A chipping blade will be handy for potato chips or vegetable strips. A reversing blade has grater on one side and a slicing blade on the other. This feature is the most important for blades.
A pulse gives short outbursts of power that distributes the load evenly and gives you consistency in your work. This feature could be a deal breaker.
- Internal Storage For Your Bits And Pieces
A typical food chopper will have more than one set of blades, which will prompt you to have some form of storage for them (not only for easy access but your safety too). Most models will come with inbuilt storage, but others (especially those with small bowls) do not have enough capacity.
This attachment is not common in many small processor models, but it is handy particularly when you want to make liquids such as almond milk. This disc adjusts the force in the machine to push the liquid down when it surpasses the maximum liquid capacity. This way, your liquid will not splash all over the machine.
Other factors you may want to consider include multi-functionality, where your chopper does more than slice and dice. It could include an eggbeater and a whisk disk attachment.
Price varies according to functionality and specs, as well as the brand. We do not look at it as a factor, seeing that it does not always equal to quality.
Now, which is the best mini food processor on the market? These 10 are some of the best according to our evaluation.
What Are The Top-Rated Small-Sized Food Processors?
Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini Prep Plus – Editor’s Choice
It comes as no surprise that Cuisinart is our top choice, seeing that the company has dominated the kitchen appliance market for ages now. This mini with a 3-cup bowl costs less than $40! It is also featured as one of the best food processors in 2017.
Externally, this machine measures 9.8 x 8.2 x 5.6 inches and weighs 3lbs. The material is hard plastic, with all parts being dishwasher friendly. You will have a variety of colors for selection ranging from a bright green to the more toned-down silver.
The container has a handle to make the transfer of food easy, and the lid has two holes at the top. How does that help? You can pour in your liquids without opening the lid or stopping the processor. One feature we find attractive is that the fluid drips slowly into the mixture below to give you the ideal consistency.
Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini Prep-Plus food processor has two basic settings: chopping and grinding. The sharp blades moving clockwise are for chopping, while the reverse is for grinding your hard roots and cheeses. You will need to manually manipulate the blades to reverse them using the two buttons on the face of the chopper.
You can either use pulse for chopping or let it run continuously for finer chopping.
Every good thing has a defect, and this mini’s undoing is the noise levels: 85dB. The good thing is that it makes that much noise when chopping, but it tones it down a notch when grinding. We found a compromise by running it on high for a minute (to get the job done faster), and we found it to be bearable. Read the full review of Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini-Prep Plus here.
- Powerful machine with a 250-watt motor
- Dishwasher-safe bowl
- Somehow higher noise level
- The hole in the lid is not sealable, and so you may end up with splashes all over.
KitchenAid KFC3511ER 3.5-Cup Food Chopper
KitchenAid kitchen appliances are known for not only having a solid construction but also being colorful. This processor is no different, with a range of over 8 colors. The base has rubber tones to hold it in place. It is mini in every sense of the word, with its minimal dimensions-7 x 5 x 9.5 inches and 3lbs.
The Polycarbonate plastic making the 3.5-cup container is BPA free. It does not have a handle. Both the lid and the container are dishwasher friendly. The lid has a hole at the top for adding you liquids without opening it, and thankfully, it seals completely to avoid spillage.
The KitchenAid KFC3511ER has two main settings: puree and chop. Unlike most models that have the switches on the base of the machine, this model has them at the top.
The reversible blade chops when it moves clockwise and purees on the anticlockwise move. Reversing the stainless steel blade not only changes the function, but it also places your food in the position for consistent cutting.
Most reviewers react to the lack of a handle. It sure does take some getting used to. There is also some noise on how complicated the top part is to disengage from the base. However, the overall view is positive, with many users praising the powerful 240-watt motor and leak-proof lid.
- Lightweight and compact
- The buttons are at the top
- Impressive capacity at 3.5 cups
- Food gets caught inside the lid sometimes
- It takes a minute to get used to the lack of a handle
Ninja Express Chop (NJ110GR)
Bearing a 200-Watt Power Pod, this Ninja mini will grind, mince, chop as well as blend your ingredients. It has an ergonomic head, which will only work when connected correctly onto the container. It is also the pulse of the processor.
The 3-cup container is BPA-free and dishwasher-safe, but the stainless steel blades are strictly hand-wash. It is quite small at 5.75 x 5.75 x 10.13 in and 2.4lbs, and sadly for color lovers, only available in gray.
One of the selling points of this Ninja is its functionality. The 200-watt motor is quite powerful to work a variety of ingredients. Nut lovers will love the way it crushes them and even makes a sauce out of them. The trick is in ensuring that the motor is not overworked as it burns quickly.
A major complaint among reviewers is food getting stuck between the engine head and the gear that spins the blade. Naturally, this fixed part is almost impossible to clean, seeing that the manufacturer has warned against immersing the gear area in water.
- The blades are extremely sharp
- It is made of BPA-free and dishwasher friendly material
- The powerful motor will minces, grinds, chops, and handles ice cubes gracefully
- Sometimes have to keep pressing the head down to keep the machine working.
- Food may get stuck
Ninja Master Prep (QB900B) – Top Pick
This Ninja unit is not your ordinary chopper, but more like a three-in-one unit comprising of a blender, food processor, and grinder. Yet it is powerful though small in size. It has two sets of blades for each set-up.
The 2-cup processor minces, grinds, dices, and chops vegetables and hard roots, while the blender, well, blends and purees. A 400-watt motor runs it.
The lid on the machine is leak-proof but does not contain a chute to pour your liquids. Instead, you would need to add your liquid midway or at the beginning of the process. The irreversible blades are quite sharp and thus will shred to a fine texture.
Many users love its spout, non-slip surface, and the anti-splash guard. They also commend the company on easily removable and yet dishwasher friendly parts. They also like the fact that the blades come apart for easy cleaning.
One of the complaints from users concerns the blades. Unless you pulse the process, your onions will be reduced to liquid in a snap. There’s quite a lot of space between them, which leads to inconsistencies when chopping.
- It has an anti-splash guard
- Blades ideal for frozen chopping and blending
- It is multi-purpose and well-priced
- Blades are non-reversible
- The motor can be too powerful for onions and delicate herbs
Aicok Multipurpose Mini Food Chopper, Blender and Mincer
From looking at it, it seems too small to hold much, but it has a 4.5-cup capacity with a 250-watt motor. It does not need a power-base as the pulse is at the head. You can choose to pulse it depending on the ingredients or let it run continuously by pressing down the head unceasingly.
The blades, made from 304-stainless steel, are sharp from day one and they retain this sharpness for the appliance’s useful life. They will shred anything that comes their way including cabbages and ice cubes. Each of the two S-blades is removable for cleaning.
Reviewers like the simple cleaning process. It only has three parts (container, head, and the blades), with the container being dishwasher friendly. The blades will only need a soak in soapy water and a rinse. The head contains the gear, and so it does not need cleaning.
Reviewers have noted that it is quite noisy, (90dB), but that is normal for most small food processors. The good thing is that the motor is super powerful to allow you to chop your ingredient and turn it off quickly.
- The powerful motor is multi-functional
- It takes up a small footprint
- It is cheap
- Quite noisy
- The spout spills smoothie
Hamilton Beach 72600 Fresh Chop 3-Cup Small Chopper
This Hamilton Beach mini-sized food processor has a handy feature that most lack: a hide-away cord wrap. The compartment for the cord gives this small machine a funny look, but it does not add to its weight (2lbs).
The 3-cup container is made of hard plastic and is machine washable, and so is the leak-proof lid. The lid has a drip system for pouring in liquids while working.
There has been noise from users about the processor overheating when you run it for 30-45 seconds continuously. This prompts you to shut it off for a while until the heat goes down. Additionally, the lid is a bit loose, and it will only lock perfectly when you hold it down.
It has two pulses where the handle should be. You can only slow the process down by pulsing for seconds at a time. The blades are not designed for reverse grinding, and so you will need to use a spatula to position your food for consistent chopping.
Overall, it is worth its price. It has a stable base and rubber points to hold it down ideally. You may need to be careful with the amount of time you leave it on to prevent liquefying your food. You will also need to turn it more often to avoid food sticking to the sides.
A plus point that it can be used to make baby food, definitely can be rated as one of the best baby food processors!
- Takes up little space
- Has a hide-away cord wrap
- The 135-watt motor will even make sauces and baby food
- Liquefies food fast if you run it too long
- It takes in a small batch of food at a time
Proctor Silex 72500RY 1.5-Cup Food Chopper
The bowl on this mini food processor has a 1.5-cup capacity. The detachable gearbox is quite large, but it does not impact this machine’s overall weight. Instead, it makes the perfect base for the machine.
It is too small for whole products, and so some prepping is required for tomatoes and large onions. If you plan to chop, you will only need to pulse it a few times to prevent liquefying your food. On assessment, it works best on sauces and humus-type of spreads.
Although it is quite small, with only a 70-wat motor, it is quite the efficient worker. It shreds and chops up fast, albeit noisily.
It only has three detachable parts: the bowl, blade, and the lid. Both container and lid are made of BPA-free plastic ad they are dishwasher friendly.
Reviewers seem to like it for its price and sturdy base. However, they wish that it had conventional on and off switches so that you can leave it to work as you do other things. As is, you have to hold it down all the while.
- It is lightweight with a small footprint
- It is cheap
- Purees food to a good consistency
- It only has two blades, which have a hard time pushing food back to center
- It is too small and so you will need to chop up some foods
Chef’n VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper (Arugula)
The color (Arugula) makes this small food processor stand out and look good on your kitchen counter. This chopper is manually operated. It comes with a cord that you pull to activate the blades and to bring it to action. Simply put, the size of your ingredients will depend on your pull.
It is a pretty easy appliance, with only a handful of parts: a 5.5 x 5.5 x 5.2-inch container, a set of blades, and the lid, all of which (except the blade) are dishwasher friendly.
As much as it has a large capacity, it is still ideal to cut large onions into two to make them easy to slice. After placing your ingredients in the container, twist and lock the lid, and then pull the cord to spin your blade.
The container acts as storage for later use since it comes with a sealable lid. The manufacturer says it has a three-cup capacity, but that much food would be too much to chop manually. Best chop one cup at a go.
- It is ideal for campers and those who live off the grid
- You will have control over how fine you want your food shredded
- The container is large and multi-functional
- Manual pulling is limiting
- It is taxing if you have a lot of food to chop
The Pampered Chef Cutting Edge Mini-Sized Food Chopper
With dimensions like these; 9¼” height, 3¼” diameter, you could mistake this processor for a giant saltshaker. This uniquely shaped food processing machine works differently from your standard choppers.
The Pampered Chef Cutting Edge food chopper has a zigzag stainless steel blade (six made into one serrated blade) that the manufacturer guarantees to stay sharp for as long as the chopper lasts. Unlike other choppers where food has to be placed inside a container for chopping, this particular one is designed to process food laid on a chopping board.
It is manual, and so you chop by pushing the plunger down as many times as you wish depending on the size you want. The blades are protected by a wing-like structure inside the structure of the chopper. You will only need to part the ‘wings’ to rinse the blades out.
The rest of the containers (and lid) are dishwasher friendly, and they come apart quite easy. For smaller food items such as nuts or mushy tomatoes, you can chop the, directly in the lid to avoid splashing juice all over.
- It is manually operated and so ideal for camping
- It is easy to clean, and the parts are dishwasher safe
- It needs very little space
- You will need to break the food down into manageable pieces
- It can only handle small bits of food at a time
Brieftons Manual Hand-Held Vegetable Chopper
This one is yet another handy manually operated chopper that comes with a container for storage. The parts come off fast and are just as easy to put together, with all of them being dishwasher safe. All parts are made of BPA-free plastic.
It chops just about anything you need for cooking (even cooked meat). Your pull will determine the size of vegetables coming out of it, and so you will not need to worry about pulverizing food.
It is even fun to work with, and even children (under observation) will enjoy the exercise.
It has a 3-cup capacity although it would serve you better to add a few ingredients at a time, noting that it is hand operated.
Most reviewers like it for its ease of use and reasonable price. A great small vegetable food processor.
- Perfect for small kitchens and RVs
- The container doubles up as storage
- Much quieter as compared to electric choppers
- Manual chopping is daunting
- It takes longer to chop a large batch of food
Electric mini food processors make better appliances when you have a ton of vegetables to go through. If you only need a handful to chop, (and are not challenged physically), you can always opt for the manually operated chopper. You will notice, though, that they are limited in functionality and so only ideal for chopping.
If you need a cheap yet effective multifunctional small processor, then those mentioned above should fulfill your needs well.