July 6

What Size Food Processor Do I Need? | Our Detailed Guide to Dimensions!


Author: Colin Ma
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Food processors are quite useful appliances in the kitchen particularly if you know exactly what you are doing. They perform lots of functions that cannot really be replaced with alternate appliances easily.

That is why you need to be very sure that you’re choosing the right food processor size to suit your need (see here how to pick your food processor). You should always ask yourself what size food processor you need before making a purchase – you could also find any number of additional gadgets and attachments available as optional extras On the other hand, if you are looking for alternatives check out this post – ‘What To Do If You Don’t Have a Food Processor?

The size of the food processor that you need should largely depend on the type and quantity you need your food processor for as well as the amount of spare space you have in your kitchen for the appliance storage.

Though food processors perform a myriad of functions in your kitchen (see ‘What is a Food Processor?‘ post), the size will largely depend on you to know what exactly you’ll be using the food processor for. For example, you may want to check out these best food processors for nut butter.

In this article, we will consider the different sizes of food processors and what you can consider to determine the size of food processors that best suits your needs. On another note, the Ninja Mega System 2-in-1 we reviewed earlier combines a high-powered blender and a full-size food processor, making a strong case for getting one. On a side note

What Size Food Processor Do I Need?

food processor for pie crust
Kneading dough requires a fairly high-powered and relatively large food processor.

Different food processors come in different sizes. The size of a food processor can range anywhere from 2 cups all the way to 20 cups.

It should be noted that depending on where you live, the measurement unit may be different. In the US, the measurement unit for food processors is cups whereas in Europe it is liters.

The perfect size of a food processor for your needs will largely depend on the functions you expect your food processor to perform.

So for instance, if you decide to purchase a 3 cup food processor, you can do some limited processing of vegetables. However, you would not expect this to grate cheese or process meat efficiently.

If you prepare large batches of baked products and need a food processor for kneading dough, then you will probably need a larger food processor or a multi-purpose one like Cuisinart Elemental 8 Cup Food Processor.

Food processors also have different power ratings usually between 400-1500 watts and generally this correlates highly with the size.

The bigger the food processor, the more powerful its motor is.

Sizes of Food Processor

cuisinart sizes
Food processors come in various size. Generally, the larger the food processor, the more powerful it will be.

There are different sizes of a food processor.

There is the commercial or extra large food processor, large, medium, and small food processors. We will consider each of them below.

Commercial Size or Extra Large Food Processors

As the name connotes, this is usually the biggest size of food processor there is. If you own a food truck or a restaurant, this might be among the best food processor options, just like this high-end food processor from Breville. It is great for extended use and multiple functions.

It is also perfect for preparing food for a large number of people without having to pause.

They usually have the features of the full sized processors and some others. You can also use an extra large food processor to knead as well.

Also Read: Best 16 Cup Food Processors

The Large or Full Sized Processor

Large food processors are usually sized between 12-14 cups in capacity. Most large food processors have a minimum capacity of 12 cups.

Also Read: Best 14 Cup Food Processors

Mid Sized Food Processor

The mid sized food processor is a medium sized food processor that is about 7-10 cups in capacity and is usually a suitable size for a maximum of 4 people, it can be used to shred, chop, grind e.t.c like most large sized food processors.

They also have different feeding pipes which you can alternate between depending on what best suits your need per time.

Also Read:

Mini Food Processors

These are quite small compared to the full sized food processor and are usually not able to perform some of the other functions that full sized food processors have. The best small food processors are reviewed here.

It usually has about 3-4 cups in interior space. Which can be considered quite small for some. It can be used in small dorms and individual owners.

This food processor has a small size which makes it easy to put in small spaces in your kitchen.

You can easily create a small corner in your kitchen to keep your food processor even when it is not in use.

It also means that you cannot use it to prepare food for a large number of people. It has a cute design that allows it to dish food in small quantities.

Also Read: Best 3 Cup Food Processor

Functions of a Food Processor Depends on Its Size

A food processor can be used for a variety of things (see our ‘Food Processor Uses’ review). Some food processors even come with blenders (see also food processor vs blenders).

Generally, the larger the size, the more functions a food processor is deigned to perform.

A large food processor can be used to knead or mix your dough or pastries. Heavy-duty food processors can knead without much stress

A larger food processor can also grate carrots and all different types of fruits and vegetables in general, and can also grind or shred, too.

A medium-sized food process can be excellent for cutting or chopping vegetables and fruit like carrot, onions, cucumber, spinach e.t.c – see also ‘Food Processor Vs. Chopper’ review.

You can use your food processor to mix ingredients: This might not seem like much but when you want to prepare a meal which you have to mix multiple ingredients for, your food processor will definitely come in handy

Mixing ingredients can easily be done with a relatively small food processor while you can also consider getting a Nutribullet blender to mix both liquid and dry ingredients. 

Features of a Food Processor Relevant To Size

A larger food processor generally has better features and accessories

Dough Blade

Best Food Processors for Pie Crust
Plastic blades are recommended for kneading dough

As the name connotes, it is usually used to mix pastry dough. Though most people consider it unconventional and not as efficient as a standing mixer (see ‘Stand Mixer vs Food Processor‘).

You can pop your pastry into your food processor and have it thoroughly knead within 5 minutes or more.

Food processors featuring a dough blade (see ‘Food Processor Blades’ post) are generally large or of medium size since smaller food processors aren’t really decide to knead dough.

Also Read: Best Food Processors for Dough Blade

Higher Watts

Larger food processors usually require higher watts to function optimally.

The wattage of your food processor will essentially determine the speed and efficiency with which it will function.

They come in different sizes and varied watts. Generally, you should go for food processors with highest watts possible in your size and budget range. For example, take a look at these best food processors under $100.


Large sized food processors usually come with a large bowl that makes it really easy to prepare meals for multiple people in the home. This is especially suitable for large families.

Smaller food processors usually have smaller bowls

Feeding Tubes

Best food processor for chopping vegetables
Larger Food processors have larger Feeding Tubes

This large sized feature allows you to add more food into your food processor after it has started to function.

It also makes it easy to run the food processor without stress as you don’t always have to take out a batch of food before adding a fresh batch

While the small food processor comes with smaller feeding tubes

Multiple Functions

The larger the food processor, the more functions it usually has. Most large-sized are for grating, shredding, cutting, mixing, julienning e.t.c. you can decide on the best food processor tip that best suits the needs of your meal.

The small-sized food processor is perfect for mining and chopping.

Due to its small size, it might not be the go-to appliance for kneading dough but the specialized nature of its functions means that it is skilled in performing those functions.

Physical Size

What Size Food Processor Do I Need
A small food processor is easy to store and clean.

A large food processor will require large kitchen space. You might have to create some extra counter space in your kitchen to put a big sized food processor

Small-sized food processors are quite easy to assemble, you can dismantle your food processor and put it with the dishes (see how food processors are cleaned) so it doesn’t take up too much extra space when it is not assembled. On a separate note,  your food processor might not be working because of a simple issue like improper assembly.

Final Words

In this article, we discussed extensive  what size food processor do I need.

Food processors come in a myriad of sizes and choosing the best food processor size for your home will largely depend on the number of people you need to serve, the functions you need, the power you need as well as on your budget.

For smaller families, the medium sized food processor will be a perfect option for the home while the commercial sized food processor with its multiple functions and features is usually suitable for large restaurants and food truck.

Always ensure that you check how much space you can spare in your kitchen before deciding on a food processor for your home.


1. What size of food processor do I need?

Whichever size is ideal for you is determined by the number of people you typically cook for and the recipes you'll prepare. If you typically cook for a family of four or prepare dough in small batches, an 11-cup processor should suffice.

2. Is a 7 cup food processor big enough?

A work bowl with a capacity of seven cups does not necessarily mean that it can hold seven cups of food. It can handle approximately half of that volume in liquids and three-quarters of that volume in solids. If you're feeding a large family, consider increasing the size of your work bowl. It will retain all of these fantastic features and be large enough to meet your needs.

3. Which is better Kitchenaid or Cuisinart food processor?

They are both a good brand of food processor but only differ in their blending speeds & power.
The Kitchenaid model features three speeds: low, high, and pulse, whereas the Cuisinart food processor features only one speed: on. The Cuisinart, on the other hand, features a heavy-duty 600-watt motor, while the Kitchenaid features a 300-watt motor.

4. Can a food processor chop onions?

Yes, you can use a food processor to chop onions, but the pieces will not be uniform in size. You must use the pulse setting to avoid overprocessing the onions, which results in an off flavor. To avoid producing off-flavors, pulse no more than seven times.

5. What should I consider when purchasing a food processor?

When purchasing a food processor, you should consider the size of the appliance, the power of the motor, and the number of accessories that come with it. You should also decide what type of food you will be processing most often. If you plan to mostly process vegetables, a simple food processor with a standard blade will do. If you plan to process meat or dough, you will need a more powerful appliance with a specialized blade.

About the author

Colin Ma

An avid home chef, Colin is equally passionate about delicious meals as well as the latest cooking appliances. He's also a keen writer about cooking-related topics.


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