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A good, homemade nut butter is a healthy and inexpensive food that you can easily make and add to sandwiches, sauces, dips, and anything else you can think of. However, to do it right, you’ll need the right nut butter maker. In this post, I’ll run through the best food processors for making nut butters.
What To Look For In A Food Processor
Finding the best food processor for nut butters is a little different to looking at machines for say, smoothie making. In order to make good nut butter there are a few key things you need to look out for before you buy:
The best blender for nut butter needs to stand up to use. That means not only should it last for a long time – assuming that you plan to keep making nut butters – it should also be able to run for a while without starting to burn out.
Most food processors are designed to work in short spurts, so they can sometimes run into trouble if you leave them running for a few minutes or more. When you make nut butters, you might need to use the processor for more than a few minutes to get your butter smooth and well-blended, so the motor has to be able to hold up to that.
Long-term durability matters a lot – no one wants to spend good money on a nut butter food processor only to see it stop working within a year! Plus, you are likely to use it for other applications besides nut butters, so it has to be reliable and able to perform multiple tasks too.
It’s also useful if the chamber can survive the rare knock or drop, just in case. Accidents happen, and this is especially important if there’s a possibility that you might travel with it or take it to a friend’s house.
Speeds and blades
When it comes to speed options, more variety is generally better. As I mentioned above, it’s highly likely you are going to use this processor for more than just nut butters. That means it has to be able to deal with any and all tasks that you ask it to do.
Even if you already have a good idea of what you want it to do, you will probably start looking up more uses once you actually have it. For example, I started making lots of vegan pina coladas and other frozen drinks in the summer once I got one, so I needed a food processor that could deal with ice and frozen, as well as fresh, fruit.
Blade quality is not just about how fast the processor chops up food. It also affects durability. Your blades will be cutting into food and spinning through liquids, so they need to be tough. Any weakness in the coating or the material will cause them to start flaking off or breaking, both very bad outcomes. (1)
So, make sure that both the motor and the blades will withstand frequent use. Better blades also cut faster, meaning that you can get to the right consistency quicker and preserve the motor, as well as reducing prep time.
Some nut butter machines have extra features and options that others don’t. It’s generally not a good idea to make your decision based solely on these features, but they can help you break a tie or narrow down your short list of options.
This includes things like convenience features to help you load ingredients more easily. Some people find these helpful, but be aware that it’s also possible for them to have poor design and actually make things harder to use.
Extra accessories, multiple options, programming and fancy displays – all of these are nice to have, but they don’t generally contribute to the underlying performance of the food processor when used as a nut butter grinder, and that’s the most important thing if that’s what you’re predominantly buying the machine for. Don’t lose sight of performance by getting lost in the features. (2)
This is especially true with nut butters because the ingredients are fairly small and easy to work with – you don’t need to worry about large chunks and how to load them.
It’s a good idea to make sure that it’s not too hard to scrape the sides of the nut butter machine for shards of nuts and smeared butter, but aside from that, features are there to improve what already works well, not to carry the whole value proposition.
Speaking of value, you have to be careful about how much you spend. A good nut butter food processor can run into the hundreds of dollars. Like any other kitchen equipment, it is always tempting to spend more to try to get the best of the best.
However, while I usually like to buy the best I can afford, the most expensive food processor for nuts is not always the best quality, and the less you use the processor, the more important it is to find a good deal. This is another point that ties in with durability: a good processor has to last a long time for it to be considered good value. (3)
It’s a good idea to set yourself a budget and then stick to it. Don’t even bother reading the description of any product with a list price way above that budget. This will provide you with a way to keep yourself from overspending.
After all, it doesn’t make much sense to drop a lot of money on a food processor for peanut butter if you are trying to make nut butters as a way to save money buying them from the store! Even if you plan to use the processor for other things, each dollar you save on it can go into ingredients or other kitchen gear.
Best food processor for nut butters reviews
Now you know a little more about what to look for when shopping for a good nut butter grinder, you can go out and find yourself a great food processor without any help from me…only kidding!
Here are five of my favorite food processors for nuts (and other goodies too).
Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef Food Processor
Breville’s BFP800XL is rather expensive, but it makes up for it with high-quality blades, an ample chamber, easy loading through its wide chute, and many accessories.
This is the food processor to choose if you are interested in doing a lot with your machine and you want a high-end option. It has multi-functional discs for various kinds of cutting and shredding so you can make many different foods in addition to your favorite nut butters.
The big bowl has a capacity of 16 cups and the small one can hold 2.5 cups. There’s also a set of mixers and kneading tools so you can use the Breville to mix doughs and other unusual applications.
If you are willing to seek out the best on the market, then this Breville can do that while still providing good value for money.
- Powerful and versatile
- Makes nut butters very quickly indeed
- Solid, well-made feel
- Great blades (they’re EXTREMELY sharp, so be careful)
- Easy to clean
- Some people have had issues with accessories and bowl melting, which is far from ideal!
- Spare parts can be difficult to obtain
- Doesn’t perform as well as it should at full capacity
Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor
Cuisinart is probably the most famous name in food processing. Their DFP-14BCNY has a capacity of 14 cups and a price about half that of the Breville, so it is solidly in the middle of the market for food processors.
It has a few different discs with different cutting options, although not as diverse a selection as the Breville, and a fairly wide chute. It has an on/off button and a pulse button, so the operation is straightforward.
This is a good option if you are interested in wider use of your food processor beyond just nut butters, but also do not want to break the bank.
The motor has a power capacity of 720 watts. It can be hand-washed or run through the dishwasher after use to remove any food residue. It has a three-year limited warranty, which is decent for a kitchen appliance.
- Good value for money
- Dishwasher-safe parts
- Solid, sturdy and heavy
- Relatively quiet performance
- Good blades which are well positioned within the bowl (an essential in a food processor for nut butter)
- Some motor issues reported
- No dough blade supplied, has to be bought separately
- Controls are awkwardly situated
- It’s a fairly ugly beast!
Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack and Snap Food Processor
Hamilton Beach is a popular brand in many different segments of kitchen equipment, from microwaves and slow cookers to this food processor. Nut butter fans will still be able to whip up a creamy spread despite it being quite inexpensive.
However, this nut butter machine is best suited to someone who does not expect to use their food processor for peanut butter very often, but wants to spend enough to get reasonable quality.
It has a capacity of 12 cups, a motor that drives 450 watts, and a shredding disc and an S blade for blade options. There is a set of two-function buttons on the front to choose the speed of the blade.
The whole thing snaps and clicks into place when you need it and the blade speed is surprisingly high for this price range.
In terms of value, it is hard to get better than this model because it is very budget-friendly and has similar functionality of the bigger units. Providing you don’t need more than 12 cups of capacity and aren’t going to be using it too often, the Hamilton Beach is a decent machine for whipping up nut butters and other tasty treats.
- Very inexpensive
- Ideal for singles or smaller families
- Works well with small volumes
- Easy to use
- Bowl has a spout, making pouring simple
- Snap clamps are easier for those with hand problems, such as arthritis or elderly users
- Slicing doesn’t work as well as other models
- It’s quite a loud bit of kit
- Can leave chunks when processing larger items
- Food can get stuck in the handle area
- Not the most durable machine available, but the price reflects that
Braun FP3020 12 Cup Food Processor
The Braun FP3020 is almost like a midrange version of the Hamilton Beach, as they both have the same 12-cup capacity.
This machine, however, has a 600-watt motor with 7 different blade options and 11 speed settings for a wide range of combinations.
You can put any of the parts into the dishwasher except for the base with the motor, naturally, and it has a large chute that can take big and long items without the need to chop them up first. Another nice thing about the Braun is that it’s quieter than most food processors for peanut butter due to a more efficient motor.
There are some additional blades that you can buy separately if you want their functionality as well. The Braun is best for someone who will not need more than 12 cups but is interested in a good quality machine.
It is easy to use, plus it also has a startup feature where it can start right from any speed instead of having to spin up through all of them to get to the point you want.
The Braun only has a one year warranty, which is a pity. I always feel more comfortable with appliances which come with a longer guarantee, but this is a sturdy and well-built machine that should last way beyond the manufacturers warranty anyway. Still would prefer a longer warranty, though.
Another downside is that this machine seems to create a fair bit more mess each time you use it.
- Quiet operation
- Good blade and accessories selection
- Economical for what you get
- Easy to clean, which is handy as it can be quite messy to use
- Huge footprint, this machine will take up a lot of counter space
- Has a tendency to wobble about, despite being massive!
- Lacking a good instruction manual
- Would benefit from a case for all the attachments
- Short warranty
Cuisinart FP-14DCN Elite Collection 2.0 14-Cup Food Processor
Cuisinart appears on the list again with another 14 cup food processor. However, the 14DCN Elite has a few features that their other model doesn’t.
It comes with a supplementary 4.5 cup small bowl that is just the right size for small batches of nut butters. The control method is electronic touchpad buttons, and there is a special button for dough mixing. It also has a powerful 1000-watt motor and a dough blade and slicing disc.
The chute is fairly wide and each piece can go into the dishwasher for cleaning. It is made of a heavy die-cast aluminum rather than stainless steel. This is a good midrange option for people who want quality but do not need a large amount of attachments they’ll not make use of.
The motor has a 20-year warranty and the whole unit has a 3 year limited warranty. This is a nut butter machine that you can expect to last and feel confident about purchasing. It’s also a little cuter than the other Cuisinart…but that isn’t difficult!
- Nice and powerful, ideal for speedy nut butter making
- Retractable power cord is a nice touch
- Heavy and solid, no wobble when using
- Comes with a disc storage box
- Decent warranty
- Versatile enough for most home cook’s needs
- Grating can be problematic
- Blades could be better positioned
- Harder veg needs to be chopped before use to get desired results
- Not as many attachments and accessories as some models
So, which one wins?
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The best food processor for nut butters will depend on your exact needs, but I believe the greatest value lies in the Cuisinart FP-14DCN Elite Collection 2.0.
It works well, has a good warranty, and doesn’t dance about on your worktop when in use! Small touches such as the retractable cord and accessory box also show thought and care has gone into it’s manufacturing. Plus, it’s from a name you can trust too.
About The Author:
Lisa Williams is a committed vegan, passionate animal welfare advocate, and keen follower of too many v-friendly food blogs to mention. She started happyhappyvegan.com back in 2016 because she felt there was a need for more straightforward information on plant-based living.
Back then, too many sites seem to either concentrate solely on recipes or be too intimidating or inaccessible for the v-curious, and she wanted to change that. The landscape is certainly a whole lot different now!
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- Nancy Lewis | How Food Processors Work | https://home.howstuffworks.com/food-processor.htm
- SAGA | Food processor features explained | https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/technology/home-technology/kitchen/food-processor-features-explained
- Melina | The remarkable durability of the food processor | https://www.silversurfers.com/nostalgia/the-durability-of-the-food-processor/