If you've been wanting to cut down on time spent in the kitchen but still want to enjoy delicious homemade meals, you’ve probably looked into getting a food processor. From chopping to pureeing, to mixing and kneading, a food processor is a great addition to every kitchen. Food processors save energy and time, allowing you to savor your meal rather than be stuck slaving over it in the kitchen.
But there are a lot of food processors to choose from, and picking the right one is a decision that takes some people months. (I'm not exaggerating. You should read some of the emails I get.)
This review of the Breville Sous Chef will help you decide if this food processor is right for you.
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Feel free to use the table of contents below to skim through the article or carry on reading for the full story.
Table of Contents
What's so Good About Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef food processor?
Breville is an Australian company that's been around for about 80 years making kitchen appliances and the Sous Chef is one of their most long-lasting, well-rated. I think it stands out among food processors for the following reasons:
Standout Feature #1: Capacity
This is a 16 cup food processor. Other popular models - even the larger among them - might reach 14 cups, but few maintain the same power and versatility at sizes much larger than that.
Practically speaking, that means a few things. It means large batches of dough (whether that's pie crusts, empanadas or pizza). It means party capacity dips and spreads. It means whatever you're putting in there, it'll usually be enough to feed a family of 4 and above in terms of portions.
What we love about the Sous Chef though is the size. Large capacity doesn't mean a large machine. It's 12x12x6.5 inches, making it smaller and narrower even than a lot of high-end blenders. You shouldn't have any trouble fitting it on to kitchen counter tops and underneath cabinets.
Do note however that it weighs 26lbs, so if you can avoid it, don't plan on storing it in a cupboard and lifting it in and out for each use.
Standout Feature #2: Build Quality
Food processors need to combine large motors with plastic parts, and no matter the brand or size, this is a challenge. There's always a question of how long yours is going to last, and how will you replace it when it dies.
This is an area where the Sous Chef shines.
Made of stainless steel blades, a die-cast metal base, and a plastic bowl, this machine is durable. Equipped with a 1200 watt direct drive motor, this food processor is heavy-duty enough to get even your toughest preparation done with ease.
The motor on a sous chef comes with a 25-year warranty. Yes, 25. Ok, the plastic parts only have a 1-year warranty, but most companies do that. Containers and jugs are more easily dropped and it's harder for them to assess the viability of warranty claims.
Anyhow, where the build quality really shows up is in the output of food. The blades work through various ingredients with ease and precision. The feed chute is smartly equipped with a large and small attachment so as to allow more different ingredients to be chopped/grated/sliced to the right consistency. And the control you have with the single speed motor lets you adjust textures with accuracy.
We'll discuss this in more detail below.
Standout Feature #3: Versatility
At it's best, a food processor is a tool that can automate a lot of different food prep tasks, without sacrificing too much on the quality. For example, it's not enough that a food processor can chop up your ingredients in 10 seconds if it does so to a shape texture that doesn't work for your dish.
Breville has put a lot of thought into this.
24 Different Settings
The Sous Chef food processor includes a set of 5 discs and 3 blades with up to 24 different settings, providing more options for preparation. The variable slicing discs can be set to cut from a very thin 0.3 mm up to a thick 8.0 mm. Think about that for a second. A slicing width variability of 7mm. It's a huge range and put simply, it means you'll use this food processor for preparing more dishes. That's more time saved, and a more consistent end product every time you use it.
The micro-serrated S blade makes this food processor stronger and more precise, helping you get through even your more difficult food preparation jobs. The other discs included in the set are a mini blade to be used with the mini bowl, a French fry cutting disc, a julienne disc, a reversible shredding disc, a whisking disc, and a dough blade to make kneading and combining ingredients possible.
A Small Bowl
Speaking of time saved, let me introduce you to another feature that rarely comes on a food processor of this size: A Small bowl. What's so good about a small bowl?
Normally, if you want to prepare a small quantity of food for a single dish (maybe a marinade, or just chop a few garlic cloves) you load them into your big food processor and watch the blade spin around above your ingredients. The cuts are uneven and it takes countless pulsing, opening, pushing the ingredients around, pulsing again...
A small bowl - fitting on a big machine - means you never have this problem with small quantities. A small thing that adds big convenience.
The Food Pusher
Both a small and large food pusher give you improved control over processing smaller ingredients and help push food down the feed chute. The smaller food pusher also acts as a measuring cup to help add in ingredients with added precision. The food processor will run whether the small food pusher is in or out, while it will not start unless the large food pusher is in place.
There's also an LCD display that has a count up and countdown timer to ensure precision and consistency.
The Storage Box
You'll notice convenience is a theme of this review. Breville knows people value it, so they've doubled and tripled down to accomplish it.
It's another feature that might not seem like much, but the Sous Chef also comes with an additional box for proper storage of parts. That means all the little blades and discs don't end up clogging your kitchen cabinets, and you never have to hunt around going "Where the hell did I leave that damn S blade!"
As for safety, the Breville 16 cup food processor is not lacking. The feed chute safety system keeps the machine from running unless the bowl, lid, and large food pusher are locked correctly in place. The silicone seal prevents leakage from liquid ingredients, keeping your kitchen clean. As an added addition all parts that food will come in contact with are BPA free. And the non-skid rubber feet help keep the machine in place, adding stability and safety to your food preparation.
And as an added bonus, the Sous Chef comes in three colors: stainless steel, cranberry red, and black sesame. Not only will the Sous Chef save you time and energy in the kitchen, but it will also look good and fit in your kitchen seamlessly while doing it.
Check out the machine in action with the video below:
Is it Worth the Jump-up in Price?
If you read this far, you're thinking "Ok, so it's amazing. Do I just buy it or what?" And that's where we need to take a pause.
The Sous Chef costs more than a few hundred bucks and there are plenty of cheaper, high-quality food processors on the market. If you're asking "Do I need to spend that much to get a good food processor?", the answer is no.
The Sous Chef is for serious home cooks or professionals. For the Sous Chef to be worth the investment:
- You have to know you're going to use it for a range of food prep tasks. For example, it comes with a Julienne blade. If you've never sliced something Julienne before, you probably don't need this food processor.
- You have to be willing to sacrifice a short term saving for a long term one. It's a machine that's more expensive upfront because it'll cost less over the years you'll have it. Again I refer you to the 25-year motor warranty.
- You have to be regularly cooking for 4 or more people. I mean parties (when we can have them again. Thanks for nothing COVID), guests over, or a big hungry family. If this is just for you and a partner, maybe with a baby, I think you can safely get away with a good quality but cheaper food processor.
If that's you, you can Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef 16 Pro Food Processor, Brushed Stainless Steel, knowing it's an investment that will pay for itself countless times over the years.
If not, there are other options for you.
What do the Reviews of the Breville Sous Chef say?
The Breville Sous Chef reviews are some of the highest you'll find. With a high rating at the time of writing, it's safe to assume that consumers are very satisfied with their purchase. Two common praises are how durable it is and how it’s worth every penny spent on it.
What did They Love?
Not only are consumers pleased with the high-end design, they are also pleased with its quality. Its 1200 watt induction motor puts it above other food processors. That extra power really makes a difference and saves time in how long it takes to prepare the food before it is processed. What's more, it's easier to work through large batches of food quicker and quieter. By using an induction motor, there is no noise other than the ingredients in the bowl.
They also love the super-wide food chute.
Consumers report being impressed by the sharpness and accuracy of the S blade, but also comment on the safety of the machine. One consumer reported the S blade being able to handle a variety of tasks with ease. They used the blade for making ground beef, ice cream, and simply just chopping herbs.
Another consumer reports this being “the best food processor on the market” after they were won over by the reliability of the silicone seals. They truly keep liquid in the bowl and prevent mold from growing underneath them.
Comments on Cleaning (Yes, the Plastic Bits Are Dishwasher Safe)
Previous consumers recommend hand washing the bowl to preserve its life and do not use a scouring sponge or abrasive cleaners. However, the bowl and lid are top-rack dishwasher safe. Though it is better not to prolong them to extreme heat or harsh detergents regularly.
This food processor can be overwhelming because it has so much versatility. While that will excite the serious at-home chef, it shouldn’t scare the newcomer to food processing. They’ll only grow to enjoy the Breville Sous Chef more as they learn its tricks and abilities.
What About Those Negative Reviews?
You may have noticed on Amazon or elsewhere the customer complaints about machines that have been faulty or broken down after a short period of use. Are these something you should be worried about?
If you'll allow me a short digression: Having reviewed hundreds of appliances for this website, I've noticed this trend really increasing. The worst reviews stick to the top of the list because they're the most compelling, even when the sum of reviews (the average. The thing you're actually supposed to trust) is exceptionally high.
Here's my interpretation: It's actually pretty easy to damage a food processor if you don't know what you're doing. The wrong ingredient (like a full uncooked beet) with the wrong blade could be all it takes to make a noise you don't want to hear.
There are a small number of faulty machines (which a Breville warranty should always cover) and a larger number of faulty uses, and I would bet that these account for the majority of the "really scary" reviews. The reason I bet that is because you can find the same kind of reviews on nearly every similarly priced food processor, blender or juicer.
How Does The Breville Sous Chef Compare?
Generally speaking, the Breville Sous Chef blows other food processors away. However, there are a few other options that also get the job done. The Breville BFP660SIL is one of those. So what is the difference between the Breville Sous Chef and the Breville BFP660SIL?
Vs Breville BFP660SIL
The Breville BFP660SIL is slightly smaller than the Sous Chef. At a 12 cup capacity, it is good for smaller families, (and tasks like making baby food) while the 16 cup capacity is great for both families and entertaining. The Breville 12 cup food processor does not come with a mini bowl, which sets the 16 cup food processor ahead of it if you plan to use your food processor for a lot of dips or small jobs.
The Breville BFP660SIL is equipped with a 1000 watt induction motor, versus the Breville BFP800XL’s 1200 watt power. However, the BFP660SIL comes with an additional momentary pulse button to make the most of that power and control, meaning your food processing will be even and consistent.
Also, the 12 cup food processor does not come with as many discs or blades as the 12 cup, but it does come with three food chute options to help with precision.
And lastly, the main comparison is the feed chute. The 12 cup comes with a 5-inch feed chute, while the 16 cup has a 5.5-inch feed chute. So the Breville Sous Chef really does save more time and energy compared to cutting down on the time needed for food preparation.
If you do not need a lot of room or a lot of versatility but still want a durable, well-designed food processor, the Breville BFP660SIL is a great option for you. However, if you are looking to for more power, room, and options, the Breville BFP800XL will not let you down. With its extra options, precision, and power, it is no mistake it is called the Sous Chef.
Vs Cuisinart 14-Cup
The Cuisinart 14 cup is many critics' top food processor at the moment, and it does a lot of what your Sous Chef will do, but for at least $100 less on the price tag. Why wouldn't you just get that instead? Here are the main differences.
First, the Sous Chef has a much wider feed chute, and the attachment to make for a smaller feed chute if you want. This means you can get more foods into the Sous Chef at a time, with less pre-chopping.
Second, the power is totally different. The sous chef has 1200 watts. The Cuisinart: 720 watts. You'll notice this in particular when you're working with thick doughs and batters. You'll also see a difference in the speed of processing. Getting your ingredients to the desired texture is that much quicker when your engine power is almost double.
Third, the difference is in your options. The versatility. You don't have as many blades with the Cuisinart. You don't have the same spectrum for adjustment on your cuts. You also don't have the timer feature on the Cuisinart.
In short, the Cuisinart 14 is the "fine for most people and most things" option. The Sous Chef is for the home cook who needs to do it all, and very precisely.
Where can I get replacement parts for the Breville BFP800XL?
The Breville warranty includes one year of limited coverage, from purchase date and with proof of purchase. This warranty protects against defects in material or workmanship. Should you need to use your warranty, Breville arranges to have your product returned to them and a replacement sent to you free of charge.
Breville prefers to work on their appliances themselves, as such do not return the product to the store. Also, note that the warranty does not cover any user abuse or damages incurred during repairs done by anyone other than Breville.
If your food processor is past warranty or simply needs a new part, you can buy replacement parts from many online vendors. Even Breville themselves offer many replacement parts, such as a new lid or blade, on their website. This makes it simple to replace and swap out parts as wear and need indicate.
Where can I get a refurbished Breville BFP800XL?
If you’re looking to buy a serious food processor but also want to be friendly to your wallet, purchasing a refurbished machine is a great option to consider. Breville sells its products refurbished directly through their website. Though refurbished products only include a 6-month limited warranty instead of a 1-year limited warranty. If your appliance were to fail in the first 6 months of purchase, Breville would replace the product free of charge. You can also purchase refurbished products from online vendors such as Amazon.
Breville has a strict policy for a product to become refurbished. All products are fully clean, inspected, tested, and rendered 100% functional. If you’re looking to save money and don’t mind a shorter warranty, purchasing a refurbished food processor is something to consider.
What's the best price for the Breville BFP800XL and where can I buy it?
The Breville BFP800XL can be bought from a variety of retailers, both online from vendors like Amazon to in-store at most big-box kitchen appliance stores. Most vendors also offer their own extended warranty, even Amazon offers optional coverage that is purchasable for a small fee. However, it is not available from every vendor, so it is smart to check with them for their most recent deals.
While the Breville BFP800XL is on the more expensive end of food processors, it comes with features, durability, and an unparalleled 25-year motor guarantee that make it worth every penny. Plus Amazon often runs regular specials, so by checking in with them before purchasing, you are sure to get the best price.
Verdict: Is a Breville Sous Chef for you?
If you’re looking for a high-quality food processor, you will not be disappointed with the Breville BFP800XL sous chef. This 1200 watt food processor is for the serious home cook, making many and varied meals regularly for their family and friends.
The Breville Sous Chef food process provides its users with a lot of versatility and convenience. With two bowl sizes and 24 slicing settings, you will not be left wanting. From processing baby food to kneading bread to grating cheese to making dips and salsas, it can help you get the job done.
Plus, its 1-year limited warranty and 25-year warranty on the motor allows you to buy this product with peace of mind.