Making nut butter at home is a budget-friendly alternative to expensive store-bought versions and a good way to control ingredients. That said, some food processors aren’t up to the job. Whether you’re working with almonds, cashews, or peanuts, the best food processors for nut butter have at least 350 watts of power, stainless steel blades, and work bowls that are easy to access for scraping and stirring, so you can achieve store-bought-quality results at home.
What to consider when shopping for a food processor for nut butters
When shopping for a
nut butter machine, you’ll want to keep in mind construction (i.e., how sturdy the machine is and the material of the blade), as well as capacity. Here’s what to know: Construction
First, consider that it can take up to 15 minutes to grind nut butter at home, depending on the nut variety, how often (if at all) you need to stop and scrape the sides of the work bowl, and what kind of texture you want. Look for a nut butter maker that can run continuously without overheating — generally anything over 350 watts. Check reviews if you’re unsure, and note that some brands caution against making recipes like nut butter because they’re too taxing on the motor. A stainless steel blade is also a must, as it has the durability and sharpness required to break down hard nuts and other stubborn ingredients. Remember, even if your food processor is very powerful, it’s always a good idea to scrape down the sides of the work bowl with a
good silicone spatula to help incorporate ingredients evenly. Capacity
Next, consider the capacity of the work bowl. Compact food processors and choppers generally don’t have enough power to handle heavy recipes like nut butters. You’re better off getting a food processor with at least an 8-cup capacity, and if you want to make large batches, you can find models with work bowls as large as 14 cups that allow you to prep a good amount at once.
With that said, some
smaller personal blenders are very powerful and have special features for blending thick, heavy recipes like nut butters. So if you don’t want to make large volumes every time or have limited kitchen storage space, these are a good option.
Finally, the best food processors for nut butter should be versatile and able to make a range of other recipes. Read on for the best food processors for nut butters.
Shop The Best Food Processors For Nut Butter In a hurry? These are the best food processors for nut butter: The Overall Best: Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor The Runner-Up: Cuisinart Elemental 8-Cup Food Processor The Best For Large Batches: Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor The Most Versatile: Braun 12-Cup Food Processor Writer’s Pick (& The Best For Small Batches): Ninja Foodie Smoothie Bowl Maker & Nutrient Extractor 1 The Overall Best Highlights: Built-in bowl scraper Budget-conscious price
450-watt model from Hamilton Beach is the top pick, namely, because it solves one of the biggest pain points of using a food processor for nut butters. Generally, crushed nuts tend to form a dry ring around the outer walls of the work bowl before the natural oils are released. Normally, you’d have to stop the machine, remove the lid and scrape down the sides to incorporate the ingredients before continuing, but Hamilton Beach designed a genius bowl scraper attachment that lets you scrape the sides of the work bowl while the machine is running, significantly streamlining the process.
The 10-cup capacity fits a large quantity of nuts, which is helpful if you want to make large batches, and if you want to customize your nut butter with flavorings like extracts or spices, you can simply add them through the feed chute. The blade is made from stainless steel, and in addition to standard chopping and blending functions, this food processor comes with a slicing and shredding attachment for making a wide range of recipes. The best part? It’s also the most budget-friendly food processor featured here.
According to one reviewer: “I bought this food processor to make almond butter mostly. I wasn't sure if I needed the bowl scraper, but I ordered this one anyway. I am glad I got the scraper! I have tried it with and without and, it really helps keep the bowl clean as the nut butter processes. This machine is not high-end, but really does the job efficiently.” Capacity: 10 cups | Motor: 450 watts | Number of speeds: 2 plus pulse mode | Dishwasher-safe parts? Yes | Food processing attachments: S-blade, slicing and shredding disc 2 The Runner-Up Highlights: Front interlocking lid makes for easy access Wide range of size options
With a slightly smaller motor, this
8-cup food processor from Kitchen Aid comes in a variety of sizes, so if you’re someone who likes to experiment with different nut varieties and flavorings, it’s nice to have the option of making slightly smaller batches that will stay fresh until you’re finished enjoying them. (Just note that you may not want to choose anything below the 8-cup option for the sake of motor power.) The machine has a sturdy bottom and wide stainless steel S-blade for powering through nuts. The high, low, and pulse buttons on the rubberized touch pad allow you to manipulate the contents in the work bowl, but if you do need to remove the lid to scrape down ingredients, Kitchen Aid’s lid easily interlocks with the bowl and handle at the front of the machine.
The 350-watt motor is less powerful than the top pick, but still able to handle heavy and long-processing recipes like nut butter. Like the Hamilton Beach, it also comes accompanied by a reversible slicing and shredding disc for recipe versatility.
According to one reviewer: “Got this to replace a KitchenAid food processor that broke, and very happy with it. The build of this is a bit taller and narrower than my previous one, and the blade is also thinner. Don't let these fool you though, it actually made almond butter 2x as fast as my KitchenAid used to.” Capacity: 4, 8, 11, or 13 cups | Motor: 350 watts | Number of speeds: 2 plus pulse mode | Dishwasher-safe parts? Yes | Food processing attachments: S-blade, slicing and shredding disc 3 The Best For Large Batches Highlights: Good for extra-smooth nut butters and sauces Powerful motor can handle big batches
If you go through a lot of nut butter, or feel inspired to gift any of your creations to friends or family, this
food processor from Cuisinart is one of the best options available. Touting a powerful 720-watt motor and a large 14-cup work bowl, you’ll be able to make a lot at once without worrying about the motor overheating or stopping.
The straight sides of the Cuisinart work bowl are especially easy to scrape down if any ingredients struggle to incorporate. For fans of super-smooth nut butters, the stainless steel blades come close to the bottom and sides of the work bowl, so you can make very fine nut butters, dips, and sauces. As a bonus, this Cuisinart model comes with a spatula and a recipe booklet to inspire your culinary creations.
According to one reviewer: “Heavy duty durable effective food processor. We use it to make homemade peanut butter regularly and it never misses a beat. Blends the heck out of the peanuts. Highly recommended.” Capacity: 14 cups | Motor: 720 watts | Number of speeds: 1 plus pulse mode | Dishwasher-safe parts? Yes | Food processing attachments: S-blade, shredding disc, slicing disc, spatula 4 The Most Versatile Highlights: Variable 15-speed dial 10 food processing attachments Braun’s 12-cup food processor has a sturdy, low-profile design that makes it easy for users of various heights to reach into the bowl, which clicks onto the motor base intuitively via its generous handle. The 600-watt machine has a variable dial with 15 speeds that lets you select a single speed, or ramp up while processing to achieve your desired smoothness. A pulse button allows you to chop and create recipes with texture. The Braun’s 12-cup work bowl can accommodate big batches of nut butter, and it comes with a suite of 10 food processing attachments, including a universal disc with grating and shredding blades, a citrus juicer, and several blades, allowing you to create a wide variety of recipes. According to one reviewer: “Probably the best food processor you can get out there [...] Quiet and efficient. It makes nut butter easily unlike other even more expensive ones that just make a mess. The blades are very low, so it will blend evenly with minimal mess.” Capacity: 12 cups | Motor: 600 watts | Number of speeds: 15 plus pulse mode | Dishwasher-safe parts? Yes | Food processing attachments: 2 shredders, grater, slicer, S-blade, chopper, kneading and whipping hooks, disc blade, citrus press 5 Writer’s Pick — & The Best For Small Batches Highlights: Built-in tamper for thick recipes Compact size is ideal for small kitchens and small batches
Single-serve, bullet style blenders are great for small-batch recipes, but often struggle with heavy or thick recipes like nut butter, dips, and frozen treats. This
innovative machine from Ninja, however, is up to the task, and is arguably the best mini food processor for nut butter out there — plus it boasts a stellar 4.8-star overall rating on Amazon. It comes with a special 14-ounce jar with a built-in tamper that can be twisted to push ingredients toward the blade, allowing everything to get incorporated and pulverized without having to remove the blade assembly.
Though compact in size, the Ninja boasts 1200 watts of power, allowing you to get smooth results, whether you’re making a nut butter, smoothie bowl, sauce, or dressing. It comes with four pre-programmed settings for making both spoonable and drinkable recipes, as well as a manual high speed and a pulse button. In addition to the smoothie bowl jar, the Ninja comes with two larger 24-ounce jars for everyday blending jobs, a storage lid, two to-go two lids, and a recipe guide.
According to one reviewer: “This thing is awesome. We recently started a new diet and have started making our own nut butters and this does the job so well. Also is great for smoothies and sauces. We use it all the time and am so glad I got one when I did.” Capacity: 14 and 24 ounces | Motor: 1200 watts | Number of speeds: 1 high speed, 4 pre-programmed settings, pulse mode | Dishwasher-safe parts? Yes | Food processing attachments: none, but comes with 3 blending jars About The Recommender Vanessa Spilios has been writing about cookware and kitchen appliances for Bustle since 2019. She previously worked in culinary product development and marketing at SharkNinja and consulted for Cuisinart Grilling, and she has extensive experience testing and evaluating housewares. Vanessa has reviewed products and created content for publishers including Bustle, The Kitchn, Apartment Therapy, Forbes Vetted, and America’s Test Kitchen. She received her culinary training at Boston University, and enjoys developing original recipes, which she incorporates into private cooking classes for kids and families.
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This article was originally published on
April 20, 2020