Breville Sous Chef 12 Vs. Sous Chef 16: Better Food Processor

Food processors are indispensable kitchen tools that can save you tons of time and effort with meal prep. No need to chop and dice everything by hand – just throw your ingredients into the bowl and let the machine do the work!

Breville’s Sous Chef line offers powerful, high-quality food processors perfect for home cooks. But should you opt for the 12-cup or 16-cup model?

I’ve tested both the Breville Sous Chef 12 and Sous Chef 16 extensively. Here’s an in-depth comparison of the key similarities and differences to help you decide which is best for your needs.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureSous Chef 12Sous Chef 16
Motor Power1000 watts1200 watts
Bowl Capacity12 cups (2.8 L)16 cups (3.8 L)
Blade Design“S” Sabre tooth blade“S” Sabre tooth blade
SpeedsVariable up to 24,000 RPMVariable up to 24,000 RPM
Discs IncludedReversible shredding/slicing disc, French fry disc, julienne discReversible shredding/slicing disc, French fry disc, julienne disc
Smaller Bowl2.5 cup bowl2.5 cup bowl, 5.5 cup bowl
Noise LevelRelatively quietSlightly louder with heavy loads
StorageBuilt-in disc storageExternal disc box
BasePartially sealedUnsealed
Spatula DesignIntegrated scraperSeparate scraper included

Overview Of The Breville Sous Chef 12 And 16

The Sous Chef 12 and 16 share the same basic design – a large bowl with an S-blade, disc inserts for slicing/shredding, adjustable discs for julienne cuts, a smaller processing bowl, and spatula.

Breville Sous Chef 12
Breville Sous Chef 12

Both feature Breville’s unique auto-adjustable feeding chute which automatically determines the right opening size based on the disc you select. This helps minimize pre-chopping produce while preventing overprocessing.

Powerful induction motors drive the blades up to 24,000 RPM for smooth, efficient blending and processing. And Breville’s micro-serrated Sabre tooth technology is designed to remain sharp for optimal cutting and grinding.

The interfaces are straightforward, with simple one-touch buttons and an LCD for timer and speed settings. Both models have pulse functionality and “S” blades that rotate bi-directionally for even processing.

High-quality, durable construction ensures these processors can tackle anything with ease while still being relatively quiet during use. The bowls have sealed bottoms that maximize consistency in processing and reduce counter vibration.

Now let’s look at how the Sous Chef 12 and 16 differ.


The most obvious difference is bowl capacity – the Sous Chef 12 holds 12 cups (2.8 L) while the Sous Chef 16 holds 16 cups (3.8 L).

Those 4 extra cups give you a full 33% more room to work with. This matters when processing larger batches for meal prepping, pureeing soups, mixing dough, or prepping ingredients for canning or freezer storage.

So if you regularly cook for a crowd or in big batches, the Sous Chef 16 allows you to get everything done in one run instead of having to work in multiple smaller batches with the 12-cup model.

However, the Sous Chef 12 is still quite sizeable. The 12-cup bowl can make dough for over 8 dozen cookies or multiple loaves of bread. For a 1-3 person household, the 12-cup capacity is likely sufficient for most tasks.

Power And Performance

Despite the smaller size, the Sous Chef 12 is no slouch when it comes to performance thanks to its 1000 watt motor. It pulverizes tough foods like nuts and seeds with ease and can knead stiff doughs without straining.

Breville Sous Chef 16
Breville Sous Chef 16

The Sous Chef 16 steps it up a notch with a 1200 watt motor that delivers extra torque for the larger 16-cup bowl capacity.

I didn’t notice a huge difference between the two models for most tasks – both handle ice crushing, nut butter, hummus, and dough kneading impressively.

However, the Sous Chef 16 does have an advantage when working with thicker batters that require more muscle. Think hearty bread doughs with lots of whole grains or tackling a triple batch of cookie dough.

The extra power allows it to push through very thick, heavy mixtures without slowing down or getting hot. So again, it’s ideal for larger batches.

Design Differences

Aside from bowl capacity, the Sous Chef 12 and 16 do have some slight design variations:

  • The Sous Chef 12 has a built-in storage case for the disc inserts. The Sous Chef 16 discs are stored externally in a box.
  • The 16-cup model comes with two smaller bowl options – a 2.5 cup bowl and 5.5 cup bowl. The 12-cup version just has one smaller 2.5 cup bowl.
  • The Sous Chef 12 has a spatula with integrated scraper for the bowl sides. The Sous Chef 16 includes a separate scraper tool.
  • The 12-cup bowl has a handle on the side as well as pour spouts. The 16-cup bowl relies solely on the top handle for transport.

Overall, I find the Sous Chef 12’s built-in disc storage more convenient compared to the Sous Chef 16’s disc box. But the extra small bowl and specialized scraper with the 16-cup model are nice bonuses too.

Ease Of Use And Cleanup

Thanks to their well-designed interfaces and auto-adjustable chutes, both the Sous Chef 12 and 16 are very easy to operate.

Cleanup is straightforward as well – all bowl components and lids are top-rack dishwasher safe. The food pushers, smaller bowls, and blades can be washed this way too.

One difference is that the Sous Chef 12’s base is partially sealed to prevent food drips and spills from getting inside. So you just wipe down the outer housing.

The Sous Chef 16 base is not sealed, so you’ll need to occasionally remove the bowl mount and wash out the inside of the base to prevent residue buildup.

Also Read: Choose Between Cosori Pro I And Pro II Air Fryer.

Noise Levels

Due to the induction motor design, both processors run fairly quietly compared to models with standard motors.

When running at higher speeds with thicker loads, the Sous Chef 16 is slightly louder than the 12 due to the increased wattage. But it’s a minimal difference you likely won’t notice unless doing a side-by-side test.

Either way, you can carry on a conversation without shouting while using them. The lid does muffle noise levels as well.

Price And Warranty

The Sous Chef 12 retails around $399 while the Sous Chef 16 costs approximately $499. So you’ll spend $100 more for the larger capacity model.

Both processors come with a generous 25-year warranty on the motor and 1-year warranty on parts and accessories. Breville stands behind the durability of these machines.

Also watch the video!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which Breville food processor should I buy?

It depends on your batch size needs and budget. The Sous Chef 12 is great for 1-3 people and costs less. The Sous Chef 16 has 33% more capacity for larger families and batches but costs $100 more. Both perform very well!

Is the Breville Sous Chef 16 dishwasher safe?

Yes, the Sous Chef 16 bowl, lid, blades, and disc inserts are all top-rack dishwasher safe. The base should be hand washed.

Is a 14 cup food processor too big?

Not necessarily – a 14 cup processor like the Sous Chef 16 is excellent for larger families, meal preppers, and anyone who cooks in big batches. The extra capacity is useful. But a 12 cup model like the Sous Chef 12 may be sufficient for smaller households.

Is the Breville sous chef the same as the Kitchen Wizz?

The Breville Sous Chef line is similar to the Kitchen Wizz processors but has some differences in design. The Sous Chef models have induction motors while the Kitchen Wizz uses a standard motor. The Sous Chefs also have Breville’s auto-adjustable feeding chutes while the Kitchen Wizz chutes are fixed.

Also Read: Comparison Between WonderMill and Mockmill


Get the Sous Chef 12 if you:

  • Only cook for 1-3 people
  • Make smaller batches for meal prepping
  • Want to save $100
  • Prefer the built-in disc storage design
  • Don’t mind working in smaller batches for larger recipes

Get the Sous Chef 16 if you:

  • Regularly cook large meals for 4+ people
  • Make giant batches for the freezer
  • Want to knead big bread doughs
  • Appreciate the extra power for thick batters
  • Like the included 5.5 cup bowl option

Both the Breville Sous Chef 12 and Sous Chef 16 are excellent, powerful food processors perfect for the home kitchen. You really can’t go wrong with either model.

The Sous Chef 16’s extra capacity and power make it better suited for larger families and heavy-duty batch processing.

But the Sous Chef 12 still holds an ample 12 cups – enough for most households – and performs impressively despite the smaller motor.

So consider how much food you realistically process at once, and whether it’s worth the extra $100 for those bonus 4 cups of room with the Sous Chef 16 model.

For small households that don’t cook huge meals, the Sous Chef 12 gets the job done beautifully while costing a bit less. But the Sous Chef 16 is ideal for larger families and avid home cooks preparing food in serious bulk!

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