Extremely Useful And Easy to Clean
Update: 6/26/2014. I've now owned this food processor for 3 years and still love it and the comments in my original review (below) still stand. I would highlight bread making as my favorite activity. I don't have a standard mixer so I use the food processor to mix and knead the bread. I now make 3 baguettes every Monday morning and use them throughout the week because it's just so easy and so fast. Now, a caveat. The plastic cover on my unit is just starting to develop a hairline crack on both sides by the handle and feed tube. I've ordered a new cover from OnlineShopDealer as I want a spare just in case the original breaks sooner than I would expect. I think I've still got a year or more before the crack is big enough to impact anything, but I really don't want any downtime on what has become the one kitchen appliance I use the most for baking and prep work. The new cover is $60, which seemed pretty reasonable to me, but just wanted other buyers to be aware of this. I've only used the Cuisinart processor so maybe this happens with all brands, maybe I have the one weak cover out of a million, but just wanted to pass along this fyi. The original review continues immediately below.
I was planning to buy the Kitchen Aid food processor, but the store was out of the model I had researched. I desperately wanted to walk out of the store with a food processor in hand after fighting traffic in freezing rain for an hour to get there. The Cuisinart FP-14DC Elite was in stock, a bit higher priced than I had budgeted, but it was huge and shiny and promised a tight seal over the 3 working bowls that, putatively, would allow me to process liquids with minimal collateral damage. The Kitchen Aid model I thought I was going to buy had several concerns expressed online about leaks and spills, which may or may not have been accurate. This Cuisinart model had numerous issues posted online about food getting stuck inside of the lid and toothpicks, toothbrushes, power washers, and steam-powered carpet cleaners being required to remove all the little particles. There were also some ancillary comments about the dough blade not picking up all the ingredients and food getting stuck under the blades. Every product has some pluses and minuses when used by a large enough percentage of the population, so I decided to brave the reviews, not let perfection be the enemy of the good, and give it a whirl, or a slice.
I spent twelve hours on my birthday making a five course very extended meal for my family with frozen drinks, fruit smoothies, home made peanut butter, peanut butter cookies, turkey pot pie, hummus dips, fried falafal, very low fat turkey burgers ground on the processor, spinach mashed potatoes, shrimp-stuffed homemade ravioli, served with homemade pesto, and all manner of goodies that I couldn't make with any consistency or flair in my old blender. I assumed that a food processor would perform some miracles that the blender just didn't have the oomph to accomplish and so far could not be happier. I can't imagine that I've been cooking for 30 years without one--what a dunce.
Given that this new toy is fast becoming my best friend, I wanted to provide this review to allay some of the concerns others may have with two specific issues: cleaniness and dough mixing.
All the big issues about cleanliness were associated with the rubber seal around the lid of the machine. The three bowls on this unit nestle together and the spring loaded rubber seal keeps everything in place. The blades lock into the base of each bowl and processed food can be poured out of the work bowl with the blades still in place. From the mixed drinks to the honey flavored peanut butter I had ice, flour, herbs, nuts, and juice flying everywhere and never experienced a problem getting one course cleaned out and the next course loaded up. Many people said that they had to resort to toothpicks to get all the food out of the lid that slipped past the rubber seals. Food particles, particulary parsley and chopped spinach, do slip up past, around, between, and above the rubber seal. However, I found no need to clean this by hand. There are open slots cast into the top of the lid that allow hot water to cascade throughout the lid and down past the rubber seal. Just a quick spray from the sink did 99.9% of the work. The tiny pieces of finely chopped carrots or spinach that slipped between the upper lid and the inner seal flushed away by raining water down on the lid's top while manipulating the rubber ring with your fingertips. The manual suggests just rinsing the whole thing down and throwing it in the dishwasher. But I tend to go on marathon cooking sprees when the family is together for a whole day and I'm not going to run the dishwasher every 30 minutes when I'm cooking 5 to 10 courses. Flushing the lid seemed to take care of the problem so I'm less worried at this point about the online comments regarding the difficulty of cleaning the unit. I may not be processing the same foods as the people experiencing the difficulty, but my limited experience to date suggests that the rubber sealing mechanism in the lid is a big benefit, not a problem.
The other issue raised in the online reviews was the effectiveness of the dough blade. I only made a pie crust, a pizza, and some raisen bread, but, here again, I didn't experience the same issues reported by others. I had to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times to get a dough ball to form and pick up all the flour off the side of the bowl, but this still seemed like massively less work than kneading by hand and throwing flour all over the kitchen while making fresh pasta. Kneading the pasta dough in the machine for a few seconds beats the heck out of the 10 minutes of hand kneading that my cookbook demands.
So, I can't speak to all the features (I haven't even taken the shredding blade out of the case), but I did want to address those two issues. People reading about food processors online may be unduly scared off by those two concerns. I'm no expert, but I intend to become one. I have to say, my kids absolutely flipped over the taste of homemade peanut butter and homemade hummus compared to the store bought versions. I can make peanut butter in less time on this machine than it takes me to grab it off the shelf at the store and it actually tastes like peanuts, not some homogenized version of Soylent Green that has had the flavor reinjected chemically after it was all removed in processing.
Better and more convenient than earlier models
I have owned two previous Cuisinarts (DLC-8 and DFP-14) over the past twenty years. I generally loved them but as a serious home cook I had two big complaints: liquids would overflow (when pureeing tomatoes, for instance) and you had to be careful when pouring contents out not to spill them or dump the blade out as well.
Those two issues along with a number that I hadn't thought of have been addressed by the FP-14-DC Elite. It is more powerful and does a better job overall of chopping, cutting, slicing and all of the other basic tasks. The blade lock function frees up a hand in the kitchen which is always important. Having three bowls is also a big deal - we have been able to retire our mini-processor which required some hand cleaning. The nesting bowls helps with space in our Manhattan apartment and we appreciated the blade/disc storage unit that came with this processor (we had to buy them for our previous units).
When I was buying this processor I was very concerned by a couple of comments that other people left and I would like to address them:
1. CLEANING THE LID - The lid has a silicon gasket, which is why it doesn't leak fluid. A number of people complained that it's difficult to clean. This is true if you try to clean it by hand. In my experience, though, it gets fully clean in the dishwasher (top shelf only).
2. Leaking - some people complained about leaking. I think I understand why. With the old system of closing the Cuisinart (twisting), the machine would not operate unless the base and top were both locked in and the pusher was inserted. In the new system (where you press directly down on the lid to shut it), it is easier to close, but you have to make sure it snaps shut at the front AND back. I like this system better, however and my wife also finds it much easier to remove the lid.
3. Leaking between the three bowls - we haven't had any problem with this and we frequently use the smaller bowl to prepare foods for our toddler. If you use the pour spout as the reference it's easy to align the bowls correctly to nest them inside the machine. We've used all three bowls in succession several times.
My overall impression is that this is a really thoughtfully designed product which was actually created by people who cook frequently. It has made our home life just a little bit easier. Cuisinart probably should have introduced this product a little sooner, but it is welcome in our kitchen.
Great New Friend!
I got this monster on Friday, and today is Sunday.
We've done every single type of job on the FP-14DC this weekend that anyone has talked about on the internet, so we're ready to write. I'm going to lay out my observations in the order of importance, based upon the amount of discussion I've seen on here and other places.
The Gasket - I've blended liquid way past the max liquid line, chopped herbs, ground meat, shredded cheese, made bread, and sliced everything. I've not encountered any significant amount of material getting under the gasket. Cuisinart includes a cleaner tool for it on my model, which I haven't had to use yet. I've gotten a little bit under the gasket when using the largest bowl (14c) or when I take the lid off and turn it upside down on the counter. A quick rinse through the cast holes in the top gets the stuff right out. If stuff is getting stuck that hard and caking in there for some of the reviewers, then they are evidently letting the stuff dry in there before washing. I would, actually, rather Cuisinart make a removable gasket instead of this fixed one, though. That would eliminate all this argument. To dry under that gasket after washing, simply hold the lid - right side up - and tap it on your hand three or four times. Rotate and do it on the other side and everything dries just fine.
The Finger Holes in The Slicing and Shredding Disks - I sliced and grated all kinds of stuff and I encountered no problems. Even when my cheese wasn't cold enough and stopped up the machine. Then again, I don't toss baby carrots into the chute. Why? I can't imagine why I would want to shred or slice baby carrots. They're overpriced and are really only good for snacks and party trays. BTW I don't peel large carrots. I simply wash them and scrub with a vegetable brush. I slice and shred them, clean, with skins on and we all love the flavor. So get over the finger hole thing. Buy large carrots.
Grinding Meats - I am overjoyed to report that this beast will turn two pounds of roast or steak into PERFECT hamburger meat in about 20sec. It is as good as my Kitchenaid meat grinder attachment, with about 1/20 of the trouble or cleanup. Incredible. Just like grating cheese, it works better if the meat is very cold. Freeze it for about 20 minutes, for best results, but it works pretty good warm too.
The Lid Locking Mechanism - I love the new lid. I have not had the first problem with it. Of course, muscle memory tries to get me twisting the lid, then I have to remember to push down, but that will wear off in time. I like to hook the back first, then push on the front, but if the back doesn't hook just right, simply push down on it. It has worked perfectly each time.
Dough - Well, I did batches with about 3.5 cups of flour each time, for about four batches. It works perfectly for us, in about 45 seconds. I have not tried to do any monster loads, but I may try 7 cups next. As easily as it cut through the 3.5 cup load, I don't anticipate any problems with 7 cups. I do not plan to do any more than that. That is what my Kitchenaid Pro 600 is for. BTW the kneading time using this machine is cut drastically from using the stand mixer. Very nice! Eight minutes in the mixer can be done in about a minute in the FP-14DC.
Other Sundry Items - Water gets in the handle during washing and dries very slowly. Minor irritation. Smallest pusher doesn't have measurement graduations on it, like the Wolfgang Puck machine does. That is such a helpful feature, I'm considering using my Dremel engraver to do it myself. Minor annoyance, maybe even a non-issue. Watch out for food getting into the folds of the lid gasket on the bottom side! Small cheese and things that are almost the same color as the gasket will get into the innermost part of the gasket and you need to use the included brush to get to them.
This thing is fantastic!
The gasket issue makes me deduct 0.25 stars, which still leaves us at 4.75 (rounds up to 5) stars.
- BUT, the gasket does work perfectly to keep liquids in, even when grossly over-full.
The motor is very quiet.
The machine did not walk, or even wobble, under any size load.
The lid lock is super easy and works great.
The nested bowls are easy to line up and I love the pouring spouts.
The S-blades don't come out (yes I know about the finger under bowl trick) but these are an improvement.(Add 1 star)
The adjustable slicing blade is great.
The warranty is great, and was a final decision maker. 3yrs on the parts, and 20yrs(!) on the motor. Only Magimix is longer.
The parts box is very convenient, even though all FP's in this class have one included.
- I've not missed an emulsion disk or egg whisk, because the S-blade seems to do those jobs fine for us.
The switch problems are of some concern, because I've seen several comments about it. Mine, so far, is not experiencing those problems. But as for other issues, when used according to the guide and videos, this units performance is simply stellar.
We've had this monster for about two weeks. I made a dessert the other night that called for making instant pudding, mixing it with whip cream and topping it with sliced strawberries. I made the pudding and mixed in the whip cream with the Cuisinart. I then sliced a whole box (about a pound) of strawberries and NOT ONE went through the finger holes in the slicing disk. Those are smaller than baby carrots, which everyone is complaining about. Every single strawberry sliced perfectly! I've now beaten eggs, whipped cream, made dough, sliced strawberries, ground meat (fantastic by the way), shredded carrots, ground several things, made hummus (half the price of the stuff at the store), and over-processed mashed potatoes (DON'T OVER-PROCESS; it's really bad!). Not one problem.
The lid has gotten a few things up in the gasket, but if you rinse it right then (and sometimes have to get the tool out) then there are no problems. Just don't let anything dry up in there.
I hope these new observations help.
Cuisinart finally got it right! I have owned a cuisinart since 1978. My first one lasted almost 20 years, my second lasted a dozen years. I was skeptical because nothing is made stronger, heavier, better than the appliances I used when I first got married. But I needed one and I was reluctant to switch to another brand such as Kitchenaid, even though that one also got good reviews. I LOVE MY NEW CUISINART. I love the three bowls, I love the specialized dough speed, I even love the new cover which conveniently comes apart better than the old one. I am probably in the kitchen more than anyone I know, I make everything from scratch, breads, pastas. I have a library of about 800 cookbooks, it is my passion. This model cuisinart will not disappoint!
Serious Kitchen Tool
This item has the extra size to avoid splitting recipes in half and running two batches, a big plus for large serving items like cookies, slaws, and doughs. The power is noticeable and reassures you that this product is meant to work. A nice piece of equipment.
This thing is AWESOME.
Pros: Versatile, quiet, powerful
Cons: The rubber seal in the cover can be a bit of a challenge to clean.
We got this food processor several months ago, and we're using it a lot more than we thought we would. The multiple levels of safety (everything needs to be locked together the exactly correct way or it will not run) make it very difficult to actually hurt yourself (a big bonus for my wife), and for the most part it's really easy to clean and maintain.
I say "for the most part" because of the rubber seal around the top cover. The first time I used it I was grating some vegetables, and a fair amount of greenery was shoved up around the seal into the top of the cover. I'm certain if I had just put it in the dishwasher (top rack only, please), it would NOT have gotten clean. With the way everything else is engineered (I am an engineer, and this is a very well-designed machine), I thought there might be some way to take the seal off for cleaning. After some research online I learned there was not, but there are holes in the cover intended for cleaning. After some experimentation, I found that by using the high-pressure sprayer on my sink and firing it into those holes sequentially, I was able to clean out most of the stuff that was behind the seal. I got the rest of it by repeatedly pushing and releasing the seal (it's spring-loaded) while shooting the water in the holes. A little bit of a pain in the butt, but the only problem we've had so far.
The rest of the machine is as advertised - a lot of power, a lot of versatility, and surprisingly quiet.
14 cup food processer
I purchased model #FP-14DC food processor for my wifes birthday. She previously had a cuisinart 11 cup that my mother bought for her 31 years ago. Now that's quality!! The old one was still working, but would get "tired after a few minutes of mixing dough. Ya could hear the moter lugging down, but it still was working!!
This one has been used only a few times so far, but has preformed wonderfully. What she really likes about the new one, is that it has 3 mixing bowls that comes with it, and a storage case for the blades & discs. We hope to have this one for another 30 or so years as we did the last one, & I'm sure we will.
One other wonderful feature of this model is the warranty on the motor. It has a 20 year warranty on the motor!!! Now that is something you won't find on many other processors. Cuisinart stands behind their machines with warrantys like that!!
OnlineShopDealer delivered this item with amazing speed and with an amazing price. We have NOTHING NEGATIVE to say about Cuisinart or OnlineShopDealer concerning this purchase. We would do it again in a heartbeat.
Anyone that is looking for an amazing food processor should jump on this model.
So far I am very impressed.
So far I am very impressed with my new Cuisinart Elite 14C food processor. It is elegant, looks really nice on my counter, and very quiet. I just got my food processor today and can hardly wait to start making tons of amazing dishes with it. For my first go around I shredded some carrots for a carrot salad. It did a really nice job although there were a bit of carrot pieces left that got caught between the shred disk and the lid as well as some pieces in the bowl, but no biggee.
Clean up was a real cinch. I didn't find food got caught in the lead seal as a few people commented.
I love the nested bowl configuration. One user commented it was a bit hard to figure out how to line the bowls up, but once you see the trick, it's pretty easy. There is a small spout on each bowl, the spout is in the rear of the processor in the middle of the bowl. The bowls have three pegs that fit into each other. All you need to do is line up the spout on all three bowls and your good to go.
I love the retractable chord as well. It made storage a breeze. Although it is large, and I have the smallest counter in the world, it looks so good I keep it next to my kitchen-aid stand mixer and my Wolfgang wheat mill.
I am not disappointed in this purchase at all. I also like the fact that it is $50 less than in retail stores and I didn't have to pay sales tax!
Everything the wife wanted in a food processor
The wife has wanted a food processor for years and when I gave her this top of the line food processor, she was excited. Now that she has used it a number of times, she likes it even more than when she first took it out of the box. And I like it a lot because the wife loves to cook and I love to eat! On a product and mechanical basis, I was impressed with the instruction book and video that accompanied the food processor. For a novice such as me and my wife, it was indispensable. And the product is everything we expected it to be from the reviews we read on the Internet. We are not disappointed in any way with the food processor and would recommend it to others.
I am so pleased with this machine! I love the multiple work bowls, the adjustable slicer and the power of the machine. It's very simple to use and cleanup is a breeze. The Potatoes au Gratin recipe in the book has pleased many people over the last month and a half; it's easy to prepare because I use the Cuisinart slicer to slice the potatoes. I've had a DC-8 for about thirty years and it's been a real workhorse. I expect I'll be using this new one for at least the same length of time. This was an excellent purchase for me!