Great little food processor
We bought this item to replace an older, larger food processor from Hamilton Beach which died after many years of service. This little rascal is great! We're just cooking for two, so it's plenty big for most all of our needs. The secret seems to be to pulse the cutter using the "chop" button. (Just like the directions tell you to!) If you let it run, you'll turn your ingredients into a puree. (That's French for mush!) Of course, if that's what you're after, go for it. I've used it for onions for hot dogs, pickles for potato salad, jalapenos for salsa, black beans for soup, etc.
I used to always chop onions with a knife, now I just cut the onion into cubes, throw 'em into the Mini prep, jog the "chop" button a few times, and viola, chopped onions. Clean up is easy, too. The knife lifts out, and there's just the knife, the lid, and the main container to clean up.
It doesn't take up nearly as much precious counter space as my old food processor, either. Would definitely buy this item again!
If you buy one appliance, buy this
I read the reviews from others before buying the product--disregard the bad reviews about things turning to mush. The only way things turn to mush is if you hold the chop button down. If you do quick pulses, you get exactly what you want. This is the essential appliance because it helps to do exactly what the name says--prep. Often after coming home late I want to make a meal, but the thought of chopping onions, garlic or veggies seems daunting. Not with the mini-prep. It saves so much time. Plus I use fresh ingredients more often. I am completely happy with this product.
The Best Little Chopper Ever
This is about the fifth (or more) mini processor I've ever had, and it's the greatest! After I got this baby and tried it out, I took my old big Cuisinart (circa late '70's) off the counter and moved it to the back of a cabinet. Prior to this one I had been using the Cuisinart Mini Prep for about the last eight years and it was adequate. But when I tested the new Mini Prep Plus on fresh parsley, it chopped it as fine as the big one did. The same for onions which came out finely minced instead of pureed. The difference, I realized, is the chopping blade -- it's almost the same one as on the big models. It's no noisier than any other appliance and cleaning it is a snap.
so... you want a food processor?
I have the Mini-Prep and I have the big guy version, but I use the MP 10x as much. It does everything! Want chopped garlic? peel a couple heads, add 2-3T of olive oil and about a 1/4-1/2tsp. of salt. It keeps in a jar in the fridge and tastes a heck of a lot better than the store kind! Fresh herbs, nuts, peppers without burning hands...it's great! When I'm done, I just rinse it out. This is my favorite appliance after my blender, and if this made smoothies and margaritas, it would be my favorite!
Deserves a place on your countertop!
I bought this at Costco as an impulse purchase knowing that if it did not live up to my expectations, I could return it. Borrowing a phrase from the NRA, you will have to pry it from my cold dead fingers! I purchased Cuisinart DFP-3 Handy Prep 3-Cup Food Processor several years ago but have never been even slightly satisfied with it. This one, on the other hand, is a gem! I tried chopping onions with it and it works great! Alternating between pulse and chop seems to give the most consistent results. Using that alternating method yielded very evenly sized chopped vegetables. I tried onions, peppers, nutmeg, and potatoes. Why potatoes? Because their starch content makes them naturally sticky and therefore a challenge to chop evenly. The onions, as well as the peppers were chopped evenly and without any 'mush'. I was able to create a rough chop as well as evenly diced veggies. The potatoes surprised me and chopped equally well. The nutmeg was tried to see how it handled a very hard item and to see if I could use it as a spice grinder. The result was evenly chopped nutmeg, about the consistency of coarsely ground coffee, not fine enough to use for baking and a little bit uneven. You could use it to create very finely chopped nuts but not any smaller. The good thing is, it doesn't turn veggies into mush. I even tried crushing ice with it and was able to get a fairly even grind. However, the weight of the ice cubes and the force created by the blade actually caused the blender to 'hop around'. I needed to hold it down while grinding. There are two small holes in the lid that allow you to add liquid to whatever your are processing which makes it very easy to achieve the right consistency. I also found that it was much easier to attach the container to the base if you remove the blade and align the handle of the container with the "4" on the base label, then install the blade. I like that I can remove the lid with out removing the base, but even more than that, I appreciate that the blade has a 'handle' that is as tall as the container, allowing me to easily remove the blade when emptying the contents without dipping my fingers into the chopped/ground product. Cleaning is a snap; the interior is smooth without any nooks to hold debris.
Finally, a small countertop version of a food processor that actually works!
EDIT: Process small batches! If you try to do large batches you will be less satisfied with the results.
Never stays clean for more than 24 hours
I use my mini prep plus constantly. I've chopped onions, parsley, other herbs and nuts. I've used it to make small batches of salad dressing for my boyfriend and I. I even used it to grind coffee for a recipe once. I also have a huge KitchenAid mixer, but to be honest, the mini prep gets a lot more use, frequently getting washed and used multiple times in one meal preparation. For example, I made shepherd's pie last weekend and used it to chop onions, parsley, mushrooms and garlic. My mother had one of the big Cuisinarts from the 80s, but she never used it because it was just too large for the jobs she did, even for a family of four. Not so with my mini prep! It's just the perfect size for 2-4 people.
Best product for a quick dinner
I have one for myself and bought this for a friend of mine. He said it was the best birthday present he had ever received. I use this every single day to mince garlic and onions (so nice to not have to cry my way into dinner making), grind up leftover meat for pasta sauce (for that bolognese kind of meal). It is the best. No matter what the chefs on Food Network say about doing everything with excellent knife work, some times you just need a helping hand.
I have owned an old 10 cup Cuisinart for almost 30 years. While it still runs perfectly, it's a hassle to move to the counter, so I rarely use it. I also had a mini Cuisinart that I thought would make hummus, but it was too small for almost all useful jobs.
If you are undecided between the three and four cup models, I would strongly advise getting the four cup model over the three cup one, as it's still quite small and lightweight, yet it gives you ample room to make a batch of hummus, or even enough pie crust and filling for a smaller tart.
Happily, they redesigned the blade assembly so it's one piece. This makes it far safer to clean. The mini-prep model has a blade that you remove from the stem--a dicey process.
Why did I wait so long??
I have the 11 cup Cuisinart & for years I used a FP attachment for my Krups blender, but it broke after only 6 years (grin).
I put off buying one of these thinking that it wouldn't be big enough or powerful enough to do what I needed it to do, essentially replace my molcajete for grinding and my large Cuisinart for smaller jobs.
This little machine rocks!
I love the fact that I don't have to fish around for the blade, that it's not 'keyed' and the grind and chop buttons reverse the food so that it's sucked back down into the workbowl, making having to scrape the sides nearly unnecessary.
I used it the first time to make an onion, garlic, herb & spice puree for my Mexican meatloaf recipe and it really did the job! I've seen some people complain that it makes onion puree, well, not unless you want it to.
I gave it a few quick pulses and had chopped onions. I then reversed the blades by using grind and by switching back and forth, had the puree done in a matter of seconds.
It can just chop easily enough, that was obvious.
Also, not having to remove the bowl to take off the lid is a terrific feature.
It would have gone into the dishwasher, but it was so simple to just wash it out with a sponge that I didn't bother. I will put it in the dishwasher if I'm making a large meal, but this can be rinsed and reused simply enough.
Quite the little workhorse for the money.
Most of my appliances are white, but since they've tended to yellow over the years, I chose this chrome version. It's not actually chrome, it's painted on, but that's okay, it wiped clean easily and since it's not shiney, no worry about fingerprints.
Get one, you'll wonder how you did without it!
Perfect for Two
I read through customer reviews of the top selling, small sized food processors, and this one seemed to be the best. It looks tiny, but handles exactly what we need (usually something like an onion, tomato, parsley, etc- holds approx. 3 cups), and anything bigger would be a pain to clean and store in our tiny kitchen. Our favorite features are the double-sided blade, the extended handle to pull out the blade, the "Grind" and "Chop" function instead of just one button, and the locking lid. There are two tiny airholes in the lid, but not big enough for anything to leak or spray out of. Just a quick button punch is all you need, and you're good to go; anything longer, like in any food processor or blender, and you could end up with mush.
After reading and comparing the other reviews and purchasing this mini processor, I don't think I could have made a better choice.