on June 5, 2003
I highly recommend the Cuisinart Mini-Prep. I've had one for 6 years and it is still running beautifully. For such a small unit it has a surprisingly powerful motor. It can chop or puree vegies, fruits, - even cooked beef, chicken, and fish. When I first bought it I used it mainly for chopping onions, garlic, herbs, etc., but then I began to discover the possibilities. Ofcourse, the portions you are able to prepare are small, but if you're alone or have a very small family, it's a great little machine. Also a breeze to clean (not like the large Cuisinart units). Only negative is that it is rather noisy, however, for this price it is a terrific value. I must add that I bought two other mini processors prior to this one (both by Black & Decker) and was thoroughly dissatisfied with them. The motors were not powerful at all and the blades were in a different position than Cuisinart Mini-Prep. They could not chop more than 1/4 to 1/2 cup of food at a time or it would not run. Neither unit would puree anything, only coarse chopping was possible. If you're looking for a good mini processor the Cuisinart Mini-Prep is it!
on September 28, 2004
A time for every seasoning......and a utensil for every purpose. The Cuisinart Mini Prep does not serve well as a primary processor for heavy jobs. That was not its intended design, or function.
I obtained my first mini prep as a promotional gift with a DLC-7 purchase. For many years they have been contributing to my cooking enjoyment as a problem-free, complimentary team in a busy kitchen. When their lexan lids eventually chipped, (which admittedly is a major cause of aggravation with Cuisinart's products) I opted to replace them rather than spend up to 50% of their new cost for replacement bowls. I upgraded the old DLC-7 that is still mechanically perfect, with a MP-14 TM Limited Edition.
The Mini Prep perfectly compliments larger processors. I specifically elected to stay with Cuisinart's older, boxier design; because its function is favored over the newer, sleeker model, the DLC-2ABC.
The mini prep makes delectable, creamy homemade sauces and dressings. It performs equally well making pesto, crèmed butter, chopped fresh herbs, including garlic, chopped nuts, small portion purees, deviled eggs, spreads, and speedy fresh salsas. It has a fast and slow lever whose function I like because they may be "pulsed" on and off with an instantaneous response. This offers a demanding cook tremendous control over several types of prep functions conducive to small processors.
Mini Prep seems perfectly designed to make one and a half cup portions of emulsified sauces and dressings, such as cilantro mayonnaise for grilled fish, or a dollop on fresh corn salad.
Here is a basic example of how I use this workhorse.
Herb mayonnaise: place dry seasonings, a dab of honey, poupon mustard, flavored vinegars, or lemon/lime juice in the jar. Pulse to mix. Add about a tablespoon (who measures?) of Just Whites, dry pasteurized egg whites to the liquid (no cholesterol, calories, or salmonellae fears) ---pulse to mix---add a hand full of fresh herbs (cilantro, or dill, or tarragon is nice)----pulse to chop slightly. Then use the wonderfully designed lid that holds oil and has two holes on the top that will drizzle in the oil of your choice, without opening the lid, or fiddling with additional attachments that drizzle oil. You have the additional control to shift the motor speed instantaneously from high speed, to slower, or pulse mode, in direct accordance to your temperamental sauce's precise requirement as it thickens.
Result: Restaurant quality chef's sauces come together effortlessly in minutes! Large processor's work bowls are too large for this type of job. One must repeatedly scrape the bowl's sides, and the motors are additionally too powerful to make small portions described above as successfully as the Mini Prep's performance.
The Mini prep is very lightweight which makes it a delight to store in the pantry. It assembles and disassembles quickly and effortlessly. I especially love the function of the two (tiny) holes on the lid, along with the ease of the lid's removal for ingredient additions. The design and function permit those who love to cook an opportunity to enjoy their creativity in the kitchen without fighting with obstinate, dysfunctional appliances.
It is a great convenience and a breeze to use. I love this little workhorse.
I have been using the Mini-Prep for a few years. I like to use it for small jobs like chopping herbs, parmesan cheese, and for making pesto. I haven't had any problems with processing parmesan cheese as one reviewer did. The blade has two sides, a blunt side for processing hard items like parmesan cheese, chocolate, and coffee beans and a sharp side for processing soft items such as onions, garlic, meats, and mushrooms. The sharp side is labeled sharp. If you alternate between processing hard and soft items, you have to remember to check the position of the blade to make sure you are processing with the right side. In addition, the processor has two speeds, HI & LO. The LO speed is recommended for use with the sharp side of the blade and pulse action while the HI speed is recommended for use with the blunt side of the blade and continuous processing. The Mini-Prep has a lot of kick to it for such a small appliance, and I have found it best to hold it steady with one hand, particularly when processing hard food items, because it will jump when powered on.
One thing I noticed, in the instruction and recipe manual under Operating Techniques, the instructions indicate that hard cheese is processed with a blade and position speed of Blunt/HI but the instructions for grated parmesan cheese in the recipe section uses Sharp/HI. I pulse at BLUNT/HI and then do continuous hold until its grated like I want it. For best results, cut the cheese into small pieces as indicated in the instruction manual before processing.
The Mini-Prep does a fairly decent job of chopping onions and garlic. On occasion I find a stray piece that the blades missed but that's probably because I don't always cut the pieces as recommended. Overall, I think this is a great little processor and well worth the price. Just remember to read the instruction manual before you start using it.
on August 28, 2007
For making seasoned butter, herbs, nuts --- small puree needs, the is a handy little gizmo for your kitchen. Sure beats cutting or dragging out the big gun processor.
on October 7, 2007
This is now my go-to chopper for onions, peppers, celery, nuts, spices, and anything that I need smaller quantities of. Super impressed with the blade and how quickly it gets things done. No big hunks of unchopped food left in there like with my larger food processor. If this one dies, I will buy it again!!! Love it!!!
on April 17, 2009
I purchased this chopper when I gave my old trusty Black and Decker mini chopper to my daughter when she left for college. I decided to treat myself to a up-scale chopper that looked nice on my counter. I have had a large Cuisinart for years and have never regretted that choice. I read the reviews and although I saw a somewhat positive overall score, I failed to realize that the only people who liked this machine were those who puree things or make smoothies. For the rest of us, this appliance is useless. It does a terrible job of chopping onions, carrots, herbs, nuts and just about anything at all. Pieces are unevenly chopped. When chopping onions, you end up with a soupy puree with a few large chunks floating in it. Sounds unappetizing doesn't it. Actually I never realized how great my cheap little B&D chopper was. So I am giving this away to the Salvation Army and returning to my un-sexy but ever so effective old chopper.
on May 17, 2006
Same thing happened to me as to another reviewer. I was mixing a small amount of aleady grated Parmesan cheese with breadcrumbs I had just made in the processor, and the blade must have hit a small chunk of cheese and went right through the side of the bowl, putting a hole in it and breaking in half. Scared the heck out of me, breadcrumbs all over the place, and a broken blade and bowl. Would cost me $24 to replace both, so I might as well buy a new one (a different brand, of course!). I'm mostly just glad I didn't get hurt.
on July 10, 2001
A few years ago I received a MiniCuisinart processor as a gift. It worked beautifully until, two months later, the motor broke down. Thanks to the warranty, I got a replacement. It worked beautifully -- until the motor broke down. Once again, the warranty got me a replacement. It worked beautifully until, two weeks later, the motor broke down. This time, I gave up. Friends of mine who are cooks rave about the larger Cuisinart models, but for me the Mini was a bust.
on April 1, 2009
I purchased this item confident that it would live up to the Cuisinart name. Wow-am I disappointed!! This processor won't even chop walnuts uniformly. In order to get a uniform chop you have to "pre-chop" even the nuts! Why would I want to stand and cut all the walnuts in half before I drop them in the processor bowl? I have adjusted amount, speed, time, you name it. It is the same dismal failure with onions, celery, anything I put in it! Part of the onion is ground to mush and there are pieces the same size as they were when I put them in still flipping around in the bowl! In my 40 plus years of cooking this is one of the most disappointing kitchen appliances I have ever owned. Tonight I was mashing bananas and had to take them back out and mash them with a fork! I did not pay a lot for this appliance but it was not worth even what I paid for it. I am contacting Cuisinart and if they don't want to refund my money or replace it with a different model, its going in the trash and I am going to buy a different brand. This is the first time I have ever slammed an appliance in a review.
on July 17, 2006
After reading the negative reviews I felt I had to put my 2 cents worth in. For what it's worth, I've owned a mini-prep for about 8 or 9 years and have been extremely happy with it. While I acknowledge that it does not do the best job of chunk chopping, it does do a great job on emulsions, spices and (especially) garlic butter for garlic bread. By processing in small batches and pulsing on low, you can get acceptable chopping for salsa ingredients, etc. The one thing I do stay away from is grating cheese. I tried it once and thought I was going to kill my mini-prep, I grate by hand. As far as clean-up goes, you need to use a glove, dish rag, or (my personal favorite) sponge to remove the blade from the shaft so you don't get cut by the blade.
As long as you don't try to make it do the work of a machine 2 or 3 times it's size the mini-prep is a great little processor. You wouldn't try to tow a house trailer with a Mini Cooper would you?