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on June 15, 2008
My first attempt at purchasing a food processor was to buy the $69.99 Oster. I did this because of the price. Predictably, it did not perform well and I had to return it. Perhaps Oster does better with blenders, I don't know. After doing further research, I was torn between KitchenAid and Cuisinart. There are hordes of loyal followers in each camp on this issue, and it was hard to choose based on reviews. I finally just went with Cuisinart, because it happened to be the model that my local store carried. In general, I'm happy with the product and would recommend it to other home cooks. I've only had this appliance a few months, and I don't use it every day. I probably use it once every couple weeks because it's only my husband and me so I don't cook for a crowd. I do love to prep a lot of food and then freeze it ahead because I'm a busy teacher, so the processor is a big help with that. If it were not so heavy and easier to clean, I'd probably use it more because this workhorse really gets the job done fast. Here are my observations based on what I've done with it so far:

It is excellent at:
Making breadcrumbs (both fresh and dried)
Mincing fresh herbs
Chopping/mincing raw and cooked meats (like whole chicken for chicken patties etc.)
Making salsa

Pretty Good/Could Be Better:
Shredding carrots, cheese (very quick and uniform, but some gets stuck between the lid and the shredding disc)
Grating a wedge of Parmesan (I put small chunks of it in the bowl with the chopping blade, as it shows in the DVD demonstration - and the result was coarser than I expected. In the end it melted fine in the dish I was making (lasagna), but it just felt like coarse sand to me when I was finished processing it, rather than soft powdery flakes like you get when you use the fine holes on the box grater. Still, it sure was a heckuvalot quicker than doing it by hand. I guess I'd do it again, as long as it was being added to a dish that would be cooked, like pasta. To make a pile of Parm to serve at the table or to add to breading, I would still use a handheld Microplane zester.)

Not Good:
Slicing green onion by the bunch (it pulled them under the lid rather than slicing)

Cleanup and Handling
It's a little finicky to wash by hand, because there are nooks and crannies for stuff to get stuck in. So far with a little effort and some strong jets of water to shoot into the cracks, I've been able to get it clean. It MUST air-dry, because there's no way to get a towel into the handle, where some water collects. If I had a dishwasher I think cleanup would be a breeze. So far I've only used it when I had a big job to do, because otherwise it's just quicker to pull out the old cutting board and knife or the box grater. They're easier to haul out and quicker to clean. Speaking of which, this processor weighs about 12 pounds empty, and in the summer the rubber feet tend to "suction" themselves onto whatever surface they're sitting on. Not so easy to lift this baby down from on top of the fridge, I discovered - and I'm 5'9!. ' I would recommend storing this at countertop level or lower, and then lifting with your knees to save your back and shoulders.

Final Comments:
I am happy with my purchase and would buy another Cuisinart if this one ever dies. I wish it shredded things without pulling them sideways under the lid, but that's my only complaint - and actually, it's only a small amount that gets pulled under. In the end, I'd much rather use this processor to shred several pounds of cheese than to use the box grater. I would recommend this size to a family of 4 and up - unless you're like me, and you like to chop a bunch of stuff at once and then freeze or can it. Good product, decent price for what you get overall.
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on March 22, 2012
I purchased both the FP-12DC Elite 12-Cup and the DLC-2011CHB Prep Plus 11 Cup. I did this because Consumer Reports rated the DLC-2011CHB Prep Plus 11 very highly (it is currently their second highest rated processor), but did not rate the FP-12DC Elite 12-Cup at all. I was interested in many of the features of the Elite 12, but not at the cost of functionality. Having tested the machines for a week now, I can say that I am pleasantly surprised and quite taken with the FP-12DC Elite 12-Cup processor.

The Motor:
While there is little information from Cuisinart regarding motor in the Prep Plus, I believe it to be the same as that in the Elite. Other places have said the Prep Plus has a 768 watt induction motor, and the Elite box states it has a 1000 max watt induction motor. In addition, the motor warranty on both is the same 10 years. They also sound very similar. They are both quiet, with the Elite perhaps edging the Prep Plus here, only because the base is bigger and is able to muffle the noise a bit better. This is not by any means scientific, but they are at least very similar motors and have avery similar amount of power.

The major difference between these two motors is that the Prep Plus has a dough feature and the Elite 12 does not. This does not mean the the Elite is incapable of dough. It is and it is heavily marketed for it in the sales materials and the included recipes. In fact the Dough button on the Prep Plus (and others including the Elite 14 cup) seems to be largely about product differentiation, or at the very least, it has limited utility. It is supposed to slow the motor so that the dough mixes better. In my testing though, it did not slow the motor significantly, and certainly slowed it less than the actual dough did. I also think a stand mixer does a much better job for this purpose. Having said that if you have limited space, both machines will happily punch up a dough for you.

I also did not like the buttons on the Prep Plus. They are blister buttons with a thin layer of plastic over them. When I was in the store, these buttons had been completely destroyed by all the fingers pressing on them. Surely a food processor at home would see as much wear, but they did not fill me with confidence. the Elite buttons are a similar style of button, but they seem to have a thin layer of metal covering the button. It seems like a more durable system.

The Work Bowls:
The Prep Plus has a Lexan bowl, the Elite has one made of Polycarbonate. Lexan is a very light weight plastic, but it is also somewhat flexible. This gives the impression that the Elite polycarbonate bowl is sturdier, and would last longer. Whether or not that is actually the case is difficult to say. In any case the Prep Plus bowl is undoubtedly lighter, so if you are an elderly person, or have some other infirmity, the Lexan will be better for you.

Both Elite bowls have a pouring spout, the prep plus does not. That's right, the Elite 12 comes with two nesting bowls. The Prep Plus comes only with one standard 11 cup work bowl.

The Elite bowls utilize the Sealtight lid, the Prep Plus uses a standard lid. Some have complained the Sealtight lid is hard to clean, but I have not found that to be the case. A rinse with the sink sprayer, and a run through the dishwasher (top rack) is all that I needed to get either of the work bowls and lids clean. The Sealtight lid does take some downward force to close, but I found it needed no more pressure than the Prep Plus bowl required laterally (sideways). In fact I found the Prep Plus bowl was inferior in use, in almost every way. The Elite bowl can be removed by twisting it left and lifting it from the motor with the lid still closed. The Prep Plus bowl, however, must have it's lid loosened before you are able to remove the work bowl from the base. In practice this is a real pain. I also found the button release of the Sealtight lid to be much more agreeable than the twisting function of the Pre Plus.

The Prep Plus has a widemouth plunger opening, and so does the Elite. Oddly, though the Prep Plus opening is very slightly wider, because of the way the slicing and shredding blades mount on that machine, it is a solid inch more shallow. This means you will be doing more chopping before you can get your food processor to do your slicing. In my tests with carrots, it meant four fewer cuts over 5 total carrots. Not a huge difference, but if you were going to do a lot of slicing - making pickles or the like - it would mean quite a bit more prep work.

The smaller plunger on the Prep Plus is a circular one, that can lock inside the larger plunger. The Elite has a wider elongated small plunger that does not lock. At first I thought this was a falling of the Elite, but in reality the extra real estate in the smaller opening is appreciated, and the need for a locking smaller plunger in negated by the fact that you have to press down on it as well as the larger plunger when using the large opening. The only real failure I saw in the Elite plunger system, was that it was missing some drainage holes that the Prep Plus version had, and these cause the plunger to collect water in the dishwasher.

The Blades:
This is where the Elite comes out head and shoulders above the Prep Plus. The Elite slicing blade is adjustable, creating 6 different widths for slicing 1mm to 6mm. While I can't imagine a circumstance where you would use a 1mm blade - since the power and speed of the machine would render whatever you were slicing into mush - the rest of the widths are very usable and make very good even slices. The slicing blade on the Prep Plus, on the other hand, is fixed. In addition, because the slicing and shredding blades have a smaller circumference, they do not cut as well. - more about this for the shredding disk.

I have read people complain that food falls through the finger holes in the Elite disks. This did happen some for me, but over all the slices were far superior with the Elite blade. So much so that fully a third of the Prep Plus slices were uneven, where only 8 slices did not pass muster in the Elite machine (out of about 1.5 and 2 cups respectively). That included one piece that must have gotten through the finger holes. To be sure the finger holes are an unfortunate design decision. They are completely unnecessary given that the hubs provide a more than adequate place to grip the blades without cutting yourself. However, I found that their impact, when the machine was used as directed, was negligible.

The shredding disks were another place for the Elite machine to shine when compared to the Prep Plus. Both disks for the Prep Plus are an inch smaller in circumference. This combined with the odd design of the shredding ridges on the Prep Plus blade gave wholly uneven shreds. Some were very short at around 1/4 inch, some quite long at 1.5 inches. I can't think of a situation where this would be desirable. Even and long shreds should be a no brainer, and the Prep Plus blade can not deliver. When I first looked at the Prep Plus shredding disk, I wondered if it wasn't trying to accommodate the small blade circumference, but even if it is, it's a design that is faulty.

The chopping blades were much closer in performance. Both produced an even, fine mince, with a slight edge going to the Elite design. It took two additional pulses to get the same evenness and size in the Prep Plus. Not a deal breaker to be sure, but when you put that together with a far more functional slicing disk, and far better shredding performance, the choice is becoming clear.

Additionally the Elite chopping blade has a locking blade design, that allows for both more liquid in the work bowl, and for pouring the processed food out without losing your blade into the receptical, splashing food everywhere. This is a far better feature than all of the others combined. The Elite is a food processor that could legitimately be used for making smoothies, or milk shakes, because it can actually hold liquid.

So in the end I can confidently say that while both machines are very good, the FP-12DC Elite 12-Cup processor is the winner hands down, and the Prep Plus will be going back from whence it came.
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on September 16, 2009
I spent a lot of time studying all kinds of food processors and settled on this model - it's great.

The container is a good size for all kinds of jobs. I still prefer this tool for something as simple as chopping onion and garlic - and it mixes up a batch of yeast bread coffee cake with equal good results (no 100 strokes).

Storing it is a pain in the neck. I have it broken down for storage and sometimes I grumble in putting it together - but I usually put in the effort.
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on January 8, 2009
I got this processor to replace my (still working) 5 yr old Cuisinart DLC-2011 white. This is a very similar model except that this one has a Stainless Metal base which is BEAUTIFUL and they have fixed a oddity of the previous model. In this model you can twist the lid off while the pusher assembly is still in the lid where as in my 5 yr old white DLC-2011 it required the extra step of removing the pusher first before you could remove the lid. There is a slightly different locking mechanism on this model that allows for this. This was a pleasant suprise that I was not expecting . I was fine with the other way because the machines capabilities far outweighed the little oddity. I had first accidently ordered the brushed chrome DLC-2011 and was dissapointed that it was infact silver plastic so I returned it to amazon. I then ordered this Brushed Stainless DLC-2011CHB machine and recieved it. I am so glad that I didnt settle for the silver plastic one as this processor really is nice looking. I think it is great to combine beauty with power and performance and this one has it all ! Highly reccomend.
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on July 14, 2015
Background: I am a Product Safety design specialist. This device was used per Cuisinart's safety instructions up until the blade failed. My wife and I are the few people who actually do read and follow Safety Instructions.

My wife was making frosting when she discovered a metal fragment in her MOUTH!. Luckily she didn't swallow or get cut by the metal fragment. As you can see in the photo, the failure occurred at the rivet.

We reported the problem to Cuisinart. The first question, of coarse, was "was anyone hurt?". Luckily, no. Next up was the hassle getting the damaged product back to Cuisinart. They were oh so NOT helpful. Very poor customer service. Unit was returned and we received a full refund.

So, beware when buying this or any other food product that has rivets in the food processing area. Rivets fail.
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on September 4, 2014
I have owned this machine and its been great, except it has alot of hard to reach places to clean. Then one day while shredding soft cheese, a little plastic piece that holds the safety on, broke off while using it. it was very scary,the bowl kept trying to jump off and the blade was still turning. it could have been a very serious thing. So I contacted cuisinart, they will "try" to get me the right bowl replacement, as I guess some of these are bpa free and older ones, same model are not. I have heard the tops don't fit if you get the wrong bowl. However, the clincher for me was they want ME to pay return shipping on the broke bowl. I went back and forth with them, this was not a cheap machine, I should not have to pay to return the broken bowl, they won't budge. I recently filed a complaint with the better business bureau to see if they can help. I did notice going to the BBB though, they are not accredited and they only have an F rating, so I don't expect much to happen for me, just wanted people to be aware. Theres no sense paying this much for a machine or any kind, and having a warranty if you have to pay more to get a replacement. Its just not right. I will not purchase ANY more cuisinart products after this.

UPDATE** I received an answer from BBB, cuisinart replied that as a STRICT one time policy they will send me a new bowl, they don't want the broken one back apparently if I'm not paying for the return. They are more then welcome to it. I received the bowl and the first one was the wrong bowl. They paid for the return and yesterday the new bowl arrived. It seems fine. When on the BBB web site I thought to check Kitchenaids ratings as I just purchased their hand mixer as I stated. They are accredited and have an A+ rating. so I guess in the future I will probably order their products. I can't imagine what it would cost to send back the base of the cuisinart food processor if it broke, its so heavy. I just don't think at the cost of these machines, you should have to pay for the return too if something went wrong. In my book, thats what a warranty means. But again, this is just me and my experience. I'm older person and been around when manufacturers stood behind their products. Those days are long gone i"m afraid.
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on November 24, 2014
We absolutely LOVE this processor (its heavy-duty, well-made, etc.), but its got a relatively rare and dedicated "Dough" button, yet it doesn't ship with an all-plastic dough blade?!@#$%&? Why? That makes no sense. We had to contact Cuininart directly and get them to ship us the part separately, which should NOT have been necessary.

To make it easier for those who choose to order this product anyway, you can call Cuisinart directly after you've received the food processor at (800) 726-0190, and order the following part number to be sent to you free-of-charge . . . All-Plastic Dough Blade #DLC-869TX-1.

Bon Appetite!
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on October 12, 2013
When my KitchenAid processor died after 2 1/2 years (the motor burned out!), I switched to Cuisinart. After reading multiple reviews, I settled on the DLC-2011CHB, bolstered by the Consumer Reports second best rating. In less than a week, while making salsa, the motor began emitting a rancid smell. At first I thought it was just new parts burning off production residuals, but it became much worse. I've stopped using it and am debating my next step--return to Amazon or contact Cuisinart. What a big disappointment! In the two other times I used it before this failure, it seemed to be a good food processor.
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on October 10, 2012
A lot of people have already reviewed how well the unit works. I'd like to add that the customer service is also great. I'd decided to shred some mozzarella and started working on a block of the cheese. 90% through the block that I'd put in, the remaining part of it got wedged beneath the lid and the cutter, and rolled into a ball. This put enough force on the detentes holding the lower portion of the tub, that the plastic broke. This is partly my fault, since I wasn't using small enough pieces for the plastic to withstand in the case of this happening (was using the large feed tube). I called up customer support, and with no questions asked, had a new replacement piece shipped out in 10 minutes with no cost to me. I've seen a lot of complaints about customer service for this unit, and cannot disagree with this more. Did I mention I was calling their CS number at 7:30 Pacific time on Columbus day, and had someone from an on-shore call center answer? This alone is reason enough to stick with this company and product (we're amassing quite a number of Cuisinarts at home).
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on October 22, 2013
I loved it when I bought it and raved about it to everyone. We used it everyday and only for things specified. Eventually, the little PLASTIC rotating thing that the blade sits on started to crack. Eventually it chipped completely off rendering the machine useless. Luckily I had bought it at Costco and they accepted it not problem. I had owned it for 6 months. Looking back, I would say it was probably all the nuts we chopped - almonds, cashews, peanuts. But we followed the instructions which clearly outlines how to use the machine for nuts. I just don't think people usually will chop that many nuts with it so Cuisinart thought it would last.
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